The Complete Series

Book Cover: Hauberk Protection: The Complete Series Bundle
Editions:ePub: $ 8.99
ISBN: 978-0-9959429-4-3
Pages: 850
Kindle: $ 8.99
ISBN: 978-0-9959429-4-3
Pages: 850

All six Hauberk stories will soon be available in one digital bundle.

From FIRST NIGHT a spicy short story of how security specialist Jodi Tyler and her boss Mark Rodriguez started their no-strings affair.

PRIVATE PROPERTY introduces Sam Watson, the owner of the HAUBERK PROTECTION Group as he helps his best friend Mark see the light about his relationship with Jodi.

Sam is the center of PERSONAL PROTECTION when his team at Hauberk Protection try to protect him from a stalker. By assigning him his own bodyguard--kick ass Rosalinda Ramos.

DELIBERATE DECEPTIONS has Sam's second-in-command Chad facing down his ex-wife Lauren as they avoid a killer out to get revenge.

HIDDEN HEAT follows Sam's assistant Sandy as she explores Troy McPherson's dual career-personality as both a good guy and an assassin.

And PERFECT PROPOSAL returns to Sam attempting to propose to Rosie. Except things don't go exactly as he'd hoped. Naturally.

 

Excerpt:

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 as he positioned himself 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 flexing 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.

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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.

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 were 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 about 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.

And then her cellphone rang, a unique ring she’d assigned to Chad’s number. 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 as she removed her Berry then, without looking at Sam’s reflection, took a half step sideways and fled to the kitchen.

 

COLLAPSE
Reviews:on RT Book Reviews:

(On HIDDEN HEAT) ...almost too hot to touch

Shannon on The Romance Studio wrote:

HIDDEN HEAT: Nominated as “Best Romantic Suspense of 2012” by the reviewers at The Romance Studio for their annual Cupid and Psyche Awards (CAPA)

(On HIDDEN HEAT) The sexuality, sensuality, passion and suspense blend together perfectly into a wonderfully engaging and entertaining story that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.

Miranda on Joyfully Reviewed wrote:

DELIBERATE DECEPTIONS is wrought with heady emotions and explosive sex…a gorgeous love story that will break your heart and mend it all over again… a stand-out in the contemporary erotic genre.

Shannon on The Romance Studio wrote:

Nominated as “Best Contemporary Romance of 2011″ by the reviewers of The Romance Studio”

(On DELIBERATE DECEPTIONS) Once again author Leah Braemel infuses her pleasurably sensual love stories with compelling characters, depth of emotion, delights of passion and the joy of love that equals a treat for the reader.

Shannon on The Romance Studio wrote:

(On PRIVATE PROPERTY) …a wickedly delicious and daring story taken directly from most women’s fantasies…a raw sensuality that holds the reader captive from the first page..a luscious, fast paced adventure that is sure to please readers who enjoy an edgy and intense erotic romance…a refreshingly touching twist to the menage theme…

NOMINATED AS BEST EROTIC ROMANCE, and Leah for BEST EROTIC ROMANCE AUTHOR by the Romance Studio reviewers for the Cupid and Psyche Romance Awards

Lea on Blackraven's Reviews wrote:

Recommended Read! If you read Private Property when it was first released, it is time for a re-read. If you somehow missed this book, get it now. You won’t be disappointed.


Available August 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9959429-4-3

Length: 850 pages

Nominated as Best Contemporary Romance by The Romance Studio reviewers
Nominated as Best Contemporary Romance by The Romance Studio reviewers

Nominated for Best Contemporary Romance of 2011 by the reviewers of The Romance Studio

Nominated for Best Erotic Contemporary Romance 2009

Book Cover: Red Hot Holiday Anthology

I’ll be home for Christmas…to fulfill all your dreams.

This holiday, a Mountie is determined to get her man. A widow finds a fireman who ignites her passions again. And two men unsure of their commitment discover a happily ever after—and a blindfold—under their tree. No matter your desires, this collection of three shorts is bound to treat you to all the joys of the season.

Stories also available for purchase separately.

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Reviews:Annie on Under The Covers Book Blog wrote:

“All of the stories in this anthology have very sexy sex scenes, but I think this story really upped up the ante.”


Book Cover: The Tangled Bundle
Part of the Tangled series:

Texas Tangle (Tangled Series, Book One)
Thanks to her cheating ex-husband, all Nikki Kimball has left is a bruised heart, an over-drawn bank account and an empty home. When sex-on-legs Dillon Barnett and his foster brother Brett Anderson start showing more than just neighborly attention, Nikki is intrigued. Back in high school, the two friends fought a bitter battle to win her heart. Society says Nikki must choose between the two men she loves. Is she strong enough to break all the rules in order to find happiness?

Tangled Past (Tangled Series, Book Two)
Forced to marry a man she just met, Sarah McLeod clings to the hope that she'll finally find the love and acceptance she's always craved. But her tenuous dreams of a happy life on the frontier are in danger of being dashed by the one thing she can't change—her husband's love for another man. With the open frontier closing in around them, is Nate's suggestion of a permanent threesome their path to happiness? Or will others destroy what they've found together?

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Copyright © 2010 Leah Braemel

Dillon eased himself into the hot tub with a groan. He’d come home from work aching and sore. Nikki had pushed him down on the couch and given him a back rub that had him soft everywhere but the groin.

Damned if Nikki hadn’t suggested this dip and then dropped every stitch she had on to entice him. If he hadn’t been so tired, he’d have bent her over the arm of the couch and taken her from behind.

When he pulled her to sit on his lap, he noticed she was having trouble meeting his eye. And that her thumbnail had been chewed down–a habit he’d noticed she only did if she were worried about something. He also couldn’t miss the tension in her shoulders. Hellfire, she’d needed a massage as much as he had.

“You’re feeling guilty about going out on that date with Brett last night, aren’t you?” Guilt gnawed at his conscience that he’d not admitted he’d watched them.

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Nikki buried her face against his neck and nodded.

“Brett and I had sex last night.” She’d said it so quietly he barely heard her confession over the hot tub’s motor. If her jaw hadn’t been touching his neck, he may not have even realized she’d spoken.

He cupped the back of her head with one hand while he drew lazy circles along her spine with the other. “I told you, no regrets, okay? I want you to make sure you’re making the right decision, no matter who you choose.”

But damn it, he’d hoped they wouldn’t be as great together as they had been last night. The hallway practically glowed from the heat the two of them had thrown off.

“When did you get home? I didn’t hear you come in.”

Ah. Guess this was where he should come clean about his little act of voyeurism.

“It wasn’t too late. After I’d dropped off my estimate with the Sniders, I stopped off at TJ’s Grill and watched the Rangers game.” And here was the opening where he should tell her how Ethan had ended up dropping him off because he’d had that third beer and didn’t think he should get behind the wheel. Which might explain why he’d ended up sacked out on the couch instead of in bed.

He leaned back against the jets, wondering why the hell he’d prevaricated. He should have told her he’d watched the two of them. And how not only had it not bothered him but he’d fucking well jacked off to it.

Shit. That was just too perverted to admit. Better to keep my mouth shut on that one. Luckily, Nikki had still been asleep when he’d had one of his guys pick him up and take him over to the bar to retrieve his truck that morning.

They were still soaking when Brett came home from his shift. “Anyone home?”

“Hey, buddy, we’re out here.”

Carrying a beer, Brett wandered out onto the deck, his normally neat uniform torn at the shoulder and muddied at the knees. He slowed, a frown creasing his forehead when he noticed Nikki sitting beside Dillon.

Dillon leaned back, stretching his arms along the edges of the tub. His cock hardened as he remembered the night before. His imagination expanded the possibilities, picturing the three of them in bed together. God, that would be so fuckin’ hot. He’d love to have a ménage, watch Nikki go down on Brett while he fucked her from behind. Did he dare risk it? Why not? The worst they could do is say no. “Why don’t you ditch the suit and jump in with us?”

“I don’t have any trunks.”

“I’m not wearing any.” Dillon held his breath when Brett eyed the hot tub with a wistful look. “Nik, would it bother you if Brett drops trou?”

