Enter the gritty biker world of the Raising Hellfire MC series where these L.A. bikers drink hard, drive fast, and dig deep for love.
Good girl Beth Ravens is waiting for her big Hollywood break but is currently broke, so she’s stuck waitressing at the Wilde Hotel, home of the Raising Hellfire biker club, the biggest collection of dirty bike leather this side of the Hollywood hills.
Luckily for Beth, Wilde’s has a resident rising star, Grim McKinley, currently using the Hell’s Boys as research for a biker role. Grim’s hot, and he’s the only perfect gentleman among her regulars. If Beth can hitch herself to his growing fame, she might get a shot at silver screen glory herself. But when she sneaks into Grim’s hotel room and into his bed, Beth finds the wrong McKinley under the covers.
Bad boy biker Rusty McKinley is used to women in his bed and doesn’t blink when he finds one at Wilde’s. But Beth’s prim reaction to her mistake isn’t what Rusty expects. He’s on the lookout for a woman to front an upcoming TV show about his garage, and Beth seems like the perfect match for him and his show. All he has to do is convince Beth he’s a better bet than his brother.
Ride All Night is an exciting, sexy read that will take readers for a drive they won’t be able to forget from USA Today bestselling author Michele De Winton!
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About the Author
Being a writer was not what Michele De Winton was supposed to be when she ‘grew up’. But then neither was being a dancer! It’s no wonder a little sparkle of the stage is often in her work. Living in in New Zealand with her husband and two small boys after traveling a plenty, she writes from an office where the sound of the tapping keyboard is the only distraction. Okay, that’s a lie. Those boys are noisy, and busy, and into everything, but then, what boys aint? She finds wine very useful for tempering reality, and chocolate helps too, especially when it’s mixed with alcohol.
The author of Burning to Ride 2-in-1, Ride Me Right, and Ride All Night, Michele likes her heroines smart and sassy. Girls can do anything right? But the heroes have to be a match as well, so you can count on men who know just how to make a woman melt. And she always kisses and tells. Come distract her on Twitter, Facebook or on her website.
Being a writer was not what Michele De Winton was supposed to be when she ‘grew up’. But then neither was being a dancer! It’s no wonder a little sparkle of the stage is often in her work. Living in in New Zealand with her husband and two small boys after traveling aplenty, she writes from an office where the sound of the tapping keyboard is the only distraction. Okay, that’s a lie. Those boys are noisy, and busy, and into everything, but then, what boys ain't She finds wine very useful for tempering reality, and chocolate helps too, especially when it’s mixed with alcohol.
Michele likes her heroines smart and sassy. Girls can do anything right? But the heroes have to be a match as well, so you can count on men who know just how to make a woman melt. And she always kisses and tells. Come distract her on Twitter or Facebook.
Read an Excerpt
I'm a strong, confident woman, with real talent and a future in Hollywood, that's what he wants. That's what he needs. Time to suck it up and show him what he's missing out on.
Beth Ravens closed her eyes, picked up the shot glass, and took a deep breath. The bar at Wilde's was crowded and she had to focus to hear herself think. But this was her ritual: keep her back to the room, take the shot, then turn around and lights, camera, action, she was Beth Ravens, Bartender of Your Dreams! Trouble was there were no cameras, and the biker-audience in this bar had given up on dreams a long time ago.
The room quieted a moment and the lone click of a pool cue making its mark echoed around the bar, swiftly followed by a roar and the deep-bellied laughter of about fifty bikers as a small guy with barely any facial hair beat an older guy in black leather with a beard to his nipples.
"You going to drink that or just breathe with it? Your shift starts in two minutes, girl."
Beth made a face at her boss, Briony. The owner of Wilde's could talk the tan off a leather jacket, but her heart was gold all the way through, and for Beth, meeting Briony had been the one and only good thing about having to take a job in a bar while she waited for the hundred and one auditions she'd crammed into the past few months to start paying off. "Give me half a minute."
"I'll give you a whole one if you can down that without making a face," Briony said with a grin.
