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SEALed With Love

SEALed With Love

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Sage had been anxious to move to Colorado to escape her stalker—she was even happier knowing her hunky, ex-Navy SEAL body guard, Joel Watts, would be coming with her. She hadn’t counted on her stalker following them. As the stalker’s obsession turns to rage, can Joel keep them both safe?

Main Tropes

  • Grumpy/Sunshine
  • Matchmaking Father
  • Unexpected Family
  • Retired Navy SEAL
  • She has a stalker
  • Romantic Suspense


He’s there to protect her from harm, but who is going to protect her heart?

Sage is tired of jumping at shadows thanks to the stalker that keeps sending her creepy letters. When the father who had never publicly acknowledged her offers her a job at his new hotel in Juniper Ridge, CO, the move sounds like the relief she's been looking for despite the bodyguard her father hired to protect her. Now if she could only convince Joel that she's more than just a client.

Joel Watts was lost after an injury made him retire early from the Navy SEALs. But being hired to be Sage's bodyguard has brought new light and life to his existence. When the stalker follows them to Colorado, he's afraid that giving into his feelings will put Sage at risk. Though he'd rather take her and disappear where he can keep her safe, he realizes this new town and the sisters she has neer known before have become her world, so he has to figure out how to protect her and all of them, before the stalker's next escalation ends in murder.

Intro into Chapter One

Sage threaded in and out of the streaming LA throngs and wished she’d didn’t have to leave for work at peak commute time. She liked people, but fighting through them wasn’t exactly her idea of a party. And it was all too easy to hide in a crowd—which would be more of an advantage if she knew who she should be hiding from. He didn’t have that problem.

She scanned the mass of humanity, looking for a familiar face, anyone she might have seen before, then checked her watch again. If she missed this train, she would be late. She had been distracted by her father’s email, which was chatty and full of news about the resort he was preparing to open that fall. He put on a good front of all-is-well, but she had known something was wrong—known it as only she could, despite his denials. The fact that he hadn’t come for his regular visit reiterated that. She’d have to use her break this afternoon to meditate and see if she could figure it out, since he wasn’t giving anything away.

A small boy weaved through the jungle of legs, followed by a man who called for him to stop. Sage shifted to the side so the boy ran into her, then she grabbed his shoulders, and stopped him from falling backward as he bounced off of her. She glanced up into the round face of a frazzled man. “I believe this one belongs to you.”

He hefted the tow-headed toddler into his arms. “Yes, sorry about that. He’s as slippery as an eel sometimes.”

Sage smiled in relief when the child giggled as if it had been a good game. The boy was comfortable with the man. “No problem.”

The man pivoted to the right, heading toward a store.

Feeling someone watching her, Sage adjusted her hemp macramé bag over one shoulder and glanced around again. Her eyes stopped on a tall man with a shaved head, mirrored sunglasses and a light brown goatee. He oozed dark alertness, an aura of control, and he was looking in her direction. Her heart sped up, her breath caught and she turned back toward the subway.

It wasn’t the first time she’d seen him, or even the third or fourth. In the past few days he seemed to pop up behind her all over town. There was no explanation for his repeated presence except that he was following her. Sage’s hands grew sweaty as she darted farther into the crowd. If he was the one who had been stalking her, she had to get away. There was a tough wariness about him, a hardened edge that said he went after whatever he wanted, and he never gave up. She hadn’t felt his presence until that week, though the stalker had been contacting her for a couple of months, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t dangerous.

Just before the train pulled out, she managed to slide through the doors and find a corner to hide in while the panic attack took over. Standing on the far end of the car, she grasped a handle until her knuckles turned white. She put her back to the wall so she could see everyone and checked for the man several times, making sure no one else was paying attention to her while she dealt with the light-headedness and nausea that often accompanied her racing heart and difficulty breathing.

Maybe she should take her father up on the job offer in his Colorado resort. She couldn’t keep living like this.


While she provided reflexology treatments to the day spa’s elite clientele, Sage fought the implacable image of the man in her mind. She had been at work for nearly two hours and was finally starting to feel the inner peace her job usually provided when she opened the door to leave her treatment room. Standing on the other side, his fist raised to knock, was the Goliath of a man she’d seen in the street.