“What sane woman would object to having two hot guys buck-ass nekkid on each side of her?” A flush filled her cheeks, though whether from the heat of the tub or her anticipation of being naked between them, Dillon couldn’t tell.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:on The Romance Reviews:

Tangled Past was nominated as “BEST EROTIC MENAGE A TROIS OR MORE” OF 2011
by The Romance Reviews

Talia Ticci on Joyfully Reviewed wrote:

For a truly great ménage read, TEXAS TANGLE is the book for you. I couldn’t get enough of it and had to read it twice, okay – three times!


Book Cover: I Need You for Christmas

Ryan Porter is a sculptor, and beneath his callused hands, even the most rigid metals bend to his will. So, too, does his girlfriend Megan—a confident, strong woman who delights in submitting to Ryan’s dominance in the bedroom.

Megan is a Mountie, and she’s spent the past few years in the arctic following her career dreams. Family obligations kept Ryan at home, but their love survived the distance thanks to several hot visits. A Mountie always gets her man, and Megan is bound and determined to keep Ryan.

Now Megan’s with Ryan for the holidays…but how long will this visit last? She’s always been willing to do anything Ryan desires, but will he finally tell her that all he needs for Christmas is her?

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Copyright © 2012 Leah Braemel

“There’s the beautiful Mountie who always gets her man.”

That voice! That sexy, half-mocking, gorgeous, friendly voice. Megan Sullivan searched the crowd waiting outside the baggage claim area for its owner. His long legs clad in trademark denim, Ryan Porter stood in the middle of the concourse, his mouth pulled up on one side in the grin that caused her knees to wobble every single time.

Pulling her biggest suitcase behind her and wrestling with the carry-on she’d balanced on top of it, she battled her way through the throng and hurried toward him.

Once she rounded the barrier, he wrapped his arms around her waist and lifted her off the ground in a full-body hug. “Hey, you. I’ve missed you.”

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Ignoring the amused spectators, Ryan lowered his head to capture her mouth with his. Pure male confidence, shouting to the world, “Yeah, she’s mine,” came through loud and clear from the hard press of his lips to the way his hands kneaded her ass.

When he finally pulled away, both of them breathless, Meg left her arms hooked around his neck, loving the feel of his body against hers. Her clit pulsed, needing to be touched by his long callused fingers. Her pussy heated and her nipples ached in anticipation of his mouth on them.

“That wasn’t an I’ve-missed-you kiss.” It had been a full-blown I-want-inside-you kiss.

“No, it wasn’t just an I’ve-missed-you kiss,” he corrected.

She rested her forehead against his chest, the long-seated loneliness that had plagued her up north finally leaching away. “I thought you were supposed to be in Montreal until tomorrow.”

“Are you kidding? And waste even one day with you?”

Meg’s breath stuttered when he cupped her head and kissed her again, this time softer, sweeter, showing none of the blatant possessiveness of the first kiss. This one whispered of need and desire. “I love you, Meg.”

“I love you too.” She loved the way he kissed, the way he felt against her, the way he made her feel feminine instead of the hard-ass bitch she’d been called far too often on the job. She loved the way he smelled of sawdust and… She leaned in and sniffed him deeper. “Why do you smell like roses?”

“Because Amy’s into her nesting phase.” His grimace and fake shudder made her laugh. “She’s making homemade soaps and shampoos, claiming they’ll be safer for the baby. So naturally she’s using us as her guinea pigs. Her latest batch is some hippy-dippy rose petal shampoo so me and Derek and Noah all smell girly-girl. I tell ya, pregnant women are seriously dangerous to us guys.” He dipped his head to whisper in her ear, his russet hair tickling her nose. “I’ll pay you to convince her to make something more manly.”

“You mean like new car scent or burnt motor oil?”

“Yeah, now you’re talking.” He rounded his free hand as if there were a basketball in front of his stomach. The laughter made his amber eyes almost glow though others might have blamed it on the bright sunshine streaming through the glass roof. “Wait’ll you see her. She’s out to here. Derek won’t let her get behind the wheel anymore, she’s gotten so big.”

“I can’t wait to see her again.” Amy had been her roommate in college and they’d become fast friends. When Amy had started dating Derek, Megan had found herself on a double date with Derek’s older brother Ryan. Though she’d expected to be bored when she’d learned Ryan was an artist, she’d been fascinated by his energy. After spending the night debating movies (he preferred art house movies where she loved action) and music (they both loved the same groups), he’d asked her for another date. Three months later, he’d asked her to move in with him.

Until a car accident had changed all their plans.

Ryan stroked the backs of his knuckles along her jaw. “You should be exhausted from your flight yet you’re even more beautiful than the last time I saw you.”

“I slept on the plane, and it’s not hard to look better considering I was just coming off a double shift last time.” Sexy was a tough look to achieve in her standard uniform. But it was only after he’d left that she’d seen her reflection and grimaced. Her hair had been sticking up on end, and she’d had a grease stain on her cheek from changing the tire on an old woman’s car. Definitely not the memory she’d wanted to leave him with, not when he’d been on his way to New York to meet his agent at some swanky gallery in Manhattan. Manhattan, where he’d been surrounded by women with carefully coiffed hair, pouty collagen-injected lips and mile-high legs made even sexier by stilettos she’d never manage to walk in without falling on her ass.

“I mean it, Meg. After all the delays, the changes in your schedule, the sixteen-hour layover waiting for the weather to clear up, you’re beautiful.”

“Thanks.” He looked pretty damned good himself, but then he always did. In addition to staying fit, he’d let his hair grow longer so now the russet waves flowed over his shoulders. It suited him. She reached up and stroked his jaw. “Why did you shave your goatee?”

“Amy and Sophie double-teamed me before I left for Montreal. They said I should shave it since the press was going to be at the gallery opening.” He leaned down and rubbed his clean-shaven jaw over her cheek. “Do you like it?”

“You look good.” Except she’d liked his goatee, especially when he was between her thighs, his tongue working its magic, the bristle of his facial adding an extra— Stop thinking about how great it would be if he fucked you in the front seat of his truck. About how he’d feel when you straddled him and lowered yourself onto his thick cock. How his fingers would dig into your hips, lifting and lowering you, as his mouth sucked your nipples, rasping his teeth over them. Her pussy tightened as she imagined him pounding into her, hitting all the right spots until her muscles tightened around him, clenching, spasming

Crap, that really wasn’t something to dwell on until they were somewhere private. At the rate her pussy was tingling in anticipation, drenching her panties, she might not wait for anywhere more private than a dark corner of the parking garage.

Ryan lifted the strap of her duffel from her shoulder and hoisted it over his own. “Pack much? What did you do? Bring everything you owned?”

“What? Is it too heavy for you, big guy?” She hid her grin. Wait until he learned she’d done exactly that.

Despite her protests, he wheeled her suitcase behind them down the long concourse toward the ramp to the parking garage. They chatted about the weather, the flight, all the usual humdrum stuff, but an electricity hummed between them, the little zing deep in her soul that tingled whenever he was near.


 

*HARLEQUIN COVER ART: Cover Art Copyright© 2010 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A. Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. © and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Jeriha on Coffee Time Romance wrote:

“This is not just another erotic hot Christmas story, but much much more…A must read…”  ~Jeriha, Coffee Time Romance

Sarah on Feeling Fictional wrote:

“…The ultimate feel good Christmas story…"

Annie on Under the Covers Book Blog wrote:

“All of the stories in this anthology have very sexy sex scenes, but I think this story really upped up the ante.” ~ Under the Covers Book Blog


 

 


Part of the Carina Press ™  2012 Red Hot Holiday Anthology, edited by Angela James.

If you like “hearing” your books, Audible has the entire anthology as an audio book.


