Under His Protection

Under His Protection is the second book in the City Lights Series. It’s available at all major ebook retailers and will soon be out in paperback format. Check out the trailer here:

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Under His Protection continues with portions of the story in No Strings Attached. This time, we are following Lee Thornton as he tries to protect Elizabeth Crowne after she has received death threats.



From across the room, she saw the man who had impressed Kristin. At around the same age as Elizabeth, he certainly didn’t match most of her father’s usual colleagues. As she drew closer, she noted the designer suit paired with a silk collarless shirt in midnight black. Her father usually associated with the blue or white Oxford cloth types.

In a flash, she realized that her father had brought her another marriage candidate. Just what she needed. She had broken her engagement a year ago, and lately her father had started introducing her to men that he considered husband material.

“Dad, good to see you, as always.” Both men stood, and she greeted her father with her customary peck on his cheek.

“Elizabeth, I’m glad you could join us for lunch.” Even though he had lived in Atlanta for more than half his life, her father still spoke with a honeyed Charleston accent. It had won him many a juror back when he used to try cases, and if the rumors were true, many a mistress as well. “This is Lee Thornton. Lee, I’d like you to meet my pride and joy, Elizabeth Crowne.”

Her father’s guest turned, and for the first time she noticed his sandy brown hair pulled back in a tight ponytail. She extended her hand in greeting, and at his warm clasp, her eyes widened. When he smiled, his cinnamon eyes captured her full attention.

“Mr. Thornton,” she said cordially, gathering her hand back.

“Lee, please. And may I call you Beth?”

“As in Beth the Bitch?” she laughed, referring to her nickname in certain court circles. “No, Elizabeth will be fine.”

“Elizabeth, that’s enough,” her father interrupted.

She cringed at her father’s disapproving tone and sat down. “Yes, I know, profanity doesn’t become a lady.”

“Thornton, you’ll have to excuse my daughter. She has been doing criminal law for so long she has forgotten how civilized people act.”

Elizabeth raised her eyebrow at the fact that he was laying the Charleston drawl on even thicker to impress Lee. She wondered what old, moneyed city he called home. She snapped her napkin open across her lap. “I’m sure Lee doesn’t want to hear the argument we’ve been having since I graduated from law school.”

Using her menu as a cover, Elizabeth studied her father’s new prospect for her marital bliss. He was certainly younger and better looking than previous candidates. Maybe her father had loosened his conservative stance on marriage. She never would have predicted he would match her to a man with such long, glorious hair. At least Lee’s jaw was firm and strong. The last man had been ten years her senior with a large jowl. His eyes scanned the room, and she had the impression that nothing got past him. She definitely wouldn’t mind getting to know him, but it was a pity, because she didn’t want him to get the wrong idea.

Her father had surprised her with his last marriage candidate in much the same way. After inviting her to dinner, he’d introduced her to an old family friend. She had gone on one mercy date, but after that, she had let him know she wasn’t interested in seeing him further.

“Before my father gets too wound up, let me make this clear. First, I am not in the market for a husband. Second, he seems to think that I need help finding people to date, and let me assure you …” Elizabeth trailed off at the bemused look on Lee’s face and her father’s horrified expression. Then it hit her that she had just made a horrible mistake. This wasn’t a set-up. It was something else entirely.

“Excuse me,” she said, making an escape to the ladies’ lounge.