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: 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?

Published:
Publisher: Carina Press
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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!


Tangled Past by Leah Braemel
Part of the Tangled series:

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.

Jackson Kellar’s determined to do right by his bride, yet he’s torn between his newfound love for Sarah and his still-burning desire for Nate.

Ranch owner Nate Campbell loves them both. He hates to see Jackson’s loyalties so divided, and doesn’t want Sarah hurt either. But how can they fix the tangled mess they find themselves in? Nate suggests a possible solution – a permanent threesome.

With the open frontier closing in around them, is Nate’s solution their path to happiness? Or will others destroy what they’ve found together?

Published:
Publisher: Carina Press
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© Copyright 2011 Leah Braemel

Texas, 1887

Danged devil’s rope.” Jackson Kellar checked the stallion’s withers where the barbed wire had nicked it. “It ain’t too bad though, Nate. Shouldn’t be a problem for the trip back home, less it festers.”

“Good. McLeod was right about this fellow being high-spirited. It should be a treat to ride him.” Nate ran a hand down the horse’s neck and crooned softly until it gentled. Nate had mighty talented hands when it came to soothing the beasts. Or any other animals he came across.

Jackson included himself on that list.

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Aware of the McLeod field hands watching them, Jackson positioned himself between the horse and the hands to check his six-shooter. Something about the look of some of those men left him uneasy. Once assured the gun was loaded, he surveyed the ranch. Long strands of the barbed wire outlined the fields and pastures, where a decade before this valley had been open. Not that it stopped the cattle rustlers from tearing down the silver barriers. Rumors he’d heard in town questioned just which side of the McLeod fence the rustled cattle were herded.

A flash of pale blue hurtling at Nate had Jackson whirling on his heel. He cocked and aimed the Colt until he realized Nate’s attacker was a shovel-wielding woman.

He holstered his weapon and watched the she-devil swing the shovel at Nate with an admirable ferocity. From the way he was deflecting the blows instead of landing his own, Nate must have figured out she was of the female persuasion. If the woman was as pretty from the front as she was from the back, Jackson couldn’t blame him.

“Need some help there, Nate?”

“Nope, I got it.” A grinning Nate dodged the shovel, and again when it returned for a yet another go-round. She’d put so much oomph into it, she lost her balance. Seizing the opportunity, Nate snatched the shovel and tossed it to Jackson, who caught it one-handed.

Danged if the she-devil didn’t ball her hand into a fist and catch Nate with a right hook that snapped his head back.

“You sure you don’t want some help?”

“Naw, I got it.” Nate caught the fist as it whizzed past his face a second time, pulling the hellion against him. “Now, see, ain’t this more cozy, darlin’?”

“I’m not your darlin’.” She jammed her knee into a part of Nate’s anatomy that no knee had a right being anywhere near.

The color drained from Nate’s face, and he dropped to the ground with a croaking sound that had Jackson wincing in sympathy.

With a growl, Jackson caught Nate’s attacker from behind. He banded his arms around her, trapping her arms at her side. It didn’t stop her from hauling her foot back to continue the assault.

“That’s enough of that. He ain’t goin’ nowhere for a while.” He swung her out of the way before she kicked Nate into a patch of prickly pears.

She struggled against him, her behind rubbing his cock. From the way she was cursing him six ways from Sunday, he doubted she was aware of how the danged thing was rising up to salute her efforts.

“Your mama know you use language like that?” Jackson asked, keeping an eye on Nate, who was turning a disturbing shade of green.

“My mama died last spring.” She stilled, her voice dropping to a whisper.

“Well now, I’m right sorry about that. But you can’t just go around attacking folks for no reason.”

“No reason?” The hellcat started struggling again. “You’re on my land, stealing my horse. If I’d had my gun handy, I could have shot you and no one would have stopped me.”

Her land? Was this Josiah McLeod’s chit? That explained why the ranch hands weren’t lending a hand to the fight. “Now haul in your horns for a second there. We weren’t stealin’ this here horse. Nate bought him fair and square.”

