Series: The Harrison Street Crew
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Also in this series: Enforcer
Also by this author: Blind Spot, Enforcer
Patrick Flanagan lives outside the law. The cops don’t like him. The law doesn’t trust him. He may come at you with a charm and a handsome smile, but make no mistake—he’s as reckless and bad as they come. But when a total bombshell with stilettos and a power suit comes blazing into his life, this bad boy is about to be so, so good…
Ambitious lawyer Michelle Chiccarini vowed like hell she is going to do her best to prosecute as many criminals as she could. Even if that means trying to put away Patrick Flanagan, a man who can make her pulse quicken and fill her head with dirty, wicked thoughts just by looking at him. She’s got to put him behind bars. But how can she do that, when she can’t even resist his touch?
Patrick Flanagan won’t go to jail. Not when he’s got a woman as gorgeous as Michelle aching for his every touch and pushing his lust for her past the boiling point. Even though she’s a lawyer tasked with putting him in prison, he can’t stay away from her. Michelle is falling fast and hard for Patrick, but is he guilty? Or is he innocent? She wants to trust her bad boy from the streets, but is he telling the truth?
I only recently discovered Katana Collins, so I was excited to grab more of her books. Outlaw is a serial that is book 2 of the Harrison Street Crew series. I will say that I think you REALLY should read Ex-Con first to understand the story. While Outlaw focuses on 2 different characters than Ex-Con, the story is a continuation and without having read Ex-Con, you won’t quite understand all the history.
Set in South Boston, the story is gritty. The Harrison Street Crew (HSC) is a car club. A club that operates on the other side of the law frequently. Racing, drugs, car theft and the likes are all part of their daily life. Patrick has been in the club for a long time and is very loyal to the brothers who saved him as a teen. Michelle is the other side of the law; she is the ADA attempting to build a case against HSC. She has a 1 night stand with Patrick and then runs from him. She knows she can’t get involved with the suspect in a case she is building, no matter how much she wants to. Then Patrick is accused of murder…Michelle doesn’t believe he did it, but now she is in a tough spot. Stand up for him and possibly lose her job or go along with a prosecution she doesn’t believe is just?
There is no lack of ‘bad guys’ here. Remy (Michelle’s brother and the bad guy from Ex Con) is still causing trouble, Rig, the HSC pres is acting kind of sketchy, and someone is messing with Michelle and Patrick. Between the danger that seems to follow these 2 around and their sexual tension, this is an engaging read. Collins has a way of roping in me, even when a few chapters ago I wasn’t so sure. Part 1 ends with a bang that will have you diving for Part 2. Overall the story is layered and deep without dragging and you will find yourself sucked in before you know it. If you like MC Club books, give this series a try! You have the same dangerous guys, slightly illegal behavior, brotherhood feel, just with muscle cars instead of motorcycles!
- POV: 3rd
- Tears: no
- Trope: bad boy; opposites attract
- Triggers: none
- Series/Standalone: series
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »part 1 and part 2 have cliffhangers but by part 3, the main conflict is resolved « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »yes « Hide Spoiler
then you will probably like TITLE OF BOOK
Four Months Later
Patrick Flanagan came to quickly. Or at least, he thought it was quickly. His head was resting on the steering wheel, his shoulders and chest slumping forward like dead weight. He blinked awake. What happened? Where am I?
Brushing his fingers over the ram like symbol at the center of the wheel, he glanced around, eyes darting back and forth. He wasn’t in his car; his Pantera. Why wasn’t he in his own car? He squeezed his eyes shut, thinking hard. The memory slammed into him, hard and fast. Oh, that’s right… he stole this one. Some poor unsuspecting fool’s Toyota that they left running in the parking lot of a Hannaford. When will people ever learn? Leaving the car running is to a car thief what an unattended t-bone is to a stray dog. It was irresistible. An invitation to steal it. A big fat target with flashing lights that said: Take me! I’m easy!
Red and blue lights streaked into Patrick’s car. Two cop cars were just now rolling to a stop behind him. The cops were just pulling up, so he couldn’t have been out that long. Breathing deeply, he pulled himself together, wincing as he pushed himself off the wheel and sat straight up.
What the hell caused him to wreck?
He backtracked the evening’s events—the meeting between Harrison Street Crew and Sauceda’s Crew. He wasn’t at the meeting though. He was the decoy if cops came into the area. He saw the cruiser and took off to distract them, pull them away from the docks and it worked like a charm. Until—oh yeah. That’s what happened. A fucking cat darted across the road or… hell, for all he knew it could have been a raccoon. And going sixty on a 35mph back road, he swerved, smashing into a post office box. He must have knocked himself out.
Waiting, he watched in the mirror as the cops in one cruiser jumped out of their car, holding their guns out. Shouting some nonsense about getting out of the vehicle.
