Jennifer Ashley

Excerpt: Riding Hard: Adam

Book 1: Riding Hard Series

Chapter One

Adam heard himself flatline. The machine shrilled one long sound, and everything he’d ever known vanished. He saw no light, felt nothing; he had no body, did not exist.

There had been a roar, red fire, the stunt crew yelling, his best friend trapped in a pickup, surrounded by flame, eyes fixed in an unseeing stare. Then paramedics, fire trucks, noise, smoke, something jammed to Adam’s face. And then nothing except lying motionless while the machine sang out that Adam Campbell was dead.

Next to his bed, a woman was crying. Couldn’t be his mother; she never cried when things were bad. She’d get through it and then go to pieces later, like she’d done when his dad had died.

Dad had been about thirty-two when he’d passed—Adam was four years younger than that. Sorry, Dad, meant to take care of them a little longer.

Bright, hot fire blasted through Adam’s body, streaking along every nerve. Adam’s legs jerked, his fingers burned, pain seared through his chest to shoot upwards into his brain. What the f—?

He slammed back down on the bed, gasping for air. Cold and dry, it grated into his lungs. The machines stopped their long scream and started a rhythm, soft signals that overlapped one another and pulsed like his heart.

Beat … pause … beat … pause …

A very long time later, Adam peeled open his eyes.

They surrounded his bed, his mom flanked by four big, tough-looking men—Tyler, Grant, Ross, and Carter. Carter’s large hand rested on the shoulder of his eight-year-old daughter, Faith’s hazel eyes enormous in her small face.

His family had come all the way from Riverbend to watch him die.

“Hey,” Adam croaked. His throat was raw with serious pain, his voice barely audible. “I feel like shit.”

His younger brothers, Faith, and his mother relaxed into wide smiles—except for Carter, who’d never caught on to what smiling was all about. But even Carter’s eyes warmed, the hand on Faith’s shoulder easing.

For some reason, they were all very, very happy with Adam.

Return to Adam

Buy the Book