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Danger In Trust – Elite Swat Book 3 by Leah Ashton

Danger In Trust
Elite Swat Book 3
Leah Ashton



She doesn’t want a bodyguard.
He doesn’t want to want her.
Together they must fight for their lives.

A politician’s daughter… and CEO

Successful IT executive Emily Valente has no time for her estranged politician mother – so she is not happy when a threat to her mother leaves her with two WASP bodyguards on the biggest night of her career. Especially when one of those bodyguards is a tall, sexy, distraction.

The bodyguard who never breaks the rules

For WASP bodyguard Griffin Walters it was just a standard job – except for his unwanted attraction to the smart and stubborn woman he’s assigned to protect. But then the impossible happens, and suddenly Griff is fighting not only to save Emily’s life, but also his own.

Corruption that runs deep

With no idea who they can trust, Griff and Emily must work together to survive the night. Sparks fly and passion runs hot – but are they willing to break their own rules to risk a future together?

Or will the last person they expect betray them before they ever get that chance?



Emily Valente has been summoned; her mother has some important information for her that cannot be imparted over the phone. Donna Valente is the premier of Western Australia and it’s taken a long time for Emily to have some autonomy far away from the spotlight her mother basks in.

There’s a viable threat from the Notechi, against not only the premier but also Emily and bodyguards are being assigned. Emily hasn’t had bodyguards in a long time and while she understands the importance of them, she has a life. Emily is up for an award she has worked very hard to win and there is no way she’s not attending the awards ceremony.

Griffin Walters is to be one of Emily’s bodyguards, he meets her for the first time by her literally running into him. He’s immediately attracted to her something that hasn’t happened to him before. Duty comes first, always.

Griff was the one inside the ballroom at the awards, while his partner Ben Smith handled things outside. All was going well, until it wasn’t.

This is a favorites scene.

Emily won.

Griff stood at the side of the ballroom as Emily’s hands flew to cover her mouth in surprise. Her friends cheered as she got to her feet and the whole room watched as she took a deep breath, straightened her shoulders, and made her way to the stage, smiling at well-wishers as she navigated the sea of oversized round tables.

She was beautiful. Griff already knew that, of course.

But she was also obviously so much more.

He was intrigued by the woman now standing behind a podium beneath the spotlight, angular glass trophy in hand. Right now, Emily was all strength and authority. She was clearly in her element, surrounded by her peers, receiving an accolade Griff had no doubt she thoroughly deserved. She was steady and poised, and spoke to the room in a manner not dissimilar to her mother’s – in a way that demanded your full attention.

But he’d also seen another side of her. The version of Emily Valente who sprinted down hallways in tears, and blushed when he stood near. Who had no qualms commanding he not look at her, and yet – right now – caught his gaze across the hundreds of people in the ballroom.

Just as she had when she’d been talking to her friend. Her beautiful golden eyes hot and intense, and absolutely compelling.

No way was she seeing pity in his gaze right now.

And she looked at him like she couldn’t not, even though he knew she didn’t want to.

Damn, he knew his reasons he should look away. Right now, with his firearm against his hip, it was absolutely inappropriate to be looking at her like this, to be intrigued by her like this. Yet – he couldn’t stop.

“Griff, it’s Smith.”

The voice in his earpiece snapped him out of … whatever that had just been. As he watched, Emily went back to her speech, speaking as beautifully and articulately as if that pause to look at him had never happened. As if Griff had imagined it entirely.

“What’s up,” he said roughly.

“We need to get Ms Valente out,” Smith said. “Just got off the phone to Boots”—the E-SWAT CPP senior sergeant—“and new intel puts Notechi patch members in the vicinity of the hotel. She’s not safe here.”

It was all he needed to know.

“Onto it,” he said.

Griff looked around the ballroom. Nothing had changed from a minute ago. The room was still secure, and the awards evening carried on, the crowd breaking into applause as Emily stepped away from the podium and walked back to her table.

