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Ruthless King by Maya Hughes


Title: Ruthless King

Author: Maya Hughes

Genre: New Adult Romance

Cover Design: Najla Qamber, Qamber Designs

Release Date: January 10, 2019

 

BLURB

 

My dick never got me in half as much trouble as my heart…

 

We were high school sweethearts. I was head over heels for her and no one could tell me we weren’t going to last forever. College? Going pro? My family’s money? None of it mattered. She was all I needed.

 

Then she ripped my heart out. But I’m not going to let that happen again.

 

She’s back. Invading my life and acting like she was the wronged one. The pain is still there, but I can’t keep my eyes off her. I can’t stop thinking about her and how much was left unsaid between us. Being this close is making me question everything I thought I knew about her.

 

This time everything will be on my terms. Everything…

 

 

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Author Bio

Maya Hughes can often be found sneaking in another chapter while hiding in the bathroom from her kids! 🙂 I’m a romance writer who loves taking inspiration from everyday life, namely my husband and biggest fan. Inspiration also strikes when I hear a song, meet someone new or daydream while at soccer practice.

I’m the mom of three little ones, the wife to an amazing husband and also work full time. Some of my favorite things are cinnamon rolls, white wine, laughing until I can’t breathe and traveling with my family.

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Exclusive Scene

Tripp by Somer Hayes

 

 

 

The oldest of five boys, Tripp shoulders the heavy burden of running the family businesses. His responsibilities bring with them bitterness, as his only desire is to work the family ranch away from the annoyances and frustrations of the city. However, the love he possesses for his younger brothers drive him to assume the role so they may be free to pursue their lives outside of the onerous name of Maverick. He finds himself withdrawing from the things he once loved and fears happiness is a noun that will never again apply to his life.

Hannah Price has worked hard for everything she has – which isn’t much. Born into a family mired in poverty to parents who dealt with addiction, they struggled to take care of themselves, much less raise their only daughter. Refusing to feel sorry for herself, Hannah quickly learned the value of a dollar and through her entrepreneurial spirit scraped and saved enough money to open her own business. However, the niche she thought she would be filling has been slow to catch on as the red meat loving cowboys all around her aren’t impressed by a fancy, gluten-free bakery.

Unwittingly, their paths collide and heads butt. Their struggles to reach their dreams seem to depend on the successes or failings of each other. Soon, the hard line Tripp draws between business and pleasure begins to blur, and the infallible Maverick falls.

**Standalone**

 