"Okay, okay." Beth took a deep breath and knocked her shot back then instantly shuddered as the liquor coated her throat and burned its golden way down to her stomach. Tequila was not her drink, but they didn't serve wine or gin and tonic around here, and both bourbon and whiskey made her want to barf just from smelling them. She'd tried asking for vodka and orange. Once. But when the entire bar watched her drink it like she was drinking snot, she didn't make that mistake again. Other than beer, there wasn't much else on offer at Wilde's on a Tuesday evening and this first, fortifying drink was how she got through the nights here. She put the glass down, then moved it slightly to the left to make it equidistant between her hands. Better.
"Is now a bad time, girls? Only my throat is about to close up. It's dryer than a witch's tit out there. Pour us a shot of Jack, will you?" The rumbling baritone of Grim McKinley slid over Beth like a warm coat on a cold day and Beth straightened her shoulders, looking down to make sure her girls were in order before she put them on show.
Okay. Briony wasn't the only good thing about Wilde's. Like tequila, Grim's voice did things to Beth's insides that were hot and wet and quite frankly weren't good for you, but if you let it in, man, it felt good. And tonight, Beth had decided she was going to tell Grim the reasons they should be together. Trouble was, she wasn't sure if he'd agree or laugh her all the way home.
Despite her best attempts at flirting, and his decidedly Hollywood reputation as a player, Grim didn't seem to see past her black Wilde's apron or the glasses of beer she'd passed him every Tuesday night for the past two months. She was a waitress, period, in his eyes. But tonight was going to change that. Briony had let her ditch the apron and Beth was ready to put on a show. That was what she came to LA from Australia to do, after all. She had a lot to prove, and she wanted the whole deal: fame, fortune, and fantasy prince. Reading all those fairy tales when she was a kid had to pay off somehow, right?
Grim worked in Hollywood. The real Hollywood, and he was the only part of Wilde's that fit in with her plans: Hollywood action movie roles, check. Ability to hold a conversation that didn't start and end with "carburetors, spark plugs, and torque," check. Jaw chiseled enough to cut rock at fifty meters, check. Hair thick enough to hold its shape in one of the hurricanes she'd seen in Texas, check. Eyes to drown in when she was living at his place and they practiced their lines together over romantic breakfast coffee, check, check, check. He was her Prince Charming, only he didn't know it. Yet.
If she could hitch her future to Grim's star-shaped rocket ship, they'd be the next Hollywood double-barrel acronym, no question. Grimeth? Begrim? She'd take whatever it was if she got to be with him because he was seriously the WHOLE package. And if they got together she'd do better at auditions, she just knew it — who wouldn't have more confidence with the perfect man on their arm?
Smoothing down her dress, Beth felt the sleek slide of satin underneath. She never wore slinky lingerie, favoring practical stiff cotton bras that held her girls in check. But if she was going to keep Grim's attention for the long haul, then she needed all the help she could get. "And I'm counting on you girls to put on your best performance," she muttered to her double Ds. She grabbed the Jack Daniel's bottle and a glass and turned, her full-beam smile already plastered on her face. "This should soothe your poor, dry throat," she almost purred as she poured the drink and then slid the shot glass along the bar toward Grim, letting herself bend at the waist just enough that any hot-blooded man would have noticed the way her breasts were only delicately tethered by lace and satin under her crisp white shirt.
"Cheers. Keep the change." He tossed a note on the bar and walked over to the pool game, which had drawn most of the bar into its David and Goliath competition vortex.
Shit. Beth looked down and yep, her girls were playing along. Grim either hadn't seen them, or he just plain wasn't interested.
"Don't worry, babe. He'll be back in ten minutes. It's just that no one has ever beaten Rocco's brother at pool before. Like, ever. The boys have been taking bets. Just 'cause he's not a biker doesn't mean Grim doesn't have money on that game." Briony nodded over toward the tables. "It's not you, honest. I'd do you if I wasn't, you know, straight and married." Briony wiggled the giant rock on her finger she'd had less than a year. Briony was a master at getting men do what she wanted, Beth reminded herself. Heck, she'd managed to get the guy who wanted to tear down her bar to not only rebuild it, but to marry her too. If Briony thought Beth still had a shot with Grim, then she was golden. As long as she didn't overthink it.
