Wicked as Secrets


He’ll do anything to protect her from danger…but it will cost her everything.

Security specialist Matt Montgomery has never forgotten—or forgiven—Madison Archer for walking away and ripping out his heart. Three years later, she crashes back into his life, terrified that her wealthy husband is trying to kill her. Matt vows to protect Madison…but there’s a price. He’ll have revenge by making her submit to his every sexual demand.

Part of a powerful, ruthless political dynasty, Madison's soon-to-be ex has deep, dark secrets. When uncovering them nearly proves fatal, she turns to the one man she knows can protect her—the lover she’s never been able to forget. Matt’s ultimatum is both shocking and intoxicating. But if she wants to keep herself and her ailing father alive, he’s her only option.

As the danger escalates, so do Madison and Matt’s feelings. But navigating their rocky past while trying to stay one step ahead of her deadly husband proves perilous. Will their forbidden love survive the danger and give them a second chance at happiness?

*This book contains a dominant hero, explicit sexual content, violence, danger, profanity, and dark themes. If you’re looking for a sweet read or a traditionally loveable hero, this is not the book for you.*

Wicked as Secrets (part one of Matt & Madison’s story) is part of the Wicked Lovers: Soldiers for Hire romantic suspense series. Stories in this series are told in a duet of two full-length novels that conclude in a happily ever after. Each duet can be read as a standalone. Enjoy!

What’s included?

  • Bodyguard
  • Forbidden Love
  • Lovers Reunited
  • Revenge
  • Second Chance Romance

Wicked Lovers: Soldiers for Hire SERIES


Thank you for everything. I’ve imposed too long. I’ll be out of your hair in ten minutes. Tell Nash not to worry about me.” Madison rose from the bed stark naked, like she didn’t care if he saw her in all her glory, then grabbed her clothes and her backpack before heading for his bathroom.

Matt hustled after her and grabbed her arm, trying not to stare at every tempting inch. “Where the fuck do you think you’re going without him?”

“It’s not your issue, so it’s none of your business. I’ll figure it out.”

“You’re out of your league.”

“I got all the way to Louisiana without your help.”

He tightened his grip. “We talked this through last night.”

“I’ve changed my mind. I’d rather not drag you or Nash through my problems. I don’t need anyone’s death on my conscience.”

“This is about us.”

“All right, it is. Every time I’m with you, you strip me absolutely bare.” She demonstrated by throwing her clothes on the bed and standing in front of him, completely exposed, hands on hips. “You push and demand and make me lose my head until I surrender everything—my body, my pride, and my will—to you.”

Matt winced. When he was with her, he couldn’t seem to help himself. But hurting her ripped him to shreds. “Madison, I—”

“No. I’m not done. Then after I’ve dropped all my barriers, you downshift, back off, and remind me I mean nothing to you. Maybe it’s time I did the same.”

As if she hadn’t made him feel like trash three years ago? “Don’t put yourself at risk to spite me.”

“Don’t tell me what to do ever again.” She swerved around him to reach for her clothes.

Matt sidestepped to block her. “Stop being stubborn and think with your head. How much do you know about personal security? Who will keep you safe if Todd or the senator’s goons come after you? You don’t even have a gun. I promise you, they will. And they’ll know damn well how to use it.”

She said nothing for a long moment before something bitter and angry crossed her face. “Shut up.”

“Life-or-death situations aren’t the time to worry about your heart.”

“Fine. You’re right. But at least I have one.” With that, she shoved him aside, retrieved her clothes, and slammed into his bathroom.

Goddamn it, what a mess. He stared at the closed door and bit back the urge to prove she wasn’t the only one with twisted feelings and scars. But they didn’t have time, especially when they didn’t have a future.

“The sun will be up in less than thirty minutes. You need to have your hair under your hat and be wearing something that hides your curves.”

He didn’t wait for her reply, just left to find Nash, who loitered in the hall, grimacing like he’d heard most of their exchange. The pity on his face crawled on Matt’s last nerve. “Drive your truck around back. Have Madison lie in the back seat. Don’t let her up until you get to your place. Make her keep her head down all the way to your door.”

