Assistant District Attorney Ava Turkowski knows about leading a dangerous life--her father was a risk taker who died in the line of duty and her beloved brother is taking just as many chances. Now a high-profile case has landed Ava herself in the crosshairs--and the only man standing between her and certain death is the one she can't forget.
Justin Brandt was Ava's brother's best friend, her protector during her wild-child teenage years...and the object of her hottest fantasies. Now he's a highly trained Navy SEAL with a body to die for and he's been tasked with keeping Ava alive. Which means keeping her close--the closer the better...
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
February 29, 2008
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Beyond His Control by Stephanie Tyler
THis was the perfect mission--unbeatable, the kind Navy SEALs like Justin Brandt dreamed about, prayed for and rarely got.
His target was locked in. No opposition in his periphery. He maneuvered through the water easily, focused on his one, his only intent. The temperature had to be close to eighty degrees and the sun was starting to go down. Darkness gave him the perfect cover, especially with the moonlight reflecting dimly on the water.
There would be no stopping him.
He closed in, swift, silent, his one-hundred-pound advantage on the intended target rendering resistance futile. He met his prey with determined contact. There was a slight struggle, some splashing, and then, success, at last.
"Justin, I have to check on dinner." Monique giggled as she held the bikini top he'd just unhooked against her breasts in one last attempt to subvert his efforts.
He held her, her back pressed against his chest, with no intention of letting her go. "Not hungry. Check on me instead."
He nuzzled her neck as he eased the tiny squares of fabric away from her. She gave up protesting and the garment in question floated away. He turned her to face him, and when she smiled up at him, he prepared to sink his body into her eager one. Because this was what he needed. Twenty-four hours in her arms, skin on skin, and he'd be a new man.
Or at least that's what he told himself now. He'd have his regrets later, but he was in the moment and that's what mattered.
She moved her mouth closer to his ear, and he waited to hear her tell him she wanted him, that she couldn't hold on anymore, because he was going to take her so well the entire neighborhood was going to know about it... "Justin, your clothes are ringing."
"I'm not wearing any clothes, so ignore it." He took her hand, guided it between his legs.
"Sounds like it might be important," she said, glancing toward the jeans he'd pulled off hurriedly and left in a pile on a lounge chair where his cell and beeper had started to ring angrily in tandem. Never a good sign.
"Damn," he muttered. "Don't move." He pulled himself out of the pool and rifled through his jeans.
"I'll be right back," Monique said. She'd followed him out and headed inside, her bikini top left floating in the water. He stared after her, and then flipped the cell phone open with a groan.
"This had better be world war frigging three," he said by way of hello. A low chuckle answered him, and immediately his focus shifted. It was Turk, aka Leo Turkowski--his best friend from childhood, and this sure as hell wasn't a social call.
"Close enough, buddy." Turk was smoking again. Justin could hear him take a deep drag and exhale. Normally, he would have called his friend on it, since he'd promised everyone for the millionth time he'd quit for good, but it wasn't the time for a lecture. "You busy?"
Monique chose to come back out of the house at that moment, the lights from the kitchen highlighting the fact that her bikini bottoms were now conspicuously absent. She handed him a beer and trailed a finger along his neck before slipping back into the pool. He fought another groan and put the beer down. "What did you do now?"
"What did I interrupt?"
"Nothing. Really," Justin lied through clenched teeth. It had been a long, dry deployment for his entire team, who were stationed in Virginia. Every eighteen months they deployed. This time, their six-month stint had found them in the mountains of Afghanistan working recon missions--his specialty. The team had taken some heat, taken down some tangos and returned slightly worse for wear and ready for some downtime.
He'd been home for less than twelve hours before he hit a local bar and met up with Monique, a full-time stewardess, part-time actress whose schedule seemed as busy as his and who'd told him back at the bar that she didn't want any strings. It was goddamned perfect.
But when a friend called, his one-night stand would be shoved to the side no matter how much it hurt. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger and all that crap.
He heard the scratch of a match and a deep inhale as Turk lit another cigarette. "You on leave?"
"Four days' worth."
"I need some help," Turk said quickly, like it wasn't easy to ask.
"It's about Ava," his friend said quietly, and Justin's stomach dropped at the mention of Turk's younger sister. Ever since Turk started working deep-undercover cases for the DEA, he'd asked Justin to be on call to help Ava. Turk and Ava's father had died when Ava was still in high school and they had no significant family, save for each other.
Justin had agreed, of course, but in all the years Ava had his phone number she'd never, ever used it. To be fair, he hadn't used hers either. "Is she all right?"