Title- Wilde Riders
Series- Old Town Country Romance Series Book #1
By- Savannah Young
Genre- Contemporary Romance
FOUR WILDE BROTHERS...ONE WILDE COUNTRY BAND
WILDE RIDERS is the first novel in a spicy new contemporary romance series about four sexy brothers, their small-town bar and their local country band. WILDE RIDERS can be read as a STAND ALONE NOVEL or as part of the SERIES.
Cooper Wilde spent his entire adolescence counting the days until he could escape rural northwest New Jersey. Now at 26, he can't believe he's coming back. But his late father's bar, Haymakers, is in financial trouble and his older brother, Jake, has asked for Cooper's help.
Riley Smith, 25, is fresh out of her Ivy League MBA program and wants to make an impression on her employer, H & C Bank. Her first solo assignment is a fraud investigation on a business loan they made to Haymakers.
Even though Old Town is less than 90 minutes from New York City, Riley feels like she's stepped into another world in this remote, one-bar town. Riley can't wait to do her business and get back to the city as quickly as her sports car will take her...until she meets Cooper Wilde. He's not like the other guys in this rural town and Riley feels inexplicably attracted to him.
If you like your trucks loud, your beer cold and your men hot...you'll love WILDE RIDERS.
The drive into New Jersey is exhausting. My only saving grace is that most of the traffic is going into the city instead of out of the city like I am. You’ve got to love those bridge and tunnel guys. I wouldn’t date one but I have a little bit of respect for them. The commute into Manhattan turns a nine hour work day into an eleven hour one, if you’re lucky.
I can feel my stomach start to knot as I get further away from the city and further away from civilization. Pretty soon I’ll be in the sticks surrounded by woods and farmland. I can almost smell the manure that will no doubt take days to completely rid from my nasal passages. I pray that I don’t run into any animals, especially cows, which are huge, smelly and completely freak me out. The only live animals I ever care to see have to fit comfortably in a handbag, like a Chihuahua or Teacup Poodle, for example.
I have an appointment with a man named Jake Wilde. He asked me to come early, before the place opened at noon, so he could give me his full attention. I try to imagine what someone named Jake Wilde would look like and all I can come up with is an old gunslinger like Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven.
As I pull into Old Town the place looks exactly like I thought it would. The buildings in the town square are old and I image the place hasn’t changed much in the last hundred years or so.
Haymakers is just past the town square, down the hill from the deli, next to the gas station. Those were the exact directions I was given, in those words. I take that to mean the town only has one gas station and one deli.
When I pull into the parking lot, there’s only one other vehicle sitting there. It’s an old beat-up Dodge Ram. Nothing like fitting the country bumpkin stereotype like a glove. Then I have a brief moment of panic and wonder if it’s safe to park my BMW in the dirt lot. Then I remind myself where I am. Who is going to mess with it in the middle of the day? A stray deer from the woods out back? The only thing I probably have to worry about is it getting dusty.
I take in a deep breath. I have to be thankful there’s no manure smell yet. The quicker you do this, I remind myself, the quicker you can get back to the lovely asphalt jungle you call home.
I’m hit with a gust of wind as soon as I get out of my car. How is it possible that Old Town is even windier than lower Manhattan? I didn’t think I’d ever find a place windier than Wall Street. Even the Windy City didn’t seem this windy when I had business in Chicago.
When I enter the bar, I try to smooth down my thick hair, which I know is probably a complete mess from the gust. I’m surprised by the homey feel of the place. How could someone like me possibly feel at home in a country bar? Even if I was wearing jeans and cowboy boots, if I even owned jeans and cowboy boots, I wouldn’t fit in at a place like this.
I hear someone clear his throat and I turn to see a guy about my age, mid-twenties, standing next to me. I can’t help my surprise when I see he’s wearing khakis and a polo shirt, like he just stepped off a golf course. He looks as out of place in this country bar as I feel.
“Are you Jake Wilde?” I ask.
