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I’ve worn a lot of labels over the years. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to escape. I hid in my dance. I ran away from my life as much as I could. I fought to be somewhere else, even if I couldn’t be someone else.
One night, after my partner lashed out at me and I’d been hurt, the Vandals took me and never looked back. They introduced me to a world I had no idea existed and a family so much greater than the one I’d been trying to survive.
I gave myself up once to protect them.
I’ve fought for them.
I’ve bled for them.
I’ve killed for them.
And I’d do it all again if it keeps them safe.
My name is Emersyn Sharpe. I was born Ivy Hardigan. When the Vandals kidnapped me, I had no idea how life-changing it would be or how I would find real love. More, I found my place in this world. To have the future I want, I will finally wage war on the past.
FIERCE DANCER 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 nine and the final in the series.
If you haven’t read all the books in this series STOP! Go back and read them all first! This one begins just before the end of Reckless Thief.
While we all know the dire situation Emersyn is in, we are taken back to where she is leaving with Milo to be safe from the events that are about to begin.
I really loved this part since we get to see them as they really get to know each other as siblings. The protection, love and devotion that comes so naturally for Milo, is beginning to show in Emersyn. It’s still new to her, this having a brother. They actually talk about everything, including Lainey, very interesting.
It’s a lot of driving and it’s the next morning as they are approaching the meet up that all their internal alarms go off, this isn’t right, this is an ambush.
We get to see all the interaction before Bradley Sharpe orders his men to bury her. She had her bracelet, Liam would find her, the guys would find her and Milo.
Back at the clubhouse, another piece of the puzzle was beginning to unfold as Freddie, Vaughn and Rome watch JD and the rats pack up the last of the trucks to be sent out. Freddie senses something off but can’t quite put his finger on it. As they are discussing the tattoos Freddie wants, they get a surprise, their mole wants to break out their prisoner. The Mole is exactly who I thought it was. Nah not telling. But Kellen’s phone is compromised, and things go into motion to get to Milo and Emersyn.
With both Emersyn and Milo back at the clubhouse, although Doc has had to keep Milo sedated, Emersyn is in far better shape. Jasper and Liam have been dispatched to collect Lainey and Ezra joins them as well. Liam and Ezra spend much of the flight at each other’s throats. For Lainey it’s a relief when they land.
A reunion of sorts ensues, as Jasper and Liam see Emersyn awake. Tears and hugs then Emersyn along with Lainey and Doc they go to see Milo. Love Lainey and her kickarse attitude.
Downstairs is a waiting game as they wait for all their allies to show up and Emersyn joins them.
This is a favorite scene.
“How is he?” Ezra asked after a prolonged moment in the gruffest tone. That absolutely cost him to even ask.
She tilted her head, then glanced toward us. Her smile when she met my gaze steadied me then her expression sobered as she looked at Ezra. “He’s going to be okay. He needs rest and antibiotics.”
Blowing out a breath, Ezra nodded. “Can I do anything?”
“Coming with Lainey was a lot, and keeping her safe is everything. So, thank you.”
I didn’t grin as Hellspawn completely neutered the bastard’s grumpy mood. “Tell me if you need something else.”
“We got our girl,” Jasper said. “You don’t need to suck up.”
Ezra glared at him and it was my turn to laugh as I focused on the table again. “Don’t bait him,” I said, lining up the next shot. Hearing that Milo would be okay was one thing, but seeing the relief in Hellspawn’s face and hearing it in her voice offered far more comfort.
“Who?” Ezra asked. “Me or him?”
“Both,” Hellspawn answered, drifting closer to the table with Rome following her. She paused to wait for me to finish the shot. When I straightened, lifting my arm, she glided to me and slid up to my side. Wrapping that arm around her, I took a deep inhale of her hair and pressed my cheek to hers.
The tension knotting my spine released and I had to lock my legs to keep from leaning on her. Turning around and leaving five minutes after we got them to safety at the clubhouse burned. But she and Milo both needed Lainey Benedict. Ezra was being a raging dick about bringing her here, so I wasn’t going to fight that battle on the phone. I showed up and Jasper went with me, then we brought them back.
