Related to: 'The Unsung Hero: Troubleshooters 1'

June Book of the Month

A tantalising excerpt from THE SUBMISSIVE - the seductive and scandalous erotic romance sensation

Nathaniel West was thirty-four years old. His parents had died in a car accident when he was ten. Linda Clark, his aunt, had raised him after that. Nathaniel had taken over his father's company at the age of twenty-nine. He'd taken what was already a profitable business and made it even more so. I'd known about him for ages. Knew of him in that society-page way those in the lower classes know of the upper class. The papers painted him as a hard-ass. A real bastard. But I liked to think I knew a bit more about the real man. Six years ago, when I was twenty-six, my mother had gotten into a really bad situation over credit card debt, following her divorce with Dad. She owed so much, the bank threatened foreclosure on her house. They would have been well within their rights to do so. But Nathaniel West had saved the day. He was on the bank’s board of directors and convinced them to allow Mom a way to save her house and get out of debt. She died of heart disease two years later, but for those two years, every time his name was mentioned in the papers or on the news, she would retell the story of how he’d helped her. I knew he wasn’t the hard-ass the world thought he was. And when I heard about his more . . . delicate tastes, my fantasies started. And kept on. And kept on, until I knew I had to do something about them. Which was why I found myself pulling into the driveway of his estate in a chauffeur-driven car at 5:45 that Friday evening. No luggage. No bags. Just my purse and cell phone. A large golden retriever stood at the front door. He was beautiful dog, with intense eyes that watched as I got out and made my way to the house. “Good boy,” I said, holding my hand out. I wasn’t overly fond of dogs, but if Nathaniel had one, I needed to grow used to him. The dog whined, walked toward me, and pushed his nose into my hand. “Good boy,” I said again. “Who’s a good boy?” He gave a short bark and rolled over so I could pet his belly. Okay, I thought, maybe dogs weren’t so bad. “Apollo,” a smooth voice said from the front door. “Come.” Apollo’s head lifted at his owner’s voice. He licked my face and trotted to stand beside Nathaniel. “I see you’ve made Apollo’s acquaintance.” Nathaniel was dressed casually today— a light gray sweater and darker gray pants. The man could wear a paper bag and look good. It really wasn’t fair. “Yes,” I said, standing and brushing imaginary dirt off my pants. “He’s a very sweet dog.” “He’s not,” Nathaniel corrected. “Normally, he doesn’t take kindly to strange people. You’re very fortunate he didn’t bite you.” I didn’t say anything. Nathaniel turned and walked into the house; he didn’t even look back to make sure I followed. I did, of course. “We’ll have dinner tonight at the kitchen table,” he said as he led me through the foyer. I tried to take in the decor— a subtle mixture of the antique and contemporary— but it was hard to take my eyes off Nathaniel as he strode along in front of me. We walked down a long hallway past several closed doors, and all the while he talked. “You can consider the kitchen table your free space. You’ll take the majority of your meals there, and when I join you, you may take it as an invitation to speak freely. Most of the time, you will serve me in the dining room, but I thought we should start the evening on a less formal basis. Is all this clear?” “Yes, Master.” He turned, and there was ire in his eyes. “No. You have not yet earned the right to call me that. Until you do, you will address me as ‘sir’ or ‘Mr. West.’ ” “Yes, sir,” I said. “Sorry, sir.” He resumed walking. Forms of address were a gray area, and I hadn’t known what to expect. At least he hadn’t seemed too upset. He pulled a chair out from a finely carved table and waited for me to sit down. Silently, he sat across from me. Dinner was already on the table, and I waited for him to take a bite before I ate anything. It was delicious. Someone had baked chicken breasts and topped them with a delectable honey-almond sauce. There were also green beans and carrots, but I hardly noticed them, the chicken was so tasty. It dawned on me, eventually, that there was no one else in the house, and dinner had been waiting. “Did you cook this?” I asked. He inclined his head slightly. “I am a man of many talents, Abigail.” I shifted in my seat, and we resumed eating in silence. I was too nervous to say anything. We’d almost finished before he spoke again. “I am pleased you do not find it necessary to fill the silence with endless chatter,” he said. “There are a few things I need to explain. Keep in mind, you can speak freely at this table.” He stopped and waited for my response. “Yes, sir.” “You know from my checklist I’m a fairly conservative dom. I do not believe in public humiliation, will not participate in extreme pain play, and I do not share. Ever.” The corner of his mouth lifted. “Although as a dom, I suppose I could change that at any time.” “I understand, sir,” I said, remembering his checklist and the time I’d spent completing mine. I really hoped this weekend hadn’t been a mistake. My cell phone felt reassuring in my pocket; Felicia knew to call the police if I hadn’t checked in within the next hour. “The other thing you should know,” he said, “is that I don’t kiss on the lips.” “Like Pretty Woman?” I asked. “It’s too personal?” “Pretty Woman?” “You know, the movie?” “No,” he said. “I’ve never seen it. I don’t kiss on the lips because it’s unnecessary.” Unnecessary? Well, there went the fantasy about pulling him to me with my hands buried in that glorious hair. I took a last bite of chicken as I thought more about what he’d said. Across from me, Nathaniel continued talking. “I recognize that you’re a person with your own hopes, dreams, desires, wants, and opinions. You have put those things aside to submit to me this weekend. To put yourself in such a position demands respect, and I do respect you. Everything I do to or for you, I do with you in mind. My rules on sleeping, eating, and exercise are for your benefit. My chastisement is for your betterment.” He ran a finger around the rim of his wineglass. “And any pleasure I give you”— the finger ran down the stem once and back up—“ well, I don’t suppose you have any qualms concerning pleasure.” I realized I was gaping at him when he smiled and pushed himself away from the table. “Are you finished with dinner?” he asked. “Yes, sir,” I said, knowing I wouldn’t be able to eat any more, my thoughts consumed by his remarks on pleasure. “I need to take Apollo outside. My room is upstairs, first door on the left. I will be there in fifteen minutes. You will be waiting for me.” His green eyes gazed steadily at me. “Page five, first paragraph.”

