I’m a heroin addict. A junkie. A whore. I’ll do anything to get my next fix.
Including walking right onto the property of Austin’s most ruthless and feared drug lord to beg for some H. I don’t know his name, only that people call him Boss. Oh, and that he won’t think twice to put a bullet in my head.
But like I said, I’ll do anything to get my next fix. Even if it costs me my life.
Or changes it forever.
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I’ve got to be really honest and tell you this book took me by surprise; in the best way. I was expecting so much more violence, tons more blatant drug use. I was wrong. Very contentedly wrong. While there were moments of intense violence, graphic drug use, the threat or horribly explicit things happening, those things faded into the background of two very broken people growing into wholer, more mature people. I knew when I started this book it was going to be dark. I knew it was going to be intense, what I didn’t know was how beautiful it would be. How deeply moving the character growth could be.
When Boss first appeared in the book I was sure I was going to hate him. Perhaps the prologue colored him in that light for me. I don’t know, but I knew I harbored discontent for his character. Then he began to develop into a real person, not a scary drug lord; just a screwed up mess of a man who had nothing left to care for. Then he grew on me a lot. His idiosyncrasies became something that branded him into my psyche. His pain became a reason for me to forgive his every fault. His staunch refusal to change his conviction gave me a reason to root for him. The way he loved and cared for Miri made me fall in love with him.
Miri was a hot mess when she first appeared on the page. I had a really hard time feeling sorry for her. I couldn’t put myself in her shoes, I couldn’t fathom how someone could end up in the situation in which she found herself. The more I learned about her and how she had ended up the junkie she became, the more compassion I had for her. She was fantastically strong when she was given the chance to be. I often didn’t agree with the decisions she made, nor did I like how little she trusted Boss, but I could wholly understand why she felt the way she did. She is likely far more broken that we ever got to know in this book and I am anxious to find out more about how and why she ended up in the situation she did in Junkie.
Junkie moves fast. Very fast, both in timeline and character arc. Though the book covers a few months of their lives, it feels like the time was much shorter. None of the development of the characters is off-page. If there is a major event that happens to one of them it happens in real time. I greatly appreciated that aspect of this book. I love experiencing things with the character, not having the event rehashed under the light of experience. It is told in dual perspective, which gave the added benefit of seeing the growth of each character through their own and the other’s eyes.
Junkie was an excellent read, I was engrossed for the entirety and can not wait to read book two, Jagger. I was left high on a ledge of anticipation with the ending of Junkie and am desperate for the relief I will surely feel once I am able to read Jagger.
*ARC was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest, spoiler-free review*
Fighting the intense, gut-clenching fear, I tightened my grip, using his strong muscles to keep me upright as he washed my feet. The cloth skimmed up my legs one at a time, his hands scrubbing over and over as the foam rinsed away days of dirt and grime. The boss skipped my clothed midsection, straightened to his full height, and repeated the process with my arms, spending extra time on my dirt-caked hands and nails, and the track marks on my arms, only moving on when my skin glowed pink.
Next, he lifted my long red hair off my neck and slid the cloth across the top of my back and shoulders, then around the front to wash the exposed part of my chest where my tank top dipped low. I glanced down as his enormous, bruised and scabbed hands worked over my skin, only then realizing my white tank was completely transparent and I wasn’t wearing a bra. Instinctively, my hands flew up to cover my breasts. He chuckled, a smooth, deep sound so seductive it could easily charm a roomful of people and melt every pair of panties in a five-mile radius.
“A little too late for that, doll. Seein’ as I’ve already got a good look at everything.”
Something about his cocky drawl, the crooked smirk on his face, and that single raised eyebrow felt like a challenge. My courage, boosted by the decadent lull of my best friend, heroin, had me meeting his gaze head-on. Determined to show the boss I wasn’t a cowering scaredy-cat, I fingered the hem, tugged the wet tank over my head, and tossed it to the floor with a loud splat. The man’s eyes widened, which only fueled my desire to make him eat his stupid words. Still staring directly into those sapphire eyes, I stuck my thumbs in the waistband of my shorts and shoved them down, stepped out, and kicked them aside. Completely naked, I stood my ground and raised my own brow in return, hands on my hips.
Our eyes were locked a few more seconds before he threw his head back and burst out laughing. The action made him look years younger than I originally believed. “You are somethin’ else, you know that, doll?”
Instead of answering, I snatched the soapy washcloth from his hand and quickly finished washing my newly exposed skin.
The boss scrambled to catch the cloth I whipped at his chest before turning to storm out of the shower. I yelped when he grabbed me by the arm and yanked me toward him. The blazing heat of his chest was pressed against the bare skin of my back and I trembled from head to toe. The boss held tight and lowered his mouth to my ear.
“First, don’t ever fucking throw shit at me again.” Chills broke out across my skin at his angry threat. “You will not disrespect me in my own house, especially after I fucking took you in instead of killing you the second you set foot on my property. Got it?” When I didn’t answer, he squeezed my upper arms until I whimpered.
“Y-yes. I get it.” I struggled to keep from screaming out of pure terror. What was I thinking? Mouthing off to a drug lord while naked in his shower and a house full of his goons one floor below. I couldn’t possibly be more vulnerable.
