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SERIES: Rescue Me Saga, Book 1
GENRE: Military Romance, Family Saga
ENDING: HFN (They’re a couple and are Happy For Now)
WORD COUNT: Over 100,000 words (very large book)
HERO’S AGE: 30-39
HEROINE’S AGE: 25-29
HEAT LEVEL: Kinky (Bondage, Spanking, Menage, etc)
GRAPHIC LANGUAGE: Keeping It Real (Full of “F” bombs, graphic sex, and whatever)
Three men. Three paths to healing. One unbreakable bond. And one very hot club.
So begins the Rescue Me Saga in the Masters at Arms introduction.
In Nobody’s Angel, private BDSM club co-owner Marc d’Alessio loves being in business with the men he served beside in the hell that was Iraq. Working at their club has its perks, but Marc keeps women at bay. He’s seen his fair share of danger, but women have proven to be hazardous to his heart.
But when he saves Angelina Giardano from a disastrous first encounter at his club, he can’t shake the attraction and desire he feels for her—even as she turns his lonely and safe world upside down. When Angelina’s past threatens to destroy her, Marc answers the silent call to arms—but can he be the angel she needs?
READ AN EXCERPT
As he stood on Angelina’s porch, Marc remembered the kiss he’d given her here last night. What had possessed him to kiss her like that? He never kissed the subs he played with. Shit, she wasn’t even one of his subs. A kiss was too intimate, giving more of himself than he was comfortable sharing.
Tonight, he wouldn’t let his libido rule his actions. This evening was about Italian cuisine from the Old Country. Nothing more. He shifted the bottles of wine in his hand, along with the Hershey bar. After watching her eat the chocolate during aftercare at the club, he’d fantasized about feeding her an entire bar…
Merda. Reining in his wayward thoughts might not be easy. If only he hadn’t kissed her. The damned kiss had changed things, for the worse.
He looked at the bouquet of roses Luke had picked up on their way here tonight. They’d actually gone back to Denver this morning so they could dress appropriately. The clothes they’d packed for the hiker rescue this week weren’t special enough for the occasion.
He glanced over at Luke, noticing the band of white skin where Luke’s wedding band had once been worn. Well, shit, the man was ready to move forward. About time. Knowing his friend was interested in Angelina both pleased and disturbed him. But if Luke wanted to pursue her, Marc would step back before he got in any deeper with her.
He looked at the door. What was taking her so long to answer?
“Something sure smells good, Angel!” Luke called out. “Don’t make us wait much longer!”
Luke reached out and rang the doorbell again, as Marc looked down at the porch, then stepped back. Dark droplets. He took the toe of his shoe and smeared it. Looked like fresh blood. Looking up, he noticed more blood on the doorjamb.
Marc pointed out the stains to Luke and pounded on the door. “Cara, open this door. Now.”
“I’m coming!” Her muffled voice reassured him she was alive at least but held an edge that didn’t sound like the Angelina from last night. Her voice was strained, as if from pain. If she didn’t open this damned door soon, he was going to bust it down.
What the hell had happened?
Angelina used the coffee table to pull herself to her shaky feet. The slightest movement caused pain, even in places Allen hadn’t touched her. Overextended muscles screamed as she put one foot in front of the other and made her way slowly toward the door.
She wished she’d gone to the bedroom first to put a robe over her ruined dress. But they’d soon know something had happened if her cheek looked as bad as it felt. In addition to the burning, the skin on that side of her face was growing taut from swelling. Short of putting a bag over her head, Angelina would have to tell them what happened. Each step took an exponentially greater amount of energy than the one before. She had no reserves left after the burst of adrenaline she’d expended fighting off Allen’s attack.
After what seemed an eternity, but was probably no more than a minute, she reached the door.
“Angel, darlin’, if you don’t open this door, we’re going to…”
“I’m here,” she called out. Taking a deep breath, she unbolted the lock and opened the door. Marc stood holding two bottles of vino and an enormous Hershey’s dark chocolate bar. Luke carried a bouquet of champagne-colored roses. She watched as their expressions changed from concern to disbelief as their eyes opened wider.
Her knees crumpled beneath her. Luke dropped the flowers and caught her in his arms, carrying her inside to the sofa. Marc placed the wine bottles on the coffee table and their triage training apparently kicked in as they began examining her for injuries.
“Where are you bleeding, cara?” Marc began checking her scalp and neck for injuries.
“There’s blood on the porch, too, Angel. What happened?”
The questions overwhelmed her. Angelina dropped her head against the back of the overstuffed sofa, the effort to remain upright more than she could achieve at the moment. Her lower lip trembled as she tried to find words to explain what had happened. Someone’s thumb grazed her injured cheek and she winced as he probed gently where Allen had backhanded her.
“That sonuvabitch from last night did this, didn’t he?” Luke’s voice.
“Where did that asshole cut you, cara?”
“He didn’t.” Every word took a phenomenal amount of energy. “Not my blood.” Angelina’s voice sounded as if it came through a long tunnel. Not wanting them to worry, she smiled then winced as even that tiny movement radiated more pain across her cheek. Salty tears stung her eyelids. “And his name is Allen Martin.” Although “asshole” was growing on her, too. “Believe me, he’s in worse shape than I am. I think I broke his nose—and he won’t be having sex anytime soon, either.”