Still on his hands and knees, Nate shook his head like a dog that had just crawled out of a pond. “You can check with your pa if you don’t believe me.”

All the piss and vinegar she’d had before disappeared, and she sagged in his arms. “He sold Bandit?”

“Yes, ma’am.” The bay in question watched them as he paced the fence line on the other side of the pasture.

Jackson took a chance and released her, but he didn’t relax his guard, staying ready to grab her again just in case she decided to take another shot at Nate. He introduced himself then gestured with his chin toward Nate. “The fellow you just tried to castrate is Nate Campbell.”

“I’m Sarah McLeod and Bandit’s my horse. I’ve trained him since he was born.”

“Well, Miss Sarah, Nate here just bought Bandit and a couple of mares from your pa. Deal was done fair and square.”

“A couple of mares…” Sarah’s eyes narrowed.

Right pretty eyes she had too. Dark like coal over high cheekbones. Looked like the rumors about Josiah’s wife taking up with an Indian fellow were true. Especially with those full lips that a man could lose himself in for a week. Lips that would look mighty fine tight around a man’s cock. In her struggles, her bonnet had fallen to the ground, and strands of long black hair feathered along a strong jaw. Pity she’d pulled her hair back into that god-awful bun, but it probably was easier to care for that way rather than letting it get tangled up in the wind when she was riding. Like her horse, she had a strong and wild air, so different from some of the frail young misses coming west these days.

Her blue calico skirts highlighted a nicely rounded behind when she bent over and picked up the shovel he’d dropped on the ground. Out the corner of his eye he saw Nate flinch, but Sarah simply hefted it and headed back toward the house.

“You all right?” he asked when Nate staggered to stand beside him.

“Yup. She caught me unawares, is all.” Nate adjusted himself with a grimace, but he didn’t take his eyes from watching Sarah’s behind swing as her long legs ate up the dirt between them and the family home. “She’s something, ain’t she?”

Nate’s sigh had Jackson’s head turning toward him. Had he lost him to a woman? Considering the way his own cock had reacted to her, he couldn’t fault Nate’s taste.

Ah, well, he knew it was too good to last. Besides, it was probably better if Nate did take a wife. Their relationship was downright dangerous. A woman in the house would put any rumors to rest. Of course, he’d have to find somewhere else to live if Nate wedded.

Jackson admired the bruise starting to form on Nate’s jaw. “She’s got a good right cross, I’ll give her that.”

Color tinged Nate’s cheeks. “Guess we better follow her. Maybe we won’t be leaving with that stallion after all.”

They caught up to Sarah just as she reached the barnyard, where her father was talking with his son Walt and another man. Though Josiah’s hair was red and Walt’s hair white blond, there was no mistaking the protruding family chin and freckled complexion, so different from Sarah’s jet black hair and golden skin.

Who the third man was, Jackson had no clue. Ranch hand, he guessed at first from the lariat the man carried, but revised his estimation when he drew closer and noticed the expensive tooling on his chaps and fancy silver belt buckle. Neighbor, perhaps? Another buyer of one of the horses?

Both McLeods frowned at Sarah’s approach, while the third man openly leered.

She positioned herself in front of her father so Walt was between her and the third man. “Did you sell Bandit?”

For some reason he couldn’t explain, it annoyed Jackson to no end that neither of her kin seemed to be bothered by the man’s lecherous expression.

“Yup, sure did.” Josiah McLeod’s frown deepened, especially once he caught sight of Jackson and Nate leaning on the fence, watching.

“But I’ve had him since he was a colt. Mama raised him and trained him. How could you sell him without telling me?”

“Listen here, girl, that horse is mine. Just like everything else on this land is mine. Including all those animals who are eatin’ my feed and filling stalls that I could fill with animals that’ll pull their weight more than you or that damned horse. So don’t you go getting all high and mighty because I sold a half dozen of my own stock without seekin’ your approval.”

