LAST FIRST KISS by Sidney Halston
Publication Date: August 29, 2017
ISBN: 9781250132444; Price: $3.99
He’s an A-list Hollywood heartthrob.
She’s trying to prove herself in a man’s world.
For this female bodyguard, protecting her client is simply business, but what happens when sparks fly and the danger heats up?
After a series of box office flops, Rocco Monroe needs a hit. Bad press, shit talking, rumors, lies…it all goes with the territory after almost two decades in the spotlight, but when he lands the role of his career in a controversial biopic, the part of a lifetime comes with a catch: a hired bodyguard.
Annabelle Clad is so bored she wants to scream. Her life is coding and algorithms and binary codes…rinse and repeat. To her Rocco Monroe means freedom, a chance to show her overprotective brother and business partner that she can contribute to Iron Clad Securities. And no arrogant playboy will fuck up her concentration by batting his lashes at her. She would never jeopardize her reputation by swooning over any man.
That had happened once, and she wouldn’t bear that loss or humiliation ever again. Even if Rocco looks like a walking fantasy…
From USA Today bestselling author Sidney Halston comes the second book in the Iron-Clad series, Last First Kiss.
“Your security system is pretty pathetic.”
He stopped walking and turned. “You haven’t even seen it yet.”
“I’ve seen enough to know. You’re too famous to have such a shitty system.”
“This is Miami. Not LA. I’m not that big of a deal here.”
That was bullshit. He was known everywhere. But it did make her wonder . . . “How come you don’t live in LA?”
“I grew up here and I’ve always liked it,” he replied simply as they reached the landing on the second floor. He walked through a set of double doors and placed her bag next to the bed. “I thought you’d like this room.” He then walked over to a balcony and swung open the doors. “It’s has a view of the bay.”
The walls were painted a soft blue, with white billowing sheer curtains. A big wrought-iron bed with a bedspread in different shades of light blue was the focal point of the room. It was soft and simple and just beautiful.
“It’s . . .” she wasn’t sure what words to use as she ran her fingers across the soft silk of the bedding.
She felt him behind her, close . . . too close. He wasn’t touching her but she could feel his breath on the back of her neck. “Soft. Feminine.”
She turned and swallowed, suddenly nervous at his nearness. And what made it even worse (or better) was that he didn’t move away, he didn’t do anything but look at her in a way she couldn’t interpret. His eyes roamed over her hair and face for a little too long and she didn’t look away, even when she felt her cheeks flush and her heart begin to hammer against her chest, she kept her hazel eyes on his blue ones. “Thank you for agreeing to this,” he said softly.
She was sure he was going to kiss her—positive.
But then he took a step back.
And all she could focus on was not the fact he hadn’t kissed her, but the fact that she hadn’t made a single attempt to stop him.
“This room okay?”
Feminine. Soft. Those were not words anyone would ever use to describe her. Including herself.
His eyes were on hers, searching. Then he reached forward, startling her, and pulled her sunglasses off her face, his thumb gently grazing her temple. She tried not to jump, even though it felt so foreign. “I prefer to look you in the eyes instead of at my own reflection.”
She hadn’t even realized she still had them on. Everything about this man made her do stupid things. Feel inappropriate things. When he didn’t look away, she took her glasses from his hand and stepped away, busying herself with her bag. “I know what you’re doing and we should really talk about setting up some ground rules.”
“What am I doing, Annie?”
She turned and walked out to the balcony. Talking to him made her feel uncomfortable. This was going to be a problem. How could she protect someone she felt all sorts of unusual feelings for? She could barely even look the man in the eye, for crying out loud!
“You’re thinking you can woo me into bed with you. I’m sure all those women you’ve dated dropped their panties at a smile from you, but you should know I’m not like any other woman. I can’t be wooed and I’m definitely not your type.”
From behind she heard him chuckle. “Oh, trust me. I know you’re not like any other woman. And since you think you know my type, I’m assuming you’ve been doing a little research on me? That’s good, I thought you didn’t know who I was.”
She swallowed and looked away. “You’re so full of shit. Everyone knows who you are. Doesn’t mean anything.”
“Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret: I looked you up too.”