She looked over at the pool tables. Grim's crisp white T-shirt and clean jeans were as out of place at Wilde's as an Armani suit, but the leather-heads let him get away with it because he played a biker on the big screen. Hanging at Wilde's was work. Research, she'd heard him tell some of the men over a beer and Briony confirmed it.
He was so much perfect wrapped up in man that Beth had fluffed her lines every time she'd tried to approach him. Grim McKinley made her knees forget their bones and her heart ratchet up to top speed. If she didn't do something about her crush, and soon, she might well have health problems as well as money ones.
She watched him some more as he slapped another guy on the shoulder and grinned his cute, lopsided grin. You got this, girl.
Right. She set her jaw. WWMWD? Since she'd surrendered to the reality that getting work as an actress in LA was not going to be a cakewalk, or even a walk without cake, What Would Mae West Do had become Beth's mantra. If growing a thicker skin, and maybe a pair of rock-hard balls, was what it took to make it, then that's what she was going to do. Just like her old-school big-screen heroine. Beth had gotten through plenty worse to get here.
Growing up in small-town Australia should have been idyllic. But it should have been polio-free too. Beth had just been unlucky, that's what the doctors said, her vaccination had failed and she'd somehow gotten polio as a baby. It left her with misshapen legs and had taken multiple operations over the years, a bunch of titanium hardware, and a ton of physical therapy to get her walking on her own. But here she was now. Walking with barely a limp, living in LA and about to land her dream man, swiftly followed by a dream role in Hollywood. One that would give her a platform to talk about how polio affected lives in places that didn't have the resources Australia did, and that left kids stuck with the physical repercussions of the disease forever.
Okay, she might not be there yet, but she would be, and it would be so much easier with her Prince Charming on her arm. She just needed to stick to her plan and tick her goals off her list. Order and focus, that's what would win this race. And she had plenty of that.
Beth moved a stack of beer coasters in front of her into a perfect line, then swiped around them with a wet cloth folded neatly into eighths for maximum absorbency while she decided which option from her carefully selected range of conversation openers would be best to lure Grim in.
"Drink this. It'll put hairs on your chest. Either that or it'll give you balls, I can't remember. But it'll certainly stop you overthinking things like I can totally see you doing. He's just a guy. A stupid one if he hasn't noticed you yet, sure, but still just a guy."
But he wasn't just a guy. Beth gulped. He was the perfect guy. Maybe she needed to break with her plan and have another drink.
Briony pushed another shot of tequila at Beth and dislodged her beer coaster arrangement. Beth had to take a strong inhalation at the disarray in front of her. They're coasters. Not your life. Beth readjusted them before picking up the glass and staring at the liquor. Go with it. You can do this. She thought of her mom's reminder when she'd been waiting to board her plane to LA a year ago. "Not everything is going to go to plan over there and that's okay. Sometimes you'll have to run with things and see where they take you. It will be okay." Gasping as the liquor went down again, Beth stuck out her tongue as the inside of her mouth was instantly coated with a battery acid sensation. "Remind me why I drink this stuff? What's wrong with a nice chilled glass of white wine, instead of" — she shuddered — "dirt water?"
Briony laughed. "Come on, you're not going to bring up the worm thing again."
When she'd started at Wilde's and begun her drink-of-the-day ritual, Beth had had to try very hard not gag on the idea that there was a worm at the bottom of each and every bottle of tequila. But she was persistent. Everyone had always told her that. And she was not about to quit now: not tequila, not Grim, not LA. She was going to get Grim on her arm, and get noticed, get work, and get turning her dreams into reality. That was what she did: she made stuff happen.
At least the tequila was doing what it was supposed to. Beth's insides were warm. Decidedly warm. The extra shot wasn't calculated into her get - Grim -and - keep - him plan, but heck, this plan was so far outside her comfort zone it might as well have been made on a different planet.
