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Axle Alley Vipers
By Sherilee Gray, Karen Grove
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Sherilee Gray
All rights reserved.
Cole Black stepped out of the shower, slung a towel around his hips, and limped to the vanity.
How the fuck had he gotten himself into this?
Deacon West, his best friend, was getting married today. Yeah, he was happy Deke and Alex had finally gotten it together — Alex Franco was the only woman the guy had ever wanted. He knew how that felt, knew what it was like to want one woman with everything you had — and to have her out of your reach. But Deke had found a way back into Alex's heart. So yeah, he was fucking thrilled, for both of them.
But best man at his wedding? Nuts-in-vise torture.
Swiping the condensation from the mirror, he took a hard look at himself. He looked like shit. Full beard, rough as hell. He never would have gotten away with it if he'd still been one of New York City's finest.
He hadn't seen his face clean-shaven in close to a year, not since the accident that ended his career.
The accident that ended his partner's life.
Because of Cole's carelessness, his lack of judgment, Adam's wife no longer had a husband. His kid would grow up without a father. What he'd been left with was nothing; nothing he didn't deserve.
A shudder moved through him. Dammit. He slammed the brakes on that line of thought before it took him places he couldn't go. Not today.
The facial hair currently covered most of the damage he'd taken to his face, but he knew how bad the angry, jagged scar looked.
He just hoped there weren't any small children at the wedding. The idea of a bunch of kids screaming in terror while they watched the scary, scarred guy limp down the aisle like Quasimodo after the ceremony made his gut roll.
On autopilot, he picked up a small pair of scissors and started trimming before he changed his mind. This, at least, he could do, especially after everything Deke had done for him. Not only had he stuck around when Cole sure as fuck hadn't made it easy on him, he'd given him a job, made him manager of West Security.
He owed him, would be indebted to him for the rest of his life.
Foaming up, he started on the right, the undamaged side of his face. Smoothing the razor across his upper lip, his chin, until the skin was clean and smooth.
He tilted his head to the side and sucked in an unsteady breath. Yeah, he recognized that guy. From this angle, he looked like the man he'd once been, before everything went to shit. That guy had been a respected cop, a guy who liked to go out, who had friends, who played sports. That guy had big plans.
But he wasn't that guy anymore, and his inside now matched the scarred exterior.
It's just a fucking beard. Come on, asshole, grow a pair and finish the job.
He shook his head. No he wasn't the same guy, but he could at least look halfway respectable for his friend's wedding.
A wedding where there would be no chance of avoiding Piper West.
The woman he'd wanted for as long as he could remember. The woman he'd planned to move back to Miami for as soon as he'd gotten the promotion he'd been working toward. The woman he'd planned to make his.
He'd wanted to build a life with her. Have a family. He'd thought he had time, was arrogant enough to think she'd be here waiting for him when he finally came back for her.
When he was younger, he'd stayed away from Piper out of respect for his best friend, then because he'd wanted to be in a better financial position before he told Deacon how he felt about his sister.
If he'd stopped waiting, moved back sooner ...
Jesus. He couldn't think like that. What-ifs didn't exist for him. The reality was staring back at him in the mirror.
What would she think when she saw him? Would his scar disgust her?
By the time he'd moved back to Miami, he'd grown the beard. She hadn't seen him without it since before the accident. He'd made sure of it.
Rinsing off the blade, he brought it up and took the first swipe on the damaged side.
If she cringed away from him, if what he'd hidden all these months repulsed her, it could only be a good thing. She was already a million miles out of his reach.
A few more couldn't hurt.
He stared at himself, at the scar that defined who he was now. It had faded a little, no longer the angry red it had been. Starting at the corner of his eye, it carried on down to the edge of his mouth, puckering the skin, twisting his lips on one side when he said certain words, held his mouth a certain way when he smiled — not that he'd done much of that lately — then it dipped lower, finishing at his jaw.
He barely recognized the man he saw in the mirror.
A short time later, he was in a suit and driving a beautiful classic car covered with bright purple ribbons down Axle Alley ... which added a whole new dimension of hell, not to mention unwanted attention. He already felt on display, and his stress increased as he neared Piper's cottage. The very idea of transporting the three women had his heart slugging erratically against his rib cage.
Jesus, he needed to pull it together or he was a damned panic attack waiting to happen. He hadn't had one in months, and he wanted to keep it that way. He hated this, this feeling that he was losing control.
He should have been honest, told Deke he couldn't do it. But the guy already worried enough over his state of mind. The last thing he wanted to do was admit just how fucked up he still was.
You can do this. You have to do this.
The road was quiet, which wasn't a surprise since it was Saturday afternoon. Other than the cottage Piper and Rusty lived in, well, just Piper now since Rusty had recently shacked up with her new man, there was nothing but businesses on Axle Alley. Businesses that catered to anything with an engine and home to the girls' classic car restoration business. After Deacon's father died, Rusty, Piper, and their best friend Alex took over the business, and they were doing a fucking fantastic job.
Being the only residential property on this stretch of road, the cottage wasn't hard to miss. It also looked like something from a fairy tale with its lemon and mauve paint and quaint little veranda.