He made his way around the edge of the ballroom, watching Emily as she paused briefly to talk to others in the crowd. On the stage, the nominees for the next award were announced, and the spotlight was no longer on the woman in the slinky midnight dress.

Of course, his attention was still on her, but she didn’t look at him as she made her way to her table. But she definitely looked at him when he met her there, his words low and clear. “We need to leave.”

Her eyes widened, but she didn’t protest. She simply nodded, grabbed that tiny clutch handbag thing and excused herself from her friends. He didn’t bother to see their reactions, he was already guiding her out of the room, not touching her, but moving right at her shoulder. In his ear, the other CPP officers confirmed it was safe to exit the ballroom, and so they did, heading for the same route they took to enter the hotel.

“What’s going on?” Emily asked in the deserted hallway, their brisk footsteps muffled on the thick carpet.

“Notechi gang members were spotted nearby, and intel believe they’re on their way here.”

They reached the facilities elevator which Griff immediately ignored for the emergency staircase – it was quicker than waiting for the elevator to arrive. Now their footsteps were loud on the utilitarian concrete stairs.

“But why?” Emily said. “This makes no sense. Why would they want me?”

“It’s pretty standard for bad guys to go after the families of politicians,” Griff replied as they reached the last landing before the final flight of stairs to the basement car park.

“Yeah, in movies,” Emily said, almost running down the steps beside him. “That kind of stuff doesn’t happen in Perth.”

They’d made it to the heavy exit door, but Griff stopped dead, his hand gripping the handle hard.

Emily looked up at him, her forehead crinkled in response to the sudden pause in their urgent journey.

“Of course that stuff fucking happens in Perth,” Griff said harshly. “This is real, Emily. It’s happening right now. What do you think we’re running from? The Notechi don’t fuck around.”

As he watched, her face paled. “Is my mum okay? Have they already got to her?”

“All I know is to get you out of here, Ms Valente,” Griff said shoving the door open.
Ashton, Leah. Elite SWAT Box Set: Books 1-3 Kindle Locations (5396-5437). Kindle Edition.

To say things go FUBAR is an understatement as everything ramps up and the players are not who I expected at all. Now they’re on the run, and don’t know who they can trust.

So many twists and turns as Griff and Emily run for their lives, get to know each other and their relationship even gets pretty steamy.

I look forward to catching up on the rest of this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Leah!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!


Leah Ashton

RITA® Award-winning author Leah Ashton writes fast-paced romantic suspense and smart, modern contemporary romance. All her books feature strong heroines, deliciously heroic heroes and swoon worthy happily ever afters.

Leah lives in Perth, Western Australia with her gorgeous husband, two amazing daughters and the best intentions to meal plan and have an effortlessly tidy home. When she’s not writing, Leah loves all day breakfast, rambling conversations and laughing until she cries. She really hates cucumber. And scary movies.

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Out Run The Night – Elite Swat Book 2 by Leah Ashton

Out Run The Night
Elite Swat Book 2
Leah Ashton



Wrong Place. Wrong Time. Wrong Man –
yet he made her feel so right.

A prim and proper high school teacher

Recently divorced Bethwyn Banfield just wanted one out-of-character night on the town, and the tall, dark, tattooed stranger she meets is not what she was looking for. But their instant, electric attraction is undeniable.

The cop with a bad boy past

WASP Team Undercover cop Damon Nyhuis has spent two years infiltrating the notorious Notechi Motorcycle Club, doing whatever it takes to remain in deep cover. But when he sees his high school calculus teacher in a bar looking as hot as she did thirteen years ago, the last thing he is thinking about is his job. And that turns out to be the biggest mistake of his life.

A race through the desert

Kidnapped and dragged to the middle of nowhere, Beth and Damon must escape the murderous Notechi – but to do so is only the beginning of their ordeal. The desert is vast, desolate and unforgiving, and the Notechi are right on their heels.

