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Hot SEAL, Hawaiian Nights – SEALs in Paradise Book 11 by Elle James



Hot SEAL, Hawaiian Nights
SEALs In Paradise Book 11
Brotherhood Protectors Crossover
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James

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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.

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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.

“Damn.”

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.

Trying to keep information from Kaylea is next to impossible, especially since she set him up.After being shot at on their way back from Kaylea’s private little oasis on the ranch. She agrees to pretend they are a couple, and to listen to him where her safety is concerned.

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!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Elle James Elle James

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.

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Cape Cod SEAL Rescue – Brotherhood Protectors Book 10 by Elle James



Cape Cod SEAL Rescue
Brotherhood Protectors Book 10
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James

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Grieving Navy SEAL widower, John Decker, commemorating the two-year anniversary of the day he lived and his wife died, is dragged back into life by a riptide and a blonde he can’t get out of his thoughts. Plagued with survivor’s guilt, he’s reluctant to enter a new relationship, until he meets a feisty bartender with attitude and curves to go with it.

Roxi Lanier was the typical young teen in the city, happy, full of life and bulletproof, until she became the victim of a violent crime. Her mother moved her to Wellfleet on Cape Cod, away from the scene of her misfortune to start over. Fourteen years later, she’s still afraid to date and be intimate with a man, the scars of her past overriding the happiness she craves. Though she’s an independent owner of a thriving beach bar, she has yet to find success in love. Tides change when she witnesses a suicidal widower diving headfirst into a riptide.

Decker and Roxi struggle to stay afloat through the wreckage of their pasts and the storms of the present to sail into a future together.

Note: This book was previously published as Love On The Rocks, but has since been edited and contains new content.

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This book starts off tugging at my heartstrings. Decker is a widower, the accident that took his wife’s life also led to his medical discharge from the Navy. Hank Patterson tries once again to entice him to come to Montana and join the Brotherhood Protectors, but he declines claiming to be content and satisfied living on the beach in Cape Cod.

Roxi owns the Gone Fishin’ Bar and Grill it’s a cozy place loved by locals and tourists alike. Decker frequently has dinner there and finds himself more than a little attracted to her. She frequently sees him on her runs with her dog Otis, sitting on his porch watching the ocean.

This particular night, filled with guilt, finds Decker heading into the ocean for a punishing swim to assuage the pain. Seeing him dive into the waters has Roxi scared he would be caught in the riptides caused by the approaching storm.

This is a favorite scene.

A figure detached itself from the stilts of a beach house ahead and walked across the sand to the edge of the water.

By size and the breadth of his shoulders, Roxi guessed the figure to be a man, and not just any man, but the one who’d been on her mind more and more with each passing day—John Decker.

Her heartbeat skittered against her ribs and she slowed to a stop, her bare toes curling in the wet sand.

Decker’s face remained turned toward the sea and he wore nothing but a pair of shorts or swim trunks. Moonlight glimmered off his naked chest, turning it a silvery blue. As he walked toward the water his pace increased until he ran into the surf lapping against the shore.

What was he doing? The tide report indicated the water wasn’t safe with the coming storm churning the sea.

Decker struck out, swimming hard out to sea. His arms sliced through the water, powering him farther away from shore, closer and closer to the area known for its wicked riptide.

“Decker!” Roxi ran toward the point at which he’d entered the water and waved. “Decker! Come back!”

Either he was ignoring her shouts or he couldn’t hear them with his head in the water, because he continued on his race toward a potentially deadly situation.

“Decker!” Roxi glanced to the right and left. The lifeguard towers were on the other side of the pier, too far to go for a life preserver.

Decker was too far out to hear her voice. If she could get close enough to warn him he might have a chance to turn around before he got sucked out even further by a riptide. Roxi waded into the water, her pulse pounding her stomach knotted. She was a good swimmer, having lived the last fourteen years on the Cape. She knew how to ride the tide into shore, but even she wasn’t naive enough to swim in riptide situations.

Cupping her hands around her mouth, Roxi shouted again.

Decker’s arms slowed and he glided to a stop.

Roxi gathered another breath. The dark head, now only a speck on the ocean, disappeared.

“Decker?” she whispered, her heart lodged in her throat. Then she dove into the water and swam as hard as she’d ever swum toward the spot she’d last seen him. She pushed back all of the warnings Frank and her mother had drilled into her head as she rose on the swell of a small wave and scanned ahead.

There. A hundred yards ahead, she spied Decker’s dark head, drifting south, carried by the current.

Otis barked from the shoreline, the sound carrying out to where Roxi paused to breathe, her lungs burning with the need for oxygen. She drew in a deep breath and yelled, “Decker!” A wave slapped her in the face, and she sucked salt water into her lungs. For a moment she sputtered, coughing and fighting to keep her head above the water as she cleared her lungs. When she could breathe again, she searched for Decker’s dark head on the water’s surface.

The swells had increased, and she couldn’t see him. Treading water, she turned toward the shore where Otis danced along the water’s edge, barking furiously. Once again, she turned toward the open sea, but couldn’t find Decker. The tide was pulling her south, past the pier. If she didn’t start angling toward the shore, she might not make it back. Now the fight to find Decker became a struggle to save herself. If she could get to shore, she would send out a rescue boat to find Decker, which she should have done in the first place.

Forcing herself to remain calm she struck out toward shore, swimming with the current while cutting at a diagonal toward the shore. The tide pulled at her like hands gripping her legs, dragging her toward the open sea. She fought against its clutches, kicking as hard as she could to break away. It seemed that for every inch forward, she lost two, hauling her backward. Her arms ached and the muscles in her legs burned. Roxi slowed and treaded water long enough to rest and catch her breath.

A figure surfaced beside her, startling her, but she was too tired to scream.

