NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
A woman in danger…
Serena Brooks is a bestselling author of erotic fiction. She knows how to write a happy ending but hasn’t managed to find one of her own. Divorced and alone, she has no one to turn to when a stalker begins to threaten her life. The cops don’t believe her. Her ex-husband thinks she’s making the whole story up. She has no one left to turn to except a pair of hired bodyguards. They promise to guard her body, but no one can protect her heart.
Two men in search of love…
Adam Miles and Jacob Dean are halves of a whole. They’ve spent their entire adult lives searching for the one woman who can handle them both. Adam is the playful, indulgent lover, while Jacob is the possessive, loving Dom. When Serena comes into their lives, Adam is certain that she’s the one. But Jacob’s past comes back to haunt them all. He is suspicious of Serena’s story, and his concerns are driving a wedge between him and Adam. But when the stalker strikes, they will have to come together or lose each other forever…
I’m going to mention again I bought the first five books as Masters and Mercenaries The Early Ops and I am reviewing them individually.
I fell in love with Adam and Jake in the first book of this series. I love how their relationship is so complex like brothers without the blood connection. When Grace, who is now the receptionist for McKay/Taggart, escorts a possible client to Jake he was immediately overwhelmed with the possibilities and leaves her with Adam in their office. One problem, they weren’t sure they believed her.
Serena is an author of erotic/BDSM books. Although she isn’t in the lifestyle she has researched it and has some fantasies of her own in that respect. Her husband divorced her over her first book and is now looking to get a piece of her success. He is trying to get money from her in spite of not supporting her at all. On top of all that, she is being stalked and the stalker is escalating.
Now the one thing that the guys didn’t know at the time was that Serena’s agent is a friend of Ian’s and she is the one hiring them. After Ian blows up at them they go to start their bodyguard duties. When she doesn’t answer the door, and since they aren’t happy with her security, they break in.
This is a favorite scene.
Adam decided to go first. Maybe she’d hold back when she realized it was him. He was pretty sure she’d shoot off Jake’s junk the minute she had a chance. He lifted the shades, and sure enough, there was someone waiting for him. An enormous dog sat with wide eyes as though he’d been waiting there for a playmate to show up. Adam got a big old kiss from the large mutt who seemed to have some form of doggy halitosis. He sputtered a bit, wiping away dog drool. “You were wrong about the cat. It’s a really big dog.”
Jake’s low voice floated into the room. “He doesn’t sound like he’s growling.”
The dog wasn’t. His tail was wagging in a powerful thump, and he licked at Adam’s face as though greeting an old friend. “Yeah, I think we can bet that this boy wasn’t top of his class at security dog school.”
The dog panted and did a couple of circles as Adam threw a leg over the sill and hauled himself in. The dog took advantage of his now fully exposed body to hop up, put his massive paws on Adam’s shoulders, and lick at him enthusiastically.
“Well, at least we know you’re going to find love in this house. It’s a guarantee now,” Jake said with a smirk as he, too, entered. “That dog is worth nothing.”
But he put a hand out and greeted the enormous thing. Jake snorted slightly as the dog licked him, too. “I think this is a mix between a lab and a retriever. Do you think she walked in and asked for the biggest pussy dog she could find? Yes, boy, I called you a pussy. That’s what you are. You should have already gnawed through Adam’s leg. Yes, that’s what good dogs do.”
Adam had to admit it. Things weren’t looking great for Serena Brooks. If he’d wanted to murder her, he’d already gotten past her security system. He’d made friends with her guard dog, and so far, no one had shown up to clock him with a baseball bat.
Either Serena was very naïve or she wasn’t that terrified.
His concern must have shown on his face since Jake slapped him across the shoulder. “There it is. I knew you could do it. I knew you could think with the other head.”
“You’re an asshole.” His gut churned at the thought that he was wrong about Serena.
Jake shrugged. “Yep, but I’m an asshole who so far has managed to keep us in one piece.”
There it was—that odd invisible tether that somehow kept them together. They had met their first day of basic training. Adam had felt the weight of generations of service on his shoulders. Jake had joined because he had nowhere else to go. Adam had come from privilege and Jake from poverty. And they had fit. Ten years, a war, several near-misses with death and countless women later, Adam couldn’t imagine his life without Jacob Dean in it.
And he’d never forget the way his father had called him a faggot after they had gotten kicked out of the Army for sharing a woman.
His father would never understand. No one would.
Adam cleared his head and got back to the case. His father would never forgive him. Neither would his brothers. Jake was his only family now.
“Do you hear anything?” Adam asked. The house seemed perfectly quiet. Serena had turned off most of the lights. He was in a small breakfast area. Her kitchen was to the right. There was a bottle of wine open on the counter. Sauvignon Blanc. It looked like a decent year.
“At least she has good taste in wine,” Jake noted. “Probably not the best idea to drink when someone is trying to kill you, though.” His head came up. Jake gestured down the hall. em>That way.
And he saw her. She was in the living room. Her figure danced across the opening that led to the large space. She was actually dancing. And then she stopped, as though having a revelation. She was still for a moment and then a single fist pumped in the air and she began dancing again. Ear buds sat in her ears, connected to a small device hooked to her shirt.
Serena Brooks looked completely different than she had earlier in the day. Gone was the bulky sweater and loose fitting jeans. Her hair was out of its messy bun and flew out at odd, strangely sexy angles. In the soft light from her lamp, he could see that her hair wasn’t a simple brown. It was threaded with blonde and red and dark brown, and there was a ton of it. Without the confines of a comb, the soft stuff seemed to go everywhere in a silky cloud. She wore red cotton underwear and a black tank top. Neither was inherently sexy, but on her the cotton clung to her every curve, accentuating her hourglass figure. Her breasts bounced, obviously free of confinement.
“What the hell is she doing?” Jake asked, his mouth slack as he watched her dance.
The dance wasn’t some seductive siren call. It was odd and slightly awkward and joyous. It was the dance of a woman who was completely sure that she was alone. Adam relaxed a bit. She sure as hell didn’t look like a woman who would ruthlessly plot her own stalking to get a little publicity. Maybe he was the naïve one, but damn, he didn’t want to believe it.
“I got it. So simple. Why didn’t I think of that before?” She started to sing. Again, it was probably not a thing she would do if she knew someone was watching. And Adam found her entirely adorable.
“She’s insane.” But there was a smile on Jake’s face.
He had to see that Serena wasn’t anything like Jennifer. Jennifer had been utterly perfect. She was an elegant female, never a hair out of place, even when she was in uniform. She always did the right thing and knew exactly what to say. She’d been ambitious, and she’d known how to get what she wanted.
Serena didn’t even know the words to the song she was trying to jam to. And she played a terrible air guitar. But damn she had pretty tits.
“I could have killed her ten times by now.” Jake didn’t even try to keep his voice down. It was obvious that the music was far too loud for Serena to overhear their conversation.
“You need to get your head on straight and forget the violence,” Adam tossed back, never taking his eyes off Serena. The big mutt had sat down in the middle of the floor between Adam and Jake, as though he belonged there. “Think about the other things we could have done to her by now. We could have her stripped, tied up, and part way to some sweet double penetration.”
“Not a good idea, Adam.” But his voice was tight, as though he was a bit uncomfortable.
It seemed like a perfect idea to Adam. She was unattached, obviously submissive, and in definite need of male attention and protection. They could handle all of her needs. They were a one-stop boyfriend shop. “I don’t see why not.”
Jake turned and shook his head. “Let me show you why not. In three point two seconds, she’s going to be the one thinking about violence.”
Jake strode down the hall just as she turned and finally opened her eyes at the precise right time.
Serena’s pretty green eyes widened to the point of looking slightly painful and she screamed. It wasn’t a girly scream. It was a full-on death scream that must have hit the Richter scale somewhere. The dog whined and ran to his mistress, his tail down but thumping. She pulled the ear buds out, grabbed her dog’s collar, and started to run for the front door.
Jake was on her in an instant, moving almost faster that Adam could see. There was a reason his call sign had been Ghost. He moved like one. Jake wrapped an arm around Serena’s waist and pulled her backward, lifting her feet off the floor. She dropped the dog’s collar, and the poor boy whined and turned in circles as though trying to figure out what to do. Serena kept screaming, her legs kicking out, her fists trying to find purchase.
Adam sighed. They were both drama queens. The whole scene could have been avoided if she’d simply answered either her phone or her door. Or Jake could have been a bit softer. Attacking her after breaking in was sure to make her angry. It might have been a better idea to simply break into her kitchen and cook her a nice meal. Then the whole breaking-and-entering blow could have been softened with a little pasta. He’d been taking some lessons from Sean. Cooking seemed like a good way to get a woman into bed. But no, the caveman had to attack in an attempt to prove he could.
He spied her half full glass of wine. The yelling was reaching a level that threatened to shake the walls. Yeah, he was going to need that. He picked it up and, without a single regret, took a long sip.
“Stop yelling!” Jake ordered. Adam recognized it as his big bad Dom voice.
“Let me go!” Serena screamed back. She seemed to be in excellent physical condition. No one could fight that hard and long without some serious stamina. He was impressed. And the Sauvignon Blanc wasn’t half bad.
“You’re both scaring the dog.”
Adam held out a hand, and the dog ran to him, cowering behind his legs. A Chihuahua would have at least made some noise.
Serena finally seemed to focus. “Adam?”
He winked her way. “In the flesh, sweetheart.”
Jake’s hold had made the tank top ride up. And he’d been right, the pretty girl wasn’t wearing a bra. He got the slightest hint of nipple. Now that she’d calmed down a bit, she looked right in Jake’s arms. She would be a sweet handful in between them. He’d never loved skinny girls. He wanted curves and boobs, and Miss Serena had plenty of both.
“What the hell are you two doing here? Motherfucker.” She tried to pull away.
She also had a potty mouth. “Oh, I would watch the language, sweetheart. The big, nasty Dom doesn’t like swearing. He might spank you.”
Serena stopped, every inch of that fair skin flushing in an instant. Yes. She liked that idea. He was going to have to read some of those books. Her laptop was open on a small desk in the corner. Her whole living room seemed to have been converted to a soft, feminine office. She’d been working, walking around her office and dancing. He wasn’t sure how the dancing helped, but he’d liked it.
“Let me go, please.” Serena’s voice was hoarse from the screaming, but there was a tight control to it.
Jake hesitated. “Are you going to be calm now?”
“Yes,” she replied, going completely still in his arms. “Now that I know you’re not here to kill me, I think I can be calm. You aren’t here to kill me, are you?”
Adam smiled before taking another sip. “Not at all. We’re here to congratulate you. We’re taking your case, sweetheart. We’re your new bodyguards.”
Blake, Lexi. Masters and Mercenaries Bundle: The Early Ops (Books 1-5). DLZ Entertainment, LLC. Kindle Locations (4732-4812). Kindle Edition.
I love the dog, he’s sweet and not a very good guard dog. Adam and Jake immediately make friends with the dog his mistress however would be another story.
So much isn’t adding up, and everyone around Serena becomes a suspect.
I loved the way everything unfolds, including Serena’s introduction into the lifestyle. So much intrigue, suspense, with more than one surprise twist and I am seriously glad my kindle didn’t melt from these three.
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.