Out of Bounds

(2 customer reviews)

She is his best friend’s sister. That makes her off limits, right?

Ava Young owns Legends, an exclusive London nightclub. The club has become quite the success, which is more than can be said for her love life. Not into vanilla, she craves a man who can give her some more exotic play. But any thought of a relationship is put on hold when Ava discovers that she has a stalker. Can she stop whoever is sending her dark gifts without involving the police, or worse, her ex-SAS brother sending her a babysitter?

Kace Adler is about to take a well-earned break after getting his new security business off the ground. But when his best friend and former brother-in-arms asks him to protect his sister, he can’t refuse. Dreading the assignment because he’s been warned Ava won’t accept help easily, Kace finds she’s worse than expected. She pushes all his buttons and he finds it increasingly more difficult not to provide what she desperately needs, a firm hand and some kinky play. Except Ava is out of bounds and Kace doesn’t mix business with pleasure.

Publisher’s Note: This action filled romance contains a theme of power exchange and steamy scenes.

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Sample Chapter

Another one. Ava stared at the note she had received, re-reading the lines, written in red, gothic script. This time a shiver went down her spine. She’d certainly had her share of weird fan messages via Twitter and Instagram over the years, but the content of this message was a little darker, more personal. But the reason Ava felt more than a smidgeon uneasy, or even a bit freaked out if she was honest, was the fact that these notes were being hand delivered. Someone was leaving them in her office for her to find after her weekly act, which meant that someone had access to the restricted area of the nightclub.

“Who would have the sheer balls to do this to me?” Ava muttered. It was grief she didn’t need at the moment, what with managing her club and investing in a luxury resort. She didn’t want to be wasting her time playing mind games with someone. She tapped a finger on the note, while she glanced around her office to check if anything had been moved. “Nope. Nothing. Yet something isn’t right about this.” She huffed out a breath, fingers drumming on her desk. The single, weird messages, sent anonymously from a social media account she could deal with because they didn’t mean anything. The senders of such messages did it spontaneously after her Friday night act. They hid behind their keyboards, never to bother Ava again.

She glared at the note. “Besides, these are clearly from the same person, who is invading my personal space to deliver them.” And suddenly it didn’t feel like someone was messing about. The author of her notes meant what they said. “I’ve got myself a fucking stalker.”

Ava let that fact sink in for a moment, then clenched her fists. What she needed to do, was to catch the culprit. Then the sicko was going to have his balls clamped in a vise while she taught him it was really not okay to mess with her. Whoever it was, he had picked on the wrong woman. In fact, he had picked on the wrong damn family because Ava had one hell of a tough brother, whom she could use if needed. So before she considered the consequences of her actions, she picked up her cell and rang her brother.

“Josh?”

“Hi, Ava. How’s it going? How’s the club?”

Ava’s hand gripped her cell tighter, as she focused on the offending note in front of her. “I’ve got a problem.”

Her brother laughed. “I stopped interfering in your love life a while ago, li’l sis. After I taught you how to fight.”

Ava’s hand relaxed as fond memories of her big, kick ass, special forces brother teaching her how to fight came to the fore. He’d certainly been thorough. But her smile slipped when she remembered why she’d called in the first place. “My love life isn’t the problem here, Josh.” Especially when it was practically non-existent at the moment. A vibrator was indeed a girl’s best friend. Not that her brother needed to hear that. “I might well need those self defense lessons of yours.”

“What was that, Ava? You broke up on me there.”

Frustrated, Ava stood up to pace her office. “I said. I might need your self defense lessons after all. I think I have a stalker.”

“You think, or you do?”

Ava huffed out an angry breath. “I do. I’m positive, Josh. Some fucker has sneaked a note into my office twice now. It’s written in some red, gothic script, like it’s supposed to be blood or something overly dramatic like that. I didn’t think too much of the first one, but this one I received tonight was a bit darker in content. I have to admit it spooked me, but I’ve gotten over that. Now, I’m fucking livid.”

“When did you receive the first note?”

Ava stopped pacing. “A week ago. I do this act once a week. After I had finished my act, I returned to my office to change. The note was here on my desk. Same as it was tonight. Whoever it is, has access to my office and knows my routine. They know I only do the act on Fridays.”

“Your Lady Godiva act?”

Ava immediately felt her cheeks flame, even though her brother couldn’t see her. “How the hell did you know about that? I’ve never told you.”

A chuckle came down the line. “I’ve heard about it, that’s all. Come on, remember who I am. I’m your big, protective brother, who checks you’re all right every now and then by asking friends in the area.” Then his light tone changed. “Don’t worry. I’m proud of you, Ava. I’m proud of everything you’ve achieved with your club. Legends has really become something.”

“Thank you,” she said.

“Now then. What do the notes say?”

Ava squirmed. Josh may not actually be in the room with her, but it didn’t make it any less excruciating.

