Cole loves the city. He loves the noise, chaos, and having tacos delivered at 2 a.m.
He loves his job at Ward Security. He might look like a bodyguard, but there’s nothing better than being counted as one of the hacking tech triplets.
There is no way he will ever love horses, cows, and the great wide open of Texas.
At least, that’s what he thinks until JB Alexander rides into his life.
He can’t deny the burning attraction of JB’s easy smile and weird sense of humor.
And while they’re dodging gun shots, crazy neighbors, meddling family, and secret plots, Cole might be forced to admit that he’s found an even greater love.
Wicked Outlaw is the sixth full-length novel in the Ward Security series and is jam packed with crazy neighbors, wild gun shots, a horse named Dopey, llamas, code names, a bisexual awakening, and new beginnings.
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He was about to put on his headphones for some music when Rowe’s red head popped around the doorway. “Cole, I need you in my office.”
Cole set the headphones down and stood. He followed his boss and settled in one of the chairs in front of the desk.
Surprisingly, Rowe’s area was one of the hot spots for the entire building. His large office with the big, comfortable black leather couch tended to become a random crossroads or meeting place. All throughout the day, people popped in and out to ask Rowe questions, bring him updates, or share a joke. And Rowe welcomed every last one of them, regardless of what they did at the company.
They had meetings there often and the cool, blue paint on the walls gave the room a comforting feel. Cole might feel more at home in the tech room, but this was his second-favorite spot at Ward Security. Rowe always greeted him with a smile or a teasing comment like they were old friends.
“How’s the hand?” Rowe asked with a wicked smirk. He dropped behind his desk and relaxed in his large leather desk chair. “You cleaned that man’s clock pretty good.”
“Sore, but fine,” he replied, once again flexing his hand in his lap. “He still in police custody?”
Rowe shook his head. “No, bastard got out. They couldn’t hold him for threats. Which brings me to the problem I brought up last night. Derrick Briggs is a piece of work, with dirty hands in several deep pots, one of which is the local mob.”
Cole’s heart skipped a beat. The mob. Shit. No wonder Gidget had been so hesitant to talk about it. This was definitely worse than he’d imagined. “You think he’s going to come after me?”
“I do. I’d like to put Sven on you for the time being—”
“No,” Cole interrupted. “I don’t need a bodyguard. Look at me.” He tapped both hands on his broad chest. “I’m nearly as big as Sven. I can take care of myself.”
Rowe shook his head, not looking convinced in the least. “Not against a bullet.” He paused and added with a wry grin, “And nobody is as big as Sven.”
“A bodyguard isn’t going to help with a bullet, either.”
“Sven also has years of training. He knows what to look for, and he knows exactly how to handle an armed assailant or assailants.”
Cole glared at his boss for a moment. He didn’t think he’d ever utter these words. Never truly thought about it, but he was feeling cornered. Maybe it was time, considering the line of work he was in. “Then train me.”
Rowe leaned back in his chair, eyeing Cole closely. Cole held his breath. He loved his job behind the computer, working at Ward Security. He’d never had any interest in doing what the bodyguards did.
At last, Rowe shook his head. “Like I said, years of training. We don’t have that kind of time. But I am going to remember this moment.” He pointed at Cole, his smirk returning for a heartbeat. “However, I came up with a different idea. You, laying low for a while. Out of town.”
Cole’s eyes flared open wide. “What? No, that’s not a good idea, either.”
“It’s an excellent idea, and it’s not a suggestion. I’ve already called a friend, JB Alexander, and set everything up.”
Cole vaguely remembered meeting JB a couple of years ago. Thin guy, about six feet tall with blond hair. “Wait, isn’t he from Texas?”
Rowe nodded, the corner of his mouth turning up in a half grin. “On a ranch outside of Austin. It’s the perfect place for you to hole up while I work on getting Derrick Briggs behind bars.”
“You’re saying you want me to go to Texas.” Cole scrubbed a hand over his face, trying to get his brain to process the insanity Rowe was force-feeding him. “Isn’t this a bit of overkill?”
“I don’t think it is.” Rowe leaned forward, placing his forearms on the top of his desk. “Last night wasn’t Briggs’s first encounter with the cops. He’s managed to sneak out of assault charges and more in the past. There are rumors a few guys have disappeared because of him.”
Cole could feel the blood drain from his face to pool nauseatingly in his stomach. A kind of cold clamminess clung to his skin. This was getting worse by the second.
“Not only did you come between him and what he sees as his property, but you made him look like a chump in a very public, very high-brow place. He’s gonna want you dead in the worst way.”
“I see what you mean,” Cole replied in a low, rough voice.
“Good. Then it leaves me with two choices. One is that I put Sven on you and possibly another guy, twenty-four seven. At least until we know this guy won’t come after you.”
But that meant putting friends and coworkers directly in the line of fire to protect his ass. No, that wasn’t an option.
“I still won’t go for that.”
Rowe held up both his empty hands in front of him as if to say Cole was taking the decision out of his hands.
Ah Ward Security. A world of code names, explosions and love matches. After pairing off most of the main body guards and one of the techies- it is time for another tech guy- Cole. Although unexpectedly.
To ensure his safety, Ward Security ships Cole off to the ranch owned by Noah’s Army buddy JB. So the city boy from Cincinnati is now on a ranch in the middle of Texas. Don’t worry- there’s wifi.
Cole and JB had immediate chemistry. But Cole is straight. Interesting. And then a near death experience has Cole kissing the hell out of JB.
I loved that Cole, the straight guy, kissed JB first. AND didn’t freak out. I mean, he stepped back to figure things out but he wasn’t a jerk about it. There definitely was some awkward.
The plot of the book was a bit on the weak side. Developer wants JB and two other ranches to sell to him so that he can build a resort. Then different things keep happening on the ranch. Since JB is the holdout on selling, it isn’t too much of a leap to figure it out.
Not really a spoiler, because duh it’s a romance, but Cole does get past his “I’m straight” thing. And then he and JB have a lot of fun together. I liked that after the first kiss, Cole accepted his attraction to JB and JB didn’t really question Cole’s motives. There wasn’t the existential dread of “omg am I GAY?” or “is he just using me to experiment?”
We do get a classic Ward Security mission, complete with code names. But sadly no explosions.
This was a super easy read, fun and sexy.
4 pieces of eye candy
Oh, how I love thee let me count the ways. This is another slam dunk for Ms. Drake and Ms. Elliot. The authors definitely have a way with words. They know how to bring you into the story so you become you obsessed with their men.
I don’t want to give too much away on this review. But what I do you wanna say is there is a lot of Passion and you feel for these characters in the spot they’re in. JB feels like he’s lost everything when he loses Noah. Then along comes Cole.
And he finally understands what he felt for Noah was not what as strong as he thought it was. There’s not as much action in this one as there usually is in Jocelyn and Rinda’s books. But it’s still keeps you on your edge of your seats.
These authors still remain in my top 5 faves.
4 pieces of eye candy