by Elisabeth Naughton


$11.99 $12.95 Save 7% Current price is $11.99, Original price is $12.95. You Save 7%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Friday, June 28


A passion to live for—and to die for—in the RITA-winning series from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Elisabeth Naughton.

Up-and-coming designer Kelsey McClane is on the cusp of success. Recently divorced, she should be enjoying her newfound freedom and glamorous future. Instead, she’s living in fear of the past. When she returns home to Portland on a press tour, danger creeps closer than ever. As threatening messages from her bitter ex-husband leave her vulnerable, a new man in her life makes her feel protected.

Former Army Ranger turned security professional Hunter O’Donnell is hired to guard Kelsey. When a shattering explosion rocks her world, Kelsey’s ex is the prime suspect, but Hunter speculates there’s more to the situation than Kelsey’s letting on. Intent on keeping her safe, he delves into Kelsey’s past. As the two work together to unmask her stalker’s identity, a fire ignites between them that they both struggle to contain.

While the investigation proceeds, it draws them closer not only to each other but also to a lethal plot that’s been in the works behind their backs. And with each new secret unveiled, it’s not just temptation putting them at risk—it’s a madman who will not stop until Kelsey is dead.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781503900783
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 03/20/2018
Series: Deadly Secrets Series , #3
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Before topping multiple bestseller lists—including those of the New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal—Elisabeth Naughton taught middle school science. A voracious reader, she soon discovered she had a knack for creating stories with a chemistry of their own. The spark turned into a flame, and Naughton now writes full-time. Her books have been nominated for some of the industry’s most prestigious awards, such as the RITA and Golden Heart Awards from Romance Writers of America, the Australian Romance Readers Award, and the Golden Leaf Award. When not dreaming up new stories, Naughton can be found spending time with her husband and three children in their western Oregon home. Protected is the third book in her Deadly Secrets series, following Gone and Repressed, which was a 2017 RITA winner in romantic suspense.

Learn more about Elisabeth at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Protected 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
TerriK6 More than 1 year ago
My first book by Elisabeth Naughton and it won’t be my last! The story grabbed me from the very first page and I did not want to put it down. This book has it all- danger, romance, suspense, and great characters. This book is the 3rd in the series and works as a stand-alone. Although I don’t feel that I am missing information, I do plan on reading the other books. I highly recommend this very quick, fun read! You will not be disappointed!
sgatlantisrulz More than 1 year ago
Intriguing, Suspenseful and Sexy! Kelsey McClane just received her divorce from an abusive husband. Having just left New York City, she was back home in Portland about to give an interview to promote her fashion line when she bumps into Hunter O'Donnell. Several years has passed since she last saw him. She'd known him more than half her life because he's her brother Alec's best friend. As she is about to go on air for the interview on Portland's hottest morning show an explosion rocks the station. Loved it, loved it, loved it! Protected me in and didn't let go. I loved how protective Hunter was with Kelsey, and I admired Kelsey for working through her vulnerabilities enough to let Hunter break down her defensive walls. I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced copy.
Candace-LoveyDoveyBooks More than 1 year ago
Kelsey McClane's mysterious past comes back to haunt her just as her career is taking off. With Hunter O'Donnell by her side, protecting her while trying to get to the truth of who is stalking her and why, Kelsey may be able to put her fears behind her once and for all. In previous books Kelsey was married to Julian, who was the bane of the McClane clan. Protected opens with her divorce from Julian and a death threat she believes is from him. Hunter and Kelsey getting together makes perfect sense. His business is protection and Kelsey suddenly finds herself in a tangled web of deceit that gets more and more dangerous as they look for the source of the threats. This story takes romantic suspense to the next level. It's the perfect balance of romance, action, and emotional interest. *ARC provided in consideration for review*
BuckeyeAngel More than 1 year ago
Kelsey McClane is an up and coming designer, on the brink of success. Unfortunately, she’s also dealing with a stalking ex-husband who seems set on destroying her. Hunter O’Donnell, an old family friend, has been hired to protect her. This was a great story that pulled you right in. I loved every minute of it as Kelsey and Hunter have to unravel what’s happening and deal with their attraction at the same time. The interactions between Hunter and her brothers in the end definitely earned some chuckling. I highly recommend. **I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
Cheryl-S More than 1 year ago
This fantastic story is book 3 in the Deadly Secrets series and it features Kelsey McClane and Hunter O’Donnell. This author keeps you on your toes with this story line. There’s twists and turns like crazy. One minute you think the story line is going one way and the next it all changes. But through it all is the amazing chemistry between Kelsey and Hunt. Her parents and brothers are very protective of her because of her past experiences. This is a great mystery, suspense and romantic thriller! The characters are fabulous and the story line was engaging from the beginning. I can’t wait for the next one.
