on September 9, 2015
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Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Source: ARC via author
Twelve years ago Tucker McCoy walked away from the hell that was his family with not much more than the shirt on his back. No regrets. Never once looking back.
Living his life as a roustabout turned stunt rider with a traveling carnival keeps a smile on his face. His new family are the people he’s chosen to be in his life, the people who travel his road. Kes, Zach and Zef don’t share his blood, but they share his hopes and dreams. Understand his fears and know what makes him tick. They’re his brothers, his real family.
If you keep moving, no one can catch you—it’s a simple rule. So when Tucker crosses paths with Tera Hawkins, he knows he should move on. There’s no woman that’s ever been worth breaking his rules for. Besides, she’s off limits, untouchable. He knows stronger men would walk away, but dammit, he’s always been weak.
All he can offer her is a night she’ll never forget, but will that one taste be enough?
* * * * *
'Roustabout' is the third book in the Traveling Series. Although you will meet characters from the first two books, this is a standalone story featuring one-third of Hawkins’ Daredevil stunt riders, Tucker McCoy.
“My, it’s warm in here,” she said, holding the chilled bottle against her neck.
I was mesmerized as droplets of water rolled down her chest, disappearing into the deep vee of her t-shirt. And she knew it, the witch, a small, cat-like smile tugging at the corners of her mouth as I yanked my thoughts out of the gutter.
A minute later she was moaning and groaning again, rolling that damn bottle over her throat before taking a long swallow.
It was getting harder to remember why I couldn’t have this woman. Yeah, and that wasn’t the only thing that was getting hard.
“It’s late,” I said, nodding at the streetlights outside.
As if we needed them to know that twilight had come and gone, and stars were sparkling in the sky like fireflies.
“I’ll walk you back,” I said decisively, standing to make my point.
Tera grinned up at me, her eyes a little unfocused. “All the way across the parking lot? What a gentleman!”
Then she leaned forward, her elbows resting on the table, giving me the money-shot view down her t-shirt.
God had given her beautiful tits—she could make a sucker out of me any time.
My eyes darted up to hers when she spoke again.
Damn, she could make jogging a spectator sport.
“Tucker, I like you, and I can tell you like me. We’re both single. I’m not asking you for a commitment—let’s just see how this goes.”
I sat down heavily. She was so damn fearless—just like Kes.
“TC, it’s not a good idea.”
She rounded the table and sat next to me, her thigh pressed to mine, leaning her head against my shoulder so her silky hair tickled my cheek.
So damn soft.
I could feel the heat of her skin burning through my t-shirt and my dick swelled, trapped sideways, the seam pressing painfully. I’d had a chubbie all evening, but now it was trying to climb through the denim.
“I think it’s the best idea I’ve ever had,” she said, her voice quiet but clear.
“You didn’t think that at the bonfire last spring,” I reminded her. “You walked away from me then. Why aren’t you walking away from me now?”
I waited, but that seemed to be all the answer I was getting.
“Because what?” I prompted her.
“Because … because that’s what I’ve been taught to do. I’m supposed to wait for the right guy, then marry him and give up my career to make perfect little babies that my dad can kiss on his campaign trail.”
“Doesn’t sound so bad,” I hedged.
She shook her head fiercely.
“No, it doesn’t, but it’s not me either. I’ve met a lot of right men,” and she rolled her eyes, “but it seems as if it’s the wrong man that I’m attracted to. There’s something there, something between us.” Then she smiled brightly. “And I haven’t gotten laid in ages.”
My head dropped into my hands.
“You can’t say that to a guy!” I groaned.
Her arms wrapped around my neck, pulling my head down with a fierceness that surprised me. Her pink lips flattened against mine, demanding, insisting, until her tongue was in my mouth.
Stronger men couldn’t have resisted her, and dammit, I’d always been weak.
“No, in the carnival a roustabout is a jack-of-all-trades, a laborer. Doing whatever needs doing.”
This book was very good. I fell in love earlier this year with Kes and Aimee’s story. It was magical! So to be able to continue living in that world with this new stand-alone has me giddy. Roustabout is Tucker McCoy’s story. He is Kes’s best friend and fellow stunt rider in the Hawkins Daredevils traveling show.
Roustabout is written from dual POVs (Tucker and Tera’s). I really connected with both characters, but I really, really connected with Tucker. Honestly, I can’t remember ever connecting with a male character on such a deep level. The credit is due to the author for reaching into the heart of a man like Tucker and being able to express and bring his character to life on paper.
‘I hadn’t expected to find Tucker McCoy so intriguing. Damn.’
In the first two Traveling books the main setting was the carnival. The carnival is still a big focus in this book, but we also get to spend a good amount of time learning about Tucker’s roots. He had a very difficult upbringing. The author did a great job of showing that to the readers and letting us see what has made Tucker the man he is today.
‘Stronger men couldn’t have resisted her, and dammit, I’d always been weak.’
Jane Harvey-Berrick is an “it” author for me this year. She consistently produces great work that raises the bar for other writers in the contemporary romance genre. Roustabout was just another example because I was sucked into the story from page one. If you’re looking for terrific storytelling, unique settings, and relatable, flawed characters then I definitely recommend giving this book/series a shot.
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