When she realized it was Decker, she almost cried in relief. Moonlight glistened off his wet hair, making it appear blue-black. His powerful shoulders rose above the surface as they bobbed with each swell.

“Don’t give up.” Decker grabbed her hand and pulled her against him with one arm, his free one stroking the water to keep them both afloat.

“I’m okay,” she insisted, not feeling okay, but unwilling to let him take on the burden of her, when she shouldn’t have swum after him in the first place. What had she been thinking? “I’m just resting before I swim again.”

“Let me know when you’re ready.” A wave splashed over them before he could continue. “We’ll make it to shore together.”

She nodded, the salty tang of water on her lips, a surge of hope fueling her tired muscles. Roxi kicked hard headed toward the sandy beach.

Decker paced her, silently swimming at her side, occasionally reaching out to pull her along.

Slowly, they edged toward land, and finally, Roxi’s toes encountered sand. She laughed as she staggered to her feet and slogged through knee-deep water toward a frantic Otis.

A strong arm slipped around her waist adding strength to her flagging reserves.

When they reached dry land, Roxi dropped to her knees on the gritty sand and rolled onto her back, completely drained of energy.

Otis licked her face, whining and shaking all over.

“Are you okay?” Decker knelt and leaned over her, peering into her face.

She forced her lips to curve upward. “I will be.”

“Good.” His brows dipped into a V and moonlight reflected off his eyes. “Then why the hell were you swimming alone this late at night?”
James, Elle. Cape Cod SEAL Rescue (Brotherhood Protectors Book 10) (pp. 19-24). Twisted Page Inc. Kindle Edition.

Roxi finds that her attraction could possibly lead to more, but is Decker ready to move on.

I love Otis, he’s such a loyal dog even if he’s scared of thunder and lightening. It’s Otis that causes them to have to ride out the storm in Decker’s cottage on the beach. A scary situation that is overridden by the heat between these two.

I can’t wait to see what Elle comes up with for the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

Click the Image for Buy Links and More!Brotherhood Protectors Volume 1
(Books 1-3)


Or Individually!

New Release!
Brotherhood Protectors BDRR Unit Book 1

Crossovers!

Elle James Elle James

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.

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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads Amazon Author Page

Montana SEAL Undercover Daddy – Brotherhood Protectors Book 9 by Elle James



Montana SEAL Undercover Daddy
Brotherhood Protectors Book 9
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James


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Jilted at 27, Kate Phillips focused on her career and left marriage and children to her twin sister. She’s on track to realize all of her dreams, until her sister disappears, leaving her little girl on Kate’s doorstep. Normally awkward with children, Kate has a lot to learn about childrearing and cuddles. The lively three-year-old teaches Kate how to open her heart to the possibilities. But someone wants to find Kate’s sister, and is willing to use the child to lure her out of hiding. Kate turns to the Brotherhood Protectors for a bodyguard with daddy skills.

Chuck Johnson lost his family in a car crash when his daughter was only 2 years old. Since then, he retired from the Navy, worked for the DEA and now works for the Brotherhood Protectors. He never intends on marrying again or having a family. Plans have a way of changing, and some families find each other. His mission is to keep the feisty, career-minded beauty and little girl safe while his team locates the sister. His challenge is to do so without losing his heart in the process.

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Elle James does it again, finds the perfect way to find her hero the woman he needs.

Chuck Johnson is afraid to find love, he had it all once, a wife and daughter that he tragically lost. He doesn’t think he could survive that again, so he avoids the connection.

Kate Phillip’s twin sister Rachel drops off her child on Kate’s doorstep. Her goal is to protect the child. The only thing she tells Kate is to contact Hank Peterson at Brotherhood Protectors in Eagle Falls. Not one clue as to the reasons for this sudden disappearing act.

Now Chuck has decided not to take an assignment involving a child again, he is so attached to little Maya but knows he has to back away so her father can form a bond with her. When Hank presents his next mission he almost refuses, until he meets Lyla.

This is a favorite scene as Chuck struggles to decide.

In keeping with his promise to himself to steer clear of relationships, he shook his head. “If you don’t mind, I’d like to keep it on a professional level.”

Kate shot a glance toward Hank. “Perhaps Mr. Johnson isn’t so perfect for this job after all.”

“I can do anything,” Chuck protested.

She arched an eyebrow. “Can you do as requested? Because I need someone who can follow orders as well as give out a few of his own.”

His back stiffened. “I’ve done my share of following and giving orders, Kate.” If he put too much emphasis on her name, so be it. She’d questioned his ability to do a job.

Her eyes narrowed on Chuck, and then she faced Hank again. “My sister recommended you. Is this the best that you have? Because I need the best. I need someone who will lay down his life for us.”

Hank touched her arm. “It’s all right, Kate. With Chuck, you’ll be in good hands. And he has the perfect skill set for the job.”

Chuck frowned. “You keep saying that. I assume any one of your men has the same skill set I do.”

“They do…for the most part.” Hank grinned. “You have one more skill most of the others do not.”

Trying to figure it out himself, Chuck gave up. “And that is?”

Sadie said, “You have daddy skills. I knew you were the right man for the job as soon as Kate mentioned that requirement.”

“Requirement?” Chuck glanced from Sadie to Hank, and then to Kate. “I don’t understand.”

“Mama?” a little voice called out.

Everyone in the room turned toward the sound.

A little girl with bright, blond hair emerged from the hallway leading to the bedrooms.

Kate hurried toward the child. “Lyla, you should be asleep.” She patted the child’s back awkwardly.

“I can’t find Sid.” Lyla looked up at Kate. “I can’t sleep without Sid.”

“Who’s Sid?” Chuck asked. “Is there another child?”

Kate shook her head. “Sid is Lyla’s stuffed sloth.” She knelt on the floor in front of Lyla. “Did you look under the covers?”

