Series: Hollywood Hitmen, Book 1
Author: Maggie Marr
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Hot Hollywood Nights… Box office breaker, Natalie Warner might be the Princess of Tinseltown, but she’s a starlet with a bad attitude, a frightening past, and a stalker. Former SEAL Beck Tatum has a mission and no patience for Hollywood bad girls. He must protect Natalie and stay out of her bed–both missions seem nearly impossible.
Natalie Warner can’t ignore the risk any longer. A star on the rise, her latest film is on track to be the biggest box office breaker of the summer but Natalie isn’t safe. Someone is after her. Could it be her angry addict father or her mother who always wanted to be a star herself? What about her ex-boyfriend who just did time? The Studio refuses to ignore the threat and forces Natalie to take on a bodyguard, but that bodyguard comes in the shape of rugged, irresistible Beck Tatum, because whoever is after Natalie isn’t going to stop until someone makes them.
A question, wrapped in a riddle, Beck Tatum doesn’t know what part of the government he worked for before he lost his memory or what exactly his mission was. He can remember that he loved and that he lost that woman as well as his memories on that final mission. Now with a second chance, he’s assigned to protect a high-value asset. Rich and entitled but yet kind and vulnerable, Natalie Warner isn’t the spoiled rich woman Beck expected. But falling for her would put her life on the line and Beck isn’t about to lose anything else.
Maggie Marr is the author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She writes smart, sexy, women and the men they love. She got her start in Hollywood pushing the mail cart at ICM, but quickly rose through the ranks to become a motion picture literary agent. As well as writing, she maintains a boutique legal practice dedicated to the needs of creatives & entrepreneurs. She is the current President of Los Angeles Romance Authors (LARA) and legal adviser to the Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA). Maggie loves all things pop culture and when she isn’t taking care of her clients or writing she can be found reading, chasing kids, or exercising her rescue pup
Beck welcomed darkness. The night was a cloak of anonymity that provided him with a freedom the daylight never did. When he chose to be, Beck was soundless in his movements. Swift and stealthy under the cover of night, he could move before anyone knew of his presence. You didn’t get nineteen confirmed kills without embracing silence.
He entered Natalie’s bedroom. Moonlight glanced through the window and shone on her face. Her dark hair lay like liquid night on a pillow. Those perfect lips barely parted. Her sleep was peaceful. Restful. A thought . . . a memory . . . a moment from before, with Marisol, flashed through Beck’s mind like lightning in a summer sky, then was gone.
Natalie was tough. She might appear like a sexy girly-girl, but with all the treachery she’d endured from her family and friends, she’d developed a thick hide to survive and thrive.
Beck circled the room. Tested the locks on the French doors that led to the balcony. Her room was on the second floor, but if a person was determined they’d find a way to get inside. He scanned the bathroom. Pretty damn swank. Next was the walk-in closet, which was bigger than his last apartment and filled with more shit than one of those fancy-ass high-end department stores.
He circled back to the bedroom and stopped beside Natalie’s bed. She had no reason to trust Beck. All the people in her life had failed her when she’d trusted them. Why would she expect anything different from him?
Because Beck wouldn’t fail. Not again. Not this time.
“What are you doing in my room?”
“The first letters?” Beck stood in the main operations room with Remi. He opened the file. He’d read and reread the letters and the file over the last two days. Each letter had a different picture of Natalie Warner cut from a magazine with a giant red X through the photo. Beneath the photo of Natalie, in an angry red scrawl, were the words Kill The Whore.
“They came back clean without prints. Mailed from varying locations in Los Angeles, so nothing there. They’ve escalated to following her. They tailed her all the way home last week.”
Beck looked up from the papers.
Remi shook his head. “No plates. You have everything you need?”
“Sounds like she’s a tough one.”
“Doesn’t trust anyone. Family isn’t supportive. Major daddy issues, so her choices in regards to men haven’t been wise. Leaves lots of possibilities for potential stalkers. Could be someone who knows her, a stranger, or some random she took home.”
“Studio doesn’t want them, she doesn’t want them. She doesn’t want us either but the studio is bringing us in. They prefer discretion, especially with the Shemax premiere coming up.”
Beck looked back at the tablet. In her picture, Natalie Warner didn’t look too tough or too wild. A sadness in her eyes made Beck doubt there were as many random hookups in her life as Remi thought.
“We need to put you in place today. You ready?”
Beck looked around the room and out the giant windows and toward the L.A. cityscape in the distance. “Yeah, I’m ready.”
His stomach tightened. On most missions he was sent in to kill people, but on this one he was meant to make certain Natalie Warner wasn’t killed
And his responsibility.
Like a sucker punch to the gut, the realization hit him harder than it had before when they’d first arrived. He didn’t flinch, didn’t move a muscle on his face, but slid his gaze toward Remi. The lift on one corner of Remi’s mouth told Beck that Remi completely understood. Hence the hefty salary, the long folder, and full-on psychological profile of Miss Warner that Beck had been presented with over the last three days.
“Miss Warner.” Beck voice was smooth and firm. “I’m afraid we have to decline.”
The skin on her arms prickled and she stiffened with his words. Her back went ramrod straight and away went the gorgeous breasts. Conflicted. She was conflicted by her physical attraction to Beck and her dislike of being rejected. She licked her lips and pulled her hair behind her ear. Her entire demeanor shifted from sultry sexpot to spurned child. Yeah, with that body, those eyes, and all that fame, Natalie wasn’t rejected often.
“So you do know who I am.”
Her smoldering gaze went arctic frigid faster than a bullet split bone.
“No”—she tossed her head and tilted her chin upward—“everyone just thinks they do.”
Details. The Agency had schooled him on those types of miniscule details. Those teeny tiny details conveyed the reality and facts of a situation. Nothing escaped Beck’s eye. Nothing.
He took the final step into the atrium, and he’d summed up this guy, knew he was left-handed and had an injury in his right leg. Yeah, he had him all summed up, but didn’t know what the fuck the guy wanted with him.
“Beck Tatum, I’m Remi Prince.” He grasped Beck’s hand. A firm shake. His gaze locked with Beck’s. “I have a proposition for you.”
Natalie’s breath stalled in her chest. Those eyes. Sharp blue pierced through the restaurant and stole her breath. He didn’t drop his gaze. Most men, the moment they realized that she was the Natalie Warner, grew uncomfortable in their own skin or became bravado-machismo, as though they were suddenly hunting big game and she was the trophy.
Not this guy. His gaze remained locked to hers. He didn’t caress her body with his eyes, he didn’t wink or smile, he didn’t even acknowledge her celebrity. He simply looked at her.
Heat flew through her. Well-worn feelings of fear and loneliness dissipated beneath his stare. That man, a man she didn’t even know, was built to protect.
“Get some sleep.” Beck’s gaze slid over her outline under her comforter. What would it feel like to slide beneath the comforter and wrap his arms around her? Keep her safe and in his arms.
He wouldn’t find out.
“I’ll be right outside your room.”
Fire crackled between them. He’d be a fool to ignore the attraction. Better to acknowledge the want, if only to himself, so he could assess and insulate against his own weaknesses.
“Just say my name and I’m here.”
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