Hannah

I paced back and forth between the two bay windows nervously twisting my shirt in my hands and practicing my speech for the hundredth time that morning.
Old Man Maverick was due any minute to collect rent, and I had to tell him I didn’t have it—in only my second month of business.
I paused long enough to look around my little bakery, and as I did, I felt a surge of pride, and with it, determination to succeed somehow, someway. I had been so sure my allergen-sensitive, gluten-free pastries would fill a niche in Great Falls, but instead I continued to watch all the red meat-eating cowboy types and their farm-raised families file into the steakhouse next door.
Still, I believed All Buns, No Glutes would catch on and become a success. I had only to convince my landlord to give me a chance to prove it. I glanced at the clock. It was nine o’clock exactly, and Mr. Maverick was never late.
My heart thumped an extra anxious beat when a dark shadow filled one window and then the doorframe. A moment later, a mountain of a man stepped through the threshold and squinted down at me. He was the most attractive person I’d ever laid eyes on, and for a moment, I swear I forgot my name.
“Hannah Price?” Right. That was it. His voice was deep and sounded hoarse as though he spent his days barking orders like a drill sergeant.
“Yes. Can I help you?”
He extended a palm the size of my dessert plates. “Tripp Maverick. I’m taking over the property management business for my father. I’ll be here the first of every month to check on the building and collect rent.”
I swallowed the dry lump that had formed in my throat before I accepted his handshake. I’d never met Tripp Maverick, but I knew his name well, and the fact that he was my new landlord was bad news for me. His reputation was that of a bulldozer—straight and steady—his will bent to no man. Or woman, as it were.
“Nice to meet you, Mr. Maverick.” I pulled my hand from his strong grip and unconsciously wiped it down the apron covering my thigh. “Is everything okay with your dad?”
I didn’t know Rhett Maverick well, but he’d always been kind to me, and it seemed strange he’d turn the property management business over to his son without first notifying his tenants.
“He’s just taking a step away from some of the family businesses for a while. I’m going to fill in for him until other arrangements are made.”
The Maverick family had a long history in this part of Montana and had built an empire first through ranching, then by expanding to everything from oil to financial investments to real estate development. Through the latter, the family now owned much of downtown including the building we stood in.
“I see. May I get you a cup of coffee or a scone? The special this week is orange cranberry.”
“No thank you, ma’am. I’ll just take a quick look around to familiarize myself with the building, then collect your payment and be on my way.”
He stepped around me, the scent of pine and man dizzying. I counted six loud echoes of his boots against the floor before I found my voice again. “Mr. Maverick?”
He turned to look back at me, and the sun streaming through the windows found his face, highlighting an unusual set of blue-gray eyes and a day’s worth of stubble covering a strong jawline. His left eyebrow ticked up as he waited for me to speak.
“I, umm, well the thing is… I have a question. It’s a funny story actually. So, as you know, this is a new business. And sometimes it takes something new a while to catch on with the locals… and so I was wondering…”
“Aw hell.”
His muttered curse stopped me short. “Excuse me?”
He pushed his cowboy hat up off his forehead and looked at the ceiling, hands coming to rest on hips. “You want an extension.”
“Well… yes, actually.”
His eyes remained skyward when he asked, “Miss Price, do you have any idea how many stops I have to make today?”
“Is that rhetorical?”
His eyes leveled with mine, and I had to stop myself from flinching at the hard edge I found in his irises. “Twenty-four. So, if I put in a twelve-hour day that leaves me exactly thirty minutes per business owner including drive time. If even one of those properties is not prepared for our scheduled appointment, then it not only affects my day but the schedules of everyone else I have to meet with today.”
“I understand this is an inconvenience…” I began, but he continued as though I hadn’t spoken.
“And since it is the policy of Maverick Properties to make on-site visits each month, I must hold up our end of the agreement, and I expect our renters to do the same.”
“Of course. I would never ask if this wasn’t an emergency. I just need a little extra time to…” He moved toward me, his steps slow and intentional. My heart sped in my chest. His size was overwhelming, his energy palpable.
“But because we want to foster the success of small businesses in Great Falls, I’m willing to grant you an extension.” He stopped just inches away from me, his towering height forcing me to crane my neck to meet his eyes. He held up a finger between us. “Once.”
The air left my lungs in a relieved whoosh, and I wanted to weep with relief. “Thank you, Mr. Maverick. I won’t let you down. I promise.”
Eyes the color of storm clouds held mine a beat longer than I was comfortable with before replying, “I hope you don’t.” Then he stepped around me and called over his shoulder, “I’ll be back in one week.”
I stood rooted to the floor, relief swirling amidst a new and rising panic. I had seven days to come up with the rest of my rent which left just twenty-three more before next month’s rent was due. I had far too much pride to tell him exactly how dire my situation was, that if he evicted me at the end of my extension, I wouldn’t only be out of business.
I’d be homeless.

 

 

Somer Hayes is an avid reader and writer of stories, hailing from the Midwest.

 

 

Exclusive Scene

Ryan Michele’s Vipers Creed MC Series

We are so thrilled to bring you an exclusive scene from Ryan Michele, set in the world of her Vipers Creed MC series! If you’ve ever been curious about the inner workings of a motorcycle club, and the bond between them, you do not want to miss this exclusive look!

 

challenged coverAbout CHALLENGED

Lust, love, and second chances.

Growing up in the fast-paced and rough life of a motorcycle club wasn’t easy. Cleaning up the mess his father had made of Vipers Creed meant sacrifice. Cade ‘Spook’ Baker had given up everything to bring the club life back to what it was supposed to be: a family.

The choices he made were not what he wanted, but they were necessary for the club as a whole.
Second chances rarely came to Spook, so when his Trixie walked boldly into his clubhouse, the decision was made. Trixie would once again be his, this time for good.

Trix Lamasters was raised by a master—a master con. All grown up, she made her life solid by making it about her club, Sirens. But one bad business decision brought her to her knees, forcing her to call on the one person she had sworn she would never trust again.

Pasts have a way of not staying there. Things that were buried deep have a way of finding themselves in the light of a new day. Could something that had once crashed and burned for Spook and Trixie find a way out of the wreckage? With the odds against them, can they find a way to overcome the challenges, or will it all blow up in their faces?

