Untamed Hearts 1: The Viper

By: Kele Moon


Dedication

To Sonja,

Not a day goes by that I don’t feel blessed to have had you for a mother-in-law. Your boldness. Your sharp wit. Your ability to always get shit done and most of all for being the most dedicated mother, grandmother, and friend I have ever met in my life. I admired you for all of it, and I wish I hadn’t waited until you were gone to dedicate a book to you because you were always one of my greatest supporters. Honestly, I had planned for these books to be yours, likely because I thought I’d be calling you every five minutes to help me with the Spanish. It was hard to write this one without you around, and so shortly after we’d lost you too, but you’re still there in the pages. It was impossible for you not to be in every corner of this book.

Thank you for welcoming me into your world. Thank you for accepting me when your son brought me home. Thank you for showing me all the most beautiful parts of the Latino culture in Florida and teaching me to love it as much as the one I had left behind in Hawaii.

Most of all, thank you for loving my children as deeply and profoundly as you did. To you, family was everything. No sacrifice was ever too great. It’s that message more than anything else that you contributed to these books.

We love you. We miss you like crazy. We wish you were still here, but we know you’re watching over us.


Acknowledgments

Extra Special Thanks To:

My husband for going the distance to help me finish this one. This was not an easy journey. Losing your mother. Losing my grandfather. Helping me recover from my back surgery. This year has been the one that taught us that together we are strong. We survive in the face of adversity. We were able to rise up and get it done when so often it felt impossible. The amount of work you contributed to this book far exceeds anything I did. Thank you for taking care of EVERYTHING in the real world while I stayed up nights playing in my imaginary one. Thank you for believing in this new series and for continuing to do anything in your power to help me share it with the world. I’m so very grateful you’re my mate. You make every aspect of my life brighter. I love you more than words will ever be able to capture.

Marivett Villafane for being such a huge help with this book from beginning to end. It wasn’t just about the Spanish, which I would have never been able to pull off without you. It was about helping me find my characters. A lot of Marcos’s big personality is thanks to you! You helped him be distinctively him. For always being there, even late at night, when I pinged you asking any number of random questions. I heart you like whoa!! THANK YOU!

Jessica Canoto for being willing to read and answer questions. You helped more than you will ever know! I held my breath the whole time you read the first draft before the book was even finished and thankfully you are the fastest reader I’ve ever met in my life! Your enthusiasm for Marcos, Chuito, and all the other Miami characters gave me that push I needed to finish!! THANK YOU!

Lori Toland for being an amazing friend and always being there to listen to me ramble about my characters. Double thank you for giving me a place to stay while I finished this. I would still be working on this book if it weren’t for you! I love you!

Laurann for being the most amazing crit-partner in the world! I love you. Plain and simple. There are a lot of things I have to be thankful for since becoming published, but meeting you is, without question, number one.

Karen M for being my resident expert on just about everything. If it’s a legal question or a car question, you’re always there to help me. Every author needs a friend like you! I love you!

Maryam for being the greatest editor a writer could ever hope for! Thank you for believing in me and in these books.

Loose Id for letting me be me and helping me share these stories with the world.





Chapter One

Garnet County

January 1, 2014

A Garth Brooks song played on the radio. The windshield wipers worked overtime pushing away the snow as Katie drove back home after the New Year’s Eve party held at her brother’s place. The roads were empty at two a.m. Not that they were ever too crowded in her small hometown of Garnet.

Katie had gone to her brother Chris’s just in case her ex tried to stop by the house after he sent her flowers for New Year’s Eve, asking for a second chance. Her divorce had been two years of hell, and Grayson still didn’t want to let go.

Now she was stuck driving back home through the early stirrings of what looked to be a nasty winter storm. Damn Grayson. She would’ve been happier spending the night on her couch with a bottle of wine and Ryan Seacrest to keep her company.

Determined to enjoy the first vestiges of the New Year, she turned up the radio. She started thinking of her mother and deliberately sang along. Her mother used to love Garth Brooks.

Katie didn’t notice the blue car behind her until it was practically on top of her. That little car just seemed to appear out of nowhere. It had to be doing ninety at least. On a snowy, two-lane road that was nothing but sharp turns. Were they crazy?

She expected them to pass her. Even if it was a two-lane road, people did it all the time. Katie certainly wasn’t going to speed up in a snowstorm to make a lunatic driver happy. A chill ran down her spine when the driver continued to ride her tail rather than pass. For one moment she thought it could be Grayson, but this driver was noticeably swerving. Grayson didn’t drink.

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