Swan: I’m barely in my twenties, but I’m dying. Bone cancer. The treatment could be worse than the cancer itself. When my mom died shortly after my diagnosis, I made a bucket list and started working on it. All was going well until a big, tattooed guy found me on the beach. Well, the kid and the huge dog found me first, but… semantics.
El Segador: They call me The Reaper. I’ve lived my entire adult life in the shadows so I could be the deadliest asset El Diablo has. Together we’ve brought death to more men than I can count. But then I meet her. Swan. I may be a sucker for a woman in trouble, but I’m not stupid. There’s no way her real name is Swan Lake. Except, apparently, it is. When she tells me about her bucket list, I’m in. Now, I’m thrust into the light with Swan at my side going to… romantic dinners? My only goal is to clear her bucket list before it’s too late. But what if one item on that list is to fall in love?
Available Today at Changeling Press
MY REVIEW – 5 stars
El Segador touched on subjects that may be difficult to read. It’s an emotional story full of heartache, laughter, and love. The alpha biker is protective to a fault when it comes to Swan. This is a fast-paced, insta-lust story that will hook you from page one!
If you’ve read previous books in this series, which I have, you’ll find El Segador to be a lighter read. It’s still packed with steamy scenes, and may make you shed a tear, but it’s not your typical darker MC romance story. Nothing wrong with that. Different is sometimes just what the doctor ordered.
I enjoyed the characters a great deal, especially Swan. My heart broke for her throughout most of the story. And El Segador became a big teddy bear after one look at Swan. I loved their interactions, and the lengths he would go to ensure her happiness. Lots of swoonworthy moments.
*Disclaimer: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. The review above is only my opinion.
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Copyright ©2022 Marteeka Karland
I woke up to the music of seagulls and crashing waves on the morning tide. A fresh, warm breeze came off the ocean, caressing my skin with a fine saltwater mist. The sun was just peeking on the horizon in beautiful pinks and blues as clouds wafted lazily just in front of the rising ball of fire. How had I gone twenty years without witnessing something so spectacular? For my first morning in Lake Worth, this wasn’t turning out to be as awful as I thought it would.
Stretching in my nest of quilts in the white sand, I gave a contented groan. Yeah. If my life was going to be cut short, I was going to live what time I did have to the fullest.
Bucket list check: Wake up on the beach to see the sunrise.
A little beach house currently sitting empty was only fifty yards or so away. I could have slept on one of the lounge chairs, but the sand had been so warm from the day’s heat, once it was dark out, I couldn’t resist. The warmth spread through my nest, and the sensations were just magical. Now. I just hoped I hadn’t picked up any sand crabs or other creepy crawlies. Surprisingly, I wasn’t too stiff. My thigh still ached, but nothing more than usual. The more I walked, the more it hurt. But I knew my walking days were numbered anyway, so I was determined to push myself until the leg just wouldn’t hold me anymore.
I sat with my arms crossed over my bent knees, a smile on my face and the wind in my hair. Time for another adventure today.
No sooner had the thought entered my head than I was tackled by the biggest, slobberiest, hairiest dog I’d ever seen. My squeal of surprise quickly turned to giggles as the dog licked my face like it had found a long-lost friend. It was long-haired but well groomed. A big red collar was buried in all that hair.
“Where’d you come from, huh? You lost?”
In answer, the pooch licked my face again. I struggled to sit up with the weight of the big brute pressing me down. Once I did, the lovable giant plopped down across my legs, effectively pinning me in place.
“You know this ain’t gonna work. Right?” I ruffed up his ears, and he closed his eyes in bliss. “I got shit to do today.” I thought for a minute. “Though I’ve never met a Saint Bernard before. Maybe that could be one of my bucket list completions.
“Bucket list check: Get licked nearly to death by a Saint Bernard puppy.” I laughed as the dog looked up at me as if I were his best friend. “I’d say that’s just as important an experience as anything else.” I continued to scrub his ears, and he continued to behave as if he were living his best life.
“Bruno!” A girl about six or seven. She had short, curly blonde hair and wore pink shorts and a white shirt with the word “Maddog” emblazoned in a bold, pink font across the front. “You’re not supposed to be on the beach! What are you doing?”
I waved a little sheepishly at the girl. “I’m sorry. I didn’t invite him over, but he seems to have made himself at home.”
“Yeah. He does that. Of all the dogs at home, he’s the neediest. If he doesn’t get petted, he runs off to find someone who can devote all their time to him.” The girl was tiny in comparison to the dog, but she walked up to him and snapped a leash onto his collar. The dog whined and laid his head down, obviously pouting. “Really? Your name’s Bruno and you’re acting like this? You’re almost as big a lame-o as Wrath started out being.”
