With: Marie Harte
Marie Harte introduces a whole new set of bad boys to love in Test Drive, the first in her Body Shop Bad Boys series!
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 is a devil-may-care charmer with a sullied past. Stealing cars landed him in jail, but he learned his lesson. The last seven years working in Websters garage have taught him how to work hard and play even harder.
Lara Valley has grown up lower middle class and she can’t wait to escape. To get her nursing degree, she works at a dive bar while taking classes at a community college. She has no time for dating, and especially not for Johnny—a playboy too handsome for his own good.
Johnny has always had his eye on the pretty bartender with the rockin’ bod and soul-deep eyes. But she’s rejected him more than once. Still, that doesn’t mean he won’t come to her aid when some dirtbag mauls her. When she asks him on a date to thank him, he can’t say no. And then he’s saying nothing but hell, yes.
Before she knows it, Lara is doing things she’s only ever fantasized about. But she doesn’t want to settle down with trouble. She’s been surrounded by it her whole life. Except when her Mr. Fix It bad boy decides he wants her by his side, he makes it nearly impossible to resist saying yes when she should be saying no. When danger comes calling again, she’ll have to decide what’s more important—being with the man she loves, or hoping for a future in a better section of town.
The older woman at the front smiled at them. “Johnny. Great to see you.” She nodded to Lara. “Welcome to Ray’s. I have your table. Follow me.”
They sat and were soon given water, rolls, and menus. Their table by the window overlooked Puget Sound and the setting sun over the Olympic Mountains. Purple clouds dotted a pink-and-blue sky darkening as the sun set. Dappled sunlight glistened off the water, reflecting prisms of color that dazzled as she watched. A few birds wheeled overhead, adding to the natural splendor, while the mountains stood fast, anchoring the beauty all around.
“Gorgeous view.” She couldn’t take her eyes from it.
“Yeah, I know.”
She turned back to him and saw him focused on her, not the window. “And, um, stellar service. Nice that we got such a great table without a wait.” The restaurant looked crowded. Only a few unoccupied tables.
Johnny shrugged. “I worked on Lisa’s car a few times. Her husband has a cherry ’Vette.” He took a sip of water. “I also made reservations. Lisa and I aren’t that tight.” He grinned. “No need to be jealous.”
She huffed her derision. “Please.” She glanced at the menu and revised her idea of eating whatever she wanted. Between dinner and the movie, she’d have to pull some serious overtime at the bar.
She glanced up and saw him staring at her, so she buried her nose in the menu again.
“I’m buying, so eat up.”
She looked over at him. “Lobster it is.”
He chuckled. “Go for it. Might as well. I don’t offer to buy all that often.”
“No, you’re too busy winning at darts and making the guys pay for you.”
“Yeah. I’m damn good.” He wiggled his brows. “Now figure out what you’re gonna eat. We don’t have all night, or we’ll miss the movie.”
And somehow, because he didn’t seem to be trying too hard to impress her, she started to relax. She chose some crab cake sliders while he ordered the blackened rockfish and an appetizer for them to share. His dinner cost more, so she felt better about things.
“You don’t want a drink?” he asked after ordering a beer.
“Water is fine for me.” At his look, she said, “I’m a social drinker. But I like water with meals.”
“So what? I’m not social enough for you?”
“I’m trying to keep my wits, Mr. Charm. Besides, water is free. You can thank me later when you’re buying me a tub of popcorn at the movies.”
“Is that right?”
“Yeah. I’ll buy our tickets, but you’re in charge of food.” She gave him a big smile. “And I eat a lot.”
He gave her an assessing once-over. “It’s going to all the right places.” He rubbed his heart.
“Oh boy, is it.”
“Stop. I’m wearing a sweater, for God’s sake.”
“Yeah, but ever since I found out you’re going to be a nurse, I keep envisioning you in those naughty nurse outfits. How about it? Make my year and wear one in a few weeks for Halloween.”
“Because a tiny white skirt, garters, and cleavage screams professional.” She snorted. “Tell you what. I’ll be a naughty nurse if you’ll be a hunky mechanic. No shirt, just jeans and some manly sweat. Maybe even a dab of grease on your face to look authentic. Yeah, man-candy all the way.”
“Done.” He held out a hand across the table.
She stared at it. “What’s this?”
“A deal. Shake on it.”
She took his hand, her entire body flaming at his touch. He gripped her and pumped once, then let her go. Boy was she needing to get laid if a simple handshake turned her on.
He smiled at her. “I can’t wait.”
“I was joking.”
About the Author:
I’ve been writing as far back as I can remember. Interest in the written word, no doubt spawned by my English teacher father, continues to this day. I’m a voracious reader, gobbling everything from romance to horror to fantasy and more. I’m in love with the art of storytelling.
I majored in English from Penn State University, earning a B.A. in Liberal Arts, as well as a commission in the United States Marine Corps. Five years later, after serving as a communications officer, I left the service to focus more on family. After going through an assortment of jobs–the Marine Corps Reserve, IT representative, middle manager for a Fortune 500 transportation company–I stopped working to raise my children. During this period, I decided to stop dreaming and start seriously writing.
In December of 2004 my first story was published, and I haven’t looked back since. I currently have over a hundred titles with several publishers to include: Ellora’s Cave, Fated Desires, Loose Id, Samhain, Sourcebooks, and Totally Bound. I’ve hit both the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists and am always on deadline.
I currently live in Central Oregon with my family, writing like a woman possessed and loving every second of it.