USA Today Bestselling Author
The only thing Alabama Love wanted was to provide a safe home for her son, Wyoming, away from her abusive husband. When she landed in Eagle Rock, Montana, she thought just maybe, she might have found the perfect place to start her life over and give her son the kind of future he deserves. But sometimes the past has a tendency of catching up to the present.
And in her case, the past could prove to be a deadly future.
Only one thing really matters in Wayne “Dakota” Newark’s life, and that’s family. When his wife passed away from breast cancer, he left the military and joined the Brotherhood Protectors in order to provide a more stable life for his two little girls. There isn’t anything he wouldn’t do for his kids. But when his nanny quits, he finds himself having to trust a woman he doesn’t know and that doesn’t settle right in his gut. All in the name of protecting his family, he does some digging into Alabama’s past.
Unfortunately, his prying into her background disturbs a hornet’s nest that has the potential to destroy both their worlds.
And now he’s tangled up with a woman who has not only stolen the hearts of his precious girls but has taken his hostage and now he wants to spend the rest of his life protecting her and her young son.
That is if he can keep them all alive.
Alabama needs a job to support her son, this last interview hadn’t worked out for her either. With no real experience she was having a difficult time finding anything. She was fortunate to have this tiny house on Dakota Newark’s Broken Spur Ranch and he had offered to help her find a position. Now she was going to have to talk to him about that. While deciding whether to wait for the nanny Candice to leave, she’s witness to said nanny being fired.
Dakota is immediately faced with a dilemma of being in two places at the same time and Alabama steps up to solve that problem for him. This leads him to hire her as his nanny, it also brings into question how deep to look into her background since he’s pretty sure she’s running from something or someone.
She clutched at her pendant dangling around her neck. It carried a picture of her and her son on the day of his birth. But behind that was an image of her parents and her when she’d been five years old. It was the only thing she’d kept from her past. The only thing she had linking her to her old life. She missed her parents. She wondered if they hadn’t died her junior year in college if she would have fallen so hard and fast for Josh. Maybe they would have seen what a heartless bastard he was and saved her from five years of hell.
“I don’t mean to pry, but the girls didn’t mention what your wife died from?”
“Breast cancer.” He scratched at the side of his face and let out a puff of air. “She was diagnosed when River was two and died two years later. River only remembers her being sick, which breaks my heart. I try to give them all the good memories of their mother as often as I can, but they are my memories, not theirs.”
“But they had a loving mother, and they have pictures and videos.” Her son, thankfully, would have nothing to remember his father by. “And they have you. They think you walk on water.”
“They also think all dads should have wives and have made it their life mission to find me a good one,” he said with slight chuckle.
“I’m aware. They showed me a list they have compiled of potential women for you, but they told me they haven’t vetted them all yet.”
“Vetted? They actually used that word?”
“Oh yeah. Sky even said your boss, Hank, was going to help her with the process.”
“Oh, good Lord.” He tossed his head back and laughed. “And dare I ask why they showed you this list?”
“They started by crossing Candice off the list.”
“Oh, thank God. Besides her basically being a child, she’s so not my type,” he said.
“She’s only five years younger than me.”
He arched a brow and glanced to the ceiling. “That makes you twenty-eight?”
“I’ll be twenty-nine on Valentine’s Day,” she said, wishing she hadn’t enlightened him on the date of her birthday, much less her age, though now she wondered his and hoped maybe she was under what he considered too young. Sadly, she’d always preferred older men. That’s one of the reasons she fell so quickly for Josh.
“I’ll have to remember that and treat you to something special.” He winked.
She waved her hand. “Oh, no. Please don’t. I hate birthdays. And this one is just one shy of a big one.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me. I just turned forty, so you don’t get to say that to me. Besides, knowing my girls, they put you on the dating list, so even if they don’t know that Valentine’s Day is your birthday, they will be up to playing cupid.”
“Wonderful,” she mumbled. “No offense to your daughters, or you, but I’m not looking.”
“Neither am I, but Sky and River have it in their heads that I need a girlfriend. I’ve explained that I don’t. However, they have my stubborn streak and their mother’s inability to let things go. I will have a little chat with them, but can we humor them for your birthday? We kind of make a big deal about birthdays because that’s a celebration of life and having lost their mother, well, we like to make the living feel important.”
How the hell could she say no to that? “As long as it’s nothing too fancy, got it?”
“Got it,” he said.
The oven dinged.
“Of course, you might fire me after this meal.”
His laughter was cut short the second he opened the oven.
