I have new books coming soon. One, in particular, I’m pretty excited about. Defending Evangeline exists inside my sister Elle James’s Brotherhood Protectors world. It’s one of five books in the Team Trojan stories inside the series. I have an excerpt to share. The minute Zeke and Evangeline meet sparks fly (Pssst. It’s a very sexy read!). I’m sharing a hint of it below! Enjoy! Poor Zeke’s in a bad way. 🙂
A sharp-edged, disgruntled former Green Beret who needs to find redemption finds himself attracted to a woman hiding dangerous secrets.
Zeke Turner still can’t get his head wrapped around the fact he’s been all but booted from the job he loved. Angry over the fact Trojan Team took the fall for their leadership’s failure, he’s relieved that he and his buddies appear to have landed on their feet, still together, having been hired by the Brotherhood Protectors, but he doesn’t trust this move will end well. Once burned, twice shy is his motto—and he was never very trusting in the first place.
His first protection job doesn’t leave him feeling any surer he made the right decision, but he’s keeping his dissatisfaction to himself, keeping his head down…until then he bumps into a dark-haired angel in Fool’s Gold, who manages to both attract and intrigue him. He knows something’s not right, that Evangeline Carré is scared and hiding secrets. With his protective instincts going into overdrive, he’s determined to unravel the mystery surrounding her while keeping her safe, even when she swears she doesn’t need or want his help.
For a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card, let me know if this story is one you look forward to reading! Let me know how you like the excerpt! Do you love ex-military men who put everything on the line to save the women they love?
An excerpt from Defending Evangeline…
By early evening, they’d heard from Cage and Sawyer. They’d finished up installing all the tech at the cabin and were heading back. Jake had outfitted Zeke with weaponry, and a satellite phone, as well as one of the tracking pendants. They’d use the cover of darkness to spirit Evangeline away from the lodge, with decoy vehicles to distract anyone who might try to tail them.
Right now, he was climbing the stairs two at a time to bring Evangeline down for dinner. The team was using a room reserved for parties for their meal rather than their usual staff-only table in the dining room to keep Evangeline out of the public eye. Clint was watching the entryway and stairs to ensure that he got her downstairs without being seen.
It was a lot of cloak and dagger shit, but after Evangeline had spent the afternoon confined in her room, Jake and RJ were sure she would appreciate some company and a taste of normalcy.
Zeke had showered and changed half an hour ago, and RJ had stopped by Evangeline’s room to let her know what the plans were for the evening meal. He paused and rubbed a hand over his hair, making sure nothing was sticking up, then knocked on her door.
Evangeline opened it a few moments later.
Every thought in his head flew at the sight of her, replaced by an instant surge of lust. Although dressed casually, her jeans were dark and tailored to hug the length of her surprisingly long and slender legs. Her feet were encased in short black leather boots with three-inch heels. On top, she wore a teal-colored sweater that looked as soft as a cloud and molded over the curves of her perfectly sized breasts. The collar of the sweater draped downward, and there was a deep narrow slit in front that showed just a hint of her cleavage. She’d left her dark hair down and wore only the lightest application of makeup. She didn’t need any of it. The woman was gorgeous. Way out of his league. And suddenly, he felt awkward, like an oafish Shrek, as he stood before her.
“You look nice,” he said, wincing inside because she looked much more than nice, but he would likely have garbled a stronger compliment.
She blushed as her gaze roamed his body from his chest to his toes and back up to his face. “You look nice, too.”
Her lips parted, and he had the urge to duck down and kiss her. Fuck, I’m in trouble. Instead, he held out his arm. “Ready to head down?”
She stepped out, closed the door behind her, then took his arm and walked beside him as they headed to the stairs.
“Were you bored as fu—bored,” he quickly corrected, “staying in your room all afternoon?”
“Yes, I was bored as fuck,” she said, her words sounding almost comical coming from her mouth. She glanced sideways, revealing a teasing smile.
He cleared his throat to keep from laughing. “I spend all my time with other guys. I don’t have to think so much about what comes out of my mouth.”
“I’m not a fragile princess or a prude. I won’t judge you, Zeke.”
He stayed silent as they descended the steps, determined not to trip over his own feet and bring her down with him. At the bottom of the stairs, Clint gave him a wink and signaled the “all clear” as he took her past the dining room to the smaller party room.
“I’ve put you all to a lot of bother,” she said softly.
They’d reached the door. Zeke turned toward her. “Stop. This is what we do.”
“For money,” she said, her eyes filling. “And you should be paid. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to reimburse you for everything—”
“Stop.” He pulled her against his chest. “We’ll get paid. Just not by you. The Brotherhood Protectors make bank for their paying jobs, but they also have benefactors who fund jobs where people can’t afford to pay for the protection they need. We don’t turn down someone who’s needful for lack of money.”
She leaned back her head. “I hate this. I put myself in this position. No one should feel sorry for me.”
“No one does. We feel concern—for your safety. And you do not deserve what’s happening to you.”
She dropped her gaze but didn’t step out of his embrace. He liked how she felt pressed against him, soft and warm. Her fragrance, a hint of a light exotic floral, filled his nose, and it was all he could do not to tighten his arms around her.
“I think they’ll probably wonder what’s keeping us,” she said, peeking up at him again.
He didn’t move his arms. “You ready?”
Her eyebrows drew closer. “Not yet,” she said, then rose on her tiptoes and kissed the side of his mouth. When she lowered again, she cleared her throat. “I am now.”
Shocked, Zeke slowly let his arms fall away. Evangeline turned and opened the door. He followed her and quickly schooled his expression into an impassive mask.
Why had she kissed him? Okay, so it had been on the corner of his mouth, not directly on his lips. Maybe it was how she kissed friends. Maybe it was some French-Canadian thing to kiss your bodyguards.
His mind was blown—and not just from her quick, over-in-a-second gesture—but from the memory of the slide of her body up his, her breasts rubbing his chest, her belly lightly grazing his cock as she’d risen.
Now, he was breathing through his nose to calm his heart and keep his unruly dick from showing how much he’d liked the feel of her rubbing up and down his body.
And maybe he hadn’t hidden his lust very well, because while they were calling out greetings and standing to offer her a chair, there were sly glances from his teammates as he followed her, a hand on the small of her back, which he hadn’t realized he’d placed there, until now.
That she allowed it and didn’t draw away only made things worse for his poor dick.
Relief filled him when she sat and he was able to quickly take a seat beside her. He was perspiring. Likely his cheeks were darkening. He reached for the glass of water at his place setting and downed half the glass before he swept his gaze around the room at his team and gave them a fierce glower.
Soft chuckles followed, but Zeke was saved from further ribbing by the swinging door opening and Gunny, followed by RJ and her friend JoJo, bringing in the food.
The smell of sizzling steaks filled the room, and Zeke’s stomach growled. Happy for the distraction, he glanced sideways at Evangeline, who was looking back at him.
Their gazes locked. A pale flush of pink crept across Evangeline’s cheeks, but her lips curved into a small smile.
His irritation with his friends died down as he smiled back. “Looks like it’s steak,” he said, cursing his stupid tongue. Duh.
“After all I ate for lunch, I’m surprised I’m suddenly ravenous.”
Jesus. The way she said that last word had him thinking about all the things he was truly ravenous to consume—her sweet curves, her cries.
Maybe his expression gave him away, because her blush intensified…