Friday, July 14, 2023

#NewRelease #KindleUnlimited - Pieces of Heaven (The Steel Berserks MC #5) by Bijou Hunter & Noelle Zane

Title: Pieces of Heaven
Series: The Steel Berserkers MC Book 5
Authors: Bijou Hunter & Noelle Zane
Genre: Romantic Suspense/MC Romance
Release Date: July 14, 2023

Tommy “Hobo” Clark barely survived his childhood. Only his friendships with the future Steel Berserkers Motorcycle Club members kept him alive. The club’s success afforded him money and security, but the wild man couldn’t settle into a normal life and instead roams McMurdo Valley’s rugged landscape.

Xenia Griggs gave up her dreams to fulfill her family’s. With her youth gone, she barely has anything to show for her sacrifices. Xenia arrives in McMurdo Valley with big dreams for a new start. Yet, one misjudgment leaves her on the verge of failure. To her surprise, a tatted and roughly handsome man appears in her life to set things right.

Hobo and Xenia can’t deny what they feel for each other. However, their dreams are headed in different directions. Can they see past a lifetime of hurt to create a shared future?

The Steel Berserkers MC series contains sexual content, harsh language, graphic violence, and drug use. This book is only suitable for readers 18+. Trigger warnings: past childhood abuse.



People always think my name is Xena, like the princess warrior from the TV show. I wish I could be so fearless. In my head, the “Xena” part of me claimed all her dreams and never held back. That version of me has traveled the world, eaten the wildest foods, and seen the most exciting sights. She’s loved many men and known the hottest pleasure. Xena laughs often, faces her insecurities, and hasn’t wasted a moment in her life.

Unfortunately, Xena is just a figment of my imagination while Xenia steers my life.

After nearly two decades of waiting for my moment to shine, I’ve reached the painful conclusion that I’m a failure.

As a child, I dreamed of running a dining empire. As a young woman, I hoped for a few small restaurants to allow me to explore my culinary interests. By the age of thirty, I only dreamed of a restaurant of my own.

With my inheritance turning out smaller than I imagined, I’m forced to simplify my dreams. No country home with a garden. No traveling before settling down. No makeover to give my thirty-seven-year-old spinster ass a shot at romance.

My dream has whittled down to XYZ Coffee, where I sell cupcakes and deli sandwiches.

I take in the sight of my shop—the hanging lights, the earthy colored walls, the high, narrow wooden table with stools at the front window, the banquette seating along a side wall, and locally bought eclectic artwork. Sammi Smith plays over the sound system. XYZ Coffee is just like the pictures in my head.

But the shop is a bust financially.

I’ve come to accept how moving to McMurdo Valley was probably a mistake. I didn’t know the town. I have no contacts here. I chose wrong.

As a young woman, I enjoyed a rare vacation and traveled with my parents across this state. We stopped in McMurdo Valley for lunch. When I stood in the steakhouse’s parking lot and looked out at the breathtaking beauty around me, I felt as if I was witnessing a glimpse of heaven.

That was more than a decade ago. During that time, I never visited again, afraid to ruin my fantasy. If I were stronger, I’d have faced reality long ago. However, to keep my dreams intact, I hid from the truth.

McMurdo Valley hasn’t offered me the hoped-for bounty. XYZ Coffee is a bust. Yet, every morning, I write my daily pastry special on a chalkboard out front. I bake treats as if today will be when the town discovers what I can offer. After I close up on another failed day, I drop the unbought baked goods at the local senior center.

This afternoon, just before closing, I admit my dream is dying. The tears I’ve fought for weeks now rush forward. I’ve wasted my life.

I should walk away now. Just close my door and stop wasting money on food no one will buy. I could find a job and still build a life in McMurdo Valley.

Crying alone in my shop, I consider my life up until this point. How many opportunities did I give up to play the dutiful daughter? My parents promised I would have my own restaurant one day. They swore I had time to find a husband and create a family of my own. I just needed to remain loyal.

So, I spent most of my waking hours working at their restaurants, struggling to keep their empire afloat. I rarely dated. I never put myself first. There was always time. I had to think long term.

What do I have to show for that loyalty? My parents didn’t leave me sole control of their estate like they promised. I had to share it with my siblings who never stuck around or gave up anything.

“You were always our favorite,” my mom said before the vacation that claimed my parents’ lives. “You were the one we could depend on.”

Yet, I got the same as the “selfish” kids who “disappointed” them.

Sobbing now, I hide in the corner behind the counter. I gave up everything for my parents’ dreams. I’d been too weak to tell them no. I kept holding out hope that when they were gone, I’d get my chance to soar.

My parents knew I was depending on my inheritance to support myself. Their restaurant empire fell apart at the end. My father couldn’t keep up with trends. My mother insisted on pointless remodels. 

