Celebrity archaeologist Cari Dunn is so over the Georgia heat, the red tape at her dig site, and the threatening messages left on her motel door. She just wants to dig, and the network just wants to keep her safe—with a bodyguard. She can't complain. Jasper Benjamin radiates raw masculinity that penetrates her to the core and ignites passion she's never felt. Too bad for him, she's not going to be easy to handle.
Lusting after the bodyguard shouldn't be so tempting, especially when her life is on the line.
The Uninhibited! 3-Part Serial is best enjoyed in order.
Part 1 - Untamed
Part 2 - Unbound
Part 3 - Undone
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Hot. Summertime in Georgia could be entirely defined by that one word — hot.
Sweat twisted down my spine as I entered the cheap little motel the network had booked. The shoot on the dig today had been grueling, and I was feeling it.
The icy blast of air-conditioning as I stepped inside the lobby was nothing short of heaven. I paused under a vent for a moment, casting a semi-embarrassed glance at the young girl working behind the front desk as I let the cool air dry the sweat on my skin.
She grinned eagerly in return, and I squirmed a bit at the attention. Digging Discoveries with Dr. Dunn, a reality show that followed me as I worked on different archaeological finds around the world, had earned me more attention than I'd ever imagined it would. I wasn't Taylor Swift by any stretch of the imagination, but back in my second season, Ms. Swift herself had tweeted about her new guilty pleasure — aka, me. She might have included a cringe-worthy comparison to Indiana Jones, but even if it had embarrassed me, it had also launched my career.
When I went out in a city like New York or L.A., I attracted a minor buzz of attention.
In a small town like Meadow Ridge, Georgia, where we were filming now, I drew something a little more extreme. In this case, a bit of hero worship from a high-school girl who dreamed of leaving her small-town beginnings, much as I had.
So, yes, I was exhausted, and my inner temperature was set to molten, but I did my best to smile at her.
"There should be some bottled water in your mini-fridge," she called after me as I finally, reluctantly, dragged myself away from the artificial breeze and trudged down the hall toward my room. I waved a hand in thanks, too weary from the day in the sun to respond more than that.
All I wanted right now was a shower. A nice, cool one, which shouldn't be a problem, since the motel had sporadic hot water supply anyway. After that, I planned to lie naked on my bed until the air had taken my core temperature down from geothermal to bearable.
A splash of yellow caught my eye from halfway down the hall. I squinted — that wasn't my door, was it?
It was. My steps quickened, the sound muffled by the worn green carpet as I hurried to see what the hell was going on.
BITCH, scrawled in yellow across the door.
What the hell?
I reached out to touch the word, vivid against the worn wood of the door, but pulled back before I could smear them through the paint — the yellow spray was so fresh that it was still dripping.
"I don't understand." Stepping back, I looked over my shoulder, as though the person who had done this would still be standing there. Instead, the hall was empty, silent except for the quiet drone of a vacuum somewhere in the distance.
This ... Surely this wasn't meant for me.
My stomach clenched as I pulled away from the nastygram. Wanting it out of my sight, I took one step, then two, then almost ran back to the lobby.
"Dr. Dunn?" The girl behind the desk — I thought her name was Madison — stood up with alarm as I stopped in front of her desk, panting. "Is everything all right?"
Clutching a hand to my chest, I shook my head, holding up a finger to ask for a moment. I was tired to my bones from the day in the sun, and my short sprint had winded me.
When I could breathe, I looked at her anxious face. "Can you tell me who has passed through here in the last half hour or so? Someone painted 'bitch' on my door."
The paint was wet. Whoever had done it must still be close by.
She crossed her arms over her chest, looking down at her computer. When she looked up again, her face was impassive — deliberately blank.
"I'm sorry, Dr. Dunn, but the only people I've seen come in are members of your own team." She bit her lip. "But couldn't it have been someone already inside the motel?"
"Shit." That hadn't occurred to me at all. Still, the way that Madison was looking at anything but me ...
There was something she wasn't telling me. Had she seen something?