“But they—”

“I ain’t sayin’ another word on the subject, girl. You live here on my good graces, so don’t push your luck if you know what’s good for you. Now you go get dinner ready.” McLeod tilted his head Jackson and Nate’s way. “We’ve got two extra guests, as well as Jed sitting down at the table tonight. You make sure the grub’s good, ya hear?” He headed to the barn, leaving her staring at him, her shoulders slumped in defeat.

As Walt sauntered past, he spit onto the ground in front of Sarah’s feet so it splattered across the tips of her boots and muttered, “Lazy squaw.”

Jed strolled up to her and whispered something so low Jackson couldn’t hear, but whatever it was, Sarah’s eyes widened and she took a step back. He was about to jump over the fence to intervene when in front of his eyes, the hellcat regained her confidence. Two seconds later, Jed was curled in a ball on the ground, gasping for breath and clutching his balls as Sarah stalked into the house.

“Damn, she’s somethin’, ain’t she?” Nate breathed, admiration filling his voice. Guess Nate had either forgotten his own experience with Sarah’s knee, or he’d decided it was admirable when used on someone else.

Still moaning, Jed hauled himself to his knees, then his feet. “Fuckin’ squaw needs a good beatin’ to teach her her place.” He spat in the direction of the house. “If I was McLeod, I’da dropped both her and her ma off at the nearest reservation as soon as I’d realized my wife had fucked a goddamned Indian. If I’d let ’em live in the first place.”

With a pointed look at Jackson, he resettled his hat and headed for the side of the house, where a flashy thoroughbred had been tethered.

Jackson grabbed Nate before he vaulted the split rail and went  after the stranger. “Don’t. He ain’t worth it.”

“Someone should set him straight,  stand up to him.” Nate shrugged him off. “How come you ain’t going after him?”

“You mean considerin’ I’ve got Indian blood in me?” Jackson shook his head. “He wouldn’t learn nothing from it. Besides I’d probably end up with a bullet in my back or a rope around my neck for attackin’ him. As I said, he ain’t worth it.”

“She’s worth it.” Jackson almost missed Nate’s whispered, “So are you.”

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Lisa Watts on Fresh Fiction wrote:

…a sweet, believable ménage story with the perfect balance of plot, emotion, and steamy sex.

Terri on Night Owl Romance wrote:

5 Stars and a Top Pick: Once again Ms Braemel has made her story come to life and taken me along on the journey

Judith on Book Binge wrote:

…a story that will take the reader on an emotional roller coaster… not be difficult to literally enter into this story and be deeply touched by their joys and disappointments.


NOMINATED AS “BEST EROTIC MENAGE A TROIS OR MORE” OF 2011 by The Romance Reviews 


 

…a story not to be missed ~ Chris, Night Owl Romance

Recommended Read: Sinful, sexy, mesmerizing and intoxicating. ~Lady Rhyleigh, All Romance eBooks Cafe

…Tangled Past is definitely a keeper. ~ Melinda, Night Owl Reviews.

…The characters are compelling while their relationships are complex. Their story pulls you in right from the beginning. ~ Heather, Everybody Needs a Little Romance

…an emotional tug of war… a truly beautiful story that I highly recommend ~ Wendy, You Gotta Read Reviews

…this was a book with a little bit of everything I didn’t know I was looking for, but was glad I found!~ Happily Ever After Reads

…Filled with action, love, and excellent sex scenes this book takes you on a believable trip back in time ~Drea, Judging the Book By Its Pages

… soak up the love story and enjoy the characters, because it’s beautifully written and Braemel’s voice is terrific. ~ Lori, Goodreads review

Book Cover: Perfect Proposal
Editions:Trade Paperback: $ 9.99
Size: 5.50 x 8.50 in
Pages: 212
ePub: $ 0.99

Sometimes the best laid plans go every which way but the one you want…

Sam Watson wants to propose to the love of his life, Rosie Ramos, but all his previous attempts have been thwarted. Every. Single. Time. This time he’s determined that nothing, and no one, will get in his way. No interruptions. No exceptions. Not from work, not by family busybodies, not even if the roses crucial to his plans are lost. Nothing will stop him.