Her breathing stopped as terror filled her all over again. She tried to shut the door, but his hand shot out, blocking it open. “Go away.” She’d meant the words to be calm and forceful, but they’d come out tight and whispery as her panic grew. What would she do? What could she do against someone his size?

“Hey, I’m sorry I scared you.” His voice was a low rumble. He pulled off his mirrored sunglasses and hung them by one stem in the neck of his tight white T-shirt. He lifted his free hand as if to reassure her that he didn’t have a gun or a knife, but she seriously doubted someone that buff needed a weapon to maim or kill. “My name is Joel Watts,” he said, “and your dad sent me.” He handed her a business card which was printed with the name of a private security firm.

Though she wouldn’t take the card at face value, her throat unclogged a little so she could suck in some air. “My dad?” No one knew who her dad was—or almost no one. Her father had been surprisingly adept at keeping their connection a secret despite his high profile and his hundreds of phone calls and visits through the years.

“George DiCarlo,” he confirmed. “He’s concerned about your stalker and sent me to look out for you. Look, I’m sorry I scared you earlier today. I didn’t mean to. Call him if you need to verify my story.”

“Why have you been following me?” Her voice was returning to normal, though her senses were still on alert. This man was lethal; she knew it down to her core. Why would her dad send him to follow her without warning her first?

“He didn’t want me to introduce myself yet. We hoped I might be able to spot the stalker if I wasn’t too close to you. The letters you turned over to the police were pretty freaky.” Despite the otherwise intimidating exterior, when Joel said this, his jaw softened slightly, making him seem not quite as scary.

How did her father always know what was going on in her life, even when she didn’t tell him? She decided to take this hulk of a man up on his offer to check his identity. “Give me a minute, then.” When he removed his hand from the door, she shut and locked it, then fished her cell phone from her shoulder bag.

On the first try, the call rang several times, then went to voice mail. She hung up and called again—their agreed-upon signal that the conversation was urgent. If there was any possible way he could answer the second call, he would.

After three rings he picked up the phone. “Hey, honey, is everything all right?”

“There’s a man standing outside my door. Joel Watts.” Enormous, imposing, dark. “He said you paid him to follow me.”

“Excuse me for a moment,” he said to someone else. There was the sound of movement in the background, like her father was standing and moving away from a desk or table. “I’m sorry, sweetie. He was supposed to stay in the background for now. I didn’t want him to interfere or worry you.”

Sage felt her pulse begin to calm and the terror gripping her softened, though experience said it would take several more minutes to entirely dissipate—if she was lucky. “Dad, you didn’t have to hire someone.”

“Yes, I did. I was worried about you when I got a report about what was going on, and you never told me about it. You can trust Joel with anything, I promise. Look, I’m sorry, I’m in a meeting right now, but I don’t want to brush you off.”

She smiled, knowing he’d make everyone wait for her if she needed it. “No, that was the only urgent issue. I get off at five; call me this evening when you get a chance.”

“I will, and you’re in good hands. I promise.”

“I love you, Dad.”

“I love you too, sweetheart.”

Sage closed her flip phone and held it in her hand. So Joel really was working for her father. She gave herself a few more minutes for the panic attack to subside before she turned to the door, unlocked and opened it. “Come in.” She gestured for him to take a seat and stepped out to verify the time of her next appointment before shutting herself in the room with him.

“How tall are you, exactly?” Sage asked as she leaned back against the door, studying him.


Making her feel even shorter than she had before at only five-three. “And you’re a body builder?”

“Former Navy SEAL, actually.” An unhurried smile spread on his face, transforming it completely. “Staying in shape is part of the job.”

“Of course.” Her dad would never settle for less than the best. Taking a deep breath, she offered him her hand. “Maybe we should start over again. I’m Sage Parker.”

His hand dwarfed hers, surrounding it in hard warmth. “Joel Watts, I’m here to keep you safe.”

For the first time in months, she thought she might be able to relax again.

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