"I just wish I knew what I'd done to make someone so angry," I choked out, watching her face. I didn't like confrontations, so I had no way of dragging it out of her, but maybe I could poke a little. "Being called names hurts, especially when I don't understand why."
No, I didn't know for sure, but I wasn't an idiot. Not everybody in this town had been welcoming to the show. We were outsiders, and though we meant well, not everybody saw it that way. I had two guesses as to the culprit. One guess was that I had a fan, someone a bit star-struck, who I had inadvertently blown off.
Door number two was, to me, more likely. Before the discovery of the artifacts, the site had already been a hotly contested piece of land. Technically it belonged to Russ Daly, who'd had plans to sell to a development company out of Augusta. That sale had been halted when a group of Native Americans had laid claim to it as well, wanting it preserved as a historic site.
Me? I just wanted to dig. If I had to guess who had painted my door, though, I'd say Russ Daly or one of his minions. As head of the project and the most recognizable face of the show, I'd had more than one run-in with the man.
I hated run-ins. I hated confrontation. But Daly had tested even my temper when he'd shared his opinion that I should be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen instead of pretending to be a scientist. He'd even offered up his own kitchen.
Remembering the conversation, I clenched my fists, my nails digging into my palm, just as they had done then. I was an expert in tamping things down, but he'd very nearly goaded me into punching him in the nose.
The yellow paint dripping on my door made me wish I had. Maybe if I stopped being so freaking nice, he'd leave me alone. Madison had busied herself on the phone. Catching my eye, she covered the mouthpiece. "I've just got our custodian on the line. He's off-duty, but he's going to come clean your door right away."
I could hear the mumble of someone on the other end of the line. Madison grimaced. "Yes, I'll ask."
Turning to me again, she offered a hesitant smile. "He's wondering if you could sign one of our motel brochures for him. He'll pick it up when he's done cleaning."
I was freaking exhausted, I needed a shower quite desperately, and someone had just vandalized my room ... and he wanted an autograph.
Part of me wanted to tell him to shove it.
The rest of me? It knew that he was being nice enough to come clean my door when he was off the clock. It knew that meeting a reality TV star was a once in a lifetime thing for most people, even though a Kardashian I certainly was not.
Forcing my lips into yet another smile, I held out a hand for the brochure that Madison was clutching.
"If you could please personalize that for Gus and Rita," she added as she slid a black Sharpie across the counter. "His wife won't even know what to do with herself."
"Of course." A scream was building inside. I didn't want to sign a brochure for Gus and Rita, I wanted to retreat into the quiet of my room and have a shower. I wanted to be alone. I wanted silence.
"I'll leave this here for Gus, then." I tossed the brochure, now with Sharpie scrawled over it, back to Madison. "I'm going to be in my room, and ... I'm going to be in my room."
I'd wanted to say that I didn't want to be disturbed — I didn't want Gus knocking on my door when he was done, hoping for a selfie to go along with his autograph.
I couldn't. I sucked at standing up for myself. I'd just put the Do Not Disturb sign out and hide.
"Thank you for your help, Madison." I offered up a tired smile. Her grin wavered, and to my horror, her pale blue eyes started to water.
"Oh, Dr. Dunn, I just have to tell you!" Reaching across the counter, she pulled my sweaty hand into hers. I stiffened but could think of no way to extricate myself from the hold. "They said I'm not supposed to tell you, so you won't worry, but I really think you should know. You know ... so you can watch out."
"Madison." She was still talking but stopped when I tapped my free hand lightly on the counter. She looked up at me with sad-kitty eyes. "What aren't you supposed to tell me?"
There was a long pause as she hesitated, and then the words came out in a rush. "This isn't the first time there's been vandalism on your door. It's happened twice before. Nobody's supposed to tell you about it because you're not supposed to worry, because when you worry you can't work."
Oh, for the love of ...
One time. One time in five years had I been unable to do my show, and it was because ... Okay, it was because I'd had some anxiety. We'd been waiting to hear if the show was going to be renewed beyond the first year. I'd given up a really good teaching job at a university to get it off the ground, and yes, I'd had some anxiety. One day — one! — I'd had a bit of a meltdown on set. I was still mortified by the memory.
