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"We're definitely changing the name." Frank "Boss" Knight pulled the Hummer up in front of the sad little pre-fab building and glanced at the hand-painted wooden sign screwed over the front door: Becky's Badass Bike Builds.
"Too much alliteration for you?" Bill Reichert snickered from the passenger seat while unbuckling his seat belt and throwing open the door. The frigid winter wind whipped into the interior of the vehicle, prompting Frank to grab his black stocking cap from the dashboard and tug it over his head and ears before zipping his parka up to his chin.
If this thing actually worked out, Chicago winters were definitely going to take some getting used to. Of course, freezing temps were a small price to pay for a good, solid cover for his new defense firm. And joining Bill's kid sister in her custom Harley chopper business, posing as mechanics and motorcycle buffs, promised to be a freakin' phenomenal cover for all the guys he'd recruited away from the various branches of the armed services. Especially considering most of them were bulky, tattooed, and-without regulation military haircuts-just scruffy enough to pass for their own chapter of Hell's Angels.
He pushed out of the Hummer and had to lower his chin against the gust of wind that punched him in the face like an icy fist. Shoving his hands deep in his coat pockets, he trudged up to the front door through the path someone had shoveled in the thick blanket of snow.
Bill applied a gloved thumb to the buzzer, and five seconds later, a familiar noise sounded from the behind the metal door, making the hair on the back of Frank's neck stand up.
How do you know you've been in the business too long? When you recognize the sound of a .45 caliber being chambered from three feet away, that's how.
"Who is it?" a deep, wary voice inquired from within.
"I thought you said she knew we were coming," Frank hissed over Bill's shoulder.
"She does." Bill grinned. "But she also knows she can never be too careful in this neighborhood."
And that was no lie. The graffiti tagging every vertical surface for six blocks in each direction announced that they were smack dab in the middle of some very serious gang territory. The Vice Lords ruled the roost, and they wanted to make damned sure everyone knew it.
Raising his voice above the shrieking wind, Bill yelled, "Open the damned door, you big ape! We're freezing our dicks off out here!"
And that was no lie either. Frank couldn't even begin to explain to his family jewels why he hadn't jumped into a pair of thermal underwear this morning and instead opted to go commando.
Big mistake. Huge.
One he sure as hell wouldn't be making again.
The front door swung open with a resounding clang, and they were met by a giant, red-headed man who looked like he should be wearing a face mask and leotard while smashing a folding chair over some guy's back.
Frank could almost hear Michael Buffer shouting, Arrrrre you ready to ruuumbllle?
"Manus," Bill said, stepping over the threshold and motioning Frank through, "this is Boss. Boss, meet Manus. He and his brothers work security for my sister."
Frank waited until Manus tucked the .45 into the waistband of his jeans before cautiously stepping into the small, tiled vestibule. The walls were covered in rusted motorcycle license plates, and as soon as the door closed behind him, the aroma of motor oil and burning metal assaulted his nostrils.
"You the guy who wants to partner with Becky? Invest some money and learn to build bikes?" Manus asked while pumping the hand he offered, a smile splitting the big man's ruddy face and making all his freckles meld together.
Yeah, that was the story they were tossing around until he could get a look at the set-up...
"I haven't decided yet," he answered noncommittally, and Manus's smile only widened.
"That's only because you haven't seen Becky's bikes," he boasted. "Once you do, you're gonna want to give her all your savings and have her teach you everything she knows."
Frank lifted a shoulder as if to say we'll see and watched as Bill opened the second set of glass doors.
His ears were instantly assailed by a wall of sound.
The pounding beats of hard-driving rock music competed with the hellacious screech and whine of grinding metal. He resisted the urge to reach up and plug his ears as he followed Bill into the custom motorcycle shop, skirting a few pieces of high-tech machinery.
And then he wasn't thinking about his bleeding eardrums at all.
Because his eyes zeroed in on the most beautiful, outlandish motorcycle he'd ever seen.
It was secured on a bike lift. The paint on the gas tank and fenders was bright, neon blue that sparkled iridescently in the harsh overhead lights. It sported a complex-looking dual exhaust, an outrageous stretch, and intricate, nearly whimsical front forks. It also had so much chrome it almost hurt to look at it.
In a word: art.
It made the work he'd done restoring his vintage 1952 Harley-Davidson FL look like amateur hour.
And just when he thought he couldn't be any more blown away, the sound of grinding metal slowly died down and a young woman emerged from behind the bike with a grinder in one hand and a metal clamp in the other.
He nearly swallowed his own tongue.
This couldn't be...
