Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway: ★Dare to Run★ by Jen McLaughlin

Spotlight-DARE to RunDare to Run
Series: The Sons of Steel Row #1
Author: Jen McLaughlin
Release Date: February 2, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

dare to run comps_final.indd

The New York times bestselling author of the Out of Line Novels takes readers to Boston where one gang of criminals knows how being bad can be so good…
 
She knows what he’s like on Boston’s mean streets. Now she’s going to find out if he’s got some heart.

Lucas Donahue is not ashamed of his criminal past, but after a brief stint in prison, he’s ready to go legit and live a normal life. The problem is, no one leaves the gang without permission—even if he is one of the boss’s top men. Plus someone’s placed a hit on him. And then there’s that feisty little bartender who’s going to cause him even more trouble.

Heidi Greene knows to keep her distance from a ladies’ man like Lucas—even if she can’t keep her eyes off him. When he rescues her from an attack in the alley outside her bar, she’s forced to stay by his side for safety. But the longer she spends time with him, the greater her chances are for getting hurt in more ways than one.

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Excerpt

I looked back at Lucas, to see the barest hint of amusement on his face. I cleared my throat. “Are you going to let go of me anytime soon, or nah?”

He laughed. My stomach tightened in response to his raspy chuckle. “I don’t know.” He loosened his grip to trail his fingers over my wrist. My pulse leapt at the deceptively soft touch. Despite the fact that he held my arm captive, nothing about what he did was threatening in any way. “I’m still deciding. Give me a second, darlin’.”

“Well, I’ve got people to wait on.”

He grinned. “You aren’t worried about them. You want me to let go because you’re helpless in the face of my devilish charm and soft Boston accent.”

Damn it, he was right. But I wasn’t about to confirm it. “I don’t give in easily. I think you have me confused with someone else.”

“Maybe. Then again, maybe not. Either way, I love a good challenge. And that’s exactly what you are, Ms. Greene.” He skimmed his thumb over my pulse again, grinning when it leapt traitorously. “That’s why, when you ask me to touch you again, I’ll make you admit you want me before I give you what you want.”

With that, he let go.

I backed up, resisting the urge to rub my wrist where he’d held me. It hadn’t hurt. His touch had been firm, yet gentle. But the urge to rub away the electrifying pings he’d left behind was still there. He didn’t look affected at all. Maybe I was the only one who’d noticed our chemistry. I had to regain control over this situation. Forcing a laugh, I tossed my hair over my shoulders. “I won’t be asking you to touch me again, Lucky.”

“Lucas,” he said. “I told you my name, which is more than I give anyone else free of charge, so you can damn well use it.”

Resting my hands on my bar, I forced myself to be calm despite my fight-or-flight instinct clicking to life. Something told me this man was used to issuing an ultimatum and having people obey him. I wasn’t going to be one of those people. Not in my own bar, anyway. “When you’re on my turf, I’ll call you what I want, when I want, and there is nothing you can do to stop me.”

“We’ll see about that,” he said, his eyes full of promise and something else I didn’t want to examine too closely. His gaze made my heart quicken and my breath come faster. He gave me a sexy smile, his eyes heated and green, and ugh. “I love a challenge almost as much as I love hearing those three little words.” His voice was raspy.

“What words would those be?”

Lifting his hand, he counted each word off on his fingers. “You. Were. Right.”

I snorted and lifted my own hand, mimicking his count- down. “Never. Gonna. Happen.”

He laughed. Actually laughed. And it was as irresistible as he was. “I think we’ll have to agree to disagree. Until you say the words to me, anyway.”

“I wouldn’t hold your breath,” I said, winking at him. “You’ll die waiting.”

“Oh, I doubt that. I’ve been able to go without oxygen for long periods of time. My brother used to tell me I was part fish.”

That was . . . adorable. Suddenly he became a lot more approachable . . . After all, how could someone who was part fish be . . . bad? And he had a brother. Another customer sat down at the other end of the bar. “I’ve gotta go take care of the other paying customers now. It was nice talking to you . . . Lucky.”

He let out a growl, and I walked away, swinging my hips, hoping it looked like I didn’t have a care in the world. The other customer was an old guy who came in at ten on the dot every night for a Sam Adams and was none too happy about having to wait. I could feel Lucas’s gaze burning into my back as I moved.

And twenty minutes later, when he left, he left alone. Not that I’d been watching or anything. Because I hadn’t been. I’d specifically forced myself not to watch him walk to the door. I almost succeeded, too, but then . . . I looked.

And what I saw almost stopped me in my tracks. I thought he’d been watching me closely before. That was nothing compared to how he looked at me now. As he stalked across the dark, wood-paneled bar, he watched me as if he was a predatory hunter . . .

And I was his prey.

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