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(The Paladin League, #4)
Publication date: August 15th 2022
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Special Forces Sgt. Kyle Winter’s vow to stay far away from the nun he can’t get out of his head is blown to pieces when he’s assigned to work undercover at the convent. The arms dealer his team is after has been showing too much interest in the place and his captain wants to know why. How hard can it be to avoid Sister Sexy anyway?
Marianna Castillo is desperate. So desperate, she’s disguised herself as a nun, and hidden in a convent. She’s been running for more than two years, staying one step ahead of the arms dealer trying to kill her. He can’t allow her to live, not when she knows a secret that can destroy him. And now he’s watching the convent.
Mari needs help, but the person with the skills to keep her safe can’t be trusted. A mercenary’s loyalty is always for sale to the highest bidder, and the man who wants her dead can pay him a fortune.
But as the arms dealer closes in, she has to make a choice. Keep running or trust Kyle to fight beside her to reclaim her life.
Trujillo, Puerto Jardin
After finishing his sandwich, Kyle quietly sipped his coffee and waited. There was no guarantee she’d be here today. Just because he’d seen her on a Thursday didn’t mean anything. The nuns probably came to the open-air market multiple times a week. Maybe they had a rotation and there was no telling which day would be assigned to her. Maybe she rarely drew market duty.
Maybe, but Kyle was here anyway.
He shouldn’t be doing this. Not only because his captain would be irate, but because he was attracted to her. Very attracted.
Nothing would come of it. He’d been raised in Catholic boarding schools across South America and respected the sisters. He might have stopped going to mass after his father died, but Kyle hadn’t strayed so far that he’d make a play for a nun.
No, he was here because he was sure she was in trouble. When she’d looked around the market three weeks ago, there’d been terror in her eyes. Something scared her to death and he wanted to know what.
And he wanted to help.
Kyle wasn’t like his buddy, Griff. He didn’t rush to every woman’s rescue. But he did have a soft spot for nuns.
Sweat ran down his cheek, and he absently wiped it away. He was dressed in camo fatigue pants, combat boots, an olive-drab T-shirt with a long-sleeved camouflage shirt to hide his weapons, and the dark green Toros baseball cap he’d appropriated from Griff’s woman when she’d left for the States. It wouldn’t matter what he wore, though. It was hot.
Trujillo was close enough to the equator and the tropical rainforest that drinking coffee wasn’t a pleasure. He sipped anyway because it gave him a reason to be sitting in the market, and because he was addicted to caffeine.
The place became busier as it got closer to lunch, but still no sign of the nuns. Kyle was reasonably certain she was part of La Convento de Madres Fieles. It was the nearest abbey to the market, and it sure looked as if the sisters walked here to shop.
He bought a second coffee. Another half hour passed. He was about to give up when he saw the flash of black in his peripheral vision. Kyle turned. The nuns were at the market, but they were too far away to know if his sister was part of the trio.
They wore short tunics again, ending above their knees—not too surprising given the heat—but they had full coifs and veils, and were carrying string bags. He felt for them. They must be more uncomfortable than he was.
Keeping them in the edge of his vision, Kyle turned his attention toward the produce stall across from his position. If today was like the previous weeks, they’d head there to buy their fruit, and he didn’t want to show interest in them.
They grew closer. His nun was one of the sisters today.
Again, her legs were the first thing he noticed, and he had to force his gaze to her face. He guessed she was in her mid-twenties. In the US, it might be surprising, but not in Puerto Jardin where many young women went into the church. One of her group said something and she smiled briefly.
He forgot to breathe. Even without makeup, she was beautiful. High cheekbones, big, dark eyes, and full, kissable lips. Easily one of the most stunning women he’d ever laid eyes on.
None of the nuns he’d had in school looked like her.
Patti O’Shea’s passions are writing, airplanes and traveling. Fortunately, she’s been able to enjoy all three. After receiving a degree in advertising copywriting, she took a job with a major U.S. airline and now works in 757 Engineering. Besides teaching her about the planes she loves, it’s given her an opportunity to travel to places like Australia, Papua New Guinea and Canada’s Yukon Territory.
Writing, though, remains her primary love. Patti created her first romance when she was in junior high school and has been hooked ever since. She should have figured out she was a writer years earlier, however, since her dolls had such involved lives, complete with goals, motivation and conflict.