If only someone had let Rosie in on his plans…

Warning: Contains misguided intentions, a hunky hero with more than just a ring burning a hole in his pocket, and a spitfire girlfriend who counters with her own proposal. The romance may be sweet but the sex is explicitly hot, hot, hot.

Published:
Publisher: Somerlane Publishing
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Copyright © 2012 Leah Braemel
All rights reserved

You must be 18 years of age or older to read this.

Sunlight glinted off the solitaire diamond engagement ring and fractured into a thousand rainbows that danced over the walls and ceiling. Heedless of the display, Sam Watson juggled the hotel phone between his ear and shoulder. “What do you mean, the roses haven’t arrived? I ordered them last month.”

“We’re looking into the situation now, Mr. Watson,” the concierge responded. “We’re working with the florist to locate them and they’ll be in your room by the time you return tonight.”

Sam pinched the bridge of his nose, mentally running through his checklist. What else could go wrong? “You understand I want everything to be perfect tonight, right? It’s not just about the roses. I want the champagne chilling in the ice bucket, the music cued up, candles ready to be lit. It’s gotta be perfect, you hear me?”

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Unlike the last three times he’d planned to propose, only to have his plans go awry. Rosie deserved perfect and if it killed him, he’d give her the perfect memory. The perfect proposal.

“Yes, sir. I’ll personally ensure everything is exactly as you’ve requested, even if I have to go out and purchase the roses myself.”

“Make sure they’re red roses. Not pink. Not white. Red.” To match his favorite shade of her lipstick.

“Yes, sir. All I need from you now is an approximate time you’ll be returning so we can be set up and out of your way.”

Now there was a problem. Every member of the Ramos family could talk the ears off a concrete elephant. A regular dinner generally lasted two hours—a birthday dinner might last until dawn. The way his luck was running lately, he hedged his bet. “Set it up before six.” Dinner shouldn’t be cooked and eaten before then, he doubted. “That way we won’t walk in on your staff and ruin the surprise. And call me if you can’t get the damned roses.”

After another assurance from the concierge that all would be done according to plan, he hung up the phone. Good thing too, because at some point during the call the shower had shut off. He closed the small blue box and slipped it back into his coat pocket moments before Rosie emerged. As it did every time she walked into a room, his whole body went on alert, needing to claim her.

A drop of water slid from the tip of one dark curl and over the curve of her breast before disappearing into the towel she’d tucked into her cleavage. Damned lucky towel.

Some of their clients had thought her natural sensuality, along with petite stature, made her less effective as a bodyguard. At least until he explained that those qualities made her less likely to scare the bejesus out of a client’s kids or pass undetected by anyone expecting to see a six-foot-six behemoth like himself. After that, he’d have Rosie give them a demonstration by taking him down with a quick-and-dirty leg sweep, or show them the results of her last shooting competition.

A second, then a third droplet followed the path of the first. He skimmed a finger over her skin, tracing the path the water droplets had taken to the edge of the towel.

“Well, were you?”

“Was I what?” Was the towel slipping? If it wasn’t, it should. A slight tug should be enough to—

The single finger tilting his chin until he met her eyes made him focus, as did the impatient tapping of her tiny foot. “Saa-am…”

Uh-oh, she was getting that tone in her voice. She’d said something, but damned if he knew what. “Sorry. I got distracted. What did you ask?”

She clamped a hand across her bosom, which only served to press the soft mounds until a hint of cinnamon nipple peeked over the terry. With her free hand she made a V with her fingers and aimed them at her face in an unspoken “eyes up here, buddy” command.

After a brief internal struggle he managed to wrench his gaze back to her face. Her narrowed eyes told him she knew exactly what had distracted him.

“I asked—”she enunciated every syllable, drawing his gaze to her lips, still swollen from their earlier kisses, “—if you were talking to me while I was in the shower.”

Shoot, he’d figured between her singing and the running water she wouldn’t hear him talking. “Nope. I was—”Keep your eyes up, Watson, stop thinking about getting her naked, “—checking in with Chad.”

