Brutal Fighter – 82nd Street Vandals Book 5 by Heather Long

Brutal Fighter
82nd Street Vandals Book 5
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Long


Broken dreams.
Broken lives.
Broken bird.

Our feelings for her were like wild animals finally freed from their cage. But my sparrow, she was the most brutal fighter of us all. She’d had to be.

The battles she’s survived, she’s done in silence and alone.

Not anymore.

Never again.

Milo let her go. Jasper took her. Vaughn sheltered her. Liam taught her. Rome connected with her. Doc pushed her away. Freddie went after her. All because we wanted what was best for her.


I was in this fight. Our promises might lie shattered in the debris of the life we’d thought she had, but we weren’t abandoning them or her.

Oh no, I would never leave her again.

My name is Kellan Traschel, I will be whatever she needs me to be. And if war is what must be waged, then hell was what we would rain down.

First if you haven’t read the other books in this series, STOP! Go back and read them, this one begins where the last one left off.

Emersyn is back at the clubhouse and that first night she spends with Lainey. Lainey deserves to know everything, but there are some things Emersyn hasn’t yet told her.

Things get interesting when Adam shows up with Liam wanting to talk to not only Emersyn, but also Lainey. Everyone gets involved in that one.

I have loved Kellen from the very first book of this series and now I love him even more. Vaughn and Jasper are so protective and Freddie, well he’s Freddie.

There’s also the developing relationship between Milo and Lainey, that’s a source of all kinds of fun.

Although I have to say when Emersyn is with Liam and Rome things are both easy and complicated.

This is a favorite scene.

“What did Doc say?” Rome didn’t. Another reason to love my mirror.

“That they will heal,” she said slowly, fingering the scars. “That there are things we can do to reduce the scar tissue and to exercise the muscles— rehabilitate them.”

Nothing in her tone suggested it was good news nor that she believed him.

“Did he give you the rest of your results?” I kept it light as I set the water to heat on the stove. The bread was ready to drop when I was ready.

The weight of her stare settled on me and I twisted to meet that look head-on.

“I’m not pregnant.” A hot desert wind blew through me that she’d worried that had been an option.


Despite the fact that he seemed focused on his food, Rome undoubtedly listened to every single word she said.

And those she didn’t.

Just like me.

“I have a bit of an infection,” she added with a grimace. “The antibiotics are already working. He wants me to take more, though.”

Right. I fisted my temper and parked it. People were going to be broken when I hit the ring this weekend. I needed the outlet. The question about her uncle was right there on my tongue, but I refused to make her explain shit to me.

I could torture it out of him.

Oh, I liked that plan.

I cracked two eggs, one at a time, into the boiling water. Then dropped the toast. Rome had nearly finished his food.

“Anything else you want to share?” Lots of ways to phrase that, but if she wanted to talk to us, I wasn’t going to stop her.

“I hurt him.”

“Doc?” I twisted to look at her again and a smile ghosted over her lips.

“No, not him. My uncle.”

Oh. “Good.”

She was chewing her lower lip again. Paying attention to the eggs and the toast, I got her breakfast together without smashing anything.

“I tried to get away.” She wasn’t looking at either of us this time. Instead, she rested a hand on the stapler.
Rome went still. Everything about Hellspawn said wild animal, trapped, and hurt. One false move could startle her.

Worse, it could chase her off.

“I punched him in the dick.” It was the almost wistful note in her voice that had me altering some plans where said bastard was concerned. “Then did that wrap his knee and jerk it move we worked on.”

She swallowed, the convulsive motion in no way detracting from the solitary note of pride.

“Something cracked when he went down. I hurt him.” The repeat of the last sentence stoked a sense of pride inside of me. When I held out the plate to her, she seemed to come back to us in the kitchen. Returning from whatever distant place she’d fled. “Thank you for showing me how to do that.”

“You’re welcome, Hellspawn. Give it another couple of days, and we’ll start training again.”

She gripped the plate, but I didn’t let it go when she blinked in surprise. “Really?”

“I know you’re not a hundred percent right now, but it’s better to know what you can do no matter what condition you’re in.”

The sheer amount of chewing she kept doing to her lower lip threatened to split the skin. Understanding kindled in her eyes and she nodded once. “Thank you.”

“My pleasure. Remind me that I want to show you how to kill a man…” When she dipped her gaze to the stapler and red flushed her cheeks, I added, “Without the stapler.”

There. The corners of her lips curved upwards in a real smile. There she was. “I did pretty good with it,” she admitted.

“You did amazing with it,” I assured her, and when she tugged the plate, I let it go before handing her a fork. “But there’s more than one way to skin an asshole.”

Her nose wrinkled again. “At least you didn’t say cat.”

“Hellspawn, no one is skinning your pussy. Ever.”

Rome huffed a breath, but it was Hellspawn’s reaction that I wanted. The real smile came and went as if she fought with laughter. “Not even if I ask?”

“Ask me sometime and find out.” What the fuck was I doing? The comment slipped out before I could reel it back in. But the mirth dancing in her eyes and the color in her cheeks was a thousand percent improvement from the pale, shaky woman who arrived with my other half.

I stole a glance at him and he nodded once— to me— then at her. But he was right. She responded to the teasing, to the tone, or maybe just to us.


Flirting with her wasn’t a damn hardship. Still, I wasn’t stepping on Rome’s toes. She dug into the poached eggs and toast with some enthusiasm.

Satisfied, I got my food reheating then went about making coffee.

“Will you tell me how you know Adam?” she asked, but only after she’d cleaned her plate and turned down my offer for more.

The last thing I wanted to talk about was Adam.

“Sure,” I countered. “Tell me what he offered you.” I took her empty plate and passed her the fresh coffee. I’d made one for Rome too.

“You won’t like it,” she warned me.

That went without saying. “Then don’t tell me.” It was the best I could do.

“But I want to know how you know him.”

Pulling out the food, I leaned back against the counter and sank the fork into the flaky, somewhat overcooked salmon, and shrugged. “I told you my price.”

Rome could have told her. He knew. But she hadn’t asked him. That, and I had a feeling he wanted to know what Reed had offered her too.

She sighed, staring into her coffee cup for a minute. “He asked me to marry him.”

The plate cracked in my hand.
Heather Long. Brutal Fighter (Kindle Locations 1202-1250).

The revelation of Adam’s out of the blue marriage proposal is just the beginning as now Ezra is also in the picture. Liam needs a whole lot of answers.

I love the relationship Emersyn has with Kellen and I’m so glad things are better with Doc. Heck every single one of them has a different relationship with Emersyn, each giving her something she needs.

Now a lot of things are cleared up in this book, but others become more cloudy.

There have been many clues sprinkled throughout all the books, but we still don’t know the identity of ‘the King’. I have my suspicions, but dang I’m not positive.

Of course, the ending had me screaming at my kindle, but I’m kind of used to that with this series. I can’t wait for the next book.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

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Heather Long Heather Long

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.

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