She'll lead him right into temptation...
Lately, things have been a little weird for Sloane Barrett—late night crank calls, disturbing images inher inbox, her tires slashed. She tries not to let it bother her. She tries to pretend everything is ok. Then someone breaks into her house and attacks her...and Sloane realizes she needs professional help. Tall, gorgeous and overwhelmingly intense help.
But Sloane knows all too well just how much trouble intense guys can be.
Security Specialist Ciaran Ross's priority is to ensure Sloane is safe. His gut tells him she's in danger, but his feelings for her are pulling his focus. Ciaran has already made the mistake of falling for a client, and the results were disastrous. He won't risk it again. He can't. But running from love is the surest way to get Sloane killed...
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A Guarding Her Body Novel
By Naima Simone, Tracy Montoya
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Naima Simone
All rights reserved.
"Maybe if you weren't such a fat bitch and got laid more, you wouldn't be so uptight."
The vicious words played in Sloane Barrett's head on a relentless, taunting loop.
Fat bitch ... laid more ... uptight ... Fatbitch ... laidmore ... uptight ... Fatbitchlaidmoreuptight ...
She tightened her grip on her clutch purse while heat coursed up her neck and poured over her face, combatting the cool air of the August evening. Like I care what a smug, spoiled brat like Drake Morriston thinks of me, or calls me. She shouldn't. He was an eighteen-year-old toddler with more money than sense or morals. He was destined to end up as one of the FBI's Most Wanted on the lam in some European country with his indulgent parents footing the bill. So no, she shouldn't care if some future dissolute criminal called her fat or a bitch ...
But damn it, the little rat bastard had hurt her feelings.
Like a ghostly specter refusing to be exorcised, the humiliation from Drake's voice rushed over her again before she could stem the tide. The entitlement. The condescension. The insults. She would love to say the message had been abnormal, but, unfortunately, she couldn't. As a teacher at the prestigious and very elite Kennedy-Lewis Preparatory Academy, a prep school that catered to the children of Massachusetts's obscenely wealthy, she was viewed as more of a servant than a degree-holding, professional educator. That she hailed from the same background as most of her students didn't matter a damn. Not when she — gasp — worked for a living.
She snorted as she tugged open the glass door to the Boston Harbor Walk restaurant. The disrespectful punk should count his blessings he hadn't been in front of her when she received his nasty voicemail. With her five-feet, ten-inch — over six feet in heels — one hundred fifty-five-pound frame, she could've taken him.
All this because she refused to change his grade from the D in her government class that he rightly deserved after she'd caught him cheating on the final. Apparently, Harvard — and his parents — frowned on the low mark marring his transcripts. The principal would probably end up changing the grade anyway. Not that it mattered to Drake or his parents. They wanted her head.
She sighed. Sometimes she couldn't help but wonder just what the hell she was doing with her life. When she'd proudly received her degree in education, babysitting trust-fund teens with pathological tendencies hadn't been in the plans.
Dammit. She so didn't need this harassment on top of the other things going on in her life.
First the eerie hang-ups in the middle of the night. Then the disturbing emails. And earlier this evening, the flat tires. If Mr. Hall, the geometry teacher, hadn't been leaving the school at the same time as she had, she would've had to call a tow truck and been late to Fallon's engagement party. Her Boston society parents had taught her manners, perfect etiquette, and how to plan and host a dinner party, but not the particulars of changing a tire.
God. What a shitty three weeks.
As if to underscore her summation, her cell phone chimed, signaling a new email. Her feet stumbled to a halt as her heart stuttered before free-falling toward her stomach. Nausea coiled in her stomach, tightening like a boa constrictor.
I'm not going to look. Ignore it. The command whispered through her head. Even as she fished the phone from the pocket of her wide skirt and swiped her thumb over the screen. Dread curdled inside her like milk left out on the counter too long. Because a part of her knew what awaited her in her inbox.
Stop being so melodramatic. It could be an email from her principal about the upcoming school year. It could be Facebook spam from a Montana rancher telling her in broken English how they were spiritual soulmates. It could be —
Yourenext@yahoo.com. No subject line. Just like the others.
