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Five Brothers
Cover of Five Brothers
Five Brothers
One woman learns the secrets of the five Jaeger brothers in the new romance from New York Times bestselling author Penelope Douglas.
On the other side of town, in the dark glades, under the rain…
Macon is the oldest. Thirty-one. Ex-Marine. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him smile.
Army is twenty-eight. A single dad with the most beautiful green eyes. He has no idea who he is, if not a Jaeger brother.
Iron will be in prison soon. You’d never think it to meet him. He’s a nice guy, actually. But he can’t stop reacting to everything.
Dallas is the one I hate. Twenty-one, cruel, and selfish. He takes and then throws away whatever’s left.
And Trace is mine. Or he was for about two seconds. No one can tame him for long.   
Not that I ever wanted to. It was fun, but now I need to go home. Back to my side of the tracks. Away from the swamps and these men. To my parents’ big house. On my clean street. Where I’m never dirty or messy or hot. And I will. I’ll leave first thing tomorrow morning. I just want to crash on the couch tonight.
Their house is dark and quiet, everyone else is asleep. Except for one. He sees me crying and comes at me from behind. I let him wrap his arms around my body and hold me tightly. His breath is on my neck, his fingers are in my hair, and he doesn’t stop there.  
I don’t think it was Trace.
One woman learns the secrets of the five Jaeger brothers in the new romance from New York Times bestselling author Penelope Douglas.
On the other side of town, in the dark glades, under the rain…
Macon is the oldest. Thirty-one. Ex-Marine. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him smile.
Army is twenty-eight. A single dad with the most beautiful green eyes. He has no idea who he is, if not a Jaeger brother.
Iron will be in prison soon. You’d never think it to meet him. He’s a nice guy, actually. But he can’t stop reacting to everything.
Dallas is the one I hate. Twenty-one, cruel, and selfish. He takes and then throws away whatever’s left.
And Trace is mine. Or he was for about two seconds. No one can tame him for long.   
Not that I ever wanted to. It was fun, but now I need to go home. Back to my side of the tracks. Away from the swamps and these men. To my parents’ big house. On my clean street. Where I’m never dirty or messy or hot. And I will. I’ll leave first thing tomorrow morning. I just want to crash on the couch tonight.
Their house is dark and quiet, everyone else is asleep. Except for one. He sees me crying and comes at me from behind. I let him wrap his arms around my body and hold me tightly. His breath is on my neck, his fingers are in my hair, and he doesn’t stop there.  
I don’t think it was Trace.
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  • From the cover 1

    Krisjen

    Don't walk alone at night.

    I grip the hem of my plaid skirt and glance behind me. The dark empty road disappears into the black void, like a tunnel under the canopy of trees. The midnight moon reflects only enough light to make the leaves look blue, while the mid-October breeze blows my hair across my cheek.

    I face forward, continuing to walk. My heart pumps hard in my chest.

    Don't walk alone at night.

    I don't think my parents ever told me that, but I learned it well enough. The world is full of things that want to hurt us because they can. Because we make it easy.

    Women shouldn't have too much muscle on our bodies. We shouldn't be too smart or learn how to manage money. We don't need to know how to navigate a crowd, lead the way through a city or an airport, or choose the car we want to buy. Let the man drive if there's one in the vehicle with you, and the dinner reservation should always be in his name.

    Those are things my parents did tell me.

    Everything in life is about power, and it wasn't that I was taught that I didn't have any. I learned that men would like me better if I didn't show it.

    The forest closes in on both sides of the road, and I feel figures that aren't there. Hidden in the trees. Watching me. As if danger can tell when we're unprotected and show up at that exact time and place. Summer camp serial killers always know when a girl has traipsed off away from her group, don't they? No matter where the summer camp is. Even if he's in a different one.

    But instead, I look up, the semi-clear night offering a spray of stars so bright that I'm glad I'm out alone, after all. Deep on this dark road, away from the lights of town.

    I clench my school skirt in my fists as the soft fabric of my shirt sticks to my damp skin. My breasts chafe against the cloth.

    Venus and Jupiter will be visible in a few months. I forget what's visible this time of year, but it's nice to see anything. Coastal Florida towns in hurricane season aren't a joke. The clouds always roll in.

    I don't hear the engine behind me.

    "Need a ride?" someone calls out.

    I jerk my head, my heart skipping a beat. I look over, meeting green eyes that peer at me from the driver's side of his truck. I move off the road, to the gravel, as his vehicle crawls up next to me.

    His arm drapes over the door, and he's not wearing a shirt, every inch of skin that's bared on his chest, neck, and muscles tan.

    He works outside. And often shirtless from the looks of it, because there are no lines.

    A boy from across the tracks.

    His black hair is pushed back under a backward baseball cap, and his eyes gleam in that way that I know by now. Men have been looking at me like that since long before they should have.

    I swallow. "No, thank you."

    I continue walking, waiting for him to press the gas and keep going, but he doesn't. The muscles in my thighs tense, ready to run. I move farther and farther away, feeling his eyes on my back.

    "You know what you need?" he says, and I see his truck come up again out of the corner of my eye. "A girl like you should have a boyfriend."

    A lock of my chestnut hair floats on the wind and then falls back against my face. I squeeze my skirt again, the tails of my white shirt hanging almost as low as my hem.

    "Someone to take care of you and drive you," he says. "Would you like a man?"

    His words climb my skin. I look ahead of me, down the road. More dark. More empty. No one knows I'm out here.

    "Come here," he says, almost a whisper.

    My mouth goes dry.

    He's not asking.

    I hear his door creak...
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Five Brothers
Five Brothers
Penelope Douglas
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