It protected them and shut Ezra up. The reward was right here, cuddling against me. The relief was profound. “I’m alright,” she whispered against my chest. I felt more than heard the words. I soaked in the content as I rubbed her arm and pressed my lips to the top of her head again.
“Need you,” I told her, and she pressed a hand to my chest before she tilted her head back. I didn’t need another invitation to kiss her. She parted her lips at the first brush and I sank into the kiss, half wishing I was fucking into her, but this was enough. The delicate, kittenish licks were enough to make me insane on a good day.
Today? They were the cure for everything ailing me. She sucked on my tongue then nipped my lip like I was taking away her favorite treat. When I deepened the kiss again, she let out the most delightful little groan.
Then a second person.
When a third person cleared their throat with almost obnoxious loudness, I growled. It was hard to be irritated when she let out a wild giggle that succeeded in breaking our kiss and I lifted my head to marvel at the light dancing in her eyes as she grinned. “Hi.”
“Hi,” I murmured. “Don’t mind me when I steal you away and lock these assholes out.”
“Awww,” she elongated the complaint with a laugh even as Freddie echoed it. Then the little pair of comedians glanced at each other with equally wild grins. I rolled my eyes. “Don’t be mad,” she teased. “I’m perfectly fine with being stolen by one of you. You just have to bring me back.”
“Fine,” I huffed with all the mock impatience I could muster. When she flicked my nose then kissed me again, I adored her with my eyes. “Look at that, you’ve kissed me right into submission.”
“Bullshit,” Jasper sneezed and Ezra, the prick, burst out laughing. An alarm went off on my phone— and everyone else’s. I slid Hellspawn right back to Rome and pulled the phone out to check.
“Friendly,” I said, before I headed to the door. Adam had arrived and it was good. I didn’t leave the clubhouse alone. Vaughn and Freddie trailed me, and there was no mistaking the sawed-off shotgun Vaughn carried. Yeah. We weren’t soft balling this.
I messaged Adam to pull inside and hit the remote to open one of the exterior rolling doors. He didn’t answer, just drove his black Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG inside without hesitation. As soon as he cleared the threshold, Adam shoved the door open and stalked out.
“Is she safe?”
“They both are,” I told him, betting he was asking about Lainey every bit as much as he was Emersyn. Relief trickled through his expression, easing some of the icy emptiness he often adopted. He cut a look at Vaughn and then Freddie before staring at me. “Ezra’s inside, hopefully not picking a fight, but I already belted him once.”
Rolling his eyes, Adam just shook his head. “Typical.”
I shrugged. “C’mon. I’ll get you a drink, then we all need to talk.”
Freddie raised his phone, while flicking his eyes to the side door. I made a face then shook my head.
“Fine, fuck it— Vaughn, can you take Adam in and get him a drink?” I locked my gaze on him. Preferably, he would keep him from starting a fight too, or sit on him if he did. Vaughn lifted his chin once in acknowledgement before jerking his head toward the door.
“C’mon in. People are a little on edge, so I recommend minimizing any and all assholish tendencies if you don’t mind.”
“If I do?” Adam asked.
“Well, then when someone hands you your ass, you’ll know why…” Vaughn deadpanned that delivery perfectly, and I had to swallow my own chuckle as Freddie rolled his eyes.
Once Vaughn and Adam were inside, I focused on Freddie. “When is he due?”
“Soon,” Freddie said. “I texted him. I know you’re not a fan, but Bodhi came through for us.”
Yeah, I was aware of Freddie’s trust in the guy. “Fine,” I said. “But you let us control how much Cavendish knows.”
“Why don’t you like him?” Freddie asked, and I sighed. “Long story. It begins and ends with money, privilege, and the ability to buy your way out of just about anything.”
“And?” The dry question served to deliver a point. Frankly, he wasn’t wrong. I had that kind of money. So did Ezra and Adam.
“Cavendish is a loose cannon,” I told him. “The family wealth covers up a lot of crimes and crazy.”
“I like him.”