“Come on,” Josh said after a long pause. “You can tell me, sis. You need to tell me.”

She sighed. “Well. The first one only told me how gorgeous I was, how alluring. Blah blah. The person merely wished that we could be together. I dismissed it. I get that all the time, which I know sounds incredibly big headed of me. However, I do have a large following on social media. I get lots of messages online, as well as people shouting out things to me during the act in my club. It’s all in the heat of the moment. They don’t mean it. Therefore, I didn’t think anything of this guy’s first note.”

“A guy?”

“Well, yeah.” Ava frowned at her brother’s question. “I assumed my stalker was male.”

“Don’t assume anything. Nutjobs can be male or female.”

“I suppose,” she began. Damn. That made things more difficult if they had to consider both sexes.

Josh’s voice broke into her thoughts. “Did you keep the note?”

Shit. “No. As I say, I thought nothing of it. I get similar messages all the time online, but they are one offs. Those simply get deleted, whereas the note got put in the trash.”

Half expecting her brother to be cross about it, Ava was relieved when he simply said, “I understand. I had to ask, that’s all, as it’s evidence. Make sure you handle this second one as little as possible. Pick it up with some tweezers, as well as put it into a sealed plastic bag. My advice would be to keep it in your safe.”

Ava’s throat tightened. “I don’t want to involve the police unless absolutely necessary, Josh. I want to handle this quietly.”

“I appreciate how this could ruin you if word spread, so I’m with you. We’ll only involve the police if it gets out of hand.”

Ava bit her lip. Her brother had no idea. She hadn’t been entirely honest with him over the years. He didn’t know about her quarter share in the luxury resort. She could lose everything she’d worked so hard for.

“What did the second note say?”

Oh god. “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but as you know about my act now, it’s not so bad.” Ava paused, then huffed out a breath. “The creep says—I refuse to share you with everyone. Soon you will be mine alone. You will ride naked for me whenever I desire it. My own Lady Godiva.”

“Fucking hell!”

“Exactly. Now can you see why I want this prick found.”

“Leave it with me, Ava. I’ll send someone.”

What! “No, I didn’t call you because I want a damn babysitter.”

“Too late. You’re getting one.”

Ava could have kicked herself. She shouldn’t have vented to her brother like this. Josh was still going through intense physiotherapy after his injuries on his last mission. He didn’t need her problem to deal with. But, of course, in typical big brother fashion, he was willing to assist in any way he could.

“Josh?”

“Yeah?”

“Give me a week, okay? I’ll take precautions this end.”

Silence met her request for a few agonising seconds. Then her brother’s gruff voice was back in her ear. “I’ll let you have your week, Ava. But you call me immediately if you get any more damn messages, or god forbid something happens. Okay?”

“Yes, of course. Thanks, Josh. You take care. Bye.”

“Bye.”

Ava briefly closed her eyes. That had been close. Her big damn mouth had nearly spoilt her resolving this with as little drama as possible. But at least her brother had given her some time. No babysitter in the form of some burly, ex-forces mate of his just yet. Ava was grateful for the reprieve. She didn’t want any unnecessary attention on her club. She would handle this quickly and quietly on her own. Ava would also ignore the second part of the letter—the part she’d failed to mention to Josh. Because nobody told Ava Young what she could or couldn’t do. Lady Godiva would still ride next Friday, despite the threat not to.

* * *

With a grin, Kace finished his call. Life was good at the moment. That had been another client praising the service Kace had provided him with. Satisfied clients usually meant the all-important word of mouth recommendation, which in turn meant he’d have to employ more people for the expanding company. Private protection was popular at the moment.

“First, though, I need that well-earned break,” he muttered, rolling his neck to ease the crick in it. How many weeks had he worked ridiculous hours to get this business off the ground, build a reputation and recruit an excellent team around him? Too many without a break, that was for sure. He stopped rolling his neck. “Fuck. It’s been a whole year.” A year with no weekends off. No wonder he was knackered. But at least Kace had achieved everything he’d wanted to. His brand was out there now. Respected.

About to pick up his cell, ready to call one of his employees to arrange cover, Kace was surprised by someone calling him. He looked down at the screen. Josh Young. His gut tightened with guilt like it did every time he saw or spoke to his best friend. Yet he pressed the button to answer because he would never ignore a call from a brother in arms. “Hi, Josh.”

“Kace, I need your special skills for something. You’re the only one I can trust with this.”

Kace mentally kissed goodbye to his leave. But it was a small price to pay to help Josh. “Anything, mate. You know that.” After all, he owed Josh his life. Three years ago, the man had pushed him to safety on their last black operations mission for the SAS, taking the brunt of the explosion, which had left his friend without his right leg in addition to severe burns on his body. The poor bastard was still going through reconstructive surgery and physiotherapy.

“Kace?”

