Build: A Bad Boy Snowed In Romance
(Burns Brothers #1)
Publication date: January 29th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Welcome to Badass Builds where the motorcycles are as sexy as the brothers building them.
I thought she wasn’t real the first time I saw her. To be fair I was a hungover mess when I woke up and looked into her gorgeous eyes. After getting the second worst news of my life—that my father would be paroled soon—I’d escaped to my buddy’s posh cabin near Lake Tahoe. Now the maid with the gorgeous eyes is snowed in with me, and I wonder if she might be a better distraction than the mountain of booze I’d planned on drinking. She’s curvy in all the right places, and the snow is falling faster.
As a single mom, I don’t have time for men, especially irresponsible tattooed bad boys like my ex. But Austin is hot. And sexy. And stuck here in the cabin with me. I can’t say no to fling with this bad boy, especially since Austin is so gorgeous and awkwardly sweet.
One night becomes two, and I don’t know if I can risk my heart—and my little boy’s—if Austin wants it to become more when we get through the snow and back to reality.
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“Are you this indecisive with every fucking thing, or do I just bring it out in ya?” Austin grumbled from somewhere inside the room.
I cleared my throat. “Where, um, where is the dog?”
The room in front of me was a dark cave, and I had that prickling sensation that someone or something was watching me in a menacing way. I just knew it was Blue.
“He’s in here next to me. Relax. Contrary to his growl, he’s just a big baby. You got nothing to worry about.”
“Maybe you could grab one of those chargers for me and fling it in my general direction?” I would’ve turned tail and run already, but I needed to charge my phone. I had to talk to my kid soon, and I should’ve called my boss an hour ago.
“Blue is really docile. I swear. Come on over and pet him. You’ll see.”
My eyes had adjusted to the lack of lighting, and I could see Austin in the front row of recliners with a large dark shadow at his feet.
My heart pounded into my throat. “Yeah, no. I’m good here.”
“Blue, stay.” Austin commanded before he huffed as he got up then walked to the back of the room and fiddled with something. I didn’t really watch him—I was too busy keeping my eyes on the shadow in front of the recliners. A soft panting let me know that I was right. Blue was right there, probably watching me with his big, hungry eyes.
I flinched when Austin appeared at my side. My fight or flight instincts kicked in as I took a few steps back—away from him or the dog I didn’t know. I just wanted to fly away.
“Whoa. Hold up. It’s okay. No one here—man or dog—is gonna hurt you. If it’ll make you feel better, you can take your charger and hole up in a bedroom with the door locked or whatever. Here.” He held the cord out in his hand and the gentle, understanding look in his eyes melted me, and I started babbling.
“I don’t want to be antisocial, it’s just that dogs kinda scare me.” And you kinda scare me too.
“Ah, I’m sorry, sweetheart. I’ll put him in the garage so you don’t—”
“Oh no. You don’t have to do that. I don’t want you kicking him out. I can hang out upstairs or something.”
“It’s not exactly like I’m putting Blue out in the cold. Cole’s garage is nicer than most people’s houses. It’s nicer than the house I grew up in. Blue will be fine.”
I shook my head as I accepted the cord. “I’d still feel bad.”
Austin rocked back on his heels and stuffed his hands in his back pockets. “How deep is this fear of yours? Could you come over and meet Blue? I’ll turn on the lights and stand between you. Despite his size, he’s really a big marshmallow, I swear.”
I bit my lip in indecision. Austin was persuasive, but my fear of dogs went pretty deep. If Blue was a Pitbull, I was out of here. “What breed is he?”
“He’s a Great Dane. They’re the teddy bears of dogs, I promise.”
“I, uh, okay.”
Austin smiled at me as he grabbed my hand. My heart stuttered for a second before it pounded hard in my chest. I’d like to attribute my sudden arrhythmia to fear, but I knew better. I just didn’t want to think about it. Nothing was going to come of this anyway—Austin still thought I had a man back home.
He flicked on the light switch with his other hand, flooding the room with light. I blinked against the glare then focused on the large dog on the floor. My whole body tensed. The dog’s head tilted as he watched me. Unlike the monster that’d mauled me as a teenager, this dog was kinda…lazy looking. Blue let out a soft sigh then fell over onto his side with a human sounding groan. My lips curled slightly, and most of the tension drained from me. He looked sweet and not threatening at all.
“See? He’s a lazy lump. Most days I’m lucky if I can get him off the couch. He’s like a big, lazy teenager but with none of the attitude. And trust me, I’d know.”
I nodded slightly, not letting Blue out of my sight. I knew Austin was the oldest of four brothers. But I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to look like the crazy stalker I clearly was.
