Authors: Lisa Childs
The Bachelor Bodyguards of Payne Protection Agency are back—and this time, it’s personal
Walking away from then-fiancée Amber Talsma was one of the hardest things sexy bodyguard Milek Kozminski ever had to do. But it was nothing compared to the shock of hearing she’d been killed in a car accident alongside the son Milek knew, deep down, was his.
Amber will do anything to keep her child safe. Which was why she had to fake their deaths—to evade the assailant who murdered her boss, then came after her. But now someone has found them. And when Milek learns the truth, he’ll stop at nothing to protect his son…and the woman he never stopped loving.
“You told me she’s alive.
“You need to tell me where she is,” Milek said, and his voice cracked before he could add, “Where
FBI special agent Nicholas Rus’s wide shoulders slumped with guilt, his black-haired head bowed. “I shouldn’t have told you.”
“No. You shouldn’t have told me
,” Milek explained. “You should have told me a year ago.”
“I didn’t know you a year ago… I didn’t know if I could trust you.”
“Obviously you know now, or you wouldn’t have told me that she—that
Rus cursed. “And that was a mistake.”
“Why?” Milek asked.
“Because now you want to know where she is.”
He didn’t just
to know. He
to know. He had to see her—had to see for himself that she was really alive. And so was their son…
He’d broken up with her nearly five years before her death, and he hadn’t gotten over her in all that time. It didn’t matter that he knew she was alive; he was still mourning her.
“I need to see her.”
* * *
Don’t miss the next book in Lisa Childs’s
Bachelor Bodyguards series, coming spring 2016.
If you’re on Twitter, tell us what you think of Harlequin Romantic Suspense!
The Payne Protection Agency has another assignment—and like their previous assignments in the Shotgun Wedding series and in the Bachelor Bodyguards series, it’s personal. Bodyguard Milek Kozminski thought he’d lost his ex-fiancée and their child in a horrific car accident a year ago. But while helping his brother Garek survive
His Christmas Assignment
, the first story in the Bachelor Bodyguards series, Milek learned assistant DA Amber Talsma and their son, Michael, are alive. He’s not the only one who’s discovered the truth. The person who wanted Amber dead is even more determined to kill her.
Milek has his hands full protecting her and his heart full of feelings for her. But the reason he broke their engagement all those years ago hasn’t changed—because he isn’t sure that he’s changed from the outlaw he once was. He thinks Amber deserves a better man.
Amber has only ever wanted Milek. But while she trusts him to protect her life, she isn’t willing to trust him with her heart again. He broke it once, and she worries that he’ll break it again if she survives the attempts on her life. Milek will do anything to protect his family—even give up his life for theirs.
I hope you enjoy this second book in the Bachelor Bodyguards series.
read her first romance novel (a Harlequin story, of course) at age eleven, all she ever wanted was to be a romance writer. With over forty novels published with Harlequin, Lisa is living her dream. She is an award-winning, bestselling romance author. Lisa loves to hear from readers, who can contact her on Facebook, through her website,
, or her snail-mail address, PO Box 139, Marne, MI 49435.
Books by Lisa Childs
Harlequin Romantic Suspense
Special Agents at the Altar
The Pregnant Witness
The Agent’s Redemption
Groom Under Fire
Taming the Shifter
Mistress of the Underworld
Visit the Author Profile page at
for more titles.
With great appreciation for my awesome family! You’re the reason I enjoy writing about families—like the Payne family—like our family.
lames leaped from the wreckage of the mangled vehicle, rising from the blackened metal into the night sky. The scene drew Milek Kozminski’s attention from the drink sitting before him on the bar to the television screen above it. Country music emanated from the speakers of the jukebox, so he couldn’t hear what the reporter was saying about the crash. He could hear only the twang of the singer as he crooned about drinking.
Milek could relate.
To the singer.
Not to the crash.
