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Leave Me Breathless
Author/Writer of Book/Novel:
1409176169 (ISBN13: 9781409176169)
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the This Man series comes a sexy and emotional follow up to her wildly popular standalone romance The Protector.
Ryan Willis has spent years in the protection business, a job that requires constant vigilance and quick thinking. His only chance to truly relax is at his secluded cabin in a small town where there are never any surprises. So when Ryan returns after an assignment and encounters a beautiful stranger, he isn’t only surprised, he’s also instantly intrigued.
Hannah Bright is a breath of fresh air, and Ryan is soon completely consumed, unable to stop from falling for her. As the two grow closer, his instinct tells him something is amiss. Yet nothing could prepare him for what he discovers when he starts digging into her past.
Hannah spends her days painting, running her arts and crafts store…and hiding too many secrets. It’s why she won’t let the ruggedly handsome bodyguard get too close. But their chemistry is undeniable, and Hannah quickly finds herself caught up in a whirlwind romance with Ryan. He is peace personified, a balm to her battered soul. Yet the gorgeous, captivating man who has swept Hannah off her feet doesn’t even know who she really is. And the moment he finds out, both their lives are at risk.
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Something isn’t right. I left MI5 ten years ago, but my sixth sense is still as strong as ever, a kind of danger detector, and I’m detecting danger right now. My skin is prickling. Adrenaline is starting to pump through my veins.
I scan the vicinity outside our client’s house, seeing nothing unusual. There’s been nothing unusual since our personal security agency accepted the contract two weeks ago. Our client, a model from Canada with a devoted stalker, leaves for the airport any minute with her six-year-old daughter. It would be a fucking travesty at this point to run into a threat.
My partner, Jake, is tense, too, his big shoulders high as he scrutinises the street beyond the iron gate that separates this house from the rest of London. He’s quiet. I’m quiet.
‘Yo. Jake,’ I call, watching as the big guy leisurely takes backward steps away from the gate until he’s at the door with me.
‘There’s a black Audi across the street.’ He goes to his phone. ‘Blacked-out windows. It’s been there for over an hour and the driver hasn’t gotten out.’
I fucking knew it. ‘You checked with Lucinda?’ I move to the gates to take a look, seeing the RS 7 parked up the road, the passenger window open a fraction.
‘The plate’s a clone.’ Jake confirms what I feared.
I check left and right casually. ‘And here I was thinking how easy this job had been.’ I back away, feeling the weight of my Heckler pushing into the base of my spine. Fucking hell, I haven’t had to draw my gun in years. Yes, this job has been boring as shit, just like every other in the ten years I’ve served at the agency, but boring is safe. Boring means I make it home to Hampton.
Jake looks over his shoulder as the front door opens and our client emerges with her daughter. ‘Miss Warren, we’re going to have to ask you to step back inside for a few minutes,’ my partner says coolly.
She blinks, surprised. ‘But my plane leaves in two hours.’ There’s panic in her voice, and she scans the street beyond. ‘Is there a problem?’
‘Let’s just get you back inside,’ Jake says softly, walking toward her and taking the little girl’s hand, leading her back into the house with her mother.
Miss Warren’s eyes flick between mine and Jake’s, clearly trying to find an answer to her question. Then she opens her mouth to speak but quickly thinks better of it, turning to her daughter and crouching. ‘Darling, I think I’ve left Paddington on the couch. Why don’t you run along and fetch him.’
‘Okay.’ The little girl dashes back to the living room, and Miss Warren stands, turning toward us. ‘Please, tell me what’s going on.’
‘There’s an unidentified vehicle across the street that we need to check out,’ I explain.
Her eyes immediately widen, her inhale loud. ‘Oh my God, it’s him.’ I look to Jake, wondering if he’s sensing what I’m sensing. ‘Him, as in your stalker?’ he asks, confirming he’s suspicious, too.
She starts blinking rapidly, her hands shaking as she tucks her hair behind her ear. ‘Yes.’ She looks away, and I can no longer keep my thoughts to myself.
‘Miss Warren, is there something else we should know?’
‘I don’t have a stalker,’ she more or less whispers, her eyes clouded as she finds it in herself to look at us. ‘I have an ex-boyfriend who’s a less-than-desirable character and would do anything to hurt me.’
I recoil. ‘Why?’
‘Because I left him.’
‘Name?’ Jake demands, going straight to his phone. I watch as she breathes in, as if bracing herself to tell us. Nothing about this is boding well.
‘What?’ I blurt, hoping I heard her wrong. Jake curses under his breath, smacking at his phone with his thumb. ‘The drug trafficker?’
She can only bring herself to nod, and I see a million apologies in her eyes. Jesus Christ, Corey Felton is wanted in ten countries for various crimes. But he’s elusive. Untouchable. And judging by the fear I can see in Miss Warren’s eyes, he’s just as nasty as the whispers suggest. ‘The police wouldn’t help me unless I assisted with their inquiries,’ she rushes to explain. ‘I just need to get back to Canada, and I know he’ll do anything to stop me.’ Miss Warren peeks past us to the gates again.
‘We’ll get you and your daughter to the airport safely, don’t you worry.’ I give her my best reassuring smile, and she nods, backing up and shutting the door.
‘What’s the deal?’ I ask as Jake stares down at his phone.
‘Backup’s on the way. If it’s him, we’ll need it.’
If it’s him? ‘Of course it’s him.’ My blood sizzles with adrenaline. ‘You ready to dance?’ I ask as we walk back toward the gate.
‘If I don’t make it home to Cami and Charlotte in one piece, she’ll be coming after your blood, you know that, right?’