Today I’m revealing the cover and description of the first book in a new MC series—the sequel to the Brazen Bulls MC.
The Brazen Bulls Birthright picks up twelve years after the epilogue of Lead, the finale of the BBMC series. Since the Bulls exist in the same story world as the Night Horde MC, and the BBMC series is a prequel to the Night Horde MC saga (the Signal Bend Series and the Night Horde SoCal), the Birthright series also takes into account the events from the Horde books. Book 1 opens exactly one year after a key event that occurs in Leave a Trail, the finale of the Signal Bend Series. The event in question fundamentally changed both the Night Horde and the Brazen Bulls.
Reading that paragraph back, it seems pretty convoluted, but the tl;dr is this: if you haven’t read any of my previous biker books, you won’t be lost. If you’ve read only the Brazen Bulls MC series, you might well be surprised to find out what happened in the years between that series and the new one, its sequel.
And if you’ve read alllllll my biker books, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about.
The Brazen Bulls Birthright series will focus mainly on some of the grown children of the Bulls who led the books in the first series, but Book 1 will feature Eight Ball, who emerged as a surprising fan favorite, and for whom I never intended to write a story, until he finally caught my interest as I was writing Lead.
Throughout the BBMC series, Eight was the guy who said all the incendiary shit I needed said and did all the fucked-up shit I needed done so my characters had to deal with the shit going on under the surface. Since I wasn’t planning to write for him, I didn’t worry about giving him any redeeming qualities.
Until I wrote about his best friend, and had to understand why Becker was so patient with him. Then I saw the same things in Eight and wanted to redeem him.
But DAMN, I’d made that hard on myself.
Eight’s story is called Redemption. By the time I finished writing it, I loved that hulking alphahole something fierce. I hope you will, too.
I also adore the woman who can handle him and the way they figure out together what they want, what they need, and how they both have to change to reach it. Their story is a second-chance romance with some very high stakes.
Redemption will be my 29th biker book. Is that a lot? It seems like a lot to me. Is it too many? You’ll have to be the judge of that, lol.
It goes live on Saturday, 1 May. Preorder will be available on Saturday, 10 April. You can add it to your Goodreads TBR now.
Here’s the description:
Edgar “Eight Ball” Johnston is the new president of the Brazen Bulls MC. After living his whole life without a filter, doing and saying whatever he wanted and damning the consequences, he’s shocked that his brothers voted to give him the gavel.
Now he has to figure out how to lead. How to become a man people will follow. How to honor the men who went before him. Hard lessons for a man his age to learn—and painful, too.
Marcella Lewis is the lead singer of a blues band with some regional fame. She and her bandmates are cobbling together their livings, and they’re looking for their big break. Marcella has an added incentive for success: she’s a single mom, and she wants to give her son every opportunity to become the man he wants to be.
Eight and Marcella hooked up for a few weeks back in the day, but more than a decade has gone by since they’ve seen each other. And good riddance, as far as she’s concerned. She has historically awful taste in men, and Edgar Johnston is a prime example.
Now, after all those years, he’s popping up in her life again, and generally being the jerk she remembers. But she also remembers why she was attracted to him in the first place—and the sense she’d once had that there was a good man buried deep under all the muscle and bravado.
Eight wants another chance. Marcella might be willing to entertain the idea, but before they could possibly work, he is going to have to change. And so is she.
If Eight really wants to be a better man, he’s got a lifetime of wrongs to redeem.
If Marcella’s going to forgive him, she’s got to give up some control over the life she’s managed so carefully.
Only family is worth that work.
And here’s a preview scene as an appetizer. It was hard to find a scene that wasn’t a massive spoiler, actually, so this is briefer than my usual previews:
Eight paid his ten-dollar cover and went in. The big Black bouncer gave him and his kutte a hard look, but he didn’t say more than that look conveyed, and Eight walked on in.
Azure was definitely not his kind of bar. All moody lighting in a blue he figured was ‘azure.’ A circular bar covered in mirrored panels took up the center of the space. The walls and floor were black, it seemed, as were the tables. Booths were some kind of shimmery silver vinyl. A black stage filled the center of the back wall, and a glittering blue curtain served as its backdrop. Marcella Lewis and the Lowdowners, the four guys and a chick who backed her, were deep into ‘Love Me Like a Man.’ The dance floor was a roiling mass of people moving to their beat.
She had a great fucking voice. If the leather pants had hooked him eleven years ago, that smoky alto had set the hook. Which had led to a long string of stupid mistakes on his part.
