Good morning all!
Kacey here and I know it’s been a while since I’ve been a good Birdie and blogged here. But all is back to normal technically on the site, my health has improved (which was suffering) and I believe things are on a very positive incline. At least, that’s what I’m aiming for.
And on that positive note, I’ve just crested over the 1/2 way point of the sequel to GUARDING MIDNIGHT, in the “Canadian Muscle Series”. This is Charlie (Charlotte) & Frank’s story, who we met in book 1, and the ride has been pretty exciting so far. It’s approx 2 years since the ending of Guarding Midnight and their relationship has been … well on / off again. Their story, currently untitled, has been a lot of fun to write and pulled me from months of terrible writer’s block. It is one of my favourite series that I’ve written so I’m glad I was able to get back to it.
So because the series is prevalent in my mind, I thought I’d share an exclusive excerpt from Guarding Midnight, which has never been posted on a blog before so most of you probably haven’t read it — unless you purchased the book already of course! *g*
Series: Canadian Muscle 1
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer
Canadian Muscle …
When Desires Need Protecting.
No one knows sacrifice better than former Army Sergeant Gavin Bennett. He’s witnessed firsthand the emotional, physical and mental toll of being caught in the crossfire. Being a bouncer-slash-bodyguard may not be Gavin’s dream job, but he’s willing to do just about anything to help out family. When Gavin reports for his first day of work, he quickly discovers a woman who threatens to crack his legendary cool.
Shree Walker is on the run from a dark past she tried to shut away. Battered and broken, a happily ever after doesn’t exist for her. Ready to start fresh with a new life in a new city, she is happy dancing at the Vixen Club. She’d be even happier without the presence of the prickly new bouncer who won’t let anyone or anything get past his carefully guarded defenses. He’s a distraction she doesn’t need. And a temptation she can’t resist.
When Shree is kidnapped by the criminal mastermind hell-bent on taking the club at any cost, Gavin has to make a decision. Hold tight and continue to keep Shree at arm’s length. Or break down his walls and take a chance on something more powerful than them both: Love.
Excerpt: (C) Kacey Hammell, 2016
Shree climbed the steps to her apartment, exhaustion dragging at her heels.
The day of adventure and crazy mental gymnastics was one she was glad to see end. She wanted a nice glass of white wine, a shower, and to slide into bed without any interruption—in that order.
Putting the key in the lock, she turned the doorknob and reached in to click the small lamp on. A dim glow filled the room. Shutting the door behind her, she stepped out of her shoes, dropped her gym bag beside them, and made her way to the kitchen. Taking the bottle of wine from the fridge—a cheaper version that she’d picked up at a kiosk at the local mall, which tasted quite good—she poured a full flute, then made her way to the bedroom.
Hot bath and bubbles, here I come.
She flicked on the light inside the door and let out a yelp. Her wine glass fell from her hand, breaking and splashing her feet with wine.
Gavin sat in the La-Z-Boy chair in the corner. Heart racing, thinking the worst kinds of thoughts of being attacked, she glared at him.
“What in the hell are you doing here?” Grabbing the towel off the chair of her vanity where she’d flung it after her shower that morning, she kneeled and sponged up the liquid, scooping the glass into the towel. Damn him for ruining a decent glass of wine.
She stood and moved further into the room. After setting the towel on the dresser, she faced him across the bed. Her gaze met his. Anger, harsh and formidable—this was a man whose temper was trying to get the best of him. His fists clenched on his knees. Grey shirt, black jeans, and black hiking boots gave her the idea he was gearing up for some kind of combat.
Her eyes wanted to rake over him, give herself the thrill that admiring his physique gave her, but she knew what lay beneath those clothes. The ridges, valleys, roughened skin and sensitive nipples she’d explored earlier today…
No, she needed to clear her mind of all of that. He didn’t look like he was here on a social call, and he was sure as hell invading her privacy and had scared the crap out of her. The last thing she needed to do was worship him in any way for bad behavior.
“Well, are you going to tell me what you’re doing here? And who gave you permission to just waltz into my home anytime you please?”
He glowered at her. “I got the key from Charlie. You weren’t here and I was concerned. Didn’t I just today tell all staff, especially the dancers, not to go anywhere alone?”
She didn’t much care for his hard tone. He wasn’t her keeper—no matter that he was hired to look out for her. She didn’t need him. “I drove Carla home. That’s not a crime.”
“Why didn’t you come find me instead?”
Exasperated, Shree threw her arms up in the air. “The last thing Carla needed was another large dude around her. I took her to one of her friend’s houses since her boyfriend likes to smack her around. I wanted to get her away from him. Simple. She needed a woman around, not another guy.”
Gavin leaned forward in his seat. She could see his nostrils flaring from across the bed. She unzipped her hoodie, leaving it open when he stood.
“So you decided to put yourself in danger, dealing with a sick bastard who likes to hit women? That’s just great, Shree. I’m trying to keep you safe and you could have walked right into it.”