The guy gives me the faintest hint of a smile but it’s almost as if it pains him to give that much. His deep brown eyes look even more distressed and I can’t help but wonder what’s behind those sad eyes.
He rakes his fingers through his thick dark hair. “A little windy out, isn’t it?”
My hand automatically goes to my hair and I try to casually flatten it down again. I imagine I must look like I just stepped out of a wind tunnel.
“Your hair looks fine,” the guy tries to assure me. But he’s got that hint of a smile on his face again and it makes me wonder if he’s lying just to make me feel better.
“I’m Cooper Wilde,” the guy says as he offers a hand.
I don’t know why I suddenly feel nervous about shaking it. It’s a business meeting. That’s what people do. But the way this guy is looking at me gives me the feeling that he might be interested in more than just business.
But I’m not, I remind myself. Not only because I’ve all but sworn off men, I’m here to do a job. I’ve been working for H & C Bank for two years and this is my first solo assignment as a lead investigator. If I continue to do well, I’ll be well on my way to becoming a Vice President before I turn thirty. I don’t need a man to throw me off my career trajectory. And definitely not some guy in a country bar in rural New Jersey.
I take his hand and give it a quick shake but I can’t bring myself to look into his smoldering eyes again. “I’m Riley Smith.”
“I figured that,” Cooper says.
“Why is that?”
That hint of a smile has returned to his face again. “We don’t often get women in business suits in the bar.”
I’m not sure why I’m suddenly overcome with the urge to get a real smile out of Cooper Wilde. I don’t know even know the guy but it somehow seems important. I get the feeling he hasn’t really smiled in a while and it’s long overdue.
Not that I’ve had much occasion for real smiles myself lately.
“My brother will be here in a minute or two. He’s just printing a few documents from the computer. Purchase orders and receipts.”
I nod and look around the place. From the outside, I thought it was going to be a dive but the place actually has character. I can tell the wooden bar is old, and it looks hand carved, as do the barstools. There’s a large stage area that looks new. That’s one of the expenses I was charged with investigating. I try to image what the place looks like filled with patrons watching a local band play on a Friday night.
“Ms. Smith?” I hear a deeper male voice say.
I look up to see another guy approaching. He also looks around my age, mid-twenties, but he looks more like what I’d expect inside a country bar. He’s wearing a white button down shirt with jeans and cowboy boots. His hair is lighter than Cooper’s and his face is rounder, more boyish, but there’s definitely a family resemblance between these two guys. They’re both about the same height, around six feet, with athletic builds, like they play sports.
“I’m Jake Wilde,” the lighter haired guy says.
I try not to laugh as I look at Jake. He’s young, attractive and nothing like Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven. So much for my speculation about his name.
I notice Jake has papers in his hands. “Maybe we should have a seat at one of the tables.” He motions to a table closest to us.
“Would you like something to drink?” he asks. Jake has one thing that Cooper doesn’t. An absolutely killer smile. It’s the kind of smile that can probably get any girl into bed in a matter of minutes. Well, any girl except me. I no longer fall for guys with smiles like that. It hurts too much the next morning when they say they’ll call you, and give you that smile, and you know they’re lying and you’ll never hear from them again.
“I’ll take some water,” I reply.
Jake actually winks at me before he turns to head towards the bar. The guy knows how to charm people I’ll give him credit for that.
I notice Cooper now has the papers in his hand. Without saying anything, he sits down and I follow.
“I think this is everything you’ll need as far as the fraud investigation is concerned. We’ve got purchase orders for all of the improvements as well as receipts for the completed work. You’re sitting at one of the new tables right now. And you can see the new stage from here. I’d be happy to take you up to the new roof, if you’d like to see it.”
Cooper pushes the stack of papers toward me. I quickly thumb through them. I’ll make a few phone calls when I get back into the city to verify everything and cover my butt. At first glance, though, everything looks clean. It doesn’t seem like a case of fraud, more likely poor bookkeeping.
“The loan hasn’t been paid in months,” I say even though that’s not really my department. I’m here only for the fraud investigation. They’ll be dealing with someone else regarding the default on the loan.