However, I never complained. I always held my tongue. I was the good daughter. While my siblings went out and enjoyed their lives, I played Cinderella for my parents.

Wiping my wet cheeks, I do the math in my head. If I close the shop tomorrow, I’ll be out on the lease money. There’s no way to go back and fix that mistake. I was still back in Nevada when I signed the paperwork, having trusted the realtor’s advice on the best location.

If I take what I have left, I can start over. Give up on my dream of the coffee shop. It was dumb anyway. Why would anyone come here when they can get coffee at a drive-thru?

Like my father, I hadn’t paid attention to how the world changed around us.

I still thought like the twenty-year-old woman with big dreams. Back then, I planned to reinvent myself as a fearless princess warrior. Nothing would keep me from experiencing life.

Instead, my parents promised how if I stuck around a few years longer, they’d pay for culinary school. I could get my own place. Just not yet. Never right now but soon.

I threw away my one life! That’s the thought I’m screaming in my head when I’m startled from my self-pity by the shop’s ringing front bell.

I don’t know how long I’ve been hiding back here. My face is no longer wet. I’m unsure how messy I might look. It doesn’t matter. I just need to stand up before the possible customer walks away.

I picture an old woman, needing a late afternoon pick-me-up. Or a construction worker just off the job and craving caffeine.

Instead, I find a beast of a man. His shoulder-length, blond hair drapes a bearded face and icy blue eyes. When his gaze falls on me, I feel pinned to my spot. I can hardly breathe.

“Yes?” I ask, thinking I’m being robbed.

“Coffee. Black.”

His voice is rough like he’s gone too long without liquid to smooth out the edges.

I look past him to find an empty parking lot. XYZ Coffee is located in a shopping cove on the outskirts of McMurdo Valley’s downtown. I share the parking lot with a locksmith and an out-of-business pizza restaurant.

“Did someone drop you off?” I ask dumbly as I walk to the counter and pour my first cup of coffee for a real customer.

Except I sense this giant, rugged man is looking for charity. He smells like he’s been in the wild for a long time. He isn’t dirty, just sweaty. Maybe he isn’t homeless. I do notice how he carries a backpack like a man whose life fits in a bag.

“I came from there,” he says and points through the window to the woods on the other side of the quiet road. “Didn’t realize a new business had opened up over here. How long have you been around?”

“Two weeks,” I say and rest the XYZ Coffee mug on the counter. “Oh, did you want that to go?”

“No,” he says and settles his large build into one of the stools at the short counter. “I know most faces around McMurdo Valley, so you’ve got to be new.”

“I just moved here.”


“It’s a beautiful place.”

“That it is,” he says and gulps down the coffee.

I nearly tell him to be careful because it’s hot. Realizing this massive man doesn’t need me to baby him, I keep my mouth shut.

As his icy gaze greedily drinks me in, he asks, “Are you getting many customers in this spot?”

“Can you excuse me?” I mumble and step back.

Hurrying to the shop’s tiny bathroom, I splash water on my face without thinking. I just want to freshen up since I’m having a conversation with a wildly handsome man capable of making my heart race. After remembering how I’m wearing makeup, I dab away the mess the water’s made.

“Give it up and get back out there before he robs the place,” I whisper to the mirror before chuckling bitterly. “Oh, yeah, you don’t have any money in the register.”

I return to find him in the same spot. He’s admiring the place or scrutinizing it, maybe. His sharp gaze returns to me.

“Why this place?” he asks, picking up where we left off.

“I wasn’t living in town when I signed the lease. A dumb mistake to make, of course. I was in a hurry to start my new life. I trusted the realtor who said this was a prime location. His office sent me pictures. It looked so lovely,” I say, losing the strength to continue. “But no one comes around here, do they?”

“This realtor, what’s his name?”


“Just seems shady, don’t you think?”

In a defeated voice, I mumble, “You can’t take advantage of people with quick minds.”

My father said those words a million times. They take on an ominous meaning after he screwed me out of my promised inheritance. I’d been duped so easily by the lies my parents effortlessly told.

The man rubs at his shaggy blond beard and shrugs. “I don’t think that’s true, necessarily. But even if you have a dull mind, the realtor should have shown more class.”

His concern wins a dopey smile from me. Underneath his wild hair, rough masculinity, and earthy scent beats the heart of a kind man.

Or maybe I’m just fooling myself again and he’ll stick my corpse in the back dumpster.

“What’s your name?” I ask, hoping he isn’t a psycho.

“People call me ‘Hobo.’”

Losing my smile, I mutter, “That doesn’t seem particularly nice.”

“No, it’s my road name.”

When I just stare at him, he explains, “My birth name is Tommy Clark. People called me that when I was a kid. These days, I go by Hobo.”

