It’s release day for Switching Mercedes and what a journey it’s been. I’ve been in a rewrite frenzy since receiving the rights back to this series at the end of 2017. Rewriting each book, redoing covers, new edits and getting each book back out there has been a frustration and a joy. Finally all three are done, and hopefully the stories are better than ever. If you’re a new fan to the series, welcome aboard. If you’ve been with me since the beginning, thank you.
Today’s release is monumental for me as it means that my new series, a spin off of this one, is now able to go ahead. The Mercenary Heat series launches on May 1st with Tempting Marcus. But more on that later.
It’s time to highlight Mercedes and her two alluring men. I hope you enjoy perusing the blurb, tempting teasers and two excerpts.
Three dominant wills clash in this latest romantic suspense novel by Jan Graham.
Mercedes Harris-Shore is a woman who knows her own mind, she’s built a thriving business, never asked anyone for help and has no intention of doing so. That is, until life takes a dangerous turn and she lands firmly in the sights of a serial killer.
Zane Reynolds has pursued the headstrong Mercedes for years with little to show for it. If he could forget about her then life would be a lot easier, but his heart wants what it wants. The fact he hasn’t told her the complete truth about his family and past shouldn’t make a difference, especially now that she needs his help to remain alive.
In times of crisis like this, the last thing either of them needs is the complication of Zane’s identical twin stepping into the picture, or do they?
Ash Reynolds is a mercenary living on the fringe of society. His twin left the shadowy world Ash inhabits years ago to forge a normal life, and it’s going well, until the woman he loves is endangered. Ash knows he’s the man to protect Mercedes, it’s what he does —save the innocent and punish the wicked. He isn’t the sort of man a woman should fall in love with though, and he knows it.
This book is also available through Kindle Unlimited
Paperback link available soon
A commotion taking place on the far side of the taped-off area of the house interrupted her thoughts. The yellow tape began to flap in the breeze, and officers tried to block access to the scene as a Hercules of Scandinavian appearance barreled his way through their defenses. Mercedes smiled when she heard her name.
“Where is she? Mercedes Harris-Shore, I demand to see her now.” His command boomed out for all to hear in a deep baritone that sent an erotic chill down her spine.
“Do you know him? Should I lock the ambulance doors or tell him you’re over here? He seems really…terrifying. Is he your boyfriend or something?” She nearly lost track of the young ambulance officer’s rapidly fired questions, too intrigued by the circus unfolding before them.
“Yes, he’s something.” Mercedes nearly laughed at the terrified look on the medic’s face. “Oh, and don’t worry, we’re not in any danger.”
Zane reminded her of a Viking. Tall with the broadest shoulders of any man she knew. She watched as muscles rippled beneath the tight black T-shirt he wore, as he swatted uniformed officers away like they were flies. His shoulder-length blond hair, usually neatly combed, swung freely around his face, his strong, square jaw set firm with dogged determination as he worked his way to the front steps of the house, attempting to get inside.
“Would you like me to tell him you’re over here?” the medic asked, an edge of concern in his tone as they watched Zane grab an officer from the front line of defense, lifting him off his feet with ease.
“Where. Is. She?” The larger-than-average uniformed officer hung in the air like a rag doll at the mercy of a petulant toddler.
“No, he’ll find me soon enough. He always does.” Mercedes watched the action with delight. Not only was he divine to look at, but he knew how to make her laugh. Even when he was being an infuriating jerk she found him amusing. If he’d just stop being so dominantly determined that she be his submissive then he’d be the perfect man for her. After all, what woman wouldn’t want a sexy bad-boy-Viking to come to her rescue? It was certainly better than any puny Prince Charming or a clunky knight in shining armor.
“Put that officer down, Zane Reynolds, before one of my guys shoots you.” Christian’s voice matched Zane’s for volume as he stepped through the doorway and onto the veranda.
“Excellent, Christian Shore, just the man to give me the answers I need.” Zane dropped the young policeman before walking toward her brother. “Where is Mercedes?”
“Once you’ve assured yourself my sister is fine I want you back over here explaining exactly how you found out she was here.” Christian spoke in his don’t-fuck-with-me tone as he pointed toward the ambulance.
It didn’t appear Zane even heard what her brother said because the moment their gazes met Zane stalked toward her, a deep frown creasing his normally relaxed brow.
“Why are you in an ambulance—are you injured?” The ambulance dipped under his weight as he climbed in beside her, meticulously eyeing her for injuries.
“I’m fine. I got upset when I found out what happened to Samantha, so Christian suggested I sit with the medic.” She glared over at the young medic hoping he read the tell-this-guy-nothing look she flashed him. The last thing she needed was for Zane to discover she’d fainted. She maintained a case of show no weakness in relation to him, and Mercedes wanted to keep it that way.
In less time than it took to blink, Mercedes found herself perched on Zane’s lap, pressed firmly against his hard chest, his strong arms wrapped around her like a protective shield. Her body warmed instantly, unaware she’d been cold. Frazzled nerves calmed as she rested her head against his chest listening to the steady rhythm of his heart. She wanted to wrap her arms around him in return, resting in the cocoon of safety he’d covered her in, but that wasn’t how they rolled.
