Disgraced former FBI agent Tim Burkhart desperately wants to reclaim his life and find happiness. Relocating his fledgling private security company to Miami—where his ex-wife moved their two daughters—hopefully is a start. When he’s hired to provide protection for an antiques dealer on his way to Scotland to sell a priceless ancient dirk, Tim believes the break he’s been waiting for has finally arrived. Maybe now he can make enough money to hire a lawyer and get shared parenting of his little girls.
Elliot James runs the antique shop he inherited after his grandfather’s death. Lonely and swimming in debt, he longs for a way to turn his life around but keeps making one mistake after another. Then he finds the ancient dirk tucked away among junk as he’s cleaning out his grandfather’s home. Placing it up for sale, he is thrilled when an out of country buyer purchases the priceless antique. The buyer wants the dirk immediately and sends Tim to ensure Elliot safely delivers it on time.
The moment Tim and Elliot meet, however, everything falls apart. Between break-ins, shoot-outs, stalkers, totaled cars, and the cops, it seems Tim and Elliot will never get to Scotland by the deadline. Despite all the obstacles, an unexpected attraction pulls them together, offering each man a glimmer of hope. But if they don’t deliver the dirk on time, they won’t get paid and neither of them will be able to pick up the pieces of their lives.
Will they complete this job and find a happily ever after, or is all of this really too good to be true?
I freaking adored Elliot and Tim. These two are such an unlikely pair but they’re perfect together! They’re both a little broken because of their past but it’s so sweet how they both call each other on their crap. It was fun seeing them go through some wild adventures together where one bad thing after another kept happening. It kind of made me appreciate them getting together all the more. I wondered how everything fit into the 1NS world I love so much. But when it was all revealed I loved how things worked out.
Elliot is such a sweet gut. My heart hurt for all of the things from his past that he struggled with. I loved how he stood up for himself and his condition and wouldn’t let Tim put him down or look at him badly. Though Tim was just concerned Elliot let him know he didn’t need Tim’s pity but welcomed the concern. Elliot’s reaction to Tim’s fetish is all kinds of hot. More so because of Elliot and how he responds to something new.
I cheered for Tim so hard. Right from the beginning I could tell he had been dealt a crap hand. I wanted to punch his ex wife in the face though. While I got why she acted the way she did I hated how she used her pain against Tim. Though how Tim used that as motivation to be better was amazing. The glimpses we get of his family and former coworkers hurt my heart. Tim deserved so much better from those people. But it was nice getting to see how Tim was proving everyone wrong by starting his own security business and bettering himself. The way he showed his devotion to Elliot was wonderful. He showed how much he cared about Elliot right from the start.
I couldn’t get enough of these two. There’s a firm happy for now for them at the end of this story. You can tell they’re going to give their relationship a real go and plan to work on any future obstacles in their path. They do still have to work out some issues such as logistics of moving, Elliot meeting Tim’s kids and ex wife, things like that. But they’re also so in love you have faith they’re going to make it. I would love another novella with these two because I enjoyed them so much and I want to see more of them.
Elliot is nice enough to stop by today. He shares with us a few of his favorite songs. I love all of his picks because they’re good for getting up and dancing to. Read and enjoy!
Hi, I’m Elliot James from Deanna Wadsworth’s new book TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. Thank you for hosting me Molly!
Molly asked me to share my top five favorite songs with you so here goes (in no particular order)
Shake It Off by Taylor Swift. I mean, how can you NOT love that song LOL It just makes you wanna dance!
Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepson Are you sensing a theme? I adore pop music!
Dancing Queen by ABBA. I should not have to explain a gay man’s allegiance to that song.
SexyBack by Justin Timberlake is always a favorite.
Bye Bye Bye by NSYNC. Tim HATES boy band music but too bad so sad. I plan on teaching his daughters all about it. And what he doesn’t know yet is that I just bought four tickets to see One Direction! It’s going to be awesome and the girls will love it. Tim will just have to buy some ear plugs LOL
Staring down the sights of his Colt 1911 and into the panicked eyes of the young man, Tim said, “Keep your hands where I can see ’em. I want to know where Mr. James is and why you’re in his store.”
