Author: JC Emery
Series: Bayonet Scars
Published by: Left Break Press
Date published: May 18, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, MC Romance
Book Length: 360 pages
Steam Rating: Risque
Main Characters: Grady and Holly
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“A turbulent love story that rips out your heart and puts it back together again”
Everyone belongs somewhere. Even the misfits.
With the looming threat from the Mancuso Crime Family, the Forsaken Motorcycle Club is preparing for a war that could destroy them. Grady, the club’s Sergeant-at-Arms, knows that love makes you weak, and he has zero interest in adding to his liabilities– especially now. He’s already got his teenage daughter who keeps him on his toes and a beef within the club that could fracture his relationship with a fellow brother for good.
For Holly Mercer, her life is finally getting on track and the last thing she wants is trouble from her hometown’s resident outlaws. Keeping her nose clean is easier said than done, when suddenly she finds herself embroiled in club business. Holly might like the idea of being with a real-life bad boy, but even being in the same room with tough-as-nails Grady flusters her.
When Holly inadvertently finds herself on Mancuso’s radar, she has two choices: trust that Grady will protect her, or continue to refuse the club’s help. Both roads are dangerous, but only one has the chance to damage her beyond repair.
Love is never more dangerous than when it can destroy you.
As a child, JC was fascinated by things that went bump in the night. As they say, some things never change. Now, as an adult, she divides her time between the sexy law men, mythical creatures, bad-ass bikers, and kick-ass heroines that live inside her head and her Netflix addiction. JC is a San Francisco Bay Area native, but has also called both Texas and Louisiana home. These days she rocks her flip flops year-round in Northern California and can’t imagine a climate more beautiful. Her dream is to own her own Harley and she feels compelled to tell you that she is Team Peeta all the way.
JC is the author of the Men with Badges series, The Birthright Series, and the Bayonet Scars series.
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Describe Rev in 15 words or less!
A turbulent love story that rips out your heart and puts it back together again
We all need a hero! Tell us about the protagonist(s) in Rev? Was there a real-life inspiration behind him or her?
First, I would say my guys and ladies are anti-heroes. They’re definitely not traditional heroes by any means. Rev is the story of Sterling Grady (but don’t call him Sterling, it makes him grouchy!) and Holly Mercer (she loves to call him Sterling and make him grouchy!). Grady is known as the bad-ass Sergeant-at-Arms of the outlaw Forsaken Motorcycle Club for their Fort Bragg, CA charter. He is in his late thirties and the father of the seventeen-year-old Cheyenne (the heroine of the upcoming Crush). Grady and his club are in the midst of a war with the Italian mafia that has already taken the life of his best friend and promises more bloodshed before it ends.
Holly Mercer is the opinionated pain-in-the-ass secretary of his daughter’s high school who just wants to see Cheyenne graduate. She has a history that we still don’t fully know about, but she’s really got a solid heart. Holly pushes Grady’s buttons and doesn’t let him get away with anything. She’s pretty awesome.
I can’t say there was a real-life inspiration for either character. In a way, each of my characters are rooted in people I know (and sometimes myself). I’d say, if anything, Holly is who I want to be. She’s so strong and assertive. I’d love to have her backbone.
Who is your favorite character in Rev? Why?
When I started, it was Holly. As time went on, I fell in love with Cheyenne. She’s so spunky and independent. I love her total belief in love and her ability to understand very adult, very gruesome truths that I don’t think many teenagers get. She is, by far, more fun to write that I expected. You know how teens are– they can be a bit annoying when they’re on a roll. 😉
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I might get slapped for this, but it was the scene with Holly and Mindy in the office at the coffee shop. If you know what I’m talking about, then you’re probably shaking your head. It was so awful to write– so violent and depraved– but it’s important to the overall story arc in the series and it shows her strength and the depth of her love for Grady.
How do you spend your time when you aren’t writing?
First– getting out of the house! I love being home, but I’m home all the time now. So when I can, I like to escape for a day. Otherwise, I tend to work all day and then crash in front of the TV in the wee hours of the morning.
You have written some very hot, very sexy, just plain out BAD BOYS! How did you manage to keep them so realistic and lovable while being so bad?
I think it begins with understanding human nature. No person is entirely evil, nor are they entirely good. I don’t think any character thinks of themselves as the villain in their own story and that’s important to remember when writing anti-heroes. Sure, they’re going to do awful things and they’re going to upset the people they love and who love them, but they usually have a good reason for it. In the Bayonet Scars universe, my guys are just trying to make it through the day. Sometimes they’re in danger and that means that somebody is going to be eliminated. Other times that means they’re grouchy. I think it’s hard to really get to know a person and not love them in a way, so I try to show their faults and strengths in equal measure. It makes them more relatable.
Do you prefer to write the strong female characters or the alpha males they fall for?
I love writing the guys, but I love writing the women even more. Their reactions to this hot jerk coming in and demanding something is always a blast. Some women fall at the guy’s feet and some step on their toes. Others still even push back and show him who’s boss. I never really know my female lead until the male lead has pissed her off. That always shows her true character.
Is it fun to take your big bad men and have someone coax out their softer sides?
Yes and no. I never want my guys to lose their edge just because they fall in love. That would be lame. But I do enjoy seeing the guys soften up around their women. They spend so much time being assholes, it’s great seeing them realize that there is someone more important than themselves.
Well, this is top secret for now. All I’m going to say is that I have something in the works that I think you’re all going to really love. I also hope to get around to the third Men with Badges book and the second Birthright Series book soon.
I have to throw in at least a few SILLY questions!
If Rev were a dessert what would it be and why?