More Reviews

reviewertoppick2Top Pick Review – Leah Braemel has the talent to bring her characters alive and her settings real… a big story that felt at least twice as long as it is.” ~Terri, Night Owl Romance

“a hot and passionate updating of the O Henry story, Gift of the Magi.” ~ Nancy G, My Odd Little World

One of the “Top 5 Favorite Holiday novellas” ~ Lit 4 Ladies

“…Definite red hot read!” Modokker Book Picks

“…without a doubt my favorite book of the anthology” ~Read Your Writes Book Reviews

“…steamy BDSM sex scenes, some serious pantie melters! It was also really sweet, I liked the characters and I felt their chemistry straight away. It was a really nice & easy read, I would really recommend it…” ~ Book Protagonist Book Reviews

“a wonderful addition to the anthology….the best novella in the anthology in terms of smoking hot sexy times.” ~ The Bookpushers

“This story was sweet, and hot…Terrific story. Escape Rating for I Need You for Christmas: B+” ~Reading Reality

“…beautifully written…Truth be told, I cannot wait to read this book again.” ~ Alyson, SnifferWalk Books

Book Cover: No Accounting for Cowboys
Part of the The Grady Legacy series:

Jake Grady loves Bull’s Hollow ranch and all the challenges and hard work it entails. But the past year hasn’t been easy—his father’s good name has been tarnished, and new financial problems are threatening to destroy everything the Gradys have built. Performing live under a stage name has become his escape, a way of blowing off some serious steam.

Accountant Paige Reynolds found Jake’s guitar-playing alter ego intriguing, but her connection with the real Jake sends her attraction into overdrive. When she’s summoned to make order out of the chaotic paper trail at Bull’s Hollow, he sets her world a-rocking—both in bed and out. But Paige has a plan; she’s determined to create her own path for the future, but is soon left scrambling for firmer ground.

Good news about Jake’s potential singing career is followed by the revelation of another family secret, one that has him questioning whether he belongs at Bull’s Hollow at all. But leaving the ranch would mean leaving his family…and Paige. How much is he willing to give up for a real shot at fame?

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Copyright © 2014 Leah Braemel

“We’ve got a special treat for y’all tonight,” the guitarist continued. “My good friend and buddy JT Larson has agreed to sing with us. But it seems that JT is a little shy and needs some encouragement.”

Larson? It couldn’t be the guy from Bull’s Hollow, could it? No, Reba had said his name was Gabe Larson, not JT. A spotlight trained on the guy at the bar Paige had been ogling earlier. He waved off Cam’s attention, though he didn’t look bothered. “Your fans ain’t here to hear me sing.”

“If you don’t get your butt up here right now, JT, I’ll tell everyone how you and I met. And how I saved your sorry ass.”

JT folded his arms across his muscular chest. “You’re never gonna let me live that down, are ya?”

His deep voice and relaxed cadence curled around Paige like a warm cloak. What was it about this guy that set something aflutter deep inside her?

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“Nope.” Cam gestured to the crowd. “Come on, y’all, let’s convince JT here that he can’t weasel out of singing for us. I promise, you’re in for a treat when he gets his lazy ass up here.”

He lifted an arm and began a chant of “JT—JT—JT” that was picked up in one corner and swirled around the room until the glasses hanging over the bar rattled.

Though she couldn’t hear what he said, Paige could read his lips well enough to know he swore at his friend. The singer grinned in response and waved his arms, revving up the chants even louder.

Caught up in the room’s energy, Paige clapped as she chanted “JT” along with them.

The room exploded when JT finally hopped off his stool and sauntered to the stage. He picked up the guitar by the empty stool. Before he sat down he leaned in to the microphone. Paige caught her breath at his sexy bad-boy smile. “Well, now, don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

Cam barked a laugh and winked to the crowd. “Don’t let him fool you, ladies.”

JT strummed a few chords on the guitar, then frowned and adjusted one of the tuning keys. After a few more tweaks, he nodded to himself and looked up again, his gaze roving over the crowd as if searching for someone.

purestdelightaward10-300x300Paige’s breath stuttered in her throat when their gazes met. One dark brow lifted, and his lips tilted up as his gaze raked over her. Her body reacted with a familiar tingle at his slow perusal. At least from that far away, there was no way in hell he could know how her heart raced. She smoothed her hands over her hips, wishing she could ease some of the ache settling there as he launched into Zac Brown’s “Keep Me In Mind.”

JT sure could sing. His rugged good looks—all broody, with that hard-working cowboy image—didn’t hurt either. All that was missing was a dusty cowboy hat.

When the song finished, hoots and hollers erupted around her, a pair of girls in the booth behind her whistling so loud Paige wanted to cover her ears. Once the applause died down, Cam whispered something to JT and grinned.

It may have been Paige’s imagination but she could have sworn JT’s shoulders relaxed. He took a deep breath and strummed a few notes as he settled in to another song, this one quieter. A few bars in, Cam blended his voice in harmony, not overpowering JTs.

This is what she’d wanted. Time to kick back, to unwind. Not worry about what tomorrow would bring. Just to exist, here and now. To have fun.

Forty-five minutes later, JT cleared his throat and downed the last half of the water in the bottle set by his stool. “Last one for me in this set.”

Ignoring the sounds of disappointment around him, he strummed the guitar and locked his gaze with hers once more. He launched into Blake Shelton’s “Who are You When I’m Not Looking.” As he sang, the lights on the rest of the band faded, until he alone was illuminated. Unsure if it was his singing or the lyrics that moved her, the hairs on the back of Paige’s neck raised, spread down her spine and along her arms. The clank and clatter of the other patrons faded away until it was just him, her and the music. As if he sang to her. For her.

His voice grew husky as he sang about wanting to get to know her better, about how she kept herself hidden. Fear that he might actually be able to see inside her welled along with the music.

What was he doing playing at a small bar like Slick’s instead of somewhere like Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth? He was too good for Joshua Falls, damn it.

By the time his last note hung in the air, the entire bar had fallen silent, caught in his spell. Applause thundered around her, many of the bar’s patrons on their feet. Paige’s palms burned as she joined them.

“Did I tell you JT could sing or didn’t I?” Cam shouted into the mike. “Hang around folks, because we’ll be back in fifteen minutes.”

JTs shoulders hunched again as people reached out to shake his hand.

“Aw, he’s shy,” one of the girls behind her cooed.

Or didn’t like his personal space encroached, Paige silently added. Especially the way several of the women grabbed his ass. If a guy did that to her, she’d be slapping his face.

“Thanks, ladies, I’m glad you enjoyed my singing.” He wrangled himself free of yet another enthusiastic fan. “But me and my lady friend would appreciate a little space until I have to be back up for the next set.”

Paige’s eyes widened when he slid into the seat opposite her. “Hey, darlin’, thanks for saving me a seat.”

Daggers shot her way from at least four different women.

Once they retreated, he grinned, his mouth pulling up higher at one side in a crooked smile. He leaned in and lowered his voice. “Thanks for not feedin’ me to the lions.”

“How do you know I’m not their leader with even bigger claws and teeth?”

“I don’t. But then I’ve always liked to live life on the wild side.” His expression grew guarded when one of the girls from the booth behind them shoved a paper at him, demanding an autograph. Which he signed. “There you go, darlin’.”

The moment he handed it back, another woman slid into her place, and another. Though he smiled when they each insisted on having a picture taken with him, Paige wondered if any of his fans noticed there was no laughter in his eyes.

Once they left him alone, he sat back in the shadows of the booth. “Don’t worry, if your friend comes back, I’ll move.”

“That was my aunt, not my friend, and don’t worry, she’s gone.” Huh. He’d seen Reba. Which meant he’d been checking her out too. “Were you watching me, JT?”

“Hard to miss someone as pretty as you, darlin’.” He tilted his head to one side, his slate gray eyes considering her, and held out his hand. “It’s Jake, by the way. Only Cam calls me JT.”

“I’m Paige.” She shook his hand, the calluses rough against her skin, not just at the fingertips from long hours of guitar practice, but on his palms as well. As she’d guessed, this was a man used to manual labor. And to taking charge, from the way he continued to hold her hand.

“Nice to meet you, Miss Paige. As I said, I’m obliged.”

Oh wow, a true old-fashioned cowboy right down to the manners. If she ever met his momma, she’d have to thank the woman for raising him right. And his daddy for raising a strong man.

A waitress—not the one who had waited on her earlier—slid up to the booth. She touched her bottle blond hair and simpered as if Paige were invisible, tugged at the overly tight Slick’s Swamp Box tee, then smoothed her name tag proclaiming her to be Holly in an obvious attempt to draw his attention to the bounty that threatened to overflow the scooped neckline. As if anyone could miss her double Ds. “Can I get you anything, hon? A beer? Bourbon? Jack and coke?”

