Series: Eastside Brewery #1
Author: Mia Hopkins
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 13, 2018
A gangster hiding from his past. A single mom fighting for her future. Can she show this bad boy the man heâs meant to be?
My name is Salvador Rosas. Back in the barrio, my past is written on the walls: ESHB. Short for East Side Hollenbeck, my fatherâs gangâmy gang. Hell, itâs a family tradition, one that sent both my brothers away. They used to call me âGhostâ because I haunted peopleâs dreams. Now Iâve got nothing going for me except a hipster gringo mentoring me in a new career. An ex-con making craft beer? No mames.
Still, people in this neighborhood look out for one another. Thatâs how I became Vanessa Velascoâs unwelcome tenant. Chiquita pero picosa. Sheâs little, but with curves so sweet theyâre dangerous. I remember Vanessa from the old days, the straight-A student with big plans. Plans that were derailed by another kid stupid enough to think he was bulletproof. Now Vanessa knows better than to believe in empty promises. Thereâs fire in her . . . and if I touch her, I might get burned.
Iâm trying everything I can to go straight. But when East Side Hollenbeck comes calling, I might have to risk it all to find out if thereâs a future for Vanessa and me. Because sheâs the only one who can quench my thirst for something real.
The ride starts with a burst of music like a jack-in-the-box. We glide backward and over a couple of times. The Ferris wheel stops to let other passengers on. At the very top, our carriage swings back and forth before it goes still.
Now I can see my neighborhood from a different viewpoint, high above. The lights of the carnival are bright and beautiful. The smells of tacos, hot dogs, and popcorn fill my nose. People pack the church parking lot. Cars line the street, and in the surrounding houses, lights in the windows show where families are talking or watching TV or having dinner.
âHow are you doing?â I ask.
âIâm all right.â
Sheâs looking at the same things I am. I wonder if she is seeing the same details. I stroke her hair and take another risk. âSo what do you think?â
âStarting something with me?â
She takes a deep breath but doesnât say anything.
âWhat are your doubts?â I say.
âAre you kidding?â She snorts. âYouâre seriously asking me that?â
I laugh a little. âOkay, well. Besides the obvious.â
âYou have your own life. I have mine. Youâre trying to rebuild from the ground up. Iâm trying to secure my daughterâs future. Weâre heading in different directions.â
She isnât wrong. Life has disappointed her in such deep and cruel ways, I donât blame her for protecting herself. But even as she tells me thisâthe truth about how weâre not right for each otherâI feel how right it is to talk to her, to hold her hand, to show her who I am. âI have an idea,â I say. âProbation.â
âIâm only around for two months, right?â
âSpend those two months with me.â I look into her eyes. âI want to be with you, Vanessa.â
âIâll be gone before I have a chance to disappoint you.â When the words leave my mouth, I try to ignore how pathetic they sound. âWeâre adults, not dumb kids. We wonât lose our heads.â I run my fingers through her silky hair. âI swear to God, every time I look at you, I feel . . .â I reach for the most honest word I can find. âThirsty.â
Releasing July 10, 2018
Mia Hopkins writes lush romances starring fun, sexy characters who love to get down and dirty. Sheâs a sucker for working class heroes, brainy heroines and wisecracking best friends. She lives in Los Angeles with her roguish husband and waggish dog.