Ride of Desire - Book cover

Ride of Desire

Sarah A. McCombs

Age Rating


When Mercy returns to her hometown after ten years, all she wants is to reclaim the house haunted by the ghosts of her past. Then she crosses paths with Tommy, her long-lost love, and the ghosts threaten to upend her precarious new life - and expose an enormous secret. Can she and Tommy make up for lost time and start fresh? Can she allow herself to be accepted by the family she's always longed for? Or will the past catch up with them all in ways uglier than they could have imagined?

Age Rating: 16+

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A Smoky Beginning

His large feet, encased in charcoal combat boots, invaded her personal space like a boulder crashing into her.

Her own feet, much smaller and bare against the wooden floor, instinctively retreated until her back was pressed against the wall.

Her heart pounded wildly, her palms slick with sweat as his dark eyes zeroed in on her like a sniper’s target.

She found herself unable to breathe, unable to think, as his hand shot up to wrap his large fingers around the soft skin of her neck.

“What the hell are you doing here?”

His voice was deeper than she remembered; ten years could change a man significantly.

He towered over her, his hair, the color of dark chocolate, falling into his face in thick strands. His tan, which she had once found so attractive, had deepened over time.

His lean teenage body had been replaced by bulging muscles. She didn’t dare look lower, afraid of what her mind might conjure.

Her legs felt like jelly under his intense gaze, which seemed to penetrate her very soul.

The intensity was familiar, igniting a lust so powerful it could rival the original sins. He had to feel it too, didn’t he?

“Speak, woman!”

His command startled her, but his grip didn’t tighten. It was as if he wanted to appear threatening but had no intention of actually hurting her.

She frowned, suddenly aware of the pain hidden in his beautiful brown eyes.

His eyes held a world of hurt that she couldn’t begin to comprehend. Maybe hers did too.

A part of her was afraid of the past he might be carrying, the heavy emotions that could weigh them both down like chains.

Her lips parted as a shaky breath escaped her. She would be okay. He wouldn’t hurt her, not yet, anyway.

“I...was invited.”

His brow furrowed and his shoulders tensed. If she was invited, then one of the guys he knew must be responsible. Someone close to him.

Did they know this woman personally? Had they brought her here knowing about their shared past?

A heavy hand landed on his shoulder, the gravelly voice of an older man interrupting his thoughts. Damn it, it was the one man he couldn’t afford to cross.

“She’s the new bartender I hired. You got a problem with that?”

He took a calming breath before releasing the woman and turning to face the old barkeep.

The man was in his late fifties, but that didn’t diminish his tough appearance. He was a biker, hardened and ready for a fight.

Having grown up on the wrong side of the tracks, he had fought his way up in life and earned his place. The whole town respected him, and no one dared to cross him.

His bar was the best for miles around and the number one biker hangout. He had a gang of guys ready to back him up at any moment, and friends in both high and low places.

“No problem here, Mack.”

The older man was an inch or two taller than Tommy, crossing his arms over his chest and nodding as the younger man stepped aside. He quickly assessed his new employee.

She was a cute little thing in her late twenties. Caramel curls fell to rest against her breasts, her hips flaring out to showcase the perkiest ass he had seen in a long time.

He might have blushed, if he were thirty years younger.

He raised an eyebrow when he noticed her bare feet.

When he hired her, he didn’t realize she was a bit eccentric, but she must be if she thought it was a good idea to walk into a bar without shoes.

Even he wouldn’t be that reckless.

Looking up, he was rewarded with a view of her ample breasts pressing against a light blue blouse, unbuttoned just enough to tease a man into a testosterone frenzy.

Good Lord, if his wife was still alive, he’d be in trouble.

He cleared his throat, catching her attention as he kept his arms crossed over his chest.

“Is there a reason you came in here barefoot?”

The blush that spread across her cheeks made his pupils dilate as he shifted from one boot-clad foot to the other.

He might be older, but he could still appreciate a pretty face, and damn it if this one didn’t make his jeans feel two sizes too small.

Thank God for dark pants, dim overhead lights, and the innocent nature of the temptress before him.

She pointed toward the entrance.

“I stepped in the only mud puddle out front and I didn’t think it would be polite to track it inside. I'm sorry.”

She sounded sincere and clearly embarrassed. He raised an eyebrow before turning to the bar and calling out to his son, who was behind the counter serving drinks.

“Jackson, bring this little lady your mother’s slippers!”

His son nodded, disappearing through a door behind the bar without a word.

They kept some of his late wife’s things in a box in the back. He just couldn’t bring himself to go through it all.

The young woman was still blushing as she looked the older man over. He was handsome, his charcoal hair mixed with strands of grey and cut short.

She wondered if he had served in the military or just preferred his hair neat and out of the way.

He was tall, easily towering over her. His broad shoulders and muscular arms suggested he was incredibly strong. Like a tank.

She was sure he could hold his own in a fight and then some.

His black boots were as big as her face, making her hands tremble as a memory took control of her thoughts. It was best not to go down that dark path.

“We need to talk.”

She jumped at the deep voice in her ear, the gasp that escaped her lips barely audible as the barkeep turned his attention back to her.

He noticed how tense she was, the way her jaw had clenched. It was easy to see what had caused her sudden change in demeanor.

His darkening eyes followed Tommy to the end of the bar, where he sat down with a glare directed at the men around him.

His mood was as sour as the standards of most of the guys in this place.

Whatever he had done, it was quick and nobody seemed to notice but her and the old man. Mack felt the atmosphere thicken for a moment before Tommy sat down.

“You okay, sweetheart?”

She dragged her gaze back to her new boss, nodding as her tongue seemed to stick to the roof of her mouth.

Was she going to be alright? Could she pull through this? She wasn’t okay, not by a long shot, but she was still breathing.

She was alive...at least for the moment.

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