Thursday, August 30, 2018

Throwback Thursday...When Love Intrudes

When I first wrote the When the Mission Ends series, it was supposed to just be the initial three books about the Robertson siblings, but as I wrote those books, other characters came forward and said they needed an HEA, too.

That's where the second three books come from. The When Love...part of the series. All the heroes in those books are also at the end of their careers, their mission. When Love Intrudes is the book that crossed over the two trilogies with Brian, the beleaguered police detective from the original three books. 


Brian bolted up out of bed at the cacophonous screech of the fire alarm. He flew out of his room to Toni’s. Empty.
Bounding down the stairs in the morning light, he grabbed the fire extinguisher out of the hall closet as he ran toward the plume of smoke billowing out of the kitchen. There he found mass chaos.
Sam bounced around below the fire alarm barking at it. Toni stood in front of the sink, fanning the smoke away from some sort of dish smoldering there. Nathan sat on a barstool overlooking the kitchen, rolling with laughter.
Since there didn’t appear to be any actual flames or danger of the house burning down around them, Brian grabbed the still-barking Sam by the collar and pulled him toward the door to put him out in the yard. That at least gave them one little tiny shred of sanity back in the kitchen.
Toni still hadn’t noticed him as she dealt with the pan, so he grabbed a chair to stand on to reach up to the alarm. Finally, he popped the battery out of it. Blessed silence. He ran his hand through his hair and looked down from his perch to find both Toni and Nathan openly gaping him. Instantly, he became self-conscious of the fact he had nothing on but a thin pair of knit sleep pants.
“Damn, Alpha,” Nathan’s eyes widened as he gulped. “You need to go without clothes more often. Who knew what was hiding under those tacky suits?”
Toni just nodded along with Nathan’s perusal.
Embarrassed, he’d never been subjected to this kind of blatant ogling. He resisted the urge to cover his chest with his hands as he jumped down from the chair. Yes, he worked out, but he wasn’t cover material. He rolled his eyes at both of them. “You both need to have your eyes checked.”
Toni cleared her throat. “No, I have to agree with Nathan on this one. You’re hot. Damn, look at your abs and wow,” she swallowed hard before continuing, her eyes roaming over his body, leaving pure heat in her wake. “When did you get the tattoo? I heartily approve.” Smiling at him like a cat with a mouse in its sights, her eyes traced the lines of his sleeve tattoo up his arm and across his chest. “Can we have a no clothes rule in the house?”
He choked in disbelief.

Toni Vincent’s last relationship ended with violence. Since then, she’s decided she’s better off without men. But when she finds her young seventeen year old neighbor, Nathan, unconscious and beaten, this is one man she can’t abandon. But helping Nathan means trusting Detective Brian Barnes, another man who hurt her in the past. It’s something she’s just not sure she can do.

Detective Brian Barnes has seen one too many criminals beat the system. He’s burned out and regretting a lot about his life. At the top of that list is how he dealt with Toni Vincent when he was wounded. At the time, he couldn't stand to look at himself, much less have someone he failed care for him. Now she needs his help and he refuses to fail her again. But keeping her alive requires keeping his heart out of it. Something not easy to do when trapped in a romantic mountain retreat, even if it is the safest place for Toni and her unexpected charge.

With danger around every corner, it’s hard to know who can be trusted, especially for three people who have been burned before. But they may just find the best family is the one not tied together by blood.

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