This week’s Romance Roundup includes a determined intern, a tour boat captain, and a hardworking woman in need of some major R&R.
Love is a wild ride.
After enduring months of torture at the hands of the Black Jacks MC, and betrayed by his own club, Holt “T-Rex” Savage, a junior member of the Sinner’s Tribe Motorcycle Club, will stop at nothing to get revenge. But falling for a beautiful woman with dangerous ties to his sworn enemy was never part of the plan…
Raised by the Black Jacks, Naiya Kelly grew up fast, furiously, and with little to lose. But now that she’s put her MC days behind her, she is free to do what she wants—until she meets a man who imprisons her, body and soul. She swore she’d never give her heart to a biker, but Holt is the most passionate, protective man she’s ever known. But will Holt be forced to betray his one true love to exact his revenge?
About the Author
Sarah Castille is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Redemption Series, Ruin&Revenge Series, Sinner’s Tribe Motorcycle Club series, Naughty Series and Legal Heat series. A recovering lawyer with a fondness for dirty-talking alpha males, she now is a full-time writer, who lives on Vancouver Island. Sarah’s books have been listed as Publishers Weekly's Top Ten Picks and Best Summer Reads, and Amazon’s Best Romance Books of the Year, and have won numerous reader’s choice awards.
Read an Excerpt
Sinner's Tribe Motorcycle Club
By Sarah Castille
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2016 Sarah Castille
All rights reserved.
Naiya Kelly knew he would come for her.
O God, by Your mercy, rest is given to the souls of the faithful, be pleased to bless this grave.
She just hadn't expected it so soon.
Appoint Your holy angels to guard it and set free from all the chains of sin and the soul of her whose body is buried here ...
And certainly not at the cemetery in the middle of her mother's burial service.
So that with all Thy saints she may rejoice in Thee forever.
She repeated the words in her head, praying for the same deliverance the priest sought to give her mother, although they both knew Laurie Kelly was going to hell.
Which is exactly where Naiya would be going as soon as the priest finished the service, because the devil stood waiting for her on the other side of the wrought-iron gates.
She focused on the holy water the priest sprinkled over the coffin, each perfect drop beading on the rough-hewn wood. Anything but turn and meet the dark, steady gaze of her mother's killer — the man who had brutally stripped away Naiya's innocence seven years ago, and was back for more. No, not a man. A monster.
Viper. President of the Black Jacks Motorcycle Club (MC). Self-styled outlaw biker king of Montana.
Her fingers slid over the ring on her left hand — silver, with four crossed sabers on a black background. The Good Mark of the Phantom. It was the only clue she had to the identity of her father now that her mother was gone. As a child, she'd read every Phantom comic book she could get her hands on, imagining her father had left the ring for her as a form of protection because he couldn't be with her. The Phantom had no superpowers but relied on strength and intelligence to defeat his foes.
So how was she going to escape a cemetery with only one gate and six outlaw bikers waiting for her in a sea of chrome and leather?
Salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us ...
Her hand curled around the bouquet of roses she had brought to lay on her mother's grave, her fingers white from the morning frost. Usually she loved Montana's autumns for the brilliant colors and cool evenings, but an early cold snap had sent the leaves tumbling from the trees, and Devil's Hills had gone from green to brown overnight, brutally ripping away the tail end of what had been a beautiful Indian summer.
Shine on those who sit in darkness and death's shadow ...
She hadn't been back to Devil's Hills since she'd run away seven years ago, but the small, former mining town hadn't changed at all. With it's pretty main street adorned with brightly colored historic buildings, an abundance of American flags and eclectic shops, and nestled against a backdrop of snow-covered mountains, it was hard to believe the town was the seat of the largest Black Jacks MC chapter in Montana and not a tourist paradise.
Naiya plucked a petal from one of the white roses as the priest prayed. White for the purity her mother had lost the day she met Viper. White to wipe the slate clean. Grandma Kelly had been a devout Catholic and had done her best to save Naiya's mother's soul, but once Viper got his fangs into her, there was nothing Grandma Kelly could do. His poison had tainted not just Laurie's life, but Naiya's, too.
I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?
No. Of course she didn't believe it. She would be dead the minute she left the cemetery, or at the very least wishing she was dead. She could feel Viper's eyes boring into her, staining her soul. He probably had a needle all ready to get Naiya addicted to the same drugs he'd given her mother to keep her willing and compliant.
Naiya's mother had been Viper's favorite sweet butt — one of many women who hung around the MC, doing chores and servicing the needs of the bikers in exchange for safety and a place to live — and second only in importance to his old lady, the biker equivalent of a wife. Naiya couldn't see the appeal of a forty-year-old meth addict to a man who could have any woman he wanted, especially when he'd demonstrated a taste for fifteen-year-old girls.
In the end, Naiya's mother had paid a high price for Viper's attention: death by overdose in Viper's bed. At least Grandma Kelly wasn't alive to see it.