“I know,” Cooper says, and I can see more darkness overshadow his already dark eyes. “I’m going to try and fix that.”
Jake comes back with three bottles of water. “Bottle okay or would you like a glass?” he asks.
“Bottle is fine,” I say.
Jake sets the bottles down on the table and takes the seat right next to me. I’m a little taken aback by how much space he commands. And not just because of his size. It’s his energy—his being—that’s so large.
“So what did I miss?” Jake asks.
Cooper eyes his brother and I can see there’s a little bit of animosity between them. Or at least there is on Cooper’s part. Jake seems kind of oblivious to it.
Cooper rubs his temple and says, “I was just telling Miss Smith that we’re willing to cooperate with her investigation in any way we can. I’ve given her all of the documents she’ll need.”
“Great,” Jake says. He gives me another one of his charming smiles then looks at me like he’s undressing me with his eyes.
I reflexively pull my suit jacket tighter even though I’m revealing nothing. I’m wearing a conservative button-down banker’s suit but I still feel like Jake can see through it somehow.
“I’ll look at the papers more closely when I get back to the city. I assume these are copies I can take with me?”
“Of course,” Cooper replies. The guy is all business. It’s in sharp contrast to his brother who seems more like a non-stop-party kind of guy.
“Did you decide if you want to see the roof?” Cooper asks.
When Jake laughs, Cooper glares at him.
“What?” Jake says. “If that’s supposed to be a pick up line, you’ve got a lot of work to do.”
“It’s not a pick-up line,” Cooper says through clenched teeth.
Still grinning, Jake asks, “You’re really going to show her the roof?”
“It’s not necessary,” I state. The last place I want to be is in the middle of these two guys’ drama. There’s obviously a lot more going on than just showing me the roof.
Jake leans close to me and I catch a whiff of his cologne. It’s a spicy and masculine. “Why don’t you let me show you the new stage we had built?”
I can feel the heat radiating from his muscular body and I’m quickly reminded by my body’s reaction that I haven’t had sex in over six months.
I gulp. “That’s not necessary.”
I can feel several beads of sweat roll down my forehead. I’m getting hot, and it’s not because of the temperature of the room has changed. It’s Jake’s closeness to me.
I jump from my chair. “I have everything I need.” I feel like waving the papers in front of my face like a fan but I refrain. I just need to get out of the bar and away from Jake. Then I’ll be fine.
That’s what I tell myself anyway.
Cooper rises from the table and gives me an odd look. I wish I could figure out what it would take to make the guy smile but I can’t stay next to Jake a minute longer. He’s like catnip and I’m the cat. I need to escape and get some fresh air.
“Thank you both for your cooperation,” I say.
“You’ll let us know if you need anything else?” Cooper asks.
“I will. It was a pleasure meeting you.” I put out my hand for Cooper to shake.
This time, when he touches me, I make a point of looking into his eyes. They seem to have gotten even darker and deeper in just the last few minutes and that makes me even more curious about him.
Business, I remind myself. You’re here for business and then it’s back to the city.
“It was nice meeting you, too,” Cooper says and once again, he only gives me the hint of a smile.
When Jake clears his throat, it breaks the moment between me and Cooper. I’m embarrassed that I lost control. I’m supposed to be a professional.
I noticed Jake has his hand out and I realize he wants me to shake it. The last thing I want is to do is touch Jake. I don’t want to get caught up in his charismatic web like a fly.
I give him a ridiculous wave instead and I feel like an idiot when he frowns.
“I’d better get going,” I say as I turn and make my way toward the door.
When I look back at the two brothers, they’re both staring at me. I don’t know why that makes me so nervous. I don’t plan on ever seeing either one of them again.
When I’m finally outside, I take in a deep breath of what I think will be fresh air and instead, I’m assaulted by the small of cow manure.
Great. Just great.
I hop into my car and turn the air conditioning up as high as it will go. I take in another deep breath and try to get the stench of cow dung out of my nasal passages.