"Who told you I wasn't supposed to know?" I asked gently.
"I've said enough." Madison winced.
"You're not going to get in trouble." That thread of temper that I tended to bury deep down was sparking. I was the one being threatened, but I wasn't allowed to know what was going on? To hell with that.
"Your producer. The lady who wears ... ah ..." Madison's skin flushed pink.
The producer. The lady who wears very little. Margot.
"Thank you, Madison." This time my smile was genuine. I hesitated, feeling the need to give her something more. "Listen, after I've cleaned up, if you want to take a picture together, that would be fine."
"Really?" The way her eyes widened, it looked as though I'd just told her she was going to meet Harry Styles. "Wait until I show my friends! I have to touch up my makeup!"
She was already grabbing a makeup bag from beneath the desk. She didn't even notice when I left, crossing the lobby to the hallway where Margot's room was.
A picture — some days it seemed like that was all anybody wanted from me. Five years ago, people had been interested in talking to me, learning about the show and how I'd gotten into archaeology.
Now? They wanted a picture for their friends to like on Instagram. I got it, but that didn't mean I had to be happy about it.
"Cari?" My hand was raised to knock on Margot's door when I heard my name. I turned, finding Nolan Smith, one of the graduate students working on the dig. In his hand he held my water bottle, freshly filled with cold tea and ice. "You left this at the site, and I thought you might want it. Everything okay?"
"Did you know about the vandalism?" He blanched, guilt written all over his face. "You did. I can't believe you didn't tell me."
"How did you find out?" he asked carefully.
"Because there's more on my door right now." I arched an eyebrow. "And I can't believe you kept this from me."
"We just didn't want to worry you." He studied me, sincerity radiating from insanely blue eyes. "You know I only want the best for you."
"Right." Oh, this was awkward. "Um. Thanks for filling up my tea."
When I took the bottle from him, our fingers brushed, and I couldn't help but feel a little flip-flop in my belly.
Nolan was hot. A handful of years younger than me, he was tall and leanly muscled, looking exactly like the former high school basketball star that he was — golden-brown hair that flopped boyishly into those blue eyes, and a panty-dropping smile meant that he had more than one of the undergrads at the dig sighing over him.
He'd made me sigh a time or ten, as well. One night a couple of months ago, after a few too many rounds of beer at the bar attached to the crappy motel where we'd been staying, I'd let him kiss me. Okay, okay, I'd had a tequila shooter on top of the beer, been feeling uncharacteristically bold, and I'd kissed him. There might have been a bit of tipsy groping, too. What can I say? I hadn't been immune to him any more than the undergrads.
Except when we'd kissed ... I can't say I felt nothing. But there hadn't been any chemistry, either. You know ... that inexplicable, stomach-churning, toe-curling, indescribable something that randomly brings two people together?
Nothing. Nada. Nyet.
For the most part now, we pretended that those kisses had never happened, that he'd never pulled my breast from the cup of its bra and thumbed its nipple while we leaned against the wall in the hallway outside my room. But once in a while, he'd cast me that sexy little smirk again, making me think that he might have felt a bit more of that chemistry than I had.
"Going to see Margot?" The moment passed, and Nolan leaned against the wall.
"Yeah. About the vandalism." Irritation snaked through me again. I didn't like that I'd been left in the dark. It must have shown on my face, because he pushed back off the wall.
"Well, I think I'm going to go fill my bathtub with ice and sit in it for about an hour." He slid his hands into the pockets of his cargo shorts, though I thought I caught a flash of disappointment in his eyes. "See you at the bar later?"
"Maybe." I smiled tightly. "Enjoy your ice bath, you wild thing."
He laughed, sauntering back down the hall. I sighed, then knocked on Margot's door. "It's unlocked!" The producer of Digging Discoveries with Dr. Dunn had a voice that sounded like she smoked a pack a day, even though she'd quit smoking two years earlier. I pushed into her room — what the motel laughingly called a suite — and found her seated at the desk, dressed in what she considered business attire — a short, tight skirt that wouldn't cover a thing if she sneezed, and a camisole that she wore with nothing underneath.