Bile raced up within her, scalding the back of her throat before she convulsively swallowed the acid back down. The phone shook in her trembling hand. She knew what awaited her even as her thumb hovered over the ominous email address. Terror and disgust congealed in her belly. But she opened the mail. She had to. Otherwise it would just sit there like a bomb waiting to explode.
No words greeted her.
But the picture quickly filling up the screen of her phone didn't need a menacing message. In this case the picture wasn't just worth a thousand words, but a damn book.
Death. Pain. Horror.
The tortured expression and glassy stare in the unnaturally pale face of the woman. The broken body lying on the dark, grimy ground of a shadowed alley, the large green dumpster, the woman's only companion. The necklace of bruises around her neck.
A different woman in each email. But the same gruesome image of death.
The same warning in the email address: you're next.
She powered down her cell with a jerky, abrupt motion and shoved it back into her pocket.
Not tonight. Whoever this, this sicko was who had been sending her these messages would not shake her. They wouldn't win.
Hand still trembling, she pulled open the restaurant door and stepped inside. She briefly closed her eyes as the cool, air-conditioned air drifted over her face, clammy skin, still-boiling temper, and wounded pride. The low murmur of voices greeted her in the nearly empty lobby of the bar and bistro, the delicious scents of Italian spices and grilling seafood teasing her nostrils. She forced her lips into what she hoped passed as a polite smile as a hostess approached her.
Hell, who was she kidding? Neither Drake Morriston, the emails, nor tires could claim full blame for her foul mood.
Walking into an engagement party and toasting the happy couple when Phillip Rison, her ex-fiancé, graced the pages of Boston's social columns with a new girlfriend on his arm — well, yeah. That definitely accounted for the other half of her self-pity funk.
Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb, was afraid of the dark.
The useless bit of trivia popped into her head, and she inhaled a calming breath. Hey, some people used martinis or chocolate to soothe their nerves; she memorized obscure facts.
And the trivia kept more inches off her size-fourteen hips and ass than the chocolate did.
"Sloane," an excited voice called out her name as soon as she entered the beautifully decorated main room of the restaurant. "Get your gorgeous ass over here! I'm so glad you could make it tonight."
Fallon Wayland, the bride-to-be, sailed across the room, throwing her arms around Sloane, and squeezing her in a tight hug. Grinning, Sloane returned her old college friend's exuberant greeting and embrace with equal enthusiasm.
"You look beautiful," Sloane said once Fallon released her. And it was nothing short of the truth. Fallon, with her wild curls, golden skin, and startling gray eyes, had always been a striking woman. But with love settling over her like an honest-to-God glow exclusive to mind-shattering orgasms and pregnancy, Fallon was even more beautiful.
Sloane had never experienced either.
"Aw, go on." Fallon waved a hand. With a wicked twinkle lighting her gaze, she leaned forward and stage-whispered, "It's all the fantastic sex."
Fallon cackled and, looping her arm through Sloane's, led her toward a table with a big, silver fountain. Reaching past the flutes of golden champagne, Fallon grabbed a Sam Adams Rebel Rider. Sloane grinned. Fallon definitely knew her.
"Here." Fallon pressed the bottle into Sloane's hand. "Drink up. I was a little worried you wouldn't be able to make it. You're preparing for the new school year, right?"
"Yes. I was at the school today getting some things ready for the parent-student open house tomorrow evening." An image of the email as well as her tires flashed in her head. The ugly slashes had been too long and clean for a nail or a blowout. An unsettling twist clenched her stomach. A knife — a very sharp blade — could've caused the slices, though ...
Shoving the disquieting thought aside, she pasted a smile on her face, determined to concentrate on her friend's happiness. "Where's your future husband?"
She'd met Shane Roarke a couple of times. Though the security specialist had a reserve about him that could be faintly intimidating, the aloofness melted like chocolate left out in the sun whenever he so much as glanced at Fallon. If witnessing the obvious adoration between the pair caused a there-and-gone pang of envy to reverberate in her chest, well ...hey. It didn't lessen Sloane's happiness for them.