After digging his fingers in for another long moment to prove he was in charge, the boss released me and spun me around as he picked up another bottle. “Your hair is fucking disgusting. It needs to be washed.” He wrinkled his nose in distaste and once more, shame flooded me with heat. This man had a way of making me feel as though I was less than human. He held out the bottle, shaking it in my face. “Either you do it, or I do, doll. But you’re not getting out of here until you’ve cleaned the junkie stench off.”
The backs of my eyes stung and my face caught fire. I couldn’t look at him as I took the bottle and poured some shampoo into a shaky hand. He washed himself quickly then stood with his arms crossed over his wide chest as I lathered my hair and rinsed off under the spray.
“Again,” he demanded. I bit my lip to keep from telling him to fuck off and did as I was told.
When the last suds swirled down the drain, the boss was silent as he reached around me and cut off the water. He carefully folded the washcloth, laid it on the edge of the sink, and stepped out of the shower enclosure. He handed me a towel, and picked one up for himself. I tried not to watch as he rubbed the fluffy white cloth over all of those tan muscles, but it was futile. Staring, I was mesmerized by the sight as the boss wrapped the towel around his waist and shucked his wet briefs from underneath. I gulped, knowing he was now naked beneath the soft terrycloth, a mere foot away.
When the silence became uncomfortable, I clutched my own towel to my chest, dug up what little courage I had left, and turned to face him with a huff. “We showered together and I don’t even know your name.”
He quirked that damn eyebrow again and smiled, white teeth gleaming in the middle of his dark designer stubble. If I didn’t know he was a widely feared drug lord and a pushy, high-handed, scary motherfucker, I’d find his expression almost charming.
“I know you’re The Boss, I want to know your name.”
“My name is Boss,” he repeated. “Or Boss Man. Either one works.” As if he didn’t have a care in the world, as if forcing unwilling women into a shower were an everyday occurrence, he shrugged and brushed a hand through his wet hair.
I rolled my eyes. “Fine, don’t tell me.” This guy was so damn frustrating. He shot me up with H, dumped me in the shower, humiliated me, washed me, but wouldn’t tell me his name. Whatever. I turned my back to him.
Two large hands wrapped around my shoulders, and I was jerked back against his body once more. Both of us were currently clad only in towels, his slung low around his waist and mine tucked under my armpits. There wasn’t as much skin-on-skin contact as in the shower, but this felt much more intimate. Slowly, Boss spun me around to face him, and I had to muffle a frightened cry. His blue eyes were narrowed to slits, nostrils flaring. The transformation from playful to furious was immediate and absolutely terrifying. For the first time since I’d showed up on his lawn, I was truly, without a doubt, scared shitless.
This man, the one in front of me—so different from the man who laughed in the shower—is what I expected from the drug lord I heard rumors about. Horrible rumors of unspeakable acts of violence. A ruthless man to be respected and feared.
Boss pressed the length of his half-naked body against me, and growled, teeth glinting behind curled lips. “That’s the second time you turned your back on me after mouthing off. I’m only going to say this once more, Miri, so listen carefully.” He lowered his head and his breath ghosted across my neck. I shuddered and a whimper escaped my throat, the result of a horrifying combination of lust and fear. “You are my guest. You snuck onto my property and you’re goddamn lucky I didn’t let Milo shoot you on sight. No, I saved you, took your ass in, gave you your fucking heroin, and washed a couple weeks’ worth of filth and scum off of you using my very expensive body wash that, incidentally, I never share with anyone. I expect you to be grateful for my hospitality and treat me with some goddamn motherfucking respect, got it?” His hands tightened around my arms incrementally as he spoke. His message was quite clear as his touch became more and more painful. I knew his thick fingers would leave bruises on my pale, fragile skin.
Legs shaking, I nearly pissed myself when faced with the lethal side of this man.
“I want to hear you say you understand, Miri.” Boss let go and stepped back until his eyes bored holes into me from beneath heavy brows.
Filled with terror, my heart pounded and my breath caught in my lungs, rendering me speechless. His eyes narrowed, not happy with my silence. Somehow, I managed to choke out two words.
I sell drugs. Heroin to be specific. And I’m fucking good at my job. Enough to fight my way to the top position, controlling all of Austin’s supply.
So what if I had to kill the previous boss to do it. I do what has to be done. Never cared about consequences because I never had anything to lose.
Until I met Miri. My doll. She’s my weakness and somehow, my enemies found out about her.
If they hurt her, they will regret the day they ever heard my name. Boss. They call me Boss for a reason. What I say goes, including the price on the heads of anyone who dares to fuck with what belongs to me.
Jagger (Book Two) Releases September 27th
Want a Spoiler Free Bonus Scene of Jagger?
Heather C. Leigh is the author of the Amazon best-selling Famous series. She likes to write about the ‘dark’ side of fame. The part that the public doesn’t get to see, how difficult it is to live in a fishbowl and how that affects relationships.
Heather was born and raised in New England and currently lives outside Atlanta, GA with her husband, 2 kids, and French Bulldog, Shelby.
She loves the Red Sox, the Patriots, and anything chocolate (but not white chocolate, everyone knows it’s not real chocolate so it doesn’t count) and has left explicit instructions in her will to have her ashes snuck into Fenway Park and sneakily sprinkled all over while her family enjoys beer, hot dogs, and a wicked good time.
My favorite authors are Dan Wells, Ken Follett, and Stephen King.