Will her past destroy her future? Is she strong enough to find love despite it?

New-in-town mechanic Betty Miller gets a taste of love at first sight with customer Reed Parker while patching him up after a small motorcycle accident. With every token and moment of his passionate essence she collects, she tries to give him something back: anonymous notes, fixed fire alarms, even an edited manuscript, once she manages to hack into his computer.

As the people of West Ridge and Reed’s motorcycle club catch on to their bizarre mating ritual, Betty’s fears rise that she’ll be ostracized and forced to abandon her business and her heart in the town that’s captured it. The closer she gets to Reed, the more she realizes that he has his own dark secrets to keep. Everything in their obsessive relationship has a trade-off and Betty’s almost desperate enough to pay it.

This is book one in Rattler Romance but can be enjoyed independently.

Publisher’s Note: This contemporary romance has elements of past trauma, future love, sensual scenes, adult themes, power exchange and a guaranteed HEA. If any of these offend you, please do not purchase.

Excerpt

My voice faded. “Stay.” His gaze flickered to my lips. “Please? You should stay.”

Looking pained, Reed shifted into the doorway, slowly moving towards me.

We were still safe.

Without reason or preamble, we shifted into an embrace. I cupped the back of his neck while he pushed at the seam between my shirt and shorts so he could touch my bare skin.

“I just want to…” He trailed off, murmuring into my hair.

“It’s okay. You can touch me.” I kissed his jaw in encouragement, needing to make him happy. “I want you to touch me.”

Still in each other’s arms, his chest flush against mine, we closed and locked the door, swaying softly to the rhythm of our song. It wasn’t playing. But I heard it, nonetheless.

His hands started moving, absently pushing my clothes off as he rubbed my skin. I moaned happily into his neck, pressing my smile into his skin.

He wanted me.

“God, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t—” His eyes squeezed shut, but he didn’t stop touching me. It was like if he couldn’t see it, he thought he could stop himself.

“Hey. Hey, it’s just me, Reedsy. You’re not gonna hurt me, right?”

His eyes flashed open and he nearly pushed me with his intensity. “I could hurt you, Betts. That’s the problem.”

“I’m not even a little worried about that possibility.” “Maybe you should be. Being with me—it might not just be me, it’s my whole fucking life. This town. The Rattlers. The… madness that follows me.”

Author Interview with Evie Bennet

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

As a kid, I thrived on story time and trips to the theater, stars in my eyes, heart wide open. I always wanted to celebrate stories, whether I was crafting them or taking them in. I used to go to the “B” section in the library to figure out where my books would go and who my neighbors would be. At a young age, I wasn’t wandering around the romance aisle much, but I did love looking at those covers, and as I grew older I got brave enough to delve between those pages. It’s a dream come true to be publishing with Blushing Books.

Do you like to listen to music while you write? If so, what kind?

It depends on the project because I like to have a mood. For “We Belong,” the main character loves Pat Benatar so I listened to a lot of that to get into her headspace and then slowly edged into covers like Dauzat St Marie’s duet version of “We Belong,” which got a whopping 172 plays in iTunes during the writing process. Something about having a male and female harmonize that lovely song got to me.

Do you like to outline or just dive right in when writing?

A dangerous mix, I’m afraid. Usually, when I start writing, it’s because a scene emerges from the murky madness of my brain with almost feverish intensity. I write that out, figure out the context, and if I want to follow that thread, I go a little further until I realize there are multiple paths the story could go. Then, I try to do an outline, which ends up being more of a suggestion because my characters take me unexpected places on occasion.

What do you like to collect?

I tend to keep cards and letters from my friends and family. It’s a wonderful form of procrastination combined with nostalgia whenever I start rifling through those memories. It’s so rare we see handwriting anymore, so it feels even more personal.

Do you have any hobbies?

Besides reading and writing incessantly? I enjoy kayaking and salsa dancing, but during the colder months I tend to play and design games. That can mean anything from visual novels to digital platformers, tabletop games, and RPGs. My husband got me a special set of dice for our first D&D campaign together. So far our characters haven’t hooked up, which is a shame, in my opinion. Maybe the next campaign!

If your mood was a song right now, what would be playing?

Probably something embarrassing like “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” by Rod Stewart because I’m nervous about my first impression and crave feedback on my work while needing to pump people up about it. The song is used for a humorous man-primping montage in a movie from my youth so it puts me in a good mood. I even got to see Rod Stewart perform it live once and it was a hilariously wonderful experience where he showed a clip from Rolling Stone saying he hoped he wouldn’t be in his 50’s still trying to sing that song and he totally rocked it.

What was the hardest part about writing “We Belong”?

Balancing the truth of the characters’ motivations with the tension was a delicate, terrifying act, especially with an obsessive romance. Some of the main characters’ impulses came out of love and others out of fear, but I really wanted it to be clear they would leave each other alone if one ever indicated that’s what the other wanted. There had to be boundaries but the characters seemed eager to cross them in their passion, so thankfully, I was able to get perspective from other people to be more delicate about their devotion with a trope I love in fiction. I hope other people enjoy it with that lens, as well, and understand I do not support nor condone stalking people in real life. These characters certainly found a way to have fun with it, though!

Note from the Author

Include a note from the author. Talk about what made you desire to write this book. What inspired you? Is there some reason why you chose to write this story specifically? Did you learn anything interesting while writing this book?

Most of the time, when I write, there’s a scene that emerges in my mindscape. For We Belong, it was this:

A new mechanic with big eyes and grease smudges on her wrists falls quiet as a wounded, striking biker approaches. They stare at each other, pulling out of their shells just enough to engage in some cautious flirting. Music plays as longing rumbles through their veins. He’s used to judging people and having them judge him, but she surprises him with her quiet admiration, so he gives her enough encouragement to come to him. Despite her best attempts at self-restraint, she can’t stay away.

Woo! That was the gateway to madness.

Honestly, I wanted to see a female mechanic and stalker to play with some tropes I enjoyed in fiction and didn’t see very often. If they were both off-center in a way that worked together, I was happy to root for them and experiment with how that happened. As an erotica and romance supporter, I identified with their deep passion, fear of rejection, and occasional self-imposed isolation for wanting to feel something intimate and not being sure if it was safe to share that vulnerability. Maybe it’s not. But I like to think that with the right people, it can be, and I hope this story helps readers feel that sense of camaraderie between the residents of West Ridge.

Five Fun Facts  

  1. I love tea, but I drink plain hot water more than anything because I like the way it feels, it’s easy to carry around, and I don’t have to worry about staining my teeth.
  2. After working stage crew for years, I knew I could never sit through a graduation ceremony without being able to read the whole time and get paid while doing it, so I have not walked the stage that way since Junior High, when they played us off to Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train.”
  3. Despite by best efforts with Wii dance games, I am an awkward mover, but I can definitely follow a lead! My husband waltzes around the living room with me. Even if I’m in my pajamas, it makes me feel like I’m fancy and free.
  4. Spinning, ground-level attractions like the tilt-a-whirl and teacups are my favorite. I usually giggle uncontrollably until the swooshy feeling fades. Roller coasters, though? No, thanks. I’ve tried a whole bunch and the clicks of anticipation while going up give me teeth-gritting anxiety to the point I can’t even get through a lot of log rides without white-knuckling the seat.
  5. I alternate reading romance with horror so I can go on very different engaging, emotional journeys. When I feel like combining the two, I usually opt for a fairy tale because there are some freaky and wonderful things in those stories!