Author: Kris Michaels
Series: Kings of Guardian #13
Release Date: December 9, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Amazon UK
Passages: Ways through, around, under or over obstacles.
Life is a transition from one minute to the next. Moments end, lives change, and the ways and loves of the past fade into memories. Join the members of the King and Marshall family as they find their way forward.
Note: Passages is a Kings of Guardian novella. There is no backstory included in this novella. This novella is not for you if you haven't read the previous books in this series. You will not understand the characters or the dynamics. If you have not read all the Kings of Guardian, Guardian Shadow World and Gabriel's story starting the Guardian Defender series, please consider not buying this story.
Series: Kings of Guardian #13
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Author: Kris Michaels
Release Date: December 9, 2019
The journey to love isn’t always a path you choose, sometimes it is a risk you must take.
The CIA didn’t care if Agent Victoria Marshal lived or died in an Afghani hell-hole. Yet, she survived each torture session with single-minded determination, but human flesh has its limits. She knew her time was running short.
Jacob King led a privately funded black ops group into that Afghani village to gather intelligence. He didn’t expect to find an American woman. He admired her brave humor in the face of her agonizing injuries. This kind of tough-minded woman was someone Jacob wanted to know, so he asked her for a date…same time, next year.
He checked out of the hospital against medical orders to make that date. The bullet wound he nursed wasn’t going to stop him from meeting the woman who’d haunted his memory. The leggy, blond, bombshell in the red dress who showed up for their date blew his mind.
Bullet wounds and battle scars were something Victoria knew how to recover from, and she had just the place for this sexy-as-sin southerner to rehab. Time, proximity and their natural attraction blossomed into something neither expected.
In a world of shadows, deceit and dangerous covert missions, where people in Jacob’s line of work routinely vanish and living one more day is never a given, Jacob and his men disappear on a mission to rescue another team. To save Jacob and the men of Guardian, Victoria walks back into the profession that nearly killed her, but this time she was playing by her rules.
Ember Harris has sworn to save lives. Joseph King is an assassin. Death is their common ground, only they stand on opposing sides.
A dead man’s plea pushes Dr. Ember Harris headfirst into a swirling mire of drugs, death and political corruption. The Cartel boss who murdered Ember’s friend will stop at nothing to get the information entrusted to her. After all, finding and killing a mere woman in order to claim the evidence should be easy. A matter of a contract, time and money. Terrified, alone and on the run, Ember reaches out to the only person she knows she can trust.
Joseph King is an assassin. He’d just unpacked his bag from an assignment he probably shouldn’t have survived. Life as an assassin comes with an expiration date. Sooner or later your competition or your target will get lucky. Out of spare lives, Joseph knows it is time to hang it up and walk away while he still can. Best laid plans, right? One phone call from the only woman he’d ever cared about successfully sidelines his disappearing act. Protecting Em will be his last mission. This time he’ll risk anything, including his life, to keep her safe. For her, he’d stroll through the sin-stoked fires of hell and gut the devil himself.
Dr. Adam Cassidy knew two things: life isn’t easy and fate’s a bitch.
Adam’s last mission cost him an eye, his memory, and any chance of staying with his military brothers-in-arms on Guardian’s Alpha Team. He’d scraped together the remnants of his life. He’d refined, rebuilt and pushed on alone, while every night, sleep tortured him with the fleeting memory of the warm, welcome press of the soft breasts and lips of a faceless, nameless woman.
Keelee Marshall knew all about loss. She couldn’t forget their brief nights of passion—but Adam had. The man she loved beyond reason had disappeared on the battlefields of Afghanistan. It seemed she would have to win his love all over again, and in Adam’s ignorance, he was pushing her into the arms of a man she didn’t want and a future devoid of romance.
Love can trump the cards fate has dealt both of them. But only if the man holding the cards is a Guardian.
Jason King was presented the opportunity of a lifetime: assume control of Guardian Security from the billionaire who had built the world-renowned agency. As CEO, Jason would manage the best security resources in the world. Former SEALs, Rangers, Recon, Green Berets, agents from every alphabet agency in the nation, not to mention law enforcement standouts, flocked to the organization he’d control.
But the offer came with a painful stipulation. Jason King must lay to rest the demons haunting him.
Faith Collins’ stepbrother rescued her and her infant son from a hideous life, then died overseas in a black ops mission gone tragically wrong. Faith knew how to pick up and go on when things got bad. So she’d made peace with losing him–until Jason King arrived.
Neither expected their meeting would tilt the world on its axis–and offer them the solace they both desperately craved.
Jared King had endured more than the normal amount of danger in his life. He’d jumped from planes into hot landing zones, been shot at, almost blown up—twice, damn near killed more times than he cared to remember. Yet, nothing in his past compared to the danger of admitting his feelings for Christian Koehler. When Jared pushed Christian away too hard, once too often, the young man finally left and took Jared’s heart with him.
