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Blind Trust cover

Blind Trust

Men of Steele, Book 6

Blind Trust cover

An ice-cold mountain. A deadly enemy. A scorching-hot desire they can’t ignore.

After escaping from kidnappers in the Montana wilderness, Lindsey Garcia is her best friend’s only hope for rescue. But when her enemies trap her on the mountain with a sexy stranger she’s not sure she can trust, both her life and her heart are in danger.

Former special operator Todd Brennan is on a personal hunt for a killer when he saves Lindsey from a deadly fall. He plans to get her to the nearest town and renew his pursuit, but a fatal encounter forces him to choose between love and justice.

In ebook and paperback at: Amazon | Apple Books | Nook | Kobo/Walmart | Google Play | Goodreads

Available in Audio at: Audible (coming soon) and Everand (Scribd).

Fun Facts:

  • Much of Blind Trust takes place in southern Montana, just over the border from Yellowstone National Park. Here are a few pictures of the scenery and small towns that inspired the fictional places in the book.
Bear tracks bigger than my foot!
The town of Livingston was part of the inspiration for the fictional Cranston
  • In the book, Lindsey lives in Hermosa Beach, CA. Here are some shots of the beach and The Strand, all looking north toward the hills of Malibu.
Hermosa Beach
The Strand on a moderately busy evening near sunset
The Strand on a quiet morning

Excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE

The trip to Montana was supposed to be a celebration. Instead it had become a nightmare.

Lindsey Garcia’s pursuers were so close she imagined she could feel their hot breath on the back of her neck. The narrow trail that cut across a steep hillside offered nowhere to hide, and she could see the men a few turns back, running toward her with purpose.

A shot of adrenaline pushed her forward on blistered, half-numb feet, but her muscles were twitchy and uncoordinated from dehydration and fatigue.

Don’t give up. Meg was counting on her to get help. Sucking air, Lindsey tried to match her breath to her pace, out for three steps, in for two, just like she did when running on the beach back home. Except she was nowhere near her typical pace.

Unless she could somehow round the bend and scramble up or down the hill before they realized what she’d done, the men would be on her in minutes.

Sidling up to the trail’s edge, she peered into the brush-covered valley. Yesterday, she and Megan had marveled at the resplendent yellow of the faraway aspens that stood out from the pine like torches. Today, the mountains appeared treacherous, the mood only enhanced by the low clouds snagged on the peaks, breaking the sun into a thousand shards of light.

One wrong step and she’d break her neck.

Maybe the better option was to find a weapon and lie in wait, get the jump on these guys somehow. Squinting against the sun’s glare, she hobbled around a curve, searching the ground for anything she might use to defend herself.

Oof. Lindsey collided with something solid.

Make that someone.

Oh, God. Had one of the men circled around to cut her off?

Scrambling backwards, the rubber shower shoes she’d been forced to flee in slipped on the loose dirt.

Her legs flew out from under her.

As if on ice, her feet shot right off the edge of the trail. Her hip slammed the dirt, following her legs over the precipice as the ground beneath her gave way in an avalanche of rocks, twigs, and soil.

She screamed, her stomach bottoming out as debris scraped along her ribs and her hands scrabbled for purchase on the soil.

I’m sorry, Megan. I tried.

Squeezing her eyes shut, Lindsey prayed her parents knew how much she loved them, prayed that someone would find her body so they’d have closure.

Something caught her wrist in a tight grip and her body jerked to a halt with a wrenching pain in her shoulder. What the hell?

“Hang on,” a deep voice said from overhead.

Lindsey opened her eyes and blinked up at the man. Despite his fair complexion, it was obvious to her now that he was a hiker, not one of her pursuers. He lay on his stomach, dark aviator glasses shielding his eyes under a gray brimmed cap. A large backpacking frame covered him like a turtle shell.

His long, muscular arm hung down from the now-ragged edge of the trail, shaking with the effort of arresting her descent. “I’ve got you.”

The flip-flops dropped from her feet and she found a toehold on a tree root, using it to ease some of the man’s burden.

His other arm extended down. “Can you grab my wrist?”

Her throat had cinched so tight she couldn’t speak, so she nodded and reached up, her arm trembling. Where was that superhuman strength you were supposed to get when threatened? She couldn’t lift herself, let alone a freaking car. Instead, she curled her fingers around the man’s forearm in a death grip.

“I’m going to pull you up slowly, alright?” he asked, the barest hint of a twang in his strained voice.

He grunted, biceps bulging as he hoisted her up the rocky hillside, snaking backwards as he tugged her closer. His hat caught the wind and sailed away, revealing thick, red hair that flopped over his brow. Sweat slicked her palm, but she held tight and tried to help by pushing with her toes until her arms rested over the edge. Then, he grabbed her shoulders and helped her scramble onto flat ground.

She rolled onto her back and closed her eyes for a moment, catching her breath, tremors rolling through her body like an earthquake.

She should be dead.

“Are you okay?”

Lindsey scoffed. She was so far from okay it wasn’t even funny. None of her limbs would move, and everything hurt, but she was alive. “I will be.”

She finally opened her eyes. Her rescuer had removed his pack and sunglasses, and sat on the ground next to her, breathing hard. He wiped the sweat from his face with the hem of his T-shirt, revealing chiseled abs, before he scanned her from head to toe with brilliant blue eyes. Dirt streaked his cheeks and dusted his auburn whiskers, but did nothing to hide how handsome he was.

“I’m Todd.” He frowned. “I didn’t mean to startle you.”

“Lindsey,” she said, without thinking.

 His pale brows furrowed at the sight of her bare feet. “You’re the first person I’ve seen on this trail today.” 

Oh, shit. She sat up, still shaky. For one blessed moment, she’d forgotten about—

“And now you’ve seen three,” a man said.

She gasped, her gaze locking onto the two men. The tall one was JJ, the shorter, thicker man went by Harris. Both made her stomach turn.

“Are you okay?” JJ asked, the apparent sincerity in his voice belied by the permanent scowl on his rugged face.

“I’ve been better.”

He nodded, his cruel green eyes hidden behind mirrored lenses. “Let’s go.”

“Hold up.” The redhead looked between her and the men as he stood. “Do you want to go with them?”

Not a chance in hell. But she couldn’t let some innocent guy—one who’d saved her life no less—take a bullet trying to protect her. Especially when it was two against one and his death would be in vain. She hadn’t made it to town to get help for Megan, but she could help this man. Assuming JJ would let him go.

“It’s okay,” she said, blinking back tears as she pushed to her throbbing feet. “Thank you for saving me.” Somehow, he’d reached down like the hand of God and snatched her out of thin air, and the only way she could repay him was to protect him from these two assholes.

“Are you sure?” Her hero looked at her then, his Pacific-blue eyes full of concern and confusion.

Let him think she was a battered wife or something. The truth could get him killed.

She nodded, trying to mask the pain and frustration coursing through her. If she thought she had a chance, if she thought the pair to her right wasn’t armed to the teeth, maybe she’d fight. Instead, she lifted her chin and looked up at JJ. “Yes, I’ll go.”

Published: October 26 2020, 978-0991607358 

Previous book in the series: Blind Justice ~ Next book (in spinoff series): Lie With Me

Blind Justice is here!

Blind Justice is out now! Tara Fujimoto has patiently waited—along with you—while four other couples found love. Now, it’s her turn.

Blind Justice book cover: shirtless man in front of eerie forest

She and Jeff Patarava might be opposites in all the obvious ways—he’s outdoorsy and is happiest in the mountains, she likes the city bustle and looking her best—but they’re a perfect match in every way that counts.

Here’s what early readers are saying:

“A suspenseful dual thread story that keeps you on the edge of your seat.” ~Cindy, on Goodreads

“An emotional rollercoaster of a story.” ~Caroline, on Amazon

“Blind Justice is another five star Men of Steele book. There is a swoon-worthy hero trying to do what’s best for those he loves and a strong heroine who is equally prepared to do whatever it takes to get the job done.” ~ Nan, on Goodreads/Amazon

Want to read an excerpt or learn more? Check out the Blind Justice page.

If you're ready to start reading, get your copy in ebook or paperback from your favorite retailer today.

Amazon | Apple Books | Nook | Kobo/Walmart | Google Play

Thank you for your support!

P.S. To celebrate Blind Justice’s release, the ebook of Blind Ambition (Men of Steele #2) is on sale for $1.99 through the end of the month. And Blind Fury (Men of Steele #1) is always free. If you want to go back and catch up on the series, now’s your chance.

Cover reveal! Blind Justice available for preorder now.

Tara Fujimoto's story is almost here! She's played an integral role in every Men of Steele book since she first got into trouble in Blind Fury (Book 1), so I'm excited to have found her perfect match in Jeff Patarava, a former Air Force Combat Weatherman (yes, it's a real special operations role).

He craves the outdoors. She's a hardcore city girl. Sometimes opposites attract…a killer.

And then it gets hot. 🔥

Blind Justice cover art: shirtless man in front of eerie forest with Gwen Hernandez and Blind Justice written on it.

When Tara Fujimoto’s quest to avenge her sister’s death makes her a target, a sexy security specialist steps in to watch her back, but his quiet appeal threatens her carefully guarded heart. Can she resist their lightning-hot attraction, and stay alive long enough to expose her enemy?

Former military special operator Jeff Patarava has good reasons to keep his distance from his impossibly perfect coworker, but when her life is threatened, his resolve is shot to hell. Forced into close proximity, sparks fly as he learns she’s far more than her flawless appearance suggests. Now, he’ll put everything on the line to keep her alive.

Preorder Blind Justice today from your favorite retailer!

book cover on iPad with kissing couple in background. Text: Tara Fujimoto finally meets her match. March 25th. Preorder now.

Amazon | Apple Books | Kobo/Walmart | Nook | Google Play

Blind Justice cover

Blind Justice

Men of Steele, Book 5

Blind Justice cover

A sexy bodyguard. A high-maintenance city girl. Sometimes opposites attract…a killer.

When Tara Fujimoto’s quest to avenge her sister’s death makes her a target, a sexy security specialist steps in to watch her back, but his quiet appeal threatens her carefully guarded heart. Can she resist their lightning-hot attraction, and stay alive long enough to expose her enemy?

Former military special operator Jeff Patarava has good reasons to keep his distance from his impossibly perfect coworker, but when her life is threatened, his resolve is shot to hell. Forced into close proximity, sparks fly as he learns she’s far more than her flawless appearance suggests. Now, he’ll put everything on the line to keep her alive.

In ebook and paperback at: Amazon | Apple Books | Nook | Kobo/Walmart | Google Play | Goodreads

Available in Audio at: Audible (coming soon) and Everand (Scribd).

Fun Facts:

  • Special Operations Weather Team Airmen like Jeff Patarava are a blend of air commando and meteorologist, trained to covertly enter hostile or denied territory to assess the terrain and weather in support of other special operations teams. Pretty cool, right?
HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. — Combat weathermen participate in training exercises. (USAF Courtesy photo)
  • Jeff's motor home is similar to the one in this stock photo.
Motorhome passing through a lakeside road with mountain in background

Not fun, but important facts:

  • Child pornography is devastating to its victims. Want to help? The Innocent Justice Foundation, lists actions steps that one can take to stop child pornography. In addition, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children offers tons of information on child safety, and operates a Cyber Tipline for reporting information you may have about a child being exploited online.
  • If you think someone you know is considering suicide, encourage them to get help or call a lifeline. (And if it’s you, please talk to someone in person or on the phone who can help. The world needs you.) In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor. Use that same number and press “1” to reach the Veterans Crisis Line. The Mayo Clinic has more suggestions for how to help in their article entitled “Suicide: What to do when someone is suicidal.”

Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

“Unbutton your top a little more,” Mars said, flipping his dark blond hair out of his eyes as he adjusted a setting on an enormous camera.

Tara Fujimoto hesitated. Aided by her underdeveloped stature and a heavy hand with some black eyeliner, she had convinced him she was a naive teenager, but her reluctance was all too real.

“Do you really want to be a model?” the photographer asked with a sigh.

She nodded and forced an earnest smile. “More than anything.”

“Then trust me to know what will make you a star.” He stalked across the light-filled DC loft, his face intent. “If you’re not comfortable with your body, you’ll never make it in this industry.” Grabbing her shirt, he jerked open the remaining buttons one by one.

She gasped when his fingers brushed the tops of her breasts as he spread the cloth wide to reveal her black bra.

“Hey.” She shoved his hands away. “I can do it.” For Emily.

If this were a real photo shoot, she would walk out now. Nobody should have to put up with this predator’s shit for even a minute. But this wasn’t about Tara. It was about her sister. About revenge on the man who’d driven Emily to take her own life. About protecting other girls from this vile man who preyed on their hopes and dreams.

Unlike when Emily had been at his mercy, all Tara had to do if she needed help was utter “I want to leave,” and one of Steele’s security specialists would ride to the rescue.

Mars narrowed his blue eyes and shook his head. “With that attitude, you’re not going to get very far.” He reached forward and unbuttoned the top of her jeans and dropped the zipper.

Tara jumped back, her heart pounding for escape. “Stop.”

“Don’t be a child. This is how the industry works. If it’s not me, it’ll be someone else.” Instead of retreating, Mars backed her into the wall and caged her with his hands. “I can make or break you in this world, Tara,” he said, his voice low and husky. “You’re a pretty girl, but I can make you beautiful. Who do you think catapulted Karina Hempstead and Ivy Tanaka to stardom?” His steely blue gaze met hers as he gave her an oily smile. “Me.” He ran the tip of his finger down her sternum.

Tara steeled herself against the nausea climbing her throat.

He leaned in. “Do you know how I get a girl to look her best on film?” he asked, his breath hot on her neck.

“No.” She cringed at how weak she sounded, even if it fit the role.

He flicked open the clasp at the front of her bra, sliding it and her shirt off her shoulders before she realized what was happening.

She flinched and pushed at his chest. “Stop.”

He grabbed her wrists and pressed them to the wall, holding her hostage for his lecherous perusal far too easily. “Every woman is more beautiful after a good fucking. It’s my secret to success.”

Twisting against his hold, she aimed a knee toward his groin.

Mars laughed and easily dodged. “Ah, now you’re getting feisty.” His face darkened. “I like it.”

“I’ve changed my mind. I want to leave.”

“Come on, Tara. I’ll be good to you.” He pressed his thigh between her legs, pinning her to the wall. “You’re going to look amazing. Just surrender to the process and I promise you’ll be an even bigger star than Ivy.”

Her chest tightened. Too much could happen before Jeff intervened. She needed to get free of Mars now.

Forcing herself to relax, she widened her eyes. “Bigger than Ivy?” she asked in a breathy voice.

Mars gave her a triumphant smile, as if he’d hooked her. Is that how it had happened with the other girls? Had they given in, thinking sex with this man was a necessary evil for the career they craved, or had they fought the whole time like Emily?

Adrenaline pummeled her veins. Her stomach churned. No matter how it went down, none of them should’ve had to suffer this asshole’s revolting touch.

“Much bigger.” He leaned back and gave her a quick once-over. “Your breasts are small, but you’re not built like a boy.” He released his hold and slid his hands down her arms, his gaze following his progress.

Tara swallowed against the bile rising in her throat. Don’t panic. Jeff’s on his way. Not bothering to suppress a shiver, she waited until Mars smoothed rough fingers over her collarbone and squeezed her breasts.

Then she punched him square in the throat.

“I told you to stop, asshole.”

As Mars staggered back, his eyes and mouth open in shock, the door flew open with a bang. 

A scowling Jeff rushed in, his hands fisted, face red. “Tara?” His eyes widened at the sight of her half naked before he averted his gaze.

She crossed her arms over her chest, her left hand throbbing from the punch. Her body started to shake and she had an overwhelming sensation of falling apart, turning to rubble.

“You okay?” Jeff asked, not looking directly at her.

“Fine.” Or, she would be once she was dressed and the bastard eyeballing Jeff with a healthy and advisable dose of fear was in police custody.

“What about your hand?”

“I’m fine.” She’d ice it later.

“Turn around and take a seat,” Jeff told Mars, straightening to his full height of six-four. He wasn’t as beefy as Dan or Kurt, but his size and obvious strength could still intimidate.

Manhandling and threats were off the table—they didn’t want to give Mars’s lawyers any ammunition—but the shorter, thinner photographer must have decided he didn’t stand a chance against Jeff, because he followed orders without protest.

Grabbing her bra and shirt from the floor, Tara quickly dressed, not bothering to tuck anything in. She snagged her pea coat from the coatrack and shrugged into the thick wool, glad for the additional barrier from the men to whom she’d already bared too much.

She rummaged through her purse with trembling hands, located her cell phone, and dialed. Keeping her gaze firmly on the floor while one arm encircled her waist, she said, “Yes, I’d like to report an assault.”

Published: March 25th 2019, ISBN 978-0991607341

Previous book in the series: Running Blind ~ Next book in the series: Blind Trust

Running Blind $1.99 at Kobo/Walmart through Valentine’s Day

Running Blind in ebook is only $1.99 through Valentine’s Day at Kobo Books/Walmart Ebooks* (along with a bunch of other books). Blind Justice releases in March, so now’s your chance to get caught up on the series. 😉

Don’t have Kobo? No problem! The app is free and has a nice interface.

Haven't started the series yet? Blind Fury in ebook is always free, everywhere.

Happy reading!

*US/Canada only. Promo ends 14 Feb 2019 at 11:59EST.