(A Masters and Mercenaries Novella)

by Lexi Blake

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake comes a new story in her Masters and Mercenaries series…

When West Rycroft left his family’s ranch to work in the big city, he never dreamed he would find himself surrounded by celebrities and politicians. Working at McKay-Taggart as a bodyguard and security expert quickly taught him how to navigate the sometimes shark-infested waters of the elite. While some would come to love that world, West has seen enough to know it’s not for him, preferring to keep his distance from his clients—until the day he meets Ally Pearson.

Growing up in the entertainment world, Ally was always in the shadow of others, but now she has broken out from behind the scenes for her own day in the spotlight. The paparazzi isn’t fun, but she knows all too well that it’s part of the gig. She has a good life and lots of fans, but someone has been getting too close for comfort and making threats. To be safe, she hires her own personal knight in shining armor, a cowboy hottie by the name of West. They clash in the beginning, but the minute they fall into bed together something magical happens.

Just as everything seems too good to be true, they are both reminded that there was a reason Ally needed a bodyguard. Her problems have found her again, and this time West will have to put his life on the line or lose everything they’ve found

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An Exclusive Interview with Lexi Blake

~with Jillian Stein, co-owner of 1,001 Dark Nights / The Blue Box Press

Can you tell us why or how you chose to write about this couple for your novella?

These are two characters who’ve shown up previously. West is one of Wade Rycroft’s (Protected) seemingly never-ending brothers, and Ally is the sister of the heroine of Bayou Sweetheart. The last time we saw both of them, they were searching for their places in the world. They’ve both grown up and I thought it would be interesting to see where their choices have taken them. And when I put them on the page together, they sparked.

Do you do anything to treat yourself when you finish writing a book?

I don’t really. Sometimes we go out to eat, but it’s kind of a normal thing at this point. I might take a couple of days off and reset before I start something new.

If someone were to narrate your life, who would you want the narrator to be and why?

Not Keith Morrison. If you hear Keith Morrison begin the documentary of your life, things have gone wrong. I’ll go with Ryan West. He narrates the McKay-Taggart world and that’s good enough for me.

What one piece of advice would you give an aspiring writer?

Comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t build your goals or your idea of success based off someone else. Make your goals reasonable and attainable so you can find some happiness before you start working toward the next.

Can you give us a few lines from your work in progress?

From Love the Way You Spy:

“I don’t want you to leave,” she began. “That’s not exactly right. I don’t want you to leave without me. I want you to take me back to your hotel room and let me get to know you better.”

It was the only thing he wanted to do tonight, and he suddenly worried he was on the edge. It had been so long since he’d indulged in sex. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

A brow rose over her eyes, a clear challenge. “Why?”

He reached out, smoothing back her hair. He barely stopped himself from twining his fingers in the soft stuff and giving her a good tug. “Because what I want from you might be too much. I’m not like most of the men you know.”

Her lips spread in the widest grin. “I think you’re exactly like most of the men I know. Shall I call you Sir or do you have a different kink?”

What’s your cure for hiccups?

Knock yourself out. When you wake up, you probably won’t have hiccups.

What mythical creature do you wish actually existed?

Brownies. I would give them cream and they would clean my house. I would give them all the cream flavors they could want if they could find a way to keep my daughter’s room clean.

What scene in this book was the toughest to write and why?

The scene where Ally really breaks down. It’s tough because I know she’s not trying to hurt anyone. She’s in a horrible place and thinks there’s only one way out. So balancing how awful it is for her with not wanting her to say something that would make the reader dislike her was tough.

If you could watch one scene from this book be played out like a movie, which one would it be and why?

What I like to call the “j’accuse” scene.  It’s the scene where someone has finally figured out the mystery and calls all the players into a meeting to reveal the bad guy. In this one, it’s pretty fun because they’re all actors on a set. So it’s very dramatic. Throw in Big Tag and it’s my favorite scene in the book.

What’s the worst thing you’ve eaten out of politeness?

Liver and onions when I was twelve. I would not do it today. I know what my liver probably looks like. I would pass.

What’s the most awkward thing that happens to you on a regular basis?

My knee sometimes gives out and I fall. I try to do it with grace.

How did you come up with the title for this book?

Liz Berry told me what it would be.


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband and three kids. She began writing at a young age concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance that she found success. Lexi believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome or foursome may seem.

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