Into the Woods Lear Brothers Book 1 by ML Uberti Genre: Contemporary Romance, Organized Crime
When Juliet goes into the woods to find the sexy, mysterious stranger who rescued her from a mountain lion attack, she finds more than she bargained for. Deacon’s far more dangerous than the Kentucky wildlife. As she tries to fight her feelings for Deacon, she learns more about his family and their legacy of crime.
But Deacon’s an addiction she can’t escape, and every day Juliet falls harder for him. Only his family, the woods that are determined to kill her, and Deacon himself stand in the way of her quest to capture her bad boy’s heart.
A fragment of sun shone down through the thick canopy above, and as my eye scanned the woods, I didn’t see anything. Then a figure moved closer and my eyes tracked the smooth gait of a giant mountain lion that had its eyes -- and teeth -- pointed squarely in my direction.
“Oh fuck,” I whispered to myself, all the blood draining from my face and my stomach filling with acid. It wasn’t far -- not that close but I didn’t think I could outrun it. And if I could, it was standing between me and the direction I was supposed to go in. Which meant I would end up deeper in the woods.
I swallowed hard, wondering how long it had been since I had climbed a tree, and felt myself start to shake as the massive cat stalked slowly toward me.
“Please.” My voice broke as I shuffled back, pleading with an animal that didn’t speak English to, I don’t know, abandon its instinctive nature and decide to take a walk through the wood and find a little bunny to feast on. Or Murray! I’d sacrifice that little asshole to save myself. In a heartbeat.
Maybe that made me a bad person. Maybe that’s why I was going to die -- because I was the kind of girl who would give up a three-legged cat to a mountain lion to save her own skin. But, logically, once the lion got done with me, it would probably eat Murray for dessert. So better one of us got out of this alive.
I glanced behind me, seeing nothing but trees and decided I’d rather run than stand here and become a Lion Lunchable, so I twisted on the ball of my foot and took off. I wasn’t very fast even though I had run track in high school all four years -- and the mountain lion seemingly liked to chase.
I heard its huge paws hit the ground running as I did, so I zigzagged thinking I could outsmart it. But the pounding of his steps got closer and I was sure I was going to die -- and I hadn’t brought in the laundry yet.
Suddenly, I was off my feet and flying through the air, my body moved without my own volition and shoved behind a tree as a hulking figure stepped out and directly into the path of my attacker.
“Go on, get!” the man in the woods yelled, staring down the mountain lion and advancing toward it like he wanted to die.
“Don’t!” I whispered and tried to pull the man back as I got a handful of his shirt.
He pinned me with a dark green gaze and barked one word. “Stay.” Then he moved closer to the lion.
“Git! Go!” the man repeated, his arms up high as he squared off against the two-hundred-pound beast. “Go!” the man thundered and the lion actually retreated, looking around then backing up further.
“Git outta here now, go on home,” the man snarled and the lion, like it understood him, turned slowly on its feet and sauntered off in the other direction.
I blinked, mesmerized as the predator just changed its mind and meandered off casually, not a care in the world. Was this man in the tight gray shirt and perfectly worn jeans some kind of wizard?
Probably not, I thought. My stare flicked to his face as he bore down on me, as big and scary as the lion was -- but decidedly more pissed off.
Starbucks aficionado, lover of throw blankets and betrayer of all things kale, ML Uberti is a Wayne State University graduate and Metro Detroit author with a predilection for oddities and happy endings. She is mom to three autistic kids, 2 ridiculously stupid dogs and wife of a teacher and musician who has endless patience for her impeccably bad taste in Netflix shows and murder documentaries. She is thrilled to dip her toe into scifi romance from contemporary and hopes you enjoy her big, brooding alien alphas and resilient fairy tale queens.
Where were you born/ where did you grow up?
I was born just before Halloween in a suburb of Detroit. My parents were typical, working class blue collar folks who had a 3 bedroom tri-level and a small mutt named Scottie. I grew up in a small town sandwiched between bigger ones, that were fairly homogenous and very boring. Over the years, this area has become increasingly more diverse, Detroit has shrunk and grown and shrunk and grown, and I live just twenty minutes from the house I grew up in. Whenever I think about moving, its never very far from here. Not just because of family, but because its home in a way that other places can’t be. There are prettier, more exciting, interesting locations that would be life-changing, but I know I’d never settle in. I’d always be wondering when I’d go back home.
What can we expect from you in the future?
A lot of new and exciting things happening in 2021 and into 2022! I have sequels coming out for both my Galactic Breeding Program series, which is sci-fi erotic romance with a fairy tale twist, and books three and four of the Lear Brothers series, a contemporary erotic romance set in rural Kentucky. Into the Woods is book one, releasing August 27! September you will see book two, and book three by the end of the year. Also, 2022 I’ll be busy with the Havoc Security Series, a six-book series centered around the sexy, dominating men of Havoc Security and the love they find living in a small Pennsylvania suburb after years in the military. All releasing with Changeling Press!
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I was in fourth grade! It started with short stories, one about a ten year old girl who turns into a praying mantis. Then I moved into New Kids on the Block sexy fan fiction. Those stories, gratefully, never saw the light of day. After getting my degree in English and Film from Wayne State University in Detroit, I worked in politics and government for the next fifteen years. When I left my job to stay home with my kids in 2012, I decide that writing for myself was good enough anymore – that I wanted to publish. I pitched a couple series at Savvy Authors pitch-fests and ended up releasing three books before signing on with Changeling Press. So grateful for the opportunity to get my work out there, improve myself as a writer with the help of editors and proofers, and can’t wait to continue on this journey to make more of my ideas and characters to life!
What are you currently reading?
My tastes in books and genres goes through phases – sometimes I get on a New Adult romance kick, sometimes its True Crime and nonfiction, other times its dystopian novels. Some of my favorite romance authors are Kristen Ashley, Madison Faye, Jessa Kane, and Melanie Harlow. The best true crime books I’ve ever read are Helter Skelter, about the Manson family, In Cold Blood, and The Only Living Witness. I also always recommend the book Five Days at Memorial about a hospital flooded right after Katrina. My dystopian taste ranges from classics by Kurt Vonnegut, Aldous Huxley, and Margaret Atwood, to recent offerings such as The Hunger Games, Insurgent and Station Eleven. I’ve just downloaded a new Alexa Riley book onto my kindle and picked up 11/22/63 by Stephen King in hardcover.
Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
I gravitate toward romance books that follow the same kind of pattern and character personalities. Some may call that boring or predictable, but I like what I like. And clearly other people like it too or there wouldn’t be any out there to read! I enjoy plucky, resilient female characters that aren’t jaded or bitchy but rather unsure and need to their strength proven to them over the course of the story. I enjoy watched a heroine come into her own over the course of the novel. And I like men that are assertive and possessive, but work hard to earn the love and respect of the love of their life. Its important to see characters change over the arc of the story – not just jump in as is, fall in love and then see the words ‘The End’. Sites like Book Bub, book + main, Girls’ Night In and Book Riot have great subgenres that include recommendations for books that have just what you’re in the mood for. I always recommend signing up for newsletters – even if you don’t always read the books they suggest, they remind you that you’re not spending enough time trapped in the pages of a good book!
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