Bodyguards In Bedby Lucy Monroe, Jamie Denton, Elisabeth Naughton
Sometimes you have to go beyond the call of duty. . .
Bodyguards In Bed
There's just one cardinal rule when it comes to being a bodyguard: no matter how tempting it may be, never, ever get romantically involved with the person you're protecting. But as these sensual novellas prove, even the most important rules are made to be broken-again and again/b>
Sometimes you have to go beyond the call of duty. . .
Bodyguards In Bed
There's just one cardinal rule when it comes to being a bodyguard: no matter how tempting it may be, never, ever get romantically involved with the person you're protecting. But as these sensual novellas prove, even the most important rules are made to be broken-again and again and again. Join acclaimed authors Lucy Monroe, Jamie Denton, and Elisabeth Naughton as they open the files on an undercover operative who finds a sexy surprise under his covers, a hot case involving mixed messages and mistaken identities, and a mission impossible protecting a provocative beauty who lives to love dangerously.
Yeah, it's a hard job, but someone's gotta do it.
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BODYGUARDS IN BED
By Lucy Monroe Jamie Denton Elisabeth Naughton
BRAVA BOOKSCopyright © 2011 Kensington Publishing Corp.
All right reserved.
Chapter OneDanusia wiggled the key in the lock on her brother's apartment door. Darn thing always stuck, but he wouldn't make her another one. Said she didn't come to stay often enough for it to matter.
Yeah, and he wasn't particularly keen for that to change either, obviously. He'd probably gotten the wonky key on purpose. Just like the rest of her older siblings, Roman Chernichenko kept Danusia at a distance.
She knew why he did it, at least, though she was pretty sure the others didn't.
Knowing didn't make her feel any better. Even in her family of brainiacs, she was definitely the odd one out. They loved her, just like she loved them, but they were separated by more than the gap in their ages. She was seven years younger than her next youngest sibling. An unexpected baby, though never unwanted—at least according to her mom.
Still, her sister and brothers might love her, but they didn't get her and didn't particularly want her to get them.
Which was why she was coming to stay in Roman's empty apartment rather than go visit one of the others, or Heaven forbid, her parents. She did not need another round of lectures on her single status by her baba and mom.
The lock finally gave and Danusia pressed the door open, dragging her rolling suitcase full of books and papers behind her. The fact the alarm wasn't armed registered at the same time as a cold cylinder pressed to her temple.
"Roman, I swear on Opa's grave that if you don't get that gun away from me, I'm going to drop it in a vat of sulfuric acid and then pour the whole mess all over the new sofa Mom insisted you get the last time she visited. If it's loaded, I'm going to do it anyway."
The gun moved away from her temple and she spun around, ready to lecture her brother into an early grave, and help him along the way. "It is so not okay to pull a gun on your sister...." Her tirade petered off to a choked breath. "You!"
The man standing in front of her was a whole lot sexier than her brother and scarier, which was saying something. Not that she was afraid of him, but she wouldn't want him for an enemy.
The rest of the family believed that Roman was a scientist for the military. She knew better. She was a nosy baby sister, after all, but this man? Definitely worked with Roman and carried an aura of barely leashed violence. Maxwell Baker was a true warrior.
She shouldn't, absolutely should not, find that arousing, but she did.
"You're not my brother," she said stupidly.
Which was not her usual mode, but the six-foot-five black man, who would make Jesse Jackson Jr. look like the ugly stepbrother if they were related, turned Danusia's brain to serious mush.
His brows rose in mocking acknowledgment of her obvious words.
"What are you doing here, Danusia?" Warm as a really good aged whiskey, his voice made her panties wet.
How embarrassing was that? "You know my name?"
Put another mark on the chalkboard for idiocy.
"The wedding wasn't so long ago that I would have forgotten already." He almost cracked a smile.
She almost swooned.
Max and several of Roman's associates had done the security at her sister Elle's wedding, which might have been overkill. Or not. Danusia suspected stuff had been going on that neither she nor her parents had known about.
It hadn't helped that she'd been focused on her final project for her master's and that Elle's wedding had been planned faster than Danusia could solve a quadratic equation. She'd figured out that something was going on, but that was about it. This time her siblings had managed to keep their baby sister almost completely in the dark.
A place she really hated being.
Not that her irritation had stopped her from noticing the most freaking gorgeous man she'd ever met. Maxwell Baker. A tall, dark dish of absolute yum.
Once she had seen Max with his strong jaw, defined cheekbones, big and muscular body, not much else at the wedding had even registered. Which might help explain why she hadn't figured out why all the security.