Jake barely gave the waitress a cursory glance. “A Shiner Bock would be great.” He gestured to Paige’s almost empty glass. “You need a refill?”

The bill she’d asked for almost an hour ago? “It doesn’t matter.” Paige gestured to Holly’s retreating form. “She’s left already.”

“Sorry. We’ll catch her when she comes back with my beer.”

Her fingers itched to stroke the silky russet locks brushing his shoulders. She’d always had a thing for guys with longer hair. Not to mention the prickle of crew cuts never felt right compared to the brush of long locks when they lowered their heads between her thighs. “So if the J stands for Jake, what does the T stand for?”

He grinned, amusement and heat filling his eyes. “Trouble.”

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Reviews:Lace on Blackraven's Reviews wrote:

Recommended Read…a sexy read that sizzled off the pages…well penned with twists and turns that added intrigue to a strong cast of characters. There’s family, love, hope, endings, and new beginnings, everything that will have anyone with a romantic heart cheering in the end.

Slick Reads on Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews wrote:

Impossible to put down; No Accounting For Cowboys was filled with twists, turns, and secrets new and old making it another fine offering from author Leah Braemel.

Jo on Romance Junkies wrote:

…pulled at my heartstrings from the first page to the last…an emotional read that kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next…Come join the drama, you’ll be glad you did.”


More from the reviewers:

Top Pick! …an absolutely must read story ~ Terri, Night Owl Reviews

“…. full of twists and turns that weave together to create a truly awesome story…The developing relationship between Jake and Paige is really romantic, sweet and HOT”.~ Erica, Blending Perspectives

“… I could not put it down…The character development is amazing and the plot took so many interesting twists and turns that I could not help but be drawn in, waiting to read what would happen next.  I literally cried through some of the scenes, then some parts in this book made me laugh.  It made me really feel something for all of the characters, and my emotions were a complete roller coaster throughout the entire book. This book delivered everything you want in a romance.  I would highly recommend this book…” ~Kim, Cocktails and Books

“… I loved it!  If you love emotion this book has it in spades!” ~ Vamps, Thongs and Hockeystyxx

5 AH-MAZING STARS for No Accounting for Cowboys~ BookieNookie Reviews

Book Cover: Slow Ride Home

Losing his father was hard enough, but now Ben Grady must face the fact that he and his brother may not be sole owners of their beloved ranch. To protect his family’s legacy, he’s forced to rely on the legal prowess of the woman who stars in his erotic fantasies: Allie O’Keefe. Ben’s never forgotten the illicit encounter they shared fifteen years ago—or forgiven himself for letting her go.

Allie thought she’d moved beyond the scandal that cost her Ben in the past. But working so closely with the seductive rancher arouses the wild child within the cautious woman she’s become. Though she tries to keep business and pleasure separate, Allie soon gives in to temptation, and discovers Ben’s sensual skills surpass even her X-rated memories…

Allie has every intention of leaving Bull’s Hollow forever after her investigation is complete. But there are a few complications. Not the least of which is that while saving the ranch, Allie’s lost her heart.

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Publisher: Carina Press
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Copyright © 2013 by Leah Braemel

If someone had told Allie O’Keefe fifteen years ago that she’d set even one toe on Bull’s Hollow Ranch again, she’d have cussed them out. After she’d decked them. Which explained why Allie jammed her foot on the brake when she reached the ranch’s wrought-iron gate. Or maybe she stopped because of the man talking to a group of ranch hands in front of the ranch’s trailer office. It wasn’t just his weathered brown Stetson that stood out from the standard baseball caps the others wore. After a casual glance in her direction, he resumed talking.

Even from this far away she could tell who he was—Ben Grady, the first man she’d ever loved. Just as he had back in high school, he still managed to set butterflies fluttering in her stomach, although right now they felt more like boulders tumbling in a spin dryer.

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Ben Grady was the quintessential cowboy, from the way he stood with his thumbs hooked through a belt loop, leaving his fingers to drum on the worn leather of his chaps, right down to his dust-covered boots. He could step back in the 1800s and live in the Wild West with no problems. The only thing missing was the six-shooter at his hip.

He hasn’t seen you yet. You could still turn around. Plead with her boss once again to have someone else assigned to the case. Although all her previous attempts had earned her was a “suck it up, buttercup” comment from her boss.

Two of his men strutted over to ATVs parked neatly in a row by the bar while the other took the reins of the bay horse. Finally freed of whatever responsibility had been keeping his attention, Ben faced her.

One look at that straight nose and angular jaw and bam, her body softened.

Not good, not good, not good, she repeated. You’re not eighteen years old anymore. And you didn’t do anything wrong.

Right. She could do this.

Taking a shaky breath, she parked her car beside the mud-crusted white pickup, its dual rear wheels dwarfing her small sedan. Tucking her case beneath her arm, she picked her way across the gravel-strewn yard. She really shouldn’t have worn her heels today, but her pride wanted to show off that she’d traded in her work boots for kick-ass stilettos that stopped traffic. Her not-so-subtle see what you missed out on statement. Which would be lost if she twisted her ankle.

His gaze locked on her, Ben leaned against the stair railing in his oh-so-casual way. When they’d dated, she’d loved how he’d stop to watch her approach. Now she felt like a gazelle being stalked by a lion. No, not such a proud animal. The Gradys were scavengers. Vultures, ready to pick the flesh from the bones of anyone who got in their way.

He’d filled out from the rangy teenager she’d known. He’d always been strong, but his muscles were more defined, the light cotton shirt tight across his chest and wide shoulders. His biceps bulged as he gripped the stair railing, hinting at the strength to lift and haul both hay bales and stray calves.

Ben tipped his hat up with one finger and shot her a lazy grin that melted her a little inside. His gaze swept down her body, blazing a path even hotter than the sun, then returned to meet hers. The lines at the corners of his sky-blue eyes gave him a distinguished air.

“You’re early. I wasn’t expecting you for another half hour.”

His voice still had the low roughness that had driven her crazy, especially when they were lying skin-to-skin. Damn it, she’d gotten over him, so why was the ache in her chest back? She took a deep breath but the anguish didn’t ease.

Clutching her case tight under her arm, she stopped in front of him and shielded her eyes from the morning sun. “Hello, Ben.”

His eyes widened in shock. “Allie? What are you doing here?”

Her breath rushed out at the realization he hadn’t recognized her. If there’d been even a hint of friendliness to his voice, she might not have snapped, “I’m here to save your ass.”

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Reviews:Slick Reads on Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews wrote:

“Slow Ride Home is one of those rare romance books that while you get romance and hot and oh so steamy sex, you get a complete story that keeps you hooked from beginning to end.”

Terri on Night Owl Romance wrote:

5 Star-Top Pick Review  “The characters were absolutely perfect complete with imperfections and quirks…the romance couldn’t have been better…came together with passion and emotion.”

Lace on Blackraven's Reviews wrote:

Recommended Read – ” a plot twisting, heat sinker read…simply brilliant… I melted over the sweet hand holding just as much as I did those hot bedrooms/anywhere scenes…I want more”

E and MinnChica joint review on The Book Pushers wrote:

“Ben came across as the kind of stand up, loving and attentive hero that every woman loves!…super sweet, and incredibly sexy…I look forward to seeing this series continue” ~Joint review by E and MinnChica on The Book Pushers


More from reviewers of SLOW RIDE HOME:

USATodayRec

Slow Ride Home kept me enthralled. I became completely invested in Ben and Allie’s story and am looking forward to No Accounting for Cowboys, book two in The Grady Legacy series ~ Lea Franczak, USA TODAY

“This series opener has it all.  From the hint of mystery to the almost erotic romance, this series is one to look out for.” ~ Becca, BS Book Reviewers 

“…delicious battle of emotions, past feelings and twists and turns…”  ~Emily, Afternoon Bookery Emily also did a video review that you can view here

“SLOW RIDE HOME is the perfect read to heat up a cold winter night.” ~The Book Girl

“…strong and interesting characters…I loved it. Leah’s attention to detail and her emotion filled tale give this a 4 and a half moon rating from me.” ~ Kim Rocha, Book Obsessed Chicks

erotic romance, western, contemporary romance, polyamorous romance, menage
Part of the Tangled series:

Thanks to her cheating ex-husband and her thieving brother, all horse breeder Nikki Kimball has left is a bruised heart, an over-drawn bank account and an empty home. When sex-on-legs Dillon Barnett and his brooding foster-brother Brett Anderson start showing more than just neighborly attention, Nikki is intrigued…and a little gun-shy.