“I know you do,” I said, then clasped Freddie’s shoulder lightly. “I trust your judgment.” The surprise flickering through Freddie’s eyes at that declaration was humbling. “I need you to trust mine here too. If he can help, I welcome it. Just like Doc’s guys. But…”
“Bodhi isn’t one of us,” Freddie said, and the understanding there helped. “Yeah, I get it. Though if he can help…”
“As I said, we’ll take it. We’re already bleeding, Freddie, and this last battle—” It had come too fucking close for Milo and Hellspawn.
He nodded. “I got it. I’ll follow your lead.”
Fortunately, we didn’t have to wait that long before Bodhi arrived. Just like Cavendish always did, he blew in when he was ready. The man ran on his own timetable and acted like the whole world was just here for him.
Thankfully, Doc’s guys arrived hot on his heels. While he didn’t say much after greeting Freddie, Bodhi seemed to be studying Doc’s guys the same way they were studying him— too many unknowns. Once we had them inside, the clubhouse felt too crowded. Hellspawn was sitting with Kellan, curled up in his lap, half asleep. Probably because he was rubbing her back and she was exhausted.
Jasper and Vaughn formed a barrier between the rest of the room and Kellan. Yeah, even if Doc trusted his friends and we were trusting him— adding Ezra and Adam to this volatile mix wasn’t helping. As it was, Adam and Bodhi were glaring daggers at each other. Then Lainey descended the stairs and her arrival seemed to toss a match right into the kerosene.
“Elaine Benedict,” Bodhi said with a wide grin as he crossed the room. Her expression would have been entertaining if Ezra wasn’t already storming across the room.
She raised her brows at him. “Cavendish,” she said slowly. “When did you get here?”
He dipped his head and pressed a kiss to each of her cheeks like they were French, and she gave him a light shove before she headed toward Hellspawn. Vaughn shifted to let her slide onto the sofa next to Kellan.
“Right,” I said, watching the girls confer for a moment. “I think it’s time we all put our cards on the table…” Kellan and I had discussed some of this but not all of it. “Before anyone starts throwing their dick around about who is the bigger badass, listen. We all have pieces of this puzzle.”
I tracked my gaze to Hellspawn as she slipped off Kellan’s lap to let him stand. The guys moved and then we formed a loose circle around the girls while facing Ezra, Adam, Doc’s guys— Lunchbox, Bones, and I forgot what the last guy was called. Alphabet wasn’t here, so I’d guess he was with their girl wherever.
Doc had come down to join us and seemed to read the room as easily as I had. This was a seriously volatile combination of people.
“We’re going to start with what we know,” Kellan said. “You guys have all helped us in different ways since this began, but I’m making it clear right now— there’s going to be more blood spilled before this is over. None of you are committed, yet. If you want out, now is the time to go.”
No one moved. Not that I expected them to make that choice. If anything, Adam turned his brooding, studious gaze on Kellan and seemed to be assessing him. “Read us in… if we can help— if I can help, I will.”
Ezra sighed. “Fine, fuck it. You guys are always good for a fight.”
“We’re here for Doc,” Bones said like that answered everything, and granted it probably did.
“Is there going to be pizza?” Bodhi asked and I rolled my eyes. “Cause I’m hungry and think better with food.”
Hellspawn laughed and I almost forgave the son of a bitch for being a son of a bitch.
“Right,” Kellan said. “Pizza later. Everyone take a seat, this is going to be a minute.”
Heather Long. Fierce Dancer ARC – Heather Long (Kindle Locations 1600-1681). Kindle Edition.
With their forces gathered they begin to formulate a plan, the first thing needed is Bradley Sharpe’s location.
There is plenty of sizzle in this one as they all welcome Emersyn home again. A surprise is an apology from Adam to Emersyn for trying to keep Lainey away from her. He also has a mission that could interfere with theirs. His current boss, who no knows, wants Julius King aka Jeff Hardigan dead. In the last book you will recall that he is Milo and Emersyn’s father, although they haven’t let on they know the truth. That is for this book and trust me it was awesome the way Emersyn handles him and gets the promise of a location of Sharpe from him.
One of the biggest standouts in this book is Freddie, his growing relationship with Emersyn truly moves forward in giant steps. I also love his bird name it’s truly perfect for him.
This book is a building crescendo of suspense, intrigue, romance, and the finale absolutely superb!
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!