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One to Protect By Tia Louise
© TLM Productions LLC, 2014
The cottage is dark when I arrive at 6 a.m. Elaine is the only one with an early wake-up call, so it’s possible I can get into Melissa’s room before they’re up and stirring. Driving all night might not have been the most restful approach, but with the energy surging through my chest, I knew I wouldn’t get any sleep anyway. I’ll nap a few hours this morning and be ready to go without losing a day.
Dropping my duffel by the stainless fridge inside, I ease off my boots and place them one at a time by the door doing my best to keep quiet. Grabbing a water bottle, I head to Melissa’s bedroom, but I nearly slam it against the skull of a half-dressed Patrick. He’s right around the corner, holding a wooden baseball bat high, like he’s about to use my head for the winning homer in the World Series.
“SHIT!” we both whisper-shout.
“What the fuck?” Patrick lowers the bat and breathes.
I recognize the energy surging through his muscles. It matches the rapid tweaking of my own, and I need a second to recover.
“You could’ve shot me a text,” he groans, dropping onto the couch. “Did you fucking drive all night?”
“Couldn’t sleep.” I clap his shoulder as I pass. “Glad to see you’re on your toes. You’re officially off guard duty.”
“Hey!” I pause, and he tosses me the bat. “Happy to help. I’m going back to bed.”
Catching his “weapon,” my brow lines. “Think you’ll be able to sleep?”
“Nope.” That grin spreads across his face. It’s the same one that used to tick me off because I knew it meant I’d be cleaning up his shit sooner rather than later.
“Just keep it down. I don’t need to hear you getting any.”
He points back at me as he heads down the hall. “Right back atcha.”
Shaking my head, I turn Melissa’s bedroom door handle as softly as possible. Unlike my younger partner, I don’t plan to wake her this early. I know the pregnancy makes her tired, and I’ll be content to be beside her. It’ll be the first good rest I’ve had in four days, knowing she’s with me and safe.
She’s curled in her familiar sleeping position, and I can’t help a smile as the warmth of love fills me. I will never get tired of watching this woman sleep.
Jeans off, I whip the thin, navy sweater I’m wearing over my head and slip into her king-sized bed. She doesn’t even stir, and I’m happy she feels so secure with Patrick in the house. He might have been a pain in my ass in the past, but he’s more than made up for it with this assignment.
Easing closer to her, I lift her long, dark waves off the pillow and replace them with my head. She makes a soft noise and stirs, but she doesn’t wake. My arm goes above her, and our bodies are so close, I can feel the warmth radiating from her ivory skin.
Wrapping a dark curl around my finger, the tension slowly drains from my body. Being with her is enough. She’s home and comfort and warmth and all the good things I thought I’d never have again. She’s my future and my desire and my love, and the notion that some dickwad might try to hurt this woman, might threaten what I cherish…
She sighs and scoots closer to me, still asleep. The idea that she knows I’m here is incredibly satisfying. My own eyes are heavy, and I lower my head.
In three breaths, I’m out.
Book Summary & Purchase link
Cover image by Perrywinkle Photography
WARNING: Due to strong language and intense sexual situations, these books are not intended for readers under the age of 18.
Book #1 - ONE TO HOLD: When Derek Alexander, retired Marine and top private investigator, encounters small-town girl Melissa Jones at a spa resort in the desert, the two embark on a weeklong, white-hot affair. He’s determined to hold her, but she’s running from a past that could tear them apart.
Book #2 - ONE TO PROTECT: Derek and Melissa are planning a life together, with a baby on the way… Until a face from the past turns up dead. Derek knows Melissa is still in danger, and seeing no other option, he launches a dark chain of events to protect his little family.
Book #3 - ONE TO SAVE: A secret is never safe when more than one person knows it. Refusing to let anyone pay for his crimes, Derek takes matters into his own hands. He's exposed, he's defenseless, but his friends are determined to save him.
Exclusive Sneak Peek – ONE IMMORTAL (Ch. 1-5): Melissa is a vampire; Derek is a vampire hunter. When the two cross paths in a bar off Bourbon Street, sparks fly. But Melissa is hiding a secret that could cost Derek his life.
"FIVE STARS for the entire ONE TO HOLD series!!!" -Aleatha Romig, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Consequences series
"Great writing, steamy romance, humor, and a lot of heart." -Mia Sheridan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Archer's Voice
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Meet Tia Louise
From “Readers’ Choice” nominations, to USA Today “Happily Ever After” nods, to winning the 2015 “Favorite Erotica Author” and the 2014 “Lady Boner Award” (LOL!), nothing makes her happier than communicating with fans and weaving new tales into the Alexander-Knight world of stories.
A former journalist, Louise lives in the center of the USA with her lovely family and one grumpy cat. There, she dreams up stories she hopes are engaging, hot, and sexy, and that cause readers rethink common public locations...
Books by Tia Louise:
One to Hold (Derek & Melissa), 2013
One to Keep (Patrick & Elaine), 2014
One to Protect (Derek & Melissa), 2014
One to Love (Kenny & Slayde), 2014
One to Leave (Stuart & Mariska), 2014
One to Save (Derek & Melissa), 2015
One to Chase (Amy & Marcus), 2015
One to Take (Stuart & Mariska), coming Jan/Feb 2016!
Paranormal Romances (all stand-alones):
One Immortal (Derek & Melissa, #SexyVampires), 2015
One Insatiable (Koa & Mercy, #AlphaShifters), 2015
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