“Holly!” The bellow came from off in the distance in the same direction the girl had come from. It was male and didn’t sound happy.
“Uh-oh,” she said, wincing a little. “I’m gonna get it now.”
I looked up to see a large man in running shorts, running shoes and nothing else jogging in our direction. He was huge! Muscles everywhere and a scowl on his face that almost looked like worry. But I couldn’t be sure.
“He’s not gonna hurt you, is he?”
“Him?” The girl, obviously Holly, hiked her thumb in his direction. “Nah. He’s harmless. My mommy, on the other hand… yeah. I see a scolding in my future.”
I took another look at the man as he got closer. Lord, the man was fine! Muscles. Tattoos. A short beard and shaggy hair… What’s not to love? Maybe I needed to add “Have sex with a hot runner” to my bucket list.
“He belong to you?” I asked the girl, indicating the big guy headed in our direction. “Are you Holly?”
The girl sighed. “Yeah. But you can ignore him if you want. He tries to be all scary and stuff, but he never is. Me and Bella put pink glitter in his hair last week, and he just growled at us.”
The man in question trotted next to us. He gave me a passing glance then dismissed me before speaking to Holly. “Your mother told you not to run off.”
“I had to get Bruno. He ran off. Not me.”
“You followed him. Which means you ran off.” The man scowled at the little girl. She should have been intimidated — I know I was — but she just shrugged.
“If I hadn’t gone after Bruno, he’d probably have mauled my new friend here. Then I wouldn’t have had a friend. That would be horrifying!” I wasn’t certain if her not having a friend or me getting mauled was the horrifying bit.
“Right,” the big guy said, shaking his head. “Well, you’ve got the mutt now. Let’s get him and you back to the clubhouse. Your mom’s worried, and you know Wrath doesn’t like to see her upset.” The word clubhouse caught my attention. Not many people used that term, and it was prickling my Spidey senses. I had a feeling this was a man I didn’t need to be around. There were motorcycle clubs all over the area. Though no one really said negative things about them, weren’t all MCs up to no good? At least, that was my perception. If this guy was a biker, though, he didn’t quite fit my mold of dangerous person who’d kill me to death.
“Daddy Wrath doesn’t like to see me upset either. Think how upset I’d be if my dog ran off, and my friend got mauled!”
The guy gave me a measured look. “Your friend, huh? What’s her name?”
Holly glanced at me, obviously expecting an assist. The kid was good.
“I’m Swan,” I said.
When I said nothing else, he raised an eyebrow. “Last name?”
I winced, dreading what was about to come next. “Lake.”
“Swan Lake,” he said. He sounded like he either didn’t believe me or was struggling not to laugh. Which got my back up.
“It’s not my fault, you know. I didn’t pick my name.”
“Nothin’ wrong with your name.”
“Swan was just about to come back home with me for breakfast,” Holly said. “She likes pancakes with lots of syrup.”
“I see,” the guy said. “Well. I guess I better put in an order with Archangel. He’s cookin’ breakfast for you and Bella.”
“Oh, boy! He makes the best pancakes!” She handed the leash to the man and tugged my hand, trying to get me up. “Come on! You don’t want to miss out!”
“Yeah, but I think I’m gonna have to pass. I appreciate the offer, Holly.”
“You’re not comin’?” Now Holly looked like she was on the verge of tears. I glanced at the man, and he gave me a hard look. Yeah. Not accepting her invitation was not an option.
“Well, maybe for just a little while, then.” I smiled, trying to take the sting out of my earlier blunder. It must have worked because Holly jumped up and down.
“Yea!” She took my hand as I carefully got to my feet, lifting my backpack over my shoulder. Holly then tugged me along with her. I didn’t know the guy’s name, but I had the feeling I didn’t want to know. I was pretty sure what I needed was to run. Fast. Except I wasn’t sure I could run. My thigh, while not hurting a horrible amount, made the night on the ground known with every step. I was sure I limped at least a little.
Holly chatted all the way to our destination. Which I thought was a hotel instead of a “home” or a “clubhouse.”
“Holy shit!” I gasped. “I thought you said this was a clubhouse.”
The guy shrugged. “It is.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erotic romance author by night, emergency room tech/clerk by day, Marteeka Karland works really hard to drive everyone in her life completely and totally nuts. She has been creating stories from her warped imagination since she was in the third grade. Her love of writing blossomed throughout her teenage years until it developed into the totally unorthodox and irreverent style her English teachers tried so hard to rid her of.