Author: Adriana Locke
Series: The Gibson Boys #2.5
Cover Designer: Kari March at www.karimarch.com
Release Date: Friday, May 25, 2018
5 Going Home CROWNS
Cross is reminiscent of the Landry series and book one of the Gibson Boys series. In a novella, Adriana Locke is able to capture the essence of home that readers have come to expect and love.
Cross is the type of hero if I have come to expect from this author. He is sexy with a side of sweet and a little gruff around the edges. He charms his way into your heart and makes you laugh at his antics. Readers will succumb to his charisma just as the heroine does.
Kallie is a little battered and bruised when she returns home, but when she returns to the town of Linton she begins to rediscover herself and opens her heart to the possibility of love. Just like the hero, she is charming, and while she has insecurities about her relationship with Cross, it is understandable based on their history. She gets it together though, and her vulnerability makes her more relatable.
Adriana Locke has created a story that allows a quick progression of the relationship between Cross and Kallie. Their background effectively establishes their previous relationship, creating authenticity to their feelings. Their chemistry, while not based solely on sexual attraction but emotion, solidifies that these two are more than two ships passing in the night. What they feel is real and their pain from the past and present is real. The conflict and resolution are quick but great for the plot and character development, and I love the ending she gives the characters.
I love going to back this world. Every single one of these men from The Gibson Boys series owns my heart, and I’m not sure I ever want to leave this world. This short trip just wasn’t enough.
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
Cross Jacobs was a screw-up.
Everyone knew it, especially him, and the point was hammered home when Kallie Welch drove herself right out of his life.
But, she’s back.
Seeing Cross wasn’t on Kallie’s to-do list. She didn’t think she could avoid him forever but trying never hurt anyone. One minute she’s standing by herself and the next she’s accosted by a rich, velvety scent that could only belong to one man: Cross.
At face value, he’s divine. All rugged and confident with a smile that melts her right where she’s standing. It doesn’t take long to find him to be charming, witty, and the owner of a few legitimate businesses. Not at all like the mischievous boy she left.
He laughs and her heart flutters. With a touch of his hand, she’s dizzy. She’s fairly certain she’s going to die when he pulls her into an embrace and touches his lips to her forehead.
It feels right. It feels so right.
But is it?
***Cross has been updated from the Team Player Anthology
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“Where have you been in that thing?” Machlan shouts.
The roar of his muscle car’s engine winds down and he clicks the transmission into park. The purplish-black paint shines in the early afternoon sun.
Having just backed out of a parking spot onto Main Street, I check my rearview mirror. No one is coming. “Bluebird Hill,” I tell him. “After all that rain last night, I figured I’d test the new tires Walker put on my truck last week.”
“You’re a fuckin’ kid.” He laughs.
“Says the man driving that,” I tease, pointing at his ride.
“I’m not sure what your point is. This car is the baddest thing in town.” He punches the gas, the motor roaring like a banshee.
Glancing around at Doc Burns’ office with two cars in the parking lot and the Linton County History Museum across the street that only opens for the Water Festival once a year, I grin. “That’s not saying much.”
“Go to Hell.” His hand slips through his dark hair and over his chin. The amusement in his features evaporates as I watch … and cringe.
I know this look. I know all of his looks, actually, a by-product of being his best friend as long as I can remember. Many of them concern me and a lot of them worry me. But this one? It’s a flashing red sign with Vegas-inspired lights.
The thing is, I can’t just ignore it. When this look comes, so does the topic of my sister and, even though I love the both of them, I wouldn’t mind seeing them in a padded room until they fix whatever it is between them that is so broken.
With a sigh, I jam my truck into park too. “Yes,” I say, answering the question he’s yet to ask. “Hadley called and isn’t coming home this weekend. She said maybe next week.”
His jaw works back and forth as he stares down the street. “Why?”
That single word is spit with a lifetime of emotion. Machlan has loved my sister since the day she moved to Linton with our father and me when our mother died. She was fourteen and innocent and he was fifteen and infatuated. Through the years, they were off and on and together and not—at least officially. Everyone knew Machlan and Hadley were one and the same.
I’m not sure why she moved away from here. Being both her brother and his best friend precluded me from certain information, which is for the best. They both drive me nuts without having the details.
“Not sure,” I reply. “She left a voicemail last night saying she wouldn’t be home today. She didn’t pick up when I called her back.”
He flips his gaze to me. “You didn’t talk to her after that?”
“She’s a big girl, Mach,” I mock. “I’m sure she had shit to do.”
“Yeah.” His fingers regrip the steering wheel as his jaw goes back to work again.
“I’m gonna go wash this before I head back to the gym—”
“She’s all right, though. Right?” he interrupts. His face is stone-cold sober. “I mean …”
He waits. Blinks. Re-grips the wheel again. “That’s it?”