Once upon a time, Christian Koehler had idolized Jared King. But after two years of the arrogant man’s hot and cold mind games, Christian avoided the sexy Guardian like the plague. The jagged line between love and hate was paper thin and razor sharp, and Jared had pushed Christian across that line, with prejudice.
When Christian discovers what he believes is a common thread in several disappearances of the homeless and at-risk teens in his area, he immediately tells his superiors. But neither his employer nor the D.C. cops believe the missing children are connected. Desperate to find out the truth, Christian swallows his pride and returns to the Kings and Guardian for help.
Jared seizes the opportunity to investigate the missing children and the unexpected chance to once again be part of Christian’s life. What he finds leads to a tempest of deceit, danger and intrigue that pulls Christian back into Jared’s world. This time, Jared vows to fight to keep Christian with him forever—no matter the cost.
Jasmine King loved her chosen profession, until she was assigned as Chad Nelson’s personal security officer. The sex-fueled country superstar was either a stone-cold killer or the target of a deranged psychopath. Regardless, the self-absorbed bad boy was now hers to protect, and she’d be damned if she’d fail-despite the singer’s best efforts to make things difficult.
One minute Chad Nelson was the reigning king of country music and the next, an FBI murder suspect in not one, but two murders. As if that’s not bad enough, he’s in the crosshairs of someone who wants him dead. He’s got a front row seat to the destruction of his wildly successful and carefully constructed life.
Jasmine and Chad are plunged into a deadly situation when the race to get him to safety reveals pursuit by not only Chad’s enemies, but worse, Guardian’s. Now, positions are reversed as the country star reaches back to a military past to help free Jasmine from a bloody confrontation. Thankfully, Chad’s not the shallow performer Jasmine originally suspected, and she’ll use any advantage to protect her man as Guardian scrambles to find the killer.
loaked in the identity of David Xavier, a billionaire player in multiple world theaters, Mike White Cloud worked to enter the Russian Mafia’s lair, by stalking a shadowy creature named “The Concierge.” The Russian woman brokered young innocents into slavery and Mike meant to destroy her and the organization she worked for. He should have despised her for the atrocious crimes she facilitated, but too often love and hate are the flip sides of the same coin, and what Mike felt for Taty was not hate. It didn’t matter. He’d destroy the Bratva and all its associates—even if it meant part of his soul sat in prison for the rest of her life.
Driven by heartbreak, Tatyana Petrov joined the elite British M16 unit, and for eight years, wormed her way into the trust of the Bratva as she strove to identify the human filth selling those innocents to billionaires like David Xavier. She’d found it easy to loathe the wealthy men who bought her “toys”—until David. For reasons that she wouldn’t acknowledge, she wanted to protect this one man from the retribution rapidly approaching.
Neither knew the other’s true mission but even as mortal adversaries, they’d each given the other a part of their soul and now only devastation and sorrow waited.
Jade King lives life at full speed. After over a year undercover for the DEA, she’s back in play and wants what any hot-blooded woman who’s gone a year without sex would want: an alpha bad boy who is convenient, delicious and disposable. A fun one-night stand, multiple orgasms, and absolutely no strings attached. Right? If only.
Nicolas DeMarco has a library stocked with little black books, and his bedpost is nothing but notches. His love ‘em and leave ‘em mentality served him well…until it didn’t. Now, forty years old and in charge of Guardian’s Domestic Security, he’s done with the biological catch and release game that used to thrill him…until Jade King let herself into his office and made him an offer. One he couldn’t refuse…but man, could he screw it up.
When one of the Guardian’s family members is targeted for death, Jade is pulled from her much deserved vacation and into Nicolas DeMarco’s world—a world complete with strings, attachments, feelings, and danger. When the elusive head of the Triad maliciously plans and executes an event that devastates an entire city, it catapults Jade and Nic into a Guardian sanctioned operation. An operation that they may not survive.
Being CEO of flourishing JK Holdings isn’t a sufficient challenge for millionaire restaurateur Justin King. He craves the rush gained by facing danger and triumphing—be it heli-skiing, rappelling, suit jumping from the peaks of Mt. Everest or racing performance cars. But nothing does it for him like breaking into impenetrable fortresses and rifling their vaults for Guardian Security. It’s the best-kept secret of his very public life.
Danielle Grant has built a life separate from the power and influence of her father, the owner of Phoenix Armament. As Acquisitions Manager of JK Holdings, she’s made herself indispensable to Justin King on a professional level, his steady constant as she watches the gorgeous women in his private life come and go. Never once did she allow herself to dream the romantic attentions of her boss would turn her way—until fate perched them side-by-side at the precipice of a deadly drop.