One of them squeezed her upper arm. Simultaneously, Marc and Luke praised her in their own ways:
“Good for you, Angel.”
Angel. She was nobody’s angel, but she liked when Luke called her that anyway. And Marc’s “good girl” was equally endearing, making her melt like Marc’s chocolate bar sitting on a hot stove. Something niggled at her brain, but she didn’t know why the stove was significant.
As Luke continued to check her arms and legs for injuries, she heard Marc walk into the kitchen. He came back and pressed what felt like ice cubes wrapped in a wet linen towel against her cheek.
“Tell us what happened, cara.”
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
“You’ll need to make a police report, Angel.”
She opened her eyes and raised her head from the sofa, wincing as the ice pack Marc held against her cheek put painful pressure on the injury. “No police. If my brothers find out about this, they’ll kill him.”
“Not if we get to him first, cara.”
“Marc, no one’s going to do anything. I don’t want anyone going to jail over this. I said I took care of him. It’s over.”
Angelina wasn’t sure if she was more afraid of someone going to jail for assaulting Allen or of her brothers finding out she’d been in a kink club, which they most certainly would at some point if they got anywhere near Allen. He’d squeal like a tea kettle.
Luke sat down on the coffee table in front of her. “I don’t think anything’s broken.”
“Go take a shower and change, piccolo angelo. You’ll feel better.”
Little angel. She’d never been considered little by anyone’s standards and her binge eating for the last month hadn’t improved that condition. Allen often cautioned her to watch what she ate when they went out. Asshole. He should be very happy with Miss Blondie from last night and her size-two ass.
“Stay with us, cara.”
Angelina looked at Marc; her mind had wandered. She looked down at her ruined dress and blinked back hot tears. “Damn him. I wanted to look nice tonight.” Why was she crying over a silly dress?
Before she started to bawl in earnest, she motioned for them to help her up. She needed to be alone. Each man took an elbow and Marc wrapped an arm around her back as they lifted her to her feet. Cosseted between them, she felt comforted, but she groaned at the effort it had taken just to stand. Her muscles were getting stiffer by the minute. How could she hurt all over when he’d only touched three places on her body? Tomorrow would be even worse.
Brushing the hair away from her face, Marc said, “Cara mia, you are beautiful no matter what you are wearing.” Angelina half-smiled, favoring her sore cheek, as her mind filled in what Marc left unsaid—or even if you’re wearing nothing at all. “That’s a brave girl,” he added.
Tears burned her eyes again. She didn’t feel very brave. “Look, I’m really sorry, but I don’t think I’m going to be much fun tonight. You don’t have to stay.”
“Nice try, Angel, but we aren’t leaving.” She looked up at Luke, who just smiled, still holding her elbow.
“Not until we’re sure you’re safe,” Marc assured her, “and we’ve had our fill of your Nonna’s dishes that smell so fantastic.”
“Oh, no!” Her special dinner! That’s why the thought about the stove was important. She’d completely forgotten.
Angelina scooted on bare feet to the kitchen as fast as she could to open the door of the stainless-steel range. With her oven mitt on, she pulled out the rack and removed the lid from the pot inside, sighing in relief. Thank goodness the wine hadn’t all evaporated.
“Don’t lift anything,” Luke admonished. “We’ll take care of dinner. You go take care of you.”
Normally, she wouldn’t let anyone into her kitchen, but if she was going to rescue this evening, she’d need all the help she could get.
“In about five minutes, could you take the braciola out, and put it on that platter?” She pointed to Nonna’s oval blue-and-yellow stoneware platter waiting on the counter.
“I think, between the two of us, we can manage that, cara.” He grinned.
Her smile faded quickly; her cheek now hurting in earnest. Luke placed his hands around her waist, pulling her away from the stove. “Go, Angel.”
Looking back over her shoulder, she caught his worried expression. “Um, I’ll finish the—” What had she been doing before Allen arrived? Oh, yeah, “… the bruschetta—when I get back.”
“I’ll take care of the bruschetta, too,” Marc said, placing an arm around her back and guiding her to the doorway. Her body tingled at his touch. “Go. Now.”
Why the rush to get rid of her? Were they going to report the incident with Allen to the police? She pointed her finger at each of them. “Promise you won’t do anything stupid while I’m gone, like call the police.”
They exchanged a glance that didn’t reassure her in the least, but both nodded her toward the hallway, saying “Go,” simultaneously. She’d have to trust them to respect her wishes. But would they just go after Allen themselves when they left here tonight?
Dio, save me from overprotective men!
MEET Kallypso Masters
Kallypso Masters is a USA Today Bestselling Author with half-a-million copies of her books sold in paperbacks and e-books since August 2011. Her most popular series is the Rescue Me Saga and she’s now working on book seven. All of her books feature alpha males, strong women, and happy endings because those are her favorite stories to read. After dabbling in writing since high school (a very long time ago!), she’s living her dream.
An eighth-generation Kentuckian, Kally has launched the new Bluegrass Spirits series, supernatural Contemporary Romances set in some of her favorite places in her home state.
Kally has been living her own happily ever after 35 years with her hubby, known to her readers as Mr. Ray. They have two adult children, a rescued dog, and a rescued cat. And, as her Facebook friends and followers know, Kally lives for visits with her adorable grandson, Erik, who was the inspiration for the character Derek in Jesse’s Hideout (Bluegrass Spirits #1).