I can’t believe I’m shaking. I’m not sure if it’s because of Cooper or Jake. Maybe it’s a little of both. But I’m definitely rattled.
I just need to get out of Old Town and get back to the city, I tell myself. Then things will get back to normal.
As I put the car into reverse and begin to pull out of my parking space, I keep thinking: I just need to get out of here and get back to the city.
When I step on the accelerator to go forward, I drive right into an old Chevy pick-up truck that’s headed straight for me.
Can you share your idea of the perfect soundtrack to The Wilde One with us?
THE WILDE ONE is a story about four brothers and their alternative country band. This romance novel is unique in that it includes the lyrics of an original song by singer/songwriter Dan Patrick Fulton. “Road Song” is the number they perform in the second book of the series The Wilde One.
Here are the lyrics:Five hundred miles of highway stretch before me,
It takes so long to get to where I go,
Five hundred miles, I don't know which end home is,
But Lord I'm feeling right at home out on the road
'Cause that old song is playing on the radio,
And that old song is singing out my creed,
That old guitar will bring me such sweet comfort,
And on the road that old guitar is all I need
When everything is changing,
And I can't seem to find my place,
When my life keeps rearranging,
That change blows cold against my face
Five hundred miles, awash in mass confusion,
And thing's ain't clear as each one passes by,
And it's too hard to see through life's illusions,
But I know I've got nothing left to do but try
When everything is changing,
And I can't seem to find my place,
When my life keeps rearranging,
That change blows cold against my face
When nothing stays the way it is, and nothing turns out like I wished,
When nothing feels the way it should, and I’m not feeling quite as good,
And when I travel all alone, that southern music saves my soul,
When all I love has passed me by, that southern music makes me fly
'Cause that old song is easing all my worry,
And that old song is heaven as I ride,
Five hundred miles, but I ain't got no hurry,
'Cause when I reach the end I'll miss the other side.
Please share a short history/bio on each of the main characters with us:
Jake Wilde – The oldest of the Wilde brothers. Jake runs their family bar, Haymakers, and is the lead singer of their country band, WILDE RIDERS. Read more about Jake in WILDE TIMES (Book Four of the Old Town Country Romance series).
Cooper Wilde- Cooper left Old Town when he went away to college and never looked back. He’s a Columbia graduate and works on Wall Street. When he plays with his brothers’ band, WILDE RIDERS, he plays guitar.
Tucker Wilde- Tucker served his country in Iraq and was seriously injured. He works with Jake at the family bar, Haymakers, and plays guitar with WILDE RIDERS. Read more about Tucker in THE WILDE ONE (Book Two of the Old Town Country Romance series).
Hunter Wilde- The youngest of the Wilde brothers, Hunter is quiet but driven. His life’s goal is to be a police officer. He plays drums with WILDE RIDERS. Read more about Hunter in A WILDE NIGHT (Book Three of the Old Town Country Romance series).
Harley Davis- Harley grew up next door to the Wilde brothers. The Wilde boys think of her as their little sister. She works at Haymakers.
Riley Smith- Riley works as a fraud investigator at a bank in New York. She was sent by the bank to investigate a loan they made to Haymakers. She’s a city girl at heart but gets charmed by the Wilde brothers.
Gracie Parker – Gracie was raised by a drug addicted mother who is serving time in prison. She’s alone in the world except for Dex, the boyfriend who abuses her.
Dex – Dex is Gracie’s abusive boyfriend. Her beat her up and left her in the parking lot of Haymakers.
Amazon Paperback- http://www.amazon.com/Wilde-Riders-Country-Romance-Volume/dp/1495442977/ref=tmm_pap_title_0
Title- Wilde One
Series- Old Town Country Romance Series Book #2 (Can be read out of order)
By- Savannah Young
Genre- Contemporary Romance
THE WILDE ONE is the second novel in the spicy contemporary romance series about four sexy brothers, their small-town bar and their local country band. Each novel in the OLD TOWN COUNTRY ROMANCE series can be read as a STAND ALONE NOVEL or as part of the SERIES.