“Of course, you were upset. Anyone would be under these circumstances.” His rich, smooth voice and understanding words soothed her weary nerves.
How did he know she needed him, that she wanted someone to hug and comfort her after all she’d witnessed today? How did he always know when to show up, cheering her day, offering support, or annoying the shit out of her then making her laugh? More importantly, why did she always push him away? Her fingers rested on the leather belt at his waist. All she had to do was wrap her arms around him, accepting the embrace.
Then he opened that big mouth of his and blew it—like he always did.
“You don’t have to worry about a thing, sweetheart, I’m here now. I’ll take care of everything.”
Like hell. As if she needed anyone to look after her. Why couldn’t he say tell me what you need me to do or we’ll work this out together.
“Let me go, you damned arrogant Neanderthal.” Hands which only moments ago she’d considered reaching around his waist to hold him, now pushed against him, as she tried to free herself from his arms. “When will you get it around your pea-sized brain that I don’t need you to take care of anything? Men! Just because you could overpower me in a minute doesn’t mean I’m a weakling needing your assistance. Oh, and just so we’re clear, I am not your sweetheart.”
Zane let her go, depositing her back on the gurney and staring at her with wry amusement as she berated him. He always did that, and it made her even more annoyed.
“I was just giving you a hug because you looked like you could use one.” He climbed out of the back of the ambulance, offering her his hand to help her down.
“If I wanted something to hug I’d buy a teddy bear.” Mercedes stared at his hand then reached out accepting the offering.
“You really are the most stubborn woman I know, Mercedes.” He raised her hand to his lips, kissing her knuckles. “It would destroy me if anything happened to you, so I’ll always protect you…sweetheart.”
“I told you, I am not your sweetheart.” Mercedes poked her finger into Zane’s chest, emphasizing each word as she did. The idiot just laughed at her, which infuriated her more than the fact he hadn’t listened the first time she’d said the words.
“Oh yes you are, you’re just not ready to admit it…yet.” He turned, walking over to Christian, leaving her standing by the ambulance, the chill of being alone settling into her bones once more. She hated when Zane was right. As her mother constantly told her, Zane Reynolds was a good catch, and Mercedes shouldn’t let him get away. She watched him talking to her brother, answering the question once again swirling through her mind. What sort of woman wouldn’t want a bad-boy Viking like Zane Reynolds in her life?
A woman like me, I guess.
Mercedes walked to the door ready to receive yet another bunch of flowers. Why death and floral arrangements went hand in hand she couldn’t fathom. Nor could she comprehend people’s need to send the flowers to her, although since Samantha had no family Mercedes probably constituted the closest thing to a parent the young woman had. She blinked her surprise as her mind tried to compute the vision before her.
A large furry teddy bear with the most arrogant looking face of any stuffed creature she’d seen stared at her. A white card hung from the bright purple ribbon around its neck. The envelope read ‘For my Sweetheart’. Mercedes frowned and glared at the grumpy-faced creature, deciding whether to slam the door in its face. The bear initially appeared to be shaking, however, on further inspection, she noticed a smallish man with a terrified look on his face standing behind it. Either the guy had a serious case of Parkinson’s disease or he was still recovering from meeting Zane Reynolds.
“I have a delivery for M…Miss H…Harris S…Shore?” Parkinson’s and a stutter, this guy really had his back to the wall.
“I don’t want it.” Mercedes kept her voice firm. The courier lowered the bear and looked pleadingly over its head.
“He said you’d say that and informed me to tell you that you have to accept his gift or else. He also said he’d know if I didn’t give it to you.” The man looked around the open space of her front yard, apparently checking to see if someone were spying on them.
“Really?” What was Zane playing at? “Here’s an idea. Take the bear with you, drop it in a charity bin, and when he calls to see if the delivery went okay, tell him I said thanks.” The courier started shaking his head before she finished speaking.
“No, he said you’d suggest something like that and I’m to tell you…oh god…” The man winced slightly. “He said… ‘Deception is unbecoming in a lady.’ Please take the bear, Miss.” The little man held the bear out toward her, a pained expression still on his face. What had that big oaf done to make this guy so afraid?
“I’m sorry if he scared you but take it back to him, I really don’t—”
“He said if you didn’t take the bear from me then he’d come around here and deliver it himself.” The words rushed out as he reaffirmed his desire to be rid of the animal by thrusting it closer toward her.
Even when he was absent Zane was still persistently annoying. She snatched the bear from the courier. “Okay, I have the bear, now go and find somewhere to have a stiff drink and calm down.”
“Oh wait, there’s one more thing.” Mercedes leaned against the doorjamb, hugging the bear to her side, and glared at the annoying servant of the devil. She didn’t notice the man’s cell phone until it was too late. The clicking noise her only indication he’d taken a picture. The little man turned on his heels and bolted for the street yelling his parting remark. “He wanted a photo as proof I gave it to you. Thank you.”
Son of a bitch.
Switching Mercedes is a contemporary, romantic suspense novel with BDSM elements, and a M/F/M romantic pairing. Note: There is no sexual relationship between siblings.