"It's nice to see you again." There, that sounded somewhat adult. Full points for polite conversation, right?
"What are you doing here?" he asked again, apparently not caring if he got any points for being polite.
She shrugged, shifting her backpack. "My super is doing some repairs on the apartment."
"What kind of repairs?"
"Man, you're as bad as my brother." They hadn't even made it out of the entry and she was getting the third degree.
Really as bad as her brother and maybe taking it up a notch. Roman might have let her get her stuff put out of the way before he started asking the probing questions. Then again, maybe not.
"I'll take that as a compliment." Then Max just paused, like he had all the time in the world to wait for her answer.
Like it never even occurred to him she might refuse to respond.
Knowing there was no use in attempted prevarication, she sighed. "They're replacing the front door."
"Does it matter?" Sheesh.
He leaned back against the wall, crossing his arms, muscles bulging everywhere. "I won't know until you tell me."
"Someone broke it." She was proud of herself for getting the words out, considering how difficult she was finding the simple process of breathing right now.
This man? Was lethal.
"Who?" he demanded, frown firmly in place.
Oh, crud, even his not-so-happy face was sexy, yummy, heart-palpitatingly delicious. "I don't know."
"A break-in?" he asked in that tone her brother got sometimes, the one she secretly called his work voice.
"An attempted one, yes. Whoever it was didn't expect the crazy loud alarm Elle installed the last time she visited."
Neither had she. It had woken Danusia from an exhausted sleep after too many hours going over research data. If her heart wasn't so healthy, it would have stopped.
She only hoped whoever had tried breaking in and disturbed her sleep hadn't been so lucky.
"You don't talk like a professor."
"That's because I'm a student." Sort of. She was an adjunct professor during the school year, but it was summer and she was firmly in researching student mode.
"Roman said you're getting your Ph.D."
She shrugged. Playing down her academic accomplishments was a long-held habit for her.
He looked her up and down. "You're pretty young to be going for your doctorate, aren't you?"
"Not if you consider I started college when most of my peers were starting high school." When even being reminded of how out of step with her peer group she was didn't dampen his effect on her libido, she was in serious trouble.
"That's my point."
"Don't play dumb, Professor. We both know you're smarter than that."
"Don't call me Professor."
He just gave her a look.
"Being younger than my peers is bad enough. I don't need to talk like a total geek on top of it." The normal college student speak was something she worked diligently on. It was too easy to let five-syllable words slip into the conversation when she wasn't thinking about it.
"Why not? You should be proud to be so intelligent."
"I am more than my brain." Not that other people seemed to realize that.
Sometimes, even her family, as wonderful as they were, tended to treat her like an extension of her I.Q. They were all highly intelligent, but the fact that she'd outdone every one of them academically put her inside a bubble that could get really lonely.
Not that she ever complained. She wouldn't disappoint her family for the world. And being anything less than grateful for the opportunity of the amazing education she'd had would do that.
"Why didn't you just stay in a hotel overnight?" Max asked, apparently dismissing the subject of her smarts.
"The super wasn't sure he'd get to the door right away." And she hadn't wanted to stay in her apartment alone right now.
Her roommate wouldn't be back until a few days before fall term started and that was weeks away. Rebekah had gone home for the summer, while Danusia had opted to stay on and work on the research for her doctoral thesis.
The attempted break-in had shaken her; not that she'd admit that to anyone else.
"Bullshit. A new door for you is his top priority."
"Now you really sound like my brother." And she didn't feel sisterly toward Max. Not even a little.
"Do you want me to talk to your super?"
"I'm perfectly capable of handling this on my own," she gritted out. She was not his little sister and even if she had been, Danusia was twenty-four. "I'm an adult, or hadn't you noticed?"
Something flared in his gaze that sent butterflies on suicide bombing missions in her stomach. "I noticed."
"I don't need anyone talking to my super for me, not you, not my brother. Understood?"
Amusement curved his lips and he saluted, way too precisely for him to be anything but true military. "Understood, ma'am."
She laughed. "Oh, knock it off."
"You've got Roman's temper."
"Most people think my brother doesn't have a temper." He was too cold to be considered temperamental.
"I've known him a long time."
"You haven't known me very long, but you've already sussed out one of my secrets."
He shrugged, those big, muscled shoulders rolling and pulling his dark T-shirt taut across his perfectly defined pecs. "What can I say? I'm good."
"No arguments here." She gave him a look, doing her best to let him know she didn't just mean his interrogation techniques.
His eyes widened and then narrowed. "Save that for your college boyfriends."
"I don't have any."
"You don't have any male friends?"
She didn't have very many friends at all, but that wasn't what she meant. "I don't have a boyfriend."