Out of the corner of his eye, Tim saw a flash of metal. Instinctively he dropped to the floor. The sharp crack of a bullet shot through the store, shattering something on his left.
The guy behind the counter made a run for the door.
Tim rolled behind the armoire, gritting his teeth when the door slammed shut and the first guy got away. Careful to stay out of sight, Tim assessed the shooter who’d come from the back room. He looked as young and inexperienced as the one who’d run. Tim recognized the weapon in his hand—a 9mm semi-automatic Beretta. Though Tim’s .45 could out-shoot the little pea-shooter at the range, he had no interest in finding out who was the better shot in real life.
“¿Adónde vas? ¡Esperame!” the shooter yelled to his retreating friend.
Wait for me. Tim knew enough Spanish. The guy planned to make a run for it, too. He clambered to his feet. Before he could tackle and subdue him, the kid aimed his Beretta in the general direction of the armoire and fired off a volley of shots.
“Shit!” Tim dove behind a stack of rugs to dodge the bullets.
The gun went silent.
Tim rolled fast onto his back, his 1911 aimed, only to watch the kid flying out the door behind his friend. The door bounced a few times until it closed, the bells clanging.
The scraping sounds in the back room, louder than before, drew his attention once more.
As fast as he could, he crept around the counter, his heart pounding. Both hands on his gun, trigger finger resting on the frame and trigger guard, he took a quick peek into the room, ducking back before a possible third perp could make him.
In less than a heartbeat, his brain registered what he’d seen. He exhaled. Keeping his gun lowered but at-the-ready, he entered.
In the center of what looked like a storage room sat the man Tim had been hired to escort to Scotland. He’d been gagged and duct-taped to a chair.
“Is anyone else here?” Tim murmured.
Mr. James shook his head wildly.
With a relieved sigh, he rushed over to the man and yanked the gag out. “You okay?”
“Yeah.” He gasped for air. “I’m fine.”
“Were there only two?” he clarified, eyes still peeled for danger.
“Yeah,” he managed, his face flushed and startling green eyes wide. Sandy-brown curls fell across the brow of a very frightened but very beautiful man. He took a few slow, ragged breaths, obviously trying to calm himself. “Just the two of them.”
Tim took a steadying breath of his own and slowly released the hammer on his Colt and flipped the safety up, never taking his gaze off Mr. James. “What happened?” He holstered the weapon then tore the duct tape from the man’s wrist.
“Aarrghh!” Mr. James jumped, the chair bouncing.
Tim winced when he noticed the arm hairs stuck to the tape in his hand. “Sorry ’bout that.” He paused over the other strip. “This one’s gonna hurt, too.”
Mr. James pursed his lips and nodded bravely. He let out a tiny hiss when Tim freed his second arm. That one didn’t take as much hair because a silver bracelet had protected most of the skin. Obviously, those punks had been amateurs in restraining.
“Sorry,” Tim said again.
Rubbing his wrists, he let out a breathy laugh. “It’s okay. Thank you for saving my life.”
“I believe that’s what I was paid for. I’m Tim Burkhart, your private security detail.”
Mr. James’s smile made his heart flutter. No, probably just the adrenaline. Tim didn’t get butterflies.
“Nice to finally meet you, Mr. Burkhart.”
“Call me Tim.” He stood and withdrew his phone. He gestured toward his bound legs. “You okay to get those? I gotta call the cops.”
Tim almost dropped his phone when Mr. James shouted. He gaped at the man. “What do you mean no?”
Prying tape off of his khaki pants, the man paused. Those big green eyes grew even wider. “You can’t call the cops. My whole life depends on it!”
Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. She has served multiple board positions at her local RWA chapter and with Rainbow Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing books or brainstorming with friends, you can find her making people gorgeous in a beauty salon. She loves music and dancing, and can often be seen hanging out on the sandbar in the muddy Maumee River or chilling with her hubby and a cocktail in their basement bar. In between all that fun, Deanna cherishes the quiet times when she can let her wildly active imagination have the full run of her mind. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.
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