Dillon and Brett have a history; back in high school, the two friends fought a bitter battle over Nikki. Now, ten years later, Brett still longs to be the man in Nikki’s life, but he’s determined to stand back and let Dillon win Nikki’s heart.

Society says Nikki must choose between the two men she loves. Is Nikki strong enough to break all the rules in order to find happiness?

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Publisher: Carina Press
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opyright © 2010 Leah Braemel

Dillon eased himself into the hot tub with a groan. He’d come home from work aching and sore. Nikki had pushed him down on the couch and given him a back rub that had him soft everywhere but the groin.

Damned if Nikki hadn’t suggested this dip and then dropped every stitch she had on to entice him. If he hadn’t been so tired, he’d have bent her over the arm of the couch and taken her from behind.

When he pulled her to sit on his lap, he noticed she was having trouble meeting his eye. And that her thumbnail had been chewed down–a habit he’d noticed she only did if she were worried about something. He also couldn’t miss the tension in her shoulders. Hellfire, she’d needed a massage as much as he had.

“You’re feeling guilty about going out on that date with Brett last night, aren’t you?” Guilt gnawed at his conscience that he’d not admitted he’d watched them.

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Nikki buried her face against his neck and nodded.

“Brett and I had sex last night.” She’d said it so quietly he barely heard her confession over the hot tub’s motor. If her jaw hadn’t been touching his neck, he may not have even realized she’d spoken.

He cupped the back of her head with one hand while he drew lazy circles along her spine with the other. “I told you, no regrets, okay? I want you to make sure you’re making the right decision, no matter who you choose.”

But damn it, he’d hoped they wouldn’t be as great together as they had been last night. The hallway practically glowed from the heat the two of them had thrown off.

“When did you get home? I didn’t hear you come in.”

Ah. Guess this was where he should come clean about his little act of voyeurism.

“It wasn’t too late. After I’d dropped off my estimate with the Sniders, I stopped off at TJ’s Grill and watched the Rangers game.” And here was the opening where he should tell her how Ethan had ended up dropping him off because he’d had that third beer and didn’t think he should get behind the wheel. Which might explain why he’d ended up sacked out on the couch instead of in bed.

He leaned back against the jets, wondering why the hell he’d prevaricated. He should have told her he’d watched the two of them. And how not only had it not bothered him but he’d fucking well jacked off to it.

Shit. That was just too perverted to admit. Better to keep my mouth shut on that one. Luckily, Nikki had still been asleep when he’d had one of his guys pick him up and take him over to the bar to retrieve his truck that morning.

They were still soaking when Brett came home from his shift. “Anyone home?”

“Hey, buddy, we’re out here.”

Carrying a beer, Brett wandered out onto the deck, his normally neat uniform torn at the shoulder and muddied at the knees. He slowed, a frown creasing his forehead when he noticed Nikki sitting beside Dillon.

Dillon leaned back, stretching his arms along the edges of the tub. His cock hardened as he remembered the night before. His imagination expanded the possibilities, picturing the three of them in bed together. God, that would be so fuckin’ hot. He’d love to have a ménage, watch Nikki go down on Brett while he fucked her from behind. Did he dare risk it? Why not? The worst they could do is say no. “Why don’t you ditch the suit and jump in with us?”

“I don’t have any trunks.”

“I’m not wearing any.” Dillon held his breath when Brett eyed the hot tub with a wistful look. “Nik, would it bother you if Brett drops trou?”

“What sane woman would object to having two hot guys buck-ass nekkid on each side of her?” A flush filled her cheeks, though whether from the heat of the tub or her anticipation of being naked between them, Dillon couldn’t tell.

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Reviews:Lea on Blackraven's Reviews wrote:

…how many synonyms are there for tremendous, enjoyable, fabulous and awesome? If you’re looking for an emotional, sensual, heartwarming story, this is it. ~ Lea, Blackraven’s Reviews

Terri on Night Owl Romance wrote:

REVIEWER'S TOP PICK:

"Sexual, sensual, loving, caring, unique.. hot yet caring. It’s adventurous but loving. Shocking truths are shared and others are discovered. This is just a fantastic romance that stretches the boundaries."

Talia Ricci on Joyfully Reviewed wrote:

For a truly great ménage read, TEXAS TANGLE is the book for you. I couldn’t get enough of it and had to read it twice, okay – three times!


What other reviewers said too:

Love it, Couldn’t put it down… three vulnerable and loving characters…wickedly addictive and an emotionally stimulating love story..Spectacularly hot ménage love story that will have you turning up the air conditioning from the get go! ~5 out of 5 flowers from Book Junkie

“…pulls you in and grabs you tight…” ~ Heather, Everybody Needs a Little Romance

This book is smoking Hot!  I now have a new favorite erotic author…~Laurie,Bitten by Paranormal Romance

Talk about family drama… Ms. Braemel brings out the big guns….  ~ Veronica, Strictly Reviews

I cannot recommend TEXAS TANGLE enough it is definitely in my keeper pile and going to be re-read more then once. ~Barb of Bad Barb’s Reviews

Scorchin’ sizzlin’ sexy time, nicely paced, good character interaction…This is a delicious sexy summer read for anyone who enjoys a good erotic menage story…I give TEXAS TANGLE by Leah Braemel 4 Sparkles out of 5! – A Nom-tastic read!  ~ Ramblings of a Book Bitch

… a beautiful, intriguing and realistic story that draws the reader in from the first paragraph. ~ Valerie, Night Owl Reviews

… an erotic ménage that worked for me….I believed in this trio…plenty of hot scenes and I really enjoyed them ~Mandi, Smexy Books

…hot and steamy story…Leah Braemel didn’t shy away from all the emotional entanglements that can occur within a menage…well-written, emotional and extremely erotic story. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up! 4.5 Blue Ribbons ~ Cheryl, Romance Junkies

Book Cover: Personal Protection
Editions:Trade Paperback - Second Edition: $ 12.99
ISBN: 978-0-9879304-7-7
Size: 5.50 x 8.50 in
Pages: 331

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 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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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 as he positioned himself 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 flexing as he whipped her into an orgasmic frenzy.

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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.

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 were 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 about 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.

And then her cellphone rang, a unique ring she’d assigned to Chad’s number. 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 as she removed her Berry then, without looking at Sam’s reflection, took a half step sideways and fled to the kitchen.

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Reviews:Shannon on The Romance Studio wrote:

…a vibrantly refreshing story that sizzles with a burning sensuality

Slick Reads on Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews wrote:

“The action, dialog, characters, and plot were all so well written that I found myself completely immersed.”

Fern on Long and Short of It Reviews wrote:

“This is a story that has it all–incredible characters that are not only well developed, but absolutely hilarious, an intriguing whodunit plot that will keep you guessing, and a whole lot of mind blowing sex…”


Personal Protection was originally released in 2009 by Samhain Publishing. While some of the technology has been updated in the new version, and it has been proofread and minor changes made, the bulk of the new version remains the same.

Book Cover: Private Property

Security specialist Jodi Tyler has a great job and a great relationship with her boss, Mark Rodriguez—in the office and in the bedroom. Their casual arrangement is all she wants, and she’d thought it was all Mark wanted too. Right up until she’s busted while testing the security of a Lake Arlington mansion. To her surprise, and with the help of the mansion’s owner, Sam Watson, Jodi’s no-strings affair with Mark is about to become a little more…binding.

Sharing Jodi with his best friend Sam was supposed to be fun. But as the intimate evening progresses, certain feelings come to light, feelings Mark didn’t know he had.  Feelings he doesn’t know what to do about. But Sam does. And he knows exactly what to do about them.

