In Rides Trouble (Black Knights Inc. Series #2)

In Rides Trouble (Black Knights Inc. Series #2)

by Julie Ann Walker

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Overview

A New York Times and USA Today Bestseller!

"Deft characterization, skillful pacing, touches of humor, and red-hot love scenes rev up this highly recommended roller-coaster." —Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Rebel with a Cause

Becky "Rebel" Reichert never actually goes looking for trouble. It just has a tendency to find her. Like the day Frank Knight showed up at her door, wanting to use her motorcycle shop as a cover for his elite special ops team. But Becky prides herself on being able to hang with the big boys-she can weld, drive, and shoot just as well as any of them.

Man with a Mission

Munitions, missiles, and mayhem are Frank's way of life. The last thing the ex-SEAL wants is for one brash blonde to come within fifty feet of anything that goes boom. Yet it's just his rotten luck when she ends up in a hostage situation at sea. Come hell or high water, he will get her back-whether she says she needs him or not.

Black Knights Inc. Series
Hell on Wheels (Book 1)
In Rides Trouble (Book 2)
Rev It Up (Book 3)
Thrill Ride (Book 4)
Born Wild (Book 5)
Hell for Leather (Book 6)
Full Throttle (Book 7)
Too Hard to Handle (Book 8)
Wild Ride (Book 9 — coming April 2017!)

Praise for Hell on Wheels:

"Edgy, alpha, and downright HOT, the Black Knights Inc. will steal your breath ... and your heart!" —CATHERINE MANN USA Today bestselling author

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402267161
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 09/04/2012
Series: Black Knights Inc. Series , #2
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 102,775
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Julie Ann Walker is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of wickedly sexy romantic suspense novels, including the acclaimed Black Knights Inc. series. A former high school math teacher, Julie Ann lives in Chicago with her husband. Visit her at julieannwalker.com.

Abby Craden is a professional actress and voice artist who can be heard in numerous TV and radio commercials, video games, and audiobooks. An AudioFile Earphones Award winner as well as an AudioFile Best Voice of 2012, Abby is an award-winning stage actress and a resident artist with the prestigious theater A Noise Within.

Read an Excerpt

Prologue

"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.

Well, hell.

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...

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Amazing... I can't wait for the next book." - Books Like Breathing

"A fast paced series full of intrigue, action, alpha males and scorching sex scenes and I can't wait to read the next installment." - Feeling Fictional

"Bursts with drama and adventure... Rocks the reader with more high-speed action and high-impact emotions." - Joyfully Reviewed

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