A massive thanks to all the blogs on my tours. You’re amazing for taking the time to share and review for me; you’ll never know how much that means to me.
A special thanks to Love Between The Sheets for always having time to organize my Release Day Blitz and Cover Reveals. You ladies are super amazing and I’ll always appreciate the effort you’ve given me.
Thanks to Lisa from Three Chicks and Their Books for always reading an ARC before releasing and helping me out. Thanks to Kylie from Give Me Books for always sharing and reading for me, too. You girls are amazing. I adore you.
A massive thanks to Ari from Cover it Designs for this gorgeous cover. You never disappoint.
To Lauren, my crazy, awesome editor. You do such a great job. I couldn’t do it without you. I adore you, lovely.
To my girls, Belle Aurora and Sali. For always reading and helping me create the best work I can. For always talking to me and making me smile. I love you two, my besties.
And of course, to my admin MJ for ALWAYS keeping my page running beautifully. I couldn’t do it without you, girly.
A massive thank you to Kris Scharr. For coming up with the amazing name of Jokers’ Wrath MC. As well as picking the name of a character to show throughout the series. You’re a gorgeous girl and an amazing fan. Thank you.
And, last but certainly not least. To my loyal readers. You make this real for me; never stop giving such love and passion. You make our journey so amazing.
This book is dedicated to my very own biker, my husband. Thank you for the countless hours you have put in to helping me out with my work, or just keeping the kids busy while I write.
You know I’ll love you forever, my big man.
It is in darkness that we find true nature. We fight over the battle of good and evil. One will take us on a path we can live with, the other will take us on a path we can’t. There is no in-between. There is no right, or wrong. In that moment when our world is closing in on us, there is only ever really one way out.
Evil will always prevail.
In evil we find power. To escape the black pit of nothingness, it is a quality we need the most. To seek revenge, we will need all of it. It intertwines in a twisted spiral that can’t be backed away from—a spiral that will change our worlds, a spiral that will re-create who we are, a spiral that will leave us hanging on the edge of insanity.
These things combined will lead me to do the one thing that will direct my path forever. When my choice is made, I’m ready. What I’m not ready for is her. I’ve gone a long time without feeling, but she’ll be the one to change that. In fact, she’ll change everything I ever believed in with one simple smile.
Ahead of the darkness is where I’ll find him.
My boots thud on the stark, tiled floor as I make my way down the long, narrow halls. This place is familiar to me; I’ve spent the last five years of my life working here. I’m a prison guard. It’s not always the nicest job; I’m faced daily with scenes that would send a normal person over the edge.
But to give up, to back down, has never been something I was good at. I’m as stubborn as I am headstrong, and that’s exactly why I’m good at my job. I’m thorough, I’m professional and I give the prisoners something that no one else can—I give them thought. I am always sure to leave them with something that will change a part of them permanently.
They call me Wildcard, for more reasons than one: the first reason being they find it utterly hilarious that I’m a woman in a world that is so heavily dominated by men. The second reason is because I can take a man double my size down on a good day. I’m fierce, I’m wild, and that’s why they keep me here.
I’m here for one reason and one reason only: to do my job. I paint my face with a mask that is rarely broken, making sure my eyes show no fear, making sure my expression doesn’t give away emotion. After all, it isn’t about me—it’s about them. They’re the ones in the cold, lonely cells for crimes they chose to commit. I’m just here to make sure they stay in line.
I round the corner to the security gates, and smile when I see the Control Officer, Tristan. He’s a friend, both inside and outside of work. His job, basically, is to make sure the guards are always doing their jobs correctly. He’s fantastic at what he does, and he’s a great person to work with.
“Good morning, Ash.” He smiles as I approach.
“Morning, Tris. How are things this morning?”
He shrugs. “Same as they were yesterday; hectic.”
I laugh, reaching up to tuck a strand of chocolate-brown hair behind my ear. “It’s what we thrive on. Anything I need to know about this morning?”
He runs a scanner over a fellow guard who is starting his shift for the day. It doesn’t matter if you’re a guard or a visitor; you go through intensive security every visit. They can’t risk allowing weapons, or any items that can be used as weapons, inside the prison.
“You’re on Ward D.” He winks. “They’re behaving so far.”
I let out a snort, before stepping forward and putting my purse down. I lift my arms above my head and he runs the scanner over me.
“Henry is on that ward,” I say. “How has he been behaving?”
He shakes his head, running the scanner down over my legs. “How does he always behave? Nice shoes.”
I grin down at my boots. I’m not the kind of girl to go for heels. I live in boots—knee-highs, ankle boots, Doc Martens, you name it. The ones I’m wearing today are black ankle boots that match my skinny jeans. Of course I don’t get to wear them long. As soon as I’m inside I have to get into uniform, but I don’t leave the house without looking sassy. “Thanks, they were a bargain.”
“You’re good,” he says, waving me through. “Have a good day. Meet me for lunch?”
I nod. “Absolutely.”
I go through quite a long process just to get into Ward D. Even though we’re not a maximum-security prison, this is still where our worst inmates are kept. I am never without another two guards by my side when I’m working in that section, purely for safety reasons, and they’re usually male. There are only four female guards in the entire prison.