Authors: Auralee Wallace
Bremy St James is back in a brand new adventure, mixing chaos, humour, sex, and superheroes in this fresh, funny, flirty series. It's the superhero romance you didn't know you neededâ¦
Fresh off thwarting the crime of the century, Bremy St. James is back and more determined than ever to fight by the side of the city's top superhero, Dark Ryder. There's just one problem: Dark Ryder's disappeared.
To make matters worse, Bremy's evil billionaire father, Atticus, is taking her lack of family loyalty
personally, and Bremy's last tie to her old life, her reason behind her choicesâher sisterâis distancing herself as well.
With Atticus plotting revenge and Dark Ryder missing in action, Bremy has to make a choice: flee the city and leave her problems behind, or stay and make her dreams of superheroism a reality all on her own.
Who knew being awesome would be so hard?
Auralee Wallace has played many roles in her life, including college professor, balloon seller, and collections agent. When this semi-natural blonde mother of three children (and psychiatric nurse to two rescue cats) isn't writing humorous novels about quirky characters, she can often be found pontificating about the Golden Age of soap operas or warring with a family of peregrine falcons for the rights to her backyard.
First, I would like to express my gratitude to Kate Cuthbert and Escape Publishing for making a home for Bremy St. James, and to Belinda Holmes for encouraging me to believe in my voice. Also, thank you to my agent, Natalie Lakosil, for her ever-watchful eye and for taking my work to exciting new heights. Thanks to my parents and all of my extended family for keeping their fingers crossed every step of the way on this crazy journey, and a special shout out goes to my sister for her social media gusto. Next, there's Andrea â¦ because nothing happens without Andrea. She's the best beta reader an author could hope for, and she's also pretty good at coaxing people out from under the bed when all seems lost. Finally, I would like to express my love and gratitude to my husband, who works so very hard to make all of our dreams possible. You have never once expressed anything less than excitement at the prospect of my pursuing a career in writingâand that has made all the difference.
To my three mini superheroes
Don't do it, Bremy.
My eyes cut through the thin space between the dumpster and the brick wall. Down the alley, a large man with a clean-shaven head stood beneath a window, hands reaching up for the flat-screened TV inching its way towards him. A beat-up van idled a few feet behind.
Burglars. Perfect. I couldn't ask for a better crime to bust. Not too scary, but not too wussy either, like jaywalking or littering.
Just pull out your phone and call 911.
I reached around my sleek utility belt, but instead of grabbing my phone, I slid my fingers over the smooth, cool metal of my handcuffs.
Seriously, Bremy. He's big. Are you seeing how big this guy is?
Oh, I was seeing. My eyes trailed over his body-builder physique, but I knew his size wouldn't stop me. I had been skulking in the shadows of the city almost every night now for weeks, searching for a moment like this. And now it was here.
Yup, nearly a month had passed since I helped my mentor and superhero, Dark Ryder, stop the crime of the centuryâthe unleashing of a techno-zombie army by my father, billionaire and evil genius, Atticus St. James. It had been an apocalyptic Freudian moment. The greatest triumph of my life. Bremy St. James had finally proven herself to be more than a pampered celebutante. In my mind, it had been the start something. I'm not entirely sure what that something was supposed to be, but it definitely involved Dark Ryder and me, standing side by side, fists planted on our hips, looking super heroic in our super awesome crime-fighting outfits. Unfortunately, that mental snapshot was not giving me the all-over happy feelings it used to. Why? Because I hadn't heard from Ryder. Not a peep since that fateful night at the prison when I had put it all on the line. I had tried tracking her down, but she must have switched lairs, and she hadn't bothered to leave me a forwarding address. I snapped my vision back to the man in the commando-style jacket getting ready to make off with the TV. I clenched my fists. I could do this. Crime fighting wasn't just about size, strength, skill, and power. I licked my lips. It was about gumption, bravery, and the element of surprise. Even more important, I had come to realise that in order to be a crime fighter, you actually had to fight crimes. And I would. Tonight. Everything was about to turn around for The Sidekick.
That's what I was going by now. A news anchor had come up with it, and who was I to question free publicity?