She nodded. “I want you to look,” she whispered.

Chuck’s heart constricted. His Sarah hadn’t been much younger than this little girl. Seeing Lyla standing there in a T-shirt too big for her little body reminded him so much of Sarah. His chest squeezed so hard, he could barely breathe.

Kate took Lyla’s hand and faced Chuck. “This is Lyla. She’s the reason I need someone with daddy skills. I need to blend into wherever I land. And that means we have to look like a family. Mama, Daddy and Lyla. Anywhere we go, we have to pretend we’re a unit. No one can know she isn’t mine.”

Panic tightened his throat. Chuck held up his hand. “I can’t do this.”

“Can’t, or won’t?” Kate hit him with that direct stare. “I need one hundred percent commitment.”

“Why do you need protection?” Chuck bit out. “What are you afraid of?”

“I’m afraid of whoever broke into my apartment and tried to take Lyla. I don’t know who they are or why they were after her, but I have to keep her safe. I promised.”

“Promised who?” Chuck asked. Her lips firmed into a narrow line. “That doesn’t matter. What matters is that we protect Lyla in the best way we can. I need everyone who comes into contact with her…with us…to think we’re a family. The people looking for her will be looking for a lone woman and child, not a family of three.”

Chuck studied Kate, his eyes narrowing. “How do we know you didn’t…” he lowered his voice to a point Lyla wouldn’t hear or understand, “How do we know you didn’t kidnap Lyla? Is she even yours to hide?” His gaze shifted from Kate to Hank. “Do you know?”

Hank’s lips quirked. “You have a good point, Chuck.” He smiled at Kate. “Kate is actually Lyla’s aunt. Her sister left her on her doorstep and disappeared.”

Chuck crossed his arms over his chest. “And how do you know Kate didn’t off her sister to steal her daughter?”

Lyla leaned her cheek against Kate’s leg. Kate’s eyes filled. She blinked several times and lifted her chin. “I love my sister. I wouldn’t off her.” She patted Lyla’s head, without picking up the child.

Chuck couldn’t understand why the woman wasn’t taking the child into her arms to reassure and comfort her. Impatience and concern for the little girl won out. Chuck bent to Lyla. “Hey, do you want me to hold you?”

The child stared up at Chuck, clutching her hands against her chest. Her big, blue eyes showed fear at first, but then she yawned and held up her arms.

Chuck lifted Lyla into his arms and held her close. He gently rubbed her back until she laid her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes. She drew in a deep breath and slept.

Kate’s eyes rounded. “How did you do that?”

“Do what?” Chuck asked.

Sadie chuckled. “The man has a magic touch with small children. Emma took to him from the moment he held her in his arms.”

Hank nodded. “Exactly like Lyla just did. That’s why I knew he was the right man for the job.”

Chuck ignored them all and carried the sleeping Lyla back down the hallway.

“Second door on the right,” Sadie called out.

He found the door and entered the room with a full-sized bed in the middle of the floor decorated in light blues and grays.

A small child’s blanket lay in the middle of the bed. He’d found the right room.

Careful not to wake Lyla, he laid her down, covered her with the blanket. He found Sid, the sloth, hiding under a pillow, and slipped the stuffed animal beneath her arm. Then he backed away slowly.

At the door to the bedroom, Chuck paused to look back at Lyla and wondered what his own little girl would have looked like at that age. Sarah never made it to three.

His heart contracted, squeezing hard in his chest.

Lyla lay sleeping, her silky blond hair fanning out around her on the pillow, her stuffed animal tucked beneath her arm.

He’d just convinced himself the best course of action for him was to steer clear of women with small children. They reminded him too much of what he was missing, and he got too attached.

He still missed being with Maya every day, like he had when she and Daphne were under his care in witness protection.

But if he didn’t do this job, who would? He thought through the other men on the Brotherhood Protectors team. Only a couple had been around kids. And those were on other jobs.

Chuck stared at Lyla lying there, so innocent, so vulnerable, and he struggled inwardly.
James, Elle. Montana SEAL Undercover Daddy (Brotherhood Protectors Book 9) (pp. 17-21). Twisted Page Inc. Kindle Edition.

With no idea where Rachel has gone or what kind of trouble she’s in. Chuck, Kate and Lyla embark on the pretense of a family as Hank sets Swede to the task of locating Rachel.

Once they have some clues Kujo and his dog Six travel to do some recon, in hopes of spotting Rachel.

Curious neighbors create more suspense and the intrigue will keep you on your toes as you read. The attraction between Chuck and Kate is palpable and the desire for more haunts them both.

Don’t miss this book!

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

Click the Image for Buy Links and More!Brotherhood Protectors Volume 1
(Books 1-3)


Or Individually!

New Release!
Brotherhood Protectors BDRR Unit Book 1

Crossovers!

Elle James Elle James

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.

newsletter - for blog

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads Amazon Author Page

Montana Ranger’s Wedding Vow – Brotherhood Protectors Book 8 by Elle James



Montana Ranger’s Wedding Vows
Brotherhood Protectors Book 8
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James

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Hot Delta Force Cowboy and sexy female Army Ranger
plan a wedding to trap a saboteur

Dallas Hayes muscled her way through Army Ranger training only to be considered a curse on her all-male unit in an operation in Syria. When half the team is killed, she’s left Injured, losing the lower portion of her leg and is medically discharged from the life she loved in the Army. A fight with her physical therapist at Walter Reed lands her at the Brighter Days Rehab Ranch in Montana with an offer to join the Brotherhood Protectors.

Retired Delta Force soldier, Vince “Viper” Van Cleave, did his time in the Army but hasn’t managed to fit into the civilian world. What can an expert sniper do with his life when not shooting at enemy combatants? A widower, his first assignment is to masquerade as the groom of a former Army Ranger female and stage a wedding to smoke out a wedding saboteur. Together, they make a formidable team that might just make it to the altar intact.

