Title: Loving Wilder
Series: Wilder #3
Author: Lēigh Tudor
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Release Date: September 27, 2021
LOVING WILDER IS THE THIRD AND LAST INSTALLMENT OF THE WILDER BOOK SERIES TRILOGY, CONTINUING THE SHENANIGANS FROM BEYOND WILDER
Three sisters trained in lethal combat with zero life skills move to a small prairie town. What could go wrong?
Maybe an existential crisis for the youngest sister, Cara? A virtuoso pianist who goes from sold-out concerts for royalty to playing in her local high school band. Now living under a new identity, she’s fallen from fame to lame in the blink of an eye.
Or, perhaps an acute case of middle-child syndrome for Mercy? An astounding artist who has always had to follow her older sister’s lead. After all, she’s too emotional and fails at logic, which makes her more of a burden than an asset.
Then there’s Loren who suffers from some monumental control issues. Feeling solely responsible for her sisters’ happiness, she’s on the verge of serious burnout.
Add insult to injury, life is not guaranteed yet danger sure is.
The most important thing now is to stay alive long enough to get their lives sorted and settled.
Join the wild ride, jaw-dropping revelations, and a rich cast of characters as these three sisters learn how to believe in themselves, trust in others and, in Cara’s case, make it to first base in this thrilling romantic suspense romp.
It was nearly pitch-black outside, but Mercy’s senses were full of the man she was following. The polished, calm exterior belied by the electric humming that steadily crackled just beneath the surface. How a man could look both unfazed and about to combust at the same time proved a mystery to the woman who was the worst liar and wore her feelings on her sleeve for all to see.
Her traitorous eyes ventured to the dark slacks in front of her, his hands in his pockets making them hug his backside just so.
Get to the car, hear what he has to say, and then leave.
And for the love of God, stop picturing him naked.
To her relief, they made it to the vehicle where he opened the driver’s door, the light from the vehicle illuminating his stern face that was avoiding eye contact with her.
She remembered when she was all he cared to look at. When she had his undivided attention and made her feel so special, desired, and wanted.
How, for a moment in time, he convinced her they were a real thing and not some fabrication born from the need to protect his little family.
And she blew it. Proving she had no business playing with the lives and hearts of the people she deeply cared for.
She was the imposter temporarily given the reckless responsibility of the care and feeding of others’ souls. What had she been thinking? She didn’t know how to manage the relationships with her sisters, let alone those outside of her dysfunctional family.
But oh, how she wanted him, despite knowing she didn’t deserve him.
He held the door open for her and before settling inside and making her escape; she turned to him to land her greedy eyes once more on his.
“You had mentioned the children,” she offered. Anything to keep him in her orbit.
“Yeah, they spoke of you today. Wanted to know when you might be visiting.”
“Are they… are they upset by what happened?”
His eyes finally lit on hers—flints of steel boring into her—and she instantly regretted wanting his attention.
“They weren’t there when you announced to the town that we were over.”
Holding the doorframe, she stared down at her feet to escape the blatant hostility written all over his face. “Oh… okay… that’s good. I think.”
“I’ll make sure they know this farce is over.”
She nodded, digging her toe into the dirt-packed driveway.
“I hope you’ll keep your word and spend time with them.”
Her eyes flew up to his. “Of course.”
He nodded and swallowed. “Good.”
She knew she needed to leave. Put him out of his misery. Before she could convince herself to do the right thing though, he asked, “And I hope this guy you’ve met makes you happy.” Insincerity dripped from his tone.
It took a minute for her to respond. “Oh, yeah, he’s… great.”
“So, what’s his name?”
Good Lord, a name… “Uh… Greg.”
“Greg, huh?” he said, tilting his head to the side. “What does Greg do?”
“Oh,” she said, pondering what job she could assign to her new fake boyfriend. Jeez, she needed to keep a spreadsheet on all the fake identities she had to keep track of.
“He’s… an accountant.”
Trevor nodded his head slowly, his lips a firm line. “Sounds like the perfect boring job.”
She recalled what she had told him of her list of ‘must haves’ for the future Mr. Mercy Ingalls—including where he fell short—at the top of the list was a boring job that would bring the future Mr. Mercy Ingalls home every night.
And then Trevor had to go and hang up his espionage hat and become the co-owner of a boring local hardware store.
But he hadn’t done that for her sake. That had been for Nate, Marleigh, and Haley. He’d admitted as much.
Trevor’s voice pulled her back. “Won’t Greg be upset if you come to the house to spend time with the kids?”
“Quit saying his name like that.”
“Oh? How am I saying his name?”
“I don’t know, like you ‘re referring to black mold as opposed to the future father of my children.” She tensed, sensing she might have gone too far as a vein protruded from his neck. “Besides, why would me coming to your house upset him?”
His expression changed to one of aggravation. “It would piss me off if someone I loved went to her ex’s house.”
“Oh,” she said, picking at the nail of the hand holding onto the top of the driver’s door. “He’s very understanding.”
“That’s good, I guess,” he remarked. “Because I wouldn’t be.”
She chanced a look and found his eyes boring down on her.
“I wouldn’t like it one bit,” he went on. “I wouldn’t care to know she was playing house in another man’s home, spending time with his kids as if they were still together.”
“We were never really together.”
“We were. You know it and I know it, but for whatever reason you wouldn’t admit it.”
“None of that matters now. I’m with…” Crap, she needed to come up with a more memorable name. “Greg! I’m with Greg now.”
“You know what I think?”
That she was outright lying? She didn’t dare respond.
“I think you owe me an apology.”
“Fine. I’m so…”
“Oh no, I don’t want a verbal apology.”
“What other kind is there?”
“I want a kiss.”
Her heart was now lodged in her throat. He was killing her.
“I don’t think—”
“It’s the least you could do, considering you broke up with me in front of the entire town and my sister, who traveled from another continent to meet you and see the kids. But instead, witnessed your public confession of meeting someone else.”
He moved toward her, crowding her until her back ended up flush against the door, the light from the inside wafting over the angry cuts and valleys of his face as he stared at her mouth.
“Say yes,” he instructed, leaning into her until she could feel his hard length and nearly passed out from that alone.
“I don’t think…”
“Say yes,” he repeated, “It’s the least you could do.”
She stared at the pulse beating alongside his neck and breathed, “Yes.”
99c for a limited time!
Lēigh lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA, with her husband whom she lovingly refers to as The PoolBoy.
She recently retired from a career in the tech industry, working a variety of positions where she sold, trained, marketed and managed . . . a ton of shit. She loved it, don’t misconstrue the excrement comment, but now finds herself blissfully happy following her, well, bliss.
Lēigh’s motto is “Find your tribe and love them hard.” If this sounds like someone ya’ll want to hang out with, come join her tribe!