Hi! It’s time to announce my next release and give you some details! Those of you who’ve been waiting for another Brazen Bulls book can mark your calendars for Saturday, 5 August, the day Slam, the third book in the series, goes live!
Slam is Maverick’s story. Mav has been in prison since before the series began, but in Twist, Gunner and Leah’s story, we got to meet him and learn a little about him. He did some hard work for the club during Twist, and he paid hard for it, but he’s finally being released.
His prison sentence, and the reason for it, tore apart more than his own life. He and his old lady were expecting a baby when he went in, and Jenny hasn’t forgiven him for leaving her and their daughter on their own, with heavier burdens than Jenny can bear alone.
Theirs is a deep and true love, though, and Slam is the story of them finding their way back together. Without his family, Maverick is lost. Without her love, Jenny is brittle.
Each chapter also ends in a flashback, about the early days of their relationship as well as even earlier days in each of their lives. As they remember how and why they loved each other, we can see it happen.
I’ll be uploading it for preorder on my usual schedule, two-three weeks ahead of the release, and I’ll provide live links when they’re available. Like all the Brazen Bulls books, it will be available on several platforms.
If you haven’t read the Brazen Bulls yet, you can find links to the Crash and Twist, the first two books of the series, here.
The Goodreads page is up now, if you’d like to add it to your TBR.
The synopsis and a preview below. Enjoy!
Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1997
When Richard “Maverick” Helm walks out the gate of the state penitentiary, after four hard years inside, he doesn’t know what life he has left waiting for him. Abandoned by the love of his life, a stranger to his only child, Maverick turns to his club, the Brazen Bulls MC, and holds on.
But he’s not sure of the club any longer, either. The Bulls have changed since he went inside, and they’d all but forgotten him.
Before Maverick can find a life worth living, he must heal the family he’d had—his woman and his child—and he must find his fit with his brothers. To do either, he must remember the man he was, and decide who he wants to be.
The love of Jenny Wagner’s life promised her a beautiful future. He swore he’d be there for her and their daughter forever. He wanted to be her hero, and she believed that he would be. Then he left her alone before their baby was born—and what he did left Jenny’s life in ruins. She’ll never forgive him.
But she’s never stopped loving him. Her anger arises from that deep, abiding love, and the pain of its betrayal.
Before Jenny can open herself and her daughter to a new life with Maverick, she must learn to trust again, and to be with him the strong woman she’s become without him.
It takes only a moment of reunion for Jenny to remember their love—a love Maverick’s never forgotten. It takes much longer to overcome the obstacles of the past and find a way to make a future together.
Note: explicit sex and violence.
And a PREVIEW (a scene from Chapter Two):
“Ready for another, Russ?”
Russ, sitting in his usual seat at the head of the bar, nodded. “Sure am.” Jenny pulled the tap and refilled his beer. As she pushed it across the bar, he put his hand around hers on the glass. “Someday, you’re gonna say yes.”
Jenny laughed and gently but firmly freed her hand. Russ was well into his sixties, a sweet old retired guy who spent his weekday afternoons sitting right where he was, on the first stool at the bar in The Wayside Inn. He flirted with her every day. While the come-ons were gentle, and she was slightly more than half sure they weren’t intended seriously, she worked to maintain a balance between being playfully friendly with him and leading him on.
“I guess we’ll have to see if you live long enough to see that day,” she retorted now.
He flattened his hand against his chest as if she’d wounded him there. “We used to call beauties like you femme fatales. You know that?”
Before she could counter that remark, the door opened and let in a blast of sultry air and dusty white light. The storms of the day before hadn’t broken the heat at all, and, once the clouds had cleared, the humidity had been even worse. The Wayside’s loud, rickety air conditioning unit was working as well as it could, but it wasn’t up to the challenge of this summer.
Russ had been the only customer in the bar on this early afternoon, so Jenny focused on the newcomers. The sunlight streaming through the open door cast them in silhouette, and all she saw at first was three sizable blobs. The jukebox wasn’t playing, and the volume on the television above the bar was low, so she could hear the clomp of boots as they came in.
Then the door closed, and she blinked and saw that they were all wearing kuttes. They were Brazen Bulls. Gunner and Rad and one she didn’t know.
The last time any of these sons of bitches had blighted her bar had been the year before, when Gunner had shown up out of the blue and coerced her into giving him a recent photo of Kelsey. For Maverick, Kelsey’s father.
Who had ruined her fucking life and was therefore out of it. Forever.
Now there were three of them walking toward her. She crossed her arms and turned her attention on Gunner. Of all the Bulls besides Maverick, she knew Gunner best. She’d liked him, in a different life. “What the fuck do you want?”
Gunner opened his mouth to speak, but it was Rad who answered. With a chuckle in his voice, he said, “Dial it down, darlin’. We don’t mean trouble.” He nodded at Gunner, who reached into his kutte and pulled out a fat, business-size envelope. He held it out to her, and Jenny stared at it, leaving her arms crossed.
