NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
A Tragic Love Story
Charlotte Dennis’s mission was clear: distract and misdirect CIA operative Ian Taggart by any means necessary. If she failed, she would never see her sister again. With her training, it should have been simple, but after one night in Ian’s arms, she knew that saving her sister would mean losing the man of her dreams.
Ian was tracking a terrorist when he met the beautiful American daughter of a Russian mobster. His instincts told him Charlotte was trouble, but his body craved her like a drug and his heart would not be denied. She took his ring and his collar. For once he was truly happy. But as he closed in on his target, her betrayal cost him his mission while her sacrifice saved his life. As she died in his arms, Ian vowed he would never love again.
A Dangerous Reunion
For six years, Charlotte has thought of nothing but returning to her husband, her Master. Working in the shadows, she has devoted herself to earning a chance to reclaim her place in Ian’s life. But forgiveness isn’t a part of Ian’s vocabulary.
Nothing is more important to Ian Taggart than his new mission. But the information he needs is firmly in the hands of the woman who betrayed him. To catch his most dangerous prey, Ian will have to let Charlotte back into his life. As the hunt takes them to some of the world’s most exotic locations, the danger grows and their passion reignites.
Will Ian forgive his wayward submissive…or lose her again?
I have this book as part of ‘The Early Ops’ which contains the first five books of the series. It’s nice moving from one book to the next this way.
Now we learn all about Ian’s wife and the circumstances surrounding her ‘death’. With Charlotte very much alive, Ian is conflicted in more ways than one. His reaction to her was not unexpected at least to my mind.
Even though Ian is somewhat resistant to her overtures, Charlotte isn’t one to give up easily. She’s spent the last five years doing things to be worthy of Ian’s love.
After their initial encounter, Ian has drunk himself into a stupor. Charlotte called Sean to be with him and made her plans to get the team together to discuss taking down Nelson.
When Ian finds out, hungover and all he goes to take care of business.
This is a favorite scene.
“You’re not going anywhere.” Ian was standing in the doorframe, his big body in a pair of jeans and a T-shirt. His hair was still damp, as though he’d run from his shower to the office. He looked big and dangerous and completely sexy. He made her mouth water just looking at him.
He even looked good with a black eye. Maybe she shouldn’t have hit him so hard. Well, there was only one way to get through this and that was to be brazen.
“Hello, Ian. I brought your favorite donuts. Lemon cream. Would you like some coffee? Did Sean give you ibuprofen? I told him he should get you some.”
He simply walked in, reached down, and hauled her up. Without a word from him, he slung her over his broad shoulder and started carrying her out.
“All right, then, Adam, you know what to do,” Charlie said, trying to hold her head up. Unlike her husband, she wasn’t willing to have it out in front of his employees and friends.
“God, I wish I had a video camera. Someone make sure security doesn’t erase these tapes,” Adam said.
“Adam!” He could be so damn obnoxious. She had to keep him in line.
He straightened up immediately. “Yes, ma’am. I’ll check into it.”
A hard hand slapped at her ass, making her skin tingle. “He’s not going to check into anything except getting new locks for our fucking doors.”
“Mommy and Daddy are fighting, Jake. What should I do?” Adam asked.
From what she could see, they were all following her and Ian out of the conference room, snacks in hand.
Jake was watching the scene with an amused expression. “I think we figure out who’s scarier.”
“I’m writing this into a book,” Serena said, taking notes on a small pad of paper.
“Is the meeting over?” Grace asked. “Should I clean up?”
Charlie knew exactly what was going to happen. “He’s going to say he doesn’t want a donut, but he totally does. Save him three. He’ll eat them before lunch and then pretend he didn’t. Oh, and he likes his coffee really black, like almost espresso like.”
Grace stopped. “Seriously? I’ve been making it medium.”
“He likes really dark roast.”
Another swat hit her ass. “I hate everything.”
He was so annoying. “You can toss me out on my ass. I’ll be back in ten minutes.”
He walked out the glass doors, allowing them to slam shut behind them. “Not if I kill you you won’t.”
Like that was a real threat. “Sure, Superman, slay me hard, buddy.”
He talked such a good game. He talked like he was the biggest badass to ever walk the face of the earth and, in some ways, he was. He could eviscerate a man who did evil and never think twice about it. He was perfectly capable of taking someone’s head off.
But only if they deserved it.
She’d figured him out long ago. He would take apart the bad guys—and no one else. He would have a hard time taking out a woman, even if she did deserve it. He had his code, and he stuck to it rigidly.
Ian Taggart would undoubtedly tell her it made him vomit, but he was a hero. A real live walking and talking American hero. He was her hero.
And damn, his ass looked fine in a pair of jeans. She thought seriously about cupping those strong muscles with her palms, but decided against it. She could only push him so far before he did something he would regret.
“Or I could send you to the street, where you belong.” The elevator dinged open and he strode inside.
She took a breath, steeling herself against the close quarters.
“Ian, come on.” Ian ignored her, looking toward his crew. “You guys stay the fuck in the office or you’re fired.”
“I won’t fire anyone,” she shot back. The elevator was large and elegantly appointed and empty. She’d handled it on her way up. She could take a trip down. “Except Jesse. He nearly killed me.”
She heard a sad sigh. “But I got an apartment last week.”
“You’re not fucking fired, Jesse,” Ian said, frustration evident in his tone. “This is still my company. I wanted to fire you but now I won’t because I know she doesn’t want you here. But if you try to follow us down, I’ll kill you.”
He turned so she couldn’t see anything except the back of the elevator and how fine his ass was. She concentrated on that and not the fact that they were in a small, enclosed space. “He’s a drama queen. He’s not going to kill anyone. He’s definitely not going to kill Eli Nelson because he won’t find the fucker without me.”
A hard smack. Yes, he was definitely coming to the end of his rope.
He slapped a hand at the buttons and the door closed. He made not a single move to let her down.
“I’m not going anywhere, Ian.”
“I’ll bar you from the building.”
“That’s going to be hard since I own half of the top floor.”
A small pause. “No, you fucking don’t.”
It was time to point out a few irrefutable truths of his situation. “We didn’t have a prenup, babe. Even if we did, this is property you bought after our nuptials. Texas is a community property state. What’s yours is mine. On the happy side, I have a ten million dollar condo I’ll share with you. I even bought thousand thread count sheets. I know you have sensitive skin.”
Blake, Lexi. Masters and Mercenaries Bundle: The Early Ops (Books 1-5) . DLZ Entertainment, LLC. Kindle Locations (20450-20490). Kindle Edition.
Lots of suspense, action, snark, fun and sizzling heat in this book.
I’m going to start the next book and catch up to the latest release.
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.