**Due to content, mature audiences only.**

Get your hands on CHALLENGED:

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Conquering-ebook

About CONQUERING

Wes ‘Stiff’ Collins lived life on the wild side. He worked from the moment he knew what the word meant, always making the best of every situation. There was nothing about his past he would change.

Without a real family except his brother Xander, Stiff joined the Vipers Creed Motorcycle Club, and they taught him what it was to have people he could depend on. When his past crashed into his present, he vowed to protect the club that had always been his steady, even if it meant turning his back on the woman who had given him life.

Chelsea Miller’s life was simple: work, take care of her family, and save for the future. Everything was about having a goal and a plan. However, when her sister ended up battered and bruised on a diner floor, everything she thought was in her past suddenly threatened her future. In a moment, she had a new goal, everything else be damned. She would protect her family … at all costs.

Stiff and Chelsea’s worlds collide in an explosion of determination, strength, and lust. Will they give in to temptation, or will conquering each other be too steep a price? Two people not afraid to put in the work will either overcome everything in their paths or finally crumble under life’s troubles they can’t escape, all in the name of family.

**Due to content, mature audiences only.**

Add CONQUERING to Goodreads here!

Get your hands on CONQUERING:

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Read the exclusive scene now:

**Prequel to Challenged & Conquering**

Time seemed to stand still at this time of night, the time just before closing but not quite midnight. The time when your feet ached so badly they screamed at you to sit down, yet you knew, if you did, you wouldn’t get back up to finish out the night.

Huffing out a breath, I watched the clock. Tick, tock. Each second passed as I wished and hoped for customers to come in to keep me busy before I closed out the night. Only an hour to go before I had to clean up and go to bed alone.

As if fate heard my wish for once in my life, the bell above the door chimed, and the air in Charlie’s Diner suddenly thickened with their presence, compressing, making the space feel smaller. It happened every damn time they came.

I thought at one time it was just the age of this place, the low ceilings or something, that made it small. Nope. It was them: the five grown, hulking, badass men who each stood tall, proud, and screamed trouble. The Viper’s Creed Motorcycle Club, namely Spook, Boner, Stiff, and Dawg.

Each man was over six-feet tall, and each exuded a commanding presence.

Small town chatter was always buzzing with different stories of the men, Charlie included. It seemed people were divided over the club. Some spoke their praises of helping little old lady Pearson with her groceries in the car, while others swore they were criminals.

Me, well, I was nothing more than a waitress at a diner, trying to keep my head above water. I didn’t really care what the men did or didn’t do. When they came in, which I had to admit was pretty regularly, they were always excellent tippers. At the end of the day, that was all I was concerned with.

Rolling my shoulders back and stiffening my spine, I found the confidence I needed to handle the sheer amount of testosterone in the air from the men because they were all sexy. Each and every one of them: Spook with his beard and jet black hair; Boner with his tousled, sexy hair that looked like he had just rolled out of bed; Stiff with his bald head, tall bulked frame, and sexy as hell demeanor, making my girlie parts tingle; and Dawg who was sexy with his long dark brown hair that curled around his ears.

“Hey, guys, have a seat anywhere you like. I’m on my own tonight, so anywhere you go, you’re stuck with me,” I greeted them as I made my way to the end of the counter and rounded it.

“You say alone?” Dawg asked.

I raised an eyebrow at him, wondering why he had used such a sharp tone. I left it alone, though, sighing as I kept my pace while they settled into their chairs.

Stiff caught my eye as he flipped his chair around backward then promptly straddled it. He was always a toss up. One never knew what Stiff would do except flirt. He was notorious for it.

“Rickie was working the grill and had a family emergency about twenty minutes ago. Night shift,” I explained. “It’s usually me and the cook after ten-thirty on the weekdays when it ain’t busy.”

“Charlie know about this?” Boner asked.

“Nah, that’s between them when Charlie sees the time clock,” I said. The truth was that Charlie probably wouldn’t know, but I wasn’t a rat.

Pulling my scratch pad out of my apron, I clicked my pen, ready to take the guys’ orders.

Stiff watched me carefully, a little too carefully. So much so that I felt a blush crawl up my neck and heat cover my face, no doubt reddening my pale skin.

“We’ll be here till you close up.” The deep baritone of his voice shot straight to my belly. “I’ll tail you home.”

“That’s not necessary. It’s happened before. I’m all right, Stiff.”