Their passion as hot as the sun

In the cool of the desert night they run, but in the lethal heat of the day they must rest – and quickly, lust becomes so much more.

First, they must make it home. But then – can there really be a future for the teacher who wants her own family, and the cop who makes certain he’s always alone?



On an impulse after learning her ex-husband was now in a serious relationship, Bethwyn decided to go out to a bar with the intention of getting laid. She really hadn’t thought that whole thing through and had just decided to leave the bar, giving up on her one night out of character. Then she’s approached by Damon.

Damon’s still undercover as Todd aka ‘Crawls’ but when he sees Bethwyn he knows he has one chance to get her attention and he takes it. What he doesn’t expect is to have company bust in at his house. He’d let his guard down and now they are both in trouble. Notechi type of trouble that could very well end with them both dead.

It was mid-morning by the time they arrived at Tiger Snake Station where the Notechi headquartered. That’s when everything goes a bit crazy.

This is a favorite scene.

They’d reached a large room, decorated in a kind of modern country style with white fabric couches and a shaker-style kitchen at one end. In the middle of the room – looking out through large windows that viewed what looked to Beth like a world of nothingness – dirt and scrub and flatness, with maybe the slightest undulations in the far, far distance – stood a man. His back to them all.

He was tall, as tall as Todd, but bigger in width. Not with more muscle, as Beth knew Todd was all muscle, but bulk. He wasn’t fat, not exactly, just big. And on that big, broad back – was a leather biker jacket. And on that jacket, was embroidered two entwined, banded snakes. And beneath that, a single word: Notechi.

The man turned around.

Todd,” the man said.

“Knife,” said Todd. “There’s clearly been a misunderstanding. Let’s sort this out, you know I—”

But Knife held out a hand, and Todd fell instantly silent. “No bullshit. I know what you’ve been doing.”

“Do you?” Todd said. “Because I have no idea. Could you fill me in so I at least know what I’m supposed to have done?”

Knife shook his head. “I’m not playing games. You’re very convincing, I give you that.”

“This isn’t an act,” Todd said. “I’m telling you the truth.”

Knife laughed out loud, and then – awkwardly – head goon and the rest all joined in.

“Bullshit,” Knife repeated. He pointed at one of the white couches. “Sit.”

Head goon pushed Todd towards the couch, but no one moved Beth anywhere. She stood uncomfortably just inside the room, flanked on either side by a bikie – one with long brown hair and a grey-flecked goatee, the other totally bald.

Knife’s gaze slid from Todd to the rest of the room, then stilled and held when he saw Beth.

“Who the fuck is she?” he said, still staring at her, but clearly directing the question at head goon.

Beth realised that head goon now held his gun in his hand, and the man tapped it against his thigh as he spoke.

“She was with Crawls,” he said.

Beth couldn’t look away from the gun as fear began to overtake any hope she’d been clinging to. It was not good that the man was holding a gun. It was not good at all.

“So you brought her with you?” Knife asked with a mix of fury and incredulity. “Why the fuck would you do that?”

“We couldn’t leave her,” head goon explained. “She’d seen us—”

“I won’t tell anyone anything,” Beth said in a burst of words that bubbled up from nowhere. Or at least she tried to. The tape still covering her mouth turned it all to mumbles.

Knife strode up to her, and as he moved, Beth realised he had a gun tucked into the front waistband of his faded black jeans.

She stopped breathing as he came to a stop in front of her. For long moments, he just stared, as if he was assessing her. His gaze slid down to her feet, then slowly, slowly upwards over her creased, colourful skirt and her untucked black blouse. He would have been handsome, this Knife guy, with his thick mahogany hair, cool blue eyes and strong jaw, if he wasn’t so clearly bad. And not bad in a good way. This wasn’t a sexy bad, not like Todd who oozed danger, but not in a way that threatened her. Or at least, Beth desperately hoped her instincts were right and that was true. But with Knife, there was no question, no hoping anything – he was capital B Bad. All caps bad even: BAD.