In her early forties, with cherry-red lips and long black hair, she looked pretty good. But the combination of the air-conditioning and her thin top meant that I didn't quite know where to look. Madison would have been speechless. "Someone vandalized my door. Would you happen to know anything about it?"
Margot and I weren't alone in the room. There was a man standing against the wall, a man so massive I wasn't sure how my eyes hadn't immediately been drawn to him. I knew that I'd never seen him before.
He stood with his boots planted shoulder-width apart, hands behind his back, his bearing rigid. He was easily a foot over my own five-three, but it wasn't his height that made him seem so gigantic. He was just big, a huge mass of rock-solid muscle.
Really hot rock-solid muscle. Simply dressed in jeans and a plain white T-shirt, he had biceps roughly the size of my head. Tawny skin stretched tightly over those muscles, daring my fingers to find out if he was hard or soft to the touch.
His hair was closely cropped and black as night, and the eyes that flicked a steely gaze my way were a pale, ethereal green and surrounded by dark lashes. The eyes seemed at odds with the rest of him, too beautiful to match the solid flesh everywhere else.
"This her?" He barely moved, cocking his head the tiniest bit at Margot, who nodded.
"Sit down, Cari." With a wave of her hand, she indicated that should I sit on the ratty couch against the wall. I did, watching the man warily.
"Margot, what's going on?" My producer often played the part of a Southern belle, ratcheting up the drama, especially in the presence of an attractive man. Right now, though, she simply removed her reading glasses and sighed.
"What's this about paint on your door?"
"Spray paint. Nice and fresh." I fidgeted, crossing my legs before uncrossing them again. "Apparently someone thinks I'm a bitch. And apparently, this hasn't been the first time."
I pursed my lips as I stared her down. No, I didn't care for confrontation, but I knew Margot better than I knew myself most days. I wasn't afraid to let her know how unhappy I was to be left out of this.
"Shit." Margot looked at the man. I don't think he moved, but something in that exchange seemed to answer her question. "Cari, I haven't been honest with you. It's not just your door here at the motel. There have been threats."
"What are you talking about?" She had my full attention now, dragging it away from the massive man.
"Well. Since someone's lips have been flapping ... this isn't the first act of vandalism. Someone painted some other choice words on your truck while you were at the site one day."
"What?" I'd felt a little bit nauseous when I'd first seen the damage done to my door. Now I fought against the bile that wanted to coat my throat. "What words?"
Excerpted from "Untamed (Uninhibited! Part Two)"
Copyright © 2017 Lauren Hawkeye.
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
Untamed is like a tease with all of the hot and wild build up but you get a finish! However it's not what you might think you want. I wasn't sure about the storyline with the bodyguard but he sure does make things interesting! The cliffhanger is what really keeps you wanting more though!
As the first part in a serial, I hesitate to rush to judgment. Cari Dunn is an archaeologist who has her own reality tv show. Currently, she is in Georgia, digging on a disputed land site: developer vs. Native American. Cari doesn't really care about the dispute, such as it is - only that she can dig. However, when she finds out she's been receiving graffitied messages, she confronts her producer - who then tells her there is far worse than the messages. The network has therefore assigned her a bodyguard. There is an immediate attraction between Cari and Jasper and the only question is which one will break first. I thought Cari's characterization was uneven. She was presented as a capable professional, aware of her reality celebrity status - even if she didn't love the recognition is always brought. However, once Jasper is in the picture, it quickly becomes difficult to see who Cari is. On the one hand, she goes after what she wants but on the other, I'm not certain why she would act as she does when she is aware that she is considered a celebrity by the locals. It just seemed odd to me that she would act as she did in the bar without a care in the world. I should say, I was attracted to this serial because I love books involving archaeologists and the suspense element was also appealing. However, while there is a certain degree of suspense, so far any archaeology elements have occurred off stage. The sex scenes are hot and despite my disbelief at the set up, work nicely. The serial itself ends on a cliffhanger of sorts, but fortunately, the next part of the serial is released soon. This is a decent and fast read, and if you like Ms. Hawkeye's work then this is certainly well worth a try. 3.5 stars
This was a super hot, fantastic story with extremely likable characters. And by hot I mean crazy Hot. I really liked Cari and Jasper they have an instant attraction and pull to one another. They set the pages on fire. Loved the sparks flying between them. This is pretty fast paced with a lot going on and I couldn't put it down. Cari is in danger, being threatened by a unknown person. Jasper is hired to be her bodyguard, but will he be able to protect her when his objectivity is compromised. You will have to read to find out. Small cliffhanger, but the next book will be released soon. Received an ARC from the author and voluntarily wrote an honest review.