“Milek...” A soft voice, cracking with emotion, called to him. He twirled his bar stool to find not only his sister, Stacy, standing behind him but her husband, who was also his boss at the Payne Protection Agency. Hell, most of Payne Protection had come with them—Logan’s twin, Parker, and their younger brother, Cooper, and younger sister, Nikki. And Mrs. Payne, her warm brown eyes full of sympathy and something else, stared at him the way the others did—with concern.
“What the hell is this?” he wondered aloud. “An intervention?”
He had been drinking more lately than he should have but never enough that he lost control. He couldn’t afford to lose control—as he once had, so long ago. That time had sent him to a juvenile detention center and his brother, Garek, to prison. But Garek hadn’t actually done anything wrong.
The others said nothing, just continued to stare at him. And his heart began to beat quickly and heavily. Tears streaked down his sister Stacy’s face while her thin frame—but for the slight swell of her newly pregnant belly—trembled with sobs. Was something wrong with her baby?
He turned to Garek now—as he and Stacy always had since they were little kids. Their parents had never been there for them, but Garek had.
Garek’s face was flushed with emotion, and he strode over to the jukebox and jerked the cord from the wall. The music died, leaving the bar eerily silent but for the television anchor’s voice.
“Assistant district attorney Amber Talsma lost control of her vehicle on slick roads, causing it to roll down a steep ravine, where it burst into flames. She and her young son are confirmed dead in the crash.”
His heart stopped beating.
No, not Amber...
He twirled back toward the television. In a corner of the screen there was a picture of Amber with her bright green eyes and vibrant red hair. There was also a photo of her son—with his blond hair and pale gray eyes.
A big hand grasped his shoulder, offering support and turning him back toward the others who all stared at him with so much concern and pity.
“He was yours,” Garek said.
With his hair and eye color, the little boy looked like both Milek and Garek.
“She never told you.” Garek looked at their sister. Usually her tears would have affected him—would have had him fussing over her, especially now. Amber had been her best friend. But Garek stared at their sister as if he’d never seen her before. “Stacy knew. But I didn’t know, Milek. I swear I didn’t know. I’m so sorry.” He dragged Milek from the stool then and into his arms. “I’m so damn sorry...”
He had known. Even though another man had claimed the boy as his, Milek had known the truth. But he’d thought then that the kid would be better off without him as a father—just as he’d believed Amber would be better off without him as a husband, which was why he’d broken their engagement.
Even though it had nearly killed him, he had forced himself to give them up—because he’d loved them and wanted better for them. Now they had nothing. And neither did he.
They were gone.
mber Talsma had been dead for a year. But no one had gotten any closer to finding out who had killed her. Or tried to. Amber hadn’t lost control of her car and driven into a ravine. She had actually been shot at—just weeks after her boss had been gunned down outside his home. Someone had wanted her dead, too.
So she had died—to keep herself and her son safe. The accident had been staged; empty caskets buried in their graves. Then she and Michael had disappeared. They were Heather and Mason Ames now.
But when she glanced in the rearview mirror—as she did now as she drove to Mason’s school—she still saw Amber. Her long red hair had been cut and dyed brown. Brown contact lenses covered her green irises. But her features were the same. Was that how someone had recognized her?
The letter had arrived just an hour ago—delivered to the mailbox of Heather Ames. She hadn’t recognized the handwriting, but she’d opened it. Photos had fallen onto the floor. Several of them of her and Michael—at the park. At his school. At the grocery store. And through the front window of the very house in which they lived now. She’d turned over the back of one of those photos to find a note, an implicit threat, scrawled across the back:
I know who you really are...
And obviously where she was, as well.
Only one person knew she was alive: the FBI agent who had helped fake Amber’s and Michael’s deaths. Special Agent Nicholas Rus had been the one she had called about the shots being fired at her—into her home.
She shuddered as she remembered how close the bullets had come to hitting her son—to taking his life. If she’d lost him...