He’d first seen her at the Wayside Inn, the bar Maverick’s old lady, Jenny, owned. While he’d been in prison, Jenny had put some money into renovations, turning an old corner dive bar into a pretty decent small club that showcased local bands.
For the first year or two after his release, Eight had been at loose ends, trying to remember how to be a human being again after almost six years of being an inmate. He hadn’t been that great at the human-being thing before prison. But after it, he was basically an animal.
Sleeping alone in his apartment had been impossible. He’d spent almost all his time in the clubhouse, but sometimes that was just as empty, and four times bigger, and ten times worse. Then he’d ridden all night, sometimes stopping at a bar to drink himself stupid and maybe kick up some shit. Fighting had been about the only thing that had made him feel squared up.
When that habit had led him to start a brawl so big and destructive he’d landed in lockup and had had a really horrific night of thinking he was going to be revoked and sent back to McAllister, he’d decided to cool it on the shit-kicking.
But he’d still been restless and wired, and he still rode through a lot of nights.
One night, he’d stopped at the Wayside.
Generally, he steered clear of it. Back in those days, Jenny Helm had not been an Eight Ball fan. Neither had her old man. Eight had had fractious relationships with almost all his brothers for most of his time in this kutte, but Maverick had out and out hated him. Kicking up shit in his old lady’s recently renovated bar would have been disastrous.
Maybe that was why he went in that night. He’d done a lot of stupid shit in the clubhouse and to his brothers over the years, but maybe he thought the downside to doing stupid shit at the Wayside would keep him in line.
He didn’t remember his thought process, but something had him going into the bar that night, when a much less well-known and much more humbly geared band called simply The Lowdowners was playing on Jenny’s new stage.
Eight’s musical taste ran to old-school country rock, Skynard and Marshall Tucker, shit like that, but the Venn diagram with that and blues had some overlap. He loved Stevie Ray Vaughn, for instance. He’d dug The Lowdowners’ sound.
And he’d really dug the hot chick up front. Tall and sleek, not skinny or fat, but fit, with world-class tits and ass, and a long mass of black hair that framed her delicate face like a lion’s mane.
She’d dug him, too. For a while, a few weeks, they’d had fun. But Eight had still been mostly feral, so it didn’t last long.
… (redacted for spoilage)
Until he’d started seeking her out recently, Eight hadn’t seen her in person in eleven years, but he’d heard of her here and there, seeing ads for the band, shit like that. She was doing well, it seemed. It wasn’t like The Lowdowners had a big recording contract, but they’d made a name for themselves locally, and their YouTube channel had something like fifty thousand subscribers, which seemed good.
And this place was packed. That seemed good, too.
Eight couldn’t find a place to hole up in back. But a seat at the bar opened up, so he pushed his way to it and dropped his hand down on the shoulder of the dude who was going for it as well.
“No, buddy. That’s mine.”
The dude looked back angrily, ready to tell Eight off, but he rethought that decision when he got a load of Eight. Rather than challenge him, the dude erased any expression from his face and backed off.
Eight sat and caught the bartender’s eye. When he came over, Eight ordered a Jack, neat, and a Budweiser.
While he waited for his drinks, he watched the band. These days, Marcella wore her long hair straight and silky, but her mind-blowing ass was still encased in leather pants.
They’d moved on from ‘Love Me Like a Man’ to ‘Born Under a Bad Sign.’ Now Marcella was playing lead guitar and one of her band members was singing. Her focus was on her playing, but during a stretch when the lyrics were the focus, she looked up, with a big bright grin, and scanned the room.
It was so dark everywhere but the stage, Eight figured she’d be unable to see anything clearly past the dancers right in front of the band. So he watched her and didn’t drop his head or otherwise try to go incognito.
There was no reason to be here if he didn’t mean to speak to her, but he hadn’t completely decided whether he really did intend to poke that beautiful, furious bear. She’d given him her answer twice now, and he’d done nothing in the interim that might convince her to change her mind, so he knew what the answer would be.
Yet here he was.
Her gaze reached the mirrored bar. Eight watched her, thinking he was invisible to her. But her eyes met his and froze there. Her bright smile went dark, and he saw her shoulders lift with a long, deep sigh. A slow, weary shake of her head, and she looked down at her shiny black guitar.
Yeah, he should go. He’d fucked up eleven years ago, and there was no putting that mess back together.
©2020 Susan Fanetti