Title: Wild One
Author: Lynne Leslie
Series: Kings of Bourbon Falls, Book One
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: February 5, 2020
Five bad boys who’ve sworn bachelorhood. Five feisty women about to challenge them.
The Kings of Bourbon Falls are about to learn that when it comes to games of the heart, these ladies are all-in.
“Emmy Lou Graves is back.”
That’s all it took to turn my world upside down.
Twelve years ago, Emmy fled Bourbon Falls and the scandal surrounding her family, changing the course of both our lives. Left with a broken heart, I chose bachelorhood vowing to never give my heart again.
Until she struts into my distillery wearing those familiar red cowgirl boots.
Emmy Lou’s all grown up with the same wild that drew me to her still running in her veins.
But in a small town filled with old money, secrets don’t stay buried forever. Emmy Lou’s return for the truth has my protective instincts coming out to play and before long I’m trying to tame that wild once again.
This King of Bourbon Falls is about to come out with a winning hand.
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Kobo Link coming soon!
Atlas, ten years old
“Atlas Duggar James, you’re big ol’ a meanie!”
I sneer at little Emmy Lou not understanding why her tears are making me feel funny inside. Today is my birthday and I’m having a big ol’ party. Momma and daddy said I could invite whoever I wanted. I told them I wanted a boy only party, none of them stinky girls were allowed. They just patted me on the head like they always do and said, “Whatever you want, Atlas” in that weird voice of theirs.
I stick my hands in my pockets and scuff my shoe on the ground. “I ain’t no meanie, Emmy Lou. Momma said I choose who comes and I don’t want you there.”
Her bottom lip quivers and I almost tell her she can come until I think how the boys will laugh at me for letting a girl beat me, and I glare at her as hard as I can. She’s not scared of mine like everyone else is of my mean grand pappy’s.
She puts her hands on her hips, tilts her head, and smiles really big at me. That smile makes me step back as the fluttery feeling in my belly comes back.
“One day, Atlas James, you’re gonna marry me.”
“Are not. Momma says you’re a wild child and wild can’t be tamed.”
She shrugs her little shoulders. “Daddy says you’re a hoodlum with too much money and not enough sense. Though, I don’t know how you can have too much money and not enough sense. Sense make up the dollar, don’t they, Atlas?”
I roll my eyes at her. “Not cents like money, doofus. Sense like up here,” I tell her pointing to my head.
She kicks a rock at me. “Don’t call me a doofus.”
“Then don’t be one, doofus.”
Her face gets really red, her nose flares, and she shows me her teeth. “I’m warning you, Duggie.”
I pull my hands from pockets and stalk to her with clenched fists. My lips curl. “Don’t call me Duggie.”
“Don’t call me doofus then,” she yells in my face.
I get closer until our noses touch. “Doofus,” I sneer.
I fall to my knees with a wheeze when she socks me in my belly. I lean my head back to look up at her. She’s glaring down at me with her hands on her hips again.
“You can’t be calling me a doofus when we’re married, Atlas Duggar James,” she says with a laugh before running away.
No way can the boys find out that little Emmy Lou whooped my butt. They’ll never let me live it down.
Anyway, I kind of like her being mean.
Atlas, sixteen years old
“My, my. Who knew little Emmy Lou liked the raunchy shit?” I whisper in her ear from behind.
Her tiny shiver makes me smile as hunger lights my young body. We’ve both grown in the last six years. I shot up in height, my little Emmy Lou gaining but an inch or two. My muscles have started coming in from working the fields with grandpappy while my little Emmy Lou developed a nice set of breasts to match the fine backside on her. Her long black hair falls to her waist in waves and my fingers always itch to run through it. When she looks at me now, those electric blue and gold eyes of hers always have a fire burning in them. This time is no different.
She slaps the book shut and looks at me over her shoulder. “I’ve got to learn somewhere, Atlas James.”
A flash of anger shoots through me and my jaw tingles in pain from clenching my teeth at the thought of her using anything she’s learned in that book on anyone else. “Why do you need to learn that shit for?” I growl.