CharlotteLynnsReviews More than 1 year ago
The story starts with a bombing that is described in such detail that I could feel myself being with Kelsey, trapped and in the dark. The fear she feels comes across loud and clear. I loved how attentive Hunter was. Being former Army Ranger he was able to keep his cool and help Kelsey keep calm so that they could come out alive and well. All the way through the story you could feel how well Kelsey and Hunter balanced each other. Hunter was aware of the dangers surrounding Kelsey but was able to help her process them and find ways to keep her safe. Kelsey allowed Hunter to open his life to a woman, something he had sworn off doing. Together they kept each other grounded, safe, and willing to find happiness they both deserved. I loved the mystery part of the story. Elisabeth Naughton does a great job with her clues in leading the reader through many twists and turns. She kept me reading page after page, guessing at who was behind all the threats, and not giving away too much to give it all away too early. This is the first book in the Deadly Secret Series that I have read and it is easily a standalone book within a series. Maybe there was history I didn’t know of but it took nothing away from the story itself. Protected is a great mystery with twists of romance. I loved the characters and the storyline kept me reading long past I should have gone to bed. I recommend picking up your own copy and losing yourself in this great read.
Pebbles92 More than 1 year ago
This book was AMAZING!! Unfortunately I had way too much going on in my life and I wasn't able to devour it as quickly as I would have liked and normally would have but at least this way I got to savor it longer. This was the first book I've had a chance to read in Ms. Naughton's Deadly Secrets series so it certainly stands fine on its own. After meeting Kelsey's brothers however, I fully intend to go back and catch up on the first two. Talk about a wild ride. This story starts off with a bang (literally!) and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. The chemistry between Hunt and Kelsey was off the charts and I loved how the author humanized both of them by showing their insecurities and how they eventually overcame them and learned to trust each other. Overall this was an excellent story that I would certainly recommend. ARC by the author and the publisher via Netgalley.
animation More than 1 year ago
I love the Deadly series and Protected (book 3) is a great addition. Both characters have major emotional roadblocks that cause quite a bit of angst throughout this story. Hunter, due to the loss of his mother and Kelsey, due to her being abandoned by her birth mother and mental abuse by her ex-husband. There is already a connection between the characters, as they've known each for years. The connection deepens after a tramatic event that happens in the beginning of the book. This book is non-stop action, even in the quiet moments between the main characters. This makes for a great read, and before you know it a couple of hours have flown by. The story is engaging and the suspense is gripping. Overall great read. ARC provide in exchange for an honest review.
Jenafyre21 More than 1 year ago
What I love about the amazing series is that each book can be read as a stand alone. While the characters from the other stories appear in each of the books, each book has its very own mystery and suspense that will keep the reader hooked from the first page to the very last. This is the story of Kelsey and Hunter Kelsey McClane is recently divorced, making her a living as a fashion designer. Now that she is away from her emotionally and sometimes physically abusive ex, she is hoping to make a better life for herself. At least she would if her interfering brothers would call off the body guard that they have trailing her around. The very handsome body guard that has been her friend forever. The same person she has harbored a secret crush on, one Hunter O'Donnell. Hunter O'Donnell has been friends with the McClane boys since they were all teenagers. He has had a secret crush on their younger sister Kelsey for over 10 years, but knows that she is off limits. Hired to protect her from her ex, he will stand between anything that would come at her to make sure she is safe. When Kelsey starts receiving threatening text messages, photos and is put in physical danger, Hunter and Kelsey will need to unravel the mystery of who is out to get her and stop them before they cause damage that cannot be undone. What I truly enjoyed about Hunter and Kelsey's relationship is that they both have issues and baggage. Hunter lost his mother at an early age and swore to never fall in love because that would wreck him, the same way that it wrecked his father. Kelsey was given away by her mother when she was really young, adopted by the McClanes, she suffers from anxiety, fed by the emotional abuse she suffered at the hands of her ex, she fells unlove, unworthy, and like she will never be good enough. It is with the help of Hunter that she realizes just how strong she really is, and the when he is by her side, she is more than enough, she is perfect, at least, perfect for him and perfect in his eyes. An amazing addition to this amazing series. I cannot way to ready more.