Naiya glanced over at the tombstone beside her mother's grave etched with her grandmother's details: Marjorie Grace Kelly, wife of Peter Kelly (deceased), mother of Laurie, beloved grandmother of Naiya. She didn't remember much about Grandma Kelly's funeral, only that she'd been afraid for the first time in the nine years since she was born. Grandma Kelly had always taken care of her, and after that day, she had no one. Well, almost no one. Her drugged-out junkie sweet butt mother didn't count.
The priest sprinkled the casket with holy water. She missed Father Doyle who had been a fixture in the church as long as she could remember. He had led the service when her grandfather died and had been very close to Grandma Kelly. If not for Father Doyle, she might have made an even bigger mistake than going to the Black Jack clubhouse on her fifteenth birthday.
In a low, soothing voice, the priest asked again that her mother's soul rest in peace, and then he made a prayer for mercy.
A sob welled up in Naiya's throat as she contemplated her last few moments of freedom. Not even Viper would dare step foot onto holy ground, but even if he did, who would stop him? The priest? The cemetery workers standing ready with their shovels? No one else had come for the funeral. Junkies didn't have many friends.
And neither did she.
After her mother sold Grandma Kelly's house and blew the money on drugs, they'd been forced to live above a sex shop with a cruel, brutal Black Jack named Abe. Parents didn't want their children associating with the daughter of a drug addict and bike gang whore, and she'd been ostracized at school. Naiya took refuge in books, her only saving grace her intelligence and her determination to succeed at school so that she could leave the biker life behind.
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord.
Damn the Black Jacks. Damn Viper. Damn her own stupidity for coming back to Devil's Hills. But there was no running from Viper. She knew he'd kept tabs on her in college; she'd heard the Harleys, seen the occasional Black Jack cut. If she tried to run, he would hunt her down. The Black Jacks were one of the most powerful outlaw MCs in the country, and second only to the Sinner's Tribe MC in the state.
And what kind of daughter wouldn't bury her mother? Even if her mother had done nothing to save her when Viper decided to give Naiya a birthday present she would never forget.
Happy fifteenth birthday, love. Now lie still and shut the fuck up.
The gate creaked. Heavy footsteps thudded across the grass behind her. Trembles wracked Naiya's body. The priest intoned the last prayer, and Naiya placed the flowers on her mother's coffin.
"Good-bye," she whispered.
And let perpetual light shine upon her.
A hand clamped down on her shoulder, and Naiya fought back a whimper of fear.
May she rest in peace.
"No use praying, love," Viper murmured in her ear. "God's not gonna save you now."
* * *
Sometimes Holt "T-Rex" Savage found pleasure in the pain.
In the furthest recesses of his mind, he could tell good days from bad.
On the bad days, Viper didn't come to the dungeon. On those days, Holt suffered as his body tried to heal from countless months of torture. He felt every bruise, every cut, every lash, every bone that had broken and not reset. His lungs burned with every breath. His heart ached with every beat. His blood crusted beneath the manacles that held him to the wall.
But worse were the memories that assailed him when he stared at the Sinner's Tribe cut — the leather vest worn by all outlaw bikers — that Viper had pinned to the cinder block wall with the dagger Holt received when he patched into the Sinner's Tribe.
His cut. His club.
At least they had been until the Sinners betrayed him.
The Sinner's Tribe MC — the club he had loved, the bikers he had called brothers, the president he had respected above all men, the man he had called friend — were nothing to him now. He had sacrificed for them, offered himself to Viper to save the life of the Sinners' VP's girl, Evie, and in return they left him to suffer and die.
Funny how history repeated itself. Except this time his sacrifice hadn't landed him in juvenile detention, but in hell.
Yesterday should have been a good day. On the good days, Viper tortured him until his mind went blank, erasing memories, hopes, and dreams, wiping out the pain of betrayal and replacing it with fantasies of revenge.
Revenge had given him the will to live. Revenge against Viper and the Jacks. Revenge against Jagger and the Sinner's Tribe. Once he was free, his wrath would know no bounds. He would surrender himself to the beast within until it had drunk deep of betraying biker blood.
But yesterday was different. Viper was excited. His dark eyes glittered in the semi-darkness of the dungeon beneath the Black Jack clubhouse that had been Holt's home for countless months. Viper pulled out equipment he had never used before, tortured Holt without needing a break to rest his arms or to laugh or talk with the men who always accompanied him for what he called his "workout" sessions.
He was going to have a woman he had wanted for years, he'd said.
A girl he'd tasted once and never forgotten, he'd said.
The daughter of the sweet butt who had inconvenienced him by dying in his bed.
A replacement for the woman Holt had snatched away with his ridiculous sacrifice that had landed him in Viper's dungeon and opened his eyes to the fact the Sinners were not the loyal brothers Holt thought they were.
All of which meant Viper didn't need Holt any more. He would be working out his stress between the poor girl's soft thighs. His whip would taste her smooth, creamy skin. His chains would circle her slim wrists. Her blood would stain his sheets. And he would drink the nectar of her screams.
Today was a bad day. The worst of all days. There was no pain Holt didn't feel, no breath he didn't fight for, no beat he didn't have to squeeze from his heart. Today he wondered if there would be a tomorrow because even revenge was losing its battle to sustain him.
