Spotlight–Guardian for Hire by Christine Bell

Title: Guardian for Hire
Genre: Romance
Author: Christine Bell
Publisher: Entangled Indulgence
Pages: 149
Language: English
Format: Ebook

Sarabeth Lucking’s life is turned upside down when the couples’ retreat she works for winds up embroiled in the biggest scandal of the year. With her reputation in tatters, she can’t imagine things getting worse, until her former co-workers are rubbed out, and a bad-ass, ex-Army Ranger shows up hell-bent on protecting her. She shows him the door, perfectly content with letting him go find someone else to brood over. Right up until her car explodes into a ball of flames…

Gavin McClintock grew up on the streets of Edinburgh, so protecting Dr. Stick-Up-Her-Rear isn’t on his bucket list. Still, a promise is a promise, and, after her brush with death, he’s going to do whatever it takes to keep Sarabeth safe. When she finally gives in and shreds her librarian-in-mourning look in favor of a sex kitten, the revealing clothes and sexy new hairdo unleash the spitfire she’s been hiding beneath that shell of propriety.

Maybe the doc isn’t the only one in need of protection…

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About Christine Bell

Christine Bell is a USA Bestselling Author of contemporary romance novels and one half of the happiest couple in the world. She and her handsome hubby currently reside in Pennsylvania with a four-pack of teenage boys and their two dogs, Gimli and Pug. If she gets time off from her duties as maid, chef, chauffeur, or therapist, she can be found reading just about anything she can get her hands on, from Young Adult novels to books on poker theory. She doesn’t like root beer, clowns or bugs (except ladybugs, on account of their cute outfits), but lurrves chocolate, going to the movies, the New York Giants and playing Texas Hold ‘Em. Writing is her passion, but if she had to pick another occupation, she would be a pirate…or, like, a ninja maybe. She loves writing fun, sexy romances, but also hopes to one day publish something her dad can read without wanting to dig his eyes out with rusty spoons. Christine loves to hear from readers, so please feel free to get in touch with her via the Contact Page, or find her on Twitter @_ChristineBell.

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Excerpt

He picked up the book that had wound up next to her on the bed and held it close to his face.
“Savage Surrender?” he murmured softly.
“You’re the one who bought it,” she grumbled. “I couldn’t sleep and I didn’t want the TV to wake you. It’s not like I had a lot of choices.” She jerked her chin to the little pile of books.
“Right. Next time we’re on the lam, I’ll make sure to get a list of preferred reading material.”
He tossed the book back on the bed and turned toward the door before looking back at her. His gaze tripped lazily over her sheet-covered form, and her whole body tightened in response. “You know…if you can’t sleep, I have some suggestions.”
She forced a laugh and hoped it didn’t sound as fake as it felt. “Oh, I bet you do. Look, it was only a dream. I have no control over that. It was probably a combination of being overtired and stressed after today, like you said yourself. Then you showed up and my brain naturally cast you as the hero of the story I was reading. Totally logical.”
“Very, Mr. Spock.”
She narrowed her eyes at him.
“But I was about to suggest some relaxation techniques I learned when I was overseas. Breathing exercises and the like. We often went for long periods without sleep, and when we had the chance, we had to be able to basically sleep on command or risk total physical exhaustion.”
She let that sink in and shifted against the sheets, cheeks flaming again. So, not hot, sweaty sex, then. Was she forever doomed to say stupid and embarrassing things to this guy? She vowed that from now on, she’d leave off the whole jumping-to-conclusions portion of the show and wait until he finished talking to respond.
“That said, if breathing isn’t for you, I can definitely help you out with the total physical exhaustion part.”
Her eyes had adjusted to the relative darkness and when she looked up, she could see his gaze drifting lower to her exposed legs and back up again to meet hers.
She waited. Then waited some more. But there was no add-on. No kicker that made her feel silly when she realized she’d misinterpreted what he was saying.
“I—” She cleared her throat and tried again. “I, ah, think I’ll pass.”
“Suit yourself.” He shrugged, but the need in his eyes was anything but indifferent. God, why did his chest have to be so dang gorgeous?
“But the offer’s open. If it makes a difference, I can guarantee you total relaxation and a good night’s sleep.”
“It’s doesn’t.” It totally did. In fact, the words alone had about assured that she wouldn’t stop thinking about it. But jumping into her first one-night stand after a major emotional upheaval was a textbook response to emotional trauma. People thrown together in perilous, high-octane situations did stupid things with—and to—each other all the time. As a mental health professional, she recognized that and refused to allow herself to be a statistic. Giving in to her base desires would only make things worse in the long run.
But what a way to go down.
“Night, Doc.” He approached the door again, pausing in the frame so that a slice of light illuminated his strong jawline. “And if you dream about me again, make sure you keep it accurate and give me an eight-inch—”
“Argh!”
She slammed the pillow over her face and bunched the sides over to cover her ears, but it didn’t deaden the sound of his laughter.