Date Published: 1/4/14
Sensible dance instructor Tessa Gage likes her life organized, risk-free and on her own terms. When her cop brother goes missing, his crooked partner tries to kill her, and a handsome stranger claims he’s come to protect her, she’s forced to leave her comfort zone. With more dance and business sense than survival skills and no idea who to trust, Tessa has no choice but to rely on this man who’d rather be anywhere but by her side.
When carefree carpenter Matt Rylan gets a late night call from an Army buddy who once saved his life, he finds himself where he never again wanted to be—responsible for someone else. Honor demands Matt cooperate, but he never expects his simple babysitting job to test the limits of his self-control. Nor does he expect it to explode into a race against time for his very freedom.
As Tessa and Matt get closer to the truth, and to each other, Tessa learns to step outside the safety of her world to help set the wheels of justice in motion. For Matt, supporting this courageous woman suddenly becomes everything to him. Yet, his biggest challenge remains sharing his closed-off heart with her before the danger silences them both forever.
Tessa cringed. Froze.
The studio remained still. Her brother’s warning sprang into her head; if something didn’t feel right, get the hell out of there.
As quietly as she could, she stepped to the doorway and studied the empty dance floor. Shadows coiled around the lobby furniture to her right, accentuated by the pale moonlight seeping through the window blinds. Everything appeared normal. And yet, it felt wrong.
A blast of frigid winter air barreled from the rear of the building.
Tessa scrambled to the desk, grabbed her cell phone.
Shadows expanded on the floor behind her. Her fingers shook as she pressed 9…thump…1…thump.
The phone slipped from her grasp and clattered on the tile floor. She swung around and came face-to-face with a dark-haired stranger.
“How did you get in here?” How the hell did the man know her name?
He jerked his thumb over his shoulder. “The lock on the back door needs to be replaced.”
He took a step toward her.
“Stay away!” She clenched her fists at her sides. Good grief, he blocked her only exit.
“Take it easy.” He raised his hands. They were empty of a weapon, but he had used them to break in when most of Hanover was already in bed. “I’m not going to hurt you.”
“Why should I believe you?”
They stood still, facing each other. He didn’t look so tough in his brown leather bomber jacket and construction boots—average height, average build, average features.
“Who are you, and what do you want?” She raised her chin, throwing out a fearlessness she didn’t possess. Damn, how many times had Jason tried to teach her self-defense? Why hadn’t she paid more attention?
“My name’s Matt Rylan. I’m a friend of Jason’s.”
She shook her head. “I know my brother’s friends. I’ve never seen you before.”
Alexa Bourne is a teacher by day and a romance writer by nights, weekends, and all school holidays. She also teaches online classes for writers throughout the year. She writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance and is thrilled to have the chance to share her stories with readers everywhere.
When she’s not concocting sinister plots and steamy love scenes or traveling and exploring new cultures, Alexa spends her time reading, watching brainless TV, and thinking about exercising. Okay, she also spends way too much time interacting with readers and writers on social media sites. But don’t tell her editors! Find out more about her and her books on her website, www.alexabourne.com.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords