One

by Brenda Murphy

$5.99

Rated 4.50 out of 5 based on 2 customer ratings
(2 customer reviews)

Fast cars, motorcycles, and one-night stands have been Mac’s life since she left the military. Bitter over a lost love and never one to gamble, she ends potential relationships with surgical precision to avoid another heartache. After her flight to Italy is delayed by a wicked storm, she intervenes when a drunk passenger threatens the desk agent.

Impressed with her courage, fellow passenger Lana Baroni offers to buy her a drink. One coffee and an upgrade later, they spend the fight to Italy talking cars and racing. When a sightseeing date with Lana turns into an afternoon tryst, Mac has to choose: hit the brakes or roll the throttle and risk everything to win Lana’s love.

Available in Print from most major retailers.

One

Book Info

Author: Brenda Murphy

Release Date: November 6, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-947904-20-0

Format: ePub, Mobi, PDF

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Category: Romance

Genre: Contemporary

Word Count: 61600

Pages: 187

Sex Content: Explicit

Pairing: FF

Orientation: Lesbian

Identity: Cisgender

Warning: flashbacks to a violent event during military conflict

Excerpt

One
Brenda Murphy © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One

“Come on, Mac. The pool is going to be shut down. When would be a better time to go?”

Mac sat back in her chair and peeled the label off her beer bottle. “It’d be crazy expensive. Easy for you to talk but I’m on my own.”

Nicole sipped her wine. Mr. Nips meowed loudly and jumped into Nicole’s lap. He rubbed his head on Nicole’s chin, making her spill her wine.

Mac laughed and handed Nicole a napkin. “So, how’s it going with Virginia? You guys good?”

“Thanks.” Nicole wiped her chin and pushed the cat to the floor. “Better than good. She’s everything. It’s incredible.” Nicole’s cheeks were bright red. “I’m picking her up from the airport tonight.” She took a sip of her wine. “I wish you’d find someone, Mac. You deserve to be happy.”

Mac snorted. Happy. What does that even mean? “I’m happy. Enough.” She shifted in her seat, causing her ring of keys to jingle. Liar. A disgruntled Mr. Nips batted at her keys, making them jingle again.

“You have to do this.” Nicole reached out and touched Mac’s hand. “I wouldn’t be picking up Virginia if you hadn’t pushed me to talk to her. This time it’s me to you. Fuck you if you don’t take this trip.”

Mac set her beer down. “I’ll think about it.” She stood up and finished her beer in two long swallows before she tossed the bottle into the recycle bin. She bent down and rubbed Mr. Nips between his ears. “See you tomorrow. Don’t let your girlfriend make you late again.”

Nicole blushed and rolled her eyes. “Yes, Mac.”

Mac let herself out. She took the stairs down two at a time. She stepped over her bike, turned the key, and kicked the engine over. The low rumble between her legs was satisfying and comforting. She checked the time on her phone. Home? The bar? She took the long way home, tearing through the dark night trying to go fast enough to outrun the relentless sadness chasing her.

Chapter Two

The airport was hot and sticky. Mac wiped at the back of her neck with her kerchief before stuffing it back in her pocket. She checked the information board. “DELAYED” flashed by her flight number and she stifled a groan. After loitering in the airport bookshop, she settled on a copy of Motor Sport magazine and a pack of mints. She walked back to her gate. A group of disgruntled travelers in suits was packed around the desk haranguing the gate agent. Mac pressed her lips together. Her tolerance for self-important businessmen was low on a good day. And with the possibility of a long weather delay, she looked for a seat as far from the desk as she could find. She found an empty row of seats and sat down. Mac tucked her daypack between her feet before she pulled out her phone to check the weather. The line of thunderstorms delaying her flight shone bright red with bands of yellow and dark green on the weather app radar.

“Excuse me. Would you watch my bag? I need to visit the ladies’. I don’t want to drag it with me.”

Mac looked up from her phone. A tall woman in a black cotton knit dress stood in front of her. Her eyebrows were delicately arched and she spoke with the barest hint of an accent. Pale blue eyes and a quiet smile graced her face.

“Um sure.”

The woman placed her monogrammed black leather bag next to Mac’s boot and held Mac’s gaze.

Exquisite. The bag and the woman. “I’d be happy to.” Mac stuffed her phone in her pocket. Her beat-up day bag looked even worse resting on the floor next to the woman’s bespoke luggage. She watched the woman as she wove through the crowd. Her sandy brown hair brushed her shoulders as she strode to the bathroom, graceful in a pair of black pumps. Who wears pumps on a plane? Mac looked at the rows of travelers seated behind and in front of her and the empty seats around her. She peeked at the luggage tag attached to the woman’s carry-on bag and read it. Lana Baroni. Name’s as fancy as her bag. Why me?

