He promised to protect her…
Not to love her.
Head of a private security firm, Mercer Bryant promised his partner, Kade Butler, that he’d secretly protect Quinn Sullivan at any cost. As a former CIA operative, Mercer knows his way around intense and stealthy operations. Trained in combat, he can get out of any situation—and into any woman’s bed. But when he starts to feel something more for the innocent and stunning Quinn, he can’t stay away.
Shipped off to a boarding school at a young age, the independent and feisty Quinn doesn’t need a man to watch over her. But when she finds herself in danger, the only place she feels safe is the arms of the irresistible and rugged Marine.
Hell bent on protecting her, Mercer takes on the vengeful Russians who are responsible for his partner’s disappearance. With peril imminent and time running out, can Mercer save Quinn before the truth destroys their chance at a future together?
This series has many twists and turns. Every book drops a bomb shell or three. In Naughton we met Quinn, she is Lena’s daughter and according to her birth certificate Kade’s.
Mercer is part owner of K19 a security company, one that Kade had been part of. Before Kade left on his last mission he assigned people to protect his family, all of them. Mercer’s assignment is Quinn. Even though he has watched over her since she was a teen, he sees her as the woman she has become and he is falling hard for her. It’s worse now that he is her neighbor living just down the hallway.
Quinn’s friends Aine and Ava drag her to a party and she is anxious to leave when she spots Mercer. She’s about to call a car service when he offers her a ride home.
This is a favorite scene.
When Quinn dozed off, Mercer let out the breath it felt like he’d been holding since they got in the car. His preoccupation with what he’d done earlier in the day made him sloppy. And tonight, instead of finding her without her knowing he was looking, she’d found him. He was glad she had, though. Otherwise, who knows how she would’ve gotten home. Southampton was a solid two hours from their building, with plenty of desolate areas along the way. He cringed, thinking about the danger she might’ve put herself in.
He looked over at her several times while she slept. The moonlight shone on her almost-white blonde hair and cast a glow on her flushed cheeks, likely so from too much time in the sun. Every day she grew more beautiful as he watched her change from a teenager to a young woman.
Mercer shook his head and silently cursed his former boss, the man responsible for the temptation he faced every day.
Mercer drove into the underground garage and parked in his reserved spot, but Quinn didn’t budge.
“We’re back,” he said softly, so tempted to stroke his finger down her cheek.
She sat up with a start. “Oh. I’m so sorry. Did I really sleep all the way back? How inconsiderate of me,” she babbled.
“You were tired.”
She stretched her arms above her head, and her t-shirt rode up just a little, exposing the skin on her stomach. When Mercer looked up, her eyes were on him, knowing he’d stolen a peek.
Her gaze lingered long enough that he couldn’t resist. He leaned forward, pulled her close to him, and brought his lips to hers. Quinn rested her palm on his thigh and opened her sweet mouth to his. He tightened his grip and deepened their kiss, until her groan brought him back to the reality of what he was doing. This wasn’t a fantasy; his lips really were on hers, and the fruit he’d just tasted was forbidden.
He backed away, not allowing himself to look into her eyes. If he did, he’d lose what little resolve he possessed. Instead, he opened his door, walked around, and opened hers.
“Thank you,” she whispered as she climbed out, touching her lips with her fingertips.
“You were my savior tonight, Mr. Mercer.” She stepped away from the car so he could close the door.
“Just Mercer,” he responded absentmindedly.
She had no idea how hard she’d just hit the nail on the head. Savior might not be the most accurate word. More like protector.
She waited for him to press the button when they got to the elevator, just like she’d waited for him to open her door. This was a woman who’d been taught that there was nothing wrong with letting a man take the lead. She understood it was about respect, not anyone believing she was incapable. Her manners were impeccable; he’d seen evidence of it often enough. As usual, he was filled with a sense of pride, even though he had nothing to do with her upbringing, no responsibility for her behavior.
When they reached the eleventh floor, Mercer didn’t walk Quinn to her door. From the rounded corner he leaned against, he could see that she got safely inside her apartment without the possibility of her inviting him in.
She waved from just inside her door. “Sweet dreams, Mr. Mercer,” she said and blew him a kiss.
“Just Mercer,” he said to himself after Quinn’s door had closed behind her.
He entered the keypad code and rested his thumb on the print reader until he heard the click unlocking his door. He stalked inside, slamming it behind him.
He turned around, rested his head against the wall, and closed his eyes. He took a deep breath as the promise he’d made repeated in his head. He’d vowed to watch over her, protect her, and keep her and the family safe. Talking to her, touching her, kissing her, or dreaming about her weren’t part of that vow. Dreams were out of his control, but the rest of it—he knew better.
Slade, Heather. Mercer (Butler Ranch Book 4) (pp. 16-19). Sparrow Publishing. Kindle Edition.
As we follow Quinn and Mercer we travel through the timeline of the previous books and see how Quinn’s life was affected by those events. It also explains the ‘Kade’ sightings and how K19 is involved.
So many surprises as more things become clear and others far more complicated.
I laughed, cried, screamed and couldn’t put this book down until I turned the final page.
5 Contented Purrs for Heather!
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My books are filled with things that bring me joy: music, wine, skiing, families, artists, and cowboys. Not always in that order.
I’m an Amazon best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak, teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur.
I grew up an east coast girl, and then spent half my life on the west coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.