"He had to tie something up at the office, but he's on his way." Several more people entered the room, and Fallon laid a hand on Sloane's forearm. "Excuse me for a moment. Enjoy the booze, and the hors d'oeuvres are being circled around, okay?" With a squeeze to Sloane's arm, Fallon glided across the room to greet her guests, leaving Sloane feeling oddly bereft and alone. Sighing, she twisted the cap off the beer and tried to ignore the voice echoing in her head that sounded too much like her mother. Guzzling from a bottle is so common, Sloane. A man wants a lady, not a drinking buddy.
She snorted. According to her proper, socialite mother, just one more thing to add to the list of why Sloane wasn't proper marriage material. Chalk it down right next to can't wear knit dresses without Spanx, has too many opinions, and boring in bed. Well, the last complaint was courtesy of her ex-fiancé.
Maintaining the polite, impersonal smile her mother had drilled into her from birth, she strolled over to the large French doors along the far wall. Beyond the doors and the restaurant's terrace, the dark waters of Boston Harbor rippled gently in the deepening evening. Farther out, lights on a cruise ship flickered and glowed, and she could just imagine the laughter and chatter flowing as freely as the wine. Like here. A time of celebration and happiness. And it all intensified her sense of isolation and loneliness.
Like a perfect storm, everything — the troubling events of the last three weeks, Phillip's new relationship just two months after their disastrous break-up, Fallon's engagement — seemed to converge at once, reminding her she was like that cruise ship on the harbor. Bright and gay on the outside, but at its core alone and circling pointlessly with no purposeful destination.
Well, damn. Apparently she needed to stop DVRing The Young and the Restless because she was becoming way too melodramatic.
Shaking her head, she tossed the cap into a nearby trashcan. The bottle was halfway to her lips before she felt it.
Not like the expectant or bored gazes of her students. Or the avaricious, gleeful scrutiny of her peers as they watched her for any sign of blood at Phillip's defection.
No, this was ... intense. Unsettling. Hot.
Turning from the serene view, she scanned the room.
And collided with eyes the color of a cloudless, beautiful summer sky.
Flawless. Absolutely flawless. Like Michelangelo's David-meets-the-last-guy-who-played-Superman flawless. Dark, thick eyebrows emphasized the brilliance of his blue gaze. Elegant but sharp angles prevented his masculine beauty from edging into pretty, while a wide, sinfully curved mouth obliterated any notion of sweetness. Black loose waves and curls brushed his cheekbones, ears, and the collar of his black suit jacket. A black jacket clung perfectly to his wide shoulders and muscled arms like a shameless slut. With that hard body, he must work in construction or some other profession that required strength and muscles capable of shaming Vin Diesel into picking up his dumbbells and going home.
She dragged her greedy inspection back up his tall frame in time to catch that electric stare skim down her face and throat and loiter on her breasts. Unconsciously she sucked in her gut, praying that sometime between this morning's glance in the mirror and now a miracle had occurred and God had granted her abs tight enough to bounce a quarter off of.
After another visual caress that left her flesh tingling and heavy beneath her dress, he returned his attention upward. The heat in his eyes blasted her like a furnace dialed up to incinerate. She blinked. Surely, that flash of desire had been a figment of her overactive and undersexed imagination. A man who exuded sex and sin like a high-priced cologne wouldn't give her a second glance much less a long, lingering one.
A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.
The obscure trivia whispered through her mind, and she grasped on to the calming mechanism like a lifeline. She lifted her bottle and gulped from it, averting her gaze. His wasn't the first gorgeous face she'd ever seen — hell, she'd been raised in a world where beauty was a commodity. But none of those men had almost ... smoldered with raw sexuality. A sexuality that seemed to be barely leashed by golden skin and steely control. Against her brain's sharp commands, she shot him a furtive glance. None of those aforementioned men looked like they could break a woman apart piece-by-piece with pleasure then calmly put her back together. Only to do it again ...
A tall, whipcord-lean man with shoulder-length, dark brown hair approached the stranger, claiming his attention. She exhaled, as if granted a reprieve.
And like any intelligent person presented with an unexpected escape route, she ran.
