Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Teaser Tuesday: Knox by Marteeka Karland @marteekakarland @RABTBookTours @changelingpress


Motorcycle Club Romance, Suspense, Age Gap

Date Published: May 10, 2024



Evelyn: My life fell apart right before my eyes. The fire and losing everything we had was bad enough, but when my boyfriend’s father convinces me to go to the hospital, the one thing me and my kids had left evaporates like a plume of smoke when I see their father with his… pregnant wife. Not only do I feel like a complete fool, I’m left to explain things to my children. Then there’s Knox. He’s my boyfriend Danny’s older brother. The one everyone thought was dead. The one who’s an older, bigger, scarier version of Danny. He is so gentle with me and my children, so protective when he has no reason to be. He’s also the man I have no hopes of resisting.

Knox: I let my family think I was dead for fifteen years. There were multiple reasons. Not the least of which was securing a steady income for my father after Danny blew through everything he had. I tried to keep tabs on them, especially after Mom died, but I didn’t dig deep enough. As a result, Danny’s girlfriend, Evelyn, is in the crosshairs of something very sinister. Once I find out who’s responsible, there will be hell to pay. No matter who brought death to those I love, I will make them pay. When I do, I’ll be putting the loyalty of my club to the test. When it’s all over, I hope Evelyn will be able to forgive me. Because I’ve fallen in love with my brother’s woman and no one will come between us. No one.


WARNING: Knox includes scenes of graphic violence and adult situations including those that may be triggers for some readers. There’s also a protective hero, a determined heroine, and an eventual happy ending. No cheating, as always.








I clung to Luke and Aneshya, trying my best to shield them from the chaos around us. We coughed as we tried to make our way down the hall, but the smoke was so thick, it was pitch-black inside the cramped space.

“We’ve gotta get out of here!” Mr. Knoxville from across the hall was the children’s grandfather. The man always looked out for us, even when his son couldn’t. “Evelyn!”

“We’re over here!” I clutched my children close. We had a damp bed sheet over the three of us, but it wouldn’t do much for long. The smoke was getting thicker and there was no way a bed sheet was going to protect us from fire. “I can’t find Danny! He was just here!” I coughed and coughed as I sucked in a lungful of smoke with every breath. Luke tried to push me down, but I resisted. I needed to get my family to safety and that included Danny.

“Mommy, we need to go!” Aneshya sounded frantic, a round of coughing taking her as well. Luke stopped shoving at me and blanketed his sister, taking her to the floor.

“Crawl, Aneshya! Mom! Come on! Now!” Luke was only twelve, but he was protective of both me and his sister. “Grandpa! Make Mom follow us!” He tried to take charge and I knew he was right. But my long-term boyfriend and the kids’ father, Danny, had been beside me only a moment before. I couldn’t just leave him.

Mr. Knoxville suddenly appeared in front of me. He was in his late seventies, but the man was fit and strong as an ox. And protective as they came. I thought it might be where Luke learned it from. If Danny had inherited the trait from his father, he never showed it to me. Or the kids, really. As evidenced by the fact that it was his father and son trying to take care of me and Aneshya instead of Danny.

“Don’t worry about him, Evelyn.” Mr. Knoxville looked hard and almost dangerous. When he looked like this, it made me want to do anything he said without question. “He’s a grown man. You’ve got to get the children out. Now!”

“But Danny --”

“Will be fine. Or he won’t. Your first priority -- my first priority -- is you and the children.” I’d never heard Mr. Knoxville speak so harshly to me. He was always the one to help me when Danny didn’t come home. Or when Danny got mean. The kids were older, but I didn’t like leaving them alone. Mr. Knoxville was always so sweet and kind. But then, this situation didn’t call for sweet and kind. “Now get them and yourself out of here, Evelyn! Now!”

Luke and Aneshya were crawling on the floor down the hallway of our apartment building. Mr. Knoxville pushed me to my belly and urged me to crawl after the kids. The smoke was more tolerable low to the ground but still surrounding us. I choked with every breath. The fire was mostly behind us, but it was spreading. I thought I could hear sirens off in the distance.