Thank God he’d thought to choose to steal a car with tinted windows; they couldn’t make out his face. And so he smiled at them in the reflection, knowing they couldn’t see a damn thing. They couldn’t see his HSC vest or who he was or even that he was flipping them off.
Wiping at the blood trickling down the side of his face, he gave it another few seconds. The second cruiser wasn’t getting out. They were the smarter cops.
“Okay girl,” he whispered, brushing his hand over the steering wheel. “Sorry to do this to you, but we don’t have a choice.” Hopefully this Toyota’s tires were okay… because if not? They were about to find out the hard way.
Punching into reverse, Patrick backed off the Southie curb, tires squealing as he slammed the clutch with his foot and put the car in gear.
He took off, leaving the officers with guns pointed at him scrambling like Keystone Cops. The cruiser that was smart enough to leave their engine running took off after him. The night air cut in through the sun roof blowing his curls wildly around his face and providing a much needed coolness to his sweat-damp strands. Felt fucking great.
The blue and red lights hit against the reflective rearview mirror, nearly blinding him. He pushed harder and could smell the smoke of the engine, but at least it seemed the tires were holding up. Those damn police lights wouldn’t have been a problem if he hadn’t been trying to push up to eighty miles an hour in the curvy back roads of Southie. But at that speed? A momentary flash of lights blinding you in the mirrors could result in your car wrapped around a telephone pole.
Oh, wait, he thought chuckling to himself. Been there, done that.
Instead of slowing down, Patrick tightened his grip on the steering wheel and squinting through distraction and the headache pulsing at his temples, he pressed even harder into the gas pedal. He had a job to do; one job tonight to accomplish for Rig and the Harrison Street Crew. And that was to intercept any cops in the area and get them as far from the docks as he could—then get back to Megan’s Pub in time for the money drop off.
And pray to God that the two tasks don’t get in the way of each other.
He turned up his radio, Black Betty blaring through the speakers and he couldn’t help the little smile that tipped at the corner of his mouth.
This shit was fun. No way around that. Even if he got caught, there was an exhilaration to the getaway. One that pumped adrenaline through his veins so fast that he could practically feel the chemical change taking affect.
The blue and red flashing lights were gaining on him, the two headlights nearly kissing his bumper. But that was the plan. Keep them with him until they were out of the vicinity.
Maneuvering around the other cars on the road was always the hardest. Slow pokes sticking to the 35mph speed limit—good for them. Patrick slid from right lane to left grabbing the small bag of pop rocks he’d left in the cup holder and pouring a bunch into his mouth as a distraction to the blood dripping from the cut on his head and the pounding headache.
The sizzle of retro hard candy and sugar just increased his pulse as the on-ramp to I-93 came into view.
This was it. “Come on piggies—time to huff and puff,” he said to himself with another glance in the rearview mirror. Then, he slammed his foot down on the accelerator jolting forward with an additional 15mph. Not so fast that they couldn’t keep up… but time to get down to business.
A 16-wheeler was in the right lane of the highway moving slow enough to be a problem, but fast enough that Patrick couldn’t get off the on-ramp without hitting the brakes. With the cops on his ass? Hitting the brakes was not something he wanted to do.
“Shit,” Patrick muttered and nervous sweat trickled down his neck. Instead of sliding into the proper lane, Patrick stayed where he was, the car lurching as the on ramp turned into a texturized shoulder of the highway. Vibrations rumbled beneath his ass as he overtook the truck and abruptly swerved in front of it and just behind a Volvo.
The right lane was packed with cautious drivers slowing down at the sound of the police sirens; that’s what responsible citizens do… they pull over. Slow down.
The good news was that the left lane was wide open.
With a quick glance over his shoulder, Patrick slid into the left lane and the cop had fallen back a few cars behind the truck. A cakewalk, Patrick thought.
He dipped under the tunnel funneling him from South End Boston taking him right into downtown. Something—someone would be waiting for him on the other side of that tunnel.
He just didn’t know what yet.
Up ahead, the light from the edge of the tunnel came into view growing larger and larger. The cop tailing him hung back… still close enough to follow, but significantly slowing down.
A second siren ahead of him echoed in the distance. He exited the tunnel, traffic beside him slowing and stopping at the sounds of sirens and lights coming up behind them.
He zipped beyond the tunnel, back out into Boston Center. From the next exit’s on-ramp, he could see another cruiser entering the highway.
Reinforcements. A high speed chase in the middle of Boston wasn’t something the police overlooked. Not with the tense political climate these days and with Jeremy Chiccarini actively trying to eradicate the car clubs from Boston.
If I can smoke one cruiser, I can smoke two.
Except, this cruiser up ahead wasn’t attempting to chase him; it was staying to the side… off the road and blocking the shoulder. Glancing in the rearview, he noticed the cop behind him had slowed down even more. Still on his tail, but much further off in the distance, the blue and red lights little pinpricks in the dark night.