Piper suited the place perfectly.
Her pink Corvette was parked outside, curvy and sexy with a whole lot of cute. A description that also fit its owner. He pulled up behind it and shut off the engine.
Gripping the wheel, he let his head drop back and closed his eyes. Breathe. He automatically started the breathing exercises his shrink taught him.
In through your nose, out through your mouth.
His pulse slowed, and the tremor in his hands eased. He could do this.
Mind made up, he climbed out and limped up the path, taking the stairs to the front door. Resisting the urge to swipe his sweaty palms down the front of his trousers, he knocked.
Footsteps sounded behind the door seconds before it swung open. Rusty stood there, smiling up at him, green eyes sparkling. Rusty was Deacon and Piper's sister, the middle West, and the woman was currently taking him in from head to toe. Her eyes widened when they landed on his face, but she didn't shrink back. Instead she whistled long and low. "Whoa, you look like some kind of badass assassin in that suit. Nice."
Heat climbed up his neck at Rusty's continued scrutiny.
"So," she said, grinning at him and waggling her eyebrows. "Do you have a concealed weapon hidden under there? I bet it's biiiig, right?"
He choked out a laugh, surprised by the rough sound that broke free. He'd known Rusty since she was a little kid, and the familiar teasing helped shake off his nerves. "Big enough."
She shook her head and snorted. "That's what they all say." Turning, she yelled into the house. "Let's go! James Bond is here to give us a lift."
The nerves he'd had somewhat under control fired back to life, but for a different reason. The prospect of seeing Piper, of getting a glimpse of her, had the usual effect, and he cursed himself for the fool he was. He heard the other two coming, chatting and laughing, before he saw them. Alex came first, stunning in her wedding dress — more traditional than he'd expected — and her hair, which she normally wore up off her face, was down in loose waves.
"You look beautiful, Alex." She also looked nervous as hell.
She offered up a wobbly smile. "You scrub up pretty well yourself." The sincere look she gave him made him want to shuffle his damn feet.
"Hang on! I forgot my flowers," Piper called from somewhere behind the bride.
Shit, just the sound of her voice sent ripples of pleasure through his bloodstream. Alex stood in the doorway, so he couldn't get a good look at the object of his obsession past all the poufy layers of wedding gown.
Rusty fussed and arranged her friend's dress, helping Alex step onto the porch, and then Cole took the bride-to-be's arm, leading her down the steps since she could barely see her feet, and escorted her to the car. He went back to lock up — just in time to see Piper moving cautiously down the short hall toward him.
He froze, breath seizing in his lungs. Couldn't have moved if the fucking porch started giving way under his feet.
Piper stopped a few feet away and ran her hands over the silky fabric of her dress, straightening it over her waist and hips. He sucked in an unsteady breath. The thing clung like a second skin, molded to her extremely curvaceous figure. Yeah, he was far from blind where Piper West was concerned. The woman had serious curves. The kind of curves that could bring a man to his knees. In fact, he'd studied the woman from head to toe so thoroughly, if there was an exam on Piper's curves alone, he'd ace it.
But he'd never seen her like this. He was used to seeing her in jeans and tanks, grease on her skin from a day in the garage, hair pulled off her lovely face. Shit, she looked hot enough in her work clothes, but this? The mouthwatering dress she had on hid nothing. Not. A. Fucking. Thing. And goddammit, it had his cock rising to attention, painfully so. It should be impossible with the anxiety still battering him, but then this was Piper, and if anyone had the ability to turn him inside out it was her.
Jesus, she looked like one of those sexy fifties actresses, all round and soft with a tiny waist that was only emphasized further by the flare of her hips and spectacular tits.
She grimaced, frowning in a way that was cute as hell, and tugged at the dress a few more times before she carried on in his direction. He tried to move his mouth, to offer up a compliment, to say something, but instead made a croaking sound.
Her gaze shot up, colliding with his, only now realizing she had an audience. Her cheeks turned pink — then her eyes narrowed and she scowled at him. "Cole." Then she continued on out the door.
Piper was sweet to everyone she met, saw the good in people, liked everyone — but that list no longer included him. She scowled and bitched at him, because he'd done his damnedest to make sure she hated his guts. It was the only way he knew how to keep her at arm's length. And it had worked. Phenomenally well.
The object of his desire despised him.
She was the only person who had never treated him any different after what happened. Not once had he seen pity in her stunning blue eyes. He'd seen compassion, yes, regret, but never pity. How would she look at him if she knew Adam had lost his life because of him?
He couldn't bear it if she felt sorry for him. That was the last thing he wanted, especially from her.
He pulled the door shut and turned to follow her. Fucking hell, the rear view did nothing to help the painful throb of his cock. He was pretty sure she wasn't wearing any underwear. The silky material hid nothing, and not one line marred the shimmery fabric hugging her heart-shaped ass. Those round hips swung provocatively as she made careful progress in a pair of mouthwateringly sexy heels down the uneven path toward the car. He groaned under his breath. Jesus Christ.