She raises a brow and smiles a slow smile. “Because,” she says turning and stepping closer. “One day, Atlas James, you’re gonna marry me.”
“Naw. Momma says you’re a wild child and wild can’t be tamed,” I tease enjoying the game we play every year.
“Daddy says you’re a hoodlum with too much money and not enough sense.”
“You’re daddy’s right, Emmy Lou. If I had any sense at all I wouldn’t be thinking of kissing you right now.”
Her eyes widen and then they narrow. “Whatcha waiting on, Duggie? Momma’s permission to taste wild?”
I raise a brow. When did she learn to flirt so good at only sixteen? “I’m waiting for you to agree to go on a date with me.”
She plants her hands on her hips. “Where you taking me?”
I lean against the locker and stick my hands in my pockets. “I was thinking of the falls.”
“That’s where you and the guys go.”
I smirk. “Not tonight. They got other plans.”
She scrunches her nose. “Ew. I don’t even want to know.”
I chuckle. “You probably don’t. They’re fucking horn dogs.”
Emmy rolls her eyes. “You all are.”
A mysterious smile plays around my lips. What my Emmy doesn’t know is that while I may have fooled around with my share of girls, I ain’t ever had sex with one. She’s the only one that’s going to get that from me. Shoot, if it wasn’t for my boys’ ribbing on me about being pussywhipped by Emmy Lou, I probably wouldn’t have even touched them other girls, though, I have to admit it was fun to touch them with my fingers and have them touch me with theirs.
“You coming out with me or what, Emmy Lou?”
She rolls her eyes again with a smile. “Like you have to ask,” she mutters.
“Don’t make me get on my knees.”
Those startling eyes of hers narrow. “Don’t you do it, Duggie.”
I grin and drop to my knees. Spreading my arms wide, I say loudly, “C’mon, Emmy Lou. Put me out of my misery already. Say you’ll forever be mine.”
Students are stopped in the hallway watching the spectacle I’m making. A flush creeps up her cheeks. Her foot twitches and I know she’s dying to kick the smirk off my face. What my Emmy Lou doesn’t know is that I crave that wild of hers. She’ll eventually learn.
“Duggie,” she says through gritted teeth. “Get up off the floor you hoodlum.”
“Say it, doofus, and I will.”
Her eyes narrow again. “Don’t call me a doofus.”
“Don’t call me Duggie.”
I start to open my mouth, but she beats me to it.
“I’m warning you, Duggie.”
“Doofus,” I sneer playfully.
She plants her foot in the middle of my chest and shoves me over. Laughter fills the hallway as she stands over me with her arms crossed over her chest.
“You can’t be calling me a doofus when we’re married, Atlas Duggar James,” she says with a laugh before turning to walk away.
My eyes stay glued to her backside as I holler. “You meeting me or what, Emmy Lou?”
“I might, Duggie. I just might.”
I throw a hand over my eyes and burst out laughing.
My wild one, my Emmy Lou.
The boys’ll never let me live this one down.
Atlas, eighteen years old
She stands in front of me with tears pouring down her face and I listen on in disbelief.
It’s the only thing playing in my head over and over. My Emmy Lou, my wild one, is leaving this town and leaving me.
A few days ago, on the night of her eighteenth birthday, on the rocks behind the falls, we gave in to temptation and gave up our virginity to each other. We spent that night and long into the early morning exploring each other, learning what the other liked and didn’t like, burning through the entire box of condoms I bought. I finally knew what it felt like to have a girl’s mouth around my dick and what it felt like to have my mouth on a girl. Not just any girl though. On my Emmy Lou, on my wild one. I learned that with Emmy Lou, it wasn’t just life she was wild at.
In just the course of three days, both of our lives have changed.
She swipes the tears from her eyes angrily. “I love you, but I can’t stay here, Atlas. They took daddy to jail saying he raped and killed that girl. They call me names and have trashed our house. He didn’t do it, Atlas. Daddy would never do that.”
I just stand still and stare at her. I will my body to move, for my mouth to open, but I feel cold inside. I had to go out of town and over to Whiskey Ridge with my grandfather this morning, so I had no idea any of this was going on.
