by Cristin Harber
Published July 25th 2017 by Mill Creek Press
“My name’s Victoria—No last name. Don’t ask.”
That was all that the woman would share when Delta team’s expert trigger man, an Australian named Ryder, pulled her from the pits of a human trafficking nightmare and took the gun from her hand.
He didn’t mean to steal her revenge but survival was the priority. Now that Victoria was home? She had a past he was trying to understand while keeping a secret from her that might tear her apart.
But he’s not the only one. When she goes missing, Delta team discovers that Victoria No Name was a one-woman vigilante force, taking on whoever crossed her path, from gun runners to a drug pushing motorcycle club.
She was exactly who Ryder thought she might be, and now he was coming in to help—whether she wanted backup or not.
It was just the two of them, and carefully, as though he had to plant one footstep in front of the other, he made his way closer but stopped parallel, not coming close to the edge of the mattress.
“Hi.” She finally managed to get over her aversion to the spoken word around him. “I didn’t think I’d see you again.”
Odd, how there was a two-foot gap between him and her bed, but he seemed miles away. Ryder had seen her in her most needy, most vulnerable moments, but now they had this awkward threshold of appropriateness. Forget that he pulled a gun from her hand so she didn’t murder a bastard. Forget how she fell apart, crying and shaking, exhausted after weeks of living in fear of Ivan Mikhailov.
Ryder had barely said a word, and that was what she needed: to be held for hours and cry. He didn’t make her talk about it. Not a single word. She let it all out. But why was he here now?
God, he was such a beautiful man. A protective one. Her eyes dropped to his arms, and she remembered how safe they made her feel.
She sank back into the mess of covers, letting it swallow her alive. If she wasn’t broken or depressed, she’d be attracted to him. But she was so damn tired. Victoria closed her eyes. Tired, broken. Ruined, probably. Would she feel anything again except for this all-encompassing shame from not keeping herself safe? No. The likely answer was no.
“Mia mentioned you hadn’t come out much.”
When she’d been held against her will in Russia, living in a room with a dozen other girls, she’d been the strong one, the one they turned to and relied on. She was strong for them, for herself. Victoria had promised there would be a way out of hell, that they would go back to wherever they came from, and she’d been right.
Except now she didn’t want to face Mia and could barely look at Ryder.
“Victoria?” Ryder’s low voice was like a soothing touch. “Is there anything I can do?”
She wanted another hug. Instead of asking, she squeezed her eyes shut. “I don’t know.”
“I’m going to sit right here.” The side of the mattress dipped slightly under his weight.
She didn’t say anything, but she nodded, not trusting her voice to lie to him again. What was it about him? Needing him close? Of course, she cared. He protected her, saved her when she couldn’t do that for herself.
ABOUT CRISTIN HARBER
Cristin Harber is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author. She writes sexy, steamy romantic suspense and military romance. Readers voted her onto Amazon’s Top Picks for Debut Romance Authors in 2013, and her debut Titan series was both a #1 romantic suspense and #1 military romance bestseller. http://cristinharber.com/
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