Roustabout by Jane Harvey-Berrick
Series: Traveling #3
Published by Harvey Berrick Publishing
Published on September 9, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Twelve years ago Tucker McCoy walked away from the hell that was his family with not much more than the shirt on his back. No regrets. Never once looking back.
Living his life as a roustabout turned stunt rider with a traveling carnival keeps a smile on his face. His new family are the people he’s chosen to be in his life, the people who travel his road. Kes, Zach and Zef don’t share his blood, but they share his hopes and dreams. Understand his fears and know what makes him tick. They’re his brothers, his real family.
If you keep moving, no one can catch you—it’s a simple rule. So when Tucker crosses paths with Tera Hawkins, he knows he should move on. There’s no woman that’s ever been worth breaking his rules for. Besides, she’s off limits, untouchable. He knows stronger men would walk away, but dammit, he’s always been weak.
All he can offer her is a night she’ll never forget, but will that one taste be enough?
“We’re on two different roads, TC. Crossing paths was an accident, but it’s not meant to be.”
… “Can’t we make our own road, choose our own path”
4 ‘Hell yes, you can!’ stars
Jane Harvey-Berrick takes us back to the magically exciting world of the carnival in this follow up to the The Traveling Man /The Traveling Woman duet with the story of Kes’ newly-discovered sister, Tera (TC) and his fellow stunt rider, Tucker.
Roustabout-turned-stunt motorcycle ryder, Tucker loves his wild and free life. Travelling from town to town, riding his bike, living amongst his carnie family with a different woman every night – life is good. But his world is turned upside down when his best friend’s younger sister propositions him for a night together.
“Tucker, I like you, and I can tell you like me. We’re both single. I’m not asking you for a commitment – let’s just see how this goes.”
Tera is a good girl. Living the life expected of a Senator’s daughter, she has followed the path that her parents want for her, except for one area of her life – the time she spends with brother and his carnie lifestyle. She is enthralled by her older brother, who she only recently learned about, and the excitement of his lifestyle, and she’s even more excited by his best friend and daredevil partner. Tera wants Tucker, and after missing an opportunity with him once, she’s determined not to let him get away again so she starts her pursuit, even though is hesitant to get involved with her, knowing that anything between them would lead to a whole heap of trouble. But the woman is determined to get her man, and you’ve gotta respect that!
“I’ve met a lot of right men … but it seems as if it’s the wrong man that I’m attracted to.”
At first it’s all cheesy pick-up lines and blatantly smutty flirting, but Tera gets her wish of a night with Tucker and together they are absolutely ON FIRE! Hot and steamy and brimming with chemistry, the sex is intense and life-changing for them both, and they realise that their one night together will not be enough… but then real life interferes.
Tucker’s cockiness and bravado hides a painful past that he ran from at 17, and when circumstances bring him back to the town he left, and the ‘family’ he has tried to forget, Tera is there for him in a way that nobody ever has been before. And as they start to grow closer and their feelings become involved, there is a huge shift in the dynamic between them, and I loved it! In so many books it’s the guy chasing after the girl, but in this case, Tera is the driving force behind everything that happens between them, and it’s gorgeous to watch.
“I like you,” I stated. “I like like you”
He raised an eyebrow. “You like like me?”
I smiled at him and turned away, my eyes closing. Slowly, I let my hand creep towards his, our fingers twining together.
“Yes, I like you,” I repeated simply.
There was a beat of silence, then he said, “Your Dad isn’t going to like…”
“No, he isn’t.”
“And Kes isn’t going to…”
“And I’ll be travelling…”
“And you’ll be in San Francisco…”
“Tucker,” I sighed. “Do you like me?”
His fingers tightened around mine compulsively.
“Do I like you, or do I like you?” he teased.
… “Answer the question: do you like me?”
I love a strong heroine who knows her mind and goes after she wants, and Tera is definitely that, putting her feelings out there and convincing a reluctant Tucker to give them a chance.
“Won’t you even try?”
He closed his eyes, a pained look on his face.
“Is that really what you want, Terra? A guy like me?”
I shook my head. “No, Tucker. I don’t want a guylike you. I want you.”
I loved watching Tucker and Tera come together. They have some pretty intense insta-lust, and they never lose that passion for each other, with lots of steamy time that is absolutely sizzling! And the emotion between them develops slowly and realistically as they spend time together and open up to each other. Tera is there for Tucker during a difficult time in his life, but they still find time to laugh, joke and tease and they have fun together, and there is a deepening intensity between them that is absolutely beautiful to watch.
“What am I going to do with you, Tucker?”
I grinned back at her. “Whatever you want, darlin’.”
