Title: Protector (The Brannock Siblings #4)
Author: Jessica Wilde
Release Date: July 17, 2015
Release Blitz: July 20, 21, 22
Hosted by: Always Behind A Book
Isabelle Brannock was adored by her children in every possible way. Her ability to love reflects in each of them and to this day, they remember the never ending happiness she and their father, Liam, shared. However, life wasn’t always beautiful and their magnificent mother kept her dark secrets buried away so her children would always remember that family is the most important thing.
Liam Brannock has watched his children find that same happiness he knew so well and, as a father, he couldn’t be prouder. Knowing that the struggles each of them endured were worth the sacrifices they made to find the love of their lives, he finally feels content with revealing the secrets Isabelle worked so hard to keep.
Liam tells his children the story of how he met their mother and the secrets they never suspected would be possible for a woman who lived each day showing her children that love conquers all.
For readers 18+ due to sexual content.
Note to readers:
This is Liam and Isabelle’s story as well as updates on Ash, Con, and Gus.
This cannot be read as a standalone.
He walked out the door, glancing back at his aunts once more. Both of them were smiling his way, waving and watching him like a bunch of hawks. He started toward the gardens feeling Maggie’s eyes on his back until he was out of her view.
It wasn’t long before he came upon the grove, but his quest was soon forgotten.
For the second time in his life, he was brought to a standstill by the beauty in front of him. He caught sight of that long brown hair flowing over a creamy shoulder… that was shaking.
The air in Liam’s lungs caught and he felt that tightness in his chest from before, when he heard a sniffle and saw the woman wipe under her eyes.
She was crying. This stunning, flawless woman was sobbing and he felt that tightness twist and pull until he couldn’t just stand and watch any longer. Liam looked around to see who had hurt her, but no one else was in the grove. He was angry for her and heartbroken that a woman like her would ever have a reason to cry like that.
She was so wrapped up in her world that she never even heard him step into the grove. His footsteps on the grass were silent, but surely she would have heard him crashing through the trees. He watched her a moment longer, debating on whether to sneak away and leave her in peace or find out what was making her so sad and fix it for her.
His mouth decided for him.
“Tears don’t belong on a face so beautiful.”
She startled and immediately stood and backed away from him. Smart woman, but it was still frustrating to see that it was out of wisdom, not instinct. She regarded him warily before looking around to find that they were completely alone. The trees surrounding the grove were covering them from anyone who might be watching.
Liam normally wouldn’t allow this type of situation to occur. He would have left her alone and gone to fetch Maggie to help. But this wasn’t a normal situation and Liam couldn’t help but feel drawn to the woman standing before him, looking like she was about to run.
“You don’t need to be afraid of me, bird. I’ll not harm you.”
Her shoulders sagged for a moment of brief relief before she lifted them straight and jutted out her chin. Her show of strength was impressive, but Liam could see the unease in her eyes so he stayed where he was and let her have her space.
She cleared her throat and crossed her arms over her chest. “I am sorry if I am trespassing. Maggie told me to come here and it was just a beautiful place to sit and think.”
Her voice sent a jolt of electricity straight into his gut. A husky sound that vibrated all the way down his spine and he couldn’t stop himself from studying her lips as she spoke.
Good Lord, help me.
She quickly wiped the tears from her face and sniffed a few times before gaining her composure and lifting her chin once more. Liam had been right the day before, she was stunning up close. Tear stains on her cheeks, eyes red rimmed, nose red, lips red. If she was this beautiful crying, he was doomed when she was smiling.
The very idea of her was… impossible.
Her yellow dress didn’t cling to the curves he knew would be there, but it gave a hint of a graceful womanly figure and the exposed skin of her chest beckoned his eyes. His lips thinned, cursing himself for being disrespectful and he looked down at her legs.
That didn’t help at all.
Eyes, Liam. Look at her eyes.
After clearing his throat, he said, “You are not trespassing. It is a garden for the public, but no one comes in anymore.”
“Well, that’s a shame. It’s breath taking,” she said and dropped down to the small bench to sit once more.
Apparently she decided that he was harmless and he sighed with relief. Liam kept his distance, hoping he wouldn’t startle her anymore than he already did. She turned her head to look at him with a sad grin.
“This is a nice place to sit and think. Feels secluded even though it isn’t.”
That voice. Raspy yet feminine. It sent another shock to his veins and his blood pumped harder. If she kept speaking, he would pass out from his suddenly improved circulation.
Liam stepped closer and caught a glimpse of the freckles running across her nose. A ray of sunshine crossed over her face as she found a comfortable position on the bench. She was not only breath taking, but she glowed with an aura that he had never seen before. She was sad, of that he had no doubt, but her presence exuded happiness. Like being this close to her could make everything in the world right again.
I should send her up north and see if that solves all these troubles, Liam thought to himself.
Those freckles. He needed to get closer and get a better look at them.
“Do you mind?” he asked, gesturing to the small spot of bench beside her.
Her eyes narrowed, red rimmed and only slightly puffy.
It felt like hours instead of seconds before she sniffled and nodded her head, a shy grin pulling at her lips. “Please. There isn’t anywhere else to sit unless you favor the grass.”
“Aye, I do, but I favor a beautiful woman more,” he replied.
Her blush was devastating and it spread across her cheeks like the red of a summer sunset. Poetic, Liam. Very poetic.
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I live in Morgan Utah with my husband, daughter, and dog, Kolo. I write as often as my active daughter will let me and my husband has the patience of a saint. I find inspiration from dreams, people I meet, and life experiences. When I write, I usually end up drinking one too many cans of Peace Tea, eating three too many Fruit by the Foot fruit snacks, and accidently kicking my pup and best buddy, Kolo, too many times since he loves to sleep under my desk at my feet.
I started writing as a teen, but my fear of the unknown won out every time and I threw everything out. After becoming a mother and deciding to stay at home to raise my beautiful little girl, I tried again when I couldn’t stop thinking of ideas. I loved every minute, every hour of sleep lost, and every character that came to life in my mind.
It’s strange, but my favorite moments are when I have writer’s block because I can turn to my husband and find inspiration through him by just doing what we do best together. Talking, laughing, and just being in love. He doesn’t like to read, but he never stops encouraging me to keep going.
Writing has become an important part of my life and every book has a special place in my heart.