GUNS: The Spencer Book
Series: ROOK and RONIN Spinoff
Published on March 31, 2014 Romance
THIS IS NOT A STANDALONE BOOK - IT IS HIGHLY SUGGESTED THAT YOU READ ALL THE PREVIOUS NOVELS AND NOVELLAS BEFORE STARTING THIS BOOK
Spencer Shrike is a man with a plan. Get in. Get out. Move on. He loves Ron the Bomb, and her safety is the only thing on his mind these days. But life is a tricky bastard, and conning criminals for the better part of ten years brings its own set of problems. Sure, Rook lied her way out of a sticky situation, covering for crimes Ronin, Ford, and Spencer committed, and getting them all off scot-free in the process.
But not everyone is buying Rook’s story, and Spencer is desperate to figure out who’s in town setting them up for a fall.
Veronica the Bombshell Vaughn has put up with Spencer Shrike’s shit for years and where has it gotten her? A big fat nowhere. No ring, no house, no kids, and no promises. In fact, Spencer is worse than ever—completely distant and moody. She’s done sitting at home, pining over a man she can’t have.
But she’s not opposed to fighting for him.
Ron the Bomb fights hard and she fights dirty, so she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get Spencer’s attention.
But now there’s another man in town with his eye on her. He’s got secrets too, but unlike Spencer, Bobby Mansi is more than willing to let Veronica in on them.
The entire Rook and Ronin series comes full circle. Every con, every lie, and every skeleton in the closet is back for one final shot at vengeance and the only way to set it right… is to get out the guns.
I take the portfolio from him and look closely at the images. They are beautiful, but they’re naked. “You want to paint my naked body?” I ask, as I look back up to him.
“Yes,” he says, holding my gaze. And then he breaks it and turns back to the page. “This was my model in France. I studied as an apprentice there a couple summers ago and that’s where I created this portfolio. But I’ve been busy.” He looks up at me sheepishly now, maybe embarrassed about all the trouble he’s been in. “And to be honest, I’m a little picky about my models. They have to be perfect. Not like, perfect bodies, just… perfect for me.” He stares at me. “You know?”
I look back at the book on my lap. These girls look like they are wearing clothes, but it’s an illusion created with liquid color. Put the shadows in just the right place and things take on depth. Curve a line that should be straight, and suddenly it pops out of the canvas and loses its true two-dimensional form.
Spencer Shrike seems to be a genius at manipulating perspective with paint.
“You really are an artist? You weren’t in my class just to pose naked for me?”
He laughs big now. “Well, yeah, Bomb. The whole reason I asked to join the class was to get close to you, that’s true. But I am an artist. And next week I’ll stop being a model and start being a student again. But what I want to know right now is will you let me paint you up in here and take some pictures so I can have them framed and shit?”
“You want to frame me? Naked?”
He nods. “I really do.”
“Like… make me your art?”
“Yeah,” he says, jumping to his feet, grabbing my hand and pulling me with him. His palms go to my waist and hold me tight, they pull me into his solid chest. One hand slips behind my ass and the other tips my chin up so I have to look him in the eyes. “Let me take you somewhere else today, Veronica. Be my canvas, be my fantasy. Come into my imagination for a little while, explore with me, let me take you somewhere magical. And when I’m done, I promise I’ll bring you back.”
“What if I don’t want to come back?” I say, totally one hundred percent serious. “What if I like that journey? What if I want to stay gone with you forever?”
He doesn’t answer, instead he leans in and kisses me. Not the hard crushing way he kissed me that first time. Not the sexy seductive way he does when he’s fucking me.
But some totally different way that I’m not sure I can describe. I just know it’s… different.
I come up from the kiss gasping for air. “When do we leave?”
“Right now, Bombshell.”
“When do we come back?”
“When it’s over.”
“So you really didn’t bring me out here to make love to me?”
“No, baby.” He must read my disappointment, because he tips my chin up again. “But my paintbrush will.”
And this is when I realize. I’m caught in his fantasy.
Spencer walked into my life, tipped me upside down, and shook the love right out of me.
My love spills out all over the place.
My love piles up at his feet.
OTHER BOOKS IN THIS SERIES
ROOK AND RONIN OMNIBUS: TRAGIC – MANIC – PANIC
FORD NOVELLA: SLACK: A Day in the Life of Ford Aston
FORD NOVEL: TAUT: The Ford book
BOMB NOVELLA: A Day in the Life of Spencer Shrike