Lies. Betrayal. A million-dollar bounty.
After an undercover mission goes awry, DEA agent Jarrett Brandt hides out in the last place he wants to be—his hometown. Now he’s stuck with his judgmental parents and the memory of his perfect brother hanging over his head. His one bright light? Marissa Reinn Brandt—his high school sweetheart and former sister-in-law.
Marissa lost Jarrett once before. No way will she let him back in; then her son offers him their guestroom. His wicked charm and smoldering stares are hard to resist, but she’ll make him work to reclaim his spot in her bed.
When his enemies close in, how will Jarrett keep Marissa and her son safe, or will he lose his shot at redemption?
– A Hero’s Heart is a smoking hot second chance, romantic suspense novella. No cheating. HEA guaranteed.
– Second edition. Newly revised and edited.
Marissa tossed and turned in bed. How could she fall asleep with Jarrett in the next room? A few beams, insulation, and drywall separated them, but his harsh words had thrown up a barricade around her heart. She shouldn’t be jealous of his past lovers, but didn’t he want more than meaningless flings? Didn’t he want a wife or family?
A strange noise rumbled from somewhere in the house. She closed her eyes and breathed deep, soothing her racing heart. The wind rattled the house and the old drainpipe outside her window. Had she imagined the—no, there! The noise resounded again. A moan, perhaps? She headed toward Jason’s bedroom until the rough, guttural groan pivoted her back down the hall to the guestroom. Should she invade his privacy? As he moaned again, she opened the door just enough to slip inside and closed it behind her.
Jarrett shivered under the twisted blankets and swiped out his arm in a defensive motion. The faint light cutting between the slats of the blinds gleamed off his sweaty chest and arms.
“Shh. It’s all right. Wake up.” She grasped his shoulder and lightly shook him. His strong hand grabbed her wrist and yanked her across the bed. Oomph! Air rushed from her lungs. Something silver flashed in the light. Oh my God. Her heart slammed against her ribs. She peered up at Jarrett as he pressed a knife to her throat and straddled her. Savagery darkened his brown eyes nearly black. The words on her tongue died with the cold metal blade against her windpipe.
Jarrett blinked. His eyes narrowed, then widened. He leapt away from her and dropped the knife.
She shot upright and clutched her throat, gasping for air.
“Are you okay?” He held out both arms and stepped toward her.
She scurried back and hit the headboard.
“Fucking hell. I’m sorry. I’m so fucking sorry.” He trembled and fisted his hair. His chest rose and fell like a piston. “Marissa, answer me. Are you okay? Did I cut you?”
She pulled back her hand—no blood—and swallowed hard. “I-I’m fine. Just a little shaken.”
“It was a reflex. I didn’t mean to attack you. I didn’t know who you were. God, I’m sorry. Are you sure you’re okay?”
She nodded as his rambling words sliced through the haze clouding her mind. The choppy air entering and leaving her lungs evened out as she rubbed the goosebumps from her arms.
“What are you doing in here?”
“I heard you moaning and thought you were in trouble. You shook and jerked as if you were in pain. I tried to wake you…” she trailed off as her throat tightened.
“And I grabbed you.” Jarrett scowled at the discarded knife and locked his hands behind his back. Shadows deepened the creases bracketing his mouth and the splotches under his eyes. “I’m sorry. I would never hurt you, not intentionally. I swear.”
She wrapped the blanket around her. Why hadn’t she dragged on a pair of pants? Her T-shirt and panties left little to the imagination, as did Jarrett’s snug underwear.
He grabbed his jeans from the floor and dressed. “May I sit with you?” After she nodded, he claimed the spot beside her and grasped her shaky hand. “Please tell me what to do. I can’t stand seeing fear in your eyes.”
“I-I’m just in shock,” she stuttered and pulled from his grip. “No one has ever jabbed a knife against my throat.” She had to breathe, think, calm down, but Jarrett’s sudden ferocity scared the hell out of her. Perhaps he was right? Was he someone she didn’t want to know? Damn it, no. She knew this man. Despite the trouble he’d been in or whatever he had done, he was a decent person down deep. She would bet her life on it. But what about the life of her son? “Why did you attack me? What made you think you were threatened? You’re safe here.”
His Adam’s apple bobbed. “I know I am. I don’t know what came over me. I don’t know why I did that.”
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