Lynx Caine is no stranger to trouble. He’s found himself knee deep in it more times than he can count. But never has he found himself in the sort of hot water he’s in now. Lynx has been waiting what feels like a lifetime for Reagan Trevino to dump the loser she’s spent nearly a decade with. Now that she’s single, Lynx is free to make his move. And he fully intends to do so.
However, Reagan is not going to be easy to catch. She has some stipulations for the bad boy of Embers Ridge, and she has every intention of sticking to them. Or that was her plan. Unfortunately, her good intentions are thwarted when a mad man draws her right into the line of fire. When Lynx refuses to let her out of his sight, Reagan soon realizes the sexy country boy might be tattooed from neck to knuckles, but he’s got a heart as big as Texas and resisting him is a whole lot harder than she anticipated.
I loved every single second of this book. I loved the push and pull between Lynx and Reagan. These two could melt a polar ice cap in three point five seconds. They have some of the most amazing chemistry I've ever read.
Hard to Handle (The Walkers of Coyote Ridge, 4) - Chapter One
With the song blaring through the speakers, a Friday night with absolutely nothing to do but chill laid out before him, Lynx Caine was feeling no pain. He was minutes away from a cold beer with his name on it and good friends to hang out with.
“When the line froze, what did I see?” Lynx belted out loudly.
There was nothing better than a little Machine Gun Kelly rocking it out with Kid Rock.
“A bad motherfucker standin’ next to me.”
With September officially underway and August finally behind him, Lynx was ready to get his drink on, and he damn sure wasn’t opposed to getting his knuckles scraped a little if some smart-mouthed fucker wanted to go a round or two. With all the shit going on, it was safe to say, stress was a prominent word in his vocabulary. Between some crazy psychopath terrorizing his cousin’s girl, and said girl gearing up to blow the whistle on that asshole, Lynx didn’t think it was going to get better anytime soon.
But what the hell did he know?
Bad, bad motherfucker 'til the day I die.
Pulling into Reagan’s Bar, Kid Rock screaming about being a bad motherfucker, Lynx felt some of the strain ease from his shoulders. This was his fucking theme song. It rang true and he’d damn sure earned the reputation in this small town.
To make it even better, when that song ended, good ol’ Brantley Gilbert started rasping about being hell on wheels. Lynx sang along, hopefully doing the song justice. He’d heard more than once that he had the same raspy tone as the kickass country boy who had rednecks everywhere kickin’ it in the sticks. Not that he intended to change his career or anything. A singer he was not.
However, Lynx couldn’t deny the redneck part. That was a part of who he was and he was damn proud of it.
He drove his big Ford F-250 around to the side of the building.
“Damn. Gonna be a good night.” After all, the parking lot was full.
Not at all surprising. Not in Embers Ridge on a Friday night. Reagan’s was the hangout for the low-key crowd. She served only beer and pretzels, a few tunes cranking out of the jukebox, and the entertainment consisted of darts or pool. Truth was, no one there needed more than that. Hell, they usually needed little more than some good conversation.
And he suspected there were quite a few people who had come out tonight to get the scoop.
According to the rumor mill, his cousin had officially hooked up with one sweet little filly and the big, tough sheriff of their little backwoods town.
Not one or the other.
Both of them.
Little did everyone know, but it wasn’t a rumor. Lynx knew it to be true.
And in the small ranching community of Embers Ridge, that was some serious headline news. Lynx had figured Wolfe would go balls to the wall when he did finally settle down. Although he’d never witnessed it, Lynx had always suspected his cousin went both ways.
“Good for him,” he muttered to himself.
As long as Wolfe was happy, Lynx didn’t give a fuck whose boots were beside the man’s bed.
Of course, the town was abuzz with questions, everyone wanting to know how it had happened and what it meant. No one seemed to believe that their little triad was real. Didn’t it figure? If it walked like a duck, quacked like a duck, most people just assumed it was a duck. Here in Embers Ridge, it seemed that if it walked like a duck and quacked like a duck, it was probably a cow in costume. The obvious couldn’t possibly be real, but the bullshit they made up was.
Granted, Lynx wasn’t sticking his nose all up in his cousin’s shit, and he damn sure wasn’t about to contribute to the gossip pool. He had more important things to worry about.
Namely, the hot little number who ran his favorite bar.
She’d been avoiding him like the plague as of late. Not that he could really blame her. Ever since he’d established residence outside her house a couple of weeks ago, Reagan Trevino hadn’t been happy with him. Shit, his body hadn’t been happy with him. At six foot three, he wasn’t at all comfortable sleeping in the front seat of his truck. But Reagan and his tired-ass body would have to deal because Lynx wasn’t going to sit back while the crazy fucker who’d killed a detective not even three weeks ago was on the loose. He didn’t give a shit if his Walker cousins were now leading the charge against the fucking chief of police of Houston. Lynx wasn’t taking any chances. If that fucker thought for one second he was going to do harm to someone Lynx cared about, the asshole would have to go through him first.
Realizing there was no parking to be had, Lynx pulled his truck into the field adjacent to the building, shut off the engine, and hopped out.
“What’s up, Lynx?”
Turning toward the sound of his name, Lynx grinned. “Hey, Jimmy Don. How’s the ol’ lady?”
“Hella good, man.” Jimmy Don’s smile went wide as the man continued to move toward his truck. “Baby’s comin’ any day now.”
“Congrats, bro!” Lynx made his way to the front doors, continuing to face Jimmy Don across the parking lot. “Holler when she pops that one out. We’ll grab a beer to celebrate.”
With a quick wave, Lynx turned toward his destination.
Stepping inside, he took a deep breath, then let it out slowly.