By evening’s end, the decisions Mark is forced to make will change everyone’s lives. He will either disappoint them all—or claim Jodi as his own private property.

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Publisher: Somerlane Publishing
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Copyright © 2009 Leah Braemel
Somerlane Publishing
All rights reserved

A deep reverberating thrum filled Jodi Tyler’s chest and stroked the back of her throat with its raw promise of latent power. The unmistakable growl of a Harley. The sound bounced off the highwalled estate hugging the shores of Lake Arlington, then abruptly stopped.

She lifted the night vision binoculars and peered through the tinted windows of the surveillance van. Nothing. Deciding there was no threat from the road, she swiveled her chair back to the monitors. Her fingers flicked the switches controlling the surveillance cameras aimed at the estate. Images flashed across the monitor in rapid succession. They all showed the same thing. Nothing.

So where had the motorcycle gone?

“Must’ve turned off,” she muttered to herself. She grabbed the black T-shirt she’d discarded earlier and blotted the sweat trickling down her neck.

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Maybe the pimply teenager three doors up drove a Harley. More likely his mid-life-crisis-aged father, she thought, wiping the perspiration pooled between her breasts. Being stuck in a stifling black van in Dallas during a heat wave was not her idea of excitement. Especially on her birthday. Which Mark had forgotten.

Or ignored.

After hinting for weeks about how she wanted to spend the night, starting with a romantic dinner at their favorite restaurant, after teasing him about the sexy negligee she’d bought, even after that stupid list of all the sexual fantasies she’d written for him, he’d still gone ahead and arranged for her to penetrate the estate tonight. Tonight!

“If he expects me to be in any sort of romantic mood when I get home, he’s got rocks in his head.” She plopped down in the chair with a huff. “He can sleep in his own bed tonight. Alone.”

She switched the monitor back to the camera aimed at the Lexus parked in front of the five-car garage. If the assistant kept to her regular schedule—and that woman was punctual to a fault—the car would soon be cruising up the drive. Which meant Jodi’d be out of this Easy-Bake Oven and into the air-conditioned estate to finish this assignment. Then she could go home and shower. Alone.

An insidious thought slithered into her mind, puncturing her self-confidence with an icy-cold needle. That’s what he’s planned all along—he’s trying to dump you without actually having to say anything.

No, she thought, shaking her head. Mark doesn’t play games like that.

How do you know? the voice whispered. Why else would he arrange for the estate to be penetrated today of all days? He’s easing his way out of the affair by pissing you off, hoping you’ll dump him first. And don’t forget how he insisted either one of you could walk away at any point.

She leaned back in the chair, her arms folded across her chest. Easing out of a relationship had to be better than being dumped by text message the way Todd had done. “Let’s just be friends.”

Friends, my ass.

Would it hurt less than it had when she’d found another woman’s bra under Danny’s bed and been forced to endure his long, stumbling explanation? “She’s softer, less demanding, you know?”

Yeah, she knew.

Permanent scars etched her heart after Jace’s less-than-flattering comments about her lack of femininity when she’d graduated from the police academy. More fool her, she’d actually quit the force trying to please that asshole and he’d still dumped her.

Maybe Mark’s way of easing out of a relationship was better. Maybe it would hurt less. She rubbed the heel of her hand over the ache in her heart. Who was she kidding? Despite agreeing with Mark that the affair wouldn’t be long term, she’d fallen in love with him anyway. If he was breaking up with her, she was soon going to feel like her skin had been stripped off layer by layer.

When a branch snapped behind the van, interrupting her pity fest, she grabbed her gun from the console and headed to the driver’s seat. There was no way she was going to sit here as a witless target.

“Jodi? Open up, babe, it’s me,” Mark whispered through the back panel.

Excitement flared in her chest at the sound of his voice. When she realized her heart was racing just from hearing his voice, she silently cursed herself for acting like a bookworm with a serious crush on the quarterback.

“Jodi?” Mark said, a little louder this time. “You okay in there?”

She thumbed on the safety of the Glock and, after taking a deep breath, opened the door. A glance around showed no sign of his Humvee—he must have parked it farther down the road and walked up.

“You could have phoned to say you were coming in. I might have shot you.” In the groin.

The van dipped when he stepped up into it. His six-foot-two-inch frame filling the narrow confines, he gently closed the door so it wouldn’t give away their position. The dragon tattoo on his biceps flexed as he placed a knapsack on the console beside the surveillance equipment. Muscles rippled beneath the Celada Security logo emblazoned across the chest of his black T-shirt. Muscles she’d felt flex beneath her palms the night before.

Her fingers itched to run themselves through the thick crop of black hair in his Marine high-and-tight. Normally she didn’t go for guys with short hair, but that glistening four-inch-wide pelt reminded her of a mink coat she wanted wrapped around her body. Between her legs.

Get over that desire real fast, she told her fingers. “You’re late.”

“Got stuck at the lawyers’. There—” He stopped as his eyes adjusted to the gloom, reminding her of what she was—or rather, wasn’t—wearing.

Every cell in her body went on high alert, trembled with need and expectation as if he’d touched her wherever he looked.

His grin widened and his chocolate brown eyes glinted. “Is a sports bra and thong the latest fashion for surveillance?”

Jodi flipped him the bird while she searched for the T-shirt she’d discarded.

“It was hot. I stripped down. So bite me,” she said, though without the rancor she’d intended.

“Anything you say, babe.” He pulled her against him and nipped at her earlobe. “But I fully approve of your outfit. Think I should make it part of the dress code.”

“Yeah, that’ll go over real well.” She attempted to maintain her anger. And failed. “Everyone’s been dying to see Hector’s fat ass in a thong.”

When his hands cupped her breasts, Jodi melted into his touch. Magic fingers, she thought, as his thumbs brushed her taut nipples. Was this the last time he’d touch her like this? Or was it just her insecurity making her paranoid?

“Have I told you lately how beautiful you are?” he said, his breath hot on her neck.

The citrus fragrance of his aftershave, and the lack of his usual dark five-o’clock shadow told her he’d recently shaved. His fresh scent reminded her how grungy she felt having been cooped up in over one hundred degree heat all day. It took a charming—or incredibly obtuse—man to tell a woman whose hair clung in damp strands to her neck and probably smelled like the inside of a stable that she was beautiful.

Surely a man planning on dumping her wouldn’t be acting like this. Or was he overcompensating?

“The assistant leave yet?” His tongue brushed over her earlobe, sending a shiver down her spine.

“Um…” She struggled to think under the onslaught of sensation. His tongue trailed down her neck, teeth nipped at that spot that made her need him inside her. What was it about him that made her knees turn to jelly and her insides to liquid heat?

“Babe? Did Ms. Janssen leave?”

She barely heard him repeat the question when his hand released her breast and moved lower. She forced one eye open and peered over his shoulder at the monitor, verifying the car hadn’t moved.

“No, not yet. If she keeps to her usual schedule she should leave in ten minutes. I thought I heard an engine a few moments ago. You see anything on the way in?”

“Nope.” He turned her away from the monitor and pushed aside the thin strip of her thong. His fingers—those broad, callused, talented fingers—stroked her vulva, sending streaks of pleasure deep inside.

She struggled to maintain focus the way he could. “Must have been… Oh, Mark, yes, right there.”

Her legs opened wider under his murmured instructions, while her hands fumbled with the zipper in his blue jeans. Fingers were all very well, but when there was a cock willing and eager to penetrate her—and from the rock-hard erection beneath her palm, he was more than ready—there was no contest. She heard the rustle of canvas when he reached behind her, and she wondered what was in the knapsack that he needed at this precise moment.

“Got a present for you.” His mouth covered hers, swallowing her squeak of surprise when something hard and cold touched her labia and pressed inward. “Something to keep you on your toes.”

A moan left her when the object started vibrating inside her. He had to be kidding!

She reached down to remove the vibrating egg, only to have her wrist circled by his fingers, pulling her hand away.

“Oh no you don’t. Leave it in until I take it out myself.” An intense look filled his dark eyes, replacing the earlier amusement. He stepped back, all business, and picked up her black twill pants. “Better put these on. The assistant will be leaving soon. Don’t forget you have to get through the gate right after she leaves.”