“I know it’s a blow to your ego, but Chad doesn’t need you to micromanage things. He’s perfectly capable of running the office himself. And you took a couple of days off to relax.” She poked her index finger into the middle of his chest. “So relax already.”

“Hey, he contacted me first.” He didn’t have to mention that his second-in-command had reached him by text message, which is how he’d replied. “It’s not my fault the guy’s OCD about details.” Which was what made Chad so good at his job.

Her expression softened. “I worry about you, Sam. You’ve been working so hard lately. You deserve this vacation. Chad can handle any issues that come up back in D.C.”

“I know, but—“

“No buts. Now promise me you won’t be checking your email or texting him all day. Give yourself some time for fun.”

The scent of her shampoo—a light fragrance of ginger and some other spice—filled his lungs. Damn, she smelled good enough to eat. A quick check over his shoulder at the hotel room clock showed he had time to do a little taste test of the smorgasbord known as Rosalinda Ramos. Taste test, hell! Count him in for a whole sit-down dinner with her laid out as the main meal. He gave in to temptation and tugged at the terry tucked into her cleavage. “Well, lookie here, your towel’s come loose.”

Damned if she didn’t thwart him by pressing her whole body against him to hold it in place. “I know I said you should have fun but we’re due at my parents’ in less than an hour. We don’t have time for sex right now.”

He raised his eyebrows and drew himself up to his full six foot six to stare down at her. “There’s always time for sex.”

She slapped at his chest with little heat. “I still have to dry my hair—”

With her tight curls, drying meant using a boatload of hair products to help keep her hair straight and tame, which took her at least forty-five minutes.

“—and do my make-up.”

Shoot, he could have waited an hour or more to get dressed up in this monkey suit. At least he could loosen his tie while he waited. And maybe his fly. He always got a hard-on watching her apply her makeup—especially her lipstick, while he imagined the particular shade on her lips as they closed around his cock the way they had earlier.

“Then I have to get dressed.” The conviction in her voice faded as she nuzzled her face against his chest.

Yeah, they were definitely going to be late, thanks to the erection painfully constrained by his briefs.

“We can blame traffic if we’re late.” He slipped his hands beneath the terrycloth and palmed her bare ass. Drowning in Rosie’s sensuality, he gave in and allowed his carnal side to take over.

Rosie gasped when he lifted her until they were nose-to-nose, her bare feet dangling a foot off the floor. Though she teased him about lugging her around like she was a suitcase, she found his penchant for picking her up as though she weighed nothing incredibly romantic.

With a shake of her head in mock dismay, she locked her hands around his neck and hooked her legs around his hips. “You’re incorrigible, you payaso.”

“Even a clown would get hard watching you parade around in nothin’ but a towel, Rosebud.” As proof of the truth of his statement, he pressed his erect cloth-covered shaft against her mound.

She should have anticipated this when he’d ogled her cleavage instead of listening to her. Oh heck, she’d seen the look he’d given her when she’d headed into the shower, and quite frankly she’d been surprised he hadn’t joined her. The fact that they’d already made love before breakfast never slowed Sam Watson down.

“Have I told you I love you this morning?” he asked.

He had. Numerous times, in English, Spanish, French and what she thought might be German—once he’d discovered she got turned on by foreign languages, he’d exploited her weakness without a qualm.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Dawn on Day Dreaming Book Reviews wrote:

… all the twists, turns, spills, and misunderstandings just make for all the more fun and anticipation in this story. So…if you’re a fan of the Hauberk Protection series this is a must read! And, if you haven’t read this series—Get To It—you’re missing out! Lots of danger, lust, excitement, and super-hot sex.


For readers of the series: Perfect Proposal is a follow-up, an epilogue if you want to call it that, to Personal Protection. I loved Sam and Rosie so much I wanted them to finally have their HEA, but I didn’t want to divert attention from the heroes and heroines in the other books to revisit them. Which all means that you won’t have to have read Perfect Proposal to understand Hidden Heat or any future stories.


PERFECT PROPOSAL is included in the print copy of DELIBERATE DECEPTIONS.