But obviously it was. Because the instant the woman caught sight of them she squealed, clicked off the music pouring out of the speakers of an old-fashioned boom box, and dropped both tools on the bike lift before jumping into Bill's arms, hugging him tight and kissing his cheek with a resounding smack that sounded particularly loud in the sudden silence of the shop.
This was Rebecca "Rebel" Reichert, Wild Bill's little sister.
Little being the operative word. If she stood two inches over five feet Frank would eat his biker boots for dinner.
He didn't quite know what he'd expected of a woman who ran her own custom chopper shop, but it wasn't long, blond hair pulled back in a tight ponytail, intense brown eyes surrounded by lush, dark lashes, and a pretty, girl-next-door face that just happened to be his own personal weakness when it came to women.
Something about that wholesome, all-American thing always managed to bring him to his knees.
Bill finally lowered her to the ground, and she came to stand in front of Frank, small, grease-covered hands on slim, jean-clad hips. For some inexplicable reason, he felt the need to stand up straighter.
It was probably because she had the same unyielding look in her eye that his hard-ass drill sergeant always had back when he'd been in Basic.
"So." She tilted her head until her ponytail hung down over her shoulder in a smooth, golden rope. "You must be the indomitable Frank Knight. Billy has told me so very little about you."
And that voice...
It was soft and husky. The type that belonged solely in the bedroom.
"Everyone calls me Boss," he managed to grumble.
"I think I'll stick to Frank," she said with a wink. And for some reason, his eyelid twitched. "After all, there can be only one boss around here, and I'm it. Now, I hear you want to get into the business of building bikes?"
"I'm considering it." He couldn't help but notice the way her nose tilted up at the end or the way her small breasts pressed against the soft fabric of the paint-stained, long-sleeved T-shirt she wore.
Kee-rist, man, get a grip.
"Well, then." She nodded, pushing past him as she made her way toward the front door, "let's go take a look at that bike you brought with you and see if you have any talent at all."
For a split second, he let his eyes travel down to the gentle sway of her hips before forcing himself to focus on a point over her head as he followed her back through the various machinery. Bill was right behind him, which helped to keep his eyes away from the prize...so to speak. Because the last thing he wanted was to get caught ogling the guy's kid sister.
Talk about a no-no of epic proportions. Especially if he didn't fancy the idea of finding one of Bill's size-eleven biker boots shoved up his ass.
Once they reached the first set of glass doors, she pulled a thick pair of pink coveralls off a hook on the wall. Balancing first on one foot then the other, she stepped into the coveralls and zipped them up before snagging a bright purple stocking cap from a second hook and pulling it over her head.
She looked ridiculous. And feminine. And so damned cute.
He gritted his teeth and reminded himself of three things. One, she was way too young for him. Two, if things worked out, then despite what she thought now, he was going to be her boss. And three, he'd made a promise not to-
"How much money are you thinking of investing?" she interrupted his thoughts as she pushed through the double doors and into the vestibule.
As much as it takes..."We'll talk more about that later." He held his breath, waiting to see how she'd respond to both his authoritative tone and his answer. It was a test of sorts, to determine if they had any hope of working together.
She regarded him for a long second, her brown eyes seeming to peer into his head. Then she shrugged, "Suit yourself."
When she opened the outer door, he once again had to dip his chin against the icy wind. The three of them slogged through the snow to the small, enclosed cargo trailer hitched to the back of his Hummer, and he fished in his pocket for the keys with fingers already numb from the cold. Once he opened the trailer's back door, she didn't wait for an invitation to jump inside.
He and Bill were left to follow her up and watch as she walked around his restored bike before squatting near the exhaust.
"You do all the work yourself?" she asked.
The bike he'd been so proud of thirty minutes before seemed shoddy and unimaginative by comparison.
"Yes," he admitted, amazed he actually felt nervous. Like maybe she wouldn't want to work with him.
"Your welding is complete crap," she said, running a finger along a weld he'd thought was actually pretty damned good. "But it's obvious you're a decent mechanic, and that's really what I need right now, more decent mechanics. Plus," she stood and winked, "it might be nice to have a big, strong dreamboat like you around the place day-in and day-out. Something fun to look at when my muse abandons me."
He opened his mouth...but nothing came out. He could only stare and blink like a bewildered owl.
Holy hell, was she flirting with him?
He was saved from having to make any sort of answer-thank you, sweet Jesus-when Bill grumbled, "Cut it out, Becky. Now's not the time, and Boss is definitely not the guy."
"No?" She lifted her brows, turning toward Frank questioningly.
