Today I’m participating in “Excerpt Monday” … For those who are visiting from the Excerpt Monday site, welcome! Excerpt Monday is a brilliant idea created by two Romance Divas, Mel Berthier and Bria Quinland. On the “middleish” Monday of each month, you post an excerpt of your WIP or completed work, and link to other participants of Excerpt Monday. It’s open to anyone, regardless of genre, and you don’t have to be a member of the Romance Divas to participate.

This is an excerpt from tomorrow’s release, Personal Protection. Definitely not a word-in-progress anymore. Next month, (June 15th) I’ll post an unedited segment of Andy’s story so you can get a glimpse of it.

For those of you not familiar with Personal Protection, here’s the blurb:

Sam Watson excels at keeping other people safe. Now a stalker is targeting him, but so what? A few doctored photos and a couple threatening phone calls are no big deal. He can watch his own back. Then again, the view from behind the sexy spitfire assigned to protect him isn’t so bad…

Rosalinda Ramos has managed to keep her attraction to Hauberk Security’s owner tightly under wraps. It’s just as well he doesn’t know. One slip—in the bedroom or on the job—will cost her her heart and her career, so she’s got only one thing on her mind. Protect Sam, whether he wants it or not.

The stakes—and the heat—rise exponentially when she discovers Sam belongs to an exclusive sex club—one she must investigate for potential suspects. Suddenly she finds herself immersed in a world that pushes her boundaries.

Sam delights in leading Rosie deep into his sexual shadows—until they go one game too far. Making him wonder if he can allow the woman he loves to take a bullet for him.

The book is definitely R-rated, but this excerpt has been cleaned up to PG13. Since you’re coming in mid-scene, the first speaker is Sam, the next one is Rosie …

“It’s not a test. I was trying to be hospitable—it’s how my momma raised me. My daddy taught me to look after myself—which is why having you—anyone—babysit me while they’re waiting around for someone to try to take a potshot at me sticks in my craw.”

“That’s precisely what Hauberk hired me to do. It’s understood that we’re agreeing to protect our principals by whatever means necessary.”

“Yeah, well…if it comes down to taking a bullet for me, don’t.”

“I’m supposed to let them shoot Hauberk’s owner and president?” She crossed her arms and waited for him to answer.

He lifted the bottle to his lips and hesitated, his gaze dropping down to her cleavage and the three buttons she’d left undone.

He muttered something under his breath that sounded rather like “death of him” but she couldn’t be sure. Her theory about him having a death wish started niggling again. Had he done something he was ashamed of? Did he feel he deserved a bullet for whatever he’d done?

“How will you protect me if you’re dead?” he demanded. “I’m not the president with over two hundred agents who can jump in if one falls. If someone shoots me, you’ll follow standard Hauberk procedure—keep yourself safe, and get me the hell out of Dodge. You can get me medical care once you’re clear of any danger.” He finished his beer and stashed the empty bottle in a bin under the sink then stalked out to the living room.

Once he’d flipped on the large flat screen to a football game, she knew it was time to change tactics. She wandered around the apartment, waiting for a commercial break before picking up a picture of a woman with similar golden skin and high cheekbones. She already knew who it was, she’d been through his file, but wanted to keep him relaxed. Hoping to project a casual manner, she asked, “She’s pretty, who is she?”

“That’s my little sister, Sarah.” His defensiveness dropped, pride filling his voice.
“She graduated medical school last year and is doin’ her residency in Atlanta.”

“And this lady?” She picked up the picture of a Hawaiian woman in traditional Hawaiian garb with dark hair and high cheekbones, and Sam’s beautiful smile.

“That’s my momma.” His entire face softened as he looked at the picture. “After Pop died, she moved back to Hawaii.” His brow creased. “If she calls, don’t tell her that you’re here to protect me, all right?”

“She’ll get upset?”

Sam snorted. “More likely she’ll get on a plane and come here to try to run the detail herself. She was a nurse with the Army—served in ’Nam for two tours—that’s where she met Pop. I swear she’s a mind reader because you can’t get away with anything when she’s around.”