Pushing down the handle on the French door, she emerged onto the covered terrace. The gentle breeze off the waterfront caressed and cooled her flushed skin. Around her, the wait staff bustled, lighting hurricane lamps suspended from wooden beams as well as on the tables to dispel the deepening shadows of the evening. Pale-colored flowers, the flicker of white fairy lights, and bolts of white, ethereal cloth added to the ambiance of romance. Fallon's doing, Sloane surmised, striding to the railing. As a talented event planner, Fallon had an elegant but luxuriant point of view that was rapidly growing in demand. If things had worked out differently, Sloane would've hired Fallon for her engagement party and wedding with Phillip.
If things had worked out differently ...
"Differently" meaning if Phillip hadn't cheated and then blamed his infidelity on her "irrational refusal to lose thirty pounds." After all, how could he be expected to fuck or wed a lazy cow who would be a direct reflection of him?
She gasped at the quick and sharp stab of pain and humiliation, pressing a fist to her chest. Even months later, her ex's remembered derision and contempt still contained the power to wound ...
Holy hell. That voice. The fingers of the hand not grasping the beer bottle like a lifeline curled around the patio railing. Her lashes fluttered and lowered. One word, and yet the deep rumble of it stroked over her skin, evoking images of shadowed bedrooms, rumpled sheets, and sweaty bodies. Good God, that voice needed to be bottled and sold in sex shops worldwide. Who needed porn with that purring dark velvet in your ear?
Shit. Purring dark velvet? What. The. Hell?
She turned around, and whoa.
The railing pressed into her back as she instinctively leaned away from the overwhelming, intense male towering over her, just inches short of invading her personal space.
Not that he probably gives a damn about little things like appropriate, polite distance. The thought popped into her head, and though she couldn't possibly know that about him, she didn't doubt the veracity of the statement, either. She had a feeling the "inches" were for her benefit, not his.
She inhaled a shaky breath — then immediately wished she hadn't. But too late. She couldn't scrub the woodsy, earthy fragrance of his cologne from her nostrils. Damn. Before this moment she wouldn't have believed a man's scent could be foreplay.
He said hello, the part of her brain still functioning hissed. Get it together, dammit!
Right, right. Oh Jesus Christ. Wasn't talking to oneself a precursor to Prozac and rubber-walled rooms?
Again, she forced her social smile to her lips. "Hi."
That inner voice sighed at her inane stupidity.
A corner of his mouth lifted in a half smile, and a dent in his cheek made a brief appearance. Dimples. Really? Because beautiful eyes, a gorgeous face, and hard body weren't enough? Butterflies took to flight in her belly. Damn butterflies. Raptors. Freaking pterodactyls.
Excerpted from Killer Curves by Naima Simone, Tracy Montoya. Copyright © 2015 Naima Simone. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Killer Curves held my attention with the great suspenseful storytelling, chemistry and sexual tension between the H/h. It kept me guessing and anticipating the next paragraph or next page. I also enjoyed some laugh out loud and funny moments. Check it out! Great read!!!