The woman was killing him, slowly. Besides occasional morning wood, nothing had roused any kind of interest below the belt since he'd been injured. Except Piper.
The one woman he couldn't allow himself to have, and the only woman he wanted.
He went back to focusing on his breathing, not only to calm his nerves but to cool his overheated blood. Piper, Alex, and Rusty stood by the car, chatting and laughing, waiting for him to drive them safely to the church, and that managed to do what his breathing exercises could not. A cold wash rushed through his veins, deflating his erection in an instant.
He moved toward the three women, all smiles and misplaced trust.
Opening the back door of the car, he waited while Alex climbed in. Piper moved forward in his peripheral, her intention obvious, getting in the back with her friend. Before he knew what he was doing, he sidestepped, effectively cutting her off, and motioned for Rusty to get in the back with Alex. He heard Piper huff out a breath behind him as Rusty slid in the back, but she didn't comment as she stalked around to take the front seat.
What he'd done was messed up and more than a little pathetic. But he hadn't realized just how anxious he'd be driving with passengers, especially these passengers. And right then all he knew was that Piper's presence distracted him from the fear, from the memories. Calmed him. Gave him something else to focus on, even if she was off-limits.
He wanted — no, he fucking needed — Piper by his side.
Piper gingerly climbed into the front seat, afraid the seams of her dress would explode any moment. Having Cole witness her humiliation would be just freaking perfect. Bad enough he'd seen her squished into the thing in the first place — every roll, lump, and dimple on display. Her ass and tits jiggled so much when she walked she totally had the two-puppies-fighting-under-a-blanket thing going on.
The dressmaker had mucked up the last-minute alterations after the final fitting. But what could she do? It was too late now. And because of the cut and fabric, she'd been forced to forgo underwear, or have them outlined for the world to see. As it was, the tiny spaghetti straps were digging into her shoulders, straining to hold her double D's.
But today wasn't about her and her discomfort. It was about Alex and her brother. About two people who loved each other like crazy, celebrating their love. And she wanted their day to be perfect.
Cole opened the door and slid behind the wheel. He didn't look at her. Didn't say a damn thing, just started the engine. What the hell was his problem? She was sure he'd cut her off back there on purpose. She stared out the window, refusing to look at him, more from humiliation than anger at this point.
She was so done throwing herself at him. Done hoping he'd wake up and finally see her as more. More than pathetic, desperate little Piper. More than his best friend's kid sister.
Wasn't going to happen.
She knew that now.
Today was a special day, and she planned to enjoy herself. No way would she let the man sitting to her left get to her. He could scowl and grunt all he liked.
They were still idling, parked in front of her cottage. Frowning, she glanced over at Cole. What was he waiting for? He sat there jaw tight, checking his mirrors — then he checked them again — and just when she thought he might take off, he glanced into the backseat at Alex and Rusty, then over at her and scowled. "Seat belt."
She actually jumped at his rough command. "Oh ... right. Sorry." His no-nonsense tone made her anxious — well, more than usual — and she fumbled for the belt. She tried to pull it down, but it locked up. Releasing it, she tried again, but the same thing happened. "Um ... I'll just ..." She tried pulling it slowly this time. Nope, wasn't happening. "It won't ... I can't get it to work." She yanked on it. "Oh, come on you piece of crap."
The two women in the back started laughing. "You tell it, Pipe," Rusty called.
The guy made her nervous to the extreme, and ever since the car wreck that ended his career, she found it hard to talk to him. He'd thrown up walls that were thirty feet thick, and there was no busting through. He was so different from the Cole she remembered. The old Cole used to laugh all the time, tell silly jokes. When they were teenagers he came by their house a lot, and every time, without fail, he would seek her out, like she was important to him, just to ask how she was.
Excerpted from Wrecked by Sherilee Gray, Karen Grove. Copyright © 2016 Sherilee Gray. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This about 193 nook pages, full of heartache, steay loving, conflict, an just overall wonderful story. This is about Piper, youngest of the three women, and Cole,an ex- cop/childhood friend, who retured home from New York with a badly scared body and mind . You do not have to read these stories in order, they can be stand alones, but better read if you do. Highly recommend this series.****
I loved this story! So good!
Amazing story-loved Cole.
