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(The Protectors #1)
Publication date: April 10th 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
I used to think I could be a hero, but one deadly night destroyed that delusion. So I’ve come home defeated. My military career, my best friend, my purpose—all of it is lost.
What I find is her.
She’s my best friend’s sister, and she’s everything I shouldn’t want. She’s on a hopeless quest for answers about her brother’s death, but those are secrets that can never come to light. She’s always been a fighter, and she desperately wants the truth.
I desperately want her.
Someone is trying to kill her now, and she won’t let me keep her safe. I have to do it anyway, even if she doesn’t trust me, even if she hates me for it. A man protects what’s precious to him, whether or not he can ever claim her for his own. So she becomes my purpose.
I’ll become a hero for her.
On my way out of the building with Maria, the friend who’d given me a ride, I glanced down at my phone, on the off-chance that Levi had tried to call back.
I’m not sure what he would have said if he called. After all, I couldn’t imagine him meekly saying he was sorry for his bad behavior.
I couldn’t imagine him being meek—in any circumstance, ever.
“Oh my God, that guy is hot,” Maria murmured excitedly, grabbing my arm as we walked down the four steps from the front entrance of the rec center.
This wasn’t unusual behavior for Maria. She found guys hot all the time and was never loath to share her feelings with me.
I glanced over with only half-hearted interest and immediately stiffened when my eyes landed on a tall, well-built man with dark hair and worn jeans, who was listening to something on his phone and leaning against a car in the parking lot.
My car. The one I thought was still in the shop.
“Oh my God,” Maria said, her hand still gripping my arm. “He’s smiling at you. Do you know him?”
“Yes, I know him,” I gritted out through my teeth. He was indeed smiling, but it wasn’t a friendly, welcoming smile.
It was a superior smile of amusement, as if he was laughing at me.
I’d seen that look on his face before. I’d seen it for years and years, when we’d been growing up and he was hanging out with Gavin. My brother used to get annoyed when I pestered them, but Levi had always just laughed.
Nothing had changed. I might be an adult, a professional, and completely his equal, but he was still laughing at me.
I took a shaky breath and tried to control the wave of anger.
“Is that your car?” Maria asked.
“Yeah. He must have gotten it from the shop.”
“Ooh! Why didn’t you tell me there was a guy in your life?” Maria looked like she might jump up and down with excitement over news of potential romance for me.
“He’s not in—“
“No, don’t try to hide it. I can tell by the way he’s looking at you that he’s crazy about you. Plus, he got your car for you! You go on over, but you better call me first thing tomorrow and tell me all about him.”
I groaned and tried to object again, but she skittered off before I could. Rolling my eyes, I made my way over to Levi, who was still half-smiling with that superior amusement that I hated.
“Did you just tell me to take my overbearing, obnoxious meddling and shove it up my arrogant ass?” he asked, lowering the phone from his ear.
For no reason—for absolutely no good reason—I felt the urge to snicker, partly at his expression and partly at the way he’d repeated my words back to me in that dry tone. Snickering would hardly be an appropriate response, though, so I gave him what I hoped was a cool look of disinterest. “You should check your messages more frequently. I left that over two hours ago.”
His smile broadened into a grin, making him so attractive that I lost my breath. Seriously. I literally lost my breath, gazing up at him and his warm expression and his gorgeous dark eyes.
Noelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she teaches English, reads any book she can get her hands on, and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel.
She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances. For more information, please check out her website: noelle-adams.com.
New York Times and USA Today Bestseller/contemporary romance writer Samantha Chase released her debut novel, Jordan’s Return, in November 2011. Although she waited until she was in her 40’s to publish for the first time, writing has been a lifelong passion. Her motivation to take that step was her students: teaching creative writing to elementary age students all the way up through high school and encouraging those students to follow their writing dreams gave Samantha the confidence to take that step as well.
When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading contemporary romances, blogging, playing way too many games of Scrabble on Facebook and spending time with her husband of 25 years and their two sons in North Carolina. For more information visit her website at www.chasing-romance.com.