He was absolutely a danger to Beth. He would hurt her, she knew it. He’d hurt her, and not blink an eyelid.

He reached out and ripped the tape off her mouth.

It stung like hell, and she remembered to breathe again as she gasped in pain.

“What you say?” Knife demanded.

“I won’t tell anyone anything,” Beth repeated, her voice scratchy and dry. “I won’t. It’ll be like this never happened, like it was all a dream or something. I promise.

“Sweet thing,” Knife said, in an approximation of a charming tone. “How many times have you broken the law?”

Beth’s mouth opened and closed, but no sound came out.

“Just as I thought,” he continued, as if she’d spoken. “Zero times. So I can’t see any reason why’d you start now with failing to report a crime. And you’ve seen a few so far, I imagine – kidnapping, assault – and pretty soon, murder. So, sweet thing – you cool with that? Cool with walking away, never breathing a word after witnessing bits of your boyfriend’s brain fucking up my new furniture?”

She didn’t reply. How could she?

He’d just vocalised the reality of what was happening to her, and it was impossible. All of this was incomprehensible. Fear tightened her throat and made unshed tears sting her eyes.

His hand reached out, slipping a finger under the collar of her blouse and then sliding downwards, the glide of his knuckle grotesque against the swell of her breast. His voice was low and thick with faux seduction. “Cool with not reporting a rape, sweet thing?”

She stepped backwards, not caring about the goons or the gun or anything as she reacted instinctively. “Don’t touch me!” she yelled.

And over Knife’s shoulder, she saw a flurry of movement and then the sickening thud of fists against skin and bone.
Ashton, Leah. Elite SWAT Box Set: Books 1-3 Kindle Locations (3076-3118). Kindle Edition.

From an initial fight because of the threat to Beth things start to go downhill. Fortunately, Knife’s mistress Suz puts up a fuss and he decides to take her back to the city. From here Damon and Beth make their own luck and begin a harrowing journey across the desert. something that must be accomplished before Knife gets back.

There is plenty of suspense, action and sizzle in this book and I’m already reading the next one.

5 Contented Purrs for Leah!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!


Leah Ashton

RITA® Award-winning author Leah Ashton writes fast-paced romantic suspense and smart, modern contemporary romance. All her books feature strong heroines, deliciously heroic heroes and swoon worthy happily ever afters.

Leah lives in Perth, Western Australia with her gorgeous husband, two amazing daughters and the best intentions to meal plan and have an effortlessly tidy home. When she’s not writing, Leah loves all day breakfast, rambling conversations and laughing until she cries. She really hates cucumber. And scary movies.

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For the Fight – Elite SWAT Book 1 By Leah Ashton

For The Fight
Elite SWAT Book 1
Leah Ashton



She’s a cop who made one mistake.
He’s a SWAT team operator who broke her heart.

The gunman holding them hostage? He’s got no idea who he’s dealing with…

Luella Brayshaw doesn’t think when she sees Nate Rivers, twelve years since he walked away. She just feels – all the hurt, and all the heat – and she runs. But by the time her brain clicks into gear she’s on a random train, with Nate – and that’s when it all goes very, very wrong.

Driven and dedicated, Elite SWAT tactical operator Nate Rivers knows he made the right decision all those years ago. Although it’s hard to remember why with Lou right in front of him, all strong, gorgeous and justifiably furious with him.

But then a gunman takes their carriage hostage… and suddenly the past doesn’t matter.

Now it’s up to Nate and Lou – unarmed – to save everyone on that train.

When their past and present collide, passion ignites – as hot and as powerful as a decade before. But can the mistakes of the past be forgiven? Or will they destroy any chance of a future together?



I purchased the first three books in this series in a box set. I am reviewing individually.

Lou is on desk duty after being sidelined for an error in judgement. She’s supposed to be on the desk of Elite Swat but somehow they have her being the ‘target’ in a training exercise. As such she decides to be the best target ever and manages to escape them at almost every turn. That is until she spots Nate and she takes the exercise a step further putting them in a difficult position.