Marlene976 More than 1 year ago
I am a fan of this author and the series. This is book 3 and it is a standalone. This is the story of Kelsey and Hunter. The story starts with a "bang" and keeps moving a high clip. Kelsey is starting over, back home, after a bad marriage. Because of recent threats her family ask Hunter, a family friend and security expert, to protect her. Both of them had feelings for each other in the past and the circumstance that they are now facing brings those attractions to the surface ( a very hot surface!!!) What I liked about Kelsey is that she was not going to be pushed aside, she was going to be Hunter's partner in discovering truth; Hunter is a very sweet man who wants to do his best and wants to protect Kelsey at all costs. This story had everything, suspens, romance, sex, and a dog! What more could you ask for?
LynnB888 More than 1 year ago
Explosively intense! When danger rears it's ugly head, Kelsey finds herself being protected by an old friend and the sparks that fly between them have nothing to do with the danger chasing them at every turn! The story line is intense with a lot of mystery and a good bit of sexual tension as these two try to fight their attraction to each other. I wasn't drawn in quite as completely as I was with the earlier books in the series, but still found it to be a fairly provocative tale with enough mystery to keep my guessing until the end. A satisfying read with lots of heat! Up and coming fashion designer Kelsey McClane is newly divorced and should be basking in her new found freedom and success, but instead, she's having to deal with a psychotic ex-husband who just might be stepping his nonsense up to a whole new level! Her brother's have an old friend watching over her just in case, but no matter how cautious they all are, nothing can stop the danger that rains down on them! Former Army Ranger turned security expert Hunter O'Donnell considers the McClane's family, so of course he'll be there to watch over Kelsey ... but he isn't going to share his burning attraction for her with her brother/his best friend anytime soon! When danger keeps popping up around every corner, they have to figure out a way to find out who's behind it all ... and why. Uncovering some mighty big secrets will lead them to more info than they ever expected!
A_British_Bookworm More than 1 year ago
Phew! What a cracking book to start off with for a new to me author. Let me ask you - what do you look for in a romantic suspense story? Leaving aside romance and suspense (if written in this genre, you have to assume that the author is going to cover these basics, right?), you want a connection between the characters, a decent plot and a strong supporting cast. Pull that all together with some impressive word craft, and a smattering of sexy times, and you have .... this book. The author delivers from the very first page. Tension, action and chemistry woven skillfully together, with protagonists who aren't perfect, but just felt very grounded. Am I fangirling? I'll stop now... I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.
Crazybooknerd More than 1 year ago
Protected by Elisabeth Naughton Series: Deadly Secrets book 3 4.5 Stars - I quite enjoyed this book. The suspense was great, and had me guessing at a few different options. The romance was sweet and sexy and I think it was a good follow up to the others in the series. Kelsey and Hunter had wonderful chemistry. I felt the author dealt with Kelsey’s background issues well, which made the way Kelsey handled situations more realistic and not crazily overblown. Hunter was protective, but not so over the top “alpha”, that I wanted to rip my eyes out. Also, I liked the little nod to Darcy Burke and her character Alaina Pierce. Took me a few mins to remember where I read about her. Every time I start a book by Naughton, it feels comforting. Her writing is easy and clear that it doesn't feel like I am reading at all. The dialogue and situations are simple and feel real, and I love the best friend's sister plot. It’s one of my favourites. *Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review* ~ Paragraphs and Petticoats ~
Raonaid More than 1 year ago
Former Army Ranger Hunter O’Donnell owns and operates a PI and security firm in Portland, Oregon. He is best friends with Kelsey’s older brother. Kelsey McClane is a promising fashion designer. A recent divorcee, her brothers hire Hunter to be Kelsey’s bodyguard at a local television show. She receives a menacing text message that heralds danger. When the danger intensifies, Hunter suspects there is more to the threats than either of them realize. Kelsey and Hunter learn significant facts about her past as the search continues. Will the truth about her birth be Kelsey’s doom? Can she learn to trust Hunter? Will Hunter be able to protect Kelsey from her mysterious stalker? Hunter steadily grew on me. He is haunted by his own past. I understand how his mother’s death and his father’s inability to handle it influence Hunter’s fear of relationships. Yet, Kelsey tempts him to take a chance despite his reservations. I love how he sees her inner strength when Kelsey cannot. But what I adore the most about Hunter is how he accepts Kelsey for who she is, insecurities and all. Kelsey is such an inspirational heroine. She acknowledges and accepts her many insecurities and flaws, yet she is determined to work through them. I admire Kelsey’s resolve and inner strength to reclaim her life, especially after everything she endured at her ex-husband’s hand. But what I like the most about Kelsey is how she understands Hunter’s fears about relationships, because she too has the same difficulties. PROTECTED is book three in Elisabeth Naughton’s romantic suspense series, DEADLY SECRETS. I have not read the first two books in the series; however, that did not hinder my ability to follow the events in the story. I like that there is no ongoing plot that requires reading the prior books. PROTECTED is a riveting tale of two like-minded people learning to overcome their fears of relationships. I love how this book kept me on the edge of my seat in anticipation. I hope the author plans to write a story about Kelsey’s brother Rusty.REVIEW COURTESY OF ROMANCE JUNKIES