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Vince ‘Viper’ Van Cleeve’s first assignment for the Brotherhood Protectors seems like a piece of cake, provide escort to Hannah and Taz as they head to the airport to fly to their honeymoon destination. With Chuck driving the limo, everything seems to be going right on schedule, until it isn’t. A close call that leads to a very interesting assignment.

Dallas Hayes is a former Ranger, having lost part of her leg in combat she is now at Brighter Days Rehab Ranch to figure out what her life will be going forward. Hank Patterson has been looking forward to the day that he can ask her to join his Brotherhood Protectors and now he has the perfect reason. He needs Dallas to be Viper’s bride to catch whoever is sabotaging weddings in the area, more important now that Taz and Hannah had been targeted.

This is a favorite scene as they accept this mission.

“Well, since you two are officially on board, I’ll get back to the ranch and have my computer guy dig into all the backgrounds of anyone we can come up with who might have it out for one of our lucky couples.”

“Start with people having anything to do with the planning and setup,” Viper said.

“You might also check on anyone local who could have been jilted or stood up before the ceremony,” Dallas said.

Viper gave half a smile. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned?”

“Or a man,” Dallas added. “Men can be just as cranky about being left at the altar as women.”

“You know this from experience?”

Dallas’s green eyes flashed. “I read.”

Viper chuckled. “I’m betting you don’t indulge in bride magazines.”

“Never.” Grimacing, Dallas shook her head. “My tastes lean toward news and crime fiction.”

“So, you know all the best places to hide the bodies,” Hank said.

Viper raised his eyebrows. “Should I be worried?”

“Only if you scorn me.” Dallas’s lips quirked.

If Viper wasn’t mistaken, Dallas almost smiled. He liked the sparkle in her green eyes, so different from Emily’s blue-gray eyes. And the fiery auburn hair was a stark contrast to Emily’s golden blond. And Dallas was taller, stronger and less ladylike than Emily. All of her physical traits made Viper’s agreement to the charade easier.

If Dallas had looked at all like Emily, Viper would have politely declined the assignment and asked for someone else to take his place. Having a blond-haired, blue-eyed partner would have been a constant reminder of what he’d lost and that he hadn’t been there for Emily to keep her from dying.

Dallas was as different from Emily as night from day. He could treat her like one of the guys. No sweat.

As long as he ignored the little spark of electricity that shot through him every time he touched her. Why that happened, he wasn’t sure. From what Viper gathered, Dallas was all Army Ranger. She was one kickass soldier, and she’d rather shoot a man than kiss him.

As much as he didn’t want to admit the fact, the shine of her fiery, auburn hair and the flash of her green eyes were sexy as hell. Not his type, but definitely sexy. His type had been Emily…blond and blue.

Now…he didn’t know what his type was.

His gaze swept over Dallas’s shiny auburn hair, her athletic figure and the way she wore her jeans. Having a prosthetic device in place of her lower leg did nothing to detract from her raw sexuality. And the kicker was, she didn’t know just how sexy she was.
James, Elle. Montana Ranger’s Wedding Vow (Brotherhood Protectors Book 8) (pp. 38-40). Twisted Page Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Who knew that planning a fake wedding could lead to romance. I loved the way Viper broke through Dallas’ insecurities. The descriptions of his kisses will have you wanting to sample one yourself.

No matter what Dallas does, she can’t deny the fact that when Viper kisses her she wants more. However she doesn’t feel she deserves any of it. I loved her fumbling with the wedding planning, her balking over wearing a dress, and her realizing she really wished it was all for real.

Several hair-raising incidents, very few clues and a surprise twist will have you turning the pages.

Now I need to see what’s next in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

Click the Image for Buy Links and More!Brotherhood Protectors Volume 1
(Books 1-3)


Or Individually!

New Release!
Brotherhood Protectors BDRR Unit Book 1

Crossovers!

Elle James Elle James

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.

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Montana SEAL Daddy – Brotherhood Protectors Book 7 by Elle James



Montana SEAL Daddy
Brotherhood Protectors Book 7
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James

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Former Navy SEAL enters the fight of his life
to protect the mother of his child from killers
who wish to silence her testimony in a murder case

After the sudden disappearance of the amazing woman he fell for on vacation in Cozumel and nearly losing his own life on a politically volatile mission in Syria, Brandon Rayne “Boomer” leaves the SEAL brotherhood and signs on with the private security agency Brotherhood Protectors in Montana. Determined to forget the girl and maybe even try for a real life and start a family, he embraces his new life.

While on vacation in Cozumel, Daphne Miller fell in love with a handsome SEAL. On the verge of committing her heart and life to him, she becomes the unwitting witness to murder. Forced into witness protection, she doesn’t realize she’s pregnant, the product of the hot fling with the sexy SEAL. A year later, still pining for what could have been, with a baby girl to protect, Daphne’s safe house is compromised. In an attempt to evade the people trying to kill her to keep her from being a star witness in a big court case, she heads to Montana to find the only person she knows can help, the baby’s father.

Determined to put his desire for Daphne on the back burner, Boomer focuses his skills and cunning on keeping her alive long enough to testify. Together, they vow to protect baby Maya from being used as a pawn to control the outcome of a critical court case.

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Daphne was on her ‘honeymoon’ alone, her fiancé had died before the wedding but she had made the promise to go. She met Boomer when she was crying her heart out and they quickly became friends. Things were fun with someone to share experiences with and those fun days turned to steamy nights as well. It was her last night when she slipped from his bed not wanting to say good-byes that she witnessed a murder. Chuck saved her from being discovered by the killer taking her into protective custody to save her life.

