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Under His Protection
Under His Protection

Erotic Romantic Suspense

Heart of Justice, Book 3

June 2009

Published by and available from Liquid Silver Books

Available at Amazon

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SWAT sniper Trey MacGilvary likes his women wild and hot...

Trey's adventurous streak once served him wrong, now it makes him dangerous to criminals and devastating to female hearts.

Englishwoman Olivia Scott's quiet life as a librarian is about to fall apart...

With nothing more exciting to cogitate on than which video to rent on a Friday night and which pie to create for the local bake off, Olivia isn't prepared for violence. When Trey rescues her from a man's brutal attack, he vows she'll be under his protection from that point forward. The enthusiasm and unpredictability of his life stirs erotic passions within her that threaten to reinvent the woman she always thought she was.

Trey attraction for the plucky, bookish woman boils sky high but he's not in relationships for the long term. Still he battles with emerging feelings he never thought he'd have again for a woman. After all, she's returning to England in six months. There's no way they can forge a lasting relationship, even if they wanted to.

As a vengeful criminal resurfaces with revenge in mind and promises to harm everyone he loves, Trey's skills as a sniper, a brother and a lover are tested. As danger closes around her, Olivia must find a core of strength she never knew she had, and capture a red hot passion she never hoped to find.

  • "With danger and action at every turn it makes this a hard story to put down. The hero is being torn in different directions, yet he doesn't let it pull his focus off the heroine. I like that the rest of the hero's family rally around him when trouble comes calling. Agnew does a good job of bringing the hero around to trusting in the love he feels."
    ~
  • "I enjoyed reading this suspenseful story and how it exploded into a strong love between Olivia and Trey... the secondary family members are wonderful. I'm interested in reading more books in this series and hoping to see a story about Trey's birth mother emerge. I would definitely recommend reading Under His Protection by Denise A. Agnew."
    ~
  • "Denise A. Agnew's storytelling in UNDER HIS PROTECTION is a wonderfully satisfying example of romantic suspense. Trey and Olivia are a charming couple and their differences, while significant, work to keep them together. Olivia is sweet and gentle in contrast to Trey's fearlessness and strength. He is tortured and damaged and Olivia's affection is confusing to him, just as his determination to keep her from getting too close is frustrating to her. Secondary characters from previous books are a reader bonus, but their familiarity isn't off-putting; this book capably stands on its own. I highly recommend UNDER HIS PROTECTION to all readers who enjoy action and adventure with their romance."
    ~
  • "The emotion is portrayed evenly through out the story, and the author has done a great job in keeping the tension strung enough to keep you intrigued... I love Trey and Olivia; they are a great mix of two opposite personalities. This over all to me is a great story... it truly is an awesome read, and a definite re-read for me."
    ~
  • "...Trey and Olivia are brilliant together. Under His Protection was an all around great read. It has wonderful characters...They are all complex and intriguing...Denise A. Agnew manages to combine exhilarating suspense and delicious romance in Under His Protection. A must read for anyone who loves exceptionally virile men determined to protect their women at any cost."
    ~ Joyfully Reviewed

Cohen held Olivia tight to his body with the gun pressing to her temple. Her skull ached. The library wavered around her, the bookshelves too close, the counter lower to the ground than it should be. Craziness. Even the lighting flickered, the enormous cast iron chandelier dangling over the counter with precarious closeness. Crowded and with growing urgency, she tried to move. Nothing happened. Fear strangled her breath. Her limbs stayed immobile. Maybe this wasn't a dream. Maybe this was all real and everything else in her life imaginary. She struggled with Cohen and shouted. A loud blast went off, and she froze. He'd shot her. Shot her in the head and killed her--

Olivia broke from her nightmare with a gasp. She sat up, heart pounding and breath short. Her face felt damp, and she palmed her cheeks. Tears. Her eyes burned as if she'd cried a long time, and not just during an annoying dream. She fumbled for the bedside lamp, and as light illuminated the room in a rosy glow, she grabbed for her water bottle before remembering she hadn't brought one to bed. She'd forgotten.

Because of Trey MacGilvary. His off the cuff humor, his masculine presence disrupted her routine. Her safe, sanctified pattern. She could return to bed, but the dream haunted her. She glanced at the clock. Barely two hours had passed since she'd fallen asleep. Unnerved and desperately wanting a drink of water, she decided to head to the kitchen. With measured movements, she eased open the bedroom door and used the hall nightlight to navigate. She'd reconnoitered through her own apartment in the dark more than once, so making it to her fridge would prove a piece of cake. Moonlight streamed through the open drapes on the sliding glass door and threw eerie daggers across the living room floor. Trey sprawled across the couch, one foot on the floor, one arm thrown over his eyes. She almost tiptoed into the kitchen. After easing open the fridge door, she snagged a bottle of water.