"So, get one."
That had her laughing out loud. "Right, like that's going to happen."
"Shouldn't be too hard. You're wicked smart. You're sexy." He did that shrug thing again.
She wasn't sure if it was the shrug, or his words, but her heart felt like it had started practicing for the Grand Prix. "You think I'm sexy?"
"Don't let it go to your head. I'm sure a lot of guys do."
"Now I know you're just being nice. Guys do not think geeky Ph.D. students are sexy."
He reached for the handle on her rolling case. "If you say so. You'll have to sleep in Roman's room. I'm in the guest room."
He started walking down the hall toward the bedrooms, tugging the overloaded case like it was filled with nothing more than air.
"Why are you staying here?"
"I gave up the lease on my apartment, but the condo I bought and was supposed to move into won't be ready for another two weeks."
"The builder is running behind?" she asked, wondering who in their right mind didn't keep their commitments to a man like Maxwell Baker.
"Yeah, but we negotiated a twenty-thousand-dollar drop in my condo price because of it. It's all good."
She'd just bet they'd negotiated.
He deposited her suitcase at the end of Roman's king-size bed. She dropped her backpack with her clothes in it on the corner of the mattress closest to her.
He looked at the backpack and then at her suitcase. "Let me guess, clothes in the pack and books in the heavy-as-hell case."
"I told you. Geek."
"Serious student, anyway. How close are you on your thesis?"
"I've still got some research to go through, but I should be ready to present and defend by the end of October."
"That's still a few months out."
"It's a doctoral thesis, not a term paper, or so my adviser keeps saying."
"Sounds like a hardass."
"I'm sure Dr. Shay would appreciate you saying so. I'm convinced she works on her scary factor in front of the mirror at night."
"So, what's this thesis on?"
"The use of nanotechnology in pharmaceuticals." Which was something that fascinated and delighted her, but usually caused glazed eyes and yawns in other people.
"I didn't think we were there yet."
"We're closer than a lot of people realize."
"You and Spazz would have fun talking this technical shit."
"You mean Lieutenant Kennedy?"
"That's the one."
"He's really ... um ... hyper."
"On coffee? He's all sorts of scary."
"So, the nickname, Spazz?"
"What do they call you?"
"Luke?" What kind of nickname was that? Then she thought for a second. Unable to believe she hadn't gotten it right away, she asked, "Like in Luke Cage, the superhero, super strong, with skin impervious to almost any weapon?"
She looked him up and down, making no effort to hide her perusal, but doubting it had the same effect on him as his in the hall had had on her. "I can see it, but why not call you 'Power Man'?"
"You know your superheroes."
She felt a blush climb her cheeks. "I like comic books."
"You've got to more than like them to know the details of Luke Cage."
"Born Carl Lucas, came by his powers in a military experiment gone wrong and first appeared in Luke Cage, Hero for Hire. One of only a handful of black superheroes in either the Marvel or DC comic universes."
Max was grinning by the time she was done reciting the basic facts of one of her favorite superheroes. "Like I said, sexy, professor. Very sexy."
Not only was his nickname from Power Man, but he thought her closet superhero obsession was sexy? Oh, this man was perfect for her. Now she just had to convince him of that fact.
Not that she had a clue how to go about doing that. Her dating record was sketchy at best. She'd had blind date disasters instigated by her family and Rebekah, but that wasn't the same as participating in the mating dance with a man that she had the hots for.
But Danusia had never even kissed a man she was attracted to. Oh, she'd been kissed. She'd even had sex. Disasters didn't get that designation lightly, after all.
But this was different. When she'd met Max at the wedding, Danusia had been sure he was way out of her league. That a geek like her wouldn't even register on his radar. Now he was telling her that she wasn't just a blip, but she was a sexy one.
Oh, wow. Oh, wow. Oh, wow.
Would fainting prompt him to give her the kiss of life and would that start something she'd only be too happy to finish?
"What are you thinking about?" he asked suspiciously. "You've got a strange look in your eye and your brother warned me about you."
That was the second time he'd admitted to talking to her brother about her. That had to mean something, right? That he was at least interested enough to mention her in passing to Roman.
"What did he warn you about?"
"That you have an unbalanced sense of humor."
"Unbalanced? That's harsh." Though Roman had said worse when she'd switched salt for sugar in his canister and he'd added it to his morning coffee.
It was an old trick and she shouldn't have gotten away with it, which was what she'd told him. Sugar and salt didn't look alike to a person with a background in chemistry, not to mention the different smell, texture and melting rate in hot water.