“I’m Xenia.”

Hobo grins and gestures at my name tag.

“Oh, I guess that was obvious.”

“Still good to hear it out loud. Just to know how it’s pronounced.”

“My parents chose the name because it means hospitality.”

Hobo’s icy gaze warms under my explanation before going cold again when he asks, “What’s the name of that realtor?”

“Why do you want to know?”

“If I buy land, I won’t want to hire a shady fucker.”

His words seem silly. The man walked out of the woods. He’s clearly homeless. People even call him that cruel name. Despite knowing he can’t afford to buy land, I want him to stick around and talk to me more.

“Sullivan Pierce.”

“Huh. I didn’t even know that person existed. Surprised you didn’t work with Callie Macready.”

Fidgeting with my apron, I shrug. “Her name came up first on my internet search, but she was very busy. Her assistant even warned she might not get back to me right away. I figured that was a sign.”

“Well, you sure are pretty, Xenia, but you’ve got bad instincts. Callie would have treated you right.”

His words steal my confidence. With Callie Macready, I was mostly intimidated by the beautiful smiling blonde in the online ad. My insecurities led me to pick a realtor who took advantage of my cluelessness. Maybe I deserve to lose my business.

Even feeling like a loser, I repeat Hobo’s words in my head and zero in on the “pretty” part. Men rarely say those things to me. Well, not handsome men, anyway.

And despite being down on his luck, Hobo is very good-looking. His full lips hint at a smile. His strong cheekbones beg to feel my fingers brush across them. Oh, and his gaze is simply hypnotic. Lined with the thickest lashes, his blue eyes don’t see past me. Instead, I feel wrapped in their power and held up for his scrutiny.

“Do you want more coffee?” I ask as I consider the logistics of dating a homeless man.

My cheeks go hot at my ridiculous fantasy. Worse is how I’m creating a new, bound-to-fail dream. I need to aim for what I can actually have rather than fill my head with more out-of-reach fantasies.

Several days ago, my landlady’s grandson, Francis, flirted with me. I got the feeling he might ask me out soon. A man at the accountant’s office also hinted at dinner.

Neither one is nearly as handsome nor commanding as the one before me. Yet, they make sense. Instead, I’m already pining over a future disappointment.

Even at my age, I’ve never had a boyfriend. I’m the queen of first dates and one-night stands.

“This isn’t a good location,” Hobo says after finishing his second cup and tapping it for a refill. “You got snookered good by that asshole.”

“Well, there’s nothing I can do about it now,” I mutter as I fill his cup.

“Can I try one of your cupcakes?”

Something about his tone makes me blush again, as if “cupcake” has a double meaning. I fight the urge to fan myself while I offer him a white sprinkled treat.

“Did you move to town all alone?”

I go still as if this is the moment in the thriller where Victim#2 misses obvious signs before her eventual murder.

Despite my fears, Hobo looks at me in such a direct way that I can’t deny him an answer. “Yes.”

“Where are you living?”

“Off Rural Route 4. I’m renting the back house from an older woman.”

“You mean Velma’s tiny house?”

“It’s all I can afford,” I mumble, hurt by the homeless man’s negative reaction to my living quarters.

“You got any friends yet?”


“Well, you do now,” he says and winks at me. “I’m a good friend to have, too.”

“I’m sure you are.”

Hobo settles back on the stool, making me worry he’ll fall. “I know you’re just humoring me, but I’m being serious. You’ll see, Xenia.”

My name sounds sexy in his deep voice. For a split second, I forget about my problems. All I can think about is how his beautiful blue eyes are watching me. For the first time in forever, I feel genuinely hopeful.

That’s why my heart drops when Hobo stands up after finishing his third cup and the cupcake.

“There’s a storm coming, so I best get moving.”

“Do you need a ride?”

Hobo smirks. “No, I got a tent set up not too far from here. But you best close up and head home early. Don’t want to get caught out in the downpour.”

“Okay,” I say, wishing he wouldn’t leave.

Hobo rests two twenties on the counter and holds my gaze. “I’ll come around again and try one of your sandwiches. Will you be open?”

Nodding, I can’t see past him long enough to remember how much money I waste every day by running the shop. 

“See you soon,” Hobo says and heads out.

“I’ll get your change.”

“Keep it as a tip for the good company,” he says over his shoulder.

I literally swoon when Hobo offers me a warm smile before leaving the shop and returning to the woods. I don’t care if I’m crazy to nurse a crush on a homeless guy. He might be wild and possibly dangerous, but he’s the sweetest, sexiest man I’ve ever met.

And thanks to him, I get to hold on to my dying dream for a little while longer.



Bijou's been publishing romance books since 2013.
Noelle is an avid reader and new author.
The duo currently live in Indiana.


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