Warning: Panty melting! Claim Me Hard is book 2 in the wildly dirty series where two obsessed alpha cowboys meet their Type-A heroine. This standalone HEA is all about her – no M/M.
Check out the exclusive excerpt below!
I was the first one up the next morning and I was glad to have the privacy. Ever since Hannah told us her story the night before, I’d been dying to do a little digging and see what I could find out about the asshole who had her running scared. The best way to beat an opponent was to know where he was coming from and how he thought.
What I found made my stomach turn. A military guy through and through, someone like Lieutenant Colonel Bradley S. Madison was bound to have connections. I was amazed he hadn’t found Hannah by now, only proving how under-the-radar our girl had gone. No credit cards. No ATMs, no cell phone. Nothing to make a blip on any searches. Until yesterday.
With her first and middle name in the local paper, it was just a matter of time. At least we knew what was coming. I’d spread the word to Jessie, Sally and Violet Kane. They’d take it from there and the entire town would know to keep an eye out for a stranger, and on Hannah. If we were lucky, Brad would have moved on from this obsession—but I wasn’t about to count on that.
I’d been around long enough to know once an abuser, always an abuser. And Hannah had gotten away, which would have pissed him off. He’d have to track her down just to win this battle. He wasn’t going to let a mere woman slip through his fingers.
Like Cole told Hannah the night before, while we liked to have control and were possessive, this fucker was obsessive. He’d even come after her at the hospital where she worked. No wonder she’d been so freaked when we went all dominant with her.
It wasn’t just Hannah he’d fucked with. He had a history of abuse, from what I could dig up. His ex prior to Hannah had gotten a restraining order against the bastard, which was public record, and I had no doubt she lived in fear. That order was just a piece of paper, not a shield against danger.
Part of me hoped he would come to Bridgewater so I could show him what it meant to be on the receiving end of a beating. Men who hit women were the weakest men alive.
When Hannah and Cole came downstairs, I briefed them over coffee on what I’d found and my plan going forward. I saw her wince when I mentioned telling Jessie and some others so they could help keep an eye out. It was clear she didn’t relish the idea of sharing her story, but she didn’t fight us on it either. I had to hope this meant she was done running and was ready to fight, especially with an entire town behind her.
“I just wish I wasn’t putting you all through this,” she said. She glanced down at her mug.
I wrapped my arms around her and pulled her close. “What did we tell you last night? It’s an honor and a privilege for us to take care of you.”
She rested her head against my chest, but kept quiet.
I gave her ass a light slap. “Do we have to teach you another lesson?”
She laughed at the reminder and the sound had me and Cole sharing a smile. It had been too long since we’d heard her laugh. But hopefully now that her secrets were out in the open, she could have a fresh start with us here in Bridgewater. With everything going on in her life, I knew better than to push her on that topic so soon. First, we’d deal with Brad and then we’d worry about how to make sure our woman stayed here with us for good.
I dropped a kiss on top of her head and started to pull away. “I’d love to spend the morning with you two, but I’ve got to get to work.”
Hannah perked up. “Can I get a ride back to town? I need to get to the diner early.”
“You working the breakfast shift?” Cole asked, knowing it wasn’t her normal work hours.
She shook her head. “No, but there’s someone who might be there who I’d like to talk to.”
Vanessa Vale is the USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books, sexy romance novels, including her popular Bridgewater historical romance series and hot contemporary romances featuring unapologetic bad boys who don’t just fall in love, they fall hard. When she’s not writing, Vanessa savors the insanity of raising two boys, is figuring out how many meals she can make with a pressure cooker, and teaches a pretty mean karate class. While she’s not as skilled at social media as her kids, she loves to interact with readers.