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
4.25 stars--PROTECTED is the third instalment in Elisabeth Naughton’s contemporary, adult DEADLY SECRETS romantic, suspense series focusing on the four adopted McClane siblings (Ethan, Alec, Kelsey, Rusty) who are forced to confront their childhood demons. This is up and coming designer Kelsey McClane, and former Army Ranger/security specialist Hunter O’Donnell’s story line. PROTECTED can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story lines is revealed where necessary. NOTE: For fans of Darcy Burke, there is a slight cross-over with the author’s Ribbon Ridge series with the mention of the Archer sextuplet, Evan and Alaina Archer, and the Alex Hotel. Told from dual third person perspectives (Kelsey and Hunter) PROTECTED follows the safety and protection of designer Kelsey McClane following an explosion that forced our heroine, and her personal security guard and her brother Alec’s (Gone #2) best friend Hunter O’Donnell into hiding. A series of threatening texts, wiretaps and perfectly timed, clandestine but anonymous photos of our couple, from an unknown source, reveal a personal connection to our story line heroine but a connection that Kelsey knew nothing about. What ensues is the friends to lovers/best friend’s little sister building relationship between Kelsey and Hunter, and the potential fall-out when Kelsey’s past seeks retribution for a perceived series of sins not of her making. PROTECTED is a story of suspense, mystery, retribution and revenge. Kelsey was given up for adoption at the age of two but never knew her birth mother, or the answers to her troubled beginnings. Hunter has always considered Kelsey off-limits; his best friend’s little sister, but a woman with whom he would grow to love. Kelsey and Hunter’s demons ride close to the surface; trust is an issue both struggle to accept. The $ex scenes are intimate and intense; the sexual chemistry is palpable but Hunter struggles between his friendship with Alec and the McClane family, and his ability to protect the woman with whom he is falling in love. All of Kelsey’s siblings play secondary and supporting roles including Ethan, Alec and Rusty. We are introduced to Kelsey’s ex-husband Julian Benedict, a man obsessed with our story line heroine; and Hunter’s ex-girlfriend Genevieve who refuses to accept that she is no longer wanted. The requisite evil has many faces who add a twist or two to the story line mystery. PROTECTED is a complex tale between the past and the present; vengeance against a woman caught totally unaware; and a man who battles his attraction to a woman he has sworn to protect. The premise is action packed, intriguing and entertaining; the romance is seductive and passionate; the characters are broken, charismatic and energetic.
Stalker2014 More than 1 year ago
Hunt is on amazing man. Kelsey is one strong woman. Loved the twists in this story. What an amazing way to finally find what you never knew you were looking for. Could not wait to see where the story would take Hunt and Kelsey. They have an amazing connection. Can’t wait to read more from this amazing author.
donnam911 More than 1 year ago
What starts out with a literal bang turns into a slow burn that keeps building with some great chemistry between Hunter & Kelsey and a plot that keeps you guessing. Who doesn't love when characters who've known each other for what seems like forever but who have been ignoring their attraction finally come to their senses and realize they belong together?!? H&K have had heat and attraction between them for as long as either can remember. It's only when they are forced to be together all the time that they are admit to themselves and each other what has been bubbling under the surface for so long. EN has given us a fabulous couple that, to me, felt genuine and honest. The circumstances of them having to be constantly around each other not only fuels the chemistry between them but also the mail plot of the story - who is threatening Kelsey and why? What I'm enjoying more and more about the romantic-suspense genre is the combination of plot that keeps your pulse up but also a couple that keeps it up as well. Protected is full of both at an amp'd up level. While this is book #3 in a 'series', it can be read as a standalone as are the first two books. The only thing that carries over from the previous two books are character names; they do not play into the main plot of the story.
Sue14 More than 1 year ago
Protected is the third book of the Deadly Secrets series by Elisabeth Naughton. And although I usually prefer to read a series in order, I somehow missed book 2 and let me tell you it made no difference at all! If you like a good mystery and a good love story, you’ll love this book. Protected is the story of a family secret someone is willing to kill over, two people remaining emotionally closed up due to childhood traumas, finding the culprit while trying to stay alive and finding your soul mate in the process. There are unexpected twists and turns while our hero and heroine discover what trust, love and family really means. Protected is not only about the job our hero has taken on, but how he and the heroine have been towards their hearts up to this point in their lives. If you have never read Elisabeth Naughton’s work before, now is the time to start. A definite winner!