Natasha Raulerson



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Regina DeLuca left her Chicago crime family for a less violent life. Three years later she is now Reggie Dennis—a truck driver keeping on the move.

When her big rig breaks down in Merry Dale, a small suburb outside of Baton Rouge, Reggie needs to earn some extra cash. She takes a job with single father Josh Fisher, a landscape designer with an alluring habit of working shirtless. No matter how distracting his muscles are, Reggie knows a future of staying in one place is an impossible dream that risks Josh’s family to the danger always at her heels.

But when that danger becomes a reality, Reggie will have to find the courage to stop running and embrace her past—even if it means exposing her true self to Josh and losing him forever.

After all, DeLucas don’t get happily ever afters.




After getting dressed in a pair of jean shorts and a tank-top, Reggie went outside, walking around the front of the greenhouse. Leaves crunched beneath her boots as she worked her way through the rows of plants. Josh leaned against the back of his truck wearing loose khakis and a white shirt. She could see the light outline of something on his shoulder—some sort of tattoo she couldn’t make out. His arm muscles flexed as he sipped his java and Reggie stopped, swallowing thickly.

Josh did not help her problem with the heat.

He looked over, eyes widening. “Reggie, you better—”

Before he finished his sentence, a low hiss sounded as water sprayed up from the ground. Reggie yelped as the frigid drops hit her skin, dousing through her clothes in seconds. She ran out of the battlefield of liquid but felt somewhat refreshed from the humidity. Her thick hair clung to her face and she grumbled as the moisture in the air quickly made the feel of her sticky clothes uncomfortable.

Josh jogged over to her, his lips pressed into a thin line, turning up at the edges.

Reggie narrowed her gaze. “A little warning next time.” She went to take a step and slipped in the slick soil, landing on her ass.

Josh burst out laughing. He bent at the waist, a hand to his belly.

“Oh, hell. I’m sorry, cher, but that’s funny.”

For a brief moment, her mother’s words came into her mind. Act like a lady, Regina. No man wants a heathen.

Reggie had been eight, playing with her brother in the backyard in her best Easter dress. They chased each other and tumbled in the grass, getting green stains all around the hem. Her mother nearly blew a gasket.

She huffed and ignored her mother’s chastising voice in her head.

“Sure it is. You’re still standing.” Smart ass. Maybe a little harsh, Reggie thought, but she’d always been raised to get even. She held out her hand. “Help me up, chuckles.”

Standing up, he took the offered hand. “Come on, then. We still got a lot of work to do.”

“That we do.” Reggie jerked on his hand.

Josh let out a yell and fell into the muck next to her.

“I told you not to call me, cher.” For emphasis, she picked up a handful of mud and plopped it on his head. It slid down the side of his face in think rivulets. She grinned at him. “Maybe now you’ll remember.”

“Hey!” he laughed. “Dirty shot.”

“Probably.” Reggie stood up and shook the excess gook off her hand. “I’m going to go clean up. Meet you back in ten.”

“You don’t play fair, Reggie,” Josh said, wiping his face.

“Oh honey,” she said. “You have no idea.”

Turning, Reggie walked back to the bunkhouse, putting a little more swagger in her step than was necessary.


ISBN: 9781733715591

Additional information




Wild Obsidian Press

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Natasha grew up as a tomboy hanging with the guys, getting skinned knees, and swimming under the South Florida sun. Tattoos, Jack Daniels, and lounging at the pool are three of her favorite things. She is a wife, a mother, has two fur babies who love puppy piles, and the status of her sanity is pending.