Boomer now works for Brotherhood Protectors, his first assignment is to help in the protection of a woman and her child. The other person protecting her, Chuck, was also a SEAL but works for some undisclosed agency. The thing Boomer doesn’t know is that the child is his.

This is a favorite scene as they settle into the safe house, and Daphne corners him as he gets the generator started.

“Boomer,” Daphne touched his shoulder. “We need to talk.”

He shrugged off her hand and straightened. “We have nothing to talk about.” He stared into her gaze, briefly, and then bent to grab the cord’s pull handle.

He pulled so hard he broke the handle off the cord, and still the engine wouldn’t start.

Daphne crossed her arms over her chest and raised her eyebrows. “I get the feeling you’re angry with me.”

“I’m not angry,” he denied, though his response sounded terse, even to his own ears.

Her eyes narrowed. “What I don’t understand is why you’re mad at me.”

He threw the handle on deck. “I know why you left Cozumel. I know you didn’t have a choice. I know what happened. You don’t have to give me the detailed explanation. I get it. Just don’t expect me to be happy about it.”

Her brows rose higher. “You know?”

“I know.” He bent to retrieve the handle, tied it back to the cord and yanked with a little less force. The engine turned over, chugged a couple of times and then roared to life.

Over the roar of the motor, Boomer heard Daphne’s words, “Then you don’t want anything to do with your baby girl?”

Boomer’s pulse raced, his stomach clenched and the snow swirling around his head made him strangely dizzy to the point he thought he was hearing things that couldn’t be possible. “What did you say?”

She shook her head, her brows furrowing. “It’s okay. I don’t expect anything from you. What we had in Cozumel was a fling. Neither one of us had any expectations. We didn’t discuss life after the island. We certainly didn’t discuss children. Maya and I can make it on our own once this murder thing is cleared up.” Daphne spun toward the door, her eyes glistening. “I’ve done my part. At least, now you know.”

Boomer grabbed her arm and yanked her back around. “Woman, what are you talking about?” He bent and switched the generator off. The engine rumbled to a stop, leaving nothing but the wind howling through the trees for noise.

“You heard me,” Daphne said. A tear rolled down her cheek. She reached up to swipe it away. “You had the right to know. Now that you do, I don’t expect anything from you. Maya is my responsibility. She and I will be fine.”

Boomer shook his head, his eyes narrowing. “Back it up about four paragraphs.”

Her brows dipped. “Why?”

“I want to be sure I’m hearing this right. You said your baby girl.”

She nodded. “I did. Again, you don’t have to do a thing. I’m perfectly capable of raising our daughter on my own. I don’t need your help.”

“Our daughter?” Boomer felt as if he’d been punched in the gut. “As in yours and mine.” He touched a finger to her chest and then to his. “Not yours and Chuck’s?”

She looked at him as if he’d grown a set of horns. “What are you talking about? Maya is your daughter, not Chuck’s.”

Boomer’s head spun. Maya was his child? The baby in the chalet was his flesh and blood?

Daphne’s brows dipped lower and then raised into her hairline. “You thought Chuck and I…that Maya is Chuck’s daughter?” She laughed, the sound strained and tight.

Boomer stood straight, unable to move, not a single word coming to his lips. The truth swirled around him like a tornado, sucking the air from his lungs.

“Do you think I would hop from your bed into Chuck’s so quickly?” Daphne pushed away from him. “You bastard.” She yanked her arm free of his grip and stepped back. “I thought we had something going on in Cozumel. That we had a special connection.” She snorted. “I guess it was only on my side. I was just another girl in a sailor’s port.” Another tear slipped from the corner of her eye. She swiped it away and squared her shoulders. “Well, to hell with you. You had the right to know you have a child, but now that you do, you can stay the hell away from both of us. That suits you, doesn’t it? Maya and I would hate to cramp your lifestyle.” She marched toward the door.

Before she could reach for the handle, Boomer jerked her around and slammed her against his chest. “You were not just another woman in a port. When I woke up the next morning and you weren’t there, I didn’t know what to think. I looked for you, but you were gone, everything about you seemed to be wiped clean. I didn’t know how to contact you, and the airport didn’t have any evidence of your departure. You were gone, as if you never existed.” That empty feeling of despair washed over Boomer like it had been yesterday when he’d woken up to find his bed empty, the woman he’d fallen for so completely missing.

“I had to disappear,” Daphne whispered. “Otherwise, I would have been gone for real.”

“I get that.” Boomer brushed the next tear away with the pad of his thumb. “But you had a baby.” He shook his head to clear the cobwebs and confusion. “Why didn’t you let me know sooner? I could have been there for you.”

She shook her head. “You were deployed. I had to stay in hiding. I couldn’t contact you. They were watching, waiting for me to make a move. Hell, I didn’t even have to make a move. They found us anyway.”

Boomer shoved a hand through his hair as the enormity of her words sank in. “Maya isn’t Chuck’s baby.”

Daphne snorted. “If you knew anything about me and if you’d have quit thinking the worst of me, you’d have known.” She wrapped her arms around her middle, tucking her hands into the fabric of her jacket. “I love Chuck…like a father or big brother. In fact, I don’t know what I would have done without him over the past year. But the father of Maya is the rat-bastard standing in front of me, thinking I could be fickle enough to hop from one bed to another.” She turned to walk back into the house. “I don’t need this aggravation. I have a life, and it began with Maya.”

When Boomer tried to stop her by placing a hand on her arm, she glared down at his fingers curled into her jacket. “I need you to protect me and my daughter. Other than that, leave me alone.”

Boomer’s chest tightened and words rose up from his throat. Before he could utter them and put his other foot squarely in his mouth, he swallowed hard. The angry, determined look on Daphne’s face stopped him cold.
James, Elle. Montana SEAL Daddy (Brotherhood Protectors Book 7) (pp. 64-68). Twisted Page Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Many hold your breath and hang on tight scenes as things heat up in more ways than one.