And now he was able to find his voice. "No." He shook his head emphatically, trying to swallow his lungs that had somehow crawled up into his throat.
"Well," she shrugged, completely unflustered by his overt rejection, "you can't blame a gal for trying." She offered him a hand. "I'm in, partner. That is, once I know exactly how much you're thinking of investing."
"Bill will get back to you with the specifics," he hedged, taking her hand only briefly before releasing it, more eager to get the hell out of there than he'd care to admit.
Again she did that head-tilt thing. The one that caused the end of her ponytail to slide over her shoulder. She regarded him for a long moment during which time he thought his heart might've jumped right out of his mouth had his lungs not been in the way. Then she shrugged and said, "Fine. Go ahead and do that whole mystery-man thing. I don't really give a rat's ass as long as you're good for the green."
And with that, she hopped down from the back of the trailer.
He moved to watch her traipse through the snow to the front door of her shop. Only once she disappeared inside did he turn to Bill. "You sure she's trustworthy enough? She seems a bit impulsive to me."
Impulsive and arrogant and bold and...way too cute for her own good.
Bill smiled, crossing his arms. "Despite all evidence to the contrary, Becky's as steady as they come. We can depend on her to keep our secrets. You have my word."
"And what about the hierarchy? How's she going to react once she realizes I'm the one calling the shots?"
Bill clapped a heavy hand on his shoulder and chuckled. "I have no doubt you can handle her, Boss."
Uh-huh. He wished he shared Bill's certainty. Because there was one thing he could spot from a mile away, and that was trouble.
And Rebecca Reichert?
Well, she had trouble written all over her...
Posted October 16, 2012
A female mechanic that also likes to remember shes a woman, you say? It's about time!! As a mechanic myself, and my sister in law being a Navy helicopter mechanic, we are out there.
The second installment of the Black Knights is as addicting as the first one. You wont be able to put it down!!!! Tears, laughter and excitment rolled into one! Cant wait to read the next one!!!
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 4, 2012
I really like this series. While I don't think this book had as much excitement to it as the first in the series did, I still really enjoyed it. We got a really good glimpse of the antagonistic (i.e. sexually frustrated) relationship between Frank and Becky in the first book so I was really excited to read this book.
Black Knights Inc. run through a custom motorcycle shop as their cover. Becky is the heart and talent of that shop. She never met an engine she couldn't make better. BTW, I missed seeing her get her hands dirty in this book. In book one, she was working on a helo, a Porsche, and the bikes and I LOVED that about her character. She also really wants to be an operator to be more included with the Knights, but simply the thought of her in danger is an absolute NO-GO for Frank, who's in charge of the Knights.
It's no secret that Becky has been crushing on Frank. He feels an equal pull to her, but he's 39 and she's 26 and he thinks that's too much of a difference especially after growing up with a philandering father who constantly preyed on younger women. He refuses to give into temptation no matter how badly he wants it and he does want it bad. The absolute best thing about this book were the insights into his mind. This poor guy is so tortured, but he has a sarcastic mental wit about it that I just loved.
Like I said on my review of the first book. I love the premise of this series. That hasn't changed. I love these guys with their dangerous missions, sexy motorcycles, and bad-boy images. I can't wait for more to come....
I received a complementary copy of this book in return for an honest review.
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 1, 2012
Passion, danger, excitement, you'll find it all in this 2nd instalment of Black Knights Inc. And since this is my first time reading Ms Walker's novel, I was very impressed with IN RIDES TROUBLE. It definitely lives up to its name, edgy, super hot and sexy, the Black Knights Inc men will leave you breathless. So if you like living on the edge, enjoy life with a little bit of spice, the Black Knights Inc series is definitely for you. I've fallen in love with all these special men and is looking forward for more of this series.
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 22, 2012
One of the best things about this series is although the men are definitely alpha males, war and warfare are not glorified. I can't wait for the next book!
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 19, 2012
Posted October 3, 2012
I loved this book and bought the other two in this series as well. I am much much MUCH more likely to post a warning (the pitiful few posts on which I waste the time to do the one-finger hunt-n-peck) so take heed.
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 2, 2012
Posted October 12, 2012
Posted February 16, 2014
Reviewed by Jen
Book provided by the publisher for review
Review originally posted at Romancing the Book
I found In Rides Trouble to be a much better constructed story over its predecessor, Hell on Wheels. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed book one. But I found that at times it suffered from too much world building and some of those pitfalls that many debut authors struggle with (too many points of view, way too much internal debates, and so on). In this second book in Ms Walker’s Black Knights series, any of those little hiccups were cleared up.
