Hidden Heat

Hauberk Protection, Book 4

Sandy Hallquist is Hauberk’s administrative assistant. She works for the managers and has access to files many others do not. She’s efficient and she knows when to keep her mouth shut. Sandy is from Minnesota where her family is more than ready for her to get married, settle down and have children; all things Sandy doesn’t want. Living in Washington DC gives Sandy the freedom she desires. Now, if she can get up the nerve to go after one of the men she works for, Troy McPherson.

Troy works the international offices of Hauberk. DC is just a stopping place though he does have an apartment in town. Mostly though Troy lives in London. Though his primary job is working Hauberk’s jobs, Troy has a side job as an assassin. Sandy has attracted Troy’s attention but he’s not going to bother someone who works for him for various reasons and Sandy is just too wholesome for his tastes.

Little does Troy know about Sandy’s life away from work until they bump into each other at a bar. Even though Troy doesn’t intend on even talking to Sandy, he ends up taking her out to eat and taking her home. That’s all the encouragement Sandy needs to push things along.

As they explore their attraction to each other, Troy learns not only does Sandy have a kinky side but he likes how she makes an apartment a home.

Things aren’t always smooth though as Hauberk does do some very dangerous jobs and not only is Troy put into some dangerous situations, someone is trying to break through Hauberk’s security. People will get hurt before this story is finished!

This is the fourth book in Leah Braemel’s Hauberk Protection Series. What is nice about this series is though each can be read independently from the others, all have the same basic characters in them. However, if you don’t want to know who the owners of Hauberk end up with before you read their books, start with the first book and read in order.

Sandy and Troy are fabulous complex characters. Sandy projects a professional, wholesome image at work. She’s competent and trustworthy. At home, she lives with an exotic dancer, has her belly button pierced and likes a little pain with her sex. While she doesn’t sleep around, she does have experience including ménage! It’s almost as if she’s two separate people that meshes perfectly together. Troy is from Ireland. His mother was killed in a bomb blast and his father about a month later. His guardian became a politician from the US who put him into boarding school. Along the way he learned skills that make him deadly. He also made friends he would do anything for.

One of the best things about this book and series is the realism. One of the reasons Troy doesn’t want a personal relationship with Sandy is the possibility of a sexual harassment suite. Most companies have classes on this subject and most managers understand that even touching someone who works for them could be grounds for sexual harassment. Having sex with a subordinate could definitely get you in trouble. Another awesome realistic touch is the feel of DC and the surrounding areas. To get from Northern VA to Bethesda most people would take 495 which if there is an accident backs up quickly. Little touches like that make you believe that Hauberk does have offices some where within the Beltway.

Now, you know that this is an erotic romance so there has to be sex. There is and for the most part it is hot. Troy learns what turns Sandy on and tries to give her the fantasies that she’s dreamed about. Sandy is no slacker and firmly believes that turn about is fair play. From sweet to handcuffs, this pair is willing and able to find out what turns each other on.

However, not all the sex is hot. There is a scene that is rape, plain and simple. The impact of this scene is impressive. The actions of various characters to this event is awesome. So, while the scene is disturbing, it also moves the story forward and gives some insights into the thinking process of several of the secondary characters.

I’ve really enjoyed this series of books. The characters come to life and draw you into their world. The setting is so realistic that it’s almost impossible to believe that this isn’t real. Besides, I love hot men full of action.

This story is full of action, lots of hot guys, plenty of sex and even some drama. What more can you ask from a story? I couldn’t find anything lacking and only wish there were more to read.

Book Blurb for Hidden Heat

Be careful what you don’t wish for. Fate might snatch it away.

When handling Hauberk’s managers, efficiency is Sandy Hallquist’s watchword. In her personal life? Excitement all the way, baby. That’s why she escaped Minnesota—and her marriage-minded mother—for a job with one of the hottest bodyguard companies on the eastern seaboard. What more could she ask for than to be surrounded by all that alpha-male testosterone?

Invisibility is Troy’s stock in trade, the only way he can manage Hauberk’s international offices while answering the call of his other career: assassin. Nothing about him is real, not even his name.

In one moment of weakness, he allowed Sandy a glimpse behind his carefully crafted mask. The more he’s around her, the sharper his yearning for stability. A home. Love. Pity those are the last things she's looking for. And revealing that she’s the one true thing in his life could be the very words that drive her away.

At the first whisper of the “L” word, Sandy’s first instinct is to hit the brakes. By the time Sandy admits to herself that Troy is more than a passing fancy, though, his next mission could take the decision out of her hands.

Warning: This book contains sexcapades in secret clubs, voyeurism, a touch of bondage and risqué office shenanigans.

Night Owl Reviews Apr, 2012 4.50