Ride Me Hard by Shari Slade
Publication Date: May 1, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Synopsis:When a big scary biker shows up at Jimmy's Diner fifteen minutes before the end of my shift, covered in tattoos and looking at me like I'm on the menu, I should flip the open sign to closed. But I don't, because I'm too used to doing what I've been told. Too used to working and struggling and surviving to do anything different. A closed sign wouldn't stop him anyway. He's here to collect a debt. And I'm the only one left to pay.
Author's Note: Ride Me Hard is part one in the Devil's Host MC serial.
A bark of laughter, deep and rough, startles me from behind, and my first thought is son of a bitch because if that’s a new customer wanting dinner, all my fifteen-minute plans have turned into an hour at least.
“Looks like you’ve got a little hitch in your giddyup, sweetheart. Why don’t you bring me a menu and come sit on my lap?”
I whirl around to tell him right where he can put a damn menu, and my breath catches.
I can’t process all of him at once. He’s that big. He is scruff and muscle and a white T-shirt tucked into dusty jeans. He looks weathered and road weary, like most of Jimmy’s clientele, but…more. Everything about him is intense. His knife-blade cheekbones. His heavy brows.
His blue eyes flash icy heat, and some animal instinct tells me this man isn’t looking for sass, that if he finds it, he might do something about it, something I won’t like at all.
He’s made himself comfortable in the booth with his leather jacket tossed on the opposite side along with a sleek black helmet. I’m pretty sure there’s a motorcycle parked out front now to match his accessories. If only I’d heard the rev of an engine and the spray of gravel, but I was too busy humming and watching the clock. A warning would’ve been nice. I might have locked the door a few minutes early, even if it did mean Jimmy would dock my pay.
No. I wouldn’t have locked a customer out. But I’d have braced myself better.
His hands are massive and flat on the tabletop. Tattoos crisscross his blunt knuckles, the ink broken by spidery scars. It takes my brain precious seconds to decipher the blue-black loops and whirls as letters.
It’s like he’s put them there for inspection. But not the “clean enough for supper, ma’am?” kind of inspection, the “how much damage do you think these can do?” kind.
A lot of damage. That’s the answer. A lot. Those are knuckles that have been through walls and windows. Flesh and bone.
I want to say we’re closed, but Jimmy’d can my ass for turning away a paying customer. I want to run back to the kitchen and get Harry to tell him to take his business elsewhere, but Harry isn’t any match for this man. And I’m frozen in place anyway. I can’t peel my eyes away from his hands.
I stare harder, and it hits me that the letters over his knuckles form words.
***Nona's review of Ride Me Hard by Shari Slade***
Star's life is going nowhere. She works in a crummy diner and is barely getting by. She's not even sure she'll be able to pay the rent due on her rattrap little apartment. But life goes from bad goes to worse one night when Noah, a big tough tattooed biker enters the diner looking for Harry, who owes Noah's biker buddies money. When Harry sneaks out the back door, Star's the only one left to deal with Noah. And he might just decide to make Star pay off the debt…
Ride Me Hard is a short read that provides an intro to the author's Devil's Host MC series. Star's a survivor whose tough life made me sympathize with her. Noah is a hard alpha male who wants dirty sex with Star and makes her want it too. She's turned on by him but also a little afraid of him. He's a bad guy, but there's good in him, too—when he lets it show. When he and Star hit the sheets, he makes it clear that he's in charge, and she likes it that way. The story is gritty and raw, with a thread of dubious consent. By the end of the tale, I was hooked into wanting to know what will happen to these two characters. Star may be in for a world of trouble, but I got the feeling that Noah will be beside her, protecting her as best he can. If you enjoy dark, gritty stories featuring anti-heroes and lots of hot sex you'll find plenty to like in Ride Me Hard.