His Perfect Bodyguard
by Dahlia Rose
Genre: Romantic Military Suspense
Mina Jolliet and her team of Charlie Company have seen the worst of the wars fought overseas. Yet together, they managed to help the helpless back in the United States, when no one else could. After a—let’s call it an ‘incident’ with her commander when botched ops went wrong. Mina was put on leave, which made it easier for Senator Jolliet to offer Mina a job. Senator Anita Jolliet just happened to be her mother, but the job could get Mina back in the running with her team much sooner than a year.
Dr. Arin Bane saw something he shouldn’t, in a place people rarely went unless they had a death wish or too much empathy. He was the latter, now he and his son were in danger, this was supposed to be an easy protection gig, clean cut, and done in a few weeks. Mina didn’t expect they’d be running for their lives, or that passionate sparks would fly between her and Arin. Being in the crosshairs of someone who wanted her dead, was something Mina was accustomed to. Falling in love with the two souls she was to protect was hella new, and Mina would have to literally walk through fire to protect them both.
Author Note: This book contains a strong black heroine, who can handle big guns, big men, and learns to follow her heart when she falls in love! Is that the end? No! Book 2 HIs Perfect Guardian brings the team back together. Cheers!
Mina shrugged out of her coat and dropped it in one of the chairs off the living room. With a tired sigh, she walked into the kitchen and opened the fridge, looking at what Jace had stocked.
“Thank God, the good beer,” she murmured and grabbed one of the longneck bottles. In the freezer, there was New York cheesecake ice cream. Mina took that out as well and grabbed a spoon. That was how Arin found her, standing by the kitchen island, drinking beer and eating ice cream.
“That doesn’t look like a first aid kit,” he commented.
“I think I deserve this after tonight’s fracas,” Mina answered around a mouthful of sweet, creamy ice cream. “Beer in the fridge… Grab a spoon.”
Arin hesitated for a moment before he moved around her to grab the same things she had in her hands. After the first deep drink of beer, he filled his spoon with ice cream and wrapped his lips around the utensil.
“Looks like it stopped bleeding.” He reached out and touched her scalp.
Mina winced. “Still hurts, though. I’ll wash my hair tonight and get the blood out. I don’t think it needs a bandage.”
“Maybe some antiseptic. I’ll keep an eye on it for infection.”
She snorted in amusement. “I’ve been hurt worse in far less sanitary places.”
“Your life does not sound fun,” Arin commented.
“Says the man who’s being chased from a third world country to the United States,” Mina retorted.
They ate silently for a moment before Mina spoke. “How is Justin?”
“Sleeping,” Arin sighed. “He tends to sleep deeply to escape whatever is frightening him.”
“Great coping mechanism,” she said. “Wish I were that lucky. I tend to live things in repeat and in living color.”
“That has to be tough for a person who is in the military,” he said gently. “You’ve seen so much.”
“Too much,” she murmured.
“I don’t know how you got us out of that tonight,” Arin said gratefully.
“Easy, they’re all dead,” Mina said, “or at least the ones that came after us.”
“How can you be so casual about death?” he said, shocked.
Mia met his gaze. “When it’s between them and us, I choose us. You were ready to do the same to protect Justin.”
“Not willingly,” Arin shot back. “It’s a parent’s instinct to protect their child. God knows if I killed anyone, my conscience would make me relive it every day for the rest of my life.”
The ice cream tasted bland in her mouth now. One minute he was praising her actions, the next, being a sanctimonious fool. Mina dropped her spoon into the container, before draining the last of her beer.
“It’s never willingly, Doctor, but the job must be done,” Mina retorted. There was hurt beneath the anger that simmered. She took loss of life as seriously as the next guy. But Mina would be damned if anyone made her feel bad for surviving.
“I guess that’s what all the people who kill for a living can say.”
Mina walked out of the kitchen, calling over her shoulder, “You certainly don’t know what goes on in my head and what I relive daily. I’ll leave you to finish that, and hopefully you can swallow your righteous indignation as well. Good night.”
She was there protecting him and his son from shit that had nothing to do with her. Yet he turned his nose up at the things she did to keep them safe. She made her way upstairs to one of the adjacent bedrooms to clean up and crash for a few hours.
At least at this safe house, she knew she was completely off the grid, could trust her people, and with that knowledge, rest. A hand on Mina’s shoulder stopped her just as she wrapped her fingers around the doorknob. In any other situation, that hand would be broken at the elbow. Instead, she turned.
“Listen, Mina, I’m sorry.” Arin’s voice was husky. “It’s been a hell of a last few weeks, and tonight was cutting it pretty close.”
“If that’s the excuse you want to go with to make yourself feel better, go ahead,” she said, looking into his deep gaze. It tried to draw her in, but Mina shook her head before continuing. “The thing is, as a doctor, you see all human life as sacred, but you need to get it through your head real damn quick. Everyone isn’t as good-hearted as you.”
“I know,” he agreed and at least had the grace to look embarrassed.
Mina continued like she didn’t hear him. “Those guys would’ve had no problem killing you and your son. They’re not chasing you for tea and scones, but to kill you. If you give them a window, they will take it. You and Justin will be dead.”
“I’m a fool. Mina…I…”
The way he said her name with that deep British accent as he cupped her cheek. A warm, gentle hand, that was the kind of touch she hadn’t felt in more than three years. She almost ached to rub her cheek against his palm. Her heart ached, and Bobby came to her mind.
“No.” Mina stepped away. “D-Don’t do that again…ever.”