Within the first few lines, I was hooked in this story. However, I was curious about the other characters mentioned within those first few lines. This led me to rereading the first book in the series, purchasing the second one and reading it within a day, then reading this third book. It is not necessary to read them all together since all three are standalone. I just devoured the three in four days. But I do think this one is my favorite. I felt so much for Piper and Cole. They both had their vulnerabilities and their unrequited love for each other. I really felt like I got to know Piper and Cole. Their emotions, their heat for each other. and their doubts. They were written so beautifully and real. I loved their story. And the epilogue was simply perfect and very much appreciated. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
4.5 Stars Piper West is the last woman standing now that her sister and friend are shacked up with their men and she's loving it. But her bossy brother is not willing to let his baby sister be without protection and he drafts the one man he trusts, his best friend and ex-cop Cole Black, to keep an eye on her. Cole is the last man Piper would have picked for the job because she has been in love with him since she was seventeen, but he's never given her the time of day. Doesn't mean she won't work the unexpected opportunity for what it's worth, but the Cole she knew as a teen is a far cry from the Cole of today and she has her work cut out for her. Cole Black is in a tough spot. He owes his best friend and can't say no to him, but watching over Piper and being in such close proximity is hard (pun intended) because he's had the hots for her since she was seventeen and he knows that he does not deserve her because of the mistakes he's made. With tortured heroes, you either love them or hate them and thankfully, Cole was one of the lovable ones. It was heartbreaking to watch him struggle with the loss of his partner and his role in it, his physical and emotional scars and even his feelings for Piper. I really loved Piper. She was passionate, cute, tenacious and had a very big, giving heart. Piper and Cole were perfect for each other and I loved that she wouldn't give up on Cole even though he kept pushing her away. I have enjoyed this series from the first book and each book only only improved on the previous one, but WRECKED tops all of them. It has a bit of everything - a tortured, scarred male, a sweet and sassy female, some angst, a tender connection and some very hot chemistry - but it all combines into a very entertaining read. Ms. Gray definitely knows how to write some sexy scenes and I like that while this story-line is familiar, she kept it interesting but not over the top. I love everything about this series and highly recommend it. Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
A hot and steamy friends-to-lovers story! Piper's been in love with her brother's best friend for years, though somehow Cole's the last to be aware of it. (Though that part was a little confusing, because early on he reflects to himself that *before* he was always planning on coming back for her, later on. But apparently without ever having any sort of romantic relationship first...) Now that he's no longer a police officer--thanks to the horrific accident that's left him emotionally and physically scarred, and killed his partner--he's decided it will never happen, because he's no good for her and doesn't deserve her. I would have been more irritated at him for having made these decisions without any input from her, except that he was carrying some pretty heavy-duty guilt around from the accident. As the driver who'd made a spur-of-the-moment decision to continue the car chase that would turn out deadly, his survivor's guilt was extreme. Fortunately, he was seeing a professional to help him cope; unfortunately he wasn't listening to him, at least as far as the issues of guilt, blame, and what he "deserved" were concerned. At least he was talking to someone, though, and making an attempt to heal. In the meantime, he's moved back to his hometown, taken a new job managing a security company for his best friend, and though he's back among his friends, he's not the same guy that they remember. He hasn't shared the specific details of his ordeal with any of them, but when Deke asks him to move into his now-wife's old apartment (the book starts with his wedding to Alex, Piper's friend and one of her business partners) just to make sure Piper's okay out on the remote property he does it...albeit reluctantly, because he's not sure being in such close proximity is a good idea. Piper, on the other hand, decides to use his nearness (which, rightfully so, irritates her--since she doesn't need a babysitter; though as it turns out she has had a guy bothering her after business hours that she hadn't told anyone about) as an asset in her get-Cole-to-notice-her-that-way plan. That part of it, or as Cole puts it "Operation Piper f*cks with Cole until he loses his godd*mn mind" was pretty darn funny. And, of course, it works. Though Cole's "I'm not worthy of any love, especially not hers" attitude means that they're going to only have a physical relationship...but yeah, you know how that's going to go. Eventually. ;) Once Cole gets his head out of his butt, the ending is highly satisfying, bringing a the-pages-are-practically-turning-themselves book to an end. This was my first read from this author, but I'll definitely be reading more in the future. I'm behind the game as usual, and read book 3 before either of the others (sigh)...but no worries, it worked just fine as a standalone. I'd already added books 1 ( Crashed ) and 2 (Revved ) to my TBR before I'd finished reading this one. ;) Rating: 4 stars / A- I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
This is book # 3 in the Axle Alley Vipers series. This book can be read as a standalone. The stories told within this series make more sense being read in order. This will enhance reader enjoyment and understanding. Cole has been in love with Piper since she was 17 years old. He was also her brother's best friend. So he never acted on the feelings that are killing him inside when he sees her. Piper has always wanted Cole to see her. To just look at her, even once, with desire. In the space of one kiss, she finds out he wants her too. Can they put the past aside and make a future? This book literally killed me. It made me happy about romance again. I felt all the feels and enjoyed the heat, the laughter, all of it! ***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley.com and its publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I just love picking up romance novels that have cops in them. They are usually written as being protective, loving, kind, fierce, and all of these are exactly how this author has portrayed the main character in this new release. Oh my gosh! This story had me from the beginning. It was emotional and extremely moving. Cole is a damaged man but his love shines through for his sweet girl - the girl he's loved since he was 17. The thing is - he doesn't believe he's worthy of love. The author did a magnificent job getting into the mind of Cole. This story is intense with a bit of suspense and crime. Depth of emotion and hot steamy scenes where you can just feel the passion and connection between these two are throughout. You just know they will work things out. This is a wonderful entertaining story that captivated me from the get go. Beautifully written with a lovely HEA that will leave a smile.
