Today we are celebrating the release of THRIVE by Aly Martinez. Thrive is the second book in the Guardian Protection series and it can be read as a complete standalone.
Thrive by Aly Martinez (Guardian Protection, #2)
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When I was nineteen years old, I was faced with a choice that changed my life.
Keep the safety of what I already knew or risk losing everything with the young, hotheaded soldier who stole my heart.
I chose the wrong man, and for seventeen years, I paid in tears, blood, and shattered dreams for that decision.
Now, thereâs a man in my house, holding a gun to my head on the order of my ex-husbandâgiven from his prison cell.Â
That hotheaded soldier I was too afraid to choose? Heâs now a six-foot-three wall of muscle who works at the countryâs most premier bodyguard agency. Iâve always wanted him, but now, Iâve never needed him more.
Itâs the call Iâm terrified to make.Â
Iâm sure he still hates meâ¦ Even though Iâve never stopped loving him.
âThis is yours?â I asked in awe, trailing my fingers over the shiny, black hood of a newer-model Ford pickup truck.
Heâd lifted it and put huge tires on it, and while the top was spotless, there was a thin layer of mud covering the running boards, letting me know that it didnât stay locked away in his garage waiting for a Chicago snow. It actually got usedâand in places that werenât covered in asphalt. My Southern heart, which had been relocated to the Midwest all those years ago, quaked in its stunning presence.
He stared at me, his arms crossed over his chest, the muscles of his neck straining beneath a gray henley, but not because he was stressed or upset, but rather because his muscles were so thick and defined that they were always straining.
He answered with a simple, âBabe.â
I swung my hand to the Escalade parked in the driveway. âWhat about the SUV?â
Twirling the keys on his finger, he walked over to me. âItâs not a crime for a man to own two vehicles.â Gripping my hip, he swayed me toward him. âIf I have the kids, I drive the Caddy. If Iâm by myself and the Caddy isnât blocking the garage, Iâll take the truck.â He grinned, dipped low, brushed his lips to mine, and whispered, âIf Iâm with Mira, I take the truck even if the Caddy is blocking the garage and I have to move it so itâs not.â
My stomach performed gold-medal-worthy somersaults as I pushed up onto my toes and gave him far more than a lip brush.
His mouth opened, inviting me in. His warm tongue rolled with mine, acting as the welcoming committee. My head became light and I fisted my hands in the front of his shirt for balance. The moan that slipped from my throat made his tantalizing lips curve up in a smile before he pulled away.
Resting his forehead to mine, he rumbled, âBreakfast and condoms, baby. We canât do anything without them.â
âNot completely true,â I murmured. âI saw a loaf of bread in your kitchen. Toast will serve as sustenance, and you can eat while I do other things with my mouth that donât require condoms.â
His hand slipped down to my ass. âIâve missed your mouth, Mira. But not a chance in hell you start things on your knees and I donât end them inside you. And, for that, Iâm gonna need more than toast. So it looks like weâre back to breakfast and condoms.â He gripped my ass, rocking me against him. âBut weâre going to take the truck so you can slide in real close. And, on the off chance you feel like getting handsy while I drive, I wonât object.â
That had happened a lot when we were younger. The minute my ass had hit his seat, heâd lift his arm in invitation and Iâd slid all the way over, as close as I could get without being in his lap. And then heâd drive. Windows down, the world passing us in a blur, him being the only thing in focus.
Inside that truck, I had been free to be Mira.
And, the idea of having that now, after seventeen years of feeling like someone else, I became giddy with excitement.
âYou have a bench seat?â I gasped, staring up at him with a megawatt smile.
Smirking, he released me and opened the passengerâs door.Â âWhen I lift the armrest, I do.â
I giggled. âJesus, itâs like you knew Iâd be coming back.â
His shoulders jerked, and his jaw turned to granite. And then Jeremy Lark slayed me, brought me back to life, and then ruined me once and for all. âNo. Because if Iâd thought there was any chance of you ever coming back, Iâd probably still be sitting on the tailgate of that clunker in the woods, waiting.â
Purchase the previous book in the Guardian Protection Series
SINGE is the first book in the Guardian Protection Series and is FREE in KindleUnlimited
Originally from Savannah, Georgia, USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez now lives in South Carolina with her four young children.
Never one to take herself too seriously, she enjoys cheap wine, mystery leggings, and baked feta. It should be known, however, that she hates pizza and ice cream, almost as much as writing her bio in the third person.
She passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a super-sized tumbler of wine by her side.