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His Runaway Mountain Bride – Blackthorn Mountain Men
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Thick badge, big gun, fond of handcuffs.
First she was my bride, now she’s my fugitive. I was a rough, stone-cold cop when she said “I do”—driven hard to hunt, to seek, to lock down. And Lucy was the tempting little firecracker in my black and white, right or wrong world.
Except there was more to Lucy than met the eye, and pretty soon, her sins and the law tore us apart. And for two years, I’ve been looking for my runaway bride.
But now, I’ve found her, hiding out on Blackthorn Mountain. Gorgeous, sassy, headstrong and temping as fuck. I’m supposed to drag her bratty little ass to jail. But when I get my first look, feel, and taste of her in two damn years, no duty or law in this word is going to keep me from taking back what’s mine.
She owes money to some very, very not nice people, and they’re out for blood. But there’s more trouble than that brewing on Blackthorn Mountain. Every demon, every buried secret, every loose thread—every one of the outlaws up on the mountain’s past is coming for them, and the battle for Blackthorn is about to hit hard.
If these bastards want Lucy? Well, they’re going to have to come through me first. And if they want Blackthorn Mountain?
Well, they’re about to learn that outlaw mountain hits back even harder.
Lucy ran from me once. It’s not going to happen again.
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She ran from me once.
…It wasn’t going to happen again.
My breath plumed in the dark interior of the Jeep, my eyes narrowing as I peered through the creeping frost towards the bar. The lights were dim inside, but I could still see her through the lettering that read “The Pines” on the big picture window out front. I watched as she turned and smiled at a couple sitting on the other side of the bar, passing them some change and smiling again as they got up and waved. She was blonde now. That was a change. But I knew damn well, even from my spot across the frozen parking lot, that those blue eyes were exactly the same as I remembered.
And fuck did I remember.
I remembered it all, and I remembered everything about her. Blue eyes, long, hazel-streaked brown hair. Legs that I could spend all fucking day between, an ass I could hold forever, and lips I could kiss for the rest of my days. And that’d been the plan, too, until she was gone.
That was two goddamn years ago, and for two years, I’d hunted for her—her, my runaway bride. She was good at hiding her tracks and keeping herself hidden but finding people who don’t want to be found was my job, and I was damn good at it. And that’s what’d brought me there, to the frozen bar parking lot up on a mountain in December.
I’d lost more than just face when she bounced. I’d lost my heart, too. I’d lost a piece of my soul. I mean, shit, I’d always known we came from different worlds. When she and her family moved to Lockton my senior year of high school. There I was the blonde quarterback on his way to an ivy league education on a fucking crew scholarship. And then there was Lucy—wild-eyed, rule-breaking, wrong-side-of-the-track Lucy Cole.
It was her brother and I who actually hit it off first. Shepherd might’ve been a shoplifting, cigarette-smoking, motorcycle-driving poster-boy for a troubled background. But that kid could take a hit on the football field and keep on ticking. Football was the catalyst, and once we got over our different backgrounds, he and I were best friends.
But Lucy hit me like a car crash outta nowhere. Her, I never saw coming, though I should have. But once she hit, fuck me. I was done. I wasn’t looking for it either. I mean this was my buddy’s little sister, after all. She was a kid when I left home, but when I came back after college and one year of the academy, she wasn’t a kid anymore.
Not even fucking close.
I came back, and Lucy Cole had grown the fuck up. One look, and I knew I never wanted to even look at another girl. And I never did. I claimed her, I married her, and I made her mine. And we had it all.
…Until we didn’t.
It wasn’t easy to find her, but that night, for the first time in years, I was looking right at her. I’d played out every damn scenario in my head for why she ran, and I’d even got a few I was pretty certain about. But that night, I was going to find out the truth. And this time, she wasn’t going to run from me again.
I watched as her bar patrons slowly finished their last rounds and headed out into the cold night. This wasn’t my first time on the mountain, but last time I was there, months before, it’d been summer. Back then, I’d been chasing a lead for an investigation. It wasn’t until months later that my other hunt, for Lucy, pointed me to the same place, and I realized she’d been right under my damn nose that first time.
But, that night, I was back. And this time, I wasn’t going to be leaving without her.
My Lucy. My everything. My heart. My wife.
The bar began to empty entirely, and I watched as she reached behind the resister for something. The outside lights illuminating the main sign for the bar and restaurant went dark, and my pulse quickened. It was almost time. For the first time in two years, I was going to look her in the eye. And touch her. And God help me, taste those perfect lips of hers.
My eyes followed her as she climbed up on the back-bar to start cleaning off bottles up on the shelves. Her jeans pulled tight across that sweet little peach of an ass, and even in the freezing fucking cold, my cock lurched between my thighs. I watched her reach up high, her t-shirt pulling away from her waist and giving me a tantalizing flash of skin. Even from my spot, my hands remembered her body like a familiar map. My cock swelled rock fucking hard, precum already dripping from my swollen head at the thought of even being in the same damn room with her.