4.5 stars Wrecked was such a good read! Loved Cole & Piper, both characters were entertaining, likable and very relatable. It was heartbreaking watching Cole struggle with the emotional and body scars after the trauma he'd been through. He was convinced Piper deserved more than what he could offer. If only he could see the beautiful and loving man Piper and we could see... sigh I loved Piper, she was passionate, funny, cute, and had the biggest heart! She would put her own desires and dreams aside to make sure the people she loved were happy. Another thing I loved about Piper was her love for Cole, he's always been the "one" for her. Over time Piper was able to show Cole that together they could get through anything, and that he too deserved happiness. They made me swoon and cheer for them, loved their banter and passion. And their chemistry? OFF THE CHARTS! **fans self** This was a beautiful and well written romance, with memorable and lovable characters. I've been a huge fan of the Axle Alley Vipers series and while each book can be read as a standalone I highly recommend them all. This is one series I will be reading again. Looking forward to reading more from this talented author in the near future.
No ifs, no buts, I love this series and this is a great addition to it! This is a very moving story, so much emotion! Really enjoyed it and highly recommend! This is the third book in this series and has so much heart break in it! A really moving read, in every sense. After her friend and sister have both moved out, Piper West is finally on her own in the cottage left to them by her Grandma. She’s looking forward to being able to do what she wants, when she wants and with whom she wants . . . but big brother, Deke has other ideas! He’s moved his friend, ex-cop Cole Black into the apartment over the garage overlooking her cottage. Now that wouldn’t be so bad if Piper hadn’t been in love with Cole since she was a teenager but he’s scarred, injured and shutting himself off from life and love after he crashed the car he was driving as a police officer in a high speed chase after a drug dealer. His partner and friend died in that crash. He’s still not come to terms with the loss of his friend, his career and his dreams whilst still suffering from the injuries he sustained both physically and emotionally – he’s wrecked, but still finds Piper irresistible, though het believes she’s the one girl he can’t have. Oh boy, oh boy, was this traumatic! Both have been in love with each other for years. Both have resisted each other for years. Both have dreamed of being together. Now he’s a broken man, lost his dream job, killed his friend in a car crash when he was driving, seriously injured his leg, no longer feels worthy of love from anyone. She’s fed up of waiting for him to see her as anything but his friend’s little sister but also recognises he has his own issues to deal with. This is such an emotional roller coaster, you’re never quite certain they’ll find a way to their HEA and when they do it is simply brilliant! I love this story, its a keeper, one that I’ll read and thoroughly enjoy again – and I don’t say that about many books! I highly recommend this and the entire series by this hugely talented author to anyone who likes their romance with a stubborn, independent, feisty female and an edgy, hot, alpha male in a gripping contemporary romance. Thanks to the author for inviting me to read an ARC of this superb novel. This review is my honest opinion and in no way swayed by this.
Former cop Cole Black has been in love with Piper since she was 17. He went off to let her grow up and so he could save up to be with her. He would deal with her being his best friends little sister when the time came. But life is what happens when you are making plans. After Cole & his partner are involved in an accident in which Cole is at the wheel and his partner doesn’t survive Cole comes home scarred inside and out. He has a bad case of survivors guilt and is convinced he doesn’t deserve happiness. Good thing Piper is just as stubborn as he is. I really enjoyed this story. Cole has issues and is dealing with them as best he knows how. Once he lets in one person it gets easier to let in another and another. Piper has been in love with Cole for what seems her whole life and if sex is the only way he can communicate she will take it for now. And the sex is smoking hot! It is fun watching the feisty blonde bring down the hulking hunk. Although this is part of a series it can be read as a standalone with no problems.
5 - "I'm not ready to lose this... not yet." Stars! The Axle Alley Vipers series is definitely one I am glad that I stuck with. I won’t lie I wasn’t sure me and the authors writing were a fit after the first book. But I was wrong and each following book in the series has been better than its predecessor. You are given a sense of the deep and underlying attraction between Cole and Piper in the previous book in this series, but Cole Black is a man with serious demons, and although the scars on his body give visible recognition to the fact that he is a guy dealing with the aftermath of a serious accident. She would never get used to the haunted look behind those arctic blue eyes. What you don’t see, and I think what makes this book so good, are the internal scars, and the massive impact they are having on a man who is used to being in control, and how he perceives the loss of that control has irrevocably changed his life. The author took Cole’s survivors guilt and resulting PTSD and incorporated it into a really great romantic read. Piper West is the curvy, sassy younger West sibling, having been molly-coddled by her older sister and brother for most of her life, she is eager to prove to them both that she is the responsible and grown up woman that is capable of taking over the reins of her own life. Cole is the man that she has had feelings for, for years, her brother’s closest friend played an integral part of her teenage dreams and fantasies. There was not a trace of the boy she’d fallen for when she was just a teenager. But the man she fell for is lost under a blanket of guilt, feelings or unworthiness and a general emotional shut-down. And what follows as the book progresses is the gradual breaking down of those walls with temptation, sass and just plain old flirtation, and I adored every second of it. "I’m not your brother." What was a surprise was just how deliciously dirty Cole was, once Piper got him a bit riled up, and I have to say Sherilee Gray added some absolutely stellar sexy-times between this couple. But the feels, ahh the feels, this is a book that puts you through the emotional wringer for its couple, but it was so, so worth every minute of it. "I’ve waited so long for you… I need you." "You have me" This book can be read as a standalone, but the series as a whole has turned out to be an unexpected winner for me. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future. ARC generously provided via Netgalley, and it was my absolute pleasure to provide the above honest review.