Suspenseful and tense, laughter and tears, you won’t be able to stop turning the pages.

I love all the Brotherhood Protectors and Chuck quickly became a favorite too.

I am now reading the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

Click the Image for Buy Links and More!Brotherhood Protectors Volume 1
(Books 1-3)


Or Individually!

New Release!
Brotherhood Protectors BDRR Unit Book 1

Crossovers!

Elle James Elle James

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.

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Montana Dog Soldier: Brotherhood Protectors Book 6 by Elle James



Montana Dog Soldier
Brotherhood Protectors Book 6
By
Elle James

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Booted from the army after sustaining a shrapnel injury that left him with a limp, Joseph “Kujo” Kuntz is angry with himself and the world, and forced to start over with the injured military dog “Six” that saved his life. Kujo accepts a job with Brotherhood Protectors in the Crazy Mountains of Montana, hoping to find new purpose and come to terms with his losses.

Following a lead that an ISIS faction is near Eagle Rock, Montana, training to launch terrorist attacks, FBI agent Molly Greenbriar thinks she’s on wild goose chase. She operating a drone, pretending to be a photographer for a GPS mapping company, when she’s attacked in the mountains and left for dead. Discovered by former military service dog Six and his owner, Molly is taken to the owner’s cabin where he administers first aid.

Now targeted by the faction, Molly is in danger. Kujo informs his new boss of the situation and is assigned as Molly’s protector until the team can neutralize the source of the threat. Determined to complete her mission, Molly accepts Kujo and Six’s protection and discovers an electric connection to the cantankerous former soldier. Together they struggle to locate the faction while fighting their burgeoning desire.

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I love the Brotherhood Protectors, former military they grab my heart. This book takes that love a step further and adds a military working dog. Oh my heartstrings!

Joe ‘Kujo’ Kuntz has hidden himself away from the world, when he was medically discharged he lost his career, his friends and his dog. He’s about to start a new project when Bear and Duke show up with the news that his dog Six was up for adoption but has issues that caused him to be returned a couple of times. They also offered him a job with Brotherhood Protectors. Not that Joe was having any of it, well until he thought about it.

This is a favorite scene.

Kujo had only been in Montana for two days. After Bear and Duke’s visit to him in Colorado, he’d driven to San Antonio, where he’d spent a week filling out paperwork and convincing the trainers at Lackland he was fit to adopt Six, and that the dog and he were still a good match.

When he’d arrived at the kennels where the dogs were kept, he’d been hard pressed to keep his shit together. Since leaving the Army, he’d had nothing to do with dogs or the people who trained them. Nor had he been around men in uniform.

The range of feelings washing over him had kept him glued to the seat of his truck. He’d taken several minutes sitting in his pickup, gathering the courage he needed to face the very things he’d worked so hard to forget—the career he’d trained for, the dogs he’d loved and the only life he’d ever known.

When the sergeant in charge led him back to Six’s kennel, no amount of mental coaching prepared him for the rush of emotion that nearly brought him to his knees.

As they approached, Six sat at the back of the kennel, his tail curled beneath him, his shoulders slumped and the light completely drained from his eyes.

“He’s been like this since the people at his last foster home returned him,” the sergeant said. “Nobody can reach him. He’s non-responsive and completely shut down.” The man pointed to the full bowl at the corner of the cage. “He hasn’t eaten anything in three days.”

Kujo had to swallow hard several times before he could voice a command. When he finally could squeeze air past his vocal cords, all he could manage was, “Six, come.”

The dog’s ears twitched, and his nose lifted slightly as if sniffing the air. Kujo waited, afraid to say anything for fear of revealing just how devastated he was by the appearance of the dog that had saved his life.

For a long moment, the dog sat, sniffing the air. Then he rose up onto all fours, his tail drooping, and took a step forward.

Kujo opened the gate, stepped inside and pulled out of his pocket the old tennis ball he’d kept with his gear all those years. He squatted on his haunches and repeated, “Six, come.”

Six sniffed the air, his ears now standing straight, his body tense. One step at a time, he eased toward Kujo, limping slightly.

“He took a hit from shrapnel on his last deployment,” the sergeant offered.

Kujo barely heard the man. His attention remained on the dog, his gaze meeting Six’s, silently urging him to close the distance between them.

When at last he did, Six sniffed at the ball, took it from Kujo’s hand, and then he collapsed against him, whining, wiggling and cuddling until the weight of his body pushed Kujo over, forcing him to sit on the concrete.

Since then, Six had stuck to him like flypaper, refusing to leave his side.

From San Antonio, he’d driven all through the night, stopping only to put gas in his truck and to let Six out to stretch and do his business. Normally, he would have kept Six in a crate, like he had when he’d been in training or transporting him. But he figured they were both retired. To hell with the crate.

Six lay on the seat behind Kujo and occasionally stuck his nose over Kujo’s shoulder and licked his face.

The dog had picked up bad habits over the years he’d been away from Kujo, but it didn’t matter. All that mattered mattered was that he and Six were a team once again.

When he arrived in Eagle Rock, Montana in the foothills of the Crazy Mountains, Kujo had driven straight up to Hank Patterson’s house, introduced himself and asked if the job offer was still good.

Hank had welcomed him, given him a bed to sleep in for the night and briefed him the next morning about the work they were doing and his expectations of the people he hired to provide protective services.

At the moment, Hank was negotiating negotiating with a client who was coming to Montana in a few weeks and would need someone to work as a bodyguard. As all of his men were currently assigned, that job would be the one he’d assign Kujo. In the meantime, he could either stay with Hank, his wife and baby, or find a place of his own.

