Harlequin Intrigue\Shotgun Weddings
Excerpt from book:
Someone put out a hit on Parker Payne.
The statement echoed inside Parker's head, but it wasn't the only echo. His ears rang yet from the blast of the explosion that had sent him to the hospital and two Payne Protection Agency employees to the morgue.
Guilt and pain clutched his heart. He was supposed to have been inside that SUV, not Douglas and Terry. But, totally unaware of the bomb that had been wired to the ignition, they had jumped inside his vehicle for a lunch run. He'd been rushing out to catch them to change an order, but he had been too late. Doug turned the key, and the SUV exploded into bits of glass and scraps of metal. Two good men died, leaving behind wives and children.
It should have been Parker. Not only did he have no wife or child to leave behind, but he was actually the one whom somebody wanted dead.
He fought against the pain and confusion of the concussion that had his head pounding and his vision blurred. So he closed his eyes and tried to focus on the conversation swirling around his hospital bed.
His mother fussed. "We should take this conversation into the hall so that Parker can get some rest." Her fingers skimmed across his forehead, like they had when he'd been a little boy with a fever or a scraped knee or when his father died. She had always been there for her kids even though she hadn't had anyone to be there for her.
He caught her hand and gently squeezed her fingers in reassurance. She had to be scared at how close she had come to losing a child. In the past two weeks, there had been several attempts on his brother Cooper's life and on his twin Logan's life. But most of those attempts had really been meant to end his life.
Logan bossed. "We need to find out who the hell put out the hit." Then his tone turned suspicious, so he must have been addressing one of his new in-laws, when he added, "Unless you already know. Your contacts must have told you who when they told you about the hit."
The guy cursed Logan, so he must have been the hotheaded Garek instead of the milder-mannered Milek Kozminski. "If I knew who the hell it is, I would have told youthe monster put my sister in danger."
Parker forced open his eyes, but he had to squint against the glare of the overhead lights and the sunlight streaming through the blinds. His head pounded harder, but it was more with guilt than pain. Stacy Kozminski-Payne had been through a lot recently, most of it because of him. He focused on his new sister-in-law. The tawny-haired woman stood between her husband and her brother, as if ready to stop a brawl. It was probably a position in which she would find herself for most of her marriage.
But then his twin did something Logan rarely did; he apologized. "Sorry, man. I know you would do anything to protect your sister."
Garek nodded in acceptance of the apology and continued, "The only thing I know for certain is that it's somebody who has a lot of money and influence."
"You and Milek need to reach out to all your contacts and see what you can find out." Logan resumed his bossing. As CEO of Payne Protection Agency and the oldest Payne sibling by ten minutes, he'd gotten good at giving out orders.
But the Kozminskis weren't known for taking orders well, so Parker waited for them to bristle. Instead Milek asked, "Are you really hiring us?"
Payne Protection Agency was a security firm that Logan had founded when he'd left the police department a few years ago. He'd coerced Parker into leaving the force, too, and joining him. Logan had always been very selective about who he hiredthat was why Terry and Douglas had been such gIN LISA CHILDS'S SHOTGUN WEDDINGS MINISERIES, A CONFIRMED BACHELOR MUST WALK DOWN THE AISLE TO PROTECT HIS NEWBORN SON
Someone is trying to kill bodyguard Parker Payne. But what's more shocking is the woman who shows up claiming he's the father of her child. The baby boy is Parker's spitting image, but how could he have forgotten a passionate encounter with this woman with caramel eyes?
Sharon Wells has raised Parker's son since his birth. Now with a homicidal maniac coming after her and her son, it's Parker's unexpected proposal that may be the real danger. Sharon knows Parker just wants to protect them. But with passion flaring and a murderer intent on completing his personal mission, any distraction could mean the difference between life and death.