Here is a little preview for Colin: Loving the Soldier!
Gina Hall put down her peach bellini and smiled as the waiter approached her table. She ignored the men at the bar doing their best to catch her eye.
Gina had already sent away three drinks. Why was she was so popular tonight? She’d intentionally dressed down so she wouldn’t draw attention. Maybe it was her look. She hadn’t seen anyone else in here tonight that resembled her. She looked nothing like the locals frequenting the jazz bar.
Gina scanned the room and smiled. Everyone in the bar looked like characters from a Norman Rockwell painting. She had to admit that although this wasn’t her typical venue for relaxation, she appreciated the calm spot in the bustling city.
Ever since she’d discovered it, she’d spent a lot of time there. Her choice was based more on the location than the atmosphere, but still, it was a cute spot.
Tiny Tiki statues were placed along the center of the bar. A variety of tea lights surrounded each one. The island theme even extended to the bathroom. Each stall was decorated with thick faux greenery. It created issues when she was navigating the tiny space, but it definitely added to the overall mood of the bar.
Mikey, her waiter, set a colossal platter down in front of her. Gina’s stomach growled as she inhaled.
Mikey smiled, “Garlic mussels, fried calamari, and house lobster rolls.”
“Thanks for the recommendation. This looks delicious, Mikey.”
Mikey had been her waiter of choice for the last few nights. The young man was both charming and kind.
Mikey had given her a lot of crucial advice about the local area, and that had made her transition to living on an island a bit easier.
For the first time in a long time, she didn’t pull out a file folder or her phone to work on. All she wanted tonight was a quiet night eating delicious food while staring at the tide making its way up the beach. Tonight was a time for reflection.
“I hope you enjoy it. This is my favorite dish at the restaurant. Just a heads up, another guy at the bar wants to buy you a drink. Do you want me to tell him no, as well?”
“Yeah, I’m not interested in anyone in here. I just want to spend tonight alone with this oversize bellini and some fantastic food.”
Mikey chuckled, “That sounds like a good plan to me. Well, I hope you enjoy it, and I’ll go over there and break the bad news to your growing fans.”
“If it helps, you can tell them I’m married,” Gina offered.
Mikey grinned, “Are you married?”
Gina sipped her drink, “I was. Does that count?”
“I don’t think it will stop the drinks from coming, but hey, it’s worth a shot,” Mikey said.
“Trust me they will have more fun with me over here,” Gina said.
She leaned back in her chair and looked around the room at the people laughing and drinking. “I’m sure they will find someone else to focus on eventually.”
Mikey nodded. “ I believe they will have something else to say about that. I’ll take these plates to the back and I’ll come back in a few minutes to check on you.”
Gina gave him a thumbs up and Mikey walked away chuckling.
Gina picked up her fork as she examined the feat in front of her. It was funny how much she’d come to appreciate the little things in life, like a good meal or a nice hotel.
The last few months had been filled with chaotic violence and new terrifying experiences. The unrelenting chaos was due in part to her primary goal at work.
Gina had dedicated the last few years of her life to catching one of the most notorious criminals in the EU.
The job had taken a toll on her marriage, her body, and her mental state. After all of that, she craved a gentler existence. No more late nights with little sleep and zero downtime. Gina had served the people for long enough.
She’d put away several high-profile criminals during her career, and the last one had nearly been her undoing.
No one had ever stepped up before to go after Neil Crawford. He was the kind of criminal that inspired fear in the hardest heart. His reputation was due in part to his lack of care for any form of human life.
Neil was the kind of man who relished the pain he inflicted on others. His skill set ensured no one was willing to turn on him. The potential harm for his kind of retaliation was too great.
It had taken every ounce of Gina’s intelligence to capture him, and in turn, he’d put a bounty on her head. She’d been lucky that she knew people who could help her.
The only person who’d actually assisted her in dismantling Neil’s enterprise was Alek Hansen.
Alek had kept her safe during the trial and he’d come to her aid again when Neil returned for revenge.
At that time Alek had been out of the country so he’d sent a friend to guard her. His friend’s name was Colin Richardson and he had shown up at just the right time.
She’d been in the process of trying to outrun what she believed to be a crazed jogger; when suddenly, like magic, Colin had appeared and immediately killed the man pursuing her.
The quiet soldier had spent the last few months shadowing her. During that time, Gina had grown used to his New York accent and his ability to make even the most mundane tasks fun.
Once they’d found out Neil was finally dead, he’d brought her to Australia to lay low. Although his prison had reported him as deceased, Colin and Alek wanted to see him for themselves.
They wanted to be sure before Gina officially left their protection. Lord knows how Colin was going to do that. There was no telling who had Neil’s body at this point. But if anyone could do it, it was him.
Colin Richardson had proven to her that he was capable of pretty much anything. The man also held an appeal that seemed to incapacitate her senses. Gina was still surprised by that.
In her lifetime she’d met many sexy men in her lifetime and none of them had made an impact on her. From his dark, thick hair to his sculpted physique, Gina was attracted to everything about him.
But even her attraction to Colin hadn’t distracted her from the fear Neil had created in her life.
Neil was a clinically diagnosed sadistic psychopath. The mark he’d made on her life was unmistakable and no one had been surprised when she’d chosen to leave the firm.
She had been struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder since she’d finished Neil’s case and she’d been more than ready for a change.
Still, it was hard to think about everything she’d given up. Once a terrifying solicitor with a penchant for winning now an anxious and paranoid recluse that was out of a job...