Just as Justin and Dani realize what they could be to each other, a malevolent force rips them apart, and Dani vanishes without a trace. Finding her and getting her back will require Justin do the one thing he has avoided all his life—ask for the help of his family.
When Cole, Mr. FBI, and Logan, local cop and reigning Ice Princess, hook up to solve a case of Mississippi corruption at the highest judicial levels, sparks fly. Their attraction is hotter than the sultry southern sun. She wants to hate him—but she can’t. And Cole would never commit career suicide by staying in a backwater Mississippi town…not for any woman…especially not for Isabella Logan Church.
Life wasn’t fair. Drake Simmons and his identical twin, Dixon, had had that lesson beaten into them early and well. Their past had so savaged their souls no amount of “confronting their demons” could heal them, but Drake’s twin refused to acknowledge that truth. For the first time in decades, Drake watched Dixon embark on a dangerous assignment without him. So, he did the only thing he could do; he prayed hard and pushed forward. While visiting with an old mentor, Drake’s past reintroduced itself in the shapely form of one hell of a distraction. Her name was Dr. Jillian Law, and it appeared people were intent on killing her.
Of all the people in the world her father could have asked to protect her, why did it have to be him? She’d known Drake, and of course Dixon—you didn’t get one without the other—through her teens and early twenties. For years, she’d painfully adored Drake with the raw passion a young woman could only feel for her first love. He’d never viewed her as anything other than a friend, and she’d hidden her feelings behind her thick glasses and shy behavior. Since then, she’d earned her Ph.D. and had invented a solar power source that provided almost limitless, cheap, energy— a device for which someone was willing to kill her. If circumstances were determined to throw them together again, the least she could do was make Drake see her as Dr. Jillian Law. She wasn’t “Silly Jilly” anymore. The girl was gone, forever, but the woman who remained had never forgotten Drake.
Though torn and distracted by the absence of his twin, Drake grows to realize this benign shadow from his past might be the key to his future—if he can keep her alive.
Alone, isolated from the vast resources of Guardian, Dixon Simmons reentered a world that had left him impossibly damaged as a child. He stepped back into that evil by choice. To protect all he’d come to love, he was willing to pay whatever price was demanded—even if the price was his soul.
She went by many names. Her true identity was as dead as her heart. Until him. The man was every bit as lethal as she was and deliciously sexy. Dixon Simmons piqued her interest, and what started as lust turned into another “L” word. She gave a “forever after” with him no hope. They’d have to stay alive for that to happen.
Caught in a violent abyss of ultimate malevolence and ominous threats, two damned souls find in each other a redemptive love that defies reason. However, redemption comes at a high cost. They must first save the world from a merciless force known only as Stratus.
In the Shadow World, he was the God of Death, and he was called many names. The monsters he hunted called him Anubis. Those who saw his face died. To Guardian Security, he was a number, a surgical weapon they wielded against monstrous evil. One woman called him Kaeden Lang. Anubis never meant her to be anything except an interlude, a moment of light in the darkness of his life, a one-time escape from the ever-present haze of death. He committed an unforgivable sin—he saw her again—and again—and again. She held back the shadows that threatened to consume him.
Sky Meyers made a grave mistake six years ago. She fell in love—only to have the man she knew as Kaeden Lang disappear. Now, his daughter needed him to save her life. As the office manager for the State District Attorney, Sky accessed national databases in a desperate search for her baby’s daddy only to discover the man she knew as Kaeden Lang didn’t exist. She’d already lost the man she loved; she couldn’t lose her daughter.
Other eyes noticed Sky’s search. Abruptly recalled and informed of the existence of his daughter and her illness, Anubis slipped through the shadows to help Sky—but found death threatened more than his daughter. In her attempt to find Kaeden Lang, Sky unknowingly jeopardized his Shadow World existence by alerting an enemy Kaeden Lang can’t eliminate–only Anubis can.
As a Shadow, Asp planned his assassinations with meticulous care. His work required one thing, that the Council direct his kills. The coded target became a “sanctioned hit” and that distinction was vital.
His most recent assignment took him to a remote area of the Andes Mountains in Colombia. He completed his assassination according to plan – more or less – but no amount of careful planning could have prepared him for the dire circumstances he found himself in. As he faded in and out of consciousness due to a life-threatening bullet wound, he knew he might not get home. He’d resigned himself to dying alone, just not this soon.
