Locked in Temptation

By: Brenda Jackson

His job is to protect her...no matter the cost

Police detective Joy Ingram’s connection to elite security expert Stonewall Courson is instant. Undeniable. Electric. But her commitment to protect and serve has always come first. Everything else is secondary—especially when she uncovers an underground surrogate baby-making ring. Joy can’t risk a distraction during the most important case of her career, not even one as sexy as reformed ex-con Stonewall.

There are few things Stonewall values more than a strong woman. But when Joy’s investigation draws her into a deadly conspiracy that goes deeper than she ever imagined, he must convince her that he’s the best man to protect her. And while he puts his life on the line to save hers, the insatiable attraction between them becomes the one danger neither of them can escape.








To the man who will always and forever be the love of my life: Gerald Jackson, Sr. Remembering you on our 45th Wedding Anniversary, July 8, 2017!

To everyone joining me in Barbados for the Brenda Jackson Readers Reunion   2017.

Special thanks to Detective Willie “Jay” Collins of the Carmel Police Department for sharing your expertise and answering my endless questions.

Special thanks to Dr. Angela Martin, OB/GYN, for taking the time to provide me with so much valuable information for this book.

To all my readers who are enjoying The Protectors series. This book is for you.

To authors Iris Bolling and Adrianne Byrd. Thanks for the brainstorming sessions.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

—Galatians 6:9






PROLOGUE

I HAVE TO keep moving.

Although her entire body ached with pain and felt as cold as ice, Mandy Clay continued to force one foot ahead of the other. Ignoring the icy wind whipping through the thin dress she wore, she continued to walk in bare feet as fast as she could, making her way someplace...anywhere but back there. That god-awful, evil place.

By now they would have discovered her missing and someone would have sounded the alarm. There was no doubt in her mind they’d be searching for her. She had no idea where she was, wasn’t even sure if she was still in the United States. The only thing she knew was that she had to keep moving. It was dark and she was in some wooded area. She didn’t want to think about all those sounds she was hearing. Animals? Predators? She was determined to stay alive. Sooner or later she would reach some sort of civilization. Right?

Mandy could tell it had snowed recently because the ground felt cold and squishy beneath her feet. Her toes were numb. She had to find somewhere safe. Hopefully someone would help her and call the police. Then she could tell them about the others. Those poor women...being forced to...

She slowed her pace when she thought she heard a sound. Looking through the trees, she couldn’t see anything, but she could swear she heard the sound of a dog barking. Were the dogs being used to look for her? Hunt her down like the animal they’d treated her as? She wrapped her arms around herself, using all her strength to move faster. It had started snowing again. Heavier now. She felt stiff from the cold, and the pain she felt in every part of her body was almost unbearable. But she couldn’t think of any of that now.

She had to keep moving. No matter what.





CHAPTER ONE

Five months later

“WHERE ARE WE GOING, Stonewall? This is not the way to my house.”

Stonewall Courson brought the car to a stop at a traffic light and glanced at Joy Ingram. They had attended Striker and Margo’s wedding together, and she was right. This was not the way back to her home. She was staring at him with those beautiful brown eyes that had the ability to send desire twisting in his gut and give his libido a high five whenever their gazes locked for any length of time. He would never forget the first time he’d looked into them and been totally mesmerized.

A sensual mist seemed to surround them whether they were alone or in a crowd. Those vapors were in full force now and had been from the moment he’d picked up her from her home earlier today. Stonewall had always known sexual chemistry was a powerful thing. He hadn’t known just how powerful until he’d met Joy. Now he was tuned to her every breath.

Looking at her lips, he was entranced by the memory of their one and only kiss. He could recall every lip-licking detail. Just the thought sent a needy rush through his veins and made sexual excitement curl in his stomach. That single kiss was all it had taken to deeply embed her in his system. But then, he would admit the scent of her was mind-boggling, as well. In the small confines of the car, he breathed in her sensual aroma. She was wearing the same fragrance she had the night they’d met. It had been hypnotic then and it was hypnotic now.

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