Austin’s rumbling voice tore me from my thoughts. “Are you okay with getting closer to him? Blue won’t mind.”
“I, uh, okay,” I mumbled. Blue looked sweet enough, but I was still too nervous to trust he was a teddy bear. He still looked very doglike to me.
“I got Blue two years ago. When he was a puppy, he was the size of most medium adult dogs. But he was as lazy as ever, even as a puppy.” Austin chattered away as we approached the dog in question. Blue blinked languidly at us but didn’t get up, or even lift his head. A low thumping sound pulsed in the silent room as Blue’s tail wagged, walloping away at the floor. “He’s lazy; he won’t get up even when he’s excited.”
My smile grew as I watched Austin kneel down next to the prone dog. He rubbed Blue on his ribs, but still the dog didn’t really move—aside from his tail, which continued to thump against the floor. “Who’s a good boy? Who’s a good boy?”
The baby talk was ridiculously sweet and totally at odds with his professional persona. With the tattoos and muscles and overall badass aura, it made my ovaries flutter to watch Austin caress and sweettalk his dog. And it totally distracted me from my fear, right up to the point that Austin grabbed my hand again.
“You okay with giving him a little pat? I’ll keep myself between you two for your peace of mind, but you’ve got nothing to worry about. He let my brothers lay on top of him.”
My heartbeat thrummed in my ears from the combination of my fear and Austin’s touch. But that sweet, soft look in his eye had me grinning, and before I even realized it, words were coming out of my mouth. “I, uh, yeah sure. That’s okay.”
Austin guided my hand toward Blue’s blue-grey coat. The dog didn’t flinch as our entwined hands moved over him. His fur was soft and kinda bristly. And warm. After a minute Blue groaned again and rolled onto his back, leaving his soft fleshy belly exposed.
“He really loves belly rubs. Here.” Austin moved our hands over Blue’s belly which felt surprisingly like my own skin—soft, hairless, and with that give of a not really firm tummy.
I laughed as I petted him. Austin smiled and looked into my eyes as our hands continued to move over Blue.
“See? Nothing to worry about. Blue’s just a big ol’ baby. Not a scary bone in his body.” Austin’s fingers linked with mine for a second.
I looked down at our joined hands and felt a tingle between my legs. It’d been so, so long since I’d been near a guy I kinda liked, let alone touched one. But I knew no matter how I felt, nothing would ever come of it. I had a son at home, a mom to take care of, and besides, I doubted he had the same jolt that I’d felt just because our hands had touched. He still thought I was married.
You could fix that, a naughty little voice whispered in my head. But I couldn’t think of a way to bring it up that didn’t sound like a come-on. I didn’t want to look like a needy hussy, especially if he wasn’t into me. How embarrassing would that be, if I all but threw myself at him and he rejected me? Meanwhile, we had to spend however much time together. Alone.
No thank you.
Gillian has a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering but prefers to spend her time on happily ever after. She writes the kind of stories she loves to read—the hotter the better!
When Gillian’s not pounding away on the keyboard, she can be found surfing the couch indulging in her latest reality tv fixation, baking something ridiculously tasty (and horrible for her waist line) or snuggling with her husband.
Home is currently in the wilds of Nevada with her amazing husband, ridiculously cute kiddo, and goofy dog.
Build by Gillian Archer Q&A
Thanks so much for having me. I’m thrilled to share my new release with you!
– Summary of the book in your own words
Alpha male gets snowed in with cleaning lady. Sexiness ensues then they have to figure out if they can have a future together when they get back to reality.
–Name some of the original working titles of your work before it was published.
There was only one. I was initially going to call the book: Snowed In with the Bad Boy but after talking it through with another author decided to use that as the subtitle and go with something short & sweet & motorcycle related.
–What was your hardest scene to write?
Probably the first kiss, but not for *that* reason. Just before the kiss, the heroine helps the hero out with a small cut and like the heroine I also have an issue with blood. Blek.
“Well I don’t think you’ll be holding any wrenches any time soon, but otherwise you should be good to go.” Rachel stooped to stash the first aid kit.
I took a second and admired her ass. It was pretty spectacular—plump without being all in your face. I could easily imagine myself kneeling behind it for a few hours. Maybe with a handful of her hair. I’d bet she’s a moaner. Damn.
When she stood back up, her ring glinted in the light, reminding me that she wasn’t available. Fuck, I must be pretty drunk or lost more blood than I thought if I was having a hard time remembering that little fact. Maybe I should write it down or some shit.
Rachel reached for the blood-spotted wipes she’d cleaned me up with and swayed. “Whoa.”
“Shit, you okay, sweetheart?” I grabbed her arm and led her to the toilet, but she balked at sitting down.