Lyric Gadson was an unwilling expatriate. She’d trade her grandfather’s farm in the foothills of the Andes for her old life in Jacksonville, Florida in a heartbeat. But, the cost of a return ticket was out of reach, and Lyric found herself maturing from carefree teen to responsible woman on a remote Colombia banana farm. When her beloved grandfather failed to return from his yearly pilgrimage to his wife’s shrine, Lyric thought nothing of packing her kit and hiking into the Andes mountains to find him. She found her grandfather—and an unconscious man near death. Her decision to stay and care for the dying man would usher in the greatest love of her life, but it could also threaten everyone else she held dear.
Van Wheeler was an elite team leader of Guardian’s Sierra Team. He’d fought in wars, survived firefights in forsaken hell-holes and moved like a ghost in foreign countries. His team performed missions flawlessly. He’d never regretted an assignment, until he met her. The sweet, brilliant code breaker who’d devastated not only the enemy’s communication cyphers, but also his heart.
For Cassie Valentine, life was anything but hearts and chocolates–starvation and physical abuse at the hands of her father and uncle was the norm. Her intellectual genius at solving code brought her to the attention of Guardian and a man who showed her what life could have been like. A cruel glimpse at happiness that she could never obtain. Compelled by a threat to her mother, Cassie returned to the shack in the Bitterroot Mountains. Without a word, she vanished, leaving Van Wheeler, the man who loved her, to forever wonder why she’d left.
A year later, battered, broken, and protecting her child, she fled her family’s cabin at the top of the Bitterroot Mountains. Cassie knew she and her tiny son would share the fate of her dead mother if she didn’t escape. On foot and ill-prepared, she set out into the wilderness of mountainous Montana, unaware that fate, in the form of a Guardian, was about to intervene.
To prevent their imminent murder, Bethanie Clark flees New York City with her eleven-year-old son, Ethan. Her destination— a remote cabin isolated high in the Smoky Mountains. A city dweller her entire life, she never realized there was more threatening their lives than the enemies of her son’s father. In winter, in the high elevations of the Great Smoky Mountains, surviving the elements is a challenge. During one innocent foray into the forest, she and Ethan become lost. With night descending rapidly, poorly dressed for a sudden blizzard and lacking any shelter, Bethanie realizes she has unwittingly sentenced herself and her son to death. Mother Nature would accomplish what her human enemies could not.
For twenty-five years, the Guardian Shadow known as Lycos has rid the earth of the embodiments of evil, individuals so dark they no longer deserved to be called human. Continually, he absorbs their evil to blend in, to get close to his targets, and over time, he acknowledges the difference between him and his prey has grown impossibly fine. For Lycos, an off-the-grid, self-sustaining home bored into the side of a granite mountain provides blessed sanctuary. His quiet retreat from humanity is shattered with an unexpected call from Guardian that tasks him with protecting a woman and her son.
A hardened killer, Lycos balances on the fine line of damnation. When he saves a mother and her son from freezing to death, this one act has the power to redeem him, for the pair will offer him the fulfillment of an impossible dream—unconditional love and an exit from the world of the Shadows. To his sorrow, leaving his former life won’t be so easy, for the evil Bethanie fled has found them, and they have Ethan.
Coming October 29th!
David Xavier—and all those he loved or counted as friends—would forever be mouth-watering targets to men of evil intent. His wealth could settle a small country’s foreign debt. Because of this, from the moment of his birth, his mother obscured his identity. Reborn as the man named Gabriel, however, he walked free into a world where the innocents and the weak cried out for a defender, for the hand of justice, for a guardian angel.
In response, an elite, paramilitary operation, Guardian, rose to stand between the evil men did and those whom they would make their victims. Gabriel was CEO. His goal was worthy and all consuming, but fighting on the side of angels didn’t make his nights less lonely or soothe the ache in his heart for hearth, home, and family.
He needed a courageous woman of unflinching integrity, of goodness and honor, to stand at his side. He’d given up hope of finding such a person. He thought he’d found her years ago. The sex had been combustible, but they’d met at the very birth of Guardian, when he hadn’t time for a personal life. Chalk it up to fate or bad timing.
Over the years, twenty-eight-year-old, Denver ER nurse, Anna Harriger, watched as all her friends, many of whom were former patients, found their soul mates, got married, and had children. Shoot, she’d been a bridesmaid six times. She figured she was destined to be the “crazy friend” that everyone liked but who, at the end of the day, went home to a solitary apartment. She wanted love. She wanted a family, but she refused to compromise her standards. She’d met her Prince Charming, but unlike the fairytale, after an incendiary night of sex, she’d never seen him again. Chalk it up to fate or bad timing.
When events throw them together again, each find their attraction vastly more than simply physical, but once again, Gabriel’s responsibilities pull them apart. After an absence of almost half a year, Gabriel returns for Anna, but she has vanished. He will do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes, to find her and bring her home, but fear dogs his efforts. Who was she running from? Why did she disappear so thoroughly? He knew his Anna. She’d have a very good reason.