"Olivia?"

She jumped about a foot as Trey walked toward her through the darkness. Momentary panic leapt into her throat--after all, he was a man. A big, strong man and--

Half naked.

She held the water bottle to her chest as she watched him ease through the moonlight. She grappled for the light switch and snapped it on.

Big mistake.

Illuminated, Trey represented a clear sexual threat. Her gaze darted up and down his body. His wide shoulders, powerful arms, and impressive chest took her breath away. A sprinkling of dark hair covered his molded pectorals, and skated down a six-pack stomach and disappeared into... open jeans. Yep, the button on his jeans hung open, but thank God they were zipped.

Trey's gaze pinpointed her like a laser, and those eyes heated as he started at her head and slipped downward with thorough assessment.

Oh, bugger. I should have worn something old and ratty.

Instead she'd forgotten she had a guest and had jumped into her usual nightwear, a silky sleeveless nightie that cupped her breasts and only came down to the tops of her thighs.

I might as well be naked.

She crossed one foot over the other, aware of the cold floor and her vulnerability.

"Everything all right?" He hesitated at the kitchen entrance as if he worried he might spook her.

Too late, he already had.

"I'm sorry if I woke you up," she said.

"You didn't. I can't sleep, and it's all your fault."

"What?"

"Sometimes, after a SWAT operation, I get keyed up."

Shamelessly, the girly part of her melted. "You're on a SWAT team?"

"Yep."

Right. That was hot.

"I didn't know the Sheriff's Department had a SWAT team."

He nodded. "Yep. It's not a full time thing, just when there's a situation that requires SWAT assistance. Normally I work out to bleed off some of the tension after a big situation like tonight. I go to the gym and practice Keysi with friends."

"Keysi?"

"Keysi Fighting Method. It's a type of martial arts. My brothers and I know it and work out together sometimes."

"You should have worked out. You didn't have to stay with me."

He smiled, this time with a teasing edge. "No, I didn't have to. I wanted to. Don't worry, I'll live. It was worth it to stay here and make sure you're okay."

She rolled her gaze to the ceiling, exasperated. "Other than my father, you are the most annoyingly protective man I've ever met."

He stuffed his hands into his jeans. "You think I'm bad, you should see my brothers. My oldest brother Mick dotes on his fiancé like you wouldn't believe. My younger brother Craig is like a bulldog. He doesn't take flack off anyone, and when it comes to women, he's extremely protective."

Overbearing, probably. She knew the type. Half the men she knew in England were like that.

He stepped over the threshold into the kitchen. "Did you have a bad dream?"

Startled by his insight, it took her a moment to answer. "No. Why?"

"Your hand is shaking."

She looked down at the hand clutching the water bottle and it trembled the tiniest bit. "Oh." Holding the icy bottle to her flaming cheek, she fixated on the tile beneath her bare feet. "All right. I had a bad dream."

Instead of asking about the content of the dream, he came even closer, until she took in his delicious, earthy male scent. His hair stuck up in several places, unruly and thick. Untamed and glorious. Those eyes drew her in, their scrutiny disturbing and flattering at the same time. His gaze went to her hair, which tumbled over her shoulders and down to mid back.

To chase away her nervousness, she unscrewed the bottle and took a long sip.

He stopped within a foot of her, gaze concerned. "How's the head?" Before she could answer, he tilted her chin for an examination. The brush of his fingers along her skin generated sweet sparks in her belly. "You're already getting a bruise above your left eyebrow. Your eyes look okay, though."

"My eyes?"

A small grin flitted over his lips and he released her. "Sorry. I have some EMT training. Quite a few guys on SWAT do. I was checking your pupils. Head injury you know."

"Thank you, but I'm good. I don't even have a headache now. Really, I may have hit my head, but I fell mostly on my bum."

Another cocky but sweet grin spread over his face, and a blush heated her face. His gaze darted downward, as if he wouldn't mind seeing her bum right now.

"Right. Lovely," she said by way of defense, not at all certain what was either right or lovely about the situation.

As she stared at Trey, her gaze snagged on his chest. God, but I need to give these hormones a lobotomy. Warmth coiled low in her belly, and she recognized high-test arousal. Deep, primal interest that came from somewhere she thought she'd shoved aside for a long time. That silly lust that consumed a body on short notice, demanding feral attention, flushing the cheeks, warming spots that hadn't blasted off in so long she couldn't say for certain if they existed anymore.

"You want to talk about it?" he asked.

Her lust for his bod?

"About what?" She managed to squeeze the innocuous question out of her throat.

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