Brotherhood Protectors Crossover
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Former Navy SEAL’s first assignment as a Brotherhood Protector is to secretly guard an Hawaiian cattle baron’s daughter from a kidnapping threat
Jace Hawkins (Hawk) thought he was headed home to Montana after leaving the Navy SEALs, but his first assignment as the Montana-based Brotherhood Protectors is to fly to the Big Island of Hawaii to secretly protect a cattle baron’s daughter. His goal is to keep the lady alive while pretending to be a ranch hand. The ranching is second nature since he grew up on a ranch in Montana. Protecting the daughter is where the challenge lies.
Kalea Parkman has had free rein of the 130,000 acre Parkman Ranch since she was big enough to fit her feet in stirrups. She refuses to curtail her freedom just because she’s had a couple of near-misses with a potential kidnapper. But when a mainlander cowboy hires on as a ranch hand, he manages to shadow her every move. And the man has skills…with the animals…and with her. Even though he’s as sexy as sin, he’s no less annoying.
When attempts to take her increase, the new cowboy insists on spiriting her away to a remote cabin tucked away in the far reaches of the ranch. They must rely on each other to stay alive until the threat is neutralized, while hopelessly resisting a desire that rivals the heat of the Kilauea volcano.
As Jace ‘Hawk’ Hawkin’s leaves the SEALs, he’s also got a job lined up with the Brotherhood Protectors. Hank Patterson has sent a plane for him, and he expects to be taken to Montana. Surprise!
As he’s boarding the pilot hands him a folder which contains his first assignment. In, of all places, Hawaii. Seems he’s uniquely qualified for this assignment.
The only daughter of the owner of largest and oldest cattle ranch in the US, is being pursued. She has narrowly escaped capture by quick thinking. Kaylea is not one to be caged, not by whoever’s after her and certainly not for her own protection. She’s slipped away from bodyguards before, so the goal here was for her not to know that’s what Hawk is.
This is a favorite scene their first day out.
Kalea was in the barn slinging a saddle over her horse’s back.
Maleko had a gray appaloosa tied to a post. He gave Hawk a nod. “Mr. Parkman said you wanted to ride Pain Killer. We call him PK for short.” The gelding was steel gray except for white stockings and white hindquarters speckled with spots of black.
PK pulled at the lead rope, trying to catch a glimpse of Hawk. He pawed at the ground and tossed his head, as if to say, Bring on your best.
Having ridden broncs in the rodeo, Hawk knew he could hold his own. And if he was tossed from the back of the beautiful animal, he’d get back up in the saddle and show PK he wasn’t afraid.
Apprehensive…but not afraid.
Hell, he wasn’t getting any younger at thirty-three years old.
Maleko handed Hawk a brush and disappeared into a tack room.
Hawk smoothed the brush over the horse’s body, neck and belly.
By the time Maleko returned with a saddle blanket and saddle, Hawk had the horse shining and calm. He laid the blanket over the animal’s back and settled the saddle over the blanket. When he tightened the cinch, PK puffed out his belly.
Hawk left the stirrup up and fit the bridle over the horse’s nose and slipped the bit between his teeth. After he had the straps in place, he returned to the leather strap around PK’s belly and tightened it another two inches. He wasn’t a green cowboy who didn’t know the saddle would be too loose once he’d gotten out of the barnyard. He adjusted the stirrups to a length that would fit his legs and led the horse out into the yard.
Kalea was already outside, mounted and heading for the gate to a pasture. She wasn’t going to wait on him. If he wanted to learn about the Parkman Ranch and what his duties would be, he had to keep up.
Hawk stuck the toe of his boot into the stirrup. As he swung his leg over the saddle, PK spun around. He was ready, holding onto to the saddle horn until his leg was completely over and he sat hard on the saddle. Once he had both feet in the stirrups, he felt at home. Yeah, he’d be sore after a day’s riding, but being back in the saddle was where he’d longed to be.
So, it wasn’t Montana. The lush pastures and blue skies of Hawaii were beautiful, and the powerful muscles of the horse beneath him promised to be a challenge he was prepared for.
Kalea leaned down to unlatch the gate, walked her horse through and paused briefly on the other side. She didn’t walk away, leaving the gate open. Other animals could get through if she did that. No, she had the sense of a cowgirl. No matter how confined she might feel about leading the new hand around, she wasn’t going to risk losing or injuring animals animals just because she was irritated.
Hawk gave PK a gentle nudge with his heels. The gelding leaped forward, nearly leaving Hawk behind. If he hadn’t been as skilled as he was in the saddle, he would have been left sitting on the ground.
Instead, he leaned forward and breezed past Kalea.
The ranch owner’s daughter closed and latched the gate. Then she took off at a trot across the pasture.
Hawk followed, urging PK to keep up.
Challenged by a horse in front of him, PK picked up speed and galloped after Kalea and Pupule.
Soon both horses ran neck-and-neck, one trying to get ahead of the other.
Hawk let PK have his head, the wind in their hair, the ground a blur beneath them.
As they approached another gate, Kalea slowed her horse to a trot then a walk.
Hawk did the same.
Kalea shot a glance toward him, her hair windblown and beautiful, her eyes shining bright. “So, paniolo, you can ride.” She gave him a brief, approving nod. “Perhaps you can get the gate, this time.”
Hawk nudged his horse forward, leaned down and unlatched the gate. PK danced backward. In order to hold the gate open, Hawk had to dismount. When he did, PK jerked his head high and pulled backward, slipping his reins free of Hawk’s grip. Caught between holding the gate for Kalea and catching his horse, Hawk held the gate.
Kalea and her horse moved through the opening, PK lunged, pushing past Kalea and her mount, and raced back toward the barn and house, which had been out of sight for the past fifteen minutes.
Kalea laughed out loud. “You might as well start walking. It takes a while to get back to the barn on foot.” Her laughter followed her as she rode away, leaving him standing there, without a horse and without his body to guard.
PK had already disappeared over a hill, heading back to the barn.
Kalea was moving at a trot, quickly putting distance between them.
After promising her father that he’d take care of Kalea, Hawk couldn’t go back to the barn. That would leave Kalea unprotected for far too long. The only choice he really had was to follow Kalea and hope he could catch up with her sooner than later.
James, Elle. Hot SEAL, Hawaiian Nights: A Brotherhood Protectors Crossover Novel (SEALs in Paradise) (pp. 53-56). Twisted Page Inc. Kindle Edition.
I was mesmerized from the first page, from the travel to the ranch itself to the history of the island and so much more wound into this story. Lots of harrowing moments as Hawk protects her.
I loved seeing Hank and Swede two of my favorite Brotherhood Protectors.
5 Contented Purrs for Elle!
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Award-winning author Elle James grew up as an air force military brat. She received her work ethic from her rock-solid father, her creative streak from her artistic mother and inspiration from her writing partner and sister, Delilah Devlin.
As a former member of the army reserves and a current member of the air force reserves, she’s traveled across the United States and to Germany, managed a full-time job, and raised three wonderful children. She and her husband have even tried their hands at ranching exotic birds (ostriches, emus and rheas) in the Texas hill country. Ask her, and she’ll tell you what it’s like to go toe-to-toe with an angry three-hundred-and-fifty-pound bird and live to tell about it!
Her adventures in the army and air force reserves, and the wild antics of her life on a small ranch in Texas give her fodder for mystery, suspense and humor in her writing. Elle writes gothic, paranormal mystery for the Harlequin Intrigue line and paranormal romantic comedy for Dorchester Publishing. A former manager of computer programming and project management professionals, Elle is happy she now has the opportunity to pursue her writing full time.