“Yeah. I’m here.”

“Thank fuck for that. Thought I’d lost you there. Damn signal is crap around here. Listen. My sister has got herself into some sort of trouble. I need you to go to her. Find out what’s going on, as well as protect her.”

Kace frowned. He really didn’t want to get involved in someone’s love life. Yet, he did owe Josh. “Is it an abusive boyfriend? I can show him what for.” Scare the sack of shit into treating women right. Hang around for a day or so to ensure everything was all right, then he could still take his break.

A chuckle came down the phone. “Hell no. You haven’t met Ava. She’s more than capable of kicking someone’s ass if he gives her shit. I taught her all she knows.”

Kace couldn’t help being a little more intrigued. It was true; he’d never met Josh’s sister, for the two men had only known one another in the SAS. When Josh had been invalided out, Kace’s path had somehow never crossed with Ava’s at the hospital, even though Kace had visited his friend often. He knew she’d been there frequently to help her brother. Suddenly, he was curious to know more. “What’s up then, Josh?”

“Don’t know for sure, which bothers me. Ava called me. Informed me she’d been receiving some handwritten notes—stalker type stuff. It’s not like her to get shaken up by something, Kace. Worse, when I said I’d send someone, she regretted telling me. She asked me to give her a week to resolve it herself.”

Kace rubbed his brow. “I take it she can’t go to the police with this?”

“Ideally not. She owns the club, Legends, in town. She’s concerned that if word got out, it could affect business.”

Kace gave a low whistle. He’d never been to the exclusive London nightclub but he’d certainly heard of it. Membership didn’t come cheap. No wonder Ava didn’t want to upset her rich clientele. “Okay. What do you want me to do?”

“Can you discreetly look into the members, employees, contractors—anyone who has something to do with the club? Then please, can you go to her to set up personal security? She’ll kick off about it, but I want my sister safe.”

A groan nearly escaped Kace. This was all he needed. A sassy, kick ass female, who didn’t want to be protected. His worst nightmare. To top it off, the female involved was his best mate’s sister. He could feel a headache coming on. Yet, Kace knew that Josh wouldn’t have asked for help unless he was genuinely concerned about Ava. If he sensed something wrong about this, then that was good enough for Kace. A soldier trusted his instincts. It’s what kept him alive. “It sounds like there’s something she’s not telling you.” And Kace needed to know everything. Dodgy intelligence was not tolerated.

“That’s exactly what I think, mate. Why I need you to go. I think it’s worse than Ava’s letting on. Like I said, she knows some lethal moves to protect herself if need be, but this has her spooked.”

“What do the notes say?” As soon as he asked, Kace knew he was definitely going to do this. Hell, was there any doubt? The SAS was a brotherhood. They always helped one another, no matter what. Besides, this was for Josh.

There was a heavy sigh down the line. “According to my sister, the first one merely stated how gorgeous she was. That the person wished they were together.”

“Nothing wrong in that.”

“No. Hence, she dismissed it. Even threw the note into the trash.”

“Well. That’s frustrating from an evidence point of view but understandable when your sister didn’t think anything of it.”

“Yeah. Although she described it as written in a red, gothic script, kind of like blood. Personally, I would have kept it. But then I don’t get weird fan messages all the time, either.”

“Fan messages?” Now they were getting somewhere.

“Yeah. This is why I need someone I can trust going in there, Kace. I don’t need some asshole judging my sister for what she does.”

Jesus. What was she? A stripper?

“In keeping with the name of her club, she’s started doing an act once a week, with her own spin on a legend. Her members love it. As a result, she gets all kinds of tweets and messages about it. Some weird. Some not.”

Kace’s headache was getting worse. That meant a lot of people to investigate as well as eliminate from his enquiries. “Dare I ask what this act is?”

“She does a Lady Godiva.”

Fucking hell. Without meaning to, a vision of a beautiful, naked blonde riding a horse came to mind. He coughed. “Erm, does she actually ride a horse for this act?”

“Yeah, Through the club. It’s all cordoned off, though. No one can touch her or actually see anything. It’s all titillation. She teases them to drive them wild, then rewards them with free drinks for an hour.”

“Hm.” Kace could see the potential nightmare of security with such an act. Josh’s sister was going to have to postpone it while they worked on catching the stalker. There was too much opportunity for her to be hurt. But he needed to know more about the notes. “Where are the notes being left?”

“They’re hand delivered to her office. Whoever the delivery boy or girl is, they have access to private areas of the club.”

Kace huffed out a sigh of relief. “Presumably, no members have access to this area.”

“They don’t.”

Things were looking up. “What did the second note say?

“It was darker, worse than Ava let on, I think, because it made her so cross that she phoned me without meaning to. The second one said the bastard wanted her to himself, in addition to her only riding for him. His very own Lady Godiva.”