She growled low in her throat, frustrated with the barbarian across from her. If it wouldn’t hurt her so much, she’d smack him upside the head and let him feel some pain. But she doubted any type of physical pain she tried to give him would bother him in the least. “Oh for heaven’s sake! Gavin, I don’t understand this supposed danger you keep telling me about.” A shiver snaked down her spine knowing she was a target, but she wouldn’t live in fear ever again. “I can take care of myself.”
He took a step closer to the bed. “Did you not hear Charlie today? This thug has been after her place for months. Each encounter is worse than the last, and his goons hang out here every night dealing drugs to half of the people here. Things are escalating. And the intel I’ve learned about him, hell, it’s just a matter of days—even hours—before someone gets hurt. This guy doesn’t like to lose.”
Shree sighed. His conviction and need to keep them all safe was admirable, but she’d known real danger before, and refused to let it rule her life again. “Okay, I get it. But nothing happened tonight, all right? I’m fine, I’m back and Carla is sleeping in a place where she’s safe tonight. That’s all that matters.” She sighed, knowing she needed to show him what had been left for her earlier. “Don’t freak out, all right? But this was left on my table in the dressing room earlier.” She reached into her bag and withdrew the envelope. She handed it to him, dreading his reaction.
“For fuck’s sake,” he snarled. “Son of a fucking rotting bastard.”
“Gavin, calm down.”
“Fuck that. I should head right over there and…that’s what I’ll do. I’m going to kill the bastard.” The steely determination and rigid set of his shoulders terrified her. She’d seen that look before…in Brian. But this was Gavin. He really wouldn’t hurt her. Not intentionally. And she needed to make sure he didn’t do something stupid. His hot temper at the moment showed her for the first time that he might not think before reacting.
Stepping in front of him, she laid her palms on his chest. He tried to push past her, but she kept her stance tight and wouldn’t allow it. “Don’t go do something stupid. You don’t know who left that.”
“Fuck that. Of course I do. One of Hagen’s pricks. I’m going to wring all their necks.”
She shook her head. “Take a minute and think about it. He wants you to go stomping in there half-cocked and off-guard.” While she was shaken by the fact that someone had been watching her, one of them had to think clearly. “You won’t be in the right frame of mind for a fight and he’ll have the upper hand. Look at me. I’m fine. No one hurt me. Charlie’s fine. For now, everyone is fine.”
Shree held his gaze. When his shoulders relaxed gradually, she released some of the air from her lungs she didn’t realize she was holding in. She needed to remember tonight, and how quick he was to act. And always ready to fight for those he loved.
He took a step back, turned, and paced beside the bed. The photo was still clasped tight in his fist, but he finally set it face down on the nightstand.
“Look, I’m sorry you were concerned earlier. And I’m sorry about the photo.”
“I’ll handle it,” he murmured, his tone still dripping with anger.
Tossing the hoodie toward the hamper, she looked away at his sharp intake of breath. Eyes hot and smoldering, his gaze wandered over her, warming her skin. She glanced down and swallowed hard when she realized she still only wore the red, nearly see-through leotard top she’d performed in and black yoga pants.
Her eyes met his. She could come to love the passion and desire in his eyes, staring at her like this every day of her life.
Whoa, crazy woman, what are you thinking?
This wasn’t the time for these thoughts, nor was she in any mood to deal with him anymore tonight. He was so hot and getting her all ramped up in excitement.
“Stop looking at me like that. I’m tired. It’s been a helluva evening. I’m done with you today.” She grabbed up her robe from the foot of the bed, anxious to get in the tub—with a bit colder water than she’d planned—and fall into bed.
“How am I looking at you? Like I want to eat you alive? I shouldn’t. Not now. But it’s not my fault when you’re standing there in that tight outfit. Your nipples tight, your cheeks flushed, and eyes pissed off at me.”
His words curled around her spine, leaving tingles along the nerves and her nipples tight. Breathless, she shook her head and tried to shore up enough resolve to put him out of her home. “Don’t try to get me all worked up, not when you’ve been an ass by ordering me around. And you’re still angry.”
“Yes, I am.” He nodded and moved around the end of the bed. “Ever had angry sex?”
Shree gasped. “What are you talking about?”
He shrugged and smoothed her hair back. “Never heard of angry sex then?”
She shoved at the boulders he had for shoulders. “I’m not having sex with you right now. Forget it. Besides, what the hell is angry sex? I don’t like it rough, if that’s what you mean.” Taking a step back, she glared at him when he followed.
“I figured it’d be a nicer and more polite way to tell you I wanted you, now—right now—rather than come out and simply say I want to fuck the shit out of you.”
Available in ebook and Print!
Amazon – US / Canada / UK
I hope to have news about book 2 being done very soon!! Hope you enjoyed the excerpt from Guarding Midnight.
Until next time. Happy Reading.
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