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Into the Storm: Troubleshooters 10

Suzanne Brockmann
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Suzanne Brockmann
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Into the Fire: Troubleshooters 13

Suzanne Brockmann
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Hot Target: Troubleshooters 8

Suzanne Brockmann
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Force of Nature: Troubleshooters 11

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Suzanne Brockmann

Troubleshooters: They Never Let You Down. The eleventh addictive romantic suspense novel in New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters series, filled with thrilling adventure, excitement and passion. In FORCE OF NATURE, private investigator Ric Alvarado's life descends into danger, pulling his beautiful assistant Annie into jeopardy with him...Ex-cop turned private investigator Ric Alvarado's life is spiralling out of control. When one of his clients tries to gun down an innocent man, Ric saves the day - only to learn he's done a very good deed for some very bad people. Suddenly Ric finds himself deep undercover with his beautiful new assistant Annie, working for notorious crime boss Gordon Burns. One mistake from Ric's inexperienced partner and they're both dead. Entrenched in Burns's organisation, Ric and Annie find themselves surrounded by ruthless killers - and many more lives besides their own will be at stake if they make a false move. As the heat between them reaches dangerous levels, so do the risks they're willing to take - in the line of duty, for the sake of loyalty, and in the name of something that runs even deeper.

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Flashpoint: Troubleshooters 7

Suzanne Brockmann
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Breaking Point: Troubleshooters 9

Suzanne Brockmann
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Troubleshooters: They Never Let You Down. The ninth addictive romantic suspense novel in New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters series, filled with thrilling adventure, excitement and passion. In BREAKING POINT, FBI agent Max Bhagat may be outnumbered and against the odds, but nothing will keep him from rescuing the woman he loves, Gina Vitagliano.As commander of the FBI's counterterrorism unit, Max Bhagat puts nothing ahead of his work, not even his feelings for Gina Vitagliano, the woman who won his admiration and heart with her courage under fire. That is until news reaches him that Gina has been killed in a terrorist bombing, and retribution becomes Max's top priority. But at the scene of the attack, Max learns that Gina is still alive. She and her colleague Molly Anderson have fallen into the hands of a ruthless killer bent on using both women as bait in a lethal trap to capture Grady Morant, a.k.a 'Jones', a notorious ex-Special Forces operative. Plunged into a global hot zone of violence and corruption, Max and Jones join forces and embark on a deadly rescue mission, prepared to forfeit their own lives to save the women they love.

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All Through the Night: Troubleshooters 12

Suzanne Brockmann
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2 Heroes in 1

Suzanne Brockmann
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Suzanne Brockmann

Troubleshooters: They Never Let You Down. The first and second addictive romantic suspense novels in New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters series, brought together in this special omnibus edition for the very first time. Twice the thrilling adventure, twice the excitement, twice the passion and 2 HEROES IN 1...In THE UNSUNG HERO, Navy SEAL Lieutenant Tom Paoletti catches a terrifying glimpse of an international terrorist in his hometown. The Navy dismisses the danger, but Tom's childhood sweetheart Kelly Ashton never doubts him. Creating his own makeshift counterterrorist team from his most loyal officers and the town's residents, Tom knows they must save the day if he is to have one last chance for happiness with Kelly...In THE DEFIANT HERO, Meg Moore is forced to take extreme action when her daughter and grandmother are kidnapped. When Navy SEAL Lieutenant John Nilsson is summoned to Washington, D.C., by the FBI, to help negotiate a hostage situation, the last person he expects to see holding a foreign ambassador at gunpoint is Meg. He hasn't seen her in years, but he's never forgotten her. John could lose his career if he helps her escape. She will lose her life if he doesn't...