I first came across this series last year when I got a copy of Revved, the second book in Sherilee Gray’s Axle Alley Vipers series, which centers around three girls who own and run their own automotive restoration company. In the third and final book, Wrecked, we finally get the story of the youngest West sibling, Piper, and the man of her dreams, Cole Black. I love a love story with a prior relationship between the two characters, which Cole and Piper have in spades. Cole is her older brother Deke’s best friend, and almost a member of their family. Having grown up together, these two know each other inside and out. Yet, the much of the novel they spend at cross-purposes. Not only does Cole suffer from low self-esteem thanks to his injuries, but Piper does as well. This angst was believable considering the two have the history that they do, and only added to the realism of the story. The other aspect of the story I loved was how much a role the other characters played in the story. Not only do we get the chance to read about Cole and Piper’s story, but fans get the opportunity to learn what’s been going on with the other couples in the series. This was great, as this appears to be the final book, and readers get some closure with the series. If you’re a fan of this series, then you don’t want to miss this one. I received this book for free from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Enjoy the Axle Alley Viper women!! This is Book 3 of the Axle Alley Vipers series and is another entertaining story. This one follows Piper West, younger sister of Rusty from Book 2 and Cole Black, their older brother’s best friend. Cole has been through some traumatic hard times and loved Piper from afar. Piper thinks her feelings for Cole will go unrequited forever. Piper is my favorite character so far out of the West sisters and it was entertaining to witness her antics to try and get over Cole (or at the very least get his attention). Cole tries to hold himself back as long as possible, but since he hardly has brotherly feelings towards Piper and has the job of protecting her out of loyalty to his best friend – what’s a guy to do? The sex is steamy and the back and forth while frustrating at times – is worth it in the end. The final realization came a little too quickly for me, but otherwise I enjoyed the read. Received ARC from the Publisher via Net Galley
The characters in this book draw you in from the second you meet each one. She's feisty and stubborn but has that bit of insecurity hidden underneath that rears it's ugly head on occasion. He's a wounded man and a shell of the person the others describe knowing in the past, who believes he doesn't deserve anything good in life anymore. Piper West is happy to finally be living on her own now that both of her siblings have found love and are no longer hovering over their baby sis. She's out to prove to everyone that she's got this and can do big things all on her own! Cole Black owes his best friend Deke a lot, so when he wants him to move in next door and keep an eye out for Piper, he agrees begrudgingly. How on earth is he going to be able to resist temptation being that close to her? It doesn't take long for the burning chemistry and attraction between them to explode! Will Piper ever be able to get Cole to want her as much as she's wanted him over the years? And when she figures out what's holding him back, can she overcome it? ** Received free in exchange for an honest review **
An awesome read!! I loved it. It's well written, interesting, romantic, emotional and intriguing story. I liked all the characters and writing style is also very good. I'll be recommending this book to all my friends. Piper has been in love with Cole since she was seventeen years old. But to her dismay her big brother's best friend only thought of him as an annoyance. After trying to get his attention for so long she finally gave up. It is clear that they will never be together. Especially now, Cole has changed after his accident. He is more closed off than ever. And Piper is sure that he only barely tolerates her while she is still very much in love... Cole has been attracted to his best friend's little sister for a long time and he feels guilty about it. Then he feels guilty about a lot of things, like how he caused his partner's death. He isn't willing to accept that it was an accident and that they were doing their jobs as cops. He can never let himself be happy again. Then he sees Piper and things start to change. It has been becoming more and more difficult for him to resist her. She is so beautiful and when they're forced together by the circumstances it is clear that they both are unable to control their desires and their love for each other... It's sizzling hot novel, a must read for romance lovers.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Wrecked by Sherilee Gray is Book 3 of the Axle Alley Vipers Series. OMG what a read! You will laugh, cry, get frustrated and angry at the characters, as well as fall in love with their story. I couldn’t put the book down until I was done...it was just that awesome! Such a well-executed delivery of the storyline and a writing style that you can’t help but enjoy. Ms. Gray has done an outstanding job of giving us the goodies with this undertaking. Thank you for such an incredible adventure.