Kujo had gone out the next day and found a cabin in the mountains to rent. It wasn’t much more than one room with a bed, small kitchen area and an outhouse. He suspected it was someone’s old hunting cabin. The isolation suited him.
James, Elle. Montana Dog Soldier (Brotherhood Protectors Book 6) (pp. 38-41). Twisted Page Inc. Kindle Edition.

Okay so I was sniffling and hadn’t even made it to root of the story.

FBI agent Molly Greenbriar is using a drone to search for evidence of a terrorist training camp in the Crazy Mountains near Eagle Rock. When she runs into trouble it’s Six who finds her and Joe who gets her to safety.

Assigned to keep her safe, they quickly begin to make connections both for the job and personally.

A fast-paced, action packed, emotional, and sizzling read.

I am already starting the next book in this series, I just might be addicted.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

Click the Image for Buy Links and More!Brotherhood Protectors Volume 1
(Books 1-3)


Or Individually!

Coming Soon!
Brotherhood Protectors BDRR Unit Book 1

Crossovers!

Elle James  Elle James

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.

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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads Amazon Author Page

 

Montana Ranger – Brotherhood Protectors Book 5 by Elle James



Montana Ranger
Brotherhood Protectors Book 5
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James


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Winter Blog Blurb

A former Army Ranger’s first civilian assignment is to protect a spunky physical therapist from an unknown threat at a rehab ranch for disabled veterans

Forced into medical retirement, Army Ranger Alex “Taz” Davila takes a job in the wilds of Montana with the Brotherhood Protectors. First assignment: undercover protection of a pretty physical therapist on a veteran’s rehab ranch.

Living her dream job, Hannah Kendricks helps wounded warriors and abused horses at a rehab ranch for veterans. Finally in a position for a little romance, she suffers a set back when strange accidents nearly get her killed.

Her lagging libido gets a kickstart when a sexy new patient starts following her, always there when she turns around. Before long, she realizes he’s the only thing standing between her and whoever is after her.

Accepting his offer to protect her, Hannah encounters a new problem. She’s attracted to the man! Together they struggle to determine who wants to hurt her and why, while fighting the growing attraction they are helpless to resist.

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Winter Blog Review

The last thing Alex ‘Taz’ Davila expected when he got off the plane in Montana was to be sent directly on a mission. However once he arrives, he sees it won’t be a hardship to keep an eye on the lovely therapist, Hannah Kendricks.

With several attempts on her life, that she has been calling unfortunate mishaps; Hannah finally has to agree that there really is danger when it’s apparent that the brakes on her tractor have been tampered with.

She doesn’t know Taz has been sent to figure it all out, and she is of the firm belief she shouldn’t get involved with a patient/client. The ranch she runs specializes in helping former military re-enter society by treating their insecurities with hard work. The clients work with the horses some that have been abused, and also do other chores around the ranch.

This is a favorite scene, the first meeting and a manure fight. It’s a little long but it’s so worth the giggles.

“Who knows?” Hannah smiled, hoping to lighten the subject of dating. “My man might be the next person who walks through that door.”

Arching an eyebrow, Gavin leaned to his left and looked around her, which made Hannah turn, her pulse kicking up a notch.

The doorway remained empty.

She let go of the breath she’d been holding and laughed at herself. “It will happen when it happens. Until then, I have a fence to mend.” She shot a smile back at Gavin and swung around, heading for the exit, and ran into a wall of muscles.

The collision made her let go of the bucket. The plastic hit the ground, the lid popped off and fence staples spilled onto the floor. “Oh, for heaven’s sake.” She bent at the same time a man did and they knocked skulls.

Pain shot through her forehead and she sat back on her bottom. “Oh!”

The man she’d bumped into rocked back on his feet and sat down hard. His eyes glazed, and he swayed more than she did.

Hannah pushed past her own pain and leaned up on her knee, a staple piercing the fabric of her jeans. She didn’t care.

The man in front of her paled. He appeared like he was about to pass out.

“Hey.” She grabbed his arm and held him steady. “Are you all right?”

He nodded and pressed the fingers of both hands to his temples. “I’m fine,” he said, in clipped tones. When he dropped his hands, the haze in his eyes cleared, replaced by a concerned frown. “Did I hurt you?”

She shook her head, the pain receding.

He looked at the mess on the floor. “I’m sorry. I’ll get these.” He scooped up a handful of staples and deposited them into the plastic bucket.

Hannah came up on her haunches and helped collect the nails. In a couple of minutes, they’d secured all of the staples in the tub.

The man rose with the bucket, swayed a bit and then steadied.

Hannah straightened and held out her hand. “I’ll take those.”

He surrendered the container. “Please, accept my apologies.”

“No, it was my fault.” She twisted her lips into a crooked smile. “I should watch where I’m going. Can I help you?”

“I’m looking for a Hannah Kendricks.” He stared into her face. “I don’t suppose that would be you?”

Hannah stared up into the deepest, darkest eyes she’d ever seen. The man towered over her, his shoulders impossibly broad and his face ruggedly handsome. What had he asked? Oh, yeah. “I’m Hannah. And you are?”

The man held out his hand. “Alex Davila. My therapist told me I might see if you had room for one more patient here at the Brighter Days Rehab Ranch.”

Hannah’s heartbeat sped as she took the proffered hand. “Man or beast?” Holy smokes she couldn’t help staring at the beast in front of her and all of his sexy maleness.

His lips quirked upward. “Man.” He touched his chest. “Although, I’ve been called a beast by some of my friends. The patient would be me.”

The wind sucked out of her chest, Hannah felt as if her lungs had deflated to completely empty of all oxygen.

“You?” She ran her gaze over him from the top of his cowboy hat to his sexy new cowboy boots. “Actually, we do have room at the ranch.”

“Oh, good. When they turned me loose at Walter Reed, I wasn’t sure where I’d go next. I was getting close to pre-injury normal, but I didn’t want to backslide.” He gave her a smile. “Would you consider taking me on? I hear you have a good program here.”

