Well the day has finally arrived. Her Captured Heart, the next installment in my Mercenary Heat series, is now live. Thanks to everyone who purchased the book on pre-order and for those of you who haven’t grabbed it yet it will remain on sale for 99 cents until August 7th.
As a special release day treat I’ve included an extended excerpt for you all to read. I hope you enjoy this little snippet. It’s the first time Clay meets Ebony and she makes a huge impact. Lol.
During the last four years Clay has felt more like a babysitter than the elite mercenary Marcus hired. His current role within the team of misfits is to ensure ex-crime boss, Adrian Hastings, remains protected from enemies out to kill him. The teams current mission is about to jeopardize all that. Clay has an additional charge to care for, Adrian’s daughter, and he has the feeling this won’t be a happy family reunion. But introducing Ebony to her dead father isn’t his only problem. Ebony hates him. A feeling he completely understands considering he kidnapped her. Clay needs to somehow win her over and not just for the mission’s sake. She’s the only woman he’s ever desired enough to want to have a future with.
Ebony Rose Hastings changed her name and her entire life to escape the violent legacy of her family. With her past behind her, she’s starting again and learning important lessons along the way. Her new awakening began with the death of her father nearly five years ago and ended with a not so amicable divorce from her loser husband. Unfortunately, her past won’t lay down and die. Taken hostage by a deceptively good-looking man who she refuses to trust, Ebony now faces three new challenges. Accepting the resurrection of a man she once thought dead, remaining safe from her ex—who’s convinced she’s his ticket to a wealthy life—and fighting the attraction she feels for the man who recently kidnapped her.
Her Captured Heart – Copyright © 2018 by Jan Graham
Clay watched Hex exit the van and approach the front of the house. He expected to hear screaming, pounding noise, anything coming from inside the white box. After all, Hex said she was awake. Instead, he heard the crunch of the pebbled driveway under Hex’s feet. Maybe Ebony exhausted herself and passed out again. That would certainly make transferring her to the house a lot easier.
Neither man spoke until they were nearer to each other. Discussion of plans needed privacy, away from listening ears of both their captive and the busybody sitting in the library.
“I thought you said she was awake?” Clay questioned.
“She is, I had to put on loud music to drown out her screams and threats. Apparently, if we let her go, she won’t go to the cops.” Hex chuckled, “If only she knew.”
Yes, if only. The timing wasn’t perfect. Under normal circumstances, they would have enlisted one of the women to approach her, explain the danger and sequester her away to the safety they provided. Instead, they’d taken her with no explanation. She must be terrified.
“I’ve got the room ready, Adrian’s in the library, and I grabbed a small dose of knockout. The last thing I need is for him to hear her distress. I swear the guy’s turning boy scout on me.”
“So, the plan is to put her to sleep again?” Hex asked.
It wasn’t ideal, convenient more than anything. If she remained quiet and didn’t fight them, they could walk her inside and release her into the guest room. If she fought, then all bets were off and sending her nigh-nigh was the only option. If anything, it would give Clay a chance to untie her, make her comfortable, and give her time to wake in a more pleasant and relaxed environment—not that she’d forget being in the van and the fear it held. Still, she might be calmer to deal with on waking.
“I’ll play it by ear. Let’s go get her,” Clay said.
His concerns heightened as they approached the van. How distressed was she? It was the last thing he wanted for her. He’d hoped for a smoother transition into captive life. Still, it was what it was, and nothing could change that.
He stopped dead when Hex slid open the side door. Jesus, he’d said she was petite, but the woman tied up before him was elfin-like—thin to the point of being bony. Given Adrian’s size, he’d expected the woman to be more substantial than the waif before him. She wiggled backward—not that there was anywhere for her to go—clearly attempting to avoid the silent danger he and Hex posed. Clay climbed inside, hunching over her, and assessed the restraints.
“I’m not here to hurt you, Ebony. I’m just going to help you out of the van.” Clay attempted a calm reassurance as he moved her legs forward slightly before releasing the thick strap Hex used to secure her to the wall of the van. At least he’d taken care she didn’t slide around during transport although she couldn’t have been comfortable.
The temptation to remove the hood gnawed at him, but if Adrian decided to spy on proceedings, Clay didn’t want him to see her face. His heart constricted as she whimpered. How terrifying must this be for such a tiny creature like her? Well, for anyone really. The need to take her inside and comfort her stunned him. He wanted to reassure her she was safe, allow her freedom from the binds that held her. She trembled as he gently stroked her arm, contemplating his growing need to take care of her, to pamper away the fear. The moment he’d laid eyes on her bound body, something inside him clicked. This wasn’t just an assignment. She was something else. Jesus, how soft was babysitting Adrian making him?
As he pulled her toward the edge of the van, so he could step out and bundle her into his arms to carry her inside, Ebony kicked into action. Literally. The scream she emitted caused birds to take flight, and the quick upward thrust of her feet hit their target. His gonads slammed upward, wedging with his aroused cock between hard boots and his body.
Fuck. Me. Dead.
He rolled to the side, the release of freedom from the impact causing excruciating pain to permeate his groin. His hands automatically reached to console his package, not that it helped. Ebony flung herself upright and found ground, hopping forward, without realizing she headed straight into the hard chest and burly arms of Hex.
“No, let me go.” Her struggles were to no avail. Hex wasn’t letting go, and Ebony had just sealed her new fate. She screamed again, only stopping to draw breath for the next terror-filled emission of noise.
“Fucking stab her, man,” Hex yelled over the din. “She’s giving me a headache.”
As Clay managed to stand and reach in his pocket for the syringe, Ebony struggled harder for freedom. Hex’s choice of words clearly making her believe she was about to die.