PROTECTOR - Catherine Mann
A Dark Ops Novel
Berkley Sensation
ISBN: 978-0-425-24699-3
March 2012
Romantic Suspense

Italy - Present Day

With the suspected threat of terrorist activity involving a cruise ship and its unsavory owner, the Black Ops go into high gear to try and prevent it from happening. Chuck Tanaka goes undercover as a blackjack dealer in the ship's casino, and he literally finds himself tangling with the owner's daughter, Jolynn Taylor. He's instantly attracted to her, and she exhibits signs of feeling the same, so he uses that to his advantage by making it a point to run into her several times. But after numerous mysterious "incidents," he begins to wonder if someone has Jolynn marked for elimination. Her father is suspected of having ties to the mob, and getting involved with the "princess" would be dangerous if Chuck's true identity is exposed. But as a man who will do anything to protect his country, he'll do what it takes, and getting close to Jolynn won't be an unpleasant task.

Horrified to have witnessed her uncle murdered when she was a child, Jolynn pretty much suspects her father has unsavory connections and she has done everything to stay away from him. But he recently had a heart attack and may not live much longer, so she is in Italy to see him for possibly the last time. Chuck (or Charles as he calls himself) always seems to be around, and she can't help but notice him, especially as he's deliciously attractive. Time spent alone together only reinforces the attraction, and Chuck is there when another attempt on her life is made. This forces Chuck into action, and he whisks Jolynn away from trouble.

Catherine Mann has penned a suspenseful tale in PROTECTOR that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Jolynn isn't a pampered rich girl who spends her days shopping or with other mindless activities; she's an intelligent, savvy woman who has tried to keep her distance from her father after witnessing the horrible death of her uncle. She is still fairly close to her cousin, Lucy, who runs the casino, but as far as her father goes, she has to come to terms with her mixed feelings for him. Jolynn can't deny the sizzling attraction for Chuck, but to give into it wouldn't be a wise move right now with her life in upheaval.

Chuck recently went through a harrowing experience after being captured and tortured in Turkey . This left him tough on the outside, but deep inside he still has nightmares. Meeting Jolynn stirs feelings he thought he'd never be able to have with anyone. He wants her in his bed, but realizes he has to protect her. Chuck can only wonder if she is the object of the mysterious threats, or they are just mere coincidences. Whatever the case, he doesn't have time to think when he takes her into hiding. With her under the Black Ops protection it should be the end of the threats, right? But just when he thinks they can take a breath, they're forced to scamper for their lives.

Nonstop action, thrilling scenes, and sensual love scenes fill the pages of PROTECTOR and make for an exciting read. This tale starts out on a cruise ship docked in Italy but soon shifts to land. Forced to spend time together-for their safety-both Chuck and Jolynn slowly begin to open up to each other. Jolynn wants to love Chuck, but he makes it clear that he isn't the type to be worthy of her love. Once the bad guys are exposed and captured in PROTECTOR, our couple will need to figure out a way to forge a future together. If you like your romance suspenseful and exciting, then don't miss PROTECTOR.

Patti Fischer