Holt stared at the cut on the wall. The Sinner's Tribe patch was barely visible in the thin light that shone through the outer door. He remembered the day Jagger had given him that cut. The bar filled with his brothers, chanting his road name, "T-Rex." The pride that swelled his chest when Jagger threw the cut over his shoulders. And later, the emotion that welled up in his throat when his best friend, Tank, gave him the dagger. It had been the best day of his life.
His chest seized, and he gritted his teeth. This is why he fought back the memories. Nothing hurt more than emotional pain.
Light flickered against the wall, and the door scraped open. Holt drew in a deep breath and blinked as his eyes adjusted to the light.
This was it. The last day had finally come. He felt no fear, no longing, and no sadness. Nothing but regret that he hadn't had a chance to exact his revenge. If he'd been a praying man, he would have prayed that this would be the end of his suffering. But he wasn't. So he closed his eyes, and he made a wish.
His wish didn't come true.
"Fucking bitch." Viper shoved a woman into the dungeon so hard she fell to the floor. "You're mine now, and you'll damn well learn to behave. Blame your mother for dying with a shitload of debt. Your new place is in my fucking bed with your legs spread wide, your pussy wet, and your mouth open only to suck my cock. And if you ever try to pull that kind of crap on me again, you'll be joining your fucking mother in her grave." He slammed the door shut, plunging the room into darkness.
For a long moment, the woman didn't move, and Holt wondered if Viper had hurt her. He opened his mouth to speak, but, with his tongue dry and swollen, no sound came out.
An ear-splitting scream filled the dungeon. He heard the rasp of her breaths, fists on metal. Through the thin light streaming beneath the door, he could make out the barest outline of her body as she let loose a string of curses that would put even the most hardened biker to shame.
Holt wanted to go to her, tell her she was wasting her breath. No one would find her in Viper's dungeon. And even if someone heard her cries, no one would come to her aid. But with his wrists manacled and one ankle chained to the floor, he couldn't move. Weak from hunger, thirst, and loss of blood, he couldn't even rattle the chain to let her know she wasn't alone.
Sobbing, the woman bent down and slid her fingers under the door. She cursed again, filthy words interspersed with such rapid breaths he wondered if she would hyperventilate.
"It'sokayit'sokayit'sokayit'sokay." She curled up beside the door for a few minutes, muttering to herself. And then she sprang up, her hands sliding over the door and the wall beside it, searching, shouting so loud Holt's ears rang. "Help."
She still hadn't turned around, and he thought this was a dangerous thing. If she had any sense, she would protect her back. But this woman wasn't thinking about the dangers in the dungeon. Between sobs and shouts, she railed against Viper as if she couldn't contain the fire inside her no matter how hard she tried.
If he could have moved his lips, he would have smiled.
Finally, she found the light switch, and the naked bulb overhead flickered on. Holt squinted as his eyes adjusted the light. Viper kept him in darkness save for the days he came to visit, and on those days Holt didn't want to see what Viper had in store for him.
He must have made a sound because she whirled around to face him, hands raised, eyes wide. Her gaze flickered over the implements on the walls — whips, chains, iron bars, knives, axes, and all manner of torture devices Holt had never encountered before but with which he was now intimately familiar — the hooks in the ceiling, the toilet in the corner that was just far enough for his chains to reach, and the blood stains on the floor.
Not all his blood. There had been another man in the dungeon when he'd first been captured. A dark-haired Devil Dog who had made the mistake of sleeping with one of the Black Jacks' old ladies. After beating the poor bastard to death, Viper left his body on the dungeon floor and moved Holt to a different dungeon in a different location where Holt was subjected to everything he'd witnessed and more. When Viper returned Holt to his original cell, the Devil Dog was gone, and everything had been rebuilt as new. But the horror was old and endless.
Finally, the woman's gaze fell on him. She gasped and her hand flew to her mouth. Holt tried to make out her face, but with his eyes swollen and crusted with dried blood, and unused to the light, she was nothing more than a blur.
"Ohgodohgodohgodohgod." She took one step toward him, then another. When she crouched down in front of him, he managed to widen his eyes enough to see her clearly. She was slim, and small, with long dark hair, and a heart shaped face. He couldn't discern the color of her eyes, only that the color shifted as he watched, and her gaze was deep with sympathy when she met his stare. It had been so long since he'd seen a woman, she looked almost ethereal with her pale skin and fine features, but her cheek was badly bruised.
Easy to break. Viper could crush her neck with one hand, and yet she seemed angry, not afraid.
"You're alive." She reached out and stroked his cheek.
Holt jerked back at her gentle touch. Instinct. Borne of constant pain from every touch he'd endured since the last day he'd seen the sun.
"I'm sorry." Her voice was soft, throaty. He'd forgotten about the beautiful things in life. Soft things. Gentle things. Sights and sounds. Tastes and touches. She was all of them wrapped up in one sweet package.
"Viper thinks you're dead." Her brow furrowed. "I heard him talking with his men before he brought me down here. They're planning to get your ... you and bury you somewhere."
Excerpted from Chaos Bound by Sarah Castille. Copyright © 2016 Sarah Castille. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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