The Bulls gave her money every month, something she supposed Maverick had worked out from prison. It was for Kelsey, and Jenny took it, notwithstanding her intention for Kelsey and her father never to meet. She saved almost all of it, only hitting it in emergencies—like last year, when Kelsey had had meningitis and been in the hospital for eight days. She never wanted to come to rely on that money for her daily living, and she meant it all to be a way for Kelsey to go to college and get her life started.
She got money from the Bulls on a regular basis, but not like this. Normally one of their hangarounds brought it by. And the envelope was never this thick. From the look of it, it was several times the normal amount.
Russ had turned on his stool and was considering the Bulls. He was a senior citizen whose body had been devastated a couple of years back in a cancer fight. There was quite obviously nothing he could have done against three big, burly bikers, but he still asked, “Jenny? You need anything here?”
For that, she spared her regular customer a grateful smile. “Thanks, Russ, but I’m okay.”
Since she’d made it clear that she wasn’t taking that envelope from him, Gunner set it on the bar.
“That’s more than usual. This whole thing is more than usual. Why?”
This time, Gunner did speak. “He’s getting out at the end of the week.”
She’d kept track of Maverick’s sentence. She knew that he’d been scheduled for release the year before and had had time added, and she knew he was scheduled for release again right before Kelsey’s birthday. If he was getting out this week, it was early—almost a month early. She wasn’t ready. Sharped-edged wings of panic fluttered in Jenny’s belly—and something else, too, something fragile and long unnourished. Even after everything, after the wreck her life had become, her love for Maverick Helm made her quiver.
All three Bulls, even the big blond she didn’t know, took on the same angry expression, like a shared mask of offense. Rad answered with a snarl. “He did his time. All you need to know.” He turned his glare on Russ, who shrank a little but held his seat.
Beginning to understand what that envelope and this visit were about, Jenny didn’t want Russ to be privy to the conversation. “Can you give us a few minutes, Russ?”
He glanced sidelong at the Bulls and then studied her. “You sure?”
“Yeah. I’m safe.” She believed that, at any rate. They wouldn’t hurt her.
“Okay. I could go squeeze one out, anyway. I won’t be far.” He slid off his stool headed toward the bathrooms in back.
Jenny watched him go. When she turned back to the Bulls, she said, “You think you can pay me to let him in. That’s what that is.” She tipped her head toward the stuffed envelope.
“He’s her dad, Jen,” Gunner said. “He wants to be her dad.”
“Then he should have been out here, being her dad.”
“Jesus fuck,” Rad muttered. He slammed his palms on the bar and leaned close.
Radical Jessup was the club Sergeant at Arms. He was big, a scowl rested more easily on his face than a smile, and he was almost as quick to violence as Maverick. Jenny fought the need to step back, out of his reach. She made herself stand firm and meet his dark, angry eyes.
“I don’t know what story you worked out in your head to make him a bad guy in this, but he did what he did to protect you—”
She scoffed, unable to hold it back, and Rad slammed his hands on the bar again, even more forcefully. She was also unable to hold back her flinch.
“If your life is shit now, that’s on you. You could shove that bastard in a state home and be done with it, but you like playin’ Little Miss Martyr, don’t ya?”
He was making a lot of assumptions about things he had no knowledge of. “Fuck you, Rad. Get the fuck out of here, all of you.”
Nobody moved. Then Rad reached out and grabbed her arm. He didn’t hurt her, but he used force to drag her close, until the bar cut across her ribcage, and he put his face right in hers. Jenny wondered whether she’d been right—would he hurt her?
“It goes like this, Jenny. Maverick is that girl’s father. He wants to be in her life. He’s a Bull. The Bulls got his back. So he will be in his little girl’s life. Whatever we have to do to make that happen. That envelope right there is one way. But there are other ways. You think about that.”
He glared into her eyes for another few seconds. His eyes were dark, dark brown, so dark his pupils were barely discernible. It was like looking into him and seeing nothing but abyss.
The words he’d said had been full of threat, but his eyes scared her most of all.
He let her go with a little shove, and she took a quick couple of steps to keep her feet.
Rad spun on his heel without another word and stalked to the door. The blond one followed.
Gunner held back. When Jenny made eye contact with him, he pushed the envelope closer to her. “Jenny, come on. Last year, I told you how bad he needed you and Kelsey. This year has been a fuck ton worse, but he’s finally getting out. You know he’ll be a good dad.”
She knew no such thing. He was a violent hothead who always had to have his way and never thought about the consequences before letting his fists fly. She’d been raised by exactly such a man, and he had not been a good dad at all. Now, because of Maverick and his flying fists, she was saddled with her father for the rest of his life.
Jenny didn’t answer Gunner, and she didn’t touch the envelope. Finally, he sighed.
“Friday. He gets out Friday.” He turned and headed for the door.
When she was alone in the bar, she picked up the envelope and pulled the flap free. It was stuffed with loose bills. Hundred-dollar bills, all of them. Riffling through it, she estimated that there was twenty thousand dollars in that basic white envelope. Several times more than usual.
Twenty thousand dollars.
That was what the Brazen Bulls thought her daughter was worth.
© 2017 Susan Fanetti