Piper West owns a car restoration shop with her sister and her best friend. She also has an overprotective older brother. He decides to have his best friend, Cole Black move into the apartment right by her house to keep an eye on her. Even though Piper and Cole have known each other most of their lives, they are unaware of each other's feeling towards one another. Cole is emotionally and physically scarred from an accident in the past that cost his partner his life, so he doesn't find himself worthy of Piper. I've been looking forward to this one since I read the previous one with Rusty and Reid, and I was not disappointed. I loved seeing little peeks into the lives of the characters from earlier stories too. I still need to buy the first one, since I missed that one! I loved Piper. She's the baby of the family and no one lets her forget it. She is doing all of the office work at the shop and is frustrated because her sister and best friend don't seem to trust her for anything more; so she decides to start a side project and prove to them that she can handle it. She has loved Cole since she was seventeen but he never made a move. She notices he is different since he quit his cop job, and he's been pushing her even farther away. Once he moves next door she decides to tease him every chance she gets until she can get him to give in. Cole has loved Piper for just as long but he doesn't feel as if he is good enough for her and she's also his best friend's youngest sister. I really enjoyed this one and how it fit into this series. ** I received an ARC of this title via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own **
really liked this read. Although it is the third one in the series, it can be read as a stand alone. I have not read the first two, although I want to go back and do it now, and I was able to pick up this one and not be lost at all. Sherilee Gray did a very good job on this story. The plot is good, the characters are well developed and it is just an overall good story! Piper is the baby of her family and has an older brother that is very over protective of his little sister. Piper knows that he is protective but I don't think she knows just how bad until he asks his friend to move in next door to her so that he can keep an eye on Piper and make sure that she is safe. Piper knows why Cole is there and she makes it known right away. Piper works at a car restoration shop that she and her sisters run, but she is still always treated as the baby and not allowed to take chances on things that they don't really trust her with. Piper decides to take on a small project on her own to prove to them that she can do other things. Cole is a man with lots of scars, both physically and emotionally. He blames himself for his partner's death and has not learned how to let go of that yet. When Cole moves into the apartment next to Piper to keep an eye on her, he knows that he can not make a move on his feelings because she is his friend's sister. Cole and Piper have known each other for years and both of them have had feelings for each other but neither one of them had any idea. As Piper and Cole become closer and closer with how much they see each other with him living next door, things begin to progress for them and the sparks begin to fly after one kiss. That was all they needed was one kiss to allow feelings to start flowing freely. Piper has had some crazy people stalking her house and her as well so when Cole moves in, he knows that he has to watch out for these people and keep Piper safe. When there are several close calls, Cole decides that he is not taking anymore chances and moves in with Piper. So, will Piper and Cole be able to move on with their feelings or will everything fall in around them and Piper's brother forbid Cole to date Piper? You have to read this story and find out. Very well done Sherilee Gray!! I enjoyed this one!
I didn't realize until I started reading this book that it is the third and final book in a series, but it didn't impair my enjoyment of this book whatsoever. The premise is one I'm familiar with. Man falls for best friend's sister and thinks it's a big deal. I've read many of them and I quite enjoy them. What makes this book stand out from the rest? The unique and unconventional characters. Cole is not just emotionally, but physically damaged. His body bears the scars that are a constant reminder of his survivor's guilt. Piper isn't your conventional heroine, mostly because she's a mechanic. Oh how enjoyed her tactics at driving Cole to his breaking point. And once he reached that point the results were spectacular. I don't really care for third person writing, but it didn't bother me at all when it came to the sexual chemistry between the characters. Oh the dirty things that come out of that man's mouth! There was plenty of skin tingling, good time feels in this book, and just the right amount of drama on the side.
The story is fairly predictable, with a 'sibling's best friend' trope and the familiar concept of 'your brother would kill me if he knew the fantasies I have about you'. Fortunately it's not excessive, and more importantly, the difficulties Cole is having adjusting to his new life, post accident (in which his partner was killed and he blamed himself) take center stage. He's physically scarred, but mentally even more so. Just when he had finally decided that the crush he had on Piper was worth pursuing, the accident made him believe that he was unworthy of love and affection, survivor's guilt pulling him under time and time again. When Deacon asks him to keep an eye on Piper by moving in next door (to her sister's now vacant flat, since she's moved out to be with her man), he can't say no - nor would he be able to stop the pull to her. In his eyes, she's the perfect catch - smart, funny, talented, curvy and beautiful. Piper's got her own insecurities, her physique being one of them as she's not the tall, willowy model type that she believes Cole is attracted to. Not to mention that since he's returned home he's been cold and untouchable. But at Deacon and Alex's wedding, when she and Cole are in the wedding party, she sees the sparks in his eyes for her and realizes that he in fact returns that attraction, no matter whether his actions and words don't show it. When they finally are alone together, they can't deny their attraction any longer and agree that a sex only fling would be something they could both live with. Cole is able to justify sleeping with Piper if he doesn't think it will become something more (even though his deepest desire is really to have a relationship with her, a desire he won't admit out loud). As it turns out Cole is an expert dirty talker, and whoa, the sexy scenes in this story are super hot! They definitely have chemistry together. I liked seeing Piper go after what she wants, both in terms of getting Cole into her bed, and in her desire to prove to her siblings that she's got talent and skill that they are ignoring by giving her routine mechanic duties. She spends some time in the story restoring an old car on her own time, to prove to them that she deserves to be treated equally (and it isn't that they don't respect her, they just keep viewing her as their little sister). We see some of the sweetness in her character too, with her willingness to help out with some free repairs for women in need, as well as her desire to help Cole cope with his injuries, if he'll just open up to her. There is a little bit of a suspense plot thrown in, as someone wants Piper's property and resorts to some stalkerish tendencies to try to persuade her to sell. That part of the story was a bit weak for me, but it made for some action scenes in the second half, and the chance for Cole to finally accept that to protect Piper, he's going to have to convince her that he's willing to be more than just a sex partner. Overall, this was an entertaining and sexy romance, and a great way to round out the series. 4 stars.
