When Jude is offered a lift to anywhere on the back of a handsome stranger’s Harley, he throws caution to the wind and jumps on for the ride.
Jude has a boring office job in a sunny, but deadly, dull Californian town. The highlight of his day is sitting home alone with pizza and beer. So naturally, when Neo wants to take off into the sunset, with Jude in tow, he doesn’t argue.
Neo makes up his own rules. Deciding quickly that Jude is the mate for him, he breaks into a beautiful beachside home, pretending it’s his in order to impress the sexy man he’s picked up. He’s hoping things are going to get hot and sweaty between them real quick.
But the cops are onto them, and as Neo makes a run for it, Jude is hauled off to the police station. It’s not looking good. What started out so promising has now left a bitter taste in Jude’s mouth.
Will Neo come back for him? And if so, can he explain why whenever the huge black dog is around, he’s not? And can he really throw his life into the air and see where it lands? These are all questions that Jude’s mind, body and heart need to know the answers to.
About the Author
Lily Harlem lives in the UK with a workaholic hunk and a crazy cat. With a desk overlooking rolling hills her over active imagination has been allowed to run wild and free and she revels in using the written word as an outlet for her creativity.
Lily's stories are made up of colourful characters exploring their sexuality and sensuality in a safe, consensual way. With the bedroom door left wide open the reader can hang on for the ride and Lily hopes by reading sensual romance people will be brave enough to try something new themselves? After all, life's too short to be anything other than fully satisfied.
Read an Excerpt
Copyright © Lily Harlem 2017. All Rights Reserved, Totally Entwined Group Limited, T/A Pride Publishing.
Jude sat at his desk, overlooking Los Gatos town square. The outside temperature soared and heat shimmered from the cobbles. To the right was the ice cream parlor with its fake Western cladding and swing doors. It was doing a roaring trade—the kids, fresh out of school, clambered there, socks askew, bags dragging on the ground and clutching a few dollars.
To his left was the Sunnyside Mall. Not much happening around the entrance. People didn’t linger when they could be shrouded in air-conditioning. A phone rang and his colleague Mary answered it with a bored, “Tinton’s Stationary, satisfying all your office needs.”
Jude sighed and admired the courthouse opposite. It was a majestic building, several floors high with tall black windows. Eight steps led to pillars that housed a brass rotating door. For a low population, the courthouse in Los Gatos was always busy. But Jude didn’t mind. It meant his dull job had some interesting scenery at least. Once there was even a police standoff in the square, when a criminal had decided to make a run for it rather than serve his ten years behind bars.
That had been an exciting day.
Not like today. Today was dull as dishwater and had no promise of improving anytime soon.
He watched a patrol car pull into the lot reserved for the courthouse. It was the only vehicle there apart from a shiny black Harley with chrome handlebars, which stood leaning to the right on its kickstand with the sun glinting off its polished exhaust.
Jude had never been on a bike. He’d always wanted to, but not had the opportunity. Perhaps he should give it a go. Try his luck at burning rubber and hit Route 66.
He huffed and weaved his pen between his fingers. Who was he kidding? He’d never pass as a rough, tough biker. His biceps were barely pimple-sized, and despite living in California all his life, his skin was bed-sheet white. Not that he was bad looking. Carl, his last boyfriend, had told him often enough that he was handsome. Jude just wasn’t of the macho variety.
“Jude, you got those reports yet?” Nicole called.
“I’m on it, boss,” he shouted back and returned his attention to the brain-scrambling spreadsheet before him. He couldn’t see the point in these weekly printouts. No one ever did anything with them. They gave him a headache, then they were filed away for all eternity.
But he had no option but to set to his task. So, with a heavy heart and his pulse thudding in his temples, Jude got to it.
Eventually, five o’clock arrived. With a flourish, he flicked off his laptop and shut the lid. He stood, stretched out his spine and pushed his arms above his head. Time to go home, finally.
Not that there was much going on at home, but at least he didn’t have to stare at spreadsheets for another minute. Since he and Carl had gone separate ways, life had been quiet. Jude knew that he’d fix that at some point. Get himself out there again, on the market for love and lust, but not yet. Not that he didn’t want someone to share his life with, he did, he just didn’t want the hassle…or the sting of rejection.
One rebuff a summer was enough.
He’d loved Carl but Carl hadn’t loved him. That’s the way it was.
He called goodbye to Nicole and Mary, then patted his wallet to check it was still in his pocket. Maybe he’d treat himself to an ice cream the way the kids had. It wasn’t as if he had to watch the calories, in fact, he needed them.
The California air hit him like the blast from a hairdryer, hot and parched. Pulling on his shades, he wandered over the square. As he did so, a guy in black worn leather pants and a faded gray T-shirt headed quickly down the steps from the courthouse. He threw a look over his shoulder, his tousled black hair flicking across his face, then threw a set of keys in the air and caught them with a snatch.
An appreciative tremor went through Jude.
Now there is a perfect specimen of a man.
The epitome of tall, dark and handsome. Not only that, he was wrapped in sexy leather that left nothing to the imagination. Broad shoulders, wide chest, neat waist, long, thick legs and some interesting bulges around the groin area.
The guy paused for a moment when he hit the bottom step, shot a glance Jude’s way, grinned then strutted up to the bike.
Jude found himself walking straight past the ice cream parlor.
The god-wrapped-in-leather threw his leg over the bike and jammed in the key. A deep rumble thundered from the exhaust.
Jude’s stomach did a flip of excitement. He’d already been admiring the bike—it was a million times more gorgeous now it had a hot bit of ass on it.
“Hey, wanna ride?” the guy called.
Jude looked over his shoulder. Surely he wasn’t speaking to him.
There was no one behind him.
“Yeah, you. Wanna ride?” the guy said again then revved the engine.
“I…I don’t have a helmet?”
He shrugged, cocky smile still in place. “Neither have I.”
Something about that smile called to Jude. He wasn’t sure what it was. The flash of white teeth on a face dark with stubble? The piercing eyes peering from a mop of black hair? Or the way the engine seemed to vibrate through the air, zinging over his skin, his nerves…to his dick.
“Yeah, all right then.” Jude walked up to the bike.
“Quick, get on and hang on.” Another gut-rumbling rev jangled in Jude’s ears.
He didn’t hesitate. It was out of character for him to be so spontaneous, take a risk. But he embraced it.
What was the worst that could happen?
As the bike pulled away, roaring past the cop car parked next to it, Jude slipped his arms around the rider. He was wide and solid, and when he leaned forward his T-shirt was soft on Jude’s cheek.
The road became a blur as they sped past several shops, over the lights and past the opposite entrance to the mall.
“Where are we going?” Jude shouted.
“Anywhere away from here.” The rider flicked his head to the right a little. “I’m Neo.”
Neo leaned farther forward and went up a gear. “Hold on tight.”