Genre: Contemporary Romance
fighting for her future. Can she show this bad boy the man he’s meant to be?
Salvador Rosas. Back in the barrio,
my past is written on the walls: ESHB.
Short for East Side Hollenbeck, my father’s gang—my gang. Hell, it’s a family
tradition, one that sent both my brothers away. They used to call me “Ghost”
because I haunted people’s dreams. Now I’ve got nothing going for me except a
hipster gringo mentoring me in a new career. An ex-con making craft beer? No mames.
Still, people in this neighborhood look out for one another. That’s how I
became Vanessa Velasco’s unwelcome tenant. Chiquita
pero picosa. She’s little, but with curves so sweet they’re dangerous. I
remember Vanessa from the old days, the straight-A student with big plans.
Plans that were derailed by another kid stupid enough to think he was
bulletproof. Now Vanessa knows better than to believe in empty promises.
There’s fire in her . . . and if I touch her, I might get burned.
I’m trying everything I can to go straight. But when East Side Hollenbeck comes
calling, I might have to risk it all to find out if there’s a future for
Vanessa and me. Because she’s the only one who can quench my thirst for
starts with a burst of music like a jack-in-the-box. We glide backward and over
a couple of times. The Ferris wheel stops to let other passengers on. At the
very top, our carriage swings back and forth before it goes still.
see my neighborhood from a different viewpoint, high above. The lights of the
carnival are bright and beautiful. The smells of tacos, hot dogs, and popcorn
fill my nose. People pack the church parking lot. Cars line the street, and in
the surrounding houses, lights in the windows show where families are talking
or watching TV or having dinner.
you doing?” I ask.
looking at the same things I am. I wonder if she is seeing the same details. I
stroke her hair and take another risk. “So what do you think?”
something with me?”
deep breath but doesn’t say anything.
your doubts?” I say.
kidding?” She snorts. “You’re seriously asking me that?”
little. “Okay, well. Besides the obvious.”
your own life. I have mine. You’re trying to rebuild from the ground up. I’m
trying to secure my daughter’s future. We’re heading in different directions.”
wrong. Life has disappointed her in such deep and cruel ways, I don’t blame her
for protecting herself. But even as she tells me this—the truth about how we’re
not right for each other—I feel how right it is to talk to her, to hold her
hand, to show her who I am. “I have an idea,” I say. “Probation.”
around for two months, right?”
those two months with me.” I look into her eyes. “I want to be with you,
gone before I have a chance to disappoint you.” When the words leave my mouth,
I try to ignore how pathetic they sound. “We’re adults, not dumb kids. We won’t
lose our heads.” I run my fingers through her silky hair. “I swear to God,
every time I look at you, I feel . . .” I reach for the most honest word I can
writes lush romances starring fun, sexy characters who love to get down and
dirty. She’s a sucker for working class heroes, brainy heroines and
wisecracking best friends. She lives in Los Angeles with her roguish husband
and waggish dog.