USA Today Bestselling Author
I grew up on the streets despite my older sister’s best efforts to keep my nose clean. I thought I knew better. I worked hard. and made money. Who cared if what I did was a little illegal?
Then a little boy paid the price for my carelessness. A little boy and his baby sister. It was the wakeup call I needed, even if the cost came too high.
Rough choices made for rough outcomes and when I had the chance to join the military or go to jail to get straight, I went to the military.
I paid for my thoughtless actions by becoming deliberate.
I paid for my greed by offering service.
I paid for my chance at a better life with blood, sweat, and fire.
That service left me scarred but determined. Medical school and training taught me I could continue to serve.
I walked away from the streets, from the blood, the violence, and costs of doing business. Living a life I stole not once, but twice, I focused on helping, on protecting, and on healing.
Until she came back into my life.
I didn’t start this current war, but I will damn well end it.
My name is Mickey James. Little Bit is everything. I fought to stay away, and I’ll fight to keep. Our enemies are going to learn that my skill at healing broken bodies makes me damn talented at damaging them too. They drew blood, we’ll bury them.
Reckless Thief is a full-length mature dark, new adult romance with enemies-to-lovers/love-hate themes. The dark romance aspects of this tale continue. Please be aware some situations may be uncomfortable for readers. Trigger warnings can be found in the foreword should you require them. This is a why choose novel, meaning the main character has more than one love interest. This is book eight in the series.
If you haven’t read the other books in this series, STOP! Go back and read them all, each book adds significantly to the story, and it is imperative to read them in order.
This book tells us Doc’s story, and it begins with a recap of the end of Merciless Spy. This gives us much more detail of what went on and let me just say go grab some tissues.
As we work through each pair of Vandals, we see the damage of this ambush not only to properties but also and more importantly the physical and mental.
The losses make for many tears as well as a determination to finish this horrible game Emersyn’s uncle is playing once and for all.
For Doc/Mickey J it means the Vandal in him is back, as he not only calls in support from his team but also surrenders to his feelings for Little Bit/Emersyn.
While Emersyn has told everyone her story, she had yet to tell Milo. She didn’t want to tell him what her life had been with her uncle. Now she has to tell him, there is no question in anyone’s mind that her Uncle Bradley was behind this.
They need a lot of answers so they can plan, and Emersyn’s mom Moira, could hold some important ones.
Now this book is really about everyone, but I have to say watching Freddie is one of the best parts of it.
This is a favorite scene.
“You know what I adore about you, Boo-Boo?”
“My taste in coffee and donuts?”
A chuckle escaped at her response. “I will never argue with your taste in either. Though I may ask to share.”
“You don’t have to ask,” she said, her voice dipping a fraction with emotion. “Whatever I have, I’ll always share it with you.”
“What about when you get mad at me?” Playing with fire right now? Yep. I flicked the ash off the end of my cigarette.
“Hmm… even then. Though I haven’t been mad at you yet, so I’ll reserve the right to change my mind. Maybe I’ll make you watch me eat a donut first, then I’ll share.”
She looked so damn serious that I couldn’t help but laugh. “I’m not the easiest guy, Boo-Boo.”
“I hate to break this to you,” she said, her expression barely shifting. “None of you are easy.”
“Well…” She had a point. “But I’m particularly difficult.”
“I’m a brat,” she tacked on with a shrug. “I bet I can be more irritating than you are if I set my mind to it.”
Huh. That was a thought. “How about a bet?”
“A bet?” When she straightened up, I reconsidered the offer for a heartbeat.
No, I wanted the bet. “Yeah, which of us can be more difficult and irritating to the others.”
“That feels like a trap,” she murmured, but it didn’t seem to dissuade her. “I don’t know if they need to be dealing with us being difficult right now…”
I laughed. “Maybe. Maybe not. Sometimes, giving them something else to think about can be fun—” Then again, I sighed. “Then again, maybe not now.”
“But we could bet on it for later.”
We could. I rolled the cigarette between my fingers before I took another drag. My eyes watered and I sputtered another cough. When she reached over to pat my back in sympathy, I turned my face to blow the smoke away from her.
“What are the stakes?” If we were going to bet on anything, we needed to have stakes.
“What do you want?”
I stared at her, then reached over with my free hand to tuck an errant tendril of her hair behind her ear. The tilt of her head, the dark length of her hair— even pulled back into the ponytail— appeared to have grown so much longer over the last year. That was what hair did, obviously, even though it fell nearly to her ass at this point.
No answer seemed to come easily to me. If anything, all I wanted was this moment. “More moments like this.”
Confusion filled her eyes. “Just hanging out with me?”
“I like hanging out with you.” Loved hanging out with her. Boo-Boo didn’t mind it when I was quiet. She laughed at my jokes. She let me have my little lies when I needed them. When I wanted more…
I wanted more.