The tiny, wood-framed bar smelled the same as always. Like beer and stale pretzels, not to mention sweat and a whole lot of verbal bullshit. Sure, that shit had a smell, too. He could usually sniff it out a mile away and it seemed tonight the aroma was extra potent.
“Hey, brotha’,” Wolfe greeted from his spot at the bar.
“What’s up, hoss?” Lynx gave his cousin a knuckle bump. “Thanks,” he told Reagan when she passed him over a beer.
He let his eyes track her from one side to the other. Of course, the stubborn minx didn’t respond. But her cute little nose lifted, and the defiant tilt to her chin made his dick hard. Then again, everything about Reagan Trevino made his dick hard. All five foot five sweet inches of her.
“We need to talk, Reagan. Come on, babe. Please.”
Lynx’s gaze snapped to the opposite end of the bar, where he saw Billy Watson leaning on the wooden top, begging like a little bitch. Lynx glanced at Wolfe, who shot him a quick eye roll. Turning back to the scene, Lynx gave them his full attention.
“You know I’m not leavin’ till we do,” Billy droned.
Looked as though the fucker had finally realized what he’d lost when he let Reagan go a solid month ago. It appeared he was back to the same old bullshit, trying to get in her good graces and convince her to take him back.
Lynx wanted to punch him in the face. The little pussy didn’t deserve Reagan. Hell, he didn’t deserve any woman. He had absolutely no respect and that shit was what pissed Lynx off the most.
“Come on, honey. I know you ain’t serious. You love me. Don’t deny it. It’s time for you to come back home. Put the past in the past.”
The past he was referring to was the pussy Billy had been getting for the past thirty-three days — yep, he’d counted — ever since Reagan up and moved out on the asshole. The guy had no qualms about flaunting the fact that he was making up for lost time with any woman who’d give him the time of day.
A killing rage burned just beneath Lynx’s skin, his need to do some serious bodily harm ratcheting up a few hundred notches. When a man loved a woman, or even claimed to love a woman, he just didn’t do stupid shit like that. Ever.
“I told you, Billy. I’m done,” Reagan hissed, apparently trying to keep her voice down. “Now, just leave it be.”
“Whatever.” Billy huffed. “That’s bullshit and you know it. Quit fuckin’ around and just come home.”
Reagan leaned over the bar, getting right up in Billy’s face. “It’s not my home,” she snapped. “I’m done. It’s over. Get used to it.”
Lynx waited, counting down silently in his head. He knew Billy, knew the man’s temper would get the best of him. Lynx had spent the better part of a decade watching as Billy treated Reagan like shit, then sitting back and dealing when she took the sorry fucker back.
As much as he’d wanted to intervene, Lynx knew it wasn’t his place. Then or now.
Good news was it looked as though she might be done this time for good.
Lynx could only hope, because it was high time he moved on with his life, and the only way he intended to do that was to have that woman in his bed, where she belonged. However, he wasn’t talking for only one night. His intentions toward her were along the lines of forever and a day.
The hardest part was going to be convincing her.
Fortunately, Lynx was always up for a challenge.
“What the fuck you lookin’ at?”
Lynx allowed his gaze to slip to the right of Reagan. That was when he realized Billy was talking to him. Unable to help himself, Lynx smiled. “A hairy asshole.”
Lynx glanced back at his cousin. “Right? That’s what you see, too?”
“Yep,” Wolfe agreed. “A hairy asshole with teeth.”
Lynx turned back to Billy.
It was Friday night.
Everyone in this town knew that the Caines could generally be persuaded out to the parking lot for a little throw-down action. Lynx was more than willing to clear the way for him and Billy to go outside. He’d been itching to beat the guy’s ass for a long damn time.
“Don’t do it, Billy,” Reagan warned.
“Fuck you,” he muttered. “I shoulda known you were fuckin’ him. Prob’ly been fuckin’ him the whole time we were together.”
Same shit, different day. Billy always took that route, no matter what. Truthfully, it was getting old.
“Ain’t that right?” Billy asked Lynx directly. “You been lettin’ her hoover your dick while she was hooverin’ mine?”
No one said Lynx was known for his social skills.
Before the dickhead could draw another breath, Lynx was in Billy’s face, his fist in the asshole’s shirt as he lifted him off the ground. “What’d I tell you about talkin’ about her like that?” Lynx dropped him to his feet. “Let’s take this outside. You and me. Once and for all.”
“Fuck you,” Billy spat.
“You get off talkin’ shit about a woman? That make you feel like a big boy?” Lynx glared down at him, the rage building inside him. “Make you feel like your dick’s bigger’n it is?”
“You been thinkin’ ’bout my dick?” Billy countered with a grin that showed off yellowed teeth and the lip full of dip he was known to have.
What the fuck Reagan ever saw in him, Lynx would never know.
“Y’all hear that?” Billy hollered, turning toward the other patrons filling the small bar. “Lynx Caine’s over here talkin’ ’bout my dick. Maybe he swings both ways like his cousin.”
Lynx fought the urge to roll his eyes. “If I did, I can tell ya, I’d have better taste than that.”
Billy flipped him off.
Take a swing at his family, Lynx would be the first to beat your ass.
Treat a woman with disrespect, Lynx would be the first to pound you into the ground.
Raise your hand to a child or an animal, Lynx would be the first to knock your front teeth out.
But talk shit to him … Lynx could take it. He wasn’t as reactive as he’d been as a teenager. If Billy Watson wanted to prove his IQ was the same as his boot size by talking smack, Lynx was more than happy to let him.
Waving him off, Lynx strode back to his beer. “There’s a reason assholes don’t have mouths,” he said, making sure his voice was loud enough for Billy to hear.
When Billy took a lunge toward him, Reagan intervened, coming to stand between them.
And a second later, when Billy grabbed her arm and jerked her out of the way, Lynx lost every single ounce of his sanity.