Popping my truck into drive, I blow out a breath. “Yeah, that’s it. You want to know more? Call her. What a fucking amazing concept.”
“Yeah. I’ll get right on that,” he snips back.
“You should. Then you could quit this whole thing.”
“Got nothin’ to quit, man. Just being a decent guy.”
A decent guy. It’s my turn to turn my knuckles white on the steering wheel.
Machlan isn’t a decent guy. He’s a fucking great one … much better than the guy Hadley is seeing now. A guy I haven’t mentioned to Mach since I got home a couple of weeks ago from visiting her. I’m not mentioning him, either. I’ll save the boyfriend an ER bill and myself the bail money.
I can’t blame him. It has to be hard to see Hadley with another guy when, in Machlan’s mind, she’s his girl.
My stomach twists like it always does when my mind goes down this road. At least my girl didn’t bring other guys back with her. Hell, she didn’t even come back at all.
“Here comes Kip,” Machlan says, bringing me out of my reverie. Nodding toward the road in front of him, he laughs. “I’m not moving.”
I twist in my seat to see the sheriff coming toward us. He blares the siren twice as if to get us to move. We don’t.
Machlan pokes his head out of the window. “Need somethin’?” he shouts.
Laughing, I watch Kip’s car slide carefully between Machlan’s and the curb on the other side.
“You can’t park in the street!” Kip yells.
“What are ya gonna do about it?” I holler.
“Take ya both in.”
“Don’t you have somewhere to be?” Machlan asks. “Someone to protect and serve? Or service, if I know you?”
Kip shakes his head as Machlan flips him the bird. The sirens come on again before Kip hits the gas and speeds off down the street and vanishes over the hill.
When I look back at Machlan, his attention is on his phone.
“What?” I ask, curious about the smile on his face.
He looks at me and laughs. Sticking the phone in the cup holder, he shrugs. “Nothing. But can you do me a favor?”
“I need help moving a couple of things at Crave. Come help me. Just for a few.”
“What’s in it for me?” I ask.
Throwing the truck in neutral, I rev the engine. It barely sounds before his is screaming over top of mine and we jet off in opposite directions. I get to a stop sign at the end of the street and do a quick one-eighty to head to Crave.
This is one mistake Sienna Landry can’t buy her way out of.
As Walker Gibson looks at her, then at the damage to his precious truck (that she may or may not have accidentally inflicted), she knows she’s in trouble. It’s not the busted headlight and dented grill that’s sunk her though. It’s the downright sinful man in front of her that’s the problem.
The small town mechanic is broody. Rough. Smells like engine grease and gasoline and Sienna isn’t sure why that’s so sexy, but it is. It so is. She’s ready to peel off her panties at the drop of his wrench.
He wants her too. She can feel it when he brushes against her. Experience it as he presses her against the wall of the shop. It’s thinly veiled in his deep, brown eyes when he looks at her like she’s everything he’s ever wanted. So why won’t he give in?
The damage to Walker’s truck is the first of many mistakes between the two of them, ending with truths that rock Sienna’s world. Nothing can fix her broken heart except the love of a man that won’t, maybe even can’t, love her back.
Crank is a standalone romance in a new small town, blue-collar series from USA Today bestselling author Adriana Locke. Join readers everywhere as they fall in love with the delicious Gibson Boys.
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They’re not quite enemies. Not really friends. More like frustrated balls of sexual tension and neither will give in.
Lance Gibson drives Mariah Malarkey absolutely crazy. He uses her office like a phone booth, takes cupcakes from the corner of her desk like she baked them just for him. She didn’t. Maybe she knew the history teacher happened to love peanut butter icing, but that was purely a coincidence. All sixteen times.
Mariah has a way of getting under Lance’s skin too. She calls him out on his crap, spoils him even if inadvertently, and seeing the librarian in skirts drives him wild. She won’t give in. It’s for the best, really, considering there’s no way he could lie to a woman like that and he’s not about to tell her the truth about himself. Not in a million years.
These two don’t hate each other. They don’t really like each other. But for this to be a friends-to-lovers story, they have to start somewhere, right?
Note: This can be read as a standalone novel.
Will be available in Kindle Unlimited.
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About the Author:
USA Today Bestselling author Adriana Locke lives and breathes books. After years of slightly obsessive relationships with the flawed bad boys created by other authors, Adriana has created her own.
She resides in the Midwest with her husband, sons, and two dogs. She spends a large amount of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. You can find her outside if the weather’s nice and there’s always a piece of candy in her pocket.
For sneak peeks, giveaways, and more, please join Adriana’s Facebook Group, Books by Adriana Locke, or her Goodreads group, All Locked Up.
Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/BBALGroup
Goodreads Group: http://bit.ly/AllLockedUp