Welcome to the book blitz for ESCAPE, the first book in the adult romantic suspense series, The Covington Heights Crew, by Deana Birch. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
About the Book
Series: The Covington Heights Crew #1
Authors: Deana Birch
Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Amazon DE | Amazon IT | Amazon FR | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo
Book one in The Covington Heights Crew series
The only thing she has to give is exactly what they want.
The Covington Heights Crew has a funny way of protecting their own. With rapes from rival gangs and human trafficking riddling their poverty-stricken streets, they’ll keep the girls from their neighborhood safe—for a price. No money? No worries. They have quite creative payment plans.
Messed up? Yeah, they know. They’re criminals.
Twenty-one-year-old Fiona Thompson was happy to stay off the radar of the twisted drug dealers who encourage her mother’s habit. She’s sure that she can work her way out of Covington and find a better life for herself and her baby sister. But then she beeped. Loud.
Second-in-command Leo Ricci is a poser. The web of lies he’s spun for a life unravels every time he’s around Fiona—every day he’s trying to keep her safe and every second he’s avoiding his destiny.
When his missteps challenge the authority to which he’s pledged his allegiance and Fiona’s life is at stake, there’s only one solution—become the man he never wanted to be and leave the place that was saving him from a worse, but unavoidable fate.
The day was turning out to be a fucking beauty. Not only had Golden Boy figured out some online shit that was beyond my scope of understanding, but whatever he had hacked had already started generating money on the virtual black market. Then the hottie I’d been checking out since I’d gotten to Covington had run right toward me, screaming to be rescued.
Bonus of the day? Those Bradford Tower idiots had taken one look at me and Golden Boy and run in the other fucking direction. They knew who I was—or at least they’d heard what I was capable of. No one but the bossman actually knew who I was, which was A-fucking-okay by me.
The crew sent catcalls as I ushered the little brunette past them. There was only one way she could pay us back, and I’d bet they’d also seen through her boring-ass uniform and imagined the perfect curves awaiting underneath as many times as I had. And curves she had. The glimpse I’d gotten earlier in the day had my imagination running fucking wild.
It was pretty cute how she’d tried to push my arm off her shoulder and sworn at me under her breath. Did she know what she’d gotten herself into? Probably not. Did I give a flying fuck? Nope. Was that cold and cruel? Maybe, but I was born a criminal. My moral compass had been smashed into a million pieces before I’d had the pleasure of taking my first steps.
I opened the clanky glass door of Covington Heights Two and gave the little hottie a ‘gentle’ nudge to step inside. She stumbled a little and swatted my hand away. I smiled as I pressed the button to call the elevator. I was a sucker for feisty.
“Ever been to the third floor before?” I asked, more serious than I felt.
She glared at me and propped her hands on her gorgeous hips that were in harmonious proportion to her insanely perfect-sized tits. Fucking hell, angry suited the shit out of her. I could have licked that flush right off her pale cheeks.
She scrunched her nose in full disgust and I wondered if steam might blow out of her ears like in a cartoon. It was hard to hold back my laugh.
She spat, “Why the fuck would I go to the third floor? My mom is a fucking junkie. The last place on earth you will find me is asking for any of your fucking product, you miserable prick.”
Steaming hot—every last curve and hair on her pissed-off body. It really was a banner day.
But, in fairness, I was a prick. However, I was the farthest thing from miserable. And not just because the grumbling beauty in front of me was going to probably go ballistic when Anton explained the terms of our payment plan, but also because I had escaped a destiny that I did not want.
For the three months I’d been living in Covington, I’d made my own unattached money and become a part of something greater than just family. I’d made friends—real friends, casual friends, small-nod-on-the-street-as-a-sign-of-respect friends. And unlike those stupid fucks in Bradford, none of our crew used drugs.
Sure, we’d kick back a beer at the end of a poker game we’d hosted or get a little drunk after one of our fights, but absolutely none of us were addicts.
We all worked out at least once a day, either with weights or sparring. We ate real fucking food and, yeah, we sold drugs and hosted back-door dice and card games—but we had some limits. No raping, for example. That was a big no-no for Anton. His mom had been the leader of their crime family for years, and not abusing women had been drilled into Anton for as long as I’d known him. It might have been our only virtue.
The elevator dinged and the little hottie’s mouth fell open. Yeah, the third floor didn’t look like any of the others. With sleek and polished concrete and the dark wooden doors to the suites, it resembled a luxury hotel instead of the projects.
“To the left.” I thumbed the direction and watched that fine ass exit in front of me. I bet she didn’t think she was half as gorgeous as she was. It wasn’t like someone with her life could afford make-up or nice things. But with her long dark hair, smoking little body, perfectly thin nose and high cheek bones, she was a bona-fide beauty. I had to swallow down the fucking drool as she stomped down the hall.
In front of the last door on the left, I typed in the security code, and after the small buzz of the unlocking mechanism, I pushed through. Anton sat at the counter and his steel blue eyes scrutinized me, then her. He sat perfectly still, giving away nothing, which almost made me laugh, because I knew exactly what he was thinking.
The rebellious spark the brunette had boasted in the hallway flickered out with the bossman’s silent power. Her shoulders fell and her eyes widened. Anton was thicker than me, just a little shorter and way fucking crueler than I was. She seemed to understand that in just the small twinkle of his light eyes.
She turned to me and chewed her bottom lip. Yeah, I was the safer option—which, when put into perspective, was downright hilarious. I walked over to Anton and slapped him on the back.
“Anton, meet… What’s your name, anyway?” I licked my lips slowly.
A bit of her fight came back with a glare. “Fiona.”
I continued, “Meet Fiona. She owes us for protection.”
Without taking his eyes off Fiona, Anton said, “Well, isn’t she lucky. BTs?”
“Chased her all the way home. But Goldie and I scared them off. Fucking pussies. I could have used a good fight.”
Anton glanced at me, but in that fraction of a second, it spoke volumes. I always needed a good fight. The beast inside me was malnourished, starving for the real deal.
But Fiona would understand nothing of our exchange. He sat back on his bar stool and interlaced his fingers behind his head. “Let’s go ahead and assume that since this is home, you can’t pay us for our protection. And let me tell you something you probably haven’t realized yet. You are now on the top of their list. The minute they catch you alone, they’ll nab you.”
“Let me tell you something you don’t know,” she spat. “I already was at the top of their list.”
Contemporary romance and erotica writer Deana Birch was named after her father’s first love, who just so happened not to be her mother. Born and raised in the Midwest, she made stops in Los Angeles and New York before settling in Europe where she lives with her own blue-eyed Happily Ever After. Her days are spent teaching yoga, playing tennis, ruining her children’s French homework, cleaning up dog vomit, writing her next book, or reading someone else’s.
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