I would say red velvet cake. It’s yummy, but rich, and tends to leave me a little uncomfortable afterwards (too much sugar!)
If you could have one super power what would it be and why?
Super strength for sure. I’d be kicking asses left, right, and sideways!
Who is your favorite “Book Boyfriend”? What series is it from and who wrote it?
Oh gosh. This is haaaard. I think my all-time favorite book boyfriend is Peeta from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. That might sound weird because he’s so much younger than I am, but I can’t help it! He’s such a sweetheart and he’s so sincere. I adore him. I love to dance with the bad boys, but I don’t know that I’d want to keep one forever. Really, if I could just “sample” the rest, I’d be okay. 😉
Excerpt from Crush (Bayonet Scars, No. 4)– originally going to be released as a novella, but now being reworked to become a full length novel… no release date yet.
When I pull up to the house, I breathe a sigh of relief that all of the lights are off. Thankfully, it seems like Dad and Holly are tucked safely in their bed. I cut the engine and slowly climb out of the car. My thighs are sore and I feel little bit grimy, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Being with Jeremy like that was better than I even imagined.
I want to do it again. Only I hope it doesn’t hurt so much next time.
The front door unlocked with ease, and I cancel the alarm before makes a sound. If Dad really wanted to keep me in the house all night, he should probably change the code. I’m way too good at this for his own good.
I make it past the kitchen and into the living room at the foot of the stairs before it happens. The light switch clicks, and the room is suddenly basked in artificial light from the end table lamps. I’ve been caught sneaking out before, so that’s not such a big deal. It’s the fact that my hair is a complete disaster, I’m pretty sure that I have a few hickeys on my neck, and I smell like Jeremy that worries me.
“You better have a good fucking explanation for this,” Dad says. I still haven’t turned around to meet his eyes, both out of fear and embarrassment. My heart beats loudly in my chest, and my hands shake at my sides. This is going to be bad.
With a stiff upper lip, I turn around and face my fears. Dad is wearing a pair of his old black sweatpants that Grandma has asked him to throw away more times than I can count. As always, he hasn’t worn a shirt to bed, and his wavy hair is pointing in a hundred different directions.
“I’m an adult,” I say. Something moves in the corner of the room, and it’s only then that I notice Holly in the chair by the fireplace. She’s wearing one of Dad’s big T-shirts and, from the look of it, nothing else. Of course it’s okay for him to have sex with his girlfriend, but it’s not okay for me to have sex with my boyfriend. Hell, he doesn’t even want me to go see my boyfriend. He is such a hypocrite.
“You are way too wrapped up in that boy,” he says. He folds his arms over his chest and shakes his head. I can tell that he’s trying his best to hold back his temper, but it looks like it’s barely working.
“Why would you think that? Is it because I want to spend every minute with him? Is it because I don’t want to be away from him? What is it, Dad?”
“Yeah,” he says. His tone is more biting than it was a moment ago, but that’s probably in reaction to mine.
“Then what the hell are you doing with Holly? You’re always together, you hate to be away from her. If I need to take a step back, so do you.”
I think I’m going to throw up. My stomach is uneasy, and my back is stiff. I don’t talk to Dad like this very often and when I do, we usually end up in a huge fight.
“What did you just say to me?” he barks and strides across the room so fast that I almost don’t expect it when he’s in my face and breathing rank breath on my cheeks.
“I love him,” I whisper.
“What about school?” he asks.
“I’ve graduated. I can work in town,” I say. I know how it sounds to his ears, even if I don’t want to admit it. It sounds like I’m giving up my dream of culinary school to stay in town with a boy. But it’s more than that. So much more.
“Fuck that,” he says. His eyes travel down to my neck, where sure enough, he spots the bruises I’m sure are forming. “He use anything tonight besides you?”
“We were careful, and he didn’t use me,” I yell, leaning into him. I know men Dad’s size and bigger who won’t say a cross word to him. I wouldn’t piss him off if I wore a patch, either. But I don’t, and I’m not afraid of him—only his temper. “He loves me.”
“The hell he does,” Dad seethes. “You gonna feel real grown up when your dad shows up and rips his dick off? You gonna feel like an adult then, huh, Chey?”
“Is this the first time?” he asks. I’m tempted not to tell him. It’s none of his business, but this is bad enough. Refusing to answer is only going to earn a longer fight.
“Yes,” I say. Tears well in my eyes. This isn’t how the night of my first time was supposed to go. I was supposed to crawl into bed and reminisce about it, not stand here and fight with my dad over something this private.
Asshole. He is such an asshole.
“Is this shit the reason you haven’t applied to that school you been talking about?”
“I changed my mind. I just don’t want to go anymore.”
We go back and forth and back again. He asks a question and I respond with increasingly unkind words. I don’t want to talk about this with him, but even if I run upstairs, he’ll just follow.
“You’re throwing your future away for a boy who isn’t going to give a shit in six months. You want me to stop getting in your business, then you need to start making better choices.”
“You’re wrong,” I say through falling tears. “He loves me.”
“I’ll bet he thinks he does,” he says. “But you’re going to school. Holly has worked too hard to keep you on track for your education for you to throw it away because you want some asshole’s attention.”
“It’s not like that,” I wail. I don’t even bother to wipe the tears away. Every word he says is meaner than the last. They slam into my gut and practically pierce my heart one after the other. He needs to stop before his words split me in two.
“I was eighteen once,” he says. “It’s always like that. He wanted your pussy, and now that he’s got it, he’s going to leave you behind. He’s Forsaken now, Chey. He won’t be faithful.”
Dad’s words have fallen to a whisper. His shoulders have dropped, and the intensity of the moment has passed. He just looks pained.
Good. Misery loves company.
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