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SERIES: Heatwave #9
TROPES: Return to Hometown, Grumpy Sunshine, Alpha Protective Hero, Troubled Past
Dylan Walsh left his small town behind and vowed to never return. But when his brother needs help, Dylan steps back into the memories he tried so hard to forget. He thought there was nothing there for him anymore until a woman he knew as a little girl catches more than Dylan’s eye.
Rosie Gallo is known for her kind spirit, good-girl vibes, and her loyalty to the ones she loves. She’s spent her entire life avoiding the Walshes, knowing her father’s distaste for the family. But when Rosie’s ditched during a disastrous date, it’s a Walsh who puts a smile back on her face.
The attraction is easy, but the complications are many.
Can Dylan prove that he is more than his troubled past? Or is he as bad as the good girl next door always believed him to be?
Signed copy of Ashes, Men of Inked Heatwave # 9, by Chelle Bliss.
All books are not personalized unless requested otherwise in the notes section during checkout.
SERIES READING ORDER
SERIES READING ORDER
Every person has a breaking point. Some people snap immediately, while others take years before they inevitably lose it.
I had put up with my father’s shit for eighteen years, breaking a long
time ago but resigning myself to my age and the limitations that placed
on me and my ability to truly know freedom.
But for the last two years, I’d saved every penny I made, buying a bike and formulating a plan.
I am getting out.
I’ve had enough.
No longer will I continue to be his punching bag, taking the blame for all the wrongs in his life.
“Come with me,” I say to my brother Ian as I jam everything I can into a backpack. “Don’t stay here.”
“I can’t just leave,” he says, sitting on the edge of my bed. “You shouldn’t either.”
“I can’t do it anymore. I refuse to let this be my life.
” His gaze drops to the black eye I’m sporting thanks to my father’s drunken tirade last night.
“Where will you go?”
“Don’t care, as long as it’s not here. Last chance to join me…
” Ian stands, following me to the front door and outside, but he doesn’t grab his things. “I can’t. This is home.”
“This isn’t a home, Ian. Life isn’t supposed to be like this. He’s not supposed to be like this.”
“He said he’ll get help,” Ian tells me, sounding hopeful, even though
there’s no chance my father will get sober or change his ways.
I lift the backpack over my shoulder and stare at my brother as I stand
next to my bike. “He always says that until he has another drink.”
Ian kicks at the dirt near his feet. “Maybe this time will be different.”
“It’s never different. I want you to come with me. Don’t stay here.”
“I can’t just leave everyone behind.”
I shake my head, wishing I could talk sense into my brother. “No one
cares about us. Callum, Finn, Sean, Nevin, and Quinn don’t give a fuck
what happens to you or me. Everyone’s out for themselves. Don’t be stupid.”
“I’m not stupid, but I’m not a quitter. You may be willing to leave us behind, but I can’t throw away my brothers as easily as you can.”
“I’m no use to them if I’m dead,” I tell him.
His face hardens as he lifts his chin, glaring at me. “If you leave, we
might as well be to you. You hit that road, don’t ever come back.”
I take a deep breath, feeling the weight of his words. “Didn’t plan on it, brother. Once I’m gone, I’m gone for good.”
“You’re an a**hole,” he bites out, looking at me with so much hatred. His mood has just shifted as quickly as our father’s does after his first drink. Ian’s just a kid, filled with so many hormones and emotions he doesn’t understand.
I climb on my bike, ready to go, knowing I can’t change how he feels and finally resigning myself to that fact. “I may be, but I’m going to be an alive asshole, living in peace without being someone’s punching bag.”
“Just go,” Ian says, swiping his arm through the air. “I hope you find whatever you think is out there that’s so much better.”
“Ian, you deserve better too.” “Fuck off,” he bites out and turns to face me before he makes it to the front door. “I hate you.”
His words sting, but I’ve made my decision. No matter how much he hates me now, hopefully someday he’ll understand why I have to go.
He’ll have a breaking point too, and when he does, I hope he’ll remember this moment and it’ll finally hit him why I left and how it had nothing to do with him.
I walk my bike backward, ready to hit the road, when a loud giggle draws my attention.
The three girls next door are running around in the yard as their mother sits on a blanket, watching them closely. The oldest kid throws herself into her mother’s arms, looking as if the world revolves around the woman.
An ache deep in my chest is hard to ignore as I watch the happy, perfect family for the last time. Their lives aren’t filled with fists and hateful words. They walk in the clouds, not touched by the cold, harsh reality of everyday life.
One of the twins stops moving as soon as I start the engine. She looks my way, waving with a sweet smile on her face.
I curl my lip, jealous of her happy little life and perfect world she
doesn’t even know she has. She’s a lucky little shit for it, too.
“Rosie, baby, come here,” her mother calls, and for a moment, Rosie doesn’t move.
She stares at me, her smile falling as I gun the engine and take off down the driveway for the last time. Her tiny feet move through the grass, chasing me as I drive past the fence.
She’s running toward me, and I’m running away.
I’ll never step foot back in this town as long as I can help it.
I am done being my father’s bitch while faced with the constant reminder of what I don’t and never will have by the happy family next door.
I don’t look back as my wheels touch the road, leaving my past where it belongs…behind me.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chelle Bliss has dedicated her life to education.She has been a teacher for over ten years and holds a Master of Education degree. Teaching has given her a creative outlet, but she yearned for something more. Writing has given her that, no longer about
just creativity, it became a journey.
Chelle is an avid reader; consuming contemporary romance, dark reads, young adult, and all things erotica. Chelle wanted to create a book filled with characters that readers could relate to with real world problems and matching wallets.
Chelle loves to travel and her favorite cities are New Orleans and Paris. She currently lives in Ohio.