Tera and Tucker both have a wonderful journey in this book, with their developing relationship and their faith in each other giving them the strength they need to make some big changes. Tera steps out from the shadow of her family to fight for the man she loves and the life she wants, but it’s Tucker’s journey that is truly life-changing. From a total manwhore who is reluctant to enter into anything beyond a one-night commitment, to starting to develop feelings for Tera and struggling with his feelings of inadequacy and not being enough for her. It’s beautifully written, and done in a way that will break your heart rather than annoy, and watching him come to accept Tera’s feelings, as well as his own, is absolutely beautiful.
“I love you … And I didn’t want to be in love with you … The people you love always let you down; they always leave you. That’s all I knew. But you…you kept coming back.”
So beautifully swoony!!!
And what I love most about these two together is that once they sort themselves out, they are committed to each other, and the difficulties and drama that they face is external to the relationship. Their feelings for each other are strong, they want to be together, and both of them are determined to make it work.
“What we’ve got…it’s too good to throw it away without giving it our best shot.”
But the lifestyle is a difficult one, and Tucker and Tera live in completely different worlds – complete with family dramas, pressures and expectations. So even with the two of them together and committed, they still have hurdles that they need to overcome in order to get their happy ever after.
“Do I think I’m good enough for her? Hell no. Do I want her to give up her life to follow me around the country? No fucking way. But whatever she wants, I’ll break every bone in my body to give it to her.”
This book is a little different from the others in the series with a lot of the action taking place away from the carnival setting, but it’s still a big part of who Tucker is, and we do get a bit of story set in the circus. I loved catching up with Kes and Aimee again, as well as Zef, Zach, Luke and Ollo. It’s a unique lifestyle that is all about freedom and family, and it’s easy to get lost in the world. And while technically this one could be read as a standalone, I would recommend reading the other two books first in order to experience it all.
I loved this book. I admit it did take me a few chapters to become fully involved, but once I was sucked in, I couldn’t put it down and read most of the book in one sitting. It’s romantic, sexy, sweet and funny, with great dynamics and a nice amount of drama which is well handled without becoming angsty, all in a unique and exciting setting. It’s a great book, and a must read for fans of the series.
“My, it’s warm in here,” she said, holding the chilled bottle against her neck.
I was mesmerized as droplets of water rolled down her chest, disappearing into the deep vee of her t-shirt. And she knew it, the witch, a small, cat-like smile tugging at the corners of her mouth as I yanked my thoughts out of the gutter.
A minute later she was moaning and groaning again, rolling that damn bottle over her throat before taking a long swallow.
It was getting harder to remember why I couldn’t have this woman. Yeah, and that wasn’t the only thing that was getting hard.
“It’s late,” I said, nodding at the streetlights outside.
As if we needed them to know that twilight had come and gone, and stars were sparkling in the sky like fireflies.
“I’ll walk you back,” I said decisively, standing to make my point.
Tera grinned up at me, her eyes a little unfocused. “All the way across the parking lot? What a gentleman!”
Then she leaned forward, her elbows resting on the table, giving me the money-shot view down her t-shirt.
God had given her beautiful tits—she could make a sucker out of me any time.
My eyes darted up to hers when she spoke again.
Damn, she could make jogging a spectator sport.
“Tucker, I like you, and I can tell you like me. We’re both single. I’m not asking you for a commitment—let’s just see how this goes.”
I sat down heavily. She was so damn fearless—just like Kes.
“TC, it’s not a good idea.”
She rounded the table and sat next to me, her thigh pressed to mine, leaning her head against my shoulder so her silky hair tickled my cheek.
So damn soft.
I could feel the heat of her skin burning through my t-shirt and my dick swelled, trapped sideways, the seam pressing painfully. I’d had a chubbie all evening, but now it was trying to climb through the denim.
“I think it’s the best idea I’ve ever had,” she said, her voice quiet but clear.
“You didn’t think that at the bonfire last spring,” I reminded her. “You walked away from me then. Why aren’t you walking away from me now?”
I waited, but that seemed to be all the answer I was getting.
“Because what?” I prompted her.
“Because … because that’s what I’ve been taught to do. I’m supposed to wait for the right guy, then marry him and give up my career to make perfect little babies that my dad can kiss on his campaign trail.”
“Doesn’t sound so bad,” I hedged.
She shook her head fiercely.
“No, it doesn’t, but it’s not me either. I’ve met a lot of right men,” and she rolled her eyes, “but it seems as if it’s the wrong man that I’m attracted to. There’s something there, something between us.” Then she smiled brightly. “And I haven’t gotten laid in ages.”
My head dropped into my hands.
“You can’t say that to a guy!” I groaned.
Her arms wrapped around my neck, pulling my head down with a fierceness that surprised me. Her pink lips flattened against mine, demanding, insisting, until her tongue was in my mouth.
Stronger men couldn’t have resisted her, and dammit, I’d always been weak.