Fall in love with Sam (all over again)


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PERSONAL PROTECTION, the second book in the Hauberk Protection series, returns in digital format today. If you haven’t read it yet, now’s your chance to read the book with the hero I’m asked about most when I get emails or when I meet readers at conferences. Sam first appeared in PRIVATE PROPERTY, where he realized Mark was in love with Jodi and also realized Mark needed a kick in the pants to open his eyes and admit it. When I first wrote that story, he was such a strong character I had a hard time not letting take over — he was demanding scenes in his own POV. But I managed to placate him by writing him his own story, and paired him up with Rosie, a woman who could kick his behind and then some.

If you have already read the original version, there are minor changes to this version.  I’ve updated the technology (where is there a pay phone available these days?) but the story is the same. (I daren’t muck about with Sam or Rosie — my readers would revolt!) Also, this cover will be updated in about a month once I get the print copy version finalized.  Yes, at the moment only the digital version is available, but the print version will be coming soon!  If you want to be notified when that’s available, make sure you sign up for my newsletter mailing list.

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Despite owning a security business, Sam Watson refuses protection for himself, even after receiving threats from a stalker. His second-in-command, however, isn’t willing to take no for an answer, and assigns Sam a security detail headed by none other than Rosalinda Ramos—Sam’s secret object of lust. As an employee, she’s strictly hands-off. Though, working so closely together, Sam isn’t sure how long he can resist.

A female in a male-dominated industry, Rosie has enough on her plate just proving her worth, so she keeps her attraction to Sam firmly in check. Until she learns he co-owns an exclusive sex club. While investigating the club as a possible source of the threat, Rosie discovers her own interest in certain sexual proclivities. Before long, it’s all bets off, and all hands-on, for Sam and Rosie.

But the couple will soon discover the real threat to Sam is much, much closer to home…and something from which Rosie may not be able to save him.

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Excerpt

Copyright © 2009 Leah Braemel
All rights reserved — a Somerlane Publishing publication

Thirty minutes later, a rhythmic noise had her peeking around the door. Wearing only a pair of shorts, Sam was working out on a rowing machine. His shoulder muscles rippled and his thighs bulged as he hauled on the pulley. Rosie stood in the doorway, entranced by a bead of sweat as it rolled down his forehead and slid down his neck.

The play of his muscles as he worked out made her imagine his chest flexing over her, his arms planted either side of her head. She’d dig her fingers into those broad shoulders, feel his strength as he held himself above her. When he drove into her, she’d wrap her legs about his, feel the power of his thighs as he whipped her into an orgasmic frenzy.

He’s your boss, her conscience hissed. She fled to the safety of the living room, wondering if she was fleeing Sam, or the strength of her desire.

You’re just horny, she reminded herself. It’s been almost a year since you’ve been with a guy and now you’ve got the man of your dreams at your fingertips. You’ve been on a starvation diet and he’s a delicious hunk of cherry chocolate cheesecake.

Forty minutes later the sounds changed and the whir of the treadmill started, followed by a regular thumping that gradually sped up as his feet pounded on the belt. An hour more had passed when she heard the shower turn on in his bathroom.

“…a vibrantly refreshing story that sizzles with a burning sensuality, all with a depth of emotions that will unlock the reader’s hidden desires…This is a delightful tale of deception and passion that is sure to stand the test of time.”~5 Hearts, Shannon, The Romance Studio

She found herself prowling along the floor-to-ceiling windows like a panther trapped in a cage. He’d be naked, those four showerheads in his expansive bathroom pounding his back with steady pulses of hot water. Water that would cascade over his chest, sluice down his belly and over his cock. A cock she wanted to—STOP IT!

When the water shut off, she turned her back to the room and pretended to focus on the lights of the city. But once he stepped into the room, the lights faded and all she could see was the reflection of Sam. Wearing only a pair of navy sweats and a towel wrapped around his neck, he prowled across the room to stand directly behind her. The broad expanse of his chest was still visible in his reflection for the top of her head barely cleared the base of his sternum.

“The view is beautiful, isn’t it?” he said softly. Except he wasn’t looking at the panorama of the city, he was looking at her reflection.

“Y-yes.” It took every ounce of her willpower to continue facing the windows, not to turn into the chest that formed a wall at her back, not to touch the scar down the middle of his chest, or the star-shaped bullet wound just to the left and ask him about it. She’d once asked, but no one, not even Chad, would tell her the story of who’d put it there. She closed her eyes and forced herself to breathe slowly.

Closing her eyes only made her awareness of him worse. It let her focus on the warmth that flowed from him, enveloping her in a comforting blanket. While he hadn’t put on any more of that wonderful cologne he wore, she was aware of a scent underneath the smell of the soap he’d used. Every man she ever met from now on would be compared to the man standing directly behind her.

Her breath left her in a whoosh when he placed his hands lightly on her shoulders.

“You look like you’ve had a tough day, Ms. Ramos. You need to relax.”

Heck he didn’t even have to touch her, his voice alone could melt her bones and turn her into a puddle of goo at his feet. When his fingers massaged her shoulders, she couldn’t help but lean into his touch.

“That’s it, Rosie. Just relax.”

Her breasts felt heavier, warmer, the fabric of her blouse tightened over her nipples longing to be touched by the fingers that caressed her neck.

The unique ringtone she’d assigned to Chad’s number interrupted her. Crap! How had she forgotten that she was not only Sam’s employee but his bodyguard?

Employee, not lover. Remember his type. Tall, lithe and beautiful. And if she added the news clippings and photos of his last girlfriend to the equation, rich.

She straightened her shoulders, and without looking at Sam’s reflection, took a half step sideways, unholstering her phone as she fled the kitchen. “Hey, Chad, what’s up?”

When she returned, she found Sam sprawled on the couch, one foot on the floor, the other propped up on the coffee table. He patted the cushion beside him. “Come here, Rosie, let me finish that backrub.”

“I’m here to protect you, Mr. Watson. Not to relax.”

His lips tilted up in a half smile that she knew so well. “You don’t mind if I relax though, do you?”

Something about the way he asked had her on alert. Nothing he said ever meant quite what she expected.

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