The Saving Series Book 3
USA Today Bestselling Author
Leather Wellington made his money the old-fashioned way: he won it playing poker. He’s at the top of his game and he’s not about to let a couple of death threats stand in his way. However, he will do what he always does; he’ll hire a bodyguard.
However, he’s not prepared to come face-to-face with the woman who stole his heart, twice, and trust her with his life.
But he’s left with no choice. Not if he wants to play and no way will he let the enemies of the past ruin his future.
Lacey “Lace” Brown had only ever wanted to be a sailor, so when her career in the Navy comes to an abrupt halt, she opts to take a job with the Brotherhood Protectors. Her first assignment is to protect the infamous gambler, Leather Wellington, which goes against everything she believes in, but she will do exactly what she’s hired to do, even when she finds out the truth, because sometimes it is the truth that will set you free from the scars of the past.
The Brotherhood Protector’s latest hire Lacey ‘Lace Brown has some secrets. Most of them Hank Patterson has uncovered, but some he has not. Those secrets concern her first bodyguard assignment, but also make her perfect for the task. She left the Navy instead of reenlisting after her husband died and she discovered he’d been cheating on her, not necessarily in that order.
Leather is a professional poker player and the tournament he’s entered is one of the top paying ones. It’s also the game he could come out of as the top player in the US. Every year he enters this one and every year he gets threats, this year is different though. The previous threats have never threatened anyone but him, this one also threatens to harm his mother.
Lacey’s family is well known in Vegas, at one point in time it was expected that her and Leather would be King and Queen of the Strip. Something she never wanted and when her father was gunned down she joined the Navy and never looked back. Leather got out another way but he still returns to Vegas for these tournaments, it makes him feel closer to Lacey even if she’s not there.
First Lacey has to convince him she’s perfect for this job and the one to help him finish what he started years ago.
This is a favorite scene.
Leather nodded. “We need to be sensitive to the fact that you being my bodyguard will stir up a lot of chatter and bring a shit ton of attention to me, and I don’t think that’s what I need between wanting to win this tournament and wanting to keep myself and my mom alive.”
“Or maybe it’s exactly what we both need to finally put this shit to bed.”
He arched a brow. “What do you mean?”
“I’ll be honest. I still think you’re a cheater and nothing but a con artist. But if your story about the Feds pans out, I’d like to finish what you started.” She’d lost her fucking marbles if she thought this was going to be a good plan. First, Hank would probably fire her if he knew what she was planning on doing during company time.
And second, only a thief could trust a thief and she wasn’t one of those, so she was clearly making a huge mistake, but nothing would make her feel better than to put Big Jim and Brady Wilson behind bars. Maybe her brother wouldn’t get caught in the crosshairs and he’d do the right thing, but she doubted it and she couldn’t worry about him either.
“You want to take down Big Jim and his crew of corrupt gamblers?”
“That’s fucking bold and Hank’s not going to go for it.”
“Hank’s already decided there are things about this assignment he doesn’t want to know.”
“That’s true,” Leather said. “He’s told me if I don’t want you, he’d assign someone else.”
Fuck. She hadn’t expected that, though she should have known. “Is that what you want?”
“I don’t want anyone getting hurt, and the last time I tried to do the right thing, your father and two innocent men were killed.”
“My father was a bad man who had good people murdered because he didn’t like the way they looked at him, so no tears were shed over his death.”
“If you came with me to Vegas, it would be a big fuck you to Big Jim and that would just be poking the hornets’ nest and that wouldn’t accomplish anything. I want to get through the week without controversy, without anyone dying, and I want to win. If you catch whoever is threatening me, great—”
“Stop. You didn’t tell me all this shit because you want me to tell Hank to send someone else. You told me so I’d do something.” She stretched out her arm and helped him to a sitting position. “My brother knows we were messing around. He used it to try to get money out of me.”
“I know. But we can use it when we go to Vegas.”
“I wouldn’t want to tarnish your husband’s memory that way.”
She choked on her own breath. “Are you serious? After what I told you about Mitch, you’re going to say that?”
He tucked a piece of her hair behind her ears. “You were in a lot of emotional pain the last time I saw you. You’d just found out that your husband had not only betrayed you, but he up and died on you and you couldn’t even be mad at him, much less get an explanation as to why he did what he did. And you couldn’t talk to anyone because that would just make you look like a bitch.”
She shoved his hand away. “I don’t need a recap of what happened.”
“Have you told anyone besides me?”
“No.” For the last year, she’d been trying to forgive her husband’s infidelity, if he had indeed cheated, though she was pretty sure he had. However, he wasn’t alive to defend himself and maybe there was a logical explanation on why she’d found a burner phone in his belongings with sexy text messages from some woman.
And maybe her eyes were just playing tricks on her when she saw the same woman whose picture had been all over the phone at the funeral.
“Lace, you don’t have to go through this alone.” He palmed her cheek. His big chocolate eyes stared back at her, warming her heart as if there were another soul who understood.
“I know what it’s like to be betrayed like that and it’s not—”
“You don’t know shit.” She pushed his hand away. “You caught your wife in bed with her publicist. You got to confront her and you got to have that conversation with Casey, the bitch. I have no idea what happened or why Mitch was talking to some woman on a burner phone or why she was lurking in the shadows of his funeral. I have no closure, so don’t go patronizing me.”
“That wasn’t my intention.” He stuffed his hands in his pockets. “You mentioned your brother knowing about us. How does that help?”
“He thought that I’d be worried about our little romp in the hay becoming page six news. I told him to go ahead and leak it to the press.”
“I wonder why he didn’t call your bluff.” Leather folded up the blanket and stuffed it into his satchel. “I mean, no one ever came to me asking about a relationship with you.”
“He wanted me to give him money, so there was no point.” She put her foot in Leather’s hands and climbed back up on Night Fever.
“For the record, I don’t cheat at cards and I’d love to prove that to you.”
“Then let me be your bodyguard in Vegas.” She couldn’t believe she was even proposing this. She would come face-to-face with some people she’d rather never lay eyes on again. People who thought she’d been the next Queen of the Strip. People who, if given the chance, would off her just so they could take her place. “And let’s put an end to my uncle’s crime ring once and for all.” She grabbed Leather by the shirt. “That is if you’re really one of the good guys.”
Jen Talty. Saving Leather – A Brotherhood Protectors Novella: Saving Series Book 3 (Kindle Locations 524-569).
Vegas comes alive in this book with all the glitter, gambling, cheating, and so much more.
Lacey’s brother and uncle are both pieces of work but only one is truly dangerous. As information begins to come together so do some of the pieces of the past.
Plenty of twists and turns as Lace and Leather take their relationship to the next level with some sizzling heat and take care of the past once and for all.
5 Contented Purrs for Jen!
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Welcome to my World! I’m a USA Today Bestseller of Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance, and Paranormal Romance.
I first started writing while carting my kids to one hockey rink after the other, averaging 170 games per year between 3 kids in 2 countries and 5 states. My first book, IN TWO WEEKS was originally published in 2007. In 2010 I helped form a publishing company (Cool Gus Publishing) with NY Times Bestselling Author Bob Mayer where I ran the technical side of the business through 2016.
I’m currently enjoying the next phase of my life…the empty NESTER! My husband and I spend our winters in Jupiter, Florida and our summers in Rochester, NY. We have three amazing children who have all gone off to carve out their places in the world, while I continue to craft stories that I hope will make you readers feel good and put a smile on your face.