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Tempted - Brandi Evans

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His Battered Submissive -- Brand Evans

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His Battered Submissive
Restrained Fantasies book 3

Getting her back was easy. Keeping her safe was murder.

Dallas Detective and Dom Maddox Westbrook is in love with the wrong woman: the wife of a sadistic, abusive jerk. Maddox has worked more domestic abuse cases than he cares to count, but he takes one look at frightened Katlyn Harris and falls hard. But like a professional, he puts his feelings aside and relocates her to safety—or so he thinks.

Katlyn has lived in abject terror since her husband abducted her from what was supposed to be a secret location. Every day, she wonders if this will be the day Jeff finally kills her. She's nearly given up hope of rescue, but when Jeff learns the cops are closing in, he hurries to move her. In the rush, she manages to escape and runs straight into the detective who has never stopped looking for her.

Love can be tricky when a cop falls for an abuse victim, trickier still when that cop is a Dom. Maddox can't be Kat's Dom. The abuse she's suffered at her ex's hand would not allow that sort of relationship, and Maddox doubts he could ever not be a Dom. Like being a cop, being a Dom is who he is, but Kat surprises him with her strength, her resilience, and her submissiveness. In her, he finds a depth of courage and passion he never expected. But will love be enough to save them against a past determined to destroy them?

This is book three in the Restrained Fantasies series but can be read as a standalone.

Publisher's Note: This romance contains elements of danger, suspense, mystery, power exchange, sexual scenes, abuse, mentions of prior sexual assault, and adult language. If any of these offend you, please do not read.

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As he spoke, he pulled back just enough to hit a button that filled the room with a soft glow that cut away the bulk of the darkness, and she stopped breathing.

God, his eyes.

She'd missed his eyes, missed the kindness and warmth that always played in the gray-blue hues. She hadn't known or seen such kindness since the day he and Carter had put her into the hands of Warriors for Women. She hadn't wanted to go with the group. She'd wanted to stay with Maddox, but he'd said going had been for the best.

You're just the job to him. And yet, he looked so much more haggard than when she'd seen him last. Beyond exhausted. His messy hair was always on the verge of needing a cut, but now, it did need a trim. The ends were curling around his ear and at the nape of his neck. And she noted more lines around his eyes.

She wanted to hug him, to hold him, to offer him the same comfort he always so readily gave, and she might have had he not spoken first.

"How are you? I haven't gotten to ask since I got you back."

Even as he asked, he looked terrified of her answer. She wanted to lie, to tell him she was perfect, but he'd heard her nightmare, witnessed the effect Jeff still held over her. He'd know better, so she did the only thing she could: told the bitter truth.

"The nightmares aren't new. I, uh, have them most nights, but this one wasn't so bad. You were there."
"I was there?" The fingers of his right hand flexed as if he wanted to touch her the way he had in her dream.

"We were on this island, and a storm was raging around us. Usually, the storm is battering me, but this time, I was safe because you were there. But then, Jeff was suddenly there, too. He taunted me, said he'd get me back, and—"

"No." He rested his forehead against hers and trapped her cheeks between his hands. "Never again, Kat. I will not let that asshole get his hands on you again. I swear it."

You're just the job to him.

But god, it was hard to make herself believe that when he touched her like this.

"I always knew you were coming for me," she said after a while. "It's what gave me the strength to keep fighting."

"I'll always come for you, Kat. Always." His voice dropped to a resolute murmur, and she believed him. No matter what, he would always come for her. He wasn't built any other way.

Closing her eyes, she absorbed his kindness and his strength like she might the rays of the sun on a hot summer's day. Right now, she wouldn't let it matter that what she felt for him was different than what he felt for her. Tomorrow would come soon enough, and uncertainty would be there. So, for now, she'd let herself feel, safe and protected in his arms. That would be enough for tonight.


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