The next picture was one of Mrs. Watson and a small boy with a full head of black curls. Before she could ask, Sam sneered. “Yeah, that’s me. And if you say how cute I was, I’ll kick you out.”

“I won’t.” But she wanted to.

He ran a hand over his stubble. “And don’t tell me you’d like me to grow it out because I’m tall enough as it is without lookin’ like someone parked a goddamned poodle on my head.”

Rosie couldn’t help but laugh as she moved along the mantel and picked up the next picture. Sam in leather pants and motorcycle jacket, standing by a black and chrome Harley, the Washington Monument in the background. It was the look of adoration on his face as he smiled at a curvy redhead wrapped up in his arms that had caught Rosie’s attention when she’d first seen the picture earlier that day.

“That’s Jill Hoskins.” A bleak look crossed his face as he turned his head to stare out the window. “She died two weeks after that picture was taken.”

Carefully setting the picture back on the mantel, Rosie murmured, “I’m sorry.”

“Yeah. So am I,” he replied even quieter, one of his hands rubbing idly at his chest. After a moment, he hit the remote and unmuted the television, focusing on the scrimmage instead.

She waited until halftime before speaking again. “Has Chad told you about Troy loaning us one of his operatives to help out?”

“Yeah, Scott Phillips.” Sam’s scowl and something that sounded like it would be a particularly filthy curse in what might have been German. “If anyone should be on vacation, it’s Scott. Instead Troy sics him on me. Do him a favor—give him a pile of files to check out or something. Keep him busy, will ya? He sits around with nothin’ to do, he’ll drive himself crazy second-guessing himself.”

Without another word, he stalked from the kitchen and headed down the hall to his bedroom. Obviously she needed to take a look at Phillips’ file herself and find out why he deserved a vacation. A burnt out operative definitely wouldn’t help protect Sam.

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.

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.

Other Excerpt Monday links:

Be warned, I haven’t screened these sites, some are adult, some aren’t – I’ve put the ratings in for you to choose what you want to read. And as I said, some people are choosing to put up works-in-progress, and others are from released or almost-released books.

Mel Berthier, Urban Fantasy (PG-13)
Bria Quinlan, Rom Com (PG)

Joining us this week:

Melissa Aires, Paranormal Erotic Romance (PG)

Gina Ardito, Historical Paranormal (PG)

Evie Byrne, Paranormal (R)

Jax Cassidy, Erotic Contemporary (R)

Lynne Chandler, Romantic Suspense (PG 13)

Ella Drake, Erotic Paranormal Romance (NC-17)

Cate Hart, YA (R)

Kinsey W. Holley, Paranormal (PG)

Babette James, Fantasy Romance (PG-13)

Cynthia Justlin, Romantic Suspense (PG)

Kaige, Historical Romance (PG-13)

Inez Kelley, Rom Com (R)

Ainslinn Kerry, Paramornal Romance (R)

Ansha Kotyk, Middle Grade Adventure (PG 13)

Adelle Laudan, Romantic Suspense (PG 13)

Jeannie Lin, Historical (PG)

Elise Logan, Paranormal/contemporary (R)

RF Long, Fantasy (PG)

Crista McHugh, Historical Paranormal Romance (PG-13)

Suzanne McLeod, Urban Fantasy (R)

Alina Morgan, Urban Fantasy (PG 13)

Annie Nicholas, Paranormal Romantic Suspense (R)

Kirsten Saell, Erotic Romance/Fantasy (NC-17)

Vivienne Westlake, Historical Erotica (R)

Kate Willoughby, Fantasy/Parnormal Erotic Romance (NC-17)

Excerpt Monday – Personal Protection
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3 thoughts on “Excerpt Monday – Personal Protection

  • May 11, 2009 at 5:26 am

    Leah! Love the chemistry here! Good luck tomorrow!

  • May 11, 2009 at 6:02 am

    This is going to be a winnder for sure. These two are just going to burn up the pages!!
    Best of Luck Leah!!

  • May 11, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Oh, that sweat droplet was damn sexy. 🙂

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