Boner looked at Stiff then me. Before he could speak, Stiff met my eyes.

“Not happenin’ again, Chelsea. You wind up alone, you call the clubhouse. No need for you to be here by yourself.”

The guys all looked at Stiff as if he had grown two heads.

He was a womanizer; I had heard all the stories. Why did he give a shit about me being alone? Then again, the guys, all of them, had always been friendly to me when they came in. This was no different, and it was sweet in a badass sort of way.

The door chimed, and in walked two college-age girls, giggling like they were at some pop star concert.

“Be right with y’all. Sit wherever,” I greeted then looked back at Viper’s Creed. “What’ll it be? Gotta get started.” I gave them a small smile while I quickly scribbled their orders as the girls approached. They were overly done up in enough makeup to make a drag queen jealous.

“Pick a seat,” I reminded them as if I hadn’t said it two seconds ago. “Let me drop the fries, and I’ll be back to take your orders.”

“We’re here for them.” The darker-haired girl pointed at Stiff and Boner, biting her lip. I was sure it was meant to be sexy, but it failed.

I didn’t have time for this.

“Then I’ll get to work on gettin’ ’em fed while y’all get to work on gettin’ their dicks wet.” I rolled my eyes.

“Spunk, Chelsea. You got spunk.” Dawg laughed.

I didn’t look back. Instead, I headed behind the wall to the kitchen area where I mocked the girls continually in my mind while I dropped fries in the hot oil.

When the fryer quieted, I had to stifle my gasp as I overheard the brazen women.

“Like, what made y’all wanna be part of a club?” one of them asked in that valley-girl-wanting-to-be-seductive-and-failing tone.

The men laughed loudly, and then Dawg was the first to answer.

“We ain’t a club. We’re fuckin’ family.”

“You kn-know, TV makes it so h-hot,” the other girl began. “Wh-what’s the appeal?”

There was the sound of someone smacking the table hard, and I jolted.

“Pussy. All the pussy we can handle,” Stiff taunted, and I couldn’t help the way my heart thudded in my chest painfully. “Thing is, bitches like you come in here, thinking you can be a part of something like this. You don’t know shit, and you ain’t shit. Your only place is sucking my cock when I feel like having it sucked. Got plenty of mouses for that, so move the fuck along. We got dinner to eat.”

I couldn’t see the table from where I was flipping burgers for their patty melts, but I heard Spook after I made out the squeal of one of the ladies.

“Don’t ever fucking touch my leather. I’m Vipers’. I’m not yours, and you’re not mine. Like my brother said, move the fuck along.”

Spook could be intimidating on a regular day, but the ice in his voice now had me on edge to even take him his plate. Those two dimwits didn’t seem to get it, though.

“We could be your dessert,” one of the women said.

If I didn’t have a spatula in my hand with hot grease on it, I would have smacked my head.

The sound of a chair scraping back against the floor assaulted my ears before Boner said, “We’re not interested. Even on your knees, on my cock, or licking the motherfuckin’ floor, the two of you don’t make the cut. Move on.”

Hell, I fully expected them to at least take the girls out to the parking lot and fuck them. At least, that would be par for the course according to the talk of the town.

On a humph, I heard the girls exit.

I shook off the words and worked on my task of plating the men’s food.

Dawg laughed. “Can you believe that shit?”

“We live by a code and die by a code. Bitches don’t know shit unless we tell them. Pussy doesn’t get you by,” Boner stated as I dumped the last of the fries onto their plates.

“If we wanna see pussy, I’m sure we can head over to Sirens. Heard it’s got a new woman in charge.” The tone in Stiff’s voice made me wonder if they really did frequent the strip club in town.

“Order up!” I yelled out of habit before I took the plates burning into my skin out to the sexy patrons.

I really had to get my head out of my ass where Stiff and all of Vipers Creed was concerned. It wasn’t my business and never would be.

 

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About Ryan Michele

Ryan Michele found her passion in making fictional characters come to life. She loves being in an imaginative world where anything is possible and has a knack for special twists readers don’t see coming.

She writes MC, Contemporary, Erotic, Paranormal, New Adult, Inspirational, and many more romances. And whether it’s bikers, wolf shifters, mafia, or beyond, Ryan spends her time making sure her heroes are strong and her heroines match them at every turn.

When she isn’t writing, Ryan is a mom and wife living in rural Illinois and reading by her pond in the warm sun.

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