A man born to protect
After a major loss, Brody Carter found a home with the London office of McKay-Taggart. A former soldier, he believes his job is to take the bullets and follow orders. He’s happy to take on the job of protecting Dr. Stephanie Gibson while the team uses her clinic in Sierra Leone to bring down an international criminal. What he never expected was that the young doctor would prove to be the woman of his dreams. She’s beautiful, smart, and reckless. Over and over he watches her risk her life to save others. One night of pure passion leads him to realize that he can’t risk his heart again. When the mission ends, Brody walks away, unwilling to lose another person he loves.
A woman driven to heal
Stephanie’s tragic past taught her to live for today. Everything she’s done in the last fifteen years has been to make up for her mistakes. Offering medical care in war-torn regions gives her the purpose she needs to carry on. When she meets her gorgeous Aussie protector, she knows she’s in too deep, but nothing can stop her from falling head over heels in love. But after one amazing night together, Brody walks away and never looks back. Stephanie is left behind…but not alone.
A secret that will change both their lives
A year later, Stephanie runs afoul of an evil mercenary who vows to kill her for failing to save his son. She runs to the only people she trusts, Liam and Avery O’Donnell. She hasn’t come alone and her secret will bring her former lover across the world to protect her. From Liberia to Dallas to Australia’s outback, Brody will do whatever it takes to protect Stephanie from the man who wants to kill her, but it might be her own personal demons that could destroy them both.
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The door slammed and she suddenly found herself with her back against it. Brody crowded in, taking up all the space and staring down at her. His body brushed hers and she found both her wrists captured in one of his. He dragged them over her head, forcing her chest to come out, breasts skimming along his body. “I shouldn’t do this.”
Tough chick was winning. Steph let her take over. It was surely better than the desperate girl who lived inside her. She kept asking for love and affection and getting swatted away. This was the next best thing, possibly the only thing she would ever get. “Then don’t. Let me go and I won’t bother you again.”
“No, you’ll go find Ezra Fain and bother him,” Brody said on a growl.
“Somehow, I don’t think he’ll find me a bother.” She’d barely spoken two words to the man, but she wasn’t going to admit it. It was better to let Brody think she wasn’t a love-starved girl.
“He won’t fucking find you anything at all. If you’re determined to not sleep alone tonight, you can damn well do it with me.” His mouth came down on hers and every inch of her skin came alive. His kiss was overwhelming, hungry. There was no slow meshing of mouths. He took her, his tongue surging inside and dominating her own. He let go of her hands and started to explore her body. His hands were on her hips when he came up for air. “I’m leaving in the morning. I’m going back to London and I can’t come back.”
She’d known that would probably be his answer. She’d known he wouldn’t want to stay and she couldn’t leave.
“One night. That’s all I want.” It was all she could have. It had been foolish to think it could be any different.
His mouth came down on hers again and she let herself get swept away. One night and her life would go back to normal. One night and then she would be alone again. His hands started to roam over her and she tried to forget all the reasons why this was a bad idea.
He stepped back, his entire body set in hard lines. He strode over to the bed and sat down. “Take off the gown. It’s pretty, but I want to see you.”
She hesitated, all her insecurities coming to the forefront. Somehow, she’d thought he would simply take her. “Let me get the lights.”
He was back in her space again, his hand wrapping around her wrist. “I didn’t say turn off the lights. I said take off the gown. How am I going to see you if you turn off the lights?”
“Brody,” she began.
He was having none of it. “You got on your knees in front of me and you said you knew what you were offering me. The first thing you were offering me was obedience. The second was your body. You’re giving me neither right now.”
His voice had gone midnight dark and something about the tone made her soften. He was right. She did know what she’d offered him and now she was trying to have it all her way.
There was nothing wrong with her body. It was feminine and she was healthy. What was she afraid of? “All right.”
He let go of her wrist and sat back down, looking like a damn king waiting on his concubine’s performance. For all his “I’m nothing but a grunt” talk, the man could be incredibly arrogant, and damn if she didn’t find it sexy as hell.
Something about that voice let her know that everything was going to be fine. He was past the point of rejection. He was in and that meant he would play her Dom for the night. He would take care of her. She was as safe with him in the bedroom as she’d been in the field.
At least she was safe for the night. In the morning she would be in a world of hurt, but she wasn’t thinking past tonight.
~MEET THE AUTHOR~
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.
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After completely hating the hero of the previous book (lord did I hate Nick) I was sitting on the fence a bit in regards to this one. I’ve always liked Brody and was curious to hear more about Steph. But the ghost of Nick left a bitter taste in my mouth, and I was worried we were going to get a craptastic hero that runs away, ignores all Steph’s messages thus leaving her pregnant and alone in Africa while he is back home screwing his way through the subs at The Garden. Before
NICK the “hero” that shall remain nameless from this point on I would have never even given that a second thought because that isn’t how Miz Blake usually writes her heroes. But the previous book left a scar (so dramatic I know). In any case, I pulled my big girl panties up and requested an ARC (and quizzed a couple of friends who read it before me), and to make a long story short I very much enjoyed this one. It felt a bit like old school M&M to me.
So deets…as always I found this one well written. Like I have said a million times even a bad Lexi Blake book is well written. The pace in this one was excellent. I never felt the need to skim. There is no OW/OM drama. Both have been celibate since their one night stand a year previously. I was ecstatic to see that the BDSM element was more prominent in this book. I felt that it has been shoved aside in favor for the action in the past few books. SOOOO much awesome secondary character action in this one. Adam’s whole conversation with Brody about Stephs “boyfriend” Nate had me laughing my ass off. Lots of Liam (one of my favorite heroes of this series). Lots of Ian (which is always a good thing). A ton of new (at least I couldn’t remember a lot of them) bodyguards with much potential for future stories. Some adorable baby and daddy action which reminded me how much the lack of that in Theo’s book annoyed me.
Both main characters were fairly likable for me. I had small issues with both at different times. Brody didn’t really grovel, but I felt he was sufficiently repentant. Although his little hissy fit at the end annoyed me a bit. Steph was OK for the most part, but her self-loathing and martyr attitude was laid on a bit too thick at times. Lastly, it was all wrapped up in a sweet “three-weeks-later” chapter.
Since I feel like I’ve written a book at this point I will just wrap this up by saying this gets two thumbs up from yours truly.