At first when Ryder had disappeared, I'll admit my self-esteem, feeling all cold and alone, had tangoed with the dark side for a night or two. The thought actually occurred to me that maybe Ryder did not want to mentor me anymore. I mean, sure, she had said as much a time or two early on, but in the end I had totally proven myself. Ryder had seen it, and so had Choden, her adoptive father and mentor. So something must have happened to her, and as her sidekick it was my job to find out what that something was. I ground my feet into the gritty pavement, trying to find the right grip, and adjusted my belt.
This is a terrible idea.
The time was almost right.
I suppose my mission to find Ryder didn't exactly explain what I was doing crouched behind a dumpster, getting ready to launch myself at a burglar at least twice my size. Truth be told, I'd love to explain that, but I couldn't. At least not in a way that made a whole lot of sense. It probably had something to do with the memory of my father trying to kill meâlike, he actually tried to kill me, hands around my throat, murderous gleam in his eye, the whole bit. I wasn't really thinking it had left me with a death wish. At least, I was hoping it hadn't. There were still a bunch of items I had to cross off my bucket list, like beating a Bond villain at baccarat and maybe owning a blender.
Focus, Bremy. Focus.
But there was definitely something going on with me. I inhaled deeply through my nose then immediately regretted that decision. Alleys, what with their cats and rotten leafy greens, were not good places for steadying breaths.
You don't have the sense God gave a goat.
I peeked around the corner again. I would wait just a minute or two longer, until the big guy on the ground was holding the entire weight of the TV, and then, I would strike. I ran my fingers along the metal of my handcuffs once more. It was a simple plan really. The best ones usually are. All I had to do was sneak up on the bad guy, get the handcuffs on himâwhich shouldn't be too hard what with the surprise factor and his holding the weight of the TVâthen call the police.
He's going to snap you like a twig.
Easy peasy. And as for his partner in the building? Well, he would most likely hightail it out of here once he heard me calling the copsâwhich was totally fine.
The two of them will break you in half like a wishbone.
One arrest was a good start, after which I could vanish seamlessly into the dark of night.
Now I just had to do it.
Don't do it!
âShut up! Shut up! Shut up!' I shout-whispered to myself.
It's not like I didn't know this was a terrible idea, but I also knew, with everything in me, I was going to do it anyway.
Electric nerves fired all over my body. I could barely stand to be in my own skin. Time to get this show on the road.
I crept around the back of the dumpster, shoulderblades flattened against the slimy metal. The large flat screen was tilted half out the window, my target supporting all the weight.
Warning bells dinged in my head as I quickly shuffled towards him, still crouched. I was almost on him. The man was so focused on balancing the weight of the TV that he didn't see me coming. I sprinted the last few feet, swung my hand into the air, and slapped the cuff smack over his right wrist.
The man's eyes widened. âWhat theâ'
âOh my God! It worked!' I yelled, jumping up and down. Wait! The other wrist! How was I going to get the cuff over to the other wrist? My eyes widened in horror as I took in the implications of the man's arms being spread wide to hold both ends of the TV. We stared for a moment at one another. I took a few backward steps.
This was bad, bad, bad.
I really needed to go.
I was just about ready to turn and hightail it when the giant spoke. âDid Jimmy send you?'
I stopped. âUm â¦'
A slow smile spread over his face. âHe did, didn't he?'
âThat's why you're in that get-up.'
I couldn't help but frown a little. This was no get-up I was wearing. This was beauty and power in a bodysuit. Midnight made liquid and poured over my body. This was designer structure that lifted, separated,
amplified. This was superheroing personified â¦ or garmentified. The mask alone was â¦
âYou're like a stripper.'
Okay, that called for a little eye widening. âWhat?'
âRight. Right,' he said with a stupid knowing smile. âYou're a superhero stripper. Tie me up with your sexy ropes and stuff.'
My eyebrows shot skyward. âUm â¦ ew.'
âLet me guess, you're from The Gentleman's Club on Fifth,' he said, jutting his chin in the direction.
I planted my hands on my hips. âI'm not a stripper.'
âThe Diamond Bunny on Boardwalk?'
Suddenly his nose wrinkled in disgust. âNot The Pink Beaver?'
My jaw dropped, but I brought it up quickly with a snap. I did actually work at The Pink Beaver, but only as the gopher, and that was only because my terrifying psychopathic landlord, Mr Pushkin, insisted I take the job. âI'm not a stripper.'
âWhat? You're just the driver?' he asked, looking behind me for a car. âCome to take me to the party?'
I brought pinched fingers up to rub my temples. This wasn't going the way I had planned it at all. âParty?'