She stood and peered over his shoulder. “Oh no. How did that happen?” She stared at the goop that had bubbled over the rim of the metal pan she’d put all the noodles, meat, sauce, and a couple different kinds of cheese in. She’d followed the directions, for the most part, so she wasn’t sure why half her concoction was burnt on the bottom of the oven.
He snagged some hot mitts and pulled out the so-called lasagna, setting it on the rack next to the stove. “You overfilled the pan and might have put in too much sauce and cheese, but it smells good.” He took a fork and a cut out a small portion. Holding it up to his mouth, he puckered his lips and blew.
For the last few months she’d lived on takeout and the occasional microwavable meal. Back in the day, her palate couldn’t tolerate such things, but today, all she cared about was putting calories in her body. Her stomach knotted as she gnawed at her fingernail.
“You look absolutely terrified,” he said with an amused smile.
Fear crept up from her toes all the way to the tip of her tongue. If this were Josh standing in front of her, she’d already be on the floor with a few bruises for ruining the oven.
“It would be such a waste if that meal isn’t eatable. And I’m so sorry about the oven. I will clean it tomorrow.”
He leaned in and kissed her cheek. “Once it cools, I’ll scrape what I can, and then it will self-clean. You don’t need to worry about it at all.” He gave the pasta one more good blow before he shoved it between his teeth. His eyes grew wide before he turned and spit the contents of his mouth into the sink.
She covered her mouth with a gasp, taking two steps back. Her hands trembled. She resented how quickly certain situations would send her spiraling into the scared woman Josh created. When she left, she promised herself she’d never let another man make her feel the way Josh had.
“I can honestly say I’ve eaten worse.”
Panic took over her mind. No matter what she told herself about how kind Dakota had been since she’d moved in, he was still a man, and he still had fists.
He glanced over his shoulder as he tossed a napkin in the trash. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to insult you, but you did say it could be bad.”
She nodded, trying desperately to control her breathing. She’d never had a panic attack until after she’d gotten married. And in the last couple of years, they came regularly. While in the underground, she developed strategies on how to deal with them, but currently nothing was working. As he closed the gap between them, her lungs burned while she tried to take in a deep breath.
“I’m not going to hurt you.” He held his hands up.
Clutching her necklace, she pushed her back against the wall. “I know,” she whispered. But she didn’t know anything except she felt as though she were still a caged animal.
“You’re safe with me,” he whispered. “It’s just a dinner that didn’t come out right and a mess that can be cleaned up. Nothing to get upset over.”
Intellectually, she knew that.
But her past reality dictated something entirely different. She opened her mouth but all that came out was some high-pitched strange noise that made her sound like some pathetic person. She cleared her throat. “I’m sorry. I’m just tired. It’s been a long day,” she managed to croak out in what she hoped was a strong tone.
He reached out and tucked a piece of her hair behind her ear. “You still need to eat dinner. I’m going to order pizza, wings, and salad. Does that work for you?”
“You don’t have to feed me. I’ve got some—”
“I insist.” He rested his hands on her shoulders. “I don’t know what happened to you, and I’m not going to ask you a lot of questions about it right now, but I want you to know that I will make sure you and Wyoming are always safe in my home.”
A burst of rage moved through her bloodstream. “You keep saying that, and I don’t understand why. I don’t need your protection.”
“I’ve seen this kind of thing—”
“I’m not a client of yours. I haven’t hired you to protect me from anything.”
“I understand that,” he said with an arched brow. “But I’ve seen women on the run before and—”
“On the run? That’s what you think? Wow.” She sucked in a deep breath, hoping it would give her some courage as she patted his chest and maneuvered around him. “I suppose your job puts those kinds of ideas in your head. Now, it’s getting late, and I need to put Wyoming down. Sorry my dinner didn’t work out. I’ll do better next time. See you tomorrow morning.”
Talty, Jen. Saving Love: Brotherhood Protectors World (Saving Series Book 1). Twisted Page Press LLC. Kindle Locations (491-554). Kindle Edition.
Things get pretty intense as Candice with her boyfriend start harassing Alabama. However it’s her boyfriend’s family that concerns Dakota and the Brotherhood Protectors the most.
This is a quick read because you won’t be able to put it down. There are plenty of twists in this tale along with action and some frustration. All that and some laughter, tears and a simmer to sizzle romance.
I love seeing the Brotherhood Protectors and the new additions to the crew. I have to go back now and read the others Jen Talty has written in this world.
5 Contented Purrs for Jen!
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!
More of Jen’s Brotherhood Protectors World Books
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.