FOUR WILDE BROTHERS...ONE WILDE COUNTRY BAND
Tucker Wilde joined the United States Army right out of high school and was injured in Iraq. But more than just his leg was shattered in the Middle East. The war also crushed his spirit and damaged his soul. When a strange couple arrives at his family’s bar, Haymakers, Tucker can see signs of mental and emotional abuse and is immediately drawn to the lovely but fragile girl seated at his bar.
Gracie Parker has been a victim of abuse her entire life. When her boyfriend, Dex, beats her in the parking lot of Haymakers and abandons her, it’s almost too much for the nineteen-year-old to bear. That is until Tucker appears like a warrior knight from the darkness to save her.
Tucker and Gracie are two broken people who are immediately drawn together. But their relationship and even their very lives are threatened by Dex who will stop at nothing to get Gracie back.
If you like your trucks loud, your beer cold and your men hot...you'll love THE WILDE ONE.
“You look different,” Savage says, then downs the last of his pint of ale.
“Different how?” I prod even though I have an idea what he’s going to say. I look more normal. Like I fit into society rather than looking like an outcast.
Savage shrugs. He’s never been a person of many words. We’re like two peas in a pod that way. Even though he rarely says very much, with just one sideways glance Savage can have the biggest and meanest guys on the planet shaking in their cowboy boots.
People say that about me too.
“Do you want another?” I ask, even though I can guess his response. Savage always orders two pints and drinks them at the far corner of the bar. There are worse ways of coping with the past than drinking a few beers every night before he goes home to an empty apartment. I should know. I’m a master of poor coping skills.
“Hit me,” Savage says.
I pour him another pint and take away the empty.
“You look good.”
I’m surprised by the compliment. I’d never use the word good to describe anything about me. But I do look better than I have since I got back from Iraq.
“Drink your beer,” I tell him because I’m not in the mood to explain what’s been going on in my life.
Savage was in Iraq about the same time I was and he’s the closest thing I’ve got to a friend. I’m not one for relationships. Life is too short and relationships are too painful. When you get close to someone, you usually just end up getting hurt.
But like me, Savage isn’t the type of guy who gets too close to people. The most obvious reason is the way he looks: he’s big and scary. Also just like me.
Savage and I lift weights together, and in a fight it would be a close match. Not that either of us would ever start a fight but we would definitely end one if we had to.
It’s a weeknight and the bar is almost deserted except for a few of the regulars. That’s why I’m surprised when I see a couple I don’t recognize walk in and look around. The guy’s wearing all leather and carrying two helmets, so he’s obviously a biker. He looks about my height, six feet two inches and he’s big. The girl looks tiny standing next to him. She’s the definition of the word waif. She looks like a strong wind could pick her up and blow her away. Not a good thing in Old Town where it’s windy most of the time.
The most interesting thing about her, though, is her coloring. I’ve never seen someone so fair in my life. I’m the only blond in my family but I’m not even close to this girl. Her long hair is so light it’s practically white. And her skin is the color of milk. She looks like a princess who just stepped out of a fairytale, as corny as that sounds.
I can’t help but notice that she doesn’t look like she wants to be here. Or maybe she doesn’t want to be with the guy. It’s hard to tell. But she doesn’t look happy. If anything, she looks scared.
As the couple steps closer to the bar, I can see the girl is shaking. I’m not sure whether she’s shaking because she’s scared, or because it’s January and it’s freezing outside and she’s wearing a tiny spring jacket that barely fits. It almost looks like a jacket for a kid it’s so small on her. Not that she’s much bigger than a kid herself.
What kind of an asshole wears a thick leather jacket while he lets his girl freeze? I’m really not liking this guy at all. And when I see him grab her by the elbow, so roughly she almost comes off the floor, I can feel every hair on my body stand at attention.
Is it possible to hate a guy I don’t even know?
The guy pushes what’s left of his food away. His face is starting to turn red he’s so angry.