Her black T-shirt, biker boots, and jeans were unique among the crowd. Most of the other travelers were dressed in baggy shorts and running shoes, track suits or yoga pants and T-shirts, except for the cool kids in skinny jeans and Chucks. Don’t make a big deal out of it. The woman walked back through the crowd, full-figured and elegant. Mac was mesmerized watching her as she approached. Her long black dress flowed around her legs, the knee-length slit in the skirt showing off an occasional glimpse of her long legs. Damn. As good coming as going. Mac sat up straighter in her seat.

“Thank you.” The woman sat down, choosing the seat next to Mac over the numerous empty seats on either side of her. Mac inhaled her perfume, appreciating the subtle spicy scent of ginger and cedarwood the woman wore.

“You’re welcome. Are you on this flight?” Mac turned to look into her eyes. Cornflower. That’s the color of her eyes. Cornflower blue.

“Yes. Trying to get home.” She shifted to face Mac, her knee brushing against Mac’s thigh before she straightened out her legs and sat back in her seat.

“Where’s home?”

“Moltrasio, but I have some business in Milan beforehand. And you?”

“I live here but I’m trying to get to Monza.”

“For the Grand Prix, yes?”

“Yes. How’d ya know? You psychic?”

“This.” She tapped the magazine in Mac’s lap.

Mac smiled and searched for something else to say. I could listen to her talk all day. “You follow Formula One?”

“You could say that.” Her mouth quirked up on one side. “Did they say how long before we board?”

“Nah, our plane had to land in Norfolk. The storms have grounded everyone.”

The woman frowned and pulled an e-reader from her bag. Mac took the clue and slid back in her seat and opened her magazine. The images of the drivers and cars sent a thrill through her. She flipped through it, trying to envision how it would be watching the race in person. She remembered the first time her dad took her to a race. They were standing on the concrete apron of the grandstands at the half-mile track in Richmond when the drivers started their engines. Mac’s dad had boosted her up on his shoulders to see over the crowd. The scent of his drugstore aftershave and cigarette smoke blended with the smell of fuel and sweat and adrenaline that was NASCAR. She shivered remembering the way her body vibrated with the roar of the engines. She traced her fingers over the images of the cars on the page. This is for you, Dad. And me.

The storm raged outside. Rain and small hailstones hit and splattered against the glass wall behind them as dark clouds shadowed the waiting area. Mac tried to focus on her magazine but the hint of cedarwood and ginger perfume from the woman next to her wove its way into her thoughts. She shifted in her seat, careful to not bump the woman sitting next to her. Once she’d pushed her earbuds in she swiped to her favorite playlist and turned it up to drown out the sounds of the rain and hail.

She kept her head down and watched the woman from under her lashes. Late thirties early forties. Money. Class. The woman was solidly built and broad shouldered. Her dress was short-sleeved and displayed her well-muscled arms. Swimmer? Tennis player? Mac was a woman of few words but in this moment with this woman she had so many she wanted to say.

 

The man’s voice was loud enough Mac could hear it over her music. She pulled her earbuds out and looked up from her magazine. Ugly, loud, his anger escalating, the man leaned over the airline check-in desk. The small woman behind the counter stepped back. Her hands were raised, palm out. I should leave it alone. She’ll call security.

“Stupid cunt. I hate this fucking airline. What do you mean you don’t know when we’ll board? Is it that hard?” He leaned over the desk, his hands spread wide. A few of the passengers nearby looked up. A mother pulled her son into her lap and turned away, using a small stuffed animal to distract him from the scene at the desk.

“I need an answer, bitch,” the man shouted.

The passengers around the desk were quiet. The few men sitting nearby watched. No one made a move to help. Mac sighed. Fuck that. Mac stuffed her earbuds into her bag and stood. Lana stopped reading and looked up at her.

“Can you watch my bag?”

Lana glanced at the desk and tilted her head. “Yes.” The man was still yelling and gesturing at the desk clerk. “Be careful.”

“Always.” Mac strode to the desk, walking heavily in her boots. Her footsteps sounded like pistol shots in the uneasy quiet surrounding the desk. She walked up behind the man and stopped an arm’s length away.

She pitched her deep voice lower. “Hey, buddy.”

The man whirled around. His face was red. The acrid smell of cheap beer assaulted Mac’s nose. Great. A drunk dudebro. “Why don’t ya leave her alone? She can’t control the weather.”

