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Authors: Rhys Ford

Sloe Ride

Readers love the Sinners series by
R
HYS
F
ORD

Sinner’s Gin

“I went into this book as a Rhys Ford fan, but this story affected me much more than I expected it to. Such a beautiful love story”

—Fiction Vixen

“I really liked this one and gobbled it up till my eyes started to hurt.”

—Pants Off Reviews

Whiskey and Wry

“I am totally sucked in by Rhys Ford’s writing style — including her sharp, quirky dialogue, her rich, evocative description as well as her fresh take on mystery and suspense.”

—Live Your Life, Buy the Book

The Devil’s Brew

“Rhys Ford has a way of writing a story that sucks you right in and makes you feel like you are a part of the characters’ lives. And this one is no different.”

—Rainbow Gold Reviews

Tequila Mockingbird

“The story is, as always with Ms. Ford, well written… It is a wonderful balance, and I don’t think there is much of anything that could have been better in this book.”

—The Novel Approach

“…fast-paced and exciting mysteries, filled with fabulous relationships and great romance.  Both this book and the series as a whole are highly recommended.”

—Joyfully Jay

By
R
HYS
F
ORD

Clockwork Tangerine

With Poppy Dennison
Creature Feature 2

Grand Adventures (Dreamspinner Anthology)

Murder and Mayhem

C
OLE
M
C
G
INNIS
M
YSTERIES

Dirty Kiss

Dirty Secret

Dirty Laundry

Dirty Deeds

Down and Dirty

H
ELLSINGER

Fish and Ghosts

Duck Duck Ghost

S
INNERS
S
ERIES

Sinner’s Gin

Whiskey and Wry

The Devil’s Brew

Tequila Mockingbird

Sloe Ride

Published by
D
REAMSPINNER
P
RESS

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com

Copyright

Published by

D
REAMSPINNER
P
RESS

5032 Capital Circle SW, Suite 2, PMB# 279, Tallahassee, FL 32305-7886  USA

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of author imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Sloe Ride

© 2015 Rhys Ford.

Cover Art

© 2015 Reece Notley.

[email protected]

Cover content is for illustrative purposes only and any person depicted on the cover is a model.

All rights reserved. This book is licensed to the original purchaser only. Duplication or distribution via any means is illegal and a violation of international copyright law, subject to criminal prosecution and upon conviction, fines, and/or imprisonment. Any eBook format cannot be legally loaned or given to others. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the Publisher, except where permitted by law. To request permission and all other inquiries, contact Dreamspinner Press, 5032 Capital Circle SW, Suite 2, PMB# 279, Tallahassee, FL 32305-7886, USA, or http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/.

ISBN: 978-1-63476-527-5

Digital ISBN: 978-1-63476-528-2

Library of Congress Control Number: 2015945178

First Edition September 2015

Printed in the United States of America

This paper meets the requirements of

ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992 (Permanence of Paper).

This book is dedicated to the following authors who have put up with so much of my crap and still let me harangue them, Mercy Celeste, Jordan Castillo Price, Jordan L. Hawk, and of course, Mary Calmes.

And a special shout-out to Trish, who is greater than the sum of her parts.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

 

 

As always to the Five! Jenn, Tamm, Lea, and Penny. May the road rise up to meet your feet—although knowing us, it’s ’cause we tripped over the dog and went ass over teakettle to land in the hedge. Kisses and hugs to my sisters: Lisa, Ree, and Ren.

I am forever grateful to Elizabeth North and everyone at Dreamspinner. They polish the apple to a gleam. And a special love, adoration, and affection to Grace and the editing team who slogs through my words. A special thank you to lyric, who is beyond delightful and everyone else who has lent a hand with this novel.

I would also like to send a bit of love to everyone who has been told they are wired wrong, off-in-the-head, off-in-the-clouds, or any of those other labels people like to hang on us. Being in the “spectrum” means we’re sitting in the middle of the rainbow looking out. No one can see the colors we do nor hear the songs of the clouds as they pass. So the world for us is a little different, and sometimes it’s a bitch to cope, but please remember to stop and breathe. It’s important for us to be here. Who else is going to share those songs and colors but us?

Prologue

 

Got shadows on my ass

Time’s not on my side

Life came to give me a kiss

Then Death took me for a ride


Riding A Pale Horse

 

A Couple of Years Ago

 

R
AFE
A
NDRADE
couldn’t shake off the black tendrils wrapped around the base of his brain. Whatever he’d taken the night before lingered, dragging him down, and there were stretches along his back and legs where he couldn’t seem to get warm. His bones ached from the cold, a brutal, icy seep into his marrow. Rafe didn’t think he would survive if he didn’t stop it soon. Moving didn’t seem to help, or at least not when he tried to shift about. For some reason, he couldn’t get his arms and legs to work properly, and his balls were pulled up someplace beneath his destroyed liver. After a moment or two of flailing about, Rafe realized he was trapped, contained in a small, hard box he was painfully banging his elbows and shins against whenever he moved.

“Oh God.” Panic and fear set in when he opened his eyes and found nothing around him but a darkness his vision couldn’t penetrate. “They buried me. Oh God, they thought I was dead and buried me. God,
no
.”

He fought against the box’s solid, icy sides, his elbows and heels shocked with pain with each glancing blow. The air in his chest grew hot, and his lungs folded in, tightening until Rafe couldn’t draw in another breath.

“Think, dude. I’m naked. Who the fuck buries someone naked? Up. Push. Up.” His feeble brain sparked a thought from its murky drowning. Shoving his hands up against the top of the box, Rafe felt… nothing. His arms shot straight up into the air, momentum carrying him off the cold bottom an inch before gravity slammed him back down.

“What the fuck?” The box wasn’t covered. “Where the hell am I?”

Rafe slowly sat up, ducking his head in case he hit a top as solid as the walls, but once he got upright, he found he could grasp the thick sides. Moving was still a problem, and his foot struck something solid at the bottom of the box. Feeling around the space’s slightly rounded sides, he found a spigot sticking out of the short wall by his foot, its metal surface as frigid as the slick walls around him.

“I’m in a goddamned bathtub.” His relief nearly made him sick. Sucking in heaving breaths, Rafe tried to figure out exactly where he was. There wasn’t a whisper of memory in his confused mind. Nothing to pinpoint where he’d been before the tub’s high walls held him in. The air was warmer once he’d sat up, although his ass was still freezing, and Rafe blinked, waiting for his eyes to adjust.

Nothing. Not even a sliver of light coming from under a door.

“Okay, Andrade. You can do this.” He carefully tried to stand up, but his legs didn’t seem to be connected to whatever part of his brain he normally used to move him around. It took what felt like forever before he could hook a leg over the side of the tub and then another long hour or so before he felt the floor with his toes. Stepping carefully, he lowered his foot to the solid tiled surface, then gripped the tub tightly until he could get his other leg similarly untangled.

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