Nate was following the target, he hadn’t had a good look at her although as he watched her approach the train station he recognized the walk. He’s surprised to realize Lou’s his target. He doesn’t understand why she’s playing target when actors usually do that. He has no choice but to follow as she got on the train.

They are about to leave when a woman catches Lou’s eye and they stop.

This is a favorite scene.

The train was slowing as it arrived at City West station. They’d need to get off here and catch the next train back.

“You will not do that,” Lou said, dropping the hand strap so she could step closer to him. They’d already been standing relatively close, but now she was near enough that she needed to tilt her chin to meet his gaze. “Don’t you dare. I can look after myself. Besides, Nate, I did fuck up, all right? So, nothing to set straight. Probably whatever gossip you hear will be true.”

The train rolled to a complete stop. A young woman with a baby asleep in one of those baby sling things stood at the door, ready to alight. Outside, only a few people dotted the station platform. It was late morning on a Monday – not exactly peak hour for the Perth to Fremantle line.

“No way,” Nate said, as the doors slid open. “That doesn’t sound like the Lou I knew. Tell me what happened, there’s got to be more to it—”

“There’s not, Nate,” she said on a sigh. “Come on, let’s just get off this stupid train.”

Nate activated his microphone as he waited for the mother and baby to step off in front of him. He’d already let the team know he’d followed the target onto the platform and then onto the train.

He’d completely ignored Peters’ ranting about Lou not understanding simple instructions, and besides – Peters had calmed down pretty quick. It wasn’t much more than three minutes from Perth to City West. They’d added maybe ten minutes to the exercise, and they’d all be back at headquarters for the debrief before they knew it.

“At City West with the target. We’ll catch the—”

Lou’s hand on his arm instantly silenced him. Initially it was just because she’d touched him – even through the thin cotton fabric of his shirt the simple act of her hand on him instantly focused all of his attention. But swiftly, it stopped being about a visceral, primal reaction to Lou as a woman, and became completely about what she was trying to tell him.

She’d curled her hand just above his elbow, her fingers digging into his bicep.

Wait,” she said, urgently, under her breath.

As the woman and her baby stepped out of the train and onto the platform, a man and another woman hurried through the carriage door.

Well, more accurately – the man hurried. The man was only of average height, but he was constructed of inflated muscle, with huge shoulders and pectorals beneath the snug black T-shirt he wore. His muscular arms were liberally covered in tattoos, with the artwork presumably continuing under the fabric of his shirt, reappearing above his collar to wrap around his neck.

Rather than take one of the many spare seats in the nearly empty carriage, the guy dragged the woman to a stop immediately across from the still open carriage door.

His dark hair was short, his features blunt. His jaw was clenched.

Now, Nate had nothing against tattoos. Tatts could be cool. Not his thing personally, but heaps of the guys at E-SWAT had them. Likewise, he got the whole gym thing. He was paid to be fit. Extremely fit.

So, having tatts and being ripped didn’t make you a bad guy. But Nate had been in the job long enough to know a shithead when he saw one. And this guy, with his arm wrapped around the waist of the woman beside him, was pure shithead.

Whether his criminality extended beyond intimidating women, Nate had no idea. But he had absolutely no doubt the small woman standing beside the man did not want to be on this train.

He glanced at Lou.

But she’d already stepped around him, crossing the carriage to stand before the woman. The woman hadn’t looked up the entire time Nate had been watching, her blonde hair covering her face in a tangled curtain.

“Are you okay?” Lou asked her, as Nate stepped up beside her.

The shithead was entirely focused on Lou, his anger almost a tangible thing – like an aura of fury surrounding him. He was older than Nate had thought, probably late forties, with salt and pepper through his almost buzz cut hair. He held the blonde woman tight, her body pressed against his from shoulder to hip. The muscles in the arm wrapped around her were tensed, and veins popped on the back of his hand and up his arms. A similar vein pulsed on the man’s forehead as he glared at Luella.