The man sneered at Mac, taking in her boots and jeans. “Why don’t you–” he took a step toward Mac, invading her space. “Mind your own fucking business?”

Looking over the man’s shoulder, Mac saw the clerk ease closer to the desk and pick up the security phone.

“I’m trying to but you’re being loud. We all got places to go. There’s kids here. You’re scaring them. You don’t need to yell at her. The plane will be here when it gets here.” Keep him talking. Give them time to get here. He’s got me by a few pounds. Don’t start anything.

“It’s none of your business, you fucking bull dagger. Who do you think you are?” Spit flecked his lips as he spoke and he stepped closer until his face was an inch from Mac’s.

Easy. Don’t let him get to you.

Mac moved her right foot back, ready do what she needed to do to protect herself or the people around her. “The bull dagger that’s going to kick your ass if you don’t sit down and shut up. I didn’t do two tours in Afghanistan to come home and listen to this kind of bullshit.” Mac clenched her fists and shifted her stance, ready to make good on her threat. The boarding area was quiet and Mac sensed the other passengers’ eyes on them.

“Sir?” A security officer arrived and stood beside Mac. She relaxed her hands. The man stepped back and raised his hands, palm out.

“Hey, I didn’t do anything. I want to know when we’re boarding. Nobody knows a fucking thing here. And then this nigg…” He stopped speaking before he said the one word guaranteed to start a fight as two more security officers arrived.

“You need to come with us.” The first officer stepped closer to the man, placing herself between Mac and the drunk.

Mac stepped away and the security team escorted the man from the boarding gate. The desk clerk mouthed a silent thank you and smiled at Mac. The other passengers went back to their phones and reading their magazines.

“Thank you.” The woman with her son on her lap called to Mac as she walked past her seat. Mac nodded an acknowledgement at the woman, not trusting herself to speak.

She went to the bathroom and splashed cold water on her face. The kick of adrenaline from the altercation drained away and left her hands trembling and her stomach in knots. She rubbed the tight muscles at the back of her neck. Asshole. Stupid fucking asshole. Fuck.

2 reviews for One

  1. Rated 4 out of 5

    A. Fae

    ***I received a free copy of this book and this is an honest review of it***

    Overall, I would have to say that One by Brenda Murphy is an extremely well-written sports romance book with a female/female pairing. The characters were strong with Mac, an ex-military PTSD sufferer taking the lead. The love scenes were steamy, bordering on intense. I was intrigued with the way Murphy built the Formula One car racing world – which I know nothing about.

    Having said that, I have to also say the world that I was intrigued by was one of the reasons I tended to lose interests in the book. If you aren’t truly interested in racing, fast cars and motorcycles, and such, I would caution you when picking up this book. I oftentimes became lost in the brilliant world she’d created.

    I would definitely recommend this book to someone who enjoys the fast-paced world of cars, motorcycles, and the like. It will definitely have your heart racing – the sex scenes too! Even if you’re just up for an adventure in general, I’d give One a shot. Enjoy!!

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Bugs

    This book was a great find! I’m glad I was introduced to this remarkable author, Brenda Murphy, whom I never known until recently. She’s now one of my newfound favourite lesfic authors which means I won’t miss her work – past and future! 👍✌ “One” has fast become one of my favourites lesfic romance novels. It’s so different than the other favourite romance lesfic of mine. This book has to be read and experienced to really understand what I mean by different.

    I love Murphy’s writing style and storytelling since reading “Sum Of The Whole” right before picking up “One” – how she weaves her story and unique characters, the dialogue, especially the internal monologue truly resonate on an emotional level. But “One,” I felt like Murphy took her writing and storytelling to another level with one of the most compelling stories & characters I’ve read in lesfic romance! First off, the 2 main characters are just the kind of lesbians I love reading about! Mac, an ex-soldier, mechanic, biker, race car enthusiast. And Lana, a super smart, 100% BAD-ARSE NERD of an engineer! A bloody race car engine designer! I mean, FFS!! 🤩😍 Not only that but she was also obviously into fast cars, and bikes, which she drove and rode, respectively, with the same proficiency as her genius brain!! AND, bloody hell, she was also a grease monkey!!! Well, not in a job sense but a hobby and form of therapy sense. 😏 SO COOL! **I’ve never read of a character who’s not only a genius nerd but genius with tools, too! Until Lana. Well done, Murphy! Cheers!**

    Of course people like Lana are real!! It’s just not written much in lesfic because I reckon that ruins the stereotype of butch vs femme characteristics. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I must add, Mac & Lana do not cater to the conventional butch-femme stereotype. Both possess either characteristics at different times. In other words, the dominant/submissive line was blurred. They were equals, they balanced each other. So incredibly refreshing to read! Hence, I applaud you, Ms. Murphy! Thank you for going against convention!

