When Manhattan chef, Jake Maxwell, walks into the Rock Bottom Bar and Grill, he’s hit with an overwhelming sense of belonging. It’s not the place that feels like home, but rather, the bombshell behind the bar armed with a quick wit and a fresh sharpie.
Ashlynn Hicks is fighting to keep a roof over her family’s head, even though her father’s addictions threaten to tear it all down. She knows better than to fall for the city boy’s charm, but something in his eyes provokes a dangerous feeling of hope.
Hope isn’t real, not for girls like her. It’s fleeting and leads to nothing except disappointment and heartache. Still, the pair is drawn together despite the ghosts of their pasts threatening to tear them apart or the devastation that leaves them staring down the barrel of a gun.
When shots are fired, they find out that while separate, they may be broken; together, they are bulletproof.
I frowned. “I can handle it.”
Chuckling, he shook his head. “You always this stubborn?”
I shrugged. “I work alone.”
He nodded. “Even Batman had help.”
I snorted. “What?”
“Batman. You know the Caped Crusader.”
“I know who Batman is.” I shook my head. This guy was nuts.
He shrugged and craned his neck up at the wall in front of us. “Batman had a sidekick.”
“Does that make you Robin in this scenario?”
He grinned. “If the tights fit.”
I shook my head. The conversation had veered off in a bizarre direction.
“Thanks, but you can hold onto your tights. I’m good.”
He chuckled the rich sound resonated from deep within his chest. “Well, if you need me, just send up the signal.” He started for the street.
“There’s no such thing as the Robin signal,” I said, my eyes never leaving the wall.
The crunch of his footfalls in the shell rock stopped, and I turned as a wicked grin spread wide across his face. Amusement flashed in his eyes, the colors swirling and molten. I swallowed as my skin tingled beneath his gaze. It was an involuntary biological reaction, nothing more.
“Guess you’ll have to pick up the phone.” His grin never faltered as he moved backward. “If only you had my number.” My lips twitched as a smile threated to spread across my face. He was ridiculous, a complete nut job, but for some unknown reason, I found it endearing.
Warning signs flashed in bright neon colors inside my brain, Danger up ahead. He was funny and kind of sweet, but also temporary. He’d finish his business here and be gone in a flash. I had a bar to run, a mural to paint, and a family to take care of. Dating wasn’t high on my list of priorities.
I tipped my head back to the wall and tried in vain to push Jake from my mind. I had work to do after all. I slipped on my gloves and began tugging at the thick vines clinging to the brick.
“Batman.” I chuckled and shook my head. What an idiot.
Samatha “Sam” Harris lives near Baltimore, Maryland with her husband David and daughter Ava. Born in Florida, she migrated north which most people agree was a little backwards. She has been an artist all of her life, a Tattoo Artist for more than ten years, and a storyteller since she was a kid.
Sam has a slightly unhealthy love for Frank Sinatra, classic movies, and Jazz and Blues music, but her first love will always be reading. From Romance, to Thrillers, to Historical Fiction and everything in between, she loves to become a part of the story. As a writer she tells the stories that she would want to read.