by Alexa Bourne
Take-charge bodyguard Colin Munro believes working for the International Protective Network will be the perfect occupation for him. Unfortunately, his trial assignment is protecting a woman who has no intention of blindly following orders. Aye, he’ll bring the bonnie lass in line because there’s no way he’ll allow her to ruin his chance of securing his dream job.
Physically and emotionally scarred during her stint as a U.S. soldier, Joanna Grainger wants nothing more than to enjoy life. New Year's Eve in Edinburgh marks the beginning of her transformation. But when she witnesses a crime no one believes occurred, her plans come to a screeching halt. To make matters worse, her sexy but headstrong bodyguard has no compassion for her or the victim.
As danger hunts them during one of the busiest times of the year, Joanna must convince Colin she's a worthy partner. But first, can she convince herself?
Joanna bolted upright. Darkness wrapped her in its hideous embrace. And silence reigned. Her heart raced. She pressed her hands against the mattress beneath her.
Mattress. Bed. Colin’s hotel room.
Rustling sounds came from the floor. The bedside lamp flickered on. Colin propped himself up, one knee bent and an arm dangling over it. He squinted against the brightness. “Are you all right?”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you.” She brushed her fingers under her eyes. Her skin flamed beneath her touch.
“Don’t be daft, lass.”
“I had a bad dream.” She smoothed her hair back off her face. Moisture beaded at her temples.
“Here we call it a nightmare.” He smiled, and at once she relaxed her shoulders.
“Americans do, too.” After another deep breath, she said, “I’ll be all right.” Once her heart rate slowed to normal. With her forearm, she wiped perspiration from her forehead.
He stood, padded into the bathroom, and ran the faucet. When he returned, he sat beside her, tucked his finger under her chin, and pressed the cloth to her cheek. The cool moisture soothed her burning skin.
She reached up and overtook his hand. “I can do that.”
“I know.” He brushed her fingers away. “But you’ll not.”
After a few seconds, he moved the wet towel across her forehead and to her other cheek.
When he reached her neck, she sighed and closed her eyes for a few valuable seconds.
His gentle touch reminded her how much she’d missed simple comfort…from anyone.
“You’re welcome.” The cloth soon disappeared. “Now, will you tell me what you dreamed about?”
“Mark Rawlings. I dreamed I was back in the train car and he was bleeding out on the floor. The guy with him faded into the background, but I could see the man’s hands and lips moving. I couldn’t hear anything, though. Then somebody jabbed me with something, and my blood drained out of my body, but there was nothing I could do. The guy standing stayed in front of me. There was another voice, but the words were garbled.”
“Did you see anyone else?”
“No, but at the end I wasn’t paying attention. I was losing consciousness.” She tilted her head to one side and into her palm. “Colin, what am I going to do if we don’t find the professor’s attacker soon?”
“We’ll take it one day at a time.” Strong, confident, able to leap tall buildings and all…even in the middle of the night.
About the Author
Alexa Bourne is a teacher by day and a romantic suspense writer by nights, weekends, and all school holidays. She also teaches online classes for writers throughout the year. She is thrilled to be writing for Decadent Publishing and to have the chance to share her love of Great Britain with readers everywhere. When she's not concocting sinister plots and steamy love scenes or traveling and exploring new cultures, Alexa spends her time reading, watching brainless TV and thinking about exercising. She loves to interact with readers, so visit her web page, hang out at her blog, follow her on Twitter or drop her a note at Alexa@alexabourne.com!