A beeping noise heralded the closing of the carriage doors behind Nate.

It seemed they weren’t going to get back to Elite SWAT headquarters as quickly as he’d thought. But that was okay. You don’t just look the other way – ever.

Lou would’ve asked the woman if she was okay whether she was in uniform or not. So would he.

But – the thing was they weren’t in uniform, and the shithead had no idea that two police officers stood in front of him. Unarmed police officers, given neither of them had needed a firearm for the surveillance exercise, and gun legislation in Australia didn’t allow even the police to conceal carry without good reason. And if the E-SWAT team had all been wearing gun holsters while tailing Lou, that would’ve given the game away.

“Are you okay?” Lou repeated, when the woman remained absolutely silent.

No – that wasn’t true. Nate could hear her breathing – louder than it should be. Much louder.


“She’s fine,” the shithead grunted.

“I’d really rather hear that from her,” Lou said, sounding absolutely calm and reasonable. She kept her attention on the woman only, as if the behemoth of a man was utterly irrelevant to her.

The mop of blonde hair lifted, and the woman met Lou’s gaze.

She said nothing, but her message was clear: Help me.

Then her head dropped down again.

“Tell her you’re fucking fine, Fiona. You can at least fucking do that for me.”

Fiona didn’t move.

Nate realised she was wearing business attire: a striped pencil skirt, navy blue blouse, sensible heels. A security pass hung from a lanyard at her neck.

Fiona had been at work before the shithead had come along. Did she even know the guy?

He needed to call in backup to meet them at the next station. He was fairly sure he could take the guy down if necessary, but it wasn’t at that point yet. The best thing to do would be to get the guy off the train, and Fiona safe. Ideally peacefully and without freaking out everyone on the train. And that would be easier with backup.

The train took a turn, and the carriage swayed slightly. The tension in the small space was thick, with all passengers’ eyes on them: a couple of lanky teenage boys, a middle-aged woman with a thick paperback novel on her lap, and a slightly overweight guy in a suit, probably between meetings.

The suit met Nate’s gaze: should we do something?

Nate nodded and immediately changed plan. Everyone on the carriage was already freaked out. It was only a few more minutes until Subiaco station, but he could at least let them know the police were onto this. He reached into his back pocket for his police ID.

At the same time, Luella placed a hand on Fiona’s shoulder, the one furthest from the brooding man mountain.

“It’s okay, Fiona, I’m – ”

But whatever Lou was about to say was forgotten as the shithead suddenly reached for the small of his back. Instantly, Nate knew what the guy was doing and he made a grab for Lou, hooking onto the waist of her jeans and yanking her towards him.

At the same time, he activated his mic and spoke in a low, urgent tone as the man began to yell and Fiona screamed.

“One suspect, armed, middle carriage. Black clothing, neck tattoo. Multiple hostages. Approaching Subiaco station.”
Ashton, Leah. Elite SWAT Box Set: Books 1-3 Kindle Locations(280-339). Kindle Edition.

Being in a hostage situation out of uniform is not ideal, but these two are better prepared than most to handle it.

The tension and intensity of the situation is clear from the start and I loved the interactions between Lou and Nate. They have much to resolve but the chemistry between them is palpable.

I’m already starting the next book in this series.

5 Contented Purrs for Leah!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!


Leah Ashton

RITA® Award-winning author Leah Ashton writes fast-paced romantic suspense and smart, modern contemporary romance. All her books feature strong heroines, deliciously heroic heroes and swoon worthy happily ever afters.

Leah lives in Perth, Western Australia with her gorgeous husband, two amazing daughters and the best intentions to meal plan and have an effortlessly tidy home. When she’s not writing, Leah loves all day breakfast, rambling conversations and laughing until she cries. She really hates cucumber. And scary movies.

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