Annabelle Clad grew up with 4 overprotective brothers who all went into various branches of the military including Joey who is half owner of Iron Clad Security with his best friend Jax. She went into the Army herself and became a decorated member of the military police, but her time overseas taught her about love and the devastation of heartbreak and pain. Now in her mid-20s, she is the office manager for ICS keeping Joey, Jax and their whole team in line while being a certified badass in her own right with both computer coding and combat skills. Now if she can just convince her uber-protective misogynistic pigheaded brother to give her a chance to put those skills to use in the field…
Rocco Monroe is an A-list Hollywood star but at 37 he needs to remain relevant and a box office draw if he doesn’t want to fade into the background. His latest movie, a biopic about a Colombian drug lord, is his chance to earn an Oscar nod and he is excited to take on the challenge, but outrage of the Colombian people is growing over an American portraying a man beloved by many there and threats against Rocco and the cast are starting to roll in. When the studio approaches ICS for protective services for Rocco, he is annoyed but his contract doesn’t give him the option of saying no to a bodyguard. When he walks through the door he doesn’t expect the gut punch he experiences when he spots the stunner sitting at the conference table.
Annie tries to be unaffected by the Hollywood royalty in the room, and it doesn’t take long before his attitude completely pisses her off. She lets her temper get the best of her to Joey and Jax’s mortification, but her fire only serves to seal the deal for Rocco: he wants her as his bodyguard and no one else. Things are about to get interesting! Rocco doesn’t really take the threats seriously, but if it means he gets to spend the next 4 months with a women who simultaneously turns him on and scares him with her willingness to run straight toward danger, he’ll take it. Now Annie just has to keep that giant wall she has built around her heart in place.
As a woman in a man’s world, she has to work twice as hard to be taken seriously, and although working with Rocco is a great opportunity, she feels like having to play his girlfriend just undermines her credibility. Growing up in a male dominated household didn’t help, and most of the time she defaults to tomboy or badass mode; she doesn’t really know how to do the girly-girl thing and it contributes to some of her insecurities. She goes into it with attitude and a chip on her shoulder, but it doesn’t take long to realize the image of the man in the media is not the real Rocco. He treats her with respect, he lives well below his means, and his charitable work that he purposely keeps out of the media spotlight is endearing. Slowly she lets her guard down and gives him rare insight into her mind that even her family isn’t allowed, and the slow burn builds to a crescendo. Giving in to temptation can mean loss of both her credibility and the job, but it gets harder and harder to say no.
In the meantime, incidents involving Rocco start to escalate and it becomes clear to her that the threat to his life should be taken seriously. Unfortunately his spoiled diva co-star whom he dated years ago is making life challenging despite the fact that she is now married- yeah, she’s a real piece of work. When Rocco and Annie finally decide to throw caution to the wind behind closed doors, that’s when I really fell for him. His heart is all in, he is a great mix of take charge, sweet and sexy, and she finally lets her mind shut down enough to let him take control for once. But outside the bedroom, Rocco doesn’t seem to want to acknowledge that the threat is real and he has a real issue with his caveman instincts when it comes to his woman protecting him despite his acknowledgment of her skills so Annie has her work cut out for her. Things get dicey before it is all resolved but of course it all works out in the end after a few scares and bumps in the road.
Last First Kiss was definitely an enjoyable read and a great addition to the series!
ALSO AVAILABLE NOW
Kiss Marry Kill- Jax and Megan’s story
He’s been chasing a memory . . .
It was just supposed to be a regular Thursday afternoon…and then he saw her. Sitting in seat L214, one seat over from his at the baseball game, right next to her douche of a soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend. An impromptu kiss for the kiss cam, and Jax knew his life would never be the same. Five years and a tour in Afghanistan later, Jax is back stateside running his own private security firm, Iron-Clad, with his best friend. He isn’t the man he used to be… but Megan isn’t the sexy and sweet, though sheltered, twenty-two-year-old he left behind, either. And she’s in trouble.
…but now they’re on the run.
Megan Cruz has made something of herself. She’s turned her dreams of pop stardom into a reality. But when a deadly stalker breaks into her home claiming to be her number-one fan, the only person she can turn to is the boy who got away. But Jax isn’t the same carefree charmer who stole her heart, then broke it when he joined the military. This man is seductive, hard, guarded. And he’ll do anything to protect what’s his.
USA Today bestselling author Sidney Halston lives her life by one simple rule: “Just Do It” – Nike. And that’s exactly what she did. After working hard as an attorney, Sidney picked up a pen for the first time at thirty years old to begin her dream of writing. Having never written anything other than very exciting legal briefs, she found an outlet for her imaginative, romantic side and wrote Seeing Red. That first pen stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing. Sidney lives in South Florida with her husband and children. She loves her family above all else, and reading follows a close second. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading and reading and reading. She’s a reader first and a writer second. When she’s not writing or reading, her life is complete and utter chaos, trying to balance family life with work and writing (and reading). But she wouldn’t have it any other way.