“Yeah. I think the adrenaline or whatever just wore off. I’m fine.”
I raised an eyebrow. She’d been able to keep it together while cleaning out my little cut, but now when faced with a little bit of blood, she got all pasty? Testing my little theory, I reached for the tissues and held them at my side but within her eye line. “If you’re sure…”
Rachel glanced at the bloody tissues and immediately went white. She swayed and this time didn’t fight me as I pulled her down to sit on the closed toilet lid then shoved again until her head was between her knees.
“You’re really that squeamish about blood? How did you keep it together while digging the glass out?”
“I don’t know.” Rachel moaned as she clutched her head. “It’s a mom thing I guess. I can do it with Wyatt when he gets a cut or has a scraped knee. It’s only after when he’s all patched up and distracted by a cartoon that I fall apart.”
“His dad doesn’t help you out with that?”
Rachel gave a little snort. “Yeah no. Wyatt hasn’t seen my ex since he was about two weeks old. Neither have I. But if you see him, the California Department of Child Support Services has a long letter for him.”
I rocked back on my heels as I absorbed that little nugget. “I take it he’s not the one who gave you that ring then.”
Rachel stilled and audibly gulped. After a moment she shook her head and whispered, “No.”
“What’s his name?”
“What?” It’d never occurred to me that Rachel was gay. Or bi. I thought she’d been throwing clear interested-but-taken vibes. Fuck me. Clearly I’d had more than enough booze. Maybe it was time for some coffee.
Rachel sighed and finally looked up at me. The chagrin in her expression would’ve been endearing if I wasn’t so fucking flustered. “My mom gave me the ring. It’s a family heirloom. I wear it to keep guys at work from hitting on me and judgmental assholes from sneering at us when I’m out with my son.”
“People really do that?” I asked before my brain caught up with the meaning behind what she’d just confessed. Rachel didn’t have a husband. “Wait, you’re single?”
“Yes, they do that. I once had a woman come up to me, ask if I was married, and when I told her no she said that she was going to pray for my soul. Like I was a heathen for not having a husband. Judgmental bitch.”
“Rachel?” I waved a hand in front of her face. She still hadn’t answered the question I really needed her to.
“You’re single? There’s no guy waiting at home for you or worried about you staying here alone with me?”
Rachel hunched over and crossed her arms over her chest. Then she shook her head. “No, there’s no one. Hasn’t been anyone in years.” Closing her eyes, she winced. “I don’t know why I told you that. I think I need a drink.”
After taking a step forward, I dropped to my knees before her. “I think there’s been more than enough drinking here tonight. And I’d really prefer it if you were sober for this next part.”
“Why? What’s going to happen next?”
“This,” I murmured as I leaned forward, stopping when my lips were a hairbreadth from hers. After a beat, Rachel closed the distance and pressed her lips against mine.
Her lips muffled my groan of triumph. She tasted sweet—like a mixture of sugar and vanilla and Rachel. I took the kiss deeper, flicking my tongue against the seam of her mouth, silently urging her to open to me. Rachel moaned softly as I buried a hand in her hair and kissed her like I wanted. Her hands fluttered against my chest then glided up my bare skin to loosely clutch the back of my neck. No longer passive in our kiss, her mouth moved against mine, her lips soft and supple and so fucking amazing, I couldn’t wait to feel them on my dick later tonight.
After a few minutes, Rachel pulled away with a gasp. She panted softly and stared into my eyes with her arms still wrapped around me. “What the hell was that?”
I smiled. “That was the beginning of an amazing fucking night. What do you say, sweetheart? Wanna take this party upstairs?”
–What did you edit out of this book?
This will be surprising to anyone who’s read the book but I edited out a lot of curse words. Apparently when I get into my alphahole POV the four letter words tend to fly!
–Name a childhood hero.
I know it sounds hokey but my mom. She’s an amazing, patient, caring woman who loves to laugh. I don’t how she puts up with all she did/does but she’s always been my example of what an awesome mom is.
–Name a book not your own that you wish everyone would read.
Ryan’s Bed by Tijan. It’s a book I’ve reread probably a dozen times in the last year. It’s such a painfully honest telling of recovering from a suicide of a loved one. What the heroine went through stayed with me for days after reading.
– What are you currently working on? What other releases so you have planned for 2019?
I should have book 2 of the Burns Brothers series, FAST, (aka Ryan’s story) available in the summer and maybe book 3 (Dylan’s story) by the end of the year!
What’s your stance on snow? Love it? Hate it? Wish it would go away already? (That last one might be mine….) Let me know in the comments!
Build is available now!
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Sounds like a great read love this cover.