“I won’t ask you to come, Duggie. You got a life here. Friends, family. You got the distillery. I can’t take you from that.”
She’s not giving me a choice. She’s taking our love and throwing it to the wind.
“Say something,” she begs.
“What am I supposed to say, Em? You’ve already made up your mind.”
She throws her hands in the air. “I don’t know. Beg me to stay, tell me to go, just do something besides staring at me with those cold eyes,” she yells.
I cross my arms over my chest. “Would any of it make a difference?”
Her shoulders droop. “No,” she whispers. “I can’t stay in this damn town, Duggie. This place is full of secrets all that old money allows to stay buried. Secrets that took down my daddy.”
I love this girl in front of me, my wild Emmy Lou, but after tonight I vow to never open myself up to this kind of hurt again. I vow to never give a woman this much power.
I shrug. “So, go.”
Pain fills her eyes before she shutters them and lifts her chin. “I’m sorry, Duggie.”
“It’s Atlas,” I reply coldly.
She shakes her head with a sad smile. “You’ll always be my Duggie.”
My face hardens. “I’m not your anything anymore.” I walk closer to her and wanting her to hurt as much as I am, I cut her open. “Duggie is dead. You just made sure of that. You just allowed Atlas to breathe.” I give her a once over and smirk. “Though, I have to give you thanks, baby. You taught me how to fuck. I’ll be sure to put it to good use.”
Her body crumbles in on itself for a split second before she pulls herself together. “Daddy was right. You are a hoodlum with too much money and not enough sense.”
I shrug. “And momma was right. You’re wild and wild can’t be tamed.”
She looks at me with sad eyes. “I love you, Atlas Duggar James.”
I sneer at her. “Shut up.”
She kicks a rock at me with her toe of her red cowgirl boot. “I love you, Atlas Duggar James,” she repeats
I stalk to her. “Would you just fucking go already,” I yell.
She stands in place, her head held high, her eyes full of remorse. “I love you, Atlas Duggar James.”
I snarl and pounce, pulling her to me. I slam my mouth to hers. I set out to prove to her that her words no longer mean anything to me. I fuck her angrily against the side of my truck, letting her feel my hate, my anger, my pain.
When I’m finished and I’ve shot my load inside the condom I luckily thought to put on, I pull out of her, tie it off, and tuck my dick back inside my jeans.
With an ugly twist to my mouth, I deliberately raise my brow and tilt my head, my eyes raking her from head to toe. “It was good, babe. Thanks for the goodbye fuck.” I wave my hand in the direction of her Jeep. “You can go now.”
With my arms crossed and a wide stance, I watch as she slides her panties and jean skirt back over her hips, her eyes never leaving me. She struts up to me, those fucking red cowgirl boots kicking up dust. “I’m sorry,” she whispers, leaning up to place a kiss on my jawline. “I never wanted to hurt you. But I have to do this, and I have to do it on my own. This place destroyed my life and I have to go piece it back together.”
“This place destroyed your life and you destroyed mine. You can go now.”
She pulls away, her fingers running down my jaw one last time. “I love you, Atlas Duggar James,” she whispers, turning away and heading to her Jeep.
I watch her go with empty eyes and a cold heart. If this is what love feels like, I’m fucking good without it. Love gives someone the power to hurt you.
Standing in the dust of her departure from Bourbon Falls and my life, I make a vow then and there.
I’ve learned my lesson. Wild is good to fuck, but wild can’t be tamed.
Mom. Fiancee. Wine Drinker. Hot Mess. Even bigger Walking Disaster. Fluent Sarcasm Speaker. Word Writer. Collector of Readers Hearts. Taco Lover. Book Nerd.
Lynne lives in the quiet country with a bossy mister and two little divas. If you don’t catch her with her nose in a book or her fingers scribbling on paper, she’s usually right in front of the television with her family. She loves anything that glitters and has a weird habit of collecting pens. She thinks seafood is disgusting, beach sand is the devil, and Tom Hardy is life.