USA Today Bestselling Author
Emersyn Sharpe doesn’t belong in our world
In fact, the very last place she should be is with us. But someone is hurting her. We’ve all seen it.
We tried to ignore the warning signs. We tried to trust the people around her.
We tried to believe in her world.
When she nearly died in front of us, we had to act.
We took her.
She doesn’t belong in our world, but I’ll be damned if someone lays a finger on her under my watch.
I’ll kill them first.
Now that she’s here… I don’t know if I can let her leave.
I’m Jasper Horan, anyone who tries to take her will have to go through me and my boys.
You’ve been warned.
SAVAGE VANDAL is a full length mature college/new adult romance with enemies-to-lovers/love-hate themes. This is a reverse harem novel, meaning the main character has more than one love interest. This is book one in the series.
Emersyn Sharpe is an extremely talented dancer on the stage and in the silks. She’s tired, she’s been on tour every year for seven years, she wants to relax a bit, her time is coming, just not yet.
It’s what been happening behind the scenes of that success that is both sad and horrifying. The first people we meet in this book are Emersyn and Marta who’s been with her for over a decade. Emersyn’s running late because of deluge of rain. Marta jumps on her for being late as soon as she walks in the door and is met with Emersyn’s snark and sarcasm.
At her dressing room we meet up with a theatre tech working on her door. He’s installing new locks for her after noticing how inadequate they are. We’ll see much more of him later.
Then there’s her dance partner Eric, him I dislike right away, even before I read what he’s done to her. He’s definitely a jerk and an abuser.
This is the first of many favorite scenes in this book.
The door behind me shoved open, and I pivoted easily. The faint sneer on my face froze as she pushed outside. Sweat dripped from her forehead and down her arms. She was dressed in nothing but a dark leotard that molded to her body so tightly, there was no missing the shape of her hips or her breasts.
Or the fucking bruises visible through the near sheer material. Something kept her nipples from peeking through.
“When you’re done checking me out, could I hit you up for one of those?” She had slipped around to hide behind the door as it swung closed as though she didn’t want anyone to see her. All that dark gorgeous hair was pulled up and away from her face, but I’d seen the lush waves earlier. The flush to her pale cheeks had added a definite warmth.
Fuck me. Those lips though.
Puffy. Full. And…
Fingers snapped in my face, and I raised both brows.
“What?” I grunted. “Sorry to interrupt your ogling,” Emersyn Sharpe said in a near lyrical voice, her sharp intonations far more amused than arrogant. “But do you mind if I bum one of those? I’ll turn around and let you get a good eyeful of ass if that’s your thing?”
I stared at her. I got hit by a baseball once. It slammed into the side of my skull. This was kind of like the same thing. The offer entertained me for all of about thirty seconds before I scowled. “You’re not a slut, don’t act like one.”
Her perfectly manicured eyebrows rose. The honey-colored eyes lost every ounce of their warmth. “Never mind.” She pivoted on those impossibly thin slipper-like shoes that had no business in this trashy alley, but I caught her arm before she could escape. Only to lose my own cigarette when I had to catch the swing of her free hand aiming for my face. “Let. Me. Go.”
“Keep your panties on, princess.” Not that she could be wearing panties in that get up. “You didn’t get your smoke yet.”
Tugging her back a step, I crushed the cigarette that had fallen under my boot. Then I let her go and shook out two fresh ones. The heat licking through her eyes promised she was not amused. Yeah, well, I wasn’t here to entertain her. I put both in my lips and lit them, then I removed the second and held it out to her.
Yeah, I wanted her to have a little of me on her lips. Her nostrils flared, but she took it and pressed it to her mouth, and I tried not to think about her lips wrapping around my dick as she sucked in a deep breath. The cherry flared, and I withdrew a couple of paces to give her some air. When she exhaled with such emphatic force, I found myself studying her.
The bruises visible through the leotard were not the only ones. She had bruises on her thighs. Up close, there was no mistaking one was a handprint. Probably the big fucker on stage.
Well that was one hand that would be broken. I did a mental inventory, cataloguing every mark.
“Did I do something to piss you off since you installed the lock on my door?”
I shrugged. “No.”
She frowned, but I wasn’t going to elaborate. I wasn’t even supposed to be having a conversation with her. I’d gone for the new lock after I got into her dressing room without even trying. Fuck that. Not in my town…
After a beat, she skipped her gaze away, and that irritated me. There was nothing out in this alley. Just a cold breeze and damp air. The sweat on her had begun to dry, leaving only some dark patches on the leotard.
When she finished the cigarette, she glanced around, and I lifted my chin. “Just drop it, I’ll put it out.”
At her side-glance, I shrugged and she nodded, then flicked it to the ground at my feet. Red ash flared against the damp ground. It was half-extinguished already. I put my foot on it to crush it the rest of the way.
The door jostled and she backed right up to the wall, and I narrowed my eyes as it shoved open and the brute from the stage stood there. I met his gaze as I sucked on the cigarette. He towered over her on that stage. Then again, so did I. But the fucker wasn’t that big up close.
He glared at me, and I just gave him a bored look. If he took another step out of that door, he wouldn’t be walking back inside. The fact Emersyn had plastered herself to the wall like that filled me with rage.
I didn’t know what the fuck was going on, but it was going to stop.
“You alone out here?”
I made a point of taking a long drag and exhaling it straight into his face before I said, “Do you see anyone else?”
He scowled, then glared at me before he turned around and stomped inside. The door slammed behind him, and I slid my gaze to Emersyn. She blew out a breath so relieved, I flicked my cigarette down and stepped on it. The fucker couldn’t have gone that far. I could start with breaking his smug fucking face and work my way through the other two hundred plus bones.
“Thank you,” she said, then ran a hand over her hair like she had to straighten it. I didn’t miss the way her gaze slid back to the door, and I could almost see her counting off the time since the asshole left.
“You want to tell me what the fuck that was about?”
“Not particularly,” she murmured, then gave me the first real smile I’d seen on her face, and it slammed into me like a fucking truck. “Thank you though. For that, the lock, and the smoke…” She reached for the door, and I stood there like some moron as she vanished back inside.
My phone buzzed, and I glanced down at the screen as I raked a hand through my hair, the crisp scent of burnt tobacco lingering in my nose along with a far sweeter scent tangled with the muskier scent of sweat. I didn’t know what she used, but I was never going to forget it.
I had to focus. Work before pleasure.
But I’d be seeing her again, real soon.
That was a promise.
Heather Long. Savage Vandal: 82nd Street Vandals (Kindle Locations 182-229).
Jasper’s protective instincts come to the fore and but there are others who are protecting her along with him. I’m pretty sure Emersyn wasn’t part of any plan they had involving this theater originally.
Fortunately or unfortunately depending on your viewpoint, they aren’t going to let Emersyn be abused more. It’s an Eric attack by that leads to her being with them.
I have to say as I read Emersyn’s performance in the silks, I could picture every move as if I was up there with her. The lights, the moves, the strength through pain and that moment of fear all resonated within my soul.
The relationship between Emersyn, Justin/Hawk, Vaughn/Falcon, Kellen/Kestrel, Rome, Liam and Freddie is unusual at best, I love Mickey/Doc for all he does.
There’s so much we learn and so much more still to be discovered and I know all the pieces will come together as these books come out.
And yes there is a cliffhanger!!!
5 Contented Purrs for Heather!
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Coming Soon – Vicious Rebel
USA Today bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas in the summertime.
From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories–her characters drive the books.
When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.