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ROBIN IN THE HOOD
Book One in the Robbin’ Hearts Series
By DIANE J. REED
“Is it any wonder I became a bank robber?”
But she never dreamed she’d fall in love . . .
Wealthy high school student Robin McArthur thinks she has it all figured out when it comes to bilking her work-a-holic dad for guilt money as a substitute for his genuine affection. Until one day he suffers a stroke at his law office, and she learns the brutal truth—
Her stepmom has skipped the country.
And everyone from bankers to bookies has lined up in her dad’s hospital room to collect on the millions he’s racked up in debt.
Panicked and desperate, Robin figures she has two choices: either surrender to the pestering caseworker and live in a skanky foster home, or take a chance and sneak her dad out of the hospital to make a run for it. Little does she know that stealing a car and hitting the road means that before the day is through, she will rob her first bank.
Now an outlaw, Robin finds a backwoods trailer park to hide her dad from authorities where she encounters Creek, a bad-boy in crime who first steals her money and then steals her heart. The two of them embark on a round of increasingly dangerous heists to provide for their motley trailer park neighbors. But what Robin hadn’t counted on is the way these hardscrabble people begin to embrace her and become the first real family she’s ever known. And along the way, worldly-wise Creek teaches her how to develop a genuine relationship with her dad based on the hard truths of their lives instead of his past lies. As Robin and Creek’s criminal journey forces them to make gut-wrenching choices, they soon begin to discover that people are more precious than pocketbooks, and true love means opening your heart to the kinds of treasures money can’t buy.
ROBIN IN THE HOOD
Book One in the Robbin’ Hearts Series
By DIANE J. REED
In my young adult romance Robin in the Hood, 15-year-old Robin McArthur finds out her formerly rich family has gone broke, so she runs away from her boarding school and devises a plan to rob banks to provide for her loved ones. When she walks up to a rural savings & loan for her very first hit, she suddenly spies the boy of her dreams. Here’s what happens:
As I scurried up the sidewalk, I had this strange, haunting feeling . . .
Like I was being watched.
I froze in place for a second, mere steps from the bank door.
There it was again . . .
That odd sensation that someone’s eyes were on my back.
Could the bank have hired security to watch over the building?
I swiftly scanned the roof and did a little spin to check the street on either side.
Give me a break, I thought, this is Podunkville! It’s not like they’re gonna have snipers in the bushes.
Sucking up my courage, I pointed my finger beneath my school cardigan like a concealed weapon and prepared to head inside. My heart started to do backflips, and I felt like any second it was going to spring from my chest.
“You can do this,” I barked under my breath, “you’ve got to! Just walk in there like you own the place, head to the nearest teller, and make your demand.”
Aside from the full-blown terror that popped and sizzled through my brain, another sound began to filter into my ears.
I slid my hand to my chest, just to check if it was me. After all, people do weird things in a panic, but I soon discovered that I wasn’t the source of the sound.
Glancing up, I spotted a shadow.
Straight ahead, beside a large sycamore tree. And it moved.
I squinted and inched to the left, peering into a particularly dark patch beside the wide tree trunk.
And that’s when I saw him.
Or I guess I should say, he chose to reveal himself.
A tall guy, maybe a year or two older than me, in a black t-shirt and torn, faded jeans. His tangled, sun-bleached hair looked like it had never seen scissors, yet it framed his tan skin and piercing blue eyes like a rugged surfer’s. To my surprise, he flashed a half-smile, making the jagged scar across his cheek press into a dark, thin line, like a dagger. For a second, I wondered if it was a warning—
“You gotta be kidding me,” he shook his head, folding his tattooed arms. “You honestly think you can take on this place?”
He leaned his tall frame against the tree, appearing amused. Instantly, I could tell from his ripped clothes, sinewy body, and nearly feral gaze that he was pretty much everything my boarding school had been paid so handsomely to keep out of my reach.
And well within kissing distance—
Without warning, his intense eyes locked on mine as if we were the only two people who’d ever mattered on planet earth.
And all at once, I felt a weight dislodge and explode into a gazillion pieces inside my chest.
This is my heart—
This is my heart on CRACK.
I hyperventilated for a moment, fully acknowledging that I am the most undersexed teen this side of Mississippi.
Get a grip, I snapped at myself. Focus!
Okay, so I know most girls like me are diamond-wise and boy-foolish. So surely the only reason the hottest thing in the known universe is standing in front of me right now is because . . .
Well, um, because . . .
He wants to rob the same bank.
The guy laughed like I’d said that out loud.
Yep, I’m pretty sure he heard that one, too.
I shuffled my feet, heaving a big sigh.
All right Mr. Rugged & Beautiful, I thought, folding my arms across my supremely-dorky school sweater. Think you can psyche me out? Well I’ve just completed a year and a half in mean-girl lockdown, where they make you check in your soul at the door in exchange for verbal switchblades, so don’t even think I’m gonna cave any time soon.
I lifted my chin and gave him my iciest stare.
“First one inside hits the jackpot!” I said, darting into the bank’s front door before he could blink.
Diane J. Reed is a multi-award winning author who writes novels that are infused with enchantment, where characters dare to break through boundaries & believe in true love. She has a soft spot for artisans & outlaws of the heart, those of us who burn brightly to live each day as a gift–because it is! Along with her passion for books, she enjoys hiking, painting, chocolate & spending time with her family in the Rocky Mountains. She loves to hear from readers, so feel free to visit her at www.banditsranch.com to share the whispers of your spirit.
Links to Diane’s website, blog, books, etc.
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BE SURE TO COME BACK to read more about Diane, her release, and an excerpt from ROBIN IN THE HOOD, on Wednesday’s Karen’s Killer Book Bench. Happy Reading!
**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: Diane is giving away a paperback copy of ROBIN IN THE HOOD and the sequel STONE OF THIEVES to one lucky winner who comments on her **Author Peek** Interview or Killer Book Bench blogs. Don’t miss this chance to read Diane’s story. Thanks, Diane, for sharing your release with us!