Up ahead he heard the whomp of a helicopter and a quick glance confirmed that it was not a news helicopter, but a police air monitor. Something was up. They had a plan.
Patrick chewed on what was left of the Pop Rocks in his mouth, enjoying the crunch as he thought hard.
No one was on the road up ahead—his tires. They must be trying to take out his tires. And that’s why the cruiser was blocking the shoulder, so that he couldn’t go around whatever they had set up.
Well, shit. This wasn’t good. Every exit was blocked leading up to the tire blowers and he was already two exits beyond where he was supposed to get off, heading toward North End now.
Patrick eased off the gas, slowing down. Tension was palpable in the air and he could see the cops positioned, guns ready from behind the car. The off ramp was just beyond the road block and they had barricaded the other ramp, cutting off civilian access to the highway.
Once he had slowed down enough, Patrick gripped the E-brake and with a deep breath and quick Hail Mary, he yanked it, spinning the car in the opposite direction. The flow of traffic behind him was at a crawl, staying far behind the scene and the cop that was on his tail continued its advance; this time face on. Shoving into fourth gear, Patrick accelerated once more, heading in the opposite direction of the highway flow and directly toward the flashing lights and headlights of the cop. It was a daring game of chicken, but one he knew he’d win. They had no idea if he was armed and shooting at him wasn’t an option.
He picked up speed, just above seventy; not too crazy. In his rearview mirrors, he saw the cops that had set up the barricade, scrambling to get into their car and chase him the other way. The helicopter over head, stayed just above him.
Perfect. Fast enough to cause alarm; but not so fast he would lose control.
Two thousand feet from the cop. One thousand. And as he hit jut a few hundred feet, he pulled the ebrake again, turning into the cove between the north and south highways where cops wait to pull you over. The tires screeched beneath him and he could only imagine the damage he was doing to this poor Toyota. A cop was waiting for him there, just as he had anticipated—but with Patrick going sixty in that turn and the cop standing still, it didn’t stand a chance.
Patrick slammed into the stagnant cop’s back bumper and turned onto the opposite highway, going in the other direction on I93, back with the flow of traffic.
No tire popping road blocks there. And as suspected, the cruisers following him couldn’t handle such a fast and unexpected turn.
Two down, one to go, he thought looking to the sky where the helicopter still tailed him. He took the next exit, sliding off it easily and though still speeding, he was cautious not to go too fast. Sticking about twenty above the speed limit. He was certain that on the police radio, they were calling in other cruisers to cut him off ahead. Patrick snaked his way through the city, traffic taking its toll on his speed and he dodged, weaving in and out of the right and left lanes while also taking unexpected turns that were completely unpredictable.
Though it took twice as long, he finally pulled up to a parking garage in the Government Center. He slammed into the red and white arm that was supposed to make you stop and take a ticket, cracking the damn thing right in half. Completely covered from the helicopter, he breathed a little easier as he raced up the ramp, curving around until he reached the third floor of the parking garage, safely out of view. He could hear the sirens behind him; the additional cruisers knowing just where he was pulling up. There was no time to fuck around. He didn’t even bother sliding the stolen car into a parking spot. Pulling his baseball hat lower over his eyes, he grabbed the rest of the Pop Rocks in his gloved hand, a few spilling onto the driver’s seat as he climbed out of the vehicle and slammed the door shut. Peeling his vest off, he shoved it into a messenger bag he carried and straightened his REO Speedwagon t-shirt, thankful that it wasn’t a Celine Dion concert that night at the Government Center. Walking quickly but casually, he made it to the elevator, one by one hitting the fire alarms along the way.
A roar of panic swept around him and below him at the government center as he stepped off the elevator into the sea of people exiting the concert. Fear and anxiety was a potent force and the crowd wasn’t walking anymore—they were running toward the exits. Half of them flooded the garage toward their cars to escape, the other half went to the train station or just straight ahead; anywhere to get to safety. Patrick kept pace with the crowd until he reached his car; his Pantera which he had parked in a dirt lot outside of the concert earlier that day. He slipped the attendant a twenty dollar bill and casually climbed inside, peeling his gloves off and tucking them in the dashboard.
It was going to take Patrick forever to get back to Southie, especially with all these road blocks. But if he kept to the speed limit and didn’t get pulled over, he should make it to Megan’s Pub in plenty of time to finish the drop off for Rig and the club.
He smiled, the exhilaration of the chase causing a series of excited shivers convulsing his body. Pulling out his burner phone, he texted Rig—his boss and President of HSC, his car club; his family. His home.
All’s well. No more cops should be wasting time near the docks tonight.
It only took a moment for Rig’s response to come in:
Good. Get your ass back to Southie. Deal is taking longer than I thought to secure, but I want you at Megan’s ready and waiting.
“Aye, aye, boss,” Patrick said with a mock salute to the phone. Then texted confirmation that he was on his way before he slid his vest back on and made his way back down to Southie.
And the night’s only begun, he thought.