Brutal Obsession: The Safeguard Series, Book One

Brutal Obsession: The Safeguard Series, Book One

by Kennedy Layne


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Keane Sanderson never thought he’d survive to see a day past his latest deployment with the United States Marines in Iraq. That was six years ago and he’s finally ready to ease off the accelerator. A unique opportunity to work for a top-shelf security and investigations firm in Florida is right up his alley.

Ashlyn Ellis had everything she’d ever wanted—a high-profile career as a federal prosecutor, an upscale apartment in the city, and a beach house for when she needed to decompress from all the stress that accompanied the job. All three are threatened when she realizes someone has been following her every move for a very long time.

When Ashlyn comprehends the lengths her pursuer is willing to take things, she calls in a favor. She never expected her plea for assistance to materialize in the form of Keane Sanderson—the one man who had every reason to revel in her misfortune. She’s finally given the chance to rekindle the flames of desire she never should have extinguished, just in time for it all to be taken away when the stalker takes his obsession a step too far.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781682303641
Publisher: EverAfter Romance
Publication date: 07/26/2016
Series: The Safeguard Series , #1
Pages: 218
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Kennedy Layne is a USA Today bestselling author. She draws inspiration for her military romantic suspense novels in part from her not-so-secret second life as a wife of a retired Marine Master Sergeant. He doubles as her critique partner, beta reader, and military consultant. They live in the Midwest with their son and menagerie of pets. The loyal dogs and mischievous cats appreciate her writing days as much as she does, usually curled up in front of the fireplace. She loves hearing from readers—find out how to connect with her at


Chapter One

The evenly spaced, razor-edged shafts of moonlight fragmented the heavy darkness. The shimmering beams were mesmerizing as they peered through the wooden slats of the shutters, allowing a few dust particles to twirl through the rays as if they were performing on a lighted stage. It was a captivating sight and one that gave her something to do other than stress over the insomnia that had plagued her for the last few months.

Ashlyn Ellis sighed in resignation as she shifted beneath the warm, crumpled sheets. She’d woken up five minutes ago, noticing that she’d gotten no more than three hours of sleep according to the green illuminated numbers of the clock on her nightstand. She tucked an arm under her favorite Hungarian goose down pillow in frustration after turning on her side, but not even the cool eight hundred count Egyptian fabric could lull her into a comforting sleep. It was an hour before dawn and the rhythmic ticking of the grandfather clock in the living room was the only sound drifting through the still air. Or was it?


Ashlyn’s breath caught in her throat as she quickly leaned up on one elbow and tilted her head, straining to hear if there were any unwelcome sounds coming from the hidden recesses of the bottomless shadows. Had she been mistaken? The air was now frozen in place as the golden pendulum continued to swing with a graceful cadence, but the stillness had undeniably been disturbed.

Was he here?

Ashlyn slowly leaned forward and carefully opened the top drawer of her nightstand, never once taking her eyes away from the open door to her bedroom. Multiple shadows hovered at the end of the hall, appearing slightly darker than usual due to the soft golden hue of the nightlight plugged into the outlet. Her fingers finally came in contact with her nickel-plated Beretta PX4 Storm Subcompact handgun. It gave her a small semblance of security.

A slight film of perspiration coated Ashlyn’s palm, making it difficult to maintain a grip on the mother of pearl handle of the weapon. She still managed to aim the barrel toward the hallway as she slid the covers off and quietly swung her legs over the side of her bed. Had the shadow to the right shifted somewhat lower?

Ashlyn carefully felt around the top of her nightstand for her phone, not wanting to make any loud noises. Was he watching her? Was he standing at the end of the hall, waiting for her to think she had a chance of calling for help before making his move? Was he here to finally kill her?

There was no phone on her nightstand. Her heart rate accelerated even more at the implication and she tried to stem her panic. Where was it? Had he been standing next to her bed and watching her sleep? She tried to swallow the revulsion that backed up in her throat.

Ashlyn glanced down to the floor, thinking her phone had fallen off of the nightstand. It was only then she remembered leaving it in her office on its charging stand, which was on the other side of her apartment. She didn’t have a landline in her home and her security system linked through her cellular data plan, which apparently hadn’t done its job. How was she going to get help now?

Nausea slammed into Ashlyn and she pursed her lips, doing her best to breathe through her panic. She stood on slightly trembling legs, her bare feet cold on the hardwood floor. The shocking sensation gave her a sense of foundation and she took a tentative step forward, needing to get to her office. Why couldn’t she hear him? What was he waiting for?

Ashlyn passed by her mirrored dresser on her left, almost letting out a small cry when she caught her silhouette in the reflection. She took a moment to calm her racing heart. It was then she noticed that the drawer holding her panties had been left slightly open…and she hadn’t left it that way after her evening shower. He’d gone through her things…her intimate belongings?

He was here.

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