“You have?” The fact that he would be one of the ranch’s clients made her feel both disappointed and relieved all at once.

As a client, he would be strictly off limits to her personally. Hannah had an ironclad rule for herself. Don’t get involved with the patients. Er…clients.

They needed to learn to function on their own. Falling for their therapist would only delay their re-entry into society. Shaking off the need to lick the man from head to toe, Hannah swallowed hard and took his hand. “Alex, you say?”

He nodded. “My friends call me Taz.”

“It wouldn’t happen to be short for Tasmanian Devil, would it?”

He grinned.

The action lit a fire at Hannah’s core.

“Guilty,” Taz said.

“Let me guess,” she said, her words tripping on her suddenly heavy tongue. “You’re the kind of person who spins into a situation, stirs it up and spins back out before anyone realizes what hit them?” Like he had her heart and her head spinning right then.

He shrugged. “Something like that.”

“What would you like us to call you? Alex, Davila or Taz?”

“Taz will do.” He stared down at her hand in his. “Do you mind if I have that back?”

Heat rushed up into her cheeks as she realized she’d been holding the client’s hand all the time they’d been discussing his name. Hannah yanked her hand out of his, suddenly missing the warmth and strength. Which was ridiculous. She didn’t need either. But knowing that didn’t stop her from wanting them…

Hannah squared her shoulders, determined to be professional amid her totally unprofessional thoughts. “Gavin will show you to the bunkhouse and get you settled in. But before you decide to stay, you should know, everyone who comes here is expected to pull his or her own weight in one form or another. Disabilities aren’t an excuse to get out of working. The animals we rescue count on us to make their lives better.”

Taz’s brows dipped. “I thought this was a rehab ranch for veterans.”

“And horses. We also rescue abused and mistreated horses. The veterans who come to us learn that they’re not the only living creatures with seemingly insurmountable problems. Our charges help each other heal.” She tipped her head in challenge. “Are you willing to do your share?”

He nodded. “I am.”

“Have you ever been around horses?” she asked.

Taz’s lips twitched. “A little.”

Hannah suspected he wasn’t telling the whole truth. However, she had work to do, and standing around drooling over a client wasn’t getting it done. “As I said, Gavin will show you to your quarters.” She left the tack room as quickly as she could without appearing bitchy or off-putting. Being near Taz was making her insides burn and her thoughts scramble.

“Hey! What the hell!” a voice shouted.

Hannah recognized it as Franklin’s.

“You got it on me first, you damned grunt,” Vasquez responded.

A snort sounded from the other side of a stall and something sailed into the air, landing with a plop on the ground at Hannah’s feet.

“Rather be a grunt than a jarhead,” Franklin shouted.

“Yeah, at least the shit is on the outside of my boots, not on the inside,” Vasquez said.

Two more clumps of straw-studded horse manure sailed out of the stall, landing on the ground near Hannah.

“What’s going on in there?” she shouted, anger building as yet another clump of manure flew out of the stall.

“He started it,” Franklin said, and grunted.

Hannah ran toward the stall, afraid the two young men would hurt each other with the hay rakes.

When she reached the stall gate, she stopped, her lips twitching, laughter bubbling up inside. Franklin and Vasquez were in a war of the rakes, balancing the two tools beneath their good arms, using their bodies to apply leverage. The rake tines were locked, and they were at a standoff.

Then Franklin backed off, dug his tines into the straw and manure and slung shit at Vasquez.

Vasquez ducked, and the horse manure hit Hannah in the chest. She let out a sharp breath and backed up a step.

The two fighters froze, their eyes rounding.

“Miss Kendricks, I’m so sorry.” Franklin ran toward her, still carrying his rake.

“It’s okay,” Hannah said, choking on her sudden need to giggle. She tried not to let it out. The situation was serious, but the guys covered in crap looked hysterically funny. She couldn’t hold back and let loose a bark of laughter.

“Attention!” a commanding voice said behind her. “Drop your tools.”

Both men quickly dropped their rakes and stood straight.

“It’s okay.” Hannah stopped laughing long enough to take a deep breath. When she did, she smelled the manure on her shirt and made a belated attempt to brush it off. Then, to make certain Franklin didn’t devolve into another brawl later, she schooled her face into a stern mask and faced them. “You do realize you’re cleaning up the mess you made?”

The two spoke as one, “Yes, ma’am!”

She tilted her chin a little higher. “And what did you learn today while slinging manure all over the barn?”

Their brows descended. “Ma’am?” Franklin questioned.

“Not to sling shit because it’s wrong?” Vasquez guessed.

“That, too.” Hannah let her lips curl into a smile as she gestured toward the vets. “More importantly, you learned you could manage a rake with one hand. And you did well enough to sling a considerable amount of manure all over the place. Now that you know you can do that, you can put your backs into cleaning up.”

“Yes, ma’am!” Franklin and Vasquez said as one. But they didn’t move. Their gazes shifted to the man who’d commanded them to attention.

“Get to it,” Taz said, his voice deep, strong and brooking no argument.

Franklin and Vasquez scrambled for the rakes. Each grabbed a handle on the wheelbarrow. Together they rolled it toward the middle of the barn and started shoveling manure.
James, Elle. Montana Ranger (Brotherhood Protectors Book 5) (pp. 39-45). Twisted Page Inc. Kindle Edition.

Right from the start you get a glimpse of the camaraderie that exists between everyone at the ranch in spite of what branch they served in. All of them equally dedicated to keeping Hannah safe.

From a rejected puppy, to someone taking pot shots, this book will grab you and not let you go.

Some major twists and turns, with a romance that will have you sighing.

5 Contented Purrs for Elle!

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Winter Blog About Author

Elle James Elle James
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.


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