From New York Times Bestselling author Laura Kaye, comes the first steamy standalone in her Raven Riders Series, RIDE HARD! A sexy romantic suspense, you might’ve first met the Ravens in the Hard Ink world, but this series about a different kind of a motorcycle club with a protective mission stands on its own and is even sexier, edgier, and grittier! The Raven Riders Series takes you on a new adventure and kicks it into overdrive!
Brotherhood. Club. Family.
They live and ride by their own rules.
These are the Raven Riders…
Raven Riders Motorcycle Club President Dare Kenyon rides hard and values loyalty above all else. He’ll do anything to protect the brotherhood of bikers—the only family he’s got—as well as those who can’t defend themselves. So when mistrustful Haven Randall lands on the club’s doorstep scared that she’s being hunted, Dare takes her in, swears to keep her safe, and pushes to learn the secrets overshadowing her pretty smile.
Haven fled from years of abuse at the hands of her criminal father and is suspicious of any man’s promises, including those of the darkly sexy and overwhelmingly intense Ravens’ leader. But as the powerful attraction between them flares to life, Dare pushes her boundaries and tempts her to want things she never thought she could.
The past never dies without a fight, but Dare Kenyon’s never backed down before…
– EXCERPT –
“So much better out here,” Haven said, the night air cool against the tingling warmth of her skin. Although she was pretty sure that not all of the heat burning through her insides was from the alcohol—her unusual flirtatiousness and closeness to Dare over the past half hour had made her desperate with a heat that had nothing to do with her drinking game.
She walked to the railing and leaned against it, chuckling a little at herself for needing the support it offered. She felt so damn free, and it was a heady, exhilarating thing.
“What’s funny?” Dare asked, settling a hip against the railing right beside her. Arms crossed, jaw ticking with tension, dark eyes blazing, he was staring at her like he wanted to reprimand her or devour her. Oddly, neither alarmed her the way she would’ve expected it to.
Haven shook her head, leaning it back and letting her gaze float over the night sky. Blurry points of light swam in the moonlit heavens. It was beautiful and peaceful despite the pounding bass beat of music thumping from inside the clubhouse. “Not funny, just good. Happy, you know? Being able to do something a little . . . scary, but knowing I’d be safe doing it.” When Dare’s gaze narrowed, she shrugged. “I don’t know.”
A long moment passed before Dare finally spoke. “You are safe here, Haven. Never doubt it.”
Peering up at him, she nodded, all kinds of words sitting on the tip of her tongue, challenging her to let them fly. “It’s weird feeling safe—or at least safer—after a lifetime of not. It makes me want to try things I could never let myself try before. It makes me . . .” She shook her head and dipped her chin.
Dare stepped closer, his thighs coming up against her hip. He lifted her chin and made her look at him. The contact combined with the command in the gesture lanced white-hot desire through her veins. “Makes you what?”
“Want to feel alive,” she whispered, her heart suddenly racing in her chest.
Dare’s jaw ticked again as his gaze swept over her face. She didn’t think she was imagining the raw emotion pouring off of him and wrapping around her, but she wasn’t sure if she was reading that emotion right or projecting her own desire onto him.
“Do you feel alive, Dare?” she asked, the alcohol flowing through her and the night spinning around her like she was walking through a dream.
“Jesus,” he bit out.
The rough desperation in his voice made her wet between her legs. “Just once,” she whispered, not sure what she was asking him for.
But he seemed to know. Because his hand was suddenly tangled in her hair and his mouth was suddenly on hers, claiming, probing, tasting.
Haven moaned and parted her lips, inviting him deeper.
Dare jerked back from her, his fingers rubbing roughly over his lips. “Fuck, I’m sorry.”
On instinct, Haven’s body pursued his, pinning his back to the railing. “Please don’t stop,” she said as her hands gripped his shoulders. She had the strongest urge to climb him, to wrap her legs around him, to grind against the hard bulge pressing electrically against her belly.
“Please,” she whispered, tilting her mouth toward his. “I liked it.”
Dare’s hand cupped the back of her head. “You’re killing me.”
“Dare,” she said, her body restless against his.
In a move that sent the world spinning, he flipped them around so that she was the one pinned against the railing. He pushed his legs between hers and leaned down over her, forcing her to arch her back, to yield, to open to him. “Tell me what you want from me. Say the words,” he said, his eyes absolutely on fire.
Her heart was a runaway train in her chest, frantic and picking up speed. The thought of giving voice to her desires was terrifying and thrilling and dizzying all at once.
