Wicked as SeductionWICKED & DEVOTED, BOOK 5
He’ll protect her…even if he has to take her captive to save her.
Tech wiz and former elite soldier Forest “Trees” Scott had one mission: Rescue the woman being hunted by a vicious cartel and get her to safety. It should have been simple…but the minute he sees the wary beauty with haunted eyes, his desire for her complicates everything. So does her stubborn refusal to trust him. When Trees is forced to abduct her, she vows to hate him—even as he finds himself falling in love…
For six years, Laila Torres has known nothing but brutality at the hands of men, so when the massive stranger with the forbidding mien kidnaps her, she’s frightened—and furious. But the giant’s protective care shocks her. With every word, he proves steadfast. With every forbidden touch, he awakens the woman in her. Soon, she’s facing the terrifying realization that he’s also dangerously close to capturing her heart.
But their ruthless enemies are closing in, threatening everything Laila holds dear. When she’s forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice, will she trust Trees and their love to save her?
Wicked & Devoted SERIES
Laila drew in a steadying breath and let herself out the door.
The Florida night was cool, with a hint of a breeze that quickly worked its way under her thin tank and chilled her exposed legs. Carefully, she tucked the stolen knife into the pocket of her shorts and avoided the hazy golden light illuminating the door, scanning the alley for her sister.
Instead, she found two men—strangers—each standing in front of a different vehicle, arms crossed, expressions somewhere between watchful and impatient. The one beside the minivan stood a bit over six feet with black hair, an olive complexion, broad shoulders, and a capable mien.
There was no sign of Valeria.
“Laila?” he asked, approaching slowly, hand outstretched. “I’m Kane Preston.”
Walker’s friend. Because Walker trusted him, she shook his hand. “Hello.”
All the while, she side-eyed the other man—a mountain of muscle so tall and broad he made her heart stutter. If this man wanted to pin a woman down and force himself on her, she would have no chance at all of stopping him.
“That’s Trees,” Kane provided.
The big man stepped closer, holding out his hand to her. Instinctively, she retreated, cradling Jorge protectively. But it was a pointless gesture. If he intended to rip her nephew from her arms, she could do nothing.
To her surprise, he froze, then eased away, making no further move to come near her.
“He’s safe. He’s one of us,” Kane assured.
She scowled. The men’s blank expressions said that Walker’s fellow warriors had no idea what she had endured at the hands of the Tierra Caliente cartel. Laila wasn’t sure whether she preferred their ignorance or pity.
“Where is my sister?”
“In the van.” Kane bobbed his head toward the nondescript gray vehicle behind him. “You two shouldn’t be seen together.”
Yes, there were eyes and ears everywhere…but Kane blocked the view of anyone who might spot them from the east side of the alley. Trees more than blocked the line of sight from the west. So why wouldn’t they let Valeria out of the van for a few short moments? Was she even here?
“I insist on talking to her. I will not take another step until I do.”
Kane cast a dark stare to Trees. He was a giant in his mid-thirties with short hair and a close-cropped beard, both in a warm brown. The seeming softness of his full mouth was offset by his massive hands. His intent stare made her shiver.
Trees nodded and pointed to the van. “Two minutes. Inside.”
His deep voice rattled in his larynx with a hint of rasp, as if he hadn’t used it in so long it had become rusty.
He intimidated her—more than any man ever had. Victor and Hector were thoughtless, vile, and cruel—but not physically frightening at a glance. This man could take them both apart simultaneously without breaking a sweat.
What could he do to you?
Laila refused to let them lead her to their van—with no escape routes—like a lamb to slaughter when she had no assurance her sister was inside. For all she knew, they had already ended Valeria and disposed of the body. “Then what?”
Kane cleared his throat, as if he realized she wasn’t simply going to comply. “We’ll get on the road. We think the best strategy is to minimize risk. Your intruders will be looking for two women and a toddler so—”
“We’ll separate you and Valeria,” Trees cut in, still taking her apart with those glittering eyes. “Kane will transport your sister and your nephew directly into hiding. You’ll come with me.”
Alone? Separated from her sister? With a man she could never escape? Away to an undisclosed location? For an undetermined amount of time? To be at his mercy?
Laila gripped her nephew tighter, glimpsed a speck of daylight on the west end of the alley, and started running as if her and Jorge’s lives depended on it.
She feared they did.
“From the opening pages, Shayla Black takes the reader on an emotional journey that hits you right in the feels.” ~ The Overflowing Bookcase
“A great back and forth emotional story! Shayla is…pulling at my heart stings.” ~ Reading in the Red Room
“A captivating read with strong writing and characters that you cannot help but become invested in.” ~ Goodreads Reviewer (Erin Lewis)
“This is one super-hot, action-packed, full-of-suspense book.” Goodreads Reviewer (Margie)
“I'm hooked. I'm addicted. Please keep giving me more of this EM Security team.” – Kay Daniels Romance
“Shayla Black has become one of my absolute favorite authors because of the detailed stories she gives her readers.” ~ Goodreads Reviewer (Rhonda)
“You definitely want to read this awesome book” ~ Goodreads Reviewer (Marjan Pourdavood)
“Wicked As Seduction was an incredible read.” ~ Goodreads Reviewer (Melanie Marnell)
“A thoroughly engrossing and riveting read!!” ~ Goodreads Reviewer (Cheryl)
“Mystery, suspense, betrayal, and sizzling scenes. Definitely a must read!” ~ Beyond The Covers Blog