NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
A routine mission…
Sean Taggart is hunting a deadly terrorist, and his only lead is the lovely Grace Hawthorne. She’s the executive assistant for an employment agency Sean suspects is a front for illegal activities. To get the truth, he is going to have to get very close to Grace, a task he is all too eager to undertake when he discovers her deliciously submissive nature.
…turns into a dangerous seduction.
Soon, Grace Hawthorne is living a double life. By day, she is the widowed mother of two college-aged sons. By night, she submits to Sean’s every dark desire. She’s living out her wildest fantasies of pleasure—intimate acts of trust she’s only read about. As passion engulfs her, a murderer strikes, and Grace learns that Sean has a deeply hidden agenda. Will Sean choose his mission and break her heart or be the Master of her dreams?
I have this as the Masters and Mercenaries Collection: The Early Years, which is the first 5 books. I am going to review them individually.
Sean Taggart works for McKay/Taggart a Security firm that also handles some things borderline stuff for the government. A former Green Beret he and two of his former team are hunting down a terrorist.
Grace Hamilton is the administrative assistant for Matt Wright, he runs an employment agency that mostly handles IT contracts. Recently her boss has also started with some janitorial contracts that are handled by Evan Parnell. Grace doesn’t care for the man, and has as little contact with him as possible.
Undercover as a possible client, Sean quickly discovers there is something special about Grace. She’s older than him but he doesn’t care, he has decided to get to know her and when this investigation is over he hopes to win her heart.
This is a favorite scene as Sean begins to convince her of his worthiness.
Grace waved off his words with the hand Adam wasn’t holding. “He’s a man after a good deal. I think he’s figured out the way to the boss’s heart is through his admin.”
“Then why was Kayla playing admin today?” Adam asked.
That had been her solution. Kayla had been more than amenable. Sean had told her that he required someone to take notes and type them up so he would have a hard copy of all the meeting’s high points. Grace had given him Kayla, who was more than happy to stare at the gorgeous man all day long. Grace had beaten a hasty retreat, holing up in the supply closet doing an inventory that wasn’t really due for another two weeks and that should have been handled by someone else.
She’d run like the coward she was, and she wasn’t ashamed. “I had some other things to do. Kayla didn’t mind.”
Adam chuckled a bit. “Give him hell, sweetheart. Don’t you let that big bastard charm you. I know the type.”
“Really?” Jake asked, staring pointedly at Adam.
“I do. He looks like the ‘love ’em and leave ’em’ type. He’s not right for our Grace.” Adam’s hand stroked across hers sweetly. “Grace needs someone different. She needs someone who’s in it for the long haul.”
A long shadow fell over the table. “What are we hauling? Dare I take a wild guess?”
Grace pulled her hand back from Adam’s. Sean stood at the head of their table, his jacket held over one shoulder. Like Jake, he’d ditched the tie and looked gorgeous and casual. He stared down at Adam, a fierce frown on his face.
Adam sat back. If he was intimidated by Sean’s caveman act, he wasn’t showing it. “I was telling my dear friend here how she has to watch out for men who would take advantage of her.”
“Yes, she should be careful of that. She’s a beautiful woman. There are a lot of liars out there. There are a lot of men who would misrepresent themselves in order to get close to a woman like Grace.”
Grace looked between Adam and Sean, trying to figure out the weird tension between the two of them. “Do you two know each other?”
Sean’s face changed in an instant. His smile grew wide, and he ignored Adam. He laid his jacket over the back of the booth and held out his hand. “Not at all, sweetheart. I’m simply jealous that you avoided me all day, but you seek him out. Dance with me, Grace.”
She actually felt her heart speed up. O’Hagen’s had a small dance floor, but despite the music playing, almost no one ever used it. The song had switched from a bouncy pop tune to a slow, sexy ballad. No one danced to music like this. This was the type of music a man used as an excuse to plaster himself all over a lover in public. “Oh, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
His jaw hardened, and his voice was deeper as he spoke to her. “Grace, it would please me greatly if you would dance with me.”
He knew exactly what to say to her. She started to slide out of the bench. Sean took her hand and helped her out. She stood, and he was standing so close she could feel the heat from his body. She had to tilt her head up to see his face.
“Thank you, Grace.” His voice seemed deeper. His lips quirked up in a sexy half-smile. “I’m not so bad, you know. You don’t have to hide in a closet to avoid me.”
She felt herself flush. She’d hoped he hadn’t figured that out. “I had to do inventory.”
His eyes narrowed, and she felt like he could see through her. “I would prefer honesty, Grace, but I don’t suppose we’re there yet. Fine. I can play the game for a while.” He looked down at Jake. “When the waitress comes by, could you order me a beer?”
Grace barely heard Jake’s “yes” before Sean was leading her toward the dance floor. Her hand felt small engulfed in his large one. God, he made her feel petite, and she wasn’t small in any way. Grace glanced around the bar. No one else was dancing. Everyone was going to be watching the big girl and the guy who was obviously out of her league.
Sean halted in the middle of the floor and pulled her close. “Stop it.”
“Stop what?” She was doing as he asked. The trouble was she wasn’t a very good dancer. “If you would prefer prefer someone who knows what they’re doing, please feel free to choose another partner.”
She started to pull away, her face flaming. She should have known better. Sean’s arm tightened around her waist, pulling them closer together. “That wasn’t what I meant. I meant for you to stop stressing about what everyone else thinks.”
“How did you know?” she asked, trying to follow his lead. It was obvious she wasn’t leaving anytime soon.
His arm relaxed as though he understood she was resigned. His hand found the small of her back, and she could feel him leading her gently. “I watched you. Your shoulders come up when you get stressed or nervous. And your jaw locks when you lie.”
“I didn’t lie.”
“You said you didn’t want to dance with me. That was a lie. I saw the way your eyes flared and your jaw clenched when I asked you. You were looking at me the same way you looked at that decadent piece of chocolate cake at the restaurant, and you turned me down the same way you turned down dessert yesterday.”
He was right about that. She was horrifically embarrassed that he could see through her so plainly, but there was a part of her that was amazed he’d learned so much about her. Her husband, God rest his soul, had never figured out those things. “Well, I think you’re both bad for me.”
He surprised her by laughing, the sound as rich as any chocolate. Yep, he was bad for her. He had her thinking all kinds of dirty things. “That is such bullshit, Grace. Everyone needs a little decadence. It makes life worth living.”
Blake, Lexi. Masters and Mercenaries Bundle: The Early Ops (Books 1-5) . DLZ Entertainment, LLC. Kindle Locations (652-694). Kindle Edition.
Sean interrupts her skinny dipping when he decides to take her up on her offer of a home cooked meal after a dinner meeting with her boss. Things started melting my kindle here.
All is not fun and games though as the stakes get higher. Plenty of action, suspense and emotional drama as they get closer to solving this case.
I just keep turning the pages, I’m so glad I have the collection so I don’t have to download the next book!
5 Contented Purrs for Lexi!
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Books 1 – 5
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.