By: Autumn Jones Lake
Cover Design: Mayhem Cover Creations
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
Approx Word Count: 68,000
Genre: MC Romance
Forced to represent an outlaw biker, a married attorney must come to terms with her feelings for her client while avoiding the danger he brings into her sedate life.
President of the Lost Kings MC, Rochlan "Rock" North, hasn't managed to find a woman capable of making him want to curb his wild ways—until he meets sweet, innocent, married lawyer Hope Kendall.
Forced to represent the outlaw biker, Hope is rattled by her immediate attraction to Rock. Hope is a good girl in a good marriage. Rock thrills her, but she's not going to throw away everything she's built on a fling with her criminal client.
Rock respects Hope enough to leave her alone, even as he realizes he's become a little obsessed with her. When their connection endangers her life, he'll have to destroy her in order to save her.
After tragedy strikes, Rock is determined to earn Hope's forgiveness and convince her that even with their staggering differences, they're meant to be together
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"Attorney Kendall, could you stay and do an arraignment, please?" the judge asked off the record.
Her jaw dropped, and the color drained from her face. "Uh, I'm not a criminal attorney, your honor," she stammered.
"It's pretty simple. Mr. North's attorney got delayed. Don't make me appoint you," he teased.
"Well, um, just for the limited purpose of this arraignment?" she asked with a hopeful lilt to her voice.
The judge waved me over next to her. Her big eyes widened in shock as I lumbered over. I was mildly insulted. Had she really not noticed me the entire time I'd been sitting there?
"I can pay you," I whispered down to her.
She looked startled. "It's okay. What are we dealing with?"
I liked the way she said "we."
She gave me a blank stare.
"Marijuana. Got caught with a couple blunts." Acting on a bad tip from one of the club’s many enemies, the cops had been hoping to pin a whole hell of a lot more on me. This was why, instead of ignoring the weed like most cops did these days, I was standing here in shackles and the orange jumpsuit.
"Oh geez." She rolled her eyes. At me or the charge, I wasn't sure.
"Do you have a record?"
"About a mile long."
That stopped her. She stared up at me, searching my face for the truth. Apparently deciding no one would joke about that, she nodded her head.
"Can you post bail? Do you work? Have a family?"
"Yes, yes, and yes."
She didn't ask what kind of work. Or what kind of family for that matter.
"Your honor, I've had a chance to confer with my client."
"Very well. Let’s call it."
His clerk stood and read out, "The People of the State of New York versus Rochlan North." Look at that—the old gal even pronounced my first name right.
My girl looked up at me again. My manners were shit. I’d never bothered to introduce myself, I guess.
The judge slammed his gavel down. First time I’d heard him do it all morning. The sharp thwack broke the staring contest my pretty lawyer and I were engaged in.
"Do you wish to hear the reading of the charges, counselor?"
She hesitated for a minute, and the judge covered the microphone with his hand. "Usually the attorney waives the reading, Miss Kendall."
"I know, your honor. Thank you. Yes, I'll waive the reading. May I have a copy of the charges for my file, though?"
"Yes, of course. Do you wish to be heard on bail?"
"Yes, your honor. My client assures me he can pay a reasonable sum. He's a hard-working family man, so it would be in society's best interest to allow him to continue to work and provide for his family while he waits to address these false charges."
I'm proud to say I kept a straight face during all of that. She impressed me with her quick thinking, though. Criminal attorney or not, she was clever. I had a fondness for clever. Clever kept you alive.
Cute and smart. I should get arrested more often.
"Very well. Bail is set in the amount of five hundred dollars cash. If your client is able to post it now, he can be processed downstairs instead of going back to county."
She looked up at me and arched an eyebrow. I nodded and motioned my crew forward.
"That's acceptable. Thank you, your honor."
"Off the record," the judge said to the court reporter. He looked back up at my attorney. "See, that wasn't so hard, Miss Kendall." The judge's face lit up in a wolfish smile I didn't take kindly
to. Already in my head, I'd laid claim to this woman whose first name I didn't even know.
The sheriff came over and gripped my elbow.
"Can't you remove the restraints, now?" she asked the sheriff with wide, pleading eyes.
To say her request stunned me would be an understatement. No one had ever given a crap about my discomfort.
The sheriff did not look surprised. He answered her gently. "No counselor, not till he's posted the bail money. You can meet us downstairs." He nodded toward the guys standing behind the banister. "His posse can show you the way."
She hesitated, and I read the expression on her face loud and clear. She didn't want to follow my crew anywhere. In fact, she looked like she wanted to run away.
