Emily is the President's daughter. Gorgeous but innocent...not the kind of woman who should get involved with me, an ex-Marine with a bad boy rep. But when a sniper opens fire, the need to protect her is stronger than anything I've ever felt. Suddenly, we're on the ground, my body covering hers. I save her life then walk away, sure that I'll never see her again.
But when a shaken Emily asks me to become her bodyguard, I can't turn her down. Now I have to wear a suit and call her ma'am when all I want to do is slam her up against the wall and tear her clothes off. Neither of us can resist...but I can't let her get close, not with what's lurking in my past. And the danger is far from over. The White House is under threat...and I'll do whatever it takes to protect the woman I've fallen for.
Read an excerpt:
Holy hell, he gets better looking every time I see him.
I stepped back from the door, praying he couldn’t see how he was affecting me. I could feel his gaze on me, leaving a trail of heat as it passed over my face, my neck, my breasts... either he wasn’t bothering to hide it or he couldn’t and both of those options made me heady. I’d never had a guy want me like that—not in such a direct way. Washington guys played mind games. Kian didn’t.
At least I wasn’t that obvious. I tried to stop looking at the smooth curve of his pecs under that snow-white shirt. He doesn’t know, I reassured myself. He totally doesn’t know.
I had a sudden stab of worry as he closed the door behind him. Was that what this was really about? Had I really tracked him down and gotten him reinstated because I was—I weakened and admitted it—ferociously attracted to him?
I took a deep breath and looked at him, pushing the feelings away, and... no. It wasn’t just that. I could already feel the fear easing, the black waters retreating like a tide.
It was real: he made me feel safe. I took another slow, deep breath and it felt good. It felt as if I could really fill my lungs for the first time in days—I hadn’t realized how tight my chest had been. I luxuriated in the feeling... and then noticed that Kian’s eyes had dropped to my breasts and were following their slow rise and fall. I turned away, blushing, and pulled my cardigan a little tighter around me... but a wave of heat was rippling down to my groin and I felt oddly proud.
“Kian,” I said to break the silence. I tried to pronounce it like he did: Key-an. “Is that Irish?”
“Yes Ma’am. Born over here, but my dad’s Irish.”
I turned around just in time to see a flicker of pain at the mention of his dad. It made me curious... but I didn’t know him nearly well enough. Not yet. So I said, “Are you really going to call me ma’am the whole time?”
“Yes ma’am.” He looked down at my leg, my injured calf visible beneath my green skirt. “How’s the leg?”
I looked down at it. “It’s okay. Not too bad as long as I don’t walk far... and I haven’t been doing much of that, of late. It stiffens up, sometimes…” I looked up at him... and found he was still gazing at my legs. He seemed to be having trouble taking his eyes off them. Part of me wanted to be righteously offended but... it didn’t feel lecherous or creepy, as it would have if some stranger in the street had stared. Coming from Kian, it felt... honest. Good, clean, absolutely filthy red-hot desire... aimed at me. Maybe that would be normal for some women, but I’m nothing special. I didn’t understand why he was so into me... but the fact he was sent a deep, warm glow through me.
He finally looked up and met my eyes. He didn’t look the slightest bit guilty that he’d been savoring my legs. There was another one of those silences, the ones that built and built until I wanted to just hurl myself against him. “Anyway,” I said to break it, “at least it made some people happy.”
He frowned, confused.
“My leg,” I said. “Me getting shot. It made some people happy.”
“Commenters, on the internet.” He frowned deeper, not understanding, and I sighed. “It’s nothing. Morons sitting in their mom’s basement. They post... you know. Mean stuff.” I shrugged and looked at the floor. I hadn’t been looking for sympathy. “It’s no big deal.”
I shrugged again. “Death threats.”
He took a step towards me. “Death threats? People send you death threats?”
“They’re not serious. The Secret Service look into anything that’s a viable threat to my life. Most of them are just... you know. Wishing that I’d die in horrible ways.” I looked up at him and tried to smile. “You can relax, they’re just idiots. They’re not dangerous.”
And then I saw his expression and realized he wasn’t worried: he was angry. “What do they say?” he asked, his voice a low, dangerous growl.
No one had ever really talked to me about it before. The Secret Service were only interested in investigating the viable threats, not the other 99% that were simple outpourings of hate. And no one had ever seemed interested in how it affected me. “Just... you know... I hope you fucking die,” I told him. “Or, when we went on the trip to Africa, it was I hope you get gang-raped and get AIDS and die. Or—”
His hand gripped my arm. I could feel the tension in him—he was almost shaking in rage. When I looked up into his eyes, it was as if he wanted to kill every single one of them. “You... shouldn’t read that stuff,” he said tightly. He was having to force each word out past his anger.
I swallowed. “I know. But it’s like picking at a scab, y’know? Sometimes, I can’t help myself.” I searched his face in wonder. No one had ever looked so... indignant about it. It was as if he honestly believed I didn’t deserve it, as if I shouldn’t just accept that it came with the territory. I felt this tight knot of emotion rise up inside and I wasn’t sure how to deal with it. So I looked away.
After a few seconds, he said “You should be exercising that leg. It’ll help. Didn’t they give you exercises to do?”
I nodded, glad of the change of subject. “Yeah, but…” I bit my lip guiltily.
“I was the same. Never seemed to get around to it. But you should do it.”
“You were hurt?”
He tapped the right side of his chest. “Got hit by some shrapnel just here. The doctors kept telling me to exercise it as it healed, but that just reminded me of it, so I kept finding excuses.”
He looked at me and I nodded. That sounded familiar.
“Wish I had, though,” he said. “Would have got my strength back a lot sooner. C’mon: what are you supposed to do?”
“Calf raises,” I said. And I showed him, going up on my toes and then slowly back down again. I had to hang onto the back of a chair for support but, like everything else in the White House, the chair was an antique and wobbly as hell. I lurched sideways.
“Here,” he said, slipping off his jacket and offering his shoulder. “Hang onto me.”
I swallowed. On the outside, he was still all crisp white shirt and professionalism, but the sunlight from the windows was streaming through the thin fabric and silhouetting the body beneath. I could see the dark ink of the tattoos on his arms and the shadows between each ridge of his abs. The bad underneath the good. As he turned to toss his jacket on the bed, I could see one more tattoo, small and circular, right between his shoulder blades. I squinted, but I couldn’t make out what it was.
He turned back to me and I put a hand on his shoulder. I’d touched him before, in the park and in the car, but I’d never held onto him like this. It was like grabbing hold of a sun-warmed cliff, solid and infinitely strong: I knew that, even if I lifted my feet off the ground and dangled, he wouldn’t move an inch.
I rose slowly up onto my toes. Our eyes were locked on each other and, as I rose, our faces came closer and closer. His gaze tracked me all the way up... and down. Three. I’ll do three.
On the second one I found myself moving slower. And... was it my imagination, or had we drawn closer together? Up... and down.
On the third one I knew it wasn’t my imagination. Our bodies were definitely closer, the tips of my breasts almost brushing his chest as I rose higher and higher. I was going so slowly, now, that I was barely moving. When I reached the top of the exercise, our lips were only inches apart….
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Available on Kindle Unlimited
Paperback releases June 10th
Available on Kindle Unlimited
Paperback releases June 10th
Helena Newbury is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of hit romantic suspenses Lying and Kissing, Punching and Kissing and many more.
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Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/author/helenanewbury