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Gone Too Far: Troubleshooters 6

Suzanne Brockmann
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Into the Night: Troubleshooters 5

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Out of Control: Troubleshooters 4

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Over the Edge: Troubleshooters 3

Suzanne Brockmann
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Troubleshooters: They Never Let You Down. The third addictive romantic suspense novel in New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters series, filled with thrilling adventure, excitement and passion. In OVER THE EDGE, Lieutenant Teri Howe and Senior Chief Stan Wolchonok are made to undertake a daring rescue mission. But there is more than just their lives at stake...Lieutenant Teri Howe is one of the best helicopter pilots in the naval reserves. Strong and dedicated, her passion for flying is only rivalled by her attraction to Senior Chief Stan Wolchonok. And when a past mistake surfaces, jeopardizing everything Terri has worked for, she immediately turns to Stan for support. Stan doesn't hesitate to come to Terri's aid, even though he knows his personal code of honour - and perhaps his heart - will be at risk. But when a jet carrying an American senator's daughter is hijacked, Stan can no longer keep Terri at arm's length - he needs her flying skills to help him undertake a daring rescue mission. In the midst of danger, and as the boundaries between friends and lovers begin to blur, Terri and Stan realise that they are being pushed over the edge into a future that might be more than they ever dreamt of...

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The Defiant Hero: Troubleshooters 2

Suzanne Brockmann
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Suzanne Brockmann
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Hot Pursuit: Troubleshooters 15

Suzanne Brockmann
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Troubleshooters: They Never Let You Down. The fifteenth addictive romantic suspense novel in New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters series, filled with thrilling adventure, excitement and passion. In HOT PURSUIT, Alyssa Locke is one the trail of a killer she has tracked him for years. Only now the he is focused on her...Troubleshooters Inc.'s Alyssa Locke is no stranger to dealing with danger. As a former FBI agent, guarding lives is Alyssa's game and no one plays it better. But her toughest challenge will be protecting herself from 'The Dentist', a sadistic murderer she has relentlessly pursued for over a decade. Alyssa's new assignment was supposed to be an easy one: take a squad to New York to teach self-defence to a newly-elected congresswoman receiving death threats. But the job take a more sinister turn as they discover a dead boy and Alyssa finds herself heading up a murder investigation. Then Alyssa is ambushed and finds herself imprisoned by The Dentist, the mastermind behind it all. Cut off from everyone, Alyssa must use all her skills as he prepares to make her his ultimate trophy. Only one can survive - who will it be?

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Dark of Night: Troubleshooters 14

Suzanne Brockmann
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Brenda Novak

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Brenda Novak is the author of fifty books. A four-time Rita nominee, she has won many awards, including the National Reader's Choice, the Bookseller's Best, the Book Buyer's Best, the Daphne, and the Holt Medallion. She also runs Brenda Novak for the Cure, a charity to raise money for diabetes research (her youngest son has this disease). To date, she's raised $2.6 million. For more about Brenda, please visit www.brendanovak.com.

J. Kenner

J. Kenner loves wine, dark chocolate, and books. She lives in Texas with her husband and daughters. Visit her online at www.jkenner.com to learn more about her and her other pen names, to get a peek at what she's working on, and to connect through social media.

Jaci Burton

Jaci Burton is a New York Times bestselling author who lives in Oklahoma with her husband and dogs. She has three grown children, who are all scattered around the country having lives of their own. A lover of sports, Jaci can often tell what season it is by what sport is being played. She watches entirely too much television, including an unhealthy amount of reality TV. When she isn't on deadline, Jaci can be found at her local casino, trying to become a millionaire (so far, no luck). She's a total romantic and loves a story with a happily ever after, which you'll find in all her books.Find the latest news on Jaci's books at ww.jaciburton.com, and connect with her online at www.facebook.com/AuthorJaciBurton or via Twitter @jaciburton.

Jill Shalvis

New York Times bestseller Jill Shalvis is the author of many romance novels including her acclaimed Cedar Ridge, Lucky Harbor and Animal Magnetism series. The RITA winner and three-time National Readers Choice winner makes her home near Lake Tahoe. Visit her website at www.jillshalvis.com for a complete book list and daily blog, and www.facebook.com/jillshalvis for other news or follow her on Twitter @jillshalvis.

Johanna Lindsey

Johanna Lindsey is world renowned for her 'mastery of historical romance' (Entertainment Weekly), with more than sixty million copies of her novels sold. She is the author of fifty-one previous bestselling novels, many of which reached the number one spot on the New York Times bestseller list. Johanna lives in New Hampshire with her family.