“I know the plan.” She tugged on her pants, doing her best to ignore the overwhelming need the device was creating. “Do you seriously expect me to break into the house and crack a safe with this damned thing vibrating inside me?”

He flashed a six-megawatt grin. “Yup, I do.”

Jodi stuck her tongue out at him. Okay, it was childish, but she hated that he’d got her so hot and bothered and then wouldn’t let her come. Until she noticed the bulge in his pants. Proving that despite Mark’s business-like demeanor, he was just as horny.

“We’ve got a few minutes before Ms. Janssen leaves.” She trailed a finger down his chest, slid her hand between them and rubbed his erection, intent on torturing him and silencing her insecurities. “You must be aching as bad as I am. No use both of us being unfulfilled all night.”

His grin fading, Mark flipped a switch on the remote. The vibrations ceased within her, leaving her with a completely unsatisfied pussy. Damn it, she needed to finish what he’d started.

“Look, babe, I know you wanted to celebrate, but the owner insisted it be today. And since you’re our best at infiltration…” He tucked the remote into his shirt pocket then lifted her hands in his.

At least he’d remembered her birthday.

When he pressed his lips against her knuckles, her insecurity crawled back under its rock. Hopefully forever.

“I’d still rather have you inside me than this vibrator.”

He chuckled and kissed her fingers again. “I know. So would I. But we don’t have time.”

“So why are you insisting I keep it in?”

He let her hands drop and cradled her head to his shoulder briefly. “Just for fun. Besides, you’re always practicing cracking those safes wearing headphones, listening to loud music and street sounds. So think of my present as just another distraction, something to add to the challenge.”

She relented. A little. There were worse ways to be distracted—like having firecrackers or guns aimed at you—both of which had been done to her in the past. His professionalism had attracted her to him in the first place; it wasn’t right that she snark about it now, she supposed. Besides, what could be more exciting than breaking into a house, knowing you could get caught, a vibrator your lover had placed deep inside arousing every fiber of your being? By night’s end, she’d be so horny, so desperate for him, he could fuck her in the middle of Dealey Plaza at high noon and she wouldn’t deny him.

She bent over to pick up her T-shirt, making sure Mark had a really good look at her butt. Might as well give him something to think about while she was away.

“You got the letter I’m supposed to leave in the safe?” The shirt muffled her voice as she pulled it over her head.

He held up a sealed envelope. “Right here.”

She grabbed the envelope and shoved it in her pocket. “You sure the owner hasn’t upgraded the system? Or tipped the current security company off?”

“Nah, I have his word that if you crack the safe tonight, I’ll have a signature on a contract at our lunch tomorrow. And then I can concentrate on the merger.” Mark perched on the edge of the console and folded his arms. A smug look on his face told her he expected her to encounter no problems.

Yet for all his confidence in her, the envelope weighed a ton in her pocket. “Mark, are you sure you want to sell out? You’ve worked so hard making Celada the top security firm in Texas—you can’t just hand over the reins to some stranger, even if he was your old college buddy. You love running your own company too much to see it gobbled up by Hauberk Security.”

He grabbed her hand and tugged until she stood between his legs. “It’s just a merger, babe, not a complete takeover. I’ve told you I’ll continue to run ops this side of the Mississippi, and Sam will manage everything to the east from D.C. We’ll both have to agree on any major decision, each with an equal say.”

“And if you can’t agree?”

“It’ll work out. Trust me.” His hand cupped her buttock and squeezed as he glanced at the monitor behind her. “Time to move, babe. Ms. Janssen is driving toward the gate.”
He couldn’t have staged a better way to avoid the subject if he’d planned it.

After pulling on a pair of surgical gloves, Jodi picked up the two-way headset and tucked it around her ear. “Give me a sound check, will you?”

Mark flipped on the microphone to the radio, and whispered something in Spanish.

Shivers flared down her spine and sent a bolt of heat into her core. “One of these days I’m going to take Spanish lessons. What did you say this time?”

“I promised to tie your hands behind your back and make you get on your knees. Then I said I’m going to put my dick in your mouth until I spew come down your throat.”

Grabbing the back-door latch, Jodi pressed her knees together as her pussy clamped around the egg lodged high inside. “If you’d let Javier do this job the way I’d suggested, I’d be on my knees in a heartbeat. But since you didn’t, I guess you’ll have to keep dreaming.”

“Maybe. Maybe not.” He winked and tossed her a black knit cap. “Forget something?”

With a muttered curse about wool caps and Texas heat, Jodi tucked her hair beneath the cap’s edges. Once Mark had flicked off the van’s dome light, she eased the door open. As she squeezed through the narrow opening, branches scraped against the door’s paint job and tugged at her thin black cotton shirt.

Headlights slanted up the curving driveway, backlighting the ornate wrought-iron gates that creaked as they swung open.

“Right on time. Someone needs to teach you there’s safety in unpredictability, lady,” she murmured.

The sleek dark blue Lexus drove through the gates and turned right.

“Show time, babe,” Mark said over the headset.

Heart thumping, Jodi slid in through the gates as the motor whirred, jumping only slightly when the gate clicked shut behind her.

Keeping to the shadows cast by the half-moon, Jodi crept down the long driveway toward the sprawling three-story Tudor mansion. She skirted the massive garage, then followed the path around back and stopped by the first French door. Whatever security expert designed the current system hadn’t insisted that a deadbolt be installed on this one. Or the installers had missed it. And that was the reason she—no, she reminded herself, Mark’s company—was going to prove they were the best security firm in Texas.

She pulled out the thin strip of plastic she had tucked in the pouch on her belt and shoved it between the jamb and the latch. Seconds later, she straightened and opened door.
As she’d expected, a red light flashed in the security panel beside the door. She punched in the number she’d memorized and breathed a sigh of relief when the light turned a steady green. They hadn’t changed the security code since she’d reconnoitered. Another point for her report.

“I’m in,” she whispered, knowing Mark was listening in the van. She wiped the sweat from the back of her neck, angling her head to catch the cool breeze rushing through the air-conditioning vent.

“You never told me how you got the security code,” she heard Mark say in the earpiece as she headed through the empty room toward the center hallway.

“I have my secrets,” she taunted. That weekend she’d bribed to call in sick so she could fill in had paid off—even if it meant she’d had to scrub toilets. The work hadn’t really been hard—the new owner had only furnished four rooms so far, so there’d not been much to clean.

A smile tugging at her lips, Jodi paused at the door to the office, ensuring it was empty. Moonlight streamed between the heavy curtains that flanked the French doors and across the floor in a rectangular pattern, slanting up the bookcases lining the walls. The red power light on the cordless phone reflected in the brass base of the banker’s lamp on the desk. Assured she was alone, she walked confidently toward the desk.

“The safe’s in the floor behind the desk,” Mark reminded her. “Figure you’ve got less than an hour to crack the safe, leave the envelope and get out before the next patrol cruises by.”

She rolled her eyes. Cruise was right—that’s all the minimum-wage cop wannabees currently providing security did for their visual inspection. Her van had been parked in the area for a week now and they hadn’t slowed down enough to read her license plate or check why she was there.

She pushed the leather office chair aside and knelt on the hardwood floor, inhaling a whiff of lemon furniture polish. The very same polish she’d applied on the weekend. Reaching beneath the desk, her fingers found the latch that would free the panel hiding the safe. Her breath left her with a whoosh when she heard the audible click.

“Got it!” she whispered, pumping her fist in the air. Now the real fun began.

Still on her knees, she reached down and swung open the square section of floor concealing the safe. A chuckle escaped her. She’d never bothered to tell Mark that during her stint as a replacement maid, she’d been assigned to dust this room. Or that she’d discovered the safe’s combination on the flip side of the leather blotter.

“Hey, Mark, start the timer—I’ll bet I can have this baby cracked in under three minutes.”

Mark’s low chuckle reverberated in her ear. “Two. Loser gets tied up and spanked.”
Jodi’s butt tightened. Spanking usually meant Mark was in the mood for ass play. Maybe she should deliberately take four minutes. No, she thought with wicked delight as she glanced at her latex covered fingers, it was time Mark got a taste of his own medicine.

