Book one in the Haven Security series
Two unforeseen moments in time— One brings them together—the other is a danger so real it could tear them apart.
Antoinette ‘Toni’ Grimaldi prefers to keep out of the spotlight, blend in with the crowd and experience life the same as the bulk of the population. Being a mining magnate’s daughter is a difficult persona for her to uphold. She just doesn’t fit in with high society standards, always managing to say something inappropriate or trip over her own feet at the worst possible moment, resulting in that look of disappointment and embarrassment her parents inevitably wear whenever she’s around.
Meeting a handsome stranger who comes to her rescue and asks her out on a date is so much more than Toni could have ever hoped for on her dream holiday—one she is surprised her parents have even permitted her to take alone. Her fairy-tale moment is short-lived, though, when Toni discovers the stranger has been hired by her family to follow her every move—under the guise of keeping her safe.
Jason finds he is drawn to Antoinette. She is nothing at all like the socialite he was expecting to shadow around London’s nightclubs. After an awkward first meeting, he convinces Toni that there is more to his interest in her than just as her bodyguard. To his surprise, his attraction for the soft-spoken, thoughtful woman grows, despite his usual reluctance to commit to any kind of relationship.
Then a disaster at one of the family-owned mines and a string of death threats force Toni to return home, and her need for a bodyguard becomes a life and death reality.
This thing with Toni—whatever it was—was different. Jason wanted more than just a quick romp in the sack. He wanted to hold her in his arms as they fell asleep, after a round or two of some mind-blowing sex, of course. Jason wanted Toni something bad, wanted to feel his cock push between the folds of her pussy. He wanted to hear Toni call his name as he licked and sucked her clit and drove her wild, until the resulting orgasm left her body quivering with satisfaction. Then he would enter her slowly, savouring every new sensation as his cock found space between those slick, wet walls of her cunt.
Even though he wanted this nearly more than he wanted his next breath, Jason had walked Toni to her door, and, after organising a time for them to meet in the morning, he had kissed her lips gently then walked away. It had taken every ounce of his self-control to leave her there with her eyes burning a hole in his back as she’d watched him go.
As a result, Jason now sat in his room, calling himself every name under the sun for being such an idiot and not taking what he’d wanted—Toni naked and lying stretched out on his bed. All the while he ruthlessly pumped his hand up and down his cock to try to give his balls some relief.
He needed to clear his head so he could email the daily report of Toni’s movements to Nathan. Well, as detailed as he could without giving away the fact that he’d blown his cover and was now lying in bed imagining all the ways he wanted to pleasure the daughter of the firm’s biggest client. Yep, Nathan really did not need to read about any of that—his mate would go ballistic.
* * * *
Toni couldn’t sleep. Looking at the clock again and finding out that only a few minutes had passed, she kicked the sheets off her legs with exasperation. Her body was on fire, the sheets too heavy against her skin. She’d flung off her nightie twenty minutes ago as the fabric had abraded her sensitive nipples—nipples that had remained hard and wanting—or, more precisely, wanting Jason ever since he had left her at her door. This is ridiculous. I should just go bang on his door until he lets me in and gives me an orgasm so I can bloody sleep. What’s the point of knowing he’s next door if I can’t take advantage of it? It had been a bit of a shock at first when Jason had admitted to being in the room next to hers all along. Toni was convinced she had just invented a new form of torture.
She wanted to feel Jason’s hands on her body so badly it hurt. As she unconsciously ground her pelvis against the mattress, imagining how it would feel to have his lips around her nipples with his hard body, heavy and warm, over hers, she’d been close to orgasm. It had taken Toni a few seconds to realise what she was doing. She’d been so busy imagining what it would feel like to have Jason touching her, she had lost control.
“Aaargh,” Toni groaned again as she punched the pillow repeatedly with her clenched fist. I’m going to look delightful in the morning, bags on bags, a bloody set of luggage under my eyes if I don’t get some sleep.
The bed linen felt like it was lined with barbed wire and ultimately won the war declared on her sexually frustrated and sensitised skin. She had suffered enough. Toni got up from the bed, then shook her head as she looked at the tangle of twisted sheets she’d left behind. She found her dressing gown and slipped her arms through the sleeve openings. The light and delicate fabric of her luxurious covering might as well have been a sheet of sandpaper rubbing against her body.
After tucking her room key into the pocket, she quietly opened her door, just enough to poke her head outside and check that the corridor was clear. Finding it empty and not hearing any sound of approaching footsteps, Toni pulled the door closed behind her until the sound of the lock clicked into place—a sound that in the still of the corridor seemed like the boom of a bass drum being struck.
She took the three steps that separated her room from Jason’s and, summoning up all the bravado she could muster, Toni knocked on the door. It was really more like a brush of her fingertips against the two inch thick wood, but it was the best she could manage, given that she was already trying to quell the sound of her heart pumping so loudly that it was probably making enough noise to wake the entire hotel.
