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I made a promise.
Mom demanded only one thing from me before she died—go to her sister in Maine and find comfort with the only family I had left. But, from the moment I laid eyes on Paradise Inn and my terrified aunt, my mistake was undeniable.
This place isn’t an inn, and it’s far from paradise. Instead, it’s home to the Wreckers, and my quick-tempered Uncle Joss is the president of this violent gang of strangers. There are rules I need to learn, but the most important is to keep my mouth shut. I have a front row seat to how depraved these men are, and how low they’ll sink to get what they want.
Just when I’ve run out of hope, three Wreckers come to my rescue. Hades, Pistol, and Viggo are my heroes with dark pasts and darker plans, tempting me in ways I never imagined.
Soon, passion turns into something deeper, and I’m faced with a choice.
Do I let myself love these men I can’t quite trust?
Or do I ignore my heart and expose the Wreckers’ secrets?
Wreckers is reverse harem, motorcycle club romance with enemies-to-lovers/love-hate and mystery/suspense themes. Contains sexual scenes, all of which are consensual. Wreckers is a supersized standalone novel.
Mariana’s mother made her promise to go to her sister in Maine on the cancer takes her. Mariana isn’t one to break a promise so she sells off everything she doesn’t need and leaves Arizona or the snowy coastline of Maine. She’s googled the area and was taken in by the quaint coastal towns, however what she finds is not what she imagined.
Her Aunt Connie told her to rent a car in Portland and she would be met in Bangor by a family friend. Unfortunately Mariana doesn’t have a driver’s license so she takes the bus. The man sent to drive her the rest of the way was waiting when she arrived, he wasn’t the friendliest sort, but he wasn’t as bad as what she was heading for.
Pistol is not happy with his life, he follows the orders he’s given and ignores the rest as best he can. He wants to warn her but he can’t. Instead he just gives her a bit of advice and drops her off.
The Paradise Inn isn’t even close to paradise, it’s run down and ugly. Her uncle intimidating and irritating at the same time. Mariana refuses to be cowed and is horrified to see the shell of a woman her aunt has become.
Hades watches the interaction with a bit of amusement and finds himself a bit impressed by Mariana. She has guts and she isn’t going to take any crap.
The inside of the Inn isn’t any better than the outside, filthy is a mild word for both the contents and the men gathered. Her first thoughts are to get her Aunt Connie away from all this but her aunt doesn’t want to leave, she loves Joss in a way no one can take her from.
When the men leave Mariana tries speaking with her aunt to no avail and instead decides to try to make this Inn more livable. Starting with the kitchen.
This is just one of my favorite scenes.
“So.” I cleared my throat and tried to find something to say. “You said you needed help. How about I start by cleaning the kitchen?”
Her smile disappeared and her blue eyes widened. Working her mouth, she studied the kitchen. I realized she was seeing it through my eyes and jumped in with an explanation. A lie, really, but I couldn’t stand to pick at her confidence more than I already had. “Because you cooked,” I said quickly. “That was the rule in my house. Mom cooked, I cleaned. Make it fair, you know?”
The smile returned to her face brighter than before, and she clapped her hands together like a child. “I like that. I cook, you clean. I hate cleaning anyway. Seems so pointless. I make everything nice and then the boys…” She trailed off and peered at me, then away. She hadn’t meant to say that.
So I pretended I didn’t hear it. “Perfect. I’m sure you have things you need to do. Running a place like this must take all your time.”
“It does.” Straightening her shoulders, she crossed her arms. “I have a lot to do before your uncle comes home. I guess I’ll leave you to it.”
Already, I was rolling up the sleeves of my shirt and approaching the sink. I nodded, not looking at her, because I wouldn’t be able to keep her from seeing my disgust. One of the bowls near the sink was full of white, wiggling maggots, while the rest had so much mold, I seriously wondered if I’d be able to ever get them clean enough to use.
Footsteps light, she left me. I opened the cabinet beneath the sink and was relieved to find sponges and bleach. There was also a mouse nest in a pile of rags, but I’d deal with that later.
The entire morning was spent cleaning the kitchen. I made trips through a back door, into the backyard, with piles of dishes. There was a huge, old barn a ways back and a thick forest along one side of both. It was dark, the trees packed so closely together, there wasn’t even snow on the ground. It was here I found a spot to scrape the mold and maggots off the dishware. I loaded them up in a plastic bucket I’d found and used sticks and even a stone at one point, to pick at the encrusted grossness.
After a while, I didn’t feel the cold or the wind. My cheeks were hot, I was sweating down my back, and when I thought about the muffins my aunt had made in the kitchen, I wanted to puke all over again.
Push it away. It was a thought that didn’t do me any good.