These past three months though, she'd felt like everything and everyone came from a different planet. Hollywood was the dream of at least five of her high school classmates back in Melbourne, Australia, but she was the only one who had put a stick in the sand and jumped the hell over it to get here. And what was more, this was the first thing she'd done without her parents. They were 100 percent behind her, as long as she was happy, but the trouble was, trailing along to hundreds of auditions and waitressing at Wilde's wasn't exactly how she'd thought things would turn out. When she'd been lying in her hospital bed, dreaming about this time in her future, there had not been visions of hanging out with the biggest collection of dirty bike leather this side of the Hollywood Hills. What's more, being at Wilde's was not getting her the work she wanted. And not getting work definitely didn't fit with her dwindling bank account. She had a month's savings left. Working and living in the bunkhouse for free at Wilde's meant she'd been able to subsist without touching it, but if anything shifted, she'd be in trouble. She kicked the bar by accident and rubbed at her knee where it had connected with something hard. Hard pretty much summed it up; she was stuck between a rock and a solid lump of bike chrome.
And then, bam, there he was. "That little shit just lost me twenty bucks. Can you believe it? Everyone said Roy was unbeatable. I'll have a beer, thanks, love," Grim said without even looking up.
Her whole body perked up. Inhaling the scent of Grim McKinley, Beth let it roam around her body. The clean shower scent he brought with him was streets ahead of the warm dirt smell of the tequila she'd just knocked back, but perhaps it was also because he came with a tang of trees, old leather, and ... man. Just the smell of Grim McKinley put a pack of brightly feathered galahs from back home in Australia in her stomach, screaming their cocky little heads off.
"Here you go, Grim."
He looked up. Finally. And before his gaze got to her face, it got stuck, snagged, in the valley between her girls.
"I'm sure a big star on the rise like you won't miss the twenty bucks though."
His gaze finally detached itself from her cleavage and made its way up to her eyes. "Oh, no. Kid earned it fair and square. I should know better than to bet on something that everyone says is a sure thing. Just call me a sucker."
"I'd rather call you a sure thing." You did not just say that! But she had, and she saw it hit Grim right in the ego. A slow, wide smile stretched across his face.
"Well, don't you say the nicest things. What was your name again?" "Beth. Beth Ravens."
He took her hand in his and it was warm and strong and —
"Oy, McKinley. Get over here. Kid's got a story for you."
Grim smiled at her again. "I'll be back."
She pulled on an auburn curl, resisting the urge to cram it into her mouth as she'd done as a child. He'd smiled at her. She looked down at the hand that had been in his only moments ago. He'd taken her hand. She put her hand to her cheek. Still warm.
"Oh my goodness, girl, you got it bad." Briony laughed at her flushed face. "Sorry to drag you away from your infatuation, but I need you to go swap a beer keg downstairs."
Beth looked over at Grim again. He was coming back. He'd said so. But when she'd swapped the beer lines over in the basement and swung back into the bar, Grim was nowhere to be seen.
Shit. Beth closed her eyes in a slow blink. The walls of Wilde's bent a moment, the long wooden bar threatening to come to life and wrap its wooden limbs around her heart and squeeze the hope out of it. But then she opened them again. No, this didn't change anything; she was going to seduce Grim McKinley, tonight, and she was going to make it in this town. She was tired and lonely and starting to doubt whether she had it. If she didn't catch a break soon, she was afraid she'd slip into being a hospitality worker rather than a Hollywood hopeful. Grim was the first step in her go-get-it plan and she was screwing it up.
"Sorry, babe. He said something about needing to get some sleep before a big shoot."
The disappointment turned to cement in Beth's stomach.
"He might not be asleep yet though. Go find him. He booked a room, which is a first for him."
Facing the hotel room door, Beth had to take three deep breaths before she put her hand on the doorknob. What if he's got someone in there with him? What if they want you to join them?! Well, that would be that then. Throwing herself at one man she could cope with, in her mind at least; jumping in the middle of a biker-babe sandwich, not so much.
Putting an ear to the door, she prayed no one would walk down the long corridor and make her feel like even more of a sad sack. Private rejection, dealable. Public Peeping Tomism, less of an easy thing to walk away from when she worked here.
All was quiet on the other side of the wooden door. Beth shrugged her shoulders back, thrust her girls out front and center, turned the cool, metal door handle, and walked into the room, her line on her lips. The words froze there when she found the room in darkness, and the soft hush of a sleeping form in the bed.
Excerpted from "Ride All Night"
Copyright © 2017 Michele De Winton.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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