“Hero Duty” releases 1 June and I’m calling in all favours — even those I haven’t earned! counting on your kindness. Please, if you review contemporary romance, consider adding “Hero Duty” to your reading list. For everyone else, a re-share of the graphic or a mention on your “watch for this book” list would be huge. Having reviews up on release day really helps a book launch, and I’m hoping this romance between an Australian billionaire Cinderella & an ex-soldier brings joy and a lovely couple of hours entertainment to readers.
Review copies are available via Netgalley:
She can buy anything she wants, except the courage to stand up to her family. That’s where he comes in.
Jessica Trove is a billionaire Cinderella, bullied by her family, and terrified of the responsibilities crashing down on her shoulders. She knows what she needs to do – she just needs to find the courage to do it.
That’s where Brodie Carlton comes in. Jessica is used to buying anything she wants, and what she wants right now is a hero. She’s going to make Brodie Carlton an offer he can’t refuse: be her emotional bodyguard, and she’ll make him rich. The only question is who will guard their hearts?
Two dogs hurled themselves at the wire fence, barking viciously. They were mutts, dangerous mutts with bit white teeth and the bigger of them stood waist-high.
She shrank away, as far from the fence as she could and kept her eyes on the garage at the end of the driveway.
Its two doors were open showing a large, tidy space and a man’s legs sticking out from beneath an old, beat-up, black car. He had to have heard the dogs’ announcement of a stranger’s arrival, but he gave no indication of it. Not even the twitch of a scuffed boot.
The radio played an 80s rock ballad.
Hesitating in the doorway, Jessica heard the man singing along to it. His voice was low and muffled by the car, but it struck her how relaxed he was — and how awful she felt. Rather than raise her voice, knock on the car or tap his boot, she crossed to the radio and switched it off.
There was a thunk, followed by the rattle of a trolley and the man rolled out from under the car.
Shivers slid under Jessica’s skin.
Brodie Carlton. Instantly recognisable from his photograph, even out of uniform. Six-foot two, muscled shoulders covered by blue overalls, brown hair cut short and hazel eyes, frowning up at her.
The dogs had stopped barking, but she still wanted to cut and run. This man was too much challenge.
But if she ran now, she’d never stop. ‘Sergeant Carlton?’
‘I’ve left the army.’ He pushed a boot to the floor and the trolley rattled back under the car. Like sliding a door closed or an escalator descending, he simply shut her out.
‘I know.’ Her simple words hung on the air.
The trolley reversed. He rolled out completely, put aside the wrench he held and stood. At his full height all that power, under perfect control, intimidated her.
Instinctively she stepped back as he stepped forward, but the bench on which the radio sat blocked her retreat. The edge cut into her spine.
Jessica watched, wide-eyed. She was used to men who used their power to intimidate, but Brodie Carlton had seen her distress and respected it, not exploited it. Hope tangled with nervousness, almost choking her. Her voice was thin when she said, ‘I’m Jessica Trove. I’m a friend of Sonia Dwyer.’ She held out her hand.
The frown returned to his face. No, not a frown. His battle face. There was no expression, just steel determination; blocking her out. He glanced at his hand and wiped it down his overalls. ‘I’m dirty, Ms Trove.’
‘I don’t mind dirt.’ It took courage, but she kept her hand out. She looked at his face, not at her hand, which trembled.
Slowly, his fingers closed around hers.
His handshake was firm but gentle. His skin was calloused. He was warm where she was freezing.
She wanted to hold onto his strength, but she hadn’t the right. She released his hand and tucked hers into the back pocket of her jeans. ‘I know what it cost you to help Sonia.’
‘I’m thinking you don’t.’
‘You lost your life in the army.’
‘I quit. They didn’t fire me.’ The gentleness he’d shown her vanished, beaten out by impatience. ‘If you’re here to say “thank you” — ’
‘No, I…I’m here to offer you a job.’
The seam of the back pocket of her jeans ripped, giving way under the pressure of her nervous pulling at the pocket. She forced her hand to still. ‘I need a hero.’
Review copies available via Netgalley: