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Deadly Judgment by @TJLoganAuthor is a Mystery/Suspense pick #booksale #romanticsuspense #giveaway
Title: DEADLY JUDGMENT, O’Halleran Security Int’l. Book 4
Author: TJ Logan
Genre: Romantic Suspense
A demented killer with a twisted obsession …
Two young women are kidnapped, their bodies discovered months later after being buried alive. The only clues left behind—their handwritten Last Will and Testaments. Has an evil psychopath from the past returned to pick up where he left off? Or is there an even more deadly copycat.
An intelligent, strong-willed woman with something to prove…
Emily O’Halleran will let nothing and no one stand in the way of finding the person responsible for killing her childhood friend. Not her five over-protective brothers, and certainly not the man who rejected her, the man she can’t get out of her head … or heart.
A warrior who’s willing to fight dirty to protect her…
Mason Croft may not be able to stop his best friend’s sister from investigating, but he can certainly watch over her. No great hardship, since he’s crazy about the tenacious, tenderhearted woman. Too bad he can’t tell her how he feels without losing the only family he’s ever had.
Will Emily and Mason find the killer before he has a chance to claim his next victim? Emily’s life could depend on it.
One year ago ...
Emily O’Halleran knew a third glass of wine was a sorry substitute for what she really wanted, but it was easier to get her hands on than the handsome and totally unattainable Mason Croft.
While internally debating the pros and cons of getting drunk, she glanced around her parents’ big backyard. Family and close friends had gathered to celebrate the marriage of her brother, Jonathan, to the love of his life, Andi. Her new sister-in-law was awesome, if a bit intense, and Emily loved her like the sister she never had growing up.
Actually, she’d gotten pretty darn lucky on the sister front in the past couple of years. All three of her older brothers were now married to amazing, uniquely different women. Their large family was growing ever larger, and she couldn’t be happier. Well, she could, but …
Her eyes scanned the makeshift dance floor set up under multiple strands of crisscrossing white lights. The weather was perfect, the slight chill to the night air signaling the end of spring.
Jonathan stood in the middle, holding his new wife as they chatted quietly to themselves, their precious baby daughter, Ashling, sleeping snugly between them. Her third oldest brother wasn’t much of a dancer, but he never gave up an opportunity to hold Andi.
Beck, her oldest brother, had his long arms wrapped firmly around his wife, Gwen. Emily noticed how he was always watching her, touching her, whispering secrets in her ear that made her blush. He cherished her.
Caleb held Dawn, his hands spread across her butt. Oh, how her mighty playboy brother had fallen when he’d first laid eyes on his now wife. He said something to Dawn, and she threw her head back and laughed. They did that a lot.
She was very happy for her brothers. Really, she was. Really. But lately, their happiness seemed to illuminate her sense of melancholy. She longed for someone to love her the way her brothers loved their wives, and the way her father loved her mother.
Her job had given her a glimpse into the darkest side of humanity. She’d come to realize life was uncertain, which created a sense of urgency to live life to its fullest that grew with every case they worked.
Emily was surrounded by a big family she loved and who loved her. Yet, as she watched them on the dance floor, she felt desolate and profoundly alone.
She rubbed the ache in her chest. Good grief, pity party much? She walked over to the bar and held up her empty wineglass. “I would like another one of these filled with some of that, please.” She pointed at the bottle of Darby’s Purple Haze.
“Sure thing.” The bartender took her glass and replaced it with a clean one, popped the cork on the red blend and filled her glass to the mid-point.
“Here ya go.” He winked and set it on the bar.
“Thanks.” She smiled at him. He was good-looking but a definite player. She’d bet her favorite pair of leggings he never left a wedding without a bridesmaid or female guest on his arm.
Besides, she was only interested in one man. Tragically, he didn’t feel the same way about her.
Emily turned and headed back toward her table. Halfway there, her heel caught in the grass, and her long dress tangled around her legs. She gasped. Her wine splashed over the rim as the ground quickly approached. Her eyes squeezed shut and she prepared for an embarrassing face splat when a strong arm circled her waist from behind and stopped her fall, lifted her and set her on her feet in one smooth motion.
“What the—” Her heart raced, as if she’d run a marathon. Which, yeah, that would never happen.
“I’ve got you.” Oh, that yummy, panty-melting voice.
Emily closed her eyes, took a deep breath, then opened them and turned to face her savior. The singularly magnificent, Mason Croft. Her brother Caleb’s best friend. And the guy she’d had a serious thing for since the first time her eyes landed on him standing in her parents’ backyard.
“Thanks. This dress is a menace.” She emitted an awkward sort of snort-laugh. Real sexy, Emily.
“Are you okay?” Genuine concern softened his voice.
“I’m fine.” Emily frowned at the empty wineglass she’d managed to keep hold of. She thought about getting a refill but decided against it. She needed to have her wits about her right now.
Mason accompanied her to a high-top table set up in a darkened area near the edge of the festivities. She set her empty glass down among a few others.
“You sure you’re okay?” He snagged a napkin from the nearby table and handed it to her.
“A little embarrassed but fine.” She wiped the wine from her fingers and set the napkin next to her glass.
He reached up and tucked a hank of hair over her ear that had fallen from her up-do. She could’ve sworn his hand lingered, then he dragged it down her neck and over her shoulder before it fell to his side. Her entire body tingled at his touch and screamed for more. Why did he have to be so darned potent?
“Thanks,” she mumbled as she reached up and haphazardly pinned it back in place.
“Having fun?” He stepped closer in the darkened space.
“Yeah, and the company’s great.” He smiled down at her.
Her mouth opened slightly, then she blinked, snapped it shut and turned to the dance floor. Away from his powder-blue eyes. “They’re all so in love, aren’t they? It almost hurts to look at them. Someday, I hope …”
She gave him a sideways glance and cleared her throat to keep from spilling any more secrets. Stupid wine. Emily was such a lightweight. She knew better than to have more than one glass.
He curled his hand over her shoulder and brought her around to face him. “Someday, you hope what, Em?”
She hesitated, and he tilted his head to the side. “Tell me.”
She marveled at the happy couples across the lawn. “Someday, I hope someone loves me like that and looks at me the way my dad looks at my mom, the way my brothers look at their wives. Like they are the single most important thing in their life.”
Being this close to him and talking about wanting to be loved was surprisingly painful. Emily was suddenly swamped with emotion. Her eyes burned, and she swallowed against the ridiculous urge to cry. She was not a crier.
“Hey, hey.” Mason circled his arms around her and gently pulled her into him.
She pressed her cheek against his chest and wrapped her arms around him. Her eyes fell shut, and she breathed in his scent. She allowed herself to enjoy his embrace for what she knew would be a fleeting moment, then loosened her grip to step back.
His hold tightened, keeping her close.
Her brows drew together and she looked up at him.
For a long moment, he looked down at her, then slowly lowered his face, giving her ample time to pull away. She did not, and the next thing she knew, Mason Croft’s lips were on hers. And, oh, they were just as soft as she’d imagined them to be.
Emily threw her arms around his neck and fell heart-first into his kiss. His mouth moved over hers carefully, almost reverently, at first. She let out a little moan and nipped at his bottom lip. Wanting … needing more. Everything about him and their kiss changed. Intensified. He drew her body tight against his. She raised to her toes in an effort to get closer still. His fingers speared into her hair—making a mess of her expensive up-do—then he angled her head and took the kiss deeper. Their tongues brushed across each other’s as heavy breaths panted from her nose and across his cheek.
Joy rushed through her, and she poured it all into their kiss. It, he, was so much more than she’d ever dreamed, and she’d dreamt a lot. Finally, everything she’d hoped for with Mason appeared to be one step closer to becoming reality.
Laughter cut through the night. He broke their kiss and, hands on her shoulders, stepped back. It ended so abruptly, she almost lost her balance. He steadied her, then quickly let go and cast a furtive look around.
“Shit. I’m sorry, Em. That was a mistake. This—us—can’t happen. You’re Caleb’s little sister. It wouldn’t be right.” He hesitated, then placed a soft kiss on her forehead, turned and walked away, leaving her standing alone in the dark with her heart cracked wide open, wondering what just happened.
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What makes your featured book a must-read?
Emily O’Halleran has a secret admirer who happens to be a deranged psychopath targeting people close to her. When her best friend becomes the next target, Emily convinces her over-protective brothers to let her be part of the investigation, under one condition—she must team-up with Mason Croft. Can she work with the man who rejected her—the man she’s still in love with.
Mason Croft told himself he wasn’t good enough for Emily, that she deserved better, and in the process, broke her heart. That all changes when a madman closes in on his ultimate target—Emily. Will it be too late to share a future with the woman loves?
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TJ Logan is an award-winning author of the O'Halleran Security Int'l. (OSI) Romantic Suspense series. Anchored by strong themes of Family, Honor and Loyalty, each of the first six books tell the story of one of the O'Halleran siblings; five alpha brothers and their over-protected, yet feisty younger sister. The books are all connected, but each has its own HEA. Don’t worry, there are more books in the series and a spin-off series is in the works! Growing up in a military family, living all over the country, surrounded by five brothers ... and living to tell about it, competing in International Defensive Pistol Association events, and being part of the team who managed a Secret program for one of the world's largest defense companies, have all given her an interesting perspective on life. Every bit of it goes into her writing! Family, Honor and Loyalty aren't just words in a tagline to TJ, they are everything.
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