Friday, May 1, 2015

BOOK RELEASE AND REVIEW: "Ride Me Hard" by Shari Slade

Part 1 of The Devil's Host MC Serial 
by Shari Slade 

When a big scary biker shows up at Jimmy's Diner fifteen minutes before the end of my shift covered in tattoos and looking at me like I'm on the menu. I should flip the open sign to closed. But I don't. I'm too used to doing what I've been told. Too used to working and struggling and surviving to do anything different. A closed sign wouldn't stop him anyway. He's here to collect a debt. And I'm the only one left to pay. RIDE ME HARD is just the beginning. The wildly erotic journey continues June 1st with BREAK ME IN. These are short, hot reads, sure to leave you panting. 

This is going to be short and sweet, just like the book.  I give this edition a passing grade. I want to give it more, but I can't.  Not because the book is not intriguing, it is.  Not because it didn't make me want more, it does.  There is just simply not enough story to comment on.  For me, this is a prologue with not much introduction of the characters. These were just random people involved in a highly pressured situation.  Having said that Shari Slade has set up one hellava story.  We have a girl who lives at the end of her rope. Her life is hard and she is spent. We have a anti-hero, who is an enforcer for an motorcycle club.  He's here to collect from the cook at the diner and she gets in the way. Her situation is dire and he holds the reigns to her destiny.  Ok, now, tell me more, Shari Slade! 

What other people are saying...

"Intense, dangerous, and perfectly dirty! Ride Me Hard will leave you breathless." - New York Times Bestselling author Skye Warren "Dirty, beautiful, gritty and wild. If I don't get more right now I'll die!" - New York Times Bestselling author Annika Martin "RIDE ME HARD has a panty-melting mix of sex, sass and sin. It hooked me hard." - Heidi Joy Tretheway author of Tatto Theif "Shari Slade strings together all the dirty words and makes something extraordinarily beautiful. Ride Me Hard will leave you panting for more--the perfect mix of intriguing story and flawed, fascinating characters. Fantastic start to a new series." - Ainsley Booth author of Hate F*@k

