Some passwords protect more than just secrets.
Danny Caruso was glad to be back in the United States, back to his regular job. Back to his comfortable routine of all work and no play. But when his friend Mac asks a favor of him, he can’t refuse. He owes the guy everything. So he accepts the job, even though it means a twenty-four/seven protection detail guarding a particularly exacerbating—and beautiful—woman.
Braelyn Edwards is careful to stay out of the spotlight, preferring to hide in the background and skip the trappings of a vibrant social life. But her privacy is threatened when there’s an attempt on her life and a bodyguard is foisted on her. Compounding problems? He doesn’t just want to protect her. He wants to investigate every detail of her life, starting with her top-secret job.
Danny casts his sights on Charlie Park, her co-worker, her partner… the one man who knows all Braelyn’s secrets. She’s frustrated by the distrust until she realizes jealousy fuels Danny’s suspicions as much as instinct and proof. One of them is right about Charlie—but by the time they figure it out, it may be too late to save their relationship. And Braelyn’s life.
Password is my first Staci Troilo book, so wasn’t sure what I would think of it.
I needn’t have worried.
There was brilliant scene-setting throughout, with interesting and vibrant characters, all wrapped up in a totally realistic and believable scenario.
Braelyn Edwards first struck me as an ordinary working girl, hardly someone who would need a bodyguard. But someone had attacked her, so she could be hiding a secret. Danny Caruso has trouble believing she is innocent too, although she seems so ordinary. He is convinced she had to be mistaken for somebody else.
She mysteriously denies knowing of any reason for the attack, and this is when their incredibly fast-paced banter begins. The chemistry between them fizzles with electricity, and I ended up enamoured by the two of them to such an extent that I forgot all about the plot. I just wanted to watch and listen to the two of them together. I suspect we are seeing the birth of a relationship that will sell a lot of books!
The ending was unexpected, with a very clever twist I didn’t see coming.
Staci Troilo has created two masterful characters for this first book in the series, roll on the next one!
Excerpt from Password
Danny blew out the candles then wrapped a towel around his waist. He surveyed the room by the light coming in from the bedroom. Half the water had splashed out of the tub and pooled on the tile floor.
“Seems we made a mess.”
“It’ll clean easily enough.” Braelyn yanked the towel off him and dropped it on the floor, then she used her foot to sop up some of the soapy puddles.
“And why is it I’m standing here naked but you still have your towel?”
“I have more to cover.”
“That’s not a logical argument.”
She shrugged. “Okay. I’d rather look at you than me.”
He grinned and reached for her towel. “But I’d rather look at you.”
Braelyn danced out of the way. “Sorry. Besides, if someone out there is going to play Peeping Tom, I’d prefer they peep you.”
He stooped down and gathered the discarded clothes. Both his and hers were wet from the water that had sloshed out of the tub, so he didn’t bother suggesting either of them dress. Things were more fun when they were naked, anyway.
“Speaking of, we need to get away from the windows and back to the closet.”
“Race you!” She dashed out of the room. Danny smiled and gave chase. They spent the rest of the night on the air mattress in the closet, exploring each other’s bodies until they fell into restful sleep, their arms and legs entwined in a sensual embrace. He woke naked and warm with a smile on his face. First time that had happened in… longer than he could count. The smile part, anyway. His phone beeped, signaling a text, and he rolled away to retrieve it from the floor. He glanced at the message and swore under his breath.
Braelyn stirred when he pulled away. Sat when he cursed under his breath. “What’s going on?” Her hair was mussed, her eyes only half-opened. She yawned, stretched, and wrapped the sheet around her while she waited for his answer. She’d never looked better to him. All the more reason to enjoy the moment while it lasted, which would only be a few more seconds. When he told her what he’d just learned, the serene expression on her face would be gone.