Justify Me

By: Julie Kenner

Book Description


Justify Me: A Stark International/Masters and Mercenaries Novella

by J. Kenner



McKay-Taggart operative Riley Blade has no intention of returning to Los Angeles after his brief stint as a consultant on mega-star Lyle Tarpin’s latest action flick. Not even for Natasha Black, Tarpin’s sexy personal assistant who’d gotten under his skin. Why would he, when Tasha made it absolutely clear that—attraction or not—she wasn’t interested in a fling, much less a relationship.



But when Riley learns that someone is stalking her, he races to her side. Determined to not only protect her, but to convince her that—no matter what has hurt her in the past—he’s not only going to fight for her, he’s going to win her heart. Forever.







An Introduction to the Lexi Blake Crossover Collection


Who doesn’t love a crossover? I know that for me there’s always been something magical about two fictional words blending and meeting in a totally unexpected way. For years the only medium that has truly done it well and often is comic books. Superman vs. Batman in a fight to the finish. Marvel’s Infinite Universe. There’s something about two crazy worlds coming together that almost makes them feel more real. Like there’s this brilliant universe filled with fictional characters and they can meet and talk, and sometimes they can fall in love.



I’m a geek. I go a little crazy when Thor meets up with Iron Man or The Flash and Arrow team up.



So why wouldn’t we do it in Romanceland?



There are ways out there. A writer can write in another author’s world, giving you her take on it. There’s some brilliant fanfiction out there, but I wanted something different. I wanted to take my time and gradually introduce these characters from other worlds, bring you in slowly so you don’t even realize what I’m doing. So you think this is McKay-Taggart, nothing odd here. Except there is…



Over the course of my last three books—Love Another Day, At Your Service, and Nobody Does It Better—I introduced you to five new characters and five new and brilliant worlds. If I’ve done my job, you’ll know and love these characters—sisters from another mister, brothers from another mother.



So grab a glass of wine and welcome to the Lexi Blake Crossover Collection.



Love,



Lexi






Acknowledgments from the Author


A huge thank you to Lexi for letting me play in her world, and to Liz, and MJ for letting me enter the playground in the first place!








Prologue


I should never have let him get close, this man who swept into my life like living flame, beautifully wild and dangerously enticing.

Didn’t I know the risks? The price?

Wasn’t my soul already bruised and battered?

And yet he slipped through my defenses and edged close to my heart.

Now I’m balancing on a precipice, and all I can do is hope that, despite everything, he’ll catch me if I fall.





Chapter One


Riley Blade reeled back as the frog-faced man’s surprisingly strong punch landed soundly against his jaw, snapping Riley’s head back and pissing him off.

This, he thought. This was why he’d sworn to stay the fuck away from Los Angeles.

And yet here he was again, risking bullets and bruises when he could be downing a Scotch in one of the many bars that dotted the international terminal at LAX.

Clearly, he needed to have his head examined.

Then again, he thought as Froggy took another swing, maybe he should take the punch and see if it knocked some sense into him.

Since that option sounded more painful than practical, he shifted left to avoid the impact, swung his own arm up in a maneuver designed to both deflect and detain, then grabbed Froggy’s wrist and twisted the wiry punk around. By the time Froggy started to howl, Riley had him in a headlock.

“I warned you not to hit me,” he growled, to which Froggy replied with a heartfelt, though not very inventive, “Fuck you.”

“Not my type,” he said amiably, then spoke to the security team listening to the conversation through the hot mic and earpiece Riley wore. “All done. You wanna come relieve me of this piece of shit?”

“Good work, Blade. On my way.” Less than fifteen seconds later, Ryan Hunter stepped in, tall and lean, and looking every bit the badass. The dark-haired security chief for the multi-billion-dollar Stark conglomerate and Riley went way back. Although Hunter had always been private sector, their paths had crossed multiple times during Riley’s days in LA as an FBI SWAT team member, and they’d become good friends, often mistaken for brothers because of their similar build and coloring.

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