“Then drop your pants, big boy, and show me your sweet ass, ’cause you’re going to get a whoopin’ tonight.”

Clenching her penlight between her teeth, she leaned over the dial of the old-fashioned safe. Then jumped when the egg started to vibrate deep inside her.
Sonuvabitch. She stopped herself from screeching. She’d completely forgotten the damned thing. Her nipples hardened into swollen buds rubbing against her cotton T-shirt while her pussy throbbed in time with the vibrations.

No way was she going to let Mark win this bet. Ignoring the vibrator as best she could, she carefully turned the dial clockwise to the first number. Heard the click as the mechanism released. One-and-a-half-turns counterclockwise. Another click. Clockwise again. Click. Grinning, she checked her watch.

“Mark, your ass is going to be sore tomorrow,” she whispered.

A quick tug on the handle opened the safe. Her penlight’s thin beam of light illuminated a thick rope of gold with a massive ruby pendant resting upon a black velvet-covered board. A set of dangly earrings that matched the pendant and several diamond-encrusted bracelets winked back at her. A fortune in easily fenced gems and the idiot had left the combination to the safe where anyone could find it.

Shaking her head at the owner’s stupidity, she pulled out the envelope. Then froze when the sliver of light from the French door lengthened, slid beneath the desk and over the safe.

She peered beneath the knee space under the desk. The moonlight outlined the shape of a dark figure shutting the doors.

“Under two minutes, Mark, I win,” she announced as she crawled from beneath the desk. She straightened and smiled, expecting Mark to flash that sexy smile of his. She was so ready to fuck him, to have him ram his cock deep into her.

But her smile froze when the intruder took a step into the room and the moonlight gleamed off his head. His shaved head.

Not Mark.

“Welcome to my parlor, said the spider to the fly.”

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Shannon on The Romance Studio wrote:

…a wickedly delicious and daring story taken directly from most women’s fantasies…a raw sensuality that holds the reader captive from the first page..a luscious, fast paced adventure that is sure to please readers who enjoy an edgy and intense erotic romance…a refreshingly touching twist to the menage theme…

NOMINATED AS BEST EROTIC ROMANCE, and Leah for BEST EROTIC ROMANCE AUTHOR by the Romance Studio reviewers for the Cupid and Psyche Romance Awards

Chrissy on Romance Junkies wrote:

Leah Braemel’s PRIVATE PROPERTY delves into all of one woman’s naughty fantasies and promises to leave readers hot and sweaty. … All of these characters will touch your heart in one way or another. …

Lea on Blackraven's Reviews wrote:

Recommended Read! If you read Private Property when it was first released, it is time for a re-read. If you somehow missed this book, get it now. You won’t be disappointed.


  Nominated for Best Erotic Contemporary Romance 2009

by the reviewers of The Romance Studio


This book was originally published in 2009 by Samhain Publishing, but has been given a new cover and re-released in 2016 by Somerlane Publishing.  Other than some minor editing to update the technology, the contents remain unchanged.

Book Cover: First Night
Editions:Trade Paperback: $ 9.99
ISBN: 978-0-9879304-9-1
Size: 8.50 x 5.50 in
Pages: 200
Kindle
ISBN: 978-0-9879304-3-9
Pages: 36
ePub
ISBN: 978-0-9879304-3-9
Pages: 36

When it comes to her love life, security specialist Jodi Tyler has hit a dry spell the size of the Sahara. Not to mention her track record for choosing guys who aren’t threatened by a strong woman isn’t the best. When a friend at her company’s New Year’s Eve party issues a challenge to seduce their boss, the uber sexy Mark Rodriguez, Jodi accepts.

The last thing Mark Rodriguez needs right now is another distraction. His company is under attack and he’s desperately trying to hold it together. When the blonde bombshell he hired as his second-in-command struts into the room and straddles his lap, who is he to turn her down? Especially with her offer of a no-strings-attached affair.

But when the clock strikes midnight, and the ball drops on Times Square, has Jodi won the bet or lost her heart?

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Publisher: Somerlane Publishing
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Copyright © 2008, 2014 Leah Braemel

It might have been the two glasses of champagne that drove Jodi Tyler to consider her friend Terri’s dare. Or maybe, she told herself for the fifth time, she really was concerned her boss was working himself too hard.

Though her mouth was moving, Jodi could barely hear a word of Terri’s explanation over Hector’s attempts at singing and the amps blasting full-power. The music itself wasn’t bad—Juan and Tyrell both played a mean guitar—but Hector needed to be muzzled for mangling U2’s New Year’s Day so badly.

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Champagne sloshing over the side of her wine glass, Terri gestured toward their boss, who stood in the farthest corner, his cell phone pressed to one ear and a hand covering the other. The suit jacket Mark Rodriguez had worn earlier was nowhere in sight. His tie had disappeared too, leaving the top two buttons of his shirt splayed open. What was it about that peek-a-boo V that she found so attractive? He twisted to allow a waiter to pass, which caused his shirt sleeve to pull taut. Damn, the man must work out five hours a day to maintain those shoulder muscles.

Though he had an excellent physique his recently-earned MBA spoke to his intelligence, a trait Jodi found just as sexy as his kick-ass body.

From the deep furrow in his forehead, whoever he was talking to was pissing him off. Bingo, there was his tell of running his hand over his head, something he only did when he was trying to keep his cool. Normally he kept his dark hair trimmed in a Marine’s high and tight, but he’d been so harried lately, he’d let the top part grow longer. Long enough that every time she’d seen him, she’d been tempted to run her fingers through it.

Poor guy. Celada Security had the best rep in the Metroplex, yet the damned competition kept swiping clients by undercutting their rates. It wasn’t that Mark was doing anything wrong—the man had a flair for keeping both his clients and his employees happy—but he didn’t have the type of money their competition did. Which meant this might be the last party they’d all celebrate together. Unless he pulled off whatever Hail Mary pass he’d hinted at during today’s staff meeting.

Terri put her mouth to Jodi’s ear and repeated, “Come on, Jodi. Mark brought his laptop to the party, and when he’s not working on it, he’s been on that damned phone. You need to get him to loosen up.”

Jodi rolled her eyes. “And just how do you propose I do that?”

Terri flattened her free hand over her stomach and wiggled her hips. “There’s no better way to start a New Year than with some hot monkey sex.”

“Terri!” Laughing at her friend’s antics, Jodi shoved Terri’s shoulder.

“Jodi.” Terri mimicked Jodi’s exasperation. “He’s not seeing anyone, and neither are you since you finally saw the light about Jace and kicked him to the curb. Sex is the perfect way to relax and, honey, you both need to relax. Besides, I’ve seen the way you eye Mark when you think no one’s looking. You’re dying to get him naked.”

“I am not!” Yes, I am. I want to pull his shirt off and run my fingers—hell my tongue—down his pecs, over his abs. To trace that line of dark hair from his navel to where it hides beneath his fly.

“It’s time you get back up on the horse and Mark’s the perfect stallion to ride.” Terri grabbed a champagne flute from a passing waiter and pressed it into Jodi’s hand. “Here. Give him this. Tell him there’s a private party and he’s invited. I bet he’ll have you seeing fireworks before the ball drops in Times Square.”

As Jodi argued internally about whether it was a good idea to have sex with the boss—which she knew wasn’t smart at the best of times—Terri fumbled in her purse, withdrew a package and shoved it in Jodi’s bag. Jodi peered inside to see what her friend had given her. “Holy crap, you brought a box of condoms to the party? What the fuck were you expecting? An orgy?”

“No. But it never hurts for a girl to be prepared.”

With an entire box? Terri obviously had far more to her beneath that standard Celada uniform than she let on.

“You know you’ve been fantasizing about him for months. It’s time you go hook up with him and ride that man into the sunset.” Terri shoved her in Mark’s direction. “Or let him ride you.”

What the heck am I doing? Jodi asked herself, as she maneuvered her way through the crowded room.

Taking responsibility for your own happiness, that’s what.

COLLAPSE

FIRST NIGHT is also available in print as a bonus in the PRIVATE PROPERTY paperback.