Subgenre: Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense, Bikers
Book One in The Wild Riders Series
He's a Harley-riding ex-thief working undercover for the government. She's a gun-toting ex-socialite hired to protect a valuable museum exhibit. But in her attempt to stop a heist, she never anticipated having her breath and her heart stolen...
Mac Canfield was the last man Lily West expected to see again, never mind aim her gun at. But here he was, the bad boy who'd broken her heart years ago-still a thief, this time high-jacking a priceless artifact—and it was all she could do to push aside the memories of how it felt to have his perfectly chiseled body next to hers.
Mac was no less shocked to see the beautiful girl-next-door all grown up, threatening to shoot him on the spot. Little did she know she was blowing his cover-and now he had to figure out how to get her out of harm's way without succumbing to his crazy desire to take her on a hot trip down memory lane.
Unfortunately, Lily has no intention of going anywhere with Mac. Which means he has to resort to kidnapping. Unless, of course, she agrees to let him take her for the kind of ride destined to drive them both unbelievably wild.
(posted December 2008)
"Burton delivers it all in this hot story - strong characters, an exhilarating plot and scorching sex - and it all moves at a breakneck pace. Forget about a cool glass of water, break out the ice! You'll be drawn so fully into her characters' world that you won't want to return to your own. Each page will leave you panting for more."
— RT BOOKReviews, Top
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"A wild ride is exactly what you'll get with this steamy romantic caper. Jaci Burton's Riding Wild is true to its title. This sexy and sizzling hot story will leave you breathless and wanting more. Especially if more includes Mac's yummy and gorgeous friends."
Mandy Burns, Fresh Fiction
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"Yum. Yum yum yum! He's a Harley-riding ex-thief. She's a gun-toting ex-socialite. Laced with adventure, great dialogue and writing, this is a cross between Tara Janzen, Nora Roberts and Lucy Monroe – just add incendiary sex!"
— Rendezvous Books
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"Riding Wild is definitely one wild ride! From cover to cover I was enthralled with the plot, the emotions, and the sensuality. Jaci Burton's ability to write dominant bad boys makes me sweat. I have one wish – I am craving in the worst way for the rest of the Wild Riders to have their own stories. Might I volunteer the heroine Talia?"
— Talia, Joyfully Reviewed
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"You were a cop?" His eyes widened.
"That's not what we're talking about. We're discussing your macho show of over protectiveness back there."
"I was trying to prevent you from being shot."
"I didn't need your help."
Ignoring her outburst, he unzipped his jacket and slowly started peeling it off his shoulders, as if he wasn't paying the slightest bit of attention to her.
"Are you listening to me at all, Mac? Are you hearing what I'm saying? I am competent, goddamit. I am not some air headed idiot who needed protecting. And where's the vial?"
Once he had the jacket off, she zeroed in on the dark stain on his arm and a river of blood pouring off the ends of his fingers. Any anger she felt dissipated in a rush of panic and concern.
"Oh. shit. You were shot?" She rushed over and began to pull up his shirt.
"I'm fine," he said, but he didn't try to stop her.
"Bullet just grazed me."
Her gaze rocketed to his. "Oh, and you're some kind of psychic doctor, I suppose. How do you know?"
He shrugged. "I've been shot a few times. I know."
She shuddered at the thought. "Spare me the details. Let's get this shirt off." She drew the shirt over his head, then peeled it gently away from his shoulder, taking special care when she pulled the fabric down his injured arm.
"We need more light." She looked around the campground, spotting a grey brick building with a single overhead light a short distance away. Bathroom. "Have you got a first aid kit in the bike?"
"Yeah. Left saddlebag."
She hurried over and fumbled through the bag, found the first aid kit and a flashlight, then pushed him toward the bathroom. The light switch revealed a dim bulb hanging from the ceiling. Thankfully there was a sink and paper towels in there.
"Sit," she ordered, pointing him toward the wooden bench next to the shower.
"Bossy," he teased, grinning up at her.
Ignoring him, she wet some paper towels, turned on the flashlight and placed it on the edge of the sink so it was pointing toward his arm. She cleaned the wound, wiping away the blood so she could get a look at the injury.
Like he said, it was a graze. Mean looking and about three inches long, but not deep enough to need stitches. He was lucky the bullet had barely scraped the flesh of his arm. She cleaned it, applied pressure until the bleeding stopped and after spreading some antibacterial ointment on it, placed a bandage over the wound.
The hot rush of adrenaline she'd felt after she'd seen the blood dripping down his arm calmed somewhat. She was surprised at the fear she'd felt seeing him bleeding like that, having long ago convinced herself she was immune to ever having feelings for Mac Canfield again. She should have known better than to think he would ever mean less to her. She sighed.
"You're going to be fine," she said, pushing her emotions deep as she cleaned everything up and turned to him.
"I could have told you that." He stood. "But thank you anyway."
Mac couldn't believe the woman standing in front of him. The one who'd faced down a barrage of bullets, hopped on the back of his bike for a quick escape, then yelled at him because he'd prevented her from diving for her own gun.
She sure as hell wasn't the same Lily West he'd known so many years ago. That girl had been sweet and gentle and fragile. The woman who stood in front of him now looked similar, though obviously more grown up. And a hell of a lot tougher. Curvier too, with low slung jeans hugging her hips, a snug-fitting polo shirt that accentuated fuller breasts and a slender waist. But what was completely unrecognizable was her attitude.
She stared at him, not speaking. Hell, he didn't know what to say. She licked her lips and he followed the track of her little pink tongue swiping across her full bottom lip.
His gaze went from her mouth to her eyes and the past mingled with the present.
God, she really was here. He moved toward her and she took a step back, stopping when she hit the wall. But her gaze never left his. Even in the darkened bathroom the look she gave him was unmistakable. She was thinking the same thing he was.
Ten years ago. The heat between them. The fact they'd just been shot at a little while ago.
Aw, fuck it. He never was much good at thinking things through. He braced his hands on either side of her head and moved in closer, crowding her.
"Your arm," she said, looking at the bandage, then back at him.
Her lips were still parted and he heard her breathing. Rapid little pants in and out, like she was having trouble catching her breath. But this time she wasn't pushing at him to let her go.
"Mac," she whispered, whether in warning or invitation he didn't know.
Before it became a denial spilling from her lips, he slanted his mouth over hers and took possession.
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