“I know the drill.” He cocked his head. “Why don’t you resolve this shit before you let her go? Tell her how you feel.”

Matt didn’t have that luxury. “You worry about guarding her while I come up with a long-term arrangement to keep her safe. And when we touch base, don’t say anything critical. There’s a chance our communications will be surveilled.”

“Dude, stop telling me shit I know.”

Matt blew out a breath. It was nearly time for Madison to leave, and he felt so fucking agitated. He wouldn’t be able to glance across the room and assure himself she was all right. Now that he knew she had vindictive assholes and killers after her, how would he handle that without losing his goddamn mind? Yes, he’d eventually learned to deal with Madison living in DC with that prick, Todd. But the thought of a world without her at all—because he hadn’t managed to keep her safe—tore him up.

“All right, but the rules that applied to Casey don’t apply to Madison. You get me? You don’t fucking touch her.”

“Wow. Every time you’re near this woman, you lose your mind. But go ahead; don’t do a fucking thing about it. I think you’re making a mistake, but that’s your problem. Mine is to keep Madison safe. And for the record, if she wants me to touch her, whether or not I do isn’t your decision.” Nash glanced over his shoulder. “You ready?”


5 stars! “Heart-pounding action and lots of steamy chemistry from the start of this book!! I loved every moment of it!!” ~ Kay Daniels Romance 

5 stars! “OMG..Shayla! I need part 2 NOW! This story will have you at the edge of your seat with all of the suspense, but it will also have you grabbing a tall glass of ice water to cool yourself off because it's hot.” ~ Nadine Bookaholic

5 stars! “…gripping, suspenseful, and romantic. WICKED AS SECRETS is an unputdownable read.” ~ Reading is Our Satisfaction

5 stars! “Wow does Shayla (Black) know how to write a page turner!” – Reading In the Red Room

5 stars! “This story has ALL the emotions… an amazing story filled with discovery and loss, pain and love, lust and passion.” – Amazon Reviewer

5 stars! “A page turner! It kept me on the edge of my seat with the intense drama and a lot of steamy scenes! 🔥” – Amazon Reviewer

5 stars are not enough! Shayla Black once again takes readers on a wild ride filled with characters who are instant favorites and a storyline that will give you heart palpitations! The ending will leave you breathless…” – Goodreads Reviewer 

Recommended! “Wicked as Secrets is a thrilling & sexy romantic suspense!” – Goodreads Reviewer

5 stars! “Another great book!” – Goodreads Reviewer

5 stars! “This book was such a page turner! It kept me on the edge of my seat with the intense drama and a lot of steamy scenes!” – Goodreads Reviewer

5 stars! “This book has me shook! I thought I knew how the book was going to go and I was mistaken in the best way!” – Goodreads Reviewer

5 stars! “ I loved the angst, emotions, action, and suspense but most of all, I loved the love I could feel between them. The secrets that are uncovered are mind-blowing! This is a must-read!” – Goodreads Reviewer

5 stars! “I feel like I was just hit in the chest by a sledge hammer! This book is amazing! This book is action packed, emotional, unpredictable, funny, and quite simply, a page-turner!”  – Goodreads Reviewer

5 stars! “Wicked as Secrets was a riveting read with strong writing and characters that you cannot help but become invested in.” – Goodreads Reviewer

5 stars! “Talk about a heart-pounding, page-turner of a book. There's so much in this book: dirty politics, scumbags, hot sex, caring characters and the electric, intense feelings between the two main characters. All I can say is… Wowza!” – Goodreads Reviewer

5 stars! “Heart stopping – check. Highly emotional – check. A true masterpiece – double check. 5 Stars are not enough!! …A wild ride filled with characters that are instant favorites and a storyline that will give you heart palpitations. I cannot wait for more!!” – Amazon Reviewer

5 stars! “With intrigue, action, suspense, and a love story that you’ll want to learn more and more about these two [Matt & Madison] are worth the read for sure.” – Amazon Reviewer