One to Protect (One to Hold, #3) - Tia Louise
Justice, revenge, retribution.
When Melissa's ex-husband Sloan manages to beat criminal charges, she stops believing he will ever pay for what he did. Derek Alexander will not accept that--a tiny silver scar won't let him forget, and he is determined to make the man who hurt his fiancee pay.
After exhausting all legal options, Derek is ready to take matters into his own hands. Until his partner Patrick Knight shows up with an unexpected solution...
Note: This stand-alone adult romance will be best understood if read following One to Hold and One to Keep.
ONE TO PROTECT
By Tia Louise
*unedited draft, subject to change*
expected release March 2014
© 2014, Tia Louise
“What have you done?” Derek’s voice is full of warmth as he watches me from the sofa.
“Since you’ve been working too hard—”
“Since you’ve been working too hard,” I repeat, “I decided to recreate our relaxing spa vacation in the desert.”
Placing the tray on the coffee table, I hand him his flute and lift mine. “To family restrooms.”
He laughs and clinks back. “To the gorgeous woman who drives me to crazy extremes.”
We sip and I crawl forward on the couch to kiss him and tell him again. “I love you.”
He leans forward, placing his flute, the tray, my flute, all of it on the coffee table. Then his hands move through the open robe to pull me onto his lap in a straddle, facing him. Just that fast, his mouth is on my neck, nibbling and kissing. Shivers fly down my legs with every movement. My eyes are closed, and I’m powerless to resist.
“I love you,” he says beside my ear with a deep inhale. “You smell so good.”
For a moment, we make out like teenagers, hot and breathless. He holds me against his bare chest, my elbows are bent, and my palms are on his cheeks. His mouth is like some rich, decadent chocolate I can’t get enough of tasting. As we kiss, I feel him relax, and my hands slide down to his neck, my lips move up to his brow. He hugs me to him and doesn’t move. Neither do I.
This big strong man saved me twice. If comfort is what he needs, I’m here to give it to him. I’m here to give him anything. He holds me, and after a few more breaths, his arms relax. I lean back and study his face a moment. The robe has dropped around my shoulders, so I’m basically sitting nude on his lap, but I don’t care.
“Hungry?” I reach for the sandwich plate and hold it between us. “You probably won’t think it’s as good as Central Grocery, but I think it’s delicious.”
His blue eyes take me in before he bites. “Mmm…” is all I get.
Giggling, I lean forward and take a bite myself. The tangy, savory flavor of olives and smoky provolone fills my mouth.
“Delicious!” My voice is muffled.
His smile is glowing as he watches me, his voice warm and full of love. “How’s the baby?”
Lowering the sandwich back to the plate, I turn and put it on the side table again. “I can’t feel a thing, but the doctor said he’s doing great.”
My last checkup was two days ago, and we both agreed unless something unusual occurred, Derek could miss the routine exams. I only briefly using them as leverage to have him with me an extra visit each month.
“So he’s a boy now?” I love his grin at the prospect of a little son.
Shrugging, I acquiesce. “Maybe… it’s too soon to know.”
His attention moves from my face to my abdomen. Large hands span my bare stomach before he leans forward and kisses me right below my sternum, right at the top of my belly.
“I love you,” he whispers to the little bean growing there.
I’m certain my heart melts in that instant, and I catch his face again to cover it with kisses. He’s right with me, lifting me into his arms and carrying me to the master suite. A California king-sized bed fills the space, and he spreads me out on the soft mattress, lying on his side next to me.
For a moment, we only take in each others’ faces. I trail my fingers lightly over his brow, down his temple to his strong jaw. Whatever he wants I’ll give him, as he well knows, but he isn’t taking. He looks at me like I’m the most fragile thing in his bed—another fact he knows isn’t true.
We don’t disturb the moment, though. We touch each other like glass. The truth might be that both of us are strong as iron, tough as flint, but holding each other, we know how precious it is that we’re here, together. The randomness of chance keeps us both in awe, and for that, we treasure these moments. After working so hard, our reunions are the sweetest bliss.
“I’m sorry I interrupted dinner. Can you wait?” Leaning forward, he pulls a nipple between his lips and a tingle moves between my legs.
My voice is thick as I answer. “I guess so…”
Check out the first two books in the series that can be read as a Stand-alone:
One to Hold (One to Hold, #1) - Tia Louise
Derek Alexander is an ex-Marine, ex-cop, and the top investigator in his field. Melissa Jones is a small-town girl trying to escape her troubled past.
When the two intersect in a bar in Arizona, their sexual chemistry is off the charts. But what is revealed during their "one week stand" only complicates matters.
Because she'll do everything in her power to get away from the past, but he'll do everything he can to hold her.
Standalone, M/F, HEA.
You can check out my review of the first book: One to Hold review
One to Keep (One to Hold, #2) - Tia Louise
About ONE TO KEEP:
WARNING: Mature themes, strong language and sexual content. Recommended for adult readers (18+) only!
Patrick Knight is not a nice guy.
At least, not anymore.
After a failed engagement, a one-night stand, and a random office shag, he’s sent to the desert so his business partner (Derek Alexander), can clean up his mess. Before he kicks his ass.
When Patrick meets Elaine on his desert exile, all he wants is to make her his. The problem is Elaine’s not looking for any guy—or a long-distance relationship.
Now Patrick’s doing everything he can to change her mind. And just when it seems he’s convinced her he’s the one to keep, the skeletons from his past life start coming back.
Note: Standalone, M/F, HEA
In the mood to read a long poem? After my review, I made a long poem about this book
Tia Louise is a former journalist, world-traveler, and collector of beautiful men (who inspire ALL of her stories... *wink*)---turned wife, mommy, and novelist.
She lives in the center of the U.S.A. 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... It's possible she has a slight truffle addiction.
ONE TO HOLD is her debut adult romance.
Books by Tia Louise:
One to Hold (Derek & Melissa), 2013
One to Keep (Patrick & Elaine), 2014
Amazon Author Page