Holy shit, I really did want more. I wanted to make her smile and I wanted her to be proud of me. I wanted… I wanted to be the person she needed. I wanted to take the risks she took…
“I haven’t forgotten about our date,” she promised. “I’m actually excited about it.”
“Might be a bit,” I grumbled.
“I can wait.”
“What if I don’t want to?” The irritation was immediate, but I winced because I didn’t want to lash out at her.
“Then don’t,” she countered, leaning back and pulling her legs up to sit crisscross in the chair. “We can be creative.”
“What? Do our date here?”
At the Clubhouse? With the guys? I mean, I liked the guys, but… I wanted to take Boo-Boo out. Like when Jasper and I took her to the movies. Granted, I invited myself on their date.
“Why not? I mean— we have rooms that we don’t use.”
“We have my studio—”
Scratching my jaw, I turned that idea over.
“There’s the warehouse itself. If we get rid of the rats, we could probably play laser tag out there or something…”
“There’s the pool table and darts…”
She was offering up so many excellent suggestions.
“We also have that huge sofa in the suite and a television.”
“That all seems kind of… boring for a date, Boo-Boo. I want it to be special for you.”
Head tilted, she smiled. “It will be special, because it’s with you.”
That squeezed all of the air out of my lungs. I crushed out the cigarette. “I don’t know if I’m worth that much.”
“Freddie,” she said, sliding out of the chair. She knelt in front of my seat, and I shifted my leg so I didn’t have a knee in her face. “You are worth everything.”
No, I wasn’t.
“Yes, you are,” she said, as if arguing the thought I hadn’t spoken aloud. She covered my hand with hers, and there was a question in her eyes. When she started to pull her hand away, I clasped her fingers. She could touch me; I liked it when she did. “You are worth it to me.”
I opened my mouth then closed it again. How the fuck did I argue with that? She was worth it to me, too… worth so much more. Dropping the dead cigarette into the fire pit, I squeezed her hand and then pulled out my phone.
Boo-Boo didn’t pull away. She just watched me as I skimmed through my apps and pulled up the music one. Finding the version of the song I wanted took me a hot minute. When I had it, I stood up slowly, still holding her hand, and tugged gently.
Graceful as always, Boo-Boo rose to stand with me. Fear fluttered in my stomach, like acid burning its way out. “Will you dance with me?”
Surprise flickered over her face. “Up here?”
“Yep,” I said, then pressed play on the music and tucked the phone into my shirt pocket before I could lose my nerve. The soft piano version of “Infinity” by Jaymes Young drifted out, almost too soft with the breeze but more than loud enough for us. Her eyes brightened at the first couple of bars.
She put a hand on my shoulder as I settled one on her hip. I didn’t know much about fancy dancing, but I could do this. For fourteen perfect seconds, she drifted with me and the world narrowed its focus down to just the two of us.
At the sixteen-second mark, I began to sing and it came out a little broken and rusty at first. Fuck knew singing right after I smoked probably wasn’t a great idea, but Boo-Boo’s eyes grew so wide. Surprise and delight filtered across her face and every single fear I had went to ash just like that cigarette.
I sang for her, and she danced with me.
Heather Long. ARC Reckless Thief – Heather Long (Kindle Locations 1571-1626). Kindle Edition.
Finding Reginald Sharpe is only the first step, and we also get to know the identity of The King. Now that was a surprise I didn’t see coming. But then Heather is always throwing those curveballs at us.
As always, this book has plenty of sizzle mixed in with everything else. While I knew something to happen at the end, I didn’t expect what actually does. GASP!
It’s going to be a very long month until the final book arrives.
5 Contented Purrs for Heather!
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I love books. Not just a little bit, but a lot. Books were my best friends when I was growing up. Books didn’t care if I was new to a town or to a class. They were always there, my trustiest of companions. Until they turned on me and said I had to write them.
I can tell you that my own personal happily ever after included writing books. I’ve always said that an HEA is a work in progress. It’s true in my marriage, my friendships, and in my career. I am constantly nurturing my muse as we dive into new tales, new tropes, new characters and more.
After seventeen years back in Texas, we relocated to the Pacific Northwest in search of seasons, new experiences, and new geography. I can’t wait to discover what life (and my muse) have in store for me.
Maybe writing was always my destiny and romance my fate. After all, my grandmother wasn’t a fan of picture books and used to read me her Harlequin Romance novels.
Friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, friends to enemies to lovers, you name it, I love them and love to write them. I started with Earth Witches Aren’t Easy, the first in the Chance Monroe trilogy, but my characters and I have traveled a long way since I created that urban fantasy world.
One of the series I hear my readers recommend the most is the Untouchable series followed in quick succession by the Vandals, and that just delights me. No lie, whenever one of my readers brings up my wolves, I do a little a fist pump.
I’m active on social media, and I love hearing from readers. Feel free to tag me with a question about any of my books, or just say hi!