He'd told her she needed to get a life. Of course, it was his effort to see she had one that had prompted the salt in his coffee. He'd fixed her up the night before with the most boring, obnoxiously intelligent man she'd ever met. To make matters worse, they'd gone on a double date and while her brother was having fun with his not-so-brainy arm candy, Danusia had spent the evening arguing quantum physical theory. Not discussing, but arguing.
Her blind date had been an opinionated cretin.
"Do I have to worry you're going to sabotage the kitchen?" Max asked, proving Roman had been telling tales.
"I don't know. Are you going to try to fix me up with the most obnoxious man on the Eastern Seaboard?"
"Is that what Roman did?"
"Yes. And when you're contemplating murder, salt in the coffee doesn't seem like such a harsh retaliation."
Max laughed out loud. "I can promise you, I've got no plans to fix you up with anyone while you're here."
"Good." She had her own plans and they all revolved around the gorgeous black man whose laugh made her thighs clench.
Weird. Was that a primal reaction, she wondered, or an evolutionary one? Whatever it was, there was an ache between her legs that would not go away.
Excerpted from BODYGUARDS IN BED by Lucy Monroe Jamie Denton Elisabeth Naughton Copyright © 2011 by Kensington Publishing Corp.. Excerpted by permission of BRAVA BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Definitely an awesome read!!!
Was as great as all her other books, was not disappointed at all.
I love books written by Lucy Monroe. And I've enjoyed a book by Jamie Denton now and again. However, Elisabeth Naughton is a new author to me. And having read this book I'm sure the only way I'll read another of hers is if it is included in a novella like this one. I don't even feel obligated to go into the plot of any of the three books. I didn't really like a single one. I do have to say Lucy Monroe's is the best. She did try something new. Her hero is an African-American male, and that is a new for her to do if I'm remembering right. So it was nice to see a little variety. But on the whole, I was disappointed. I recommend buying this used because you won't be getting your money's worth if you buy it new.
Sometimes, I read just for escapism-style entertainment, and that usually means a fun, fast, and sexy read like "Bodyguards in Bed". Three tantalizing tales from a trio of skilled storytellers, each a multi-genre author, are served up for your reading pleasure. In each novella, the protector is unprepared for the sensual awareness they feel in the vicinity of their surveillance subject, which gives a whole new meaning to the word "bodyguard". Each couple is a well-matched pair, with plenty of verbal sparks and fiery passion. In "Who's Been Sleeping in my Brother's Bed", by Lucy Monroe, sweet and scientific Danusia seeks refuge in her brother's apartment while he is out of town. She discovers that her brother has another houseguest, the gorgeous Max, best friend to her brother, and the object of Danusia's sensual daydreaming. Max has not been unaware of Danusia, and she has been the subject of his many potently erotic dreams. However, a guy just doesn't mess with his best friend's sister--right? When circumstances force them to work together to solve a threatening mystery, their erotic fantasies are brought to vivid life. In "Hot Mess", by Jamie Denton, accident-prone Alyssa works as a "glorified gopher" for a security firm. Due to crossed wires that she helped to create, she is the only one available to pick up a security-seeking client at the airport. The man who responds to the name placard she holds up is the most attractive man she's ever seen--far too rugged to be the corporate whistle-blower she was expecting. DEA agent Noah didn't know what to think when he received his latest assignment, but the last thing he anticipated was a seemingly ditzy, beautiful blonde bodyguard. By the time he figures out that Alyssa is a blonde with brains and beauty, his professional detachment has long since fled the coop. When Alyssa discovers that he is not the client hired by the security firm, the two of them are already on the run from bullets and bad guys. Increased adrenaline from their dangerous dilemma leads to heightened sexual attraction, and soon the danger comes from the emotionally erotic response they have for each other. "Acapulco Heat", by Elizabeth Naughton, offers a spectacular super-model who is so much more than a pretty face, and an irresistible Irish bodyguard who tries and fails to resist the temptation of his captivating client. Lauren longs for a man who will see beyond her looks and want the woman behind the face. Finn, a tough-as-nails professional protector, has been burned before by becoming involved with a woman in his care. If Finn takes a chance with Lauren, will history repeat itself, or will Lauren prove to be his model mate? This is a book to be enjoyed when you want to be alone and pamper yourself with a romance read, a good cup of coffee and even better chocolate. Review Copy Gratis Kensington Books
Picked it up to read on the beach and was not disappointed.
I originally bought this book because I love Lucy Monroe, however, I was delighted to find two new great authors to put on my TBR list! Sometimes when I buy these books, I only do so with the intention of reading one or two of the stories, however, all 3 stories had me hooked in within the first few pages! A great beach read!!