Friday, May 27, 2016

Excerpt & Giveaway - Test Drive by Marie Harte

Test Drive
by Marie Harte

A smokin’ hot new series from Marie Harte featuring tough-guy mechanics and the women who jump-start their hearts.


Johnny, Foley, Sam, and Lou are the rough and tumble mechanics of Webster’s Garage. These reformed bad boys are used to living fast, but it’s the women in their lives who take them from zero to sixty in a heartbeat.


Johnny Devlin’s a charmer with a checkered past. He’s had his eye on scorching-hot bartender Lara Valley for ages, but she’s rejected him more than once. That doesn’t mean he won’t come to her aid when some dirtbag mauls her. When she asks him on a date as a no-strings-attached thank you, he can’t say no.  And then he’s saying nothing but hell, yes.


Tuesday evening, Lara pulled up outside Johnny’s house and glanced at her phone. She had a few minutes to spare. He’d been emphatic about her arriving not one minute late or early.

He’d been awfully coy about what they would be doing tonight. He knew she had clinicals in the morning, but he insisted they needed the together time. Though they’d just seen each other on Sunday, she hadn’t disagreed with him. A day without Johnny felt empty.

She’d been trying to figure out what he had in store for her, since he gave her a weird taunts in his texts every time she tried guessing what they’d get up to. Knowing Johnny, the evening would end with her naked, but she had no intention of complaining.

Lara sighed. Talk about falling hard for a guy she never would have guessed would be so sweet.

Ten minutes later, as she stood in his living room and stared at him in dismay, she revised her earlier opinion. “Hold on. You’re going to teach me how to work with different tools in your garage, on your car. For fun?” Seriously?

He wore a pair of jeans and a grease-stained T-shirt, and he held a wrench in one large hand. “Well, yeah. I figure it’s a good thing to know, so no one can take advantage of you if you have car trouble. We’ll just do some basic stuff. Nothing too complicated.” He paused, gave her the kiss she’d been waiting for since she’d arrived, then added, “You’re giving me a look. Damn. This is stupid, isn’t it?”

“What?” She didn’t understand.

“It’s just… Working with cars is a big part of my life, and I wanted to share it with you.” He shrugged, looking a little…hurt? “I was trying to be more creative with our time together, so you could see I like being around you for more than just sex.”

Seeing him let down, knowing he’d put thought into this idea, she felt awful for doubting him. That he wanted to bring her into his world meant so much, deepening the intimacy between them. So even though she’d been anticipating a few orgasms, followed by mini marshmallows and hot cocoa, she put her on her game face. “Okay. I’m in.”

He blinked, then gave her the warmest smile. “You are such a sweetheart. Trust me. You’re going to love this.”

She doubted it, but for him, okay.

He took her jacket from her. “I have a space heater in the garage, so we’ll be nice and toasty while we work. And don’t worry. I cleaned up in there. Go on in.” He prodded her toward the door leading to the garage.

Here goes nothing.

She followed him into the roomy two-car garage, adjusting to the bright work light hanging overhead. As expected, his garage reflected his personality. He had nothing but his car and tools in the place. No boxes or gardening gear anywhere to be seen. A neat workbench sat against the wall, buffered on one side by a large storage locker and on the other by what looked like a large air compressor. He’d rolled his giant toolbox next to a stool by his car.

His red car?

“Is this new?” She walked around it, curious, since she could have sworn his car was green and another make altogether. This one had a white stripe around the base. Thick tires and shiny silver hub caps grounded the vehicle. To her surprise, she saw he now had a convertible.

“Nah. It belongs to a friend. Nice, huh?”

She nodded, peering into the windows, noting the deep black vinyl, the fuzzy dice. A pack of cigarettes? Definitely not his then.

She turned to see him taking off his shirt, and her mouth watered. Dear God, he also had a smudge of grease on one cheek. Her dream hunk of a mechanic come to life. She just stared at the sleeve of tattoos covering his left arm, at the play of muscle on his taut frame. She wanted to lick him from head to toe.

Totally not the effect he’d been going for, trying to share his life with her without sexing her up, for once. She totally respected him for that, even if she was having a hell of a time getting her body to agree.

Seeing where her gaze lingered, he gave a self-deprecating grin. “Sorry. I get really hot when I work. Do you want me to put my shirt back on?”

No. Um, no. Be comfortable.” Feeling like a dog in heat, she swallowed and turned back to the car. “So, ah…” She coughed to clear her throat. “Should we pop the hood?”

“Yeah.” He moved to the car, took two pins out of the hood, then pulled a lever in the bumper and raised it. The thing stayed up on its own. “Would you look at that?”

She was doing her best to focus on the car and not the hot man next to her. “It’s nice.”

“Nice?” He snorted. “Honey, that’s a work of art.” He nodded for her to lean closer to the engine, which she had to admit looked clean enough to eat off of. “This beauty is four hundred fifty horsepower of cowl-inducted perfection.” His low voice sounded like a purr—the same voice he used when he made love to her.

He shifted so she could get a better look. Then somehow he was behind her, leaning into her, his body hard and hot against the thin shirt and jeans she wore. She felt enveloped, overheated, and totally turned on.

“This,” he whispered, “is a 1970 Chevelle. Dreamy, isn’t she?” His breath grazed her ear, and she shivered. “Lean lines, power under the hood, and the noises she makes get me fuckin’ hard.”

Lara tried not to swallow her tongue. “Y-you really like this car, huh?”

“We’re going to have some fun with her.” He nibbled on her earlobe, and she felt faint. Good God, how could a half-naked man going on about a car be so damn erotic?

“Fun is good.” She sounded breathless, but sue her.

“Yeah. Scoot back.” He tugged her away from the engine and closed the hood. Then he set the hood pins back in place. “Grab that blanket, would you?”

She glanced around and saw a thick blanket on top of the counter against the wall. It felt soft and smelled as if it had been freshly laundered. “You’re not going to get this dirty, are you?” The blue fabric looked too nice to mess up with grease and car parts.

“Nah. We’re gonna protect the car with it. Can you fold it over, so it has some padding, and set it on the hood? Like in a 4x4 square?”

She did her best, making sure the thick material covered the car’s shiny paint job. “Okay, now wh—”

He spun her around and kissed her. His mouth and hands were everywhere, the subtle scents of cologne and man infused with sex tantalizing her until she didn’t know up from down. Clutching his arms while he eased her back, she started when she felt the car behind her.


His wicked grin warned her to be wary. “Oh yeah. Now let me show you how to work.”

Still breathing hard, she watched as he lifted her shirt over her head and tossed it onto the stool, then unfastened her bra and added it to the growing pile. Her shoes hit the floor, then her socks. She couldn’t speak, her mind and body in a knot as she realized he had staged a seduction…in his garage.

With slow tugs, he eased her jeans off her until she stood clad in a pair of skimpy red panties.

“Christ. You had to wear red, didn’t you?”

About Marie Harte:

Caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author MARIE HARTE is a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. Whether hiking or biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after. She lives in in Central Oregon.


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