“I want your mouth,” she said. The words sounded odder out loud than they had in her head, but they were more accurate than asking him to kiss her—because her mouth wasn’t the only place she wanted his.
“Jesus,” he rasped again, his mouth coming down on hers once more.
The whimper she released was part relief, part anticipation. It had been so long since she’d kissed someone that she felt a little uncertain, but Dare’s intensity barely allowed her the capacity to worry about it. He was like a dark storm bearing down on her, relentless, magnetic, all-consuming.
Rough callouses from his hands scratched against her cheeks as he guided her. Hard breaths spilled over her lips, and the wet slide of his tongue tasted like whiskey and desire and man. Her hands found the soft length of his hair, and her breasts pushed against the hard plane of his chest.
Then her lips were freed as his mouth slid over her skin—exploring her cheek, her jaw, her ear, her neck. He hiked her up to sit on the wide railing, the move surprising a gasp out of her, especially as he crowded the space between her legs, pushing himself closer, bringing his erection against the place between her legs craving friction, hardness, so much more of him. Maybe even all of him.
One strong arm wrapped around her back and held her steady, while the other hand stroked her hair, her face, her breast. The soft groans and breathy grunts spilling out of him were delicious and thrilling, and bolstered her confidence that she wasn’t the only one losing herself in this moment, in these touches. She almost couldn’t believe this was happening, and part of her was certain she must be dreaming. Because Haven Randall didn’t have beautiful things in her life. At least, never before.
– REVIEW –
“Ride. Fight. Defend.”
Kindle Loc. 238 of 5558
Thirty-eight year old Dare Kenyon, Raven Riders Motorcycle Club president, is a loner. Driven by a past that haunts him, Dare pours all his energy into ensuring that the Raven Riders MC stays a brotherhood of bikers dedicated to helping those in need. Providing shelter, security and a sense of family to victims of abuse, Dare is committed to their defense and protection.
Haven Randall, twenty-two, had been her abusive father’s virtual prisoner for eight years. Kept under an increasingly tight guard, Haven’s contact with society had been diminished to the point that she was only allowed to venture out into public in the company of her father’s bodyguards. When Haven, along with her friend, Cora, finally make a break for freedom, fate places them (through a series of harrowing acts) in the middle of a gang war. Found being held hostage, both Haven and Cora are given safe harbor at the Raven Riders’ compound. It’s there that Haven encounters Dare Kenyon.
Dare is instantly attracted to Haven — he’s an alpha male and his need to protect her is constantly at war with his desire for her. Haven feels the pull towards Dare, but she (justifiably) has trust issues. Dare makes his case:
“I need you to try to judge me on my actions and my words, not on the actions and words of the people who came before me in your life.”
Kindle Loc. 308 0f 5558
It’s a bit of a slow burn before these two get together, but absolutely worth the wait. (Keep a fire extinguisher handy.)
Ride Hard is the first novel in author Laure Kaye’s new Raven Riders Series. Born out of her highly successful Hard Ink Series, the reader is introduced to a new family of rugged and tender characters, along with a few cameos from those sizzling hot guys from Hard Ink. (Swoon, swoon and more swoon.)
Fans of Laura Kaye, such as this reader, know that her characters are fully fleshed out — distinct and well crafted, and this continues to hold true in Ride Hard. Dare Kenyon is a very sympathetic character — a tough alpha male with his heart in the right place. Haven (so aptly named) Randall is written as a fragile young woman. Kaye’s characterization of her as a terrified soul who learns to trust herself and act upon her own sense of judgment is spot on. The ancillary characters are solid, and we look forward to hearing their stories as the Raven Riders Series continues. The plot is fairly predictable, but in the hands of author Kaye, it never bores. Her storytelling grabs the reader. In one memorable and symbolic scene, Dare takes Haven out for a ride on his bike. Haven, helmeted, hangs onto Dare for dear life as he, helmetless and with hair flying, races freely through the countryside. So well written, even this reader could feel the wind in her face.
Introduce yourself to the Raven Riders in Laura Kaye’s Ride Hard and feel the exhilaration of two hearts joining together on a ride through life. Well done, Laura Kaye!
*ARC received from HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.*
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And don’t miss all the books in the Raven Riders Series!
HARD AS STEEL now available
RIDE HARD now available
RIDE ROUGH coming April 25th, 2017
RIDE WILD coming October 31st, 2017
Get a Bonus Short Story for Pre-Ordering Ride Rough, Coming 4/25/17!
Order a signed Ride Rough through the Virtual Signing!
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– ABOUT THE AUTHOR –
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink and upcoming Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.
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