Let me tell you, this book starts out with a bang… and also picks up where the prior book left off. You wouldn’t *need* to read book 1, but it does help a little in understanding Frank and Becky and what led to Becky to being on a boat which is being hijacked by Somali pirates. And since this is a military romantic suspense, you know there is going to be tons of action both in and out of the bedroom with our two main characters.
I enjoyed the roller coaster ride that this book took me on. There was plenty of fighting and suspense that kept me turning the pages. And the tension between Becky and Frank kept me interested in how it was going to play out in the end. Yes, I could have used a little more of the bad guy and the suspense that comes with a bad guy who is *really* causing trouble and threatening the main characters. But in the case of this book, I think it was the one weak spot.
All in all, I think if you like romantic suspense… especially one with a military theme, you may like this series. I know that I’m enjoying it and can’t wait to see what happens next!
Posted February 11, 2014
Posted February 5, 2014
Posted December 15, 2013
I liked becky and franks story. It was great that he had to come rescue her from the pirates in the beginning and they ended up together in the end. I can't wait for the next book in the series.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 3, 2013
Rebecca (Becky) "The Rebel" Reichert is mechanical genius behind Black Knights INC. Becky has only loved one person Frank "Boss" Knight from the moment she laid eyes on him. Becky has waited for him to acknowledge their attraction for the past three and half years. Becky goes on vacation with her best friend Eve Edens expecting nothing to happen to either of them but the total opposite happens. Becky and Eve are taken hostage by pirates in the middle of nowhere on a boat no less. When the crew at Black Knights INC get word of this Frank becomes a man on a mission get Becky back safe and sound. Sounds simple right? Nothing could be further from the truth. Since Becky and Eve's return, Frank is rethinking his opinions, hopes, and dreams in regards to Becky especially knowing the kidnapper got away. Will Frank admit the truth? How will Eve and Becky cope now? Will Becky get her wish? Will the kidnapper be caught? Your answers await you In Rides Trouble.
Ms. Walker has created another pulse pounding page turner from first line to the last line. I'm loving this series. Black Knights are the Alpha Males that take charage in every situation in or out of the bedroom. I simply can't wait to read the next installment
Posted September 14, 2013
Loved tomboy/beauty Rebel and her take down of Frank. Fun read, always like a girl who can stand on her own, but also like the strong hunky "MAN" she can rely on to be there and come to her rescue, not just because it's his way but because he cares deeply for her. Even if his reason's for holding back to begin with seem pretty lame.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 11, 2013
I read both books #1 and #2 back to back so I decided to run a review combined. Both of these books were awesome. Action packed with romance and mystery. Plus I love that military bad boy persona Julie writes her male characters with. Each book is about a different character but I like how they all tie together and bring them together. I have a love hate relationship with stories like this because I hate to leave the initial characters, but you never really lose them with these, they continue to be apart of the story. I definitely recommend these to my readers who love those bad boys :) Enjoy!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 10, 2013
Love this book as well as the other 3 in the series. I suggest reading them in order starting with "Hell on Wheels". Black Knights Inc. has suspense, humor and great chemistry between the two lead characters. In this book, Becky "Rebel" has attitude and confidence and is not going to let the guys in BKI keep her out of the middle of things. Nor is she going to let Frank keep her out of his heart. Can't wait for the next book to come out this fall. A MUST READ SERIES!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 3, 2013
Read this one directly after the first book and I wasn’t disappointed. Hooked on this series! Good character definition. Love the alpha male and female characters. Can’t wait to read the next one!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 16, 2013
Posted April 1, 2013
I loved Hell on Wheels and was excited to get a chance to read Becky and Frank's story. Frank is the "Boss" of the special ops team and Becky is the owner of the bike shop, which is the cover front for the head quarters. Becky's been in love with Frank since they started working together but Frank refuses her advances because #1, he's too old for her and #2, he's her boss. So I was happy to finally see what happens with these two characters.
However, I had a problem with this story. It was never mentioned in the first book that Frank had a woman who he went out to see at night. So with this mysterious woman throwing a monkey wrench into things made the romance a little slow. Which is fine, I figured that Frank would eventually dump the woman and would hook up with Becky. However, Becky pretty much seduces him into sleeping with her even though she knows about this other woman. And that... that was where I lost my excitement. Everything worked out in the end but I suppose cheating or the prospect of cheating just leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
I loved that the books starts from the beginning of the Black Knights and how they came to be. I enjoyed the side stories with the other characters and watching prospective main characters come into play. There's still a good dose or action that keeps you flipping through pages to see what happens next. So far I think the series is great and I look forward to reading more.