I enjoy reading Ms. Simone's books because she blends intense sexual chemistry with mystery and suspense in a way that works every time and KILLER CURVES is no different. With entertaining dialogue, a suspenseful story-line about vengeance, courage and unexpected love, this was a very enjoyable read. Growing up, Sloane Barrett felt like an ugly duckling in a family of swans and her mother took delight in pointing out every inadequacy. She chose to make her own way without the benefit of her trust fund and enjoys her job as a teacher and the independence it affords her, so it's no surprise that she's not willing to ask for help when she gets disturbing phone calls and emails. Until an intruder attacks her in her home and she needs the services of a security firm to figure out who's behind everything. Ciaran Ross is a partner in GDG Security Solutions but before that, he was a DEA agent who left the agency under tragic circumstances. Ciaran has vowed not to fall for a client again after his one attempt at mixing business with pleasure ended fatally, so his attraction to Sloane will have to go ignored while he works on keeping her safe. The only issue with that is the only way he can control his feelings for Sloane is to stay away from her, which is counterproductive to the goal of keeping her safe. I enjoyed Sloane and Ciaran so much, especially the verbal volleys between them. Their first meeting set the tone for the explosive passion between them and the build up every time they were together after that first meeting was great. Sloane very fierce in guarding her emotions and her independence and her habit of reciting trivia was cute. From the first page, I loved Ciaran, even with all his hang-ups and rough edges, and I loved how protective of Sloane he was. He's the guy who'll fight his feelings as hard as he can but is totally in when he finally accepts them and I love watching those kind of guys go down... hard! The suspense was amazing and I did not see the end coming, even with my sleuthing skills. I enjoyed catching up on the characters from the previous book and I'm looking forward to more books in the series. Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Sloane Barrett is a teacher at a privileged high school. She has been getting threatening emails and calls, but when she catches someone in her house, she turns to her best friend’s fiance and his security company for help. There she runs into Ciaran Ross, a man she met at her friend’s engagement party but ran from the attraction. When Ciaran sees Sloane and hears everything she’s been going through, he insists on being in charge of her case. From the moment he saw her, he knew he wanted her, but he refuses to cross that line with a client, until she becomes too much to resist. This was a really fast-paced story that drew me in from the beginning. I loved all aspects of both Sloane and Ciaran. I loved their interactions with each other as they drew closer. They each had serious inner-turmoil they needed to overcome to find happiness. The only complaint I would have is that the author described a lot of what the characters said as murmurs. This is just a pet peeve of mine, but it didn't’ detract from the story. I absolutely loved the story and characters and highly recommend it. **I received an ARC of this story in exchange for an honest review
Not bad, just not great. Well, I can’t say I didn’t like this story. It was interesting, it had some steam, a lot of suspense with a couple of action scenes. Ciaran is a hot ex-DEA agent now running a security agency with a couple of partners. He had a traumatic experience in his past where he couldn’t keep the woman he loved safe so he has been completely shut off to any type of feelings ever since. Sloane is the black sheep of her perfectly rich family. Being the “fat” sister, always in the shadow of her younger, blond and perky sister, she just decided to be the smart one, and has been working as a teacher much to the chagrin of her mother. But now she has been receiving disturbing phone calls and emails, and when her house is broken into and she is attacked by the perpetrator, she goes to her best friend’s security agency, where: oh look! Ciaran just happens to be one of the owners. Well, their attraction for each other had been off the charts since they first set eyes on each other at an engagement party, and at hearing that Sloane is in danger Ciaran’s protective feelings just come out in full force. She’ll need protection 24/7 and he is willing to be the one on her… professionally speaking of course. Even if he has to pretend to be her date to her parents anniversary party, and they have to share a bedroom. So we know how well that works, of course. Both of them have quite a bit to work through, mainly his losing the woman he loved and Sloane’s coming off a bad relationship, filled with emotional abuse. While the story line was good and the suspense well thought out the execution was not entirely to my taste. Well, principally I found the writing style too wordy. And by wordy I don’t mean with more vocabulary than me not being a native speaker would understand, though I did have to look up a couple of words in the dictionary. What I mean is that everything was, extremely, quite abundantly, filled with adjectives. Repeatedly. Almost obnoxiously. This way. And then both main characters spent so much time up in their heads that I’m not certain at this point how they communicated with each other, much less sustained complete conversations. Also, while not entirely her fault Sloane had a lot of self-doubt, self-confidence and self-worth issues… in other words she was too insecure. Again, part of her mind set was helped by the ex-fiancée but I don’t usually have a lot of patience for this kind of plight. Even under these extenuating conditions. In other words, I skimmed a lot, but the suspense was well done and I wanted to make it till the end, it’s just wasn’t the writing style I find enjoyable. If readers are not bothered by the issues I've mentioned, I imagine they'll find Killer Curves a great read. *I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