    The chemistry between Mac & Lana was there from the beginning. A chance meeting at the airport under interesting circumstances, slowly but surely building up to a friendship as they realised they shared similar love for car-racing, fast cars! As they spent more time together, Lana being from Italy and involved in the car race that Mac was planning to attend, and Mac even though she was only in Italy for a holiday, their undeniable connection and attraction toward each other drew them together closer each day they were together. Murphy’s incredible talent in writing absolutely compelling dialogue that was inundated with brutally honest emotions uttered between Lana and Mac as they grew more attached and ultimately falling in love with each other, so intoxicating and realistic to experience.

    I can’t say enough about just how deeply resonating the Mac and Lana’s dialogue was. Mac, being of mixed race (she’s black Irish), Lana being from a very wealthy family and an incredibly established career, inevitably invited racism and prejudice amongst people around them, including Lana’s family members and friends. Lana’s reaction toward these matters and Mac’s resigned attitude toward them were written with such ferocious honesty I was yearning for the resolution and their ultimate happiness for their own’s sake! Mac’s constant insecurities about how Lana actually felt about her was met with Lana’s equally determination to make Mac see and believe that what they both shared were genuine, real, and enduring. Lana was utterly strong and protective when Mac needed it and vice versa. That really made this couple so powerfully captivating because they simply complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. How Lana and Mac interacted with each other was so realistic that I felt like these were real people, their story happening in real-time and I was along for the ride!

    The most unforgettable scene for me was when Lana had to chase after Mac…. literally racing after Mac at high speed….in a bloody Ducati!! 😲 How bloody bad-arse was she!!! FCK YEH!! 🙌

    Lana = FERRARI and DUCATI. 😎 COME ON!!! 😍

    I especially LOVED Mac’s internal monologue! So acutely raw and honest I could literally feel Mac’s vulnerability, her angst, her dilemma, her struggle, when dealing with her own emotions and state of mind, particularly how she felt about Lana. So palpable, so real. It’s like I was in Mac’s head! Murphy’s style of writing Mac’s internal monologue was spot on, in my opinion, because it actually elevated my understanding of Mac’s struggle to come to terms with how she really felt about Lana, her insecurities about her worth (financial status and personal baggage) when it came to being with Lana. I simply reveled in its natural openness. It was so emotionally compelling that I wish Murphy had included Lana’s internal monologue as well. 😅 Lana’s one of the most intriguing characters I’ve read in lesfic for me! I yearned for more of her! 😍

    Apart from Lana and Mac’s utterly moving love story, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Lana’s family drama, her brothers, her father, their business, how she had to constantly prove herself as a genius, proficient engineer, an engine designer of race cars, no less, so she could be taken seriously because unfortunately her expertise was in a male-dominated arena. I loved that Murphy included the details of the race car circuit, the protocols, technicalities, how Lana was immersed in it ever so instinctively like she was born to be in it. I loved discovering Mac’s past with her dad, her nan. Mac’s own demons from her last tour in the military, her physical and mental scars which she was struggling with, how Lana became her anchor and support, were written with such open honesty, emotional depth and incredible poise, the intensity of their journey toward their deep connection and undeniable love for each other was a captivating experience to read!

    All in all, I absolutely fell in love with Lana and Mac’s complex and intricate journey toward an everlasting love. It was emotionally resonating, and a mesmerising love story to cherish! Lana/Mac have become one of me favourite lesfic couples. I will be re-reading their story time and time again, that’s for sure!

    “One” is a MUST-READ! I highly recommend it! It’s erotic, it’s romantic, it’s intense, it’s a rich girl/poor girl story, a love story between 2 women (one of whom is a WOC) who’re in their 40s! Not to mention…. FAST CARS 🏎, HIGH-SPEED MOTORCYCLES 🏍, CAR RACING! Vroom! Vroom! SO COOL!!! 😎 Who doesn’t LOVE this exceptionally refreshing combo in a lesfic romance, eh? 🙌👍🤘😜😍

    Icing on the cake? The book COVER! Absolutely LOVE the cover!! So ADEQUATE! So PERFECT! Totally ACCURATE! Utterly BEAUTIFUL!! 😍😍❤❤

    Well done, Ms. Murphy!👍 You’ve done it! Thank YOU for sharing this incredible story! ✌

    https://bugsownwords.wordpress.com/2018/05/14/one/

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