“Get up,” he barks at the girl. “We’re leaving.”
She practically jumps from the bar stool in response.
I know it’s none of my business. I see a lot of crazy shit working at a bar, so I’m not sure why these two are bothering me so much. I just don’t like the way this guy is treating her. Like he owns her. It’s not right.
I’m not much of a guy in most respects. I’m not smart like my brother Cooper. I’m not ambitious like my brother Hunter. And I’m definitely not charismatic like my brother Jake. But I always try to do what’s right.
“You don’t have to go with him,” I say to the girl.
When she looks up at me, her grey eyes are so wide with fear, it actually scares me.
The guy makes a point of downing what’s left of his beer. Then he removes a wad of cash from his pocket and throws it on the bar.
He gives me a deadly glare as he grabs the girl by the elbow and begins to drag her out of the bar.
I feel helpless as I watch him haul her away.
But what can I do? I gave her an out but she didn’t take it. Maybe she didn’t feel like she really could. I wonder if I should do something more? I can’t call the cops. The guy didn’t actually do anything illegal. I don’t think you can get arrested for treating your girlfriend like shit. Otherwise half of the male population would probably be behind bars.
I just can’t rid myself of the feeling that the girl is in trouble and that she needs my help. Maybe it was the few looks she gave me. Like she wanted to tell me something. Maybe that she was hurting. Or that she’s lost.
“Watch the bar for a few minutes,” I tell Savage as I head toward the door.
I spot the couple at the far end of the parking lot. It’s just starting to get dark so it’s hard to see but I can see enough to know that he’s hitting her.
I try to hurry over to them but hurrying isn’t one of my strengths since I got back from Iraq. My leg was injured so badly that I’m lucky I can still walk. Running is definitely out of the question. I guess I should be happy that I still have a leg. I know plenty of guys who came back without one. Missing legs, missing arms, sometimes both. I should be happy I’ve still got all four limbs, as imperfect as one of them may be.
When I finally make it over to the couple, he’s on his motorcycle and she’s on the ground. Before I can stop him, he hits the accelerator hard enough for dirt to fly everywhere before he speeds away.
The girl is in a heap on the dirt parking lot. I can hear her sobbing. I want nothing more than to take her in my arms and comfort her but I don’t want to scare her. She’s obviously been traumatized, and I’ve been told on more than one occasion that I’m a scary looking dude, so I hold back.
But I feel like I need to do something, so I slowly and carefully bend down next to her. “Are you okay?”
As soon as the words come out of my mouth, I know they sound stupid. Not that anything that ever comes out of my mouth is ever brilliant. But she’s obviously not okay. I just don’t know what else to say.
She doesn’t respond just starts to cry harder.
“Let me help you inside,” I suggest.
When she turns to face me, I can see there’s a little bit of blood dripping from her mouth and her cheeks are stained with tears and dirt. Even though she’s a mess she’s still the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen.
I can feel rage start to build inside me. I know it’s not healthy and that I need to calm down but I want to hurt that son of a bitch who hurt her. What kind of a man hits a woman? My mother taught all of her boys to treat women with respect and our father taught us how to worship them by the way he treated my mom every day of her life.
“Okay,” the girl finally agrees.
“Can I help you up?” I ask.
When she looks up at me, her big grey eyes are even wider. She just stares at me for a few seconds and I’m scared again. My heartbeat has quickened and I’m having trouble taking in a deep breath.
I don’t know why she scares me so much. I want to know what she thinking when she looks at me so deeply and thoughtfully. There’s so much that’s screwed up about me, she could probably try for an eternity and never figure me out.
Amazon Paperback- http://www.amazon.com/Wilde-Town-Country-Romance-Volume/dp/1499101155/ref=tmm_pap_title_0
Romance novelist Savannah Young grew up in rural northwest New Jersey in a place very similar to the fictional Old Town, which is featured in her books. When she's not at her computer creating spicy stories, Savannah is traveling to exotic locales or spending time with her husband and their bloodhounds.