First book in the Wasteland Trilogy
June 2, 2021
A strong woman and a former Air Force pararescueman tangle with a new world forged by an apocalypse no one could stop.
Mally Andretti survived an apocalypse that has altered the world. Tucked away in a huge compound she should feel safe, but loneliness eats away at her. Until a deep, mysterious voice tantalizes her over the ham radio and invites her into soul deep conversation. Who is the man who claims to be her friend, who awakens mental and physical cravings?
Working for a private security company takes all of former Air Force pararescueman Adam Becker’s time, until a sexy voice on the ham radio tempts him to do and say things he’s never done before. Mally calls on every fiercely protective instinctive inside him, and when she’s in serious danger he’ll do anything to get to her in time.
Adam and the two other men shuffled Tanner out of the house and through the gate. After they’d released the idiot outside the gate, only Adam returned to the front door. The other two men stood outside the still open gate, weapons at the ready. A curious mixture of excitement and caution mingled in her psyche. Whoever Adam Becker really was, he scared the crap out of her in so many ways. Her gaze snagged on his body, and just from the way he moved, from the confidence he displayed, she imagined he was an interesting lover. But which type of lover was he? Uncouth and ruthless, or gentle and accommodating?
Really? She was thinking about this now? She’d officially lost her mind.
He stopped at the front door, a frown still in place, his weapon anchored over his body by a sling. He tucked the thumb on his left hand into his belt. His wide shoulders, muscled biceps and powerful forearms screamed intimidation.
“You okay?” he asked.
“Wonderful.” She knew her comment was laced with sarcasm.
“Can I come in a moment?” he asked quietly.
When she hesitated, he took off his sunglasses and hooked them in the front of his vest. She dared gaze into the darkest brown eyes she’d ever seen. But there was worry and warmth in those eyes, too. Now that his face was entirely revealed, she could see his heritage in his light cocoa skin. His features were craggy in that his nose was a bit sharp and long and his jaw too hard. His mouth was...well, it was just right. Kissable. Embarrassed by the ridiculous and out-of-place fantasizing, she felt her face heating. She jerked her gaze from his.
“Mally, I’m not going to hurt you.” He glanced down at the Glock in her hand. “Hey, you’ve got a weapon. If I pull anything, you can just shoot me.”
She couldn’t smile, the situation was too bizarre and her heart thudded too fast. She backed away to let him inside, and continued into the living room. Feeling a little ridiculous, she took a risk and set her Glock on the coffee table.
He crossed his arms. “Serious heat you’re packing there.”
“Do you blame me?”
For a few seconds he said nothing, but then he approached. Her insides trembled, uncertainty gripping her. He drew nearer, and she felt like a deer about to bolt. When he stood close beside her, his attention like a hot brand on her face, she tilted her head slightly back to examine him. He was easily over six feet, and at five foot seven she felt seriously at a disadvantage. In sheer muscle he outweighed her by a sizable amount. She could easily picture him saving other military personnel in his capacity of pararescueman. Right then her legs turned to gelatin. Either Tanner’s intrusion had disturbed her more than she thought, or this man’s mere presence set off a weird reaction.
Impulsively she put her hand on his vest, ready to push him away. “Think you’re standing close enough?”
His hand covered hers and held it in place, and he edged the tiniest bit closer. She drew in a sharp little breath.
“God,” he said softly as he looked down at her. “You’re trembling. It’s okay. No one’s going to hurt you. You’re safe with me.”
“What about your friends?”
He shook his head. “They’re solid guys. If one even considered touching you, I’d pound their faces.”
Heat danced through her, and she couldn’t help smiling just a little. She drew in a deep breath. He smelled like man...a mild mix of musk and maybe leather. It penetrated her senses and sent the warmth higher. Her fingers curled into his ballistic nylon vest. Recklessness beat in her veins, and she’d never felt anything quite like it before.
“You’re touching me,” she said, breathless. Heat filled her cheeks when it dawned on her how moronic the statement sounded.
A smile danced in his eyes and on his mouth. “Yeah.”
“That gives me the right to shoot you.”
His gaze drifted down to her lips. “Yeah?”
A wild tingle danced in her belly. Her lips parted. “Absolutely.”
Before she could do more than blink a couple of times, his mouth came down and brushed warmly over hers.