"Go ahead, I'll be fine." I appreciated that she'd given it a try. Sheriffs wouldn’t break protocol no matter how owl-eyed innocent she acted. It sure turned me on, though.
The following Monday, I found myself entering Crystal Ball at one o'clock in the afternoon. Nervous about this meeting, I'd taken a lot of care getting ready. I wore gray plaid dress pants with lines of teal shot through, and I paired a teal sweater set and teal patent-leather pumps with the outfit. I was covered from head to toe, more casual than wearing a suit, but still professional. To keep my look classy and make myself less attractive to Rock, I pulled my hair into a severe bun, pinning it at the back of my neck. I slipped on my glasses too. I really only needed the thick, black square-framed lenses for driving, but I thought they'd make me look more grown up. It still annoyed me that he'd thought I was so young. Not that I hadn't run into that problem before, but it always made me feel like I must come across as not very bright or good at what I did.
Walking into Crystal Ball made me incredibly self-conscious. I felt fat, frumpy, and old next to the sleek, glittered-up goddesses performing for the intimate afternoon crowd. Rock sat at the bar with his back to the stage, which surprised me. When our eyes met, he slid from his stool to greet me. He swept his gaze over me in a way that both pissed me off and turned my knees to jelly. Seconds of awkward silence stretched between us before he shifted back to the bar.
"Find Bricks and have him meet me in the office," he shouted over the pulsing music.
When he turned, focusing his searing gray eyes on me, I had to bite down on my lower lip to stop it from quivering. This attraction was getting ridiculous.
He held two bottles of water in one hand and motioned me toward the back of the club with the other. The uncomfortable warmth of his hand at the small of my back unnerved me as we maneuvered through the narrow hallway. We stopped at a door with no nameplate or signage to indicate what was inside. Rock withdrew a key from his pocket. Opening the door, he ushered me inside first, closing it behind us.
"You're really rocking the naughty librarian thing, Ms. Kendall."
Of all the things I expected he might say, that never crossed my mind.
He gestured to one of the chairs in front of the large oak desk before settling himself behind it. "Sit."
I sat, but I wasn't happy about it.
"This." He gestured to my hair, then trailed his finger in the air down lower. I shivered, imagining those fingers tracing over my body in the same way. He must have noticed because one corner of his mouth quirked up in a knowing smile. "This," he said again, "is hot."
"You've got a roomful of naked women out there, but cardigans and wool pants turn you on?" I winced at the words I'd chosen.
His sharp laughter echoed around us in the small room. "Yeah, doll. Though I'll admit the turtleneck is overkill."
I pursed my lips and looked down to my shoulder bag. Without speaking, I took out a fresh legal pad and my favorite pen. A knock sounded and Rock shouted, "Come in."
"Bricks, this is Hope Kendall. She's going to help you with your custody case."
I could understand how Bricks got his name. Built like the proverbial brick shit house, he was maybe an inch or two taller than me. Close-cropped dark hair, caramel skin, sparkling brown eyes, and a sensual mouth that probably made a lot of women happy. I slid my gaze south, checking out the ink on his forearm. Baby feet, names, dates. He lifted his lips in a sincere smile and held out his hand.
"Thanks for helping me out, Miss Kendall."
"No problem." I turned to Rock. "You need to leave."
The tension rose, and I realized speaking to him in that tone had been a mistake—but he had me so damn freaked out after his naughty librarian comment.
"To preserve confidentiality, I need to speak to him alone," I clarified, trying to save some of my dignity and possibly my life.
He pinned me with a hard stare. "The club is paying your fee."
Any lingering embarrassment faded as I met his challenging gaze. "Doesn't matter." I jabbed my pen in Bricks’s general direction. "He's my client."
Rock tilted his head to the side, studying me. I wondered if he kept a gun in this office, then decided that was a stupid question. Finally, he pushed his palms flat on the desk and stood.
He swept his hand through the air over his desk and bowed his head. "Please, use my desk."
Ignoring his mocking tone, I muttered, "Thank you."
I snuck around the opposite side, which made Rock smirk. Poor Bricks looked back and forth between us before finally taking a seat. When the door clicked closed, I started my consultation with my new client.
In addition to writing, Autumn runs her own business from home. A big fan of horror movies and spooky books, it wasn’t until recently she realized all the tales she writes need to include a hunky hero and a happily ever after.
When she’s not writing, she spends time listening to music, going to concerts, reading, acting, and collecting nail polish. While those things are fun, Autumn is happiest sitting in front of her computer into the wee hours of the night, weaving stories the characters in her head whisper to her.
She lives in Upstate New York with her husband and their three rescue dogs. She is actively involved with several dog rescue groups and her local RWA chapter.
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