In one week, ALL FIVE TEAM TROJAN stories release! My book, Defending Evangeline is the second in the series, following Desiree Holt’s Defending Sophie! And you don’t want to miss a single story! Here’s the link to the series: Team Trojan
Want to know more about Defending Evangeline? Read on!
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.
Read a snippet…
Evangeline Carré rested her back against the door of the Bottom of the Barrel Tavern as she fought to catch her breath.
He was here. Or at least, his men were here. Or worse, maybe he’d put a bounty on her, and more hunters would descend on Fool’s Gold looking for her. As much as she hated the thought, she had to leave, even though the cash she’d fled with was quickly dwindling.
“Damn him. Why won’t he let me go?” she whispered to herself.
Her eyes adjusted to the dim interior of the bar, and she straightened away from the door, stepped forward, and looked for the darkest corner in the establishment. She’d sit there until it was dark before leaving. She might as well eat and get something to drink before then. Who knew when she’d get the chance again? While she waited, she’d make a plan.
Then she remembered she’d dropped her shopping bag with her wallet inside it. She closed her eyes and gave a little moan.
Just then, the bar brightened as the door behind her opened.
She glanced over her shoulder, and her stomach dropped to her toes. The man who’d followed her from the coffee shop had just entered. Standing in the middle of the floor, frozen in place, she watched as he glanced around. When his gaze landed on her and stayed, any doubts she’d had about whether he’d been following her in the first place evaporated.
She looked to the bartender, who was frowning at her. With his long, greasy hair, cutoff sleeves and tattoos snaking up both arms, she doubted he’d be much help. Deciding she’d rather stand and defend herself rather than cowering on the ground, she lifted her chin and waited as the man approached.
He looked like any one of the men her boyfriend hired to do his bidding—tall, intense, frightening. A tall, well-muscled man, he had dark, close-cropped hair, a days-old beard darkening his cheeks and jaws, and a nose that looked a little crooked. The closer he came, she noted his eyes were brown but gleamed gold in the light shining from the bar. His stare as his gaze roamed up and down her body made her shiver.
When he reached her, he frowned. “Are you okay?”
Swallowing the rock that had lodged at the back of her throat, she nodded.
“I don’t know what was going on back there, but do we need to call the police?”
Her mouth parted. That was the last thing she’d expected him to say. “Why would you ask me that?” she whispered fiercely. “The police won’t pay you.”
His head tilted to the side, and his dark eyebrows drew together. “Why would I be looking to be paid?”
At that moment, she noted the hint of white foam clinging to his upper lip, reminding her of when she’d first seen him and his disgusted look at the coffee he’d purchased. Her shoulders relaxed a fraction as she matched his stare, unblinking. “You were following me.”
His chest rose as he drew a long breath. “I’m not sorry for that. Well, maybe I’m sorry you noticed and that I scared you, but if I hadn’t been following you…”
Tears pricked her eyes, and she hated showing him any weakness, but she was still quivering inside, and she didn’t know how she was going to escape this man when she was almost done. Done being afraid, done running. Her hand went to her belly, and she blinked her eyes. “Do you work for him?” she asked, thinking, maybe, if he was a bounty hunter, she might be able to pay him enough to let her walk away.
“Who do you think I work for?” he asked.
His voice was deep and rasped a bit. As rough as he appeared. Was he going to pretend he didn’t know? “Look, I have money. Back…where I’m staying. I’ll give it to you, if you’ll just let me go.”
He rocked back on his feet. “Marie? Why would I want your money?”
She jerked at the name, realizing he’d remembered it from when the barista had called her name in the coffee shop. It was the name she’d used since arriving in Fool’s Gold. Maybe he was just a smarter bounty hunter and was trying to win her confidence before he captured her. Or maybe, he wasn’t here because Emil wanted her found. Maybe he was just a nosy sort of guy.
He sighed and raked a hand through his hair. “Marie, you look ready to pass out. Why don’t we take a seat and get you something to eat? We’ll talk over lunch, and then you can tell me what kind of trouble you’re in.”
Although she had every reason not to trust him, when he waved a hand toward an empty booth in the back, she turned away from him, leaving herself vulnerable to attack, and strode with unsteady steps toward the dark, shadowed corner.