Kace’s jaw clenched. From flirty to extremely possessive in two notes, beside the blood-like ink. The stalker certainly needed catching as soon as possible. “I’ll get onto this immediately, Josh. Did she keep the second note?”

“Hopefully. I told her to pick it up with tweezers and put it in a plastic bag.”

“Good job. Now. Is there anything else about this you want to add?”

“I think she left something out. I can’t help feeling there was more to the note. Which you’ll see once you’re there.”

“Absolutely. Don’t worry. I’ll get this bastard, Josh.”

“Thanks, Kace.”

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2 reviews for Out of Bounds

  1. Stats23

    This was a really great read. A first class mystery that keeps you fully engrossed page by page, and just when you think things are starting to come to a head another twist takes you back to the drawing board. Ava has a stalker so her brother sends his best friend and former SAS member, Kace, to protect her. He is a Dom by nature but the problem is she is very self-reliant and dominant in her own right. Lots of tension both in the mystery and in the relationship. Refreshing in that both take the lead at various points of the (sexual) relationship. Very erotic story with some very graphic sex and even a few kinks that were new to me. First time author for this reader, but I will be following her from here on in. 5 Stars
    I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

  2. Redrabbitt

    AVA AND KACE

    What a great start to a new series, The Brotherhood, with a great cast of characters, action-filled romance, mystery, suspense, danger, and passion. The story has just the right level of the unknown, with a strong female character, Ava Young, and a dominant man, Kace Adler. The story will bring them together when someone is leaving notes and gifts in Ava’s locked office.

    Ava Young owns Legend, an exclusive members-only nightclub. She is known for her memorable performance, riding a horse depicting Lady Godiva. The members love it, but someone doesn’t and starts leaving her notes and warnings. She doesn’t think anything of the first note, but the second one concerns her—enough to contact her brother, Josh, who does take it seriously. Josh contacts Kace and fills him in on what has happened, and asks for his help.

    Ava: I’ve got a problem. I might well need those self-defense lessons of yours after all. I think I have a stalker.
    Josh: You think, or you do?
    Ava: I do. I’m positive, Josh. Someone has sneaked a note into my office twice now. It’s written in some red, gothic script, like it’s supposed to be blood. This one I received tonight was a bit darker in content. I have to admit it spooked me—now I’m livid.
    Josh: Leave it with me, Ava. I’ll send someone.

    Josh: Kace, I need your special skills for something. You’re the only one I can trust with this.
    Kace: Anything, mate. You know that.
    Josh: My sister has got herself into some sort of trouble. I need you to go to her. Find out what’s going on, as well as protect her.

    The story’s plot will have Ava receiving several messages, and after the second one, she contacts her brother for help. Josh will contact Kace, and he will embed himself in Ava’s life, whether she likes it or not. The stalker is getting bolder, the messages more threatening, and it is Kace’s job to keep her safe—even from herself. Whoever it is, is clever, keeping just out of range of cameras, but it isn’t stopping them. But who is going to keep Kace and Ava apart? The chemistry between them is instant, while either of them tries to deny it. When they do act on it, it is explosive, and that scares them both. Kace doesn’t do relationships, and Ava hasn’t found a man who seems to understand her craving for dominance and control in a relationship.

    I love a story that keeps the mystery-suspense element going without revealing too much detail. Yet, allows the two main characters to develop and has just enough angst and passion for adding to the story. That is precisely what you get with this one. I like the strong businesswoman Ava has become—running a high-end, exclusive club and knowing what she wants and what she refuses to settle for. Kace is a dominant man. His military career to his civilian career includes being smart, having a keen sense, and not ignoring it. He is a man who is in control and expects to be obeyed when he gives an order—especially when it means keeping someone safe. When she pushes the limits, he shows her he is a man of his word and action—spanking her and having her submit to his authority. He can’t do the one thing, to get involved with Josh’s sister, but the head and the heart don’t always agree.

    Kace: There is something I have to confess to.
    Josh: Oh. What did you do?
    Kace: I paddled her behind. She broke my rules, putting herself in danger, and I lost it. I’m sorry.
    Josh: Oh, man. I bet she was p***ed with you! That’s brilliant.
    Kace: You’re not mad?
    Josh: No. She’s my sister and I love her to bits, but she needs a strong bloke like you to keep her in line, to keep her safe, Kace. Especially with all the stupid she pulls.

    The story has the good, the bad, and the evil. It will have plenty of moments of suspense—catching someone coming at Ava. Will this mean that she is safe and the case has ended? Will Kace be able to walk away? The one thing about Ava and Kace, they have the same desires and are well-matched in kink. Best of all, Kace is strong enough to allow Ava to explore, give her control in a scene—and embrace the desires they bring out in each other. This story has power exchange with passion, with just a nice touch of kink and explosive sex.

    “You’ll always receive the unexpected from me, Ava.”

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