“Keep movin’, girl! Don’t stop!”

“Luke!” I called out to my son, the smoke so thick and dark I’d lost sight of him and Aneshya as I lagged behind.

“We’re at the stairs!” Luke coughed again, his voice faint in the distance separating us. I could hear Aneshya coughing too. I hated that they had trouble breathing but was also grateful they were on the move. “Hurry, Mom!”

“I’m coming, Luke!” I crawled faster. Mr. Knoxville touched my ankle, urging me forward each time I hesitated. “Keep going! Get your sister out!”

“You keep goin’ too, girl. We’re gonna get outta here!” Mr. Knoxville’s voice was tight, and he coughed several times as he continually shoved me along.

The roar of the flames was growing louder. Heat billowed in a great rush from the flames I was certain were ready to bear down on us.

I heard the children cry out. Pain? Were they hurt?

“LUKE! ANESHYA!” When I sucked in another breath to scream again, I breathed in smoke which started a coughing fit. My lungs burned and spasmed, making it nearly impossible to take in another breath. I tried to keep moving, but it was all I could do to breathe. Panic tightened around my neck. With the smoke suffocating me, it really felt as if someone were actually strangling me.

I stumbled to my feet, needing to get to my kids as fast as I could and crawling wasn’t getting it done. I called out to them with every breath I could suck in. Then strong hands grabbed my shoulders. In the blackness of the smoke all around me, those hands were the first indication I had there was someone in front of me.

“Get down.” The gruff voice was muffled, and I realized he had on a mask. Firefighter? Then he shoved me back to the floor and pushed me to give me direction. “Keep crawling that way. The stairs are a few yards in front of you.”

“My children! Did you see --”

“They’re on the way out.”

“Mr. Knoxville’s behind me --”

“I’ll get him.”

“Danny --”

“I said go, woman! We’ll be right behind you.” He urged me onward, and all I could do was crawl in the direction he said. I hoped, since he’d sent me in that direction, he knew the way was clear. I trusted that my children were in that direction.

The farther I went, the heavier the smoke. Right up until I descended half the flight of stairs on my hands and knees. Coughing, I stood and hurried as fast as I could. With the receding smoke, it was easier to breathe. To move.


“Luke?” I sobbed in relief as I recognized my son’s voice.

“There she is, Luke!” Aneshya sounded strong. Not like she’d been hurt or couldn’t breathe.

Then I was in the arms of my son, my daughter clinging tightly to me as they moved me out of the apartment building. I barely made it out into the grass before I collapsed, my legs finally giving out. I clutched Aneshya to me as tightly as I could. Luke had his arms around me but was still trying to get me to move farther away from the building.

“It’s not safe here, Mom. We need to get farther back.”

“Mr. Knoxville.” Panic filled me. Did the older man get out? “He was right behind me. Where is he?”

“The fireman said he’d make sure you both got out.” Aneshya tugged at me, following her brother’s lead as usual. “Come on, Mom. Let’s go.”

I sucked in breath after breath of clean air. Each breath seemed to bring on more coughing, but I managed to get it mostly under control. “Where are the other firemen?” I looked around, not seeing anyone other than a few bystanders. I could hear sirens off in the distance getting closer, but no one was here yet.

“Not sure,” Luke said with a frown. “First responder, maybe? But he said he would get you and Mr. Knoxville out and for us to go on.”

“We were waiting for you.” Aneshya’s voice broke and tears made tracks through the streaks of soot on her face. “I thought you’d gotten lost.”

It was then Mr. Knoxville stumbled through the same exit we’d managed to escape through. The fireman was right behind him.

“Mr. Knoxville! Oh, my God! Are you all right?” I hurried in his direction, trying to put the man’s arm around my shoulders so he could lean on me if necessary. I should have known better. My knees were weak already. There was no way I could hold the older man’s weight. Instead, I found him holding me up with an arm around my waist as he urged us farther away from the building which was more and more engulfed in flames.