The third in the series of Axle Alley Vipers, this book tells the story of Piper West, who has loved Cole Black for as long as she can remember. Her older brother, Deke’s, best friend, who always treated her like a kid sister. Now he is back in her life but very wounded from a car accident after a his police partner was killed and he was seriously injured. Cole is eaten up with guilt and does not believe he deserves to be happy with Piper even though he has loved her a long time too. When Deke asks Cole to move in next door to Piper to keep a protective eye on her, he can no longer resist the temptation to have to woman of his dreams. Piper accepts a friends with benefits relationship because she will take Cole anyway she can get him. The angst level for this couple is quite intense with much emotional as well as physical pain on Cole’s part. Piper has her own self-esteem issues as well so this couple has many obstacles to overcome before they can be together. Fans of this series will enjoy the hot, steamy scenes.
Wrecked is the third and final book in the Axle Alley Vipers series by Sherilee Gray. This book was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review by the author. This book focuses on the third of the three women who own and work at West Restoration. Piper West is the youngest of the three and because of this, constantly feels like everyone is over protective of her, especially her big brother Deke. Now that both Alex and Rusty have moved out, Piper is living alone in the cottage next door to the garage. But she doesn’t mind. She kind of enjoys the privacy. But her brother is having none of it. So he asks his best friend and now employee who is managing his newest business, West Security, Cole Black, to move in to the empty apartment above the garage, right next to the cottage where Piper lives. Cole Black came back to Miami after having to leave the police force up in New York. His police career ended when he had a terrible accident, causing the death of his then partner and best friend. Cole spends his time blaming himself for the accident and barely makes it through each day with the weight he carries. His friend, Deke West, hired him to manage his new security business and see if he can turn it around. He loved this job. But what is he supposed to do when Deke asks him to move into his empty garage apartment and keep an eye on his sister? The same sister that Cole has lusted after for as long as he can remember. But ever since his accident, not only is he scarred on the inside, he is on the outside as well. Piper deserves a whole man. A man who can emotionally provide for her, love her. He is no longer capable of those things. “The one woman he couldn’t allow himself to have, and the only woman he wanted.” Piper has had a thing for Cole since she was just a kid. But he never seemed to notice her that way. She thought that he just thought of her like a kid sister. But then the kiss happened. The kiss that told her he wanted her as much as she wanted him. Now, the question is, where do things go from here. My gosh can Sherilee Gray write steam! And these two do generate plenty of it! When Cole and Piper finally get together, they have plenty of time to make up for. But still, Cole is afraid of what Rusty’s brother, Deke would say if he knew what was going on. Not to mention the fact that he feels like he doesn’t deserve her. This is really a wonderful story of finally getting the chance to connect with the person you have always secretly loved. But, as Cole is working through his mental road blocks that won’t allow himself to be happy, there is also a danger lurking. I loved this final book. As always, we get little glimpses into how our previous two couples are doing. And I am in love with the epilogue. What a beautiful way to wrap everything up. I am so glad to have been introduced to this author. And I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Alex, Rusty, and Piper, the Axel Alley Vipers, and the men who love them. I hope you’ll enjoy meeting them as well.
After an accident takes the life of his partner Cole Black is left with a serious case of survivor's guilt and riddled with insurmountable regret. Even though the accident wasn't his fault Cole still feels responsible, and is struggling to make peace with all of it. The accident not only stole the life of his friend, but it also left him with injuries that have taken him out of the line of duty. So with nothing left for him in the city, he moves home to Miami to work for his friend Deacon at his security firm. He is more than appreciative for the job offer, and so, when Deacon asks him for a little favor, he feels obligated to help him out. Not realizing that this little favor could actually benefit him too... Piper West is more than ready to be free from her overbearing brother and friends, and is quite excited about the opportunity to be able to finally live on her own in her cottage. She wants to prove to all of them that she no longer needs looking after, and is more than capable of handling things on her own. Their constant monitoring has left her feeling smothered and in great need of a breath of fresh air. But she soon realizes that her plan to be free maybe a little harder than she anticipated, because her big brother isn't quite ready to cut the apron strings, and has hired a friend to secretly keep tabs on her. And this friend just so happens to be the man she has crushed on for years... To say that I was thrilled for the opportunity to return to this series, is a complete understatement, I have been dying to read Piper's story for some time now!! With each new installment to this series Ms. Gray has managed to not only provide me with one amazing literary escape, but also reaffirm my belief that she is truly a gifted storyteller. If you have not read this series yet, I must tell you that you are missing out on some truly amazing reading, and the opportunity to meet some uniquely crafted characters that are sure to leave an indelible impression on your heart. Definitely one of of the best series that I have had the pleasure of reading this year!! Highly recommend you make a visit to the Axle Alley Vipers series, it is sure satisfy all your reading cravings...and then some!! ARC kindly provided in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.