Excerpt: More Than Protect You

Can I keep the gorgeous, gun-shy single mother safe—and prove I’m the man for her?

I’m Tanner Kirk—Certified firearms instructor and mixed martial arts enthusiast. When I filed for divorce at the end of an empty marriage, all I wanted was a vacation in paradise, not another woman in my life. But how can I possibly say no to Amanda Lund, a young single mom desperate to learn self-defense? Or refuse the banked desire on the guarded beauty’s face?

I can’t.

So I seduce Mandy until we’re burning up the sheets…and soon find my heart entangled with her bruised and battered one. But when a nemesis from her past tries to destroy our future by unearthing my secret, will she understand and forgive me—or give up on us forever?


Amanda frowns. “Are you okay?”


But I’m not. Am I seriously considering giving up the kind of money that could turn my entire life around for her? I should probably be asking myself if I’ve gone insane. I certainly didn’t wake up this morning with any thought of getting involved again. Now I’m only thinking about Amanda and wondering if I’m the only one who’s feeling something more than attraction.

“If you say so…” She turns away with a shake of her head.

“Before you go, I need to know one thing.”


I grab her wrist and tug her against me. Her breasts collide with my chest. I wrap my arm around her middle. Her gaze bounces up to mine, and I brace her nape in my palm. Her lips part. Then I can’t resist dipping my head and taking her mouth with my own.

If I had any doubt our chemistry would be incendiary, I put that to rest the instant our lips meet. They’re sweet and silky, pouty and yielding. They ignite an instant spark that burns through my blood.

I jerk her closer and nudge my way into her mouth, plunging inside to taste her. Amanda stiffens and gasps. Shit, she’s going to slap me across the face and fire me. But no. She grabs my shoulders, presses her body against mine, and opens to me completely.

Oh, holy fuck. This woman is burning me alive—and I don’t give a damn.

I fist her hair and press deeper into her mouth to drink in more of her sweetness. My hand suddenly takes on a life of its own, sliding from her waist, down the small of her back, to squeeze her pert ass and tuck her snugly against my aching cock.

I want her. Now. Sooner than now. I’m going to lose my damn mind before I get inside her. And it makes no sense. I’ve had my fair share of sex over the last couple of decades. I know how it usually feels and how I typically react to a woman. But this? I’ve never, ever felt this belly-lit, thought-crushing pleasure in my life. Until Amanda.

Is she with me?

I tear my lips away and stare down at her suddenly flushed face and slick, rosy lips. “Mandy? Say something, baby.”

She’s breathing hard, blinking at me, mouth agape. Finally she swallows. “What was that?”

“Something I couldn’t stop. I’ll apologize if you want me to, but I’ll be lying.”

“We already agreed getting involved would be a terrible idea.” She steps back.

I’m suddenly transfixed at the sight of her nipples stabbing the front of her nightgown. Yeah, I got to her. “We did. But I’m starting to wonder if this attraction is stronger than us.”

Shayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of nearly than eighty novels. For over twenty years, she’s written contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances via traditional, independent, foreign, and audio publishers. Her books have sold millions of copies and been published in a dozen languages.

Raised an only child, Shayla occupied herself with lots of daydreaming, much to the chagrin of her teachers. In college, she found her love for reading and realized that she could have a career publishing the stories spinning in her imagination. Though she graduated with a degree in Marketing/Advertising and embarked on a stint in corporate America to pay the bills, her heart has always been with her characters. She’s thrilled that she’s been living her dream as a full-time author for the past eleven years.

Shayla currently lives in North Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband, her daughter, and two spoiled tabbies. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading, and listening to an eclectic blend of music.