A brand-new standalone from JJ Harper
Framed and imprisoned at eighteen, six years later Santiago “Santo” Valentine is not the frightened teen he once was. Taught by Master Salvatore Moretti, and with walking papers in hand, Santo is determined to turn the family name around and distance it from the drugs and prostitution his father’s legacy is built on.
Santo seeks revenge on his father, the man who framed him, and the whereabouts of his younger brother, Luca.
When he finds him, in the worst place a child could ever be—a children’s home simply known as “The Pound,” where unwanted children disappear—Luca has a friend he refuses to leave behind.
At the first sight of Ezra’s brilliant, ice-blue eyes, something shifts in Santo, and he knows he has to help this boy, too.
Ezra, dumped at The Pound when he was barely eleven years old, takes one look at Santo and knows his heart is lost. He also knows he has no chance with him. He might be seventeen, but he’s nothing more than Santo’s little brother’s best friend.
After a massive error in judgment, Ezra runs, obliterating all trace of him.
Santo, sent to investigate a dancer for his club six years later, crosses paths with Ezra. Santo’s reckless behavior shocks them both and leaves them stumbling to trust their hearts.
This is a gay romance with BDSM scenes and lots of men-on-men action. Due to sexual content, it is advised that readers are 18 and over.
Dressed in black leather pants and a skintight, black T-shirt, I wait in my car for the right moment. An hour passes as I watch members of my father’s gang arrive at his club. As I count the last man in, I send the message out to my men.
As I walk up to the doorman, the man nods and slinks away. Joel and Mickey stride down the dark corridor leading to the club’s back room, which my father uses to sign the papers for the massive drugs deal he thinks he made. I find myself looking around a place that, even after all these years, is so familiar. I hear the voices of patrons in the bar, the clink of glasses, and the thwack of a cue hitting a ball on a pool table. As a child, this was my home; every day, I would be here after school, doing my homework in the company of prostitutes, crooks, thieves, and murderers. Now, everyone in there is oblivious of what is about to go down.
Joel knocks the door three times, pausing before knocking again. When the door opens, I see a pair of eyes I haven’t seen in a very long time. My cousin Arlo steps back to allow Joel and Mickey entry. I follow them and see the look on Arlo’s face. Confusion, as he tries to place me, changes to shock when he recognizes me. Gabriel and Manny follow me, and we spread out, facing the men sitting around the large, alcohol-laden table. The room is thick with cigar smoke.
There he is, a much fatter and more grotesque man than the one who sent me to prison. He seems startled and fidgets in his chair, his mouth opening and closing like a gaping fish.
“Not expecting to see me tonight?” I ask as he tries to gain his composure. I look at the men and send a silent signal to the ones who have joined me.
“What the f*ck are you doing here?” He scans the room as men stand from the table and the perimeter of the room.
I stay silent as he attempts to work out what is going on. “I don’t know what the f*ck you’re doing out of prison, let alone why you’re standing here. I don’t have time for you. I’m busy, so f*ck off and don’t come here again.”
“You waiting on someone? Someone to do a bit of business with? Someone you met in Vegas? Is that why you’re here tonight? I believe you brought some girls in for entertainment, too. Still dabbling in prostitution, or is it human trafficking now? Along with the drugs, you must be worth a bit now.”
“What the f*ck are you talking about? F*ck off, Santiago; you’re not man enough to play with the big boys. Take your pretend hard men with you and get the f*ck out of here.” He pushes himself up to stand as he waves an arm in the direction of the door.
“Oh dear, I was hoping this was going to be easy. Now, listen to me. You’re done here. Your time is up. I’m back and I’m taking what’s mine. I’m taking what you made sure I couldn’t have when you set me up to save your own ass. I know it was you who planted me in that girl’s apartment. I also know it was you who raped her, then beat her so hard she almost died. I know it was you who called the cops. And I know there’s only two ways you’re getting out of here.”
Observing the room, I know I have the backing of all but a few here. I notice Arlo going for his gun. “Don’t even think about it, little cousin. You will be dead before you can take aim.” Manny reaches inside his coat and has his gun out faster than you can blink, aiming at Arlo’s head.
“What’s it gonna be, Pops?” I watch him snarl and turn purple with rage. “A body bag or handcuffs? Which way will be less painful for you?”
About the Author
JJ Harper likes nothing more than to lose herself in books, either reading or writing them. She spends her days dreaming about hot men and love stories, letting her imagination run away with her.
Living quietly in the South Lincolnshire countryside with her very patient husband and her uber-lazy dog she hides behind a sweet smile but really is a coffee-addicted, wine drinking, potty-mouthed girl with no intention of every growing up or growing old gracefully.
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Finding Me Series (M/F)