Curves that are hot and seductive. What a killer read! There are threats to her life but they continue to escalate so Sloane Barrett, schoolteacher, knows she needs to reach out to someone special to help her before she ends up seriously hurt or even killed. She ends up seeing her best friend and her fiancée and his best friend who happens to be partners in a security firm are there. Her best friend mentions the situation and when Ciaran Ross hears (he’s the partner of her best friend’s fiancée ) and when they meet again, then when he hears about her situation, he wants to help. The sparks fly and how she wants to let loose with him. Former DEA agent, Ciaran Ross has a past that makes it hard for him to get into relationships now. He saw his girlfriend die in front of him when the situation they were mixing business and pleasure. He has never forgiven himself so he doesn’t really date now but one look at Sloane and that has all changed. Something about her calls to him and he wants to protect her, wrap her up and argue all with her at one time. He’s now a partner in GDG Security Solutions, has met her for the first time at the engagement party for his partner but he didn’t take that option. Instead, when he runs into Sloane again and hears about what is going on, he wants to protect her and help. But it’s a double edged sword because he feels this overwhelming attraction to her. Will helping her bring them closer together and let love in or will it break them apart? Also will he be able to get the person/persons after Sloane? This was such a wonderful read and the MC generated such fantastic chemistry. I enjoyed reading the story and cannot wait to read more by this author. My Rating: 4.5 stars **** ***A gifted copy was provided by the publisher for my honest review****
KILLER CURVES is the second installment in Naima Simone’s contemporary, adult GUARD HER BODY romantic suspense series. This is former DEA agent Ciaran Ross, and private school teacher Sloane Barrett’s storyline. KILLER CURVES can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous storyline is imparted where necessary. Told from dual third person perspectives (Ciaran and Sloane) KILLER CURVES focuses on hunting down the people responsible for threatening Sloane Barrett. For several weeks Sloane has been receiving threatening emails with graphic pictures, hang up phone calls, and recently her tires had been slashed when she left to go home. With two physical attacks against our heroine, and the possibility that a former student is seeking revenge for a failing grade, Sloane hires GDG Security for her own personal protection. Enter Ciaran Ross, co-owner of GDG Security, and the man who calls to our heroine’s heart. Sloane has issues of insecurity that have followed our heroine for most of her life. From a mother who is ‘embarrassed’ by her daughter’s curvy figure, to an ex-fiancee who was determined to destroy all of our heroine’s self esteem, a self fulfilling prophecy of negative body image dogs Sloane wherever she goes. Ciaran is a man possessed by the failures of his past, and is unable to let go of the dark memories. PTDS, grief and guilt do not allow Ciaran to move forward, and add another layer of insecurity to our heroine’s already fragile sense of self-worth when the man with whom she is falling in love, is unable to fall in love-in return. The relationship between Sloane and Ciaran begins as professional although our couple met at Fallon and Shane’s (Witness To Passion #1) engagement party the night before. Ciaran places himself as Sloane’s personal bodyguard and faux boyfriend for a weekend anniversary party at Sloane’s parents where a celebration turns into another attempt on our heroine’s life. The $ex scenes are erotic, intense and provocative. KILLER CURVES follows several potential threats against Sloane from a former lover with an axe to grind; a former student not happy with a failing grade; and any number of family members who see Sloane as potential fodder for retribution and revenge. The premise is full of suspense and mystery; the characters are colorful, charismatic, and a few are over the top caricatures of evil and bad. The romance and attraction between our couple is immediate; the sexual chemistry is hot although Ciaran tries to keep his business and personal life separate and apart. He isn’t willing to risk anyone else’s life while on the job. KILLER CURVES is an entertaining read; an enjoyable and suspense filled storyline about retribution and revenge; falling in love and letting go of the past.
This sexy and action packed romantic suspense story finds Sloane needing some personal protection after finding herself the target of threats that are becoming increasingly more personal. With security specialist Ciaran assigned to the job, there is no doubt the perpetrators will be found - but will both of them survive with their bodies and hearts intact? From the start of this story, I was enthralled. Full of tight action sequences and plenty of drama, what's happening to Sloane is no joking matter, as she is threatened by emails, vandalism and eventually personal assaults. Throw on top of that her breakup with a verbally abusive boyfriend in the not so distant past and she's about ready to throw in the towel. Sexy, determined bodyguard Ciaran (whom she first meets at a friend's party when he focuses his all too intense gaze on her) isn't going to let what happened to his former partner happen to her. But keeping her safe should also mean keeping her away from him physically, and that's just something he can't quite do. The sexual attraction between them is too intense to ignore and results in some very steamy scenes (I'm surprised my ereader survived intact). Ciaran struggles with his feelings for Sloane and his desire to keep her safe, and Sloane is determined once and for all to stand up for herself. She's not willing to let this new man who has barged his way into her life go quite so easily. With the threat of danger on every page, combined with the sexy love scenes and two people who are willing to fight whatever required to be safe and secure, it's an entertaining and fast paced read. If you're a fan of Lisa Marie Rice's stories, I think you'll really enjoy this one. 4.5 stars.