The guy coming up behind Mr. Knoxville was huge. He towered over all of us and was solidly built. He still had on a full-face mask with SCBA gear but I could see his face through the clear plate. The man looked familiar, but I couldn’t quite place him.

“Please! My boyfriend, Danny! He’s still in there somewhere!”

Instead of going back inside immediately, he turned to Mr. Knoxville.

“Up to you.” Mr. Knoxville had leaned over with his hands braced on his knees while he coughed, same as the rest of us. “Fuckin’ prick left his children in a burnin’ fuckin’ buildin’.”

“What?” I gasped in surprise, looking up at Mr. Knoxville. Not only had I never heard the other man swear like that, but he was accusing Danny -- his own son -- of deserting us in a crisis. “No! Danny and I have had our problems, but he’d never leave his kids. We got separated. He’s still in there. Probably looking for us! You have to find him!”

The firefighter took off the mask, and it was like I was looking at a slightly older, bigger, much scarier version of Danny. I sucked in a breath…

… then immediately started coughing. Luke was at my side when I collapsed on the ground on my knees. I fell forward onto my hands in the grass, coughing uncontrollably.

“We need to get Mom to the hospital.” Luke handed me a bottle of water. I had no idea where that came from, but I took a gulp before promptly coughing again. I glanced over at Aneshya. She had a worried expression on her face but wasn’t coughing anymore. Luke looked like he wasn’t hurt either, but I had to be sure. Both of them were streaked with soot.

“Are… you…” I gasped. “Are you… hurt?”

“No, Mom.” Luke was quick to reassure me. “Aneshya’s fine too. Drink some more.”

The next thing I knew an oxygen mask was placed over my face and the Danny look-alike was in front of me, holding my gaze with a steady one of his own.

“Take deep breaths, honey.” He put what looked like an inhaler in the hole at the side of the mask and squeezed it. I felt the mist from the spray enter my lungs as I inhaled. I still coughed, but after a few seconds, the pressure in my chest relaxed a little. After another lungful of air and more coughing, he did it again. After that, it wasn’t long until the pressure in my chest eased almost entirely. I still coughed, but it felt different. Like the coughing was actually helping to clear my lungs instead of being a futile effort.

“Mom?” Aneshya looked up at me with worry in her expression. She’d wiped her face with something, washing some of the soot off, but smearing it over her face.

“I’m okay, sweetie.”

“Fire and EMS are on the way.” The man kneeling in front of me moved the mask long enough to urge me to drink some more water before replacing the mask. “Just take some slow, deep breaths. I gave you an inhaler. Got something to help with the spasms in your lungs. Might make your heart race a bit, but nothing too bad.”

“Who are you?”

He glanced over at Mr. Knoxville who was looking at him with a combination of pride and relief. If there were tears in the gruff old man’s eyes, I was sure it was from the smoke. “Denver. Boy…”

“It’s Knox.” He stood before his face split into a grin. “It’s good to see you, Pop.”



About the Author

Marteeka Karland is an international bestselling author who leads a double life as an erotic romance author by evening and a semi-domesticated housewife by day. Known for her down and dirty MC romances, Marteeka takes pleasure in spinning tales of tenacious, protective heroes and spirited, vulnerable heroines. She staunchly advocates that every character deserves a blissful ending, even, sometimes, the villains in her narratives. Her writings are speckled with intense, raw elements resulting in page-turning delight entwined with seductive escapades leading up to gratifying conclusions that elicit a sigh from her readers.

Away from the pen, Marteeka finds joy in baking and supporting her husband with their gardening activities. The late summer season is set aside for preserving the delightful harvest that springs from their combined efforts (which is mostly his efforts, but you can count it). To stay updated with Marteeka's latest adventures and forthcoming books, make sure to visit her website. Don't forget to register for her newsletter which will pepper you with a potpourri of Teeka's beloved recipes, book suggestions, autograph events, and a plethora of interesting tidbits.


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