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Marry Me – a novella (McIntyre Security Bodyguard #7.5)
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Marry Me is a 25,000 word novella that continues the story of Lia McIntyre and Jonah Locke, first introduced on Broken. Fans of the McIntyre Security Bodyguard Series will enjoy this continuation of Lia’s and Jonah’s story. Cameo appearances by other popular characters in this series are included.
Lia’s been with Jonah for nearly two years now. She loves her rock star boyfriend with a heart of gold. But deep down, she struggles with insecurity. She knows Jonah wants more with her, but she’s afraid she can’t live up to his expectations. And she thinks it’s only a matter of time before he figures that out for himself.
Ever since leaving L.A. and his lucrative recording contract, Jonah Locke is thriving as an independent singer/songwriter. He’s more popular than ever. He’s living his dream, except for one small part. He wants to marry Lia. But every time he asks, she changes the subject. What’s it going to take to get her to realize he’s for real?
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One of my favorite places to hang out these days is on the black leather armchair in front of the console in my boyfriend’s recording studio. I’ve got my scruffy boots propped up on the console and an ice-cold Pepsi in my hand as I kick back and watch my guy do his thing.
That man makes my girl parts tingle.
And the amazing thing is… he’s mine. All mine.
Jonah Locke, as in former lead singer of the band Locke. Now he’s a rebel—my kind of guy—having left his big L.A. record label and struck out on his own. He considers himself an indie singer/songwriter, and he writes, performs, records, and distributes his own work.
I’m so damn proud of him. He told that asshat of a manager of his—Dwight Peterson—to shove it. Thank God. I couldn’t stand the man. He’s a weasel—and in calling him that, I am offending real weasels everywhere.
I could sit here all day and watch Jonah strumming chords and picking out notes on his guitar. The man is ridiculously hot. And his voice! Oh, my God. There’s a reason why there are about three dozen screaming girls hanging out in the parking lot of this recording studio—all hoping for the chance to catch a glimpse of the Jonah Locke.
Jonah leans forward to jot something down in his notebook, which is propped up in front of him on a music stand. His expression is a mask of concentration as he’s caught up in his songwriting. The man has skills coming out his ears. He even wrote a song for me when we first met and performed it live at a local pub.
He just happens to lift his face and catch me staring at him. He smiles, his dark eyes missing nothing, and my belly does a little flip. Because… damn. That man. Fortunately, he doesn’t realize how appealing he is, and so he doesn’t have a big head.
I honestly don’t know how I ended up with this guy… one of America’s favorite musical heart-throbs. When he and his band came to Chicago to work on a new album, his manager—that asshat Dwight—hired my brother’s company to provide personal protection for Jonah. Jonah needed a bodyguard because his enthusiastic fans followed him everywhere. The man couldn’t even cross the street without garnering a crowd.
My CEO brother—Shane—picked yours truly to cover Jonah’s very fine ass. Shane thought Jonah and I would hit it off well. He was right.
It made total sense for the both of us when Jonah ended up leaving the band and striking out on his own. We’re both introverts, hating crowds and the spotlight. We both keep low profiles, preferring to stay home and hang out together. Now Jonah plays primarily small venues, local pubs that can’t seat more than a couple hundred people. He plans events at the last minute in order to keep the crowds small. Even then, I have to arrange for an entire team of security to help manage the events and keep the venues from being stormed.
Jonah frowns as he scratches something out on his notebook. Then he strums a few chords and sings a few words before writing something down.
I love to watch him work. I love the way he bites his lower lip as he concentrates, the way his forehead wrinkles when he frowns. The way his dark eyes light up when he catches me watching him, and the way he watches me right back.
Jonah’s way too good for me; I realize that. But for some inexplicable reason, he loves me too. Frankly, I don’t get it. I’m far more trouble than I’m worth.
And now I can’t imagine my life without him.
He’s released half a dozen songs since going it alone—all have hit the number one spot on the music charts. One of them is riding high on the top ten chart right now, and another two are in the top twenty. And the radio stations love Jonah. He’s down-to-Earth, he’s approachable, and he’s grateful for the publicity he gets.
Right now he’s working on the melody for a new song. It’s a love song, something slow and mushy. For some reason, ever since we met, he’s been gravitating toward love songs. Go figure.
The lights in the recording studio are turned down low, creating an intimate atmosphere. There’s a single spotlight focused on the music stand in front of Jonah. He stops strumming his guitar to scribble some notes on the sheet music. I stare, mesmerized at the sight of him.
His skin is perpetually sun-kissed, golden and tawny. His long, dark hair is twisted up neatly into a manbun, and his short, trim beard frames a strong jaw. When he sings, I can’t help staring at his lips, so sinfully beautiful as they form each word. His voice is low, with a rough quality that makes me weak in the knees.