As threats to her life escalate, can this ex-socialite teacher find love even more danger in her protector? Sloane Barrett teaches at an exclusive school but has been having some weird things happening lately. Nasty weird… definitely unsettling weird…worrying weird…and getting worse. She tries to ignore it but when her house is broken into and she’s attacked she realises ignoring it all won’t make it go away. She goes to see her best friend, whose fiancé is a partner in a security firm and meets up with the handsome hunk, Ciaran Ross, she’s met at that same friend’s engagement party. He’s still as handsome and attractive but she’s determined to resist. Her ex was also a handsome hunk but he was controlling and demeaning, shattering her self-esteem and confidence. She’s still reeling from escaping him and doesn’t want to be dependent on anyone like that ever again. Former DEA agent, Ciaran Ross saw his girlfriend killed when the security situation went down last time he mixed business and pleasure. Although shot and injured, he’s never forgiven himself for her untimely death. He’s now a partner in GDG Security Solutions and first met Sloane at his business partner’s engagement party when the attraction was instantaneous and hot, though both resisted any temptation. When he meets Sloane again, the attraction is still hot but when he learns about the danger she’s in, he’s determined to keep her safe whilst also keeping out of a relationship with her. With both trying to avoid anything to do with love and attraction, can they both resist or will love find a way to bring them together without endangering Sloane’s life? It was great to read about a heroine who isn’t super skinny! It wasn’t great how her Mum made her feel fat because she’s average size with curves, but I loved Ciaran’s attitude to this. Sloane has had a lifetime of feeling “not good enough”, her ex reinforced these feelings but Ciaran’s the one who will help her realise she’s so much more worthy. He has loved and lost, and in so dramatic a manner that he doesn’t believe he’ll ever love again. The author makes it easy to relate to both these complex characters. The plot is engaging, with plenty of drama, danger and events to make the whole story a real page turner and one which I have no hesitation in recommending to anyone who likes their romance spiced with deadly danger, deceitful ‘friends’ and a heroic leading man overcoming his past trauma. Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley, too, for letting me read an ARC of this book in exchange for this, an honest review.
Loved this one! Ciaran and Sloane are both fascinating characters and not at all what you expect. The story is full of suspense and drama with an ending I didn't see coming! Ciaran is a little hard to love at first but as his character develops and you learn his secrets you can't help but give him your heart. Sloane is the last person you would think would be harassed. A teacher who everyone loves and respects but if the emails and late night calls aren't enough to scare her, the break-in at her house is sure to convince her she needs Ciaran's help. Now she just needs to keep her heart safe. I highly recommend this one!
Even strong men have their weaknesses. Former DEA agent Ciaran Ross lost a CI and the love of his life when he mixed business with pleasure. He has made a promise to himself never to let that happen again. Now working for GDG Security Solutions he has yet to find anyone who could make him want to break the vow he made not to fall for anyone. Enter Sloane Barrett. Sloane and Ciaran meet at Fallon and Shane’s engagement party. The attraction is immediate and intense yet Sloane doesn’t trust it and avoids him like the plague. Unfortunately Sloane has a stalker who has escalated to B&E so she needs a bodyguard. Despite his better judgement Ciaran volunteers for the job and that’s when the story gets going and gets really good. I loved watching Sloane grow and find herself and who wouldn’t love the hunk that is Ciaran Ross. I totally got a kick out of watching these two find themselves and each other. The supporting characters were fun and added to the story. A great escape. Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review.