Celebrity archaeologist Cari Dunn is so over the Georgia heat, the red tape at her dig site, and the threatening messages left on her motel door. She just wants to dig, and the network just wants to keep her safe—with a bodyguard. She can’t complain. Jasper Benjamin radiates raw masculinity that penetrates her to the core and ignites passion she’s never felt. Too bad for him, she's not going to be easy to handle. Lusting after the bodyguard shouldn’t be so tempting, especially when her life is on the line. Review: First book in a three part serial. It starts out a full speed and just keeps going. It is super short and each of the three parts will come out in the subsequent weeks. It is suspenseful with a whole lot of sexy wrapped up in it. So in this first part we meet Cari who is a celebrity and she has been threatened unbeknownst to her. The production company hires Cari a bodyguard, Jasper. Once they are together the sexy explodes. As does everything at the end of this first part. 3.5Stars *I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this provided by the publisher.*
untamed kicks of a short story trilogy about cari dunn and her sexy bodyguard, jasper benjamin. cari is besieged by a stalker leaving threatening messages. she's a celebrity archeologist and the host of a popular television show. suddenly the network insists that she can't shoot her show and she needs to hang out with a glorified babysitter. except this glorified babysitter is super sexy. and also super kinky. because when she decides to push at the boundaries by going out and prowling the dance floor for a hook up she may have bitten off more than she can chew. because the random guy, jackson, is totally into priming her for jasper. and inexplicably she's totally into it too. and when jasper finally gets her out of the bar and gets her off in public, well maybe he's teaching her about her limits or lack of them too. this book is a short, steamy read. it also ends in a cliffhanger, so if you don't want to wait a week, just know that in three weeks you can binge read the series. **untamed will publish on july 3, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (brazen) in exchange for my honest review.
A short, fast paced, steamy romance story of danger, intense chemistry, passion, steamy scenes, that ends with a cliff hanger. But not to worry because the second book in this series comes out a week after Untamed is released. I volunteered to review an advanced readers copy of this book.
Hot damn this book is smoking! Lauren shoots this one into orbit right out of the gate. This is the first book in a series of three and yes they will come out close together. Grab your fan and some ice and settle right into this one. Gabi is on a dig in steamy hot Georgia and it seems someone doesn't want her there so her sponsors have hired a body guard. The body belongs to Jasper and talk about a total alpha... he also wastes no time showing his true colors to Gabi. He's the kind of naughty boy you love to read. Both of them give as good as the get. The book is well written and heavy on the steam. It ends with a mini cliffhanger that will pick up there in book two. This is a must read. Amazing read Lauren!! I loved it! **arc from NetGalley and Entangled in exchange for a fair review**
Great start to a sexy new series. Dr. Cari Dunn is an archeologist/reality TV star and has been receiving threats. Jasper is the bodyguard hired to protect her. Steamy read with plenty of drama and suspense looking forward to find out what happens in part 2. I really liked it!
Whoa. Get ready for a hawt, sexy read! Right up front, this is part one of three however I wasn’t left hanging on a reader cliff. The story doesn’t end, or have a conclusion, however it’s in a good place, knowing that I have to read the next part! I can’t say much except that the heroine is Dr. Cari Dunn, an archeologist who is the star of a reality-type TV show that follows her digs. She starts to receive threats and the network hires a bodyguard…oh, mama, what a bodyguard! Jasper Benjamin is our hero – alpha to the max – but he will have his hands full with Dr. Dunn. Yep, literally and figuratively! Can’t wait for part two!