The mouse nest— God, I hoped they were mice—mice— the rags. All of it came out the back door. I returned to the kitchen once to find an empty garbage bin lined with a bag, but by then, I’d already gotten rid of the brunt of garbage out in the woods.
Inside, I scrubbed everything. The tablecloth had to go. For that, I took a spoon, dug a hole through layers of pine needles and dirt, and buried it.
I even cleaned the floor. By the time I attacked the oven, half my body inside the thing, I’d been working for hours.
“Look at that.”
I leaned back onto my heels. My trick of pushing away the bad stuff had worked. I’d managed to not think about my uncle and the others.
Boots treaded across the floor to me until Merlin’s legs touched my back. “Love a girl on her knees.”
He probably thought he had me at a disadvantage with my belly to the oven door and him behind me. Moving fast, I slammed the oven door shut and stood, whipping around to face him.
For his part, he moved just as fast, backing me up until I was pinned against the oven. To some people, Merlin was probably handsome. He wore a beard, but it was trimmed, and his hair was slicked back. He was tall, and the body that pressed against mine was heavily muscled. He wore a T-shirt that strained at the sleeves when he gripped the counter on either side of me. I lifted my eyebrows and pointedly studied each of his hands. He wore a heavy silver skull and cross bone ring on one thumb. It looked dumb.
Dropping his head, he dragged his nose over my hair. “Smell like sweat, Princess. You’ve been working hard.”
I pushed him, but he was expecting it and didn’t move an inch. He was proving a point. If he wanted to do something, he would do it. Nothing I could do would stop him.
He breathed in and his lips skimmed my ear. “Make me.”
“You must have a fucking death wish.”
Against me, Merlin tensed. He held himself there for a second longer before pushing away and turning. “You’re supposed to be unloading the truck.”
Merlin’s back was toward me, like he was trying to shield me, but there was nothing protective about the stance. He was a little boy with a new toy he didn’t want to share.
Edging away, I lifted my gaze to the person who had become my unwitting savior.
Hades. The man who had complimented my fight yesterday. He held a wooden crate in his hands, his posture relaxed, but his dark eyes glittered and his full lips were turned down in a deep frown. He dropped the crate and the wood cracked, the sound filling the kitchen. “Done.”
The two men stared at each other while I gazed between the two of them. Mentally, I congratulated myself for putting all the silverware away, because at least there weren’t knives readily available. On the other hand, of course, I could have used something sharp to keep Merlin in line.
I moved to one side, out from behind Merlin, but he slammed his hand onto the counter, keeping me in place.
“Did you not hear what Joss said?” Hades asked.
“Which part?” Merlin asked. “The part where she was his? Never kept us from using his girls before.”
Enough of this shit. Lifting myself onto the counter, I jerked my knees to my chest and kicked him in the middle of his back. Maybe my scrawny chicken arms weren’t strong enough to move this asshole, but these thighs could.
Merlin flew forward, hitting the table. His head made a dull thunk on the wood as he bounced off it.
Right away, I realized my mistake. If I was going to fight one of these guys, I needed to completely disable them. Otherwise, I stirred them up like a hornet’s nest and made them mad.
The look Merlin turned on me was so black, so filled with rage, my life flashed before my eyes.
“E-fucking-nough.” My hero got between the two of us, but Merlin had already thrown a punch.
Hades’ head whipped to one side when the other man’s fist connected with his face. Holy shit. That punch was meant for me. He caught himself on the counter, his profile visible to me.
Blood dripped from his mouth and nose, but he was smiling.
In a rush, Hades threw himself at Merlin. The other man caught him, and they smashed into the kitchen table. Flesh hit flesh, but it was otherwise silent except for the occasional grunt.
I’d like to say I broke it up. Or helped Hades. That’s what a stronger woman would have done— found a chair, smashed it over Merlin’s back. Left him unconscious on the floor while she helped the hero to his feet.
Not me. I stood there, frozen, watching one man fight for me against another man who would have knocked me unconscious.
“What the fuck is happening in here?” Uncle Joss’s voice boomed across the kitchen. Its effect was immediate. The two men got to their feet.
Ripley Proserpina. Wreckage (Kindle Locations 625-683).
We see the evil of this MC as more things become apparent. We Meet Joss’s brother Viggo, who also finds Mariana to be worth saving from this situation. The problem is she won’t leave her aunt.
Pistol, Hades and Viggo have their own agenda, one they can’t share with Mariana. The things she sees they can’t control as things spiral downhill.
Suspenseful, terrifying and somehow a bit romantic with this unusual, sizzling match up.
5 Contented Purrs for Ripley!
Ripley Proserpina spends her days huddled near a fire in the frozen northern wilds of Vermont. She lives with her family, two magnificent cats, and one dog who aspires to cat-hood. She is the author of the Reverse Harem series, The Searchers, Midnight’s Crown, and the young adult/fantasy duet, Wishes and Curses.