With that, she turned the knob and stepped inside the bedroom, closing the door firmly behind her. God knows she hadn’t come here to relieve some itch or feel anything but the satisfaction of doing her job. But it was like she still felt his hand on her cheek. This job had to be over and done quickly, so she could get back to her life. That way she could put Arin and his son in her rearview mirror while her bike pulled away.
by Dahlia Rose
Genre: Christmas Holiday Romance
Lucas Trapper didn’t think about the holidays, gift-giving, trees, or people in general. He liked the silence of Alaska, the snow so deep you could get lost in it, and the pristine wilderness that went on for miles. Lucas left the lower forty-eight states to escape the city, the noise, and the people. Thinking it would be another quiet day was proven wrong when he saw a plane fall from the sky and knew it was up to him to go look for survivors. He didn’t expect to find anyone alive, but there she was, a headful of thick hair, dressed in a business suit and definitely not meant for the frigid cold of winter. Taking her back to his cabin was the only option.
When she woke up, he found out her name was Jasmine Bashir, and she wasn’t pleased to hear she was stuck till well after Christmas… how close was Christmas anyway? Lucas didn’t even track holidays anymore. Jasmine did, and from the paper decorations she made to the paltry Christmas tree, she cut down from the forest and dragged back to the cabin. Lucas could tell she meant to make his life miserable with the bleeping holiday nonsense. But from the first kiss, they found solace in each other, two people the world didn’t understand, but somehow they fit. Jasmine made him laugh more often than not, but reality would filter in soon, and she would go home. Could Lucas go back to being just Trapper and his life of solitude, or would falling in love with Jasmine change it all?
Lucas grazed her lips with his, the soft movement causing a delicious friction before he fused them together in a kiss. Jasmine’s eyes fluttered closed and she gave herself over to a kiss that featured in her fantasy’s more than once over the last few days of them becoming closer. Lucas was rough around the edges, so different to the men she usually met in her circle of friends.
He was down to earth, to pretentious and with no filter, he spoke his mind. And now his kiss, scrambled her senses, made her feel flush and it was a different kind of fever. As Jasmine clung to him, he tasted the sweet recesses of her mouth and she sand deeper into the haze of desire. Suddenly he broke the intimate bubble and move away, quickly standing and stepping away from the bed.
“Uh, I should, go check the animals for the night,” he shoved his hands in his pockets.
“Its dark and you never go out this late,” Jasmine pointed out. “Was kissing me that bad?”
“No of course not,” Lucas protested. “Jas, you’ve been through a trauma….”
“Ten days ago.”
“Even so, I was the one who got you to safety, and it could be like one of those trauma things where you’re attracted to the person who saved your life,” he finished.
Jasmine laughed and it didn’t stop until she wiped tears of mirth from her eyes while he scowled.
“I’m sorry,” she sighed. “But you’re telling the therapist and life coach about trauma reactions. I’m not some shrinking flower who needs a hero. Granted you saved me and I would’ve died unless you did, I’m very thankful for that. But I’ve also been in another place crash, been blind, had to go through multiple surgeries for my eyes. My parents died and its been a shitty dating life growing up trying to figure out how to love myself. From boys in high school and college to men telling me I’m not a size under ten if I not I would be good enough for them causes a bit of a self esteem issue. But I’m beyond that and I’m a survivor, so yeah this isn’t what you think it is. I liked kissing you and if you didn’t just say so and move on.”
“Christ woman, it’s taking all my will power not to pin you on that bed and do a lot more than kissing you,” Lucas ground out. “But you’re going to be home sooner rather than later and I won’t be a regret. Or a story you can tell your uppity friends, the wilderness man who give you a thrill.”
“Do you think, I’m like that?” Jasmine asked in disbelief.
“That’s the point, we don’t know each other past what we know right now,” Lucas replied. “I’ll help you clean up the mess.”
“No I got it,” Jasmine scrambled up even though her leg still hurt. “Fun times and all that.”
“We’re good?” Lucas’s question was dubious.
She flashed him a smile. “We’re peachy, friend. You go ahead I got this and thanks for watching the movie with me.”
Lucas nodded. “We can watch another one when you ever you like.”
Jasmine nodded. “Mmhmm but downstairs this time, so we don’t have any.. well you know, buddy.”
She saw the muscle tick in his jaw before he spoke. “I’ll grab the broom and dustpan for you.”
‘Thanks a bunch.”
Jasmine made quick work of the mess even though her leg twinged painfully as it healed. In the middle of the night while the cabin was quiet, she stayed up at the rood and thought about the kiss. Lucas moved and shifted downstairs on the sofa and she knew it affected him to.
But if he wanted the distance, so be it, they could be friends, it was probably better that way. When she went back home Lucas and Alaska would be a memory and he would be able to get back to his life of solitude without letting the outside world in. Like me, she thought sadly.
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Dahlia Rose is the USA Today best-selling multi genre author from Urban fantasy to Romance with a hint of Caribbean spice. She was born and raised on the Caribbean island of Barbados and now currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her life revolves around her five kids, who she affectionately nicknamed “The Children of the Corn and her husband and longtime love who is also a honorable retired Army veteran. She has a love of dark fantasy, sci-fi, and the things that go bump in the night. With over seven dozen books published Dahlia has become a reader favorite. Not only because of her writing but her vivacious attitude in talking to her fans online and at various events. Her books feature strong heroines with a Caribbean or African American culture, that is showcased in the vibrancy of her words. Books and writing are her biggest passions, and she hopes to open your imagination to the unknown between the pages of her books.