Treasured; Masters and Mercenaries #22.5
(An interconnected standalone within a series)
Publication Date: June 22, 2021
Genre/Tropes: Novella/BDSM/Suspense Romance
Author: Lexi Blake
I never get enough of returning to Lexi’s M&M world and now my excitement levels are extra high that I’m getting to delve into the love lives of the children of some of my favorite characters.
David Hawthorne is the stepson of Sean Taggart and the fact that I’m not only getting Sean’s advice as a father, but getting a double dose of Ian as David’s uncle and Tessa’s employer it was like having all the holidays bundled together all at once. Over the moon didn’t even begin to describe my happiness levels.
Tessa Santiago and David Hawthorne are both rich with history within the Taggart-McKay world. Tessa was engaged to Michael Malone, the wealthy oil billionaire, and David Hawthorne is Sean Taggart’s step-son. Both Michael and Sean are prominent men, which makes this story so much sweeter.
Tessa had already broken an engagement to a man who ran in the elite circle of an elite world. While the break up was amblicle between Michael and Tessa and they have remained friends, she refuses to put herself back in the position where money and social status is everything and the relationship comes second.She hated the pressure of always being “on” and living in the spotlight.
When she meets David there is an instant connection, but she doesn’t connect him with the Taggart family, he has a different last name after all, but when she discovers who he actually is, she ghosts his advances. She has no desire to live in the spotlight again, but she also can’t stop thinking about him.
David has never really felt that he fit in with his family, his brother Kyle is more of a Taggart and speaks his step-fathers language than he does. David is a professor and currently working on writing a biography for his tenure when Tessa is assigned as his bodyguard. It wouldn’t normally be a problem, but she’d rejected his advances once and he doesn’t need the rejection again, especially when he has work to do.
These two blaze with chemistry and could set the jungle on fire, but there is a mystery to solve. Could David solve the puzzles that lead to a treasure and also solve the mystery of the woman assigned to him before it’s time to leave the island?
For fans of this series, there are several dropped hints to Lexi’s upcoming books without giving too much away, but personally each one made me giddy. I love the 1001 Dark Night novellas for this very reason. The other joy of reading these short novellas is because new readers get a taste of an author’s writing, we get introduced to new characters and while it may be part of a series, you don’t necessarily need to be fully versed in the world, but just one small taste and you will want to read them all.
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake comes a new story in her Masters and Mercenaries series…
David Hawthorne has a great life. His job as a professor at a prestigious Dallas college is everything he hoped for. Now that his brother is back from the Navy, life seems to be settling down. All he needs to do is finish the book he’s working on and his tenure will be assured. When he gets invited to interview a reclusive expert, he knows he’s gotten lucky. But being the stepson of Sean Taggart comes with its drawbacks, including an overprotective mom who sends a security detail to keep him safe. He doesn’t need a bodyguard, but when Tessa Santiago shows up on his doorstep, the idea of her giving him close cover doesn’t seem so bad.
Tessa has always excelled at most anything she tried, except romance. The whole relationship thing just didn’t work out for her. She’s not looking for love, and she’s certainly not looking for it with an academic who happens to be connected to her boss’s family. The last thing she wants is to escort an overly pampered pretentious man-child around South America to ensure he doesn’t get into trouble. Still, there’s something about David that calls to her. In addition to watching his back, she will have to avoid falling into the trap of soulful eyes and a deep voice that gets her heart racing.
But when the seemingly simple mission turns into a treacherous race for a hidden artifact, David and Tess know this assignment could cost them far more than their jobs. If they can overcome the odds, the lost treasure might not be their most valuable reward.
**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**