For one short moment Toni imagined a squad of firemen, fully suited up, with hoses and axes at the ready, racing down the hallway searching for the source of the loud thumping horn that sounded like an alarm but was in fact her heart beating. If he doesn’t open the door by the time I count to ten, I’m going back to my room and will just have to deal with the sexual tension I’m feeling myself… One… Two…
Character Name: Jason Beck
Character Bio: Ex- soldier turned security specialist Jason Beck grew up listening to his parent’s fight. He’d often felt like he was a pawn in their own private war. It had been the reason he’d joined the Army—deciding that if he were going to be in the middle of a war, he might as well be in one where he could be useful. He’d seen first-hand what being ‘in love’ or marriage did to a couple and Jason decided that relationships were toxic. It was better to make it clear up front that he was not the settling down type before getting intimate with any woman. Meeting Antoinette ‘Toni’ Grimaldi changed all that.
Provided by the author.
Describe yourself what is your worst and best quality?
I’ve been told I can be overbearing. I’m good at taking control of a situation. I guess that’s the dominant side of me coming to the fore ;)
What is your biggest secret something no one knows about?
I don’t really have any major secrets. What you see is what you get.
What are you most afraid of?
Something happening to Toni. I never thought I would fall in love or want to settle down but Toni is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Losing her is not an option.
What do you want more than anything?
I guess wishing for world peace is pushing my luck. A good long and healthy life with Toni.
What is your relationship status?
In a relationship with Antoinette ‘Toni’ Grimaldi.
How would you describe your sense of fashion?
Fashion, that’s a laugh, it’s not really my forte. I spent so many years wearing camos or black clothing. I’m most comfortable in a t-shirt and jeans. I think my buddy Chris Winters fancies himself as a bit of a fashionista. *smirks
How much of a rebel are you?
Not really a rebel, I spent too many years in the Army following rules.
What do you considered to be your greatest achievement?
I know overall we did make a difference in the worn torn parts of Iraq and Afghanistan but sometimes it’s hard to see the evidence amongst all the carnage. I’m hoping my greatest achievement is still yet to come.
What is your idea of happiness?
My outlook has changed just recently. Before Toni I would have answered, surviving each day, having a place to rest my head and my buddies at my back. You have to remember I spent my childhood caught between my parents constant bickering. Violence was part of their marriage. The only time I received any attention from them was as a pawn in their latest confrontation. I really don’t understand how my mother and father could have treated each other like that. For me, my army mates were my family. Now there is so much more to live for. I didn’t realize I was just, existing. Coming home from work each day and seeing Toni is more happiness than I could have ever imagined.
What is your current state of mind?
For the first time in my life I’m looking forward to the future. I used to just live for the moment – I guess being a soldier influenced this. Now that I’ve met Toni I can see a future that includes children. If you told me a few months ago I’d be saying any of this, I would have called you crazy. Huh, funny how things can change so quickly when you find the right person.
What is your most marked characteristic?
I blend in. It’s what gives me an edge on the job. I also have the sixth sense when something is not right. It came in handy when I was deployed.
What is it that you, most dislike?
Anyone that takes advantage of others. I’m not a big fan of people using religion as an excuse or justification for violence.
Which living person do you, most despise?
Any man that hurts or exploits a woman or child.
What is your greatest regret?
That I couldn’t do more for the people caught up in the war torn countries that I was deployed to. We had orders not to get involved. It was very hard to ignore woman and children that needed simple things like fresh water food or medicine. I still have trouble coping with the memories of that time.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
I really believe honor, integrity and compassion are all important no matter what gender.
Who is your favorite hero in fiction?
I can’t say I have a particular hero but I do like the way bad guys are such terrible shots in most action movies and the hero always wins. Shame real life isn’t more like the movies.
Which living person do you most admire?
Don’t tell him I said this or I’ll never hear the end of it but Nathan Haven is a man I very much look up to. I admire his ethics and that no matter what, he has your back. Setting up Haven Security is Nathan’s way of helping those in need and I’m honored that he included me in those plans.
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
I think I can be a bit serious at times maybe I need to lighten up.
A few years ago when the sensual, male voices in Australian-born Donna Gallagher’s head became too loud to ignore there were only two options available – check herself into a mental hospital or put pen to paper and write.
A voracious reader and avid sports fan it was no surprise that her first seven books were based around her beloved sport of rugby league. A former WAG Donna had plenty of personal experience to fall back on as she created her fictional team of hunky Aussie sports heroes and the women that won their hearts.
A double finalist in the Australian Romance Readers Awards 2013 for Favourite Erotic Romance with her books Emily’s Cowboy and Sarah’s Soldier, Donna was also thrilled to be named a finalist for ARRA’s Favourite Australian Romance Author and Favourite Continuing Romance Series.
While sports romances will always hold a special place in her heart Donna has now expanded her genres to include romantic suspense with her soon to be released Haven Security series and a sexy, short, contemporary erotic story A Fruitful Intimacy set on a tropical island in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
Her years as a WAG may not have lived up to the happy-ever-after she creates in her books but a second shot at love has proven a winner. Donna is now happily married to her very own hero. She lives a ten minute drive from Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge and Opera House with her three grown sons, two turtles and a very spoilt mini dachshund called Toni.