Excerpt from RIDE ME HARD

Twelve hours into what should be an eight-hour shift and my new uniform still feels foreign on my body. Scratchy and wrong. Unpleasantly damp. Yesterday Iíd worn jeans and a Jimmyís Diner T-shirt. Tonight, Iím packed into a polyester dress that looks like it came from a catalog full of naughty Halloween costumesó1950s Pinup or Sexy Soda Jerk. I tug at the powder-blue skirt barely covering my ass and adjust the ruffled apron. Who thought white aprons were a good idea in a restaurant full of ketchup, jam and gravy? Jimmy Jr. The idiot. I wince. Hot coals have replaced the muscles in the small of my back; thatís the only explanation for the searing pain that radiates with every wobbly step I take. My new management-issued shoes are as ridiculous and nonfunctional as the dress, strappy black Mary Janes with pointy toes, pointier heels, and some kind of no-skid treatment on the soles. Thank God for small favors. The whole tacky getup cost eighty bucks. Cheap, but still too rich for my blood. The cherry on top of one very shitty sundae. At least theyíd take it out of my check in installments, because Iíd barely made a quarter of that tonight, proving once and for all that waitresses are invisible no matter what theyíre wearing. Jimmyís Diner is invisible too, now that the new bypass is finished and the truckers can barrel past town doing eighty miles per hour. The locals coming in for early bird specials arenít going to cut it, and no sexy gimmick will replace the volume of being on a high-traffic truck route. Short of throwing up a roadblock and diverting traffic, Jimmy is fucked. I dip my hand into my apron pocket and stroke the tiny wad of singles, reassuring myself itís still there. Five to shove in the coffee can I keep under the sink and thenÖnot even enough to fill a gas tank, let alone make a dent in the weekly rent my landlord is salivating over. Heís already looking for any excuse to eject me from the little garage apartment his new wife wants to use for a craft studio. Iím pretty fucked too. Itís not like Iím working here by choice. If this job bottoms outÖI canít even think about that particular dead end. Instead I focus on the presentÖfifteen-minute increments. I can survive anything for fifteen minutes. I know that from experience. Fifteen more minutes without a customer and I can lock the doors, kick off these torture devices, and finish the last of my side work. I pull out the tiny funnels and the big buckets of salt and pepper to do the most boring sand art ever. Thatís my life. Boring, painful, and thanks to the bypass and circumstance, cut off from the rest of the world. I can hear my cousin Harry singing in the kitchen, and I know heís mopping up. He always sings while he mops. Humming along with him at the end of a shift makes me feel like a part of something. Not a family exactly, but something. I wouldnít have this job if it werenít for him. Not that heíd done much other than tell Jimmy I needed work. Sometimes not much is all it takes to make a difference. Fifteen more minutes and heíll haul the trash out to the dumpster and lock the back door behind him. If I time it right, we can leave together. I poke my head through the window where he sets the orders as theyíre finished. ìCan you give me a ride home tonight?î ìI donít know, Star. Iíve got stops to make.î He twitches and wipes sweat from his neck with a bandanna before swishing dirty water over the floor again. Like I donít know about his stops late at night? Probably to see the same people that sometimes pop into the diner, also twitching and sweating. Looking for pills or meth. Iím not sure. I donít even really care as long as I donít have to walk home alone in the dark. ìButóî Harry spins around with the mop like heís twirling a lover and bumps the prep table. Three beer bottles crash to the floor, and I notice a fourth is clutched in his hand along with the mop handle. I decide not to argue with his weak excuse or to remind him weíre familyóno matter how distant. Itís not worth it. ìThatís okay, Harry. I can walk just fine.î Sure I can. Itís only fifteen minutes to get home. I hobble back to my shakers. A bark of laughter, deep and rough, startles me from behind, and my first thought is son of a bitch because if thatís a new customer wanting dinner, all my fifteen-minute plans have turned into an hour at least. ìLooks like youíve got a little hitch in your giddyup, sweetheart. Why donít you bring me a menu and come sit on my lap?î I whirl around to tell him right where he can put a damn menu, and my breath catches. I canít process all of him at once. Heís that big. He is scruff and muscle and a white T-shirt tucked into dusty jeans. He looks weathered and road weary, like most of Jimmyís clientele, butÖmore. Everything about him is intense. His knife-blade cheekbones. His heavy brows. His blue eyes flash icy heat, and some animal instinct tells me this man isnít looking for sass, that if he finds it, he might do something about it, something I wonít like at all. Heís made himself comfortable in the booth with his leather jacket tossed on the opposite side along with a sleek black helmet. Iím pretty sure thereís a motorcycle parked out front now to match his accessories. If only Iíd heard the rev of an engine and the spray of gravel, but I was too busy humming and watching the clock. A warning wouldíve been nice. I might have locked the door a few minutes early, even if it did mean Jimmy would dock my pay. No. I wouldnít have locked a customer out. But Iíd have braced myself better. His hands are massive and flat on the tabletop. Tattoos crisscross his blunt knuckles, the ink broken by spidery scars. It takes my brain precious seconds to decipher the blue-black loops and whirls as letters. Itís like heís put them there for inspection. But not the ìclean enough for supper, maíam?î kind of inspection, the ìhow much damage do you think these can do?î kind. A lot of damage. Thatís the answer. A lot. Those are knuckles that have been through walls and windows. Flesh and bone. I want to say weíre closed, but Jimmyíd can my ass for turning away a paying customer. I want to run back to the kitchen and get Harry to tell him to take his business elsewhere, but Harry isnít any match for this man. And Iím frozen in place anyway. I canít peel my eyes away from his hands. I stare harder, and it hits me that the letters over his knuckles form words. Lost. Soul. Some fear inside me eases, because thatís almost romantic. Lost souls and lone wolves. Desperadoes. If he were really terrible, he wouldnít have to advertise. The truly dangerous men blend in. ìNot much of a talker, are you?î he says. I try for caustic, but the words slip out as half whispers. ìNot when I donít have anything to say.î He laughs again, only softer this time. More smug. ìI can respect that.î Him respecting anything about me seems like the most ridiculous thing yet. Even sillier than me standing here for long minutes without taking his order. My gaze drifts up his colorful forearms, across his chest, and over the hard pecs I can make out through thin cotton. His neck, corded with muscle and more ink, flexes under my scrutiny. Everything about him is hard, except for his mouth. His lips look soft. And pinker than they should be. A sensual mouth, curled into a smile that says I know everything youíre thinking, and yeah youíre exactly right. A smile that says test me, please. A smile that says Iím hungry and you look like cake. Fuck me. I want to be cake.

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Shari Slade is the USA Today bestselling author of sexy new adult, biker, and rock star romance. A would-be academic with big dreams and very little means. When she isn't toiling away in the non-profit sector, she's writing gritty stories about identity and people who make terrible choices in the name of love (or lust). Somehow, it all works out in the end. If she had a patronus it would be a platypus. Frequently found in a blanket fort, you can also find her on facebook and twitter. Sign up for her newsletter to stay up-to-date on new releases and to get free flash fiction in your inbox on Fridays. Join the RIDE ME HARD Release Day Party on facebook May 1st for freebies, games, and prizes from amazing authors like Skye Warren, Annika Martin, Meghan March, Clarissa Wild, Jenika Snow, Lex Martin, and MORE!

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