Protecting her is his job…falling for her is unexpected.
Carter Sharp…isn’t always, especially when he’s in the presence of his sister’s friend, Mel. The sexy tattoo artist’s spontaneous, reckless attitude clashes with his ‘by-the-book, never-cut-corners’ creed—the one that saved his and his team’s lives on more than one occasion. His D-Force days are over but working for one of his former Delta brothers as a security expert/investigator has just begun, and it’s just his luck to land an assignment to secretly protect the artist.
Mel Richardson doesn’t want or need a man in her life—for his safety. She couldn’t save her father or her brother, so she refuses to let there be a third. But it’s totally safe to secretly crush on her friend’s older brother, and even harbor a fantasy or two of the hot, former military guy. Turning a blemish into a work of art, plus rehoming animals who survive the death of their owners are both emotionally rewarding and the perfect distractions to her growing attraction to Carter. Too bad his sister volunteers him to help Mel with some recent technical difficulties.
The hot woman is strong enough to kick his butt if she discovers he’s secretly assigned to protect her, but it’s the soft, vulnerable side he discovers underneath her tough persona that terrifies him. It makes her lethal enough to cut through his defenses and melt his cold heart.
Targeted Age Group:: 21+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Carter is the second book in my HC Heroes Series, and I was inspired to write this story in honor of the men and women who currently serve in the military, and those who have served. I truly appreciate their sacrifice and wanted to create a series that shows it's not always easy acclimating into civilian life, but do it in a way that isn't dark and brooding.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I had a lot of fun creating the characters in this book. Since this series centers on former military and some work for a security and investigation company, I knew I wanted one of the heroes to be a gadget man–proficient with computers and anything electronic–thus Carter was born.
As for my heroine? This one is very special because Mel is named after a member of my street team who goes above and beyond for me. I wanted to show my thanks by basing my heroine off her, including Mel's red hair and appreciation of tattoos.
“Sorry to be a burden, but I appreciate the lift,” she said, quickly shutting Petunia inside the truck, and before he could stop her, she rushed to the tailgate, praying there was enough strength left in her arms as she hauled herself into the back.
“Mel? What the hell are you doing?” Carter strode toward her, brows drown together. “Quit being foolish and get in the damn cab. It’s too hot outside.”
“I know,” she said, sitting with her back against the cab. “You should get going.”
Irritation returned to thin his lips again. He, no doubt, thought she was being childish. Let him. Maybe her seemingly stupid action would help to sour his opinion of her.
Grumbling under his breath, he marched to the driver side, yanked the door open, and got in. A second later, the truck lurched forward. Yep. He wasn’t happy.
A sliver of guilt tightened her chest. Carter was a nice guy. He deserved better.
Just not from her.
She straightened her shoulders, and by the time they pulled up to the shelter, her resolve sat firmly in place. He might not understand, but her aloofness was for his own good.
Before he even put the truck in park, Mel jumped out of the back, opened the passenger door, and hefted Petunia into her arms. “You can go,” she dismissed him. “I have a few things to do here, so I’ll get a ride from one of the volunteers.”
Or walk. She didn’t care.
Her heart lurched. “What?” She paused in the space between the passenger seat and opened door. “What do you mean, no?”
He cut the engine, pocketed the keys, and got out. “I mean, you’re stuck with me, so get over it.” The damn man moved fast, too. He was around the truck and in front her in a matter of seconds, taking Petunia from her arms. “I’m staying until you do what you have to, then I’m giving you a ride back to your cottage.”
He was in pure alpha mode. His jaw was set, and navy gaze gleamed with determination, and heaven help her, she’d never been more turned on.
Or in more trouble.
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