SALE PROMO ~ Stripping Her Defenses (Ex Ops Series #2) by Jessie Lane


Stripping Her Defenses – Released – October 31, 2014


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Book Blurb:

He can’t change the scars on her body…
but fate will give him a second chance to mend the scars he put on her heart.

Riley Sullivan and the Ex Ops Team are headed to Miami undercover… as bikers. Following up a lead, the men will perform their investigation acting as members of the Regulators Motorcycle Club with the club’s permission. Surrounded by hardcore bikers and investigating missing strippers, Riley finds the last person he ever expected to see again—his ex-wife.

Kara Sullivan left the man she loved after a tragic accident cost them their unborn son. After years of therapy, she’s come to grips with the loss and has re-emerged from the pain a brand new person. That doesn’t mean she’s ready to face the man who inadvertently broke her heart, and who she’s hurt in return.

Riley has never stopped loving her and he never will. He’s ready to fix their marriage and move on with their lives, however Kara’s reluctance to renew their relationship isn’t their only problem. Danger lurks just around the corner… and there’s a chance she could disappear permanently.

This is the second book in Jessie Lane’s best-selling romantic suspense Ex Ops Series! It is also loosely connected to her other best-selling series Regulators MC co-written with USA Today Bestselling Author Chelsea Camaron.



Reading Order

Ex Ops Series

Secret Maneuvers

Stripping Her Defenses

Mission Delivery

Sweet Agony

Sweet Recovery

Sweet Eternity (coming soon!)

Regulators MC Series



Coal (coming soon!)






Closing my eyes, I savored the haunting rock chords as the notes seemed to seep into me, calming my internal storm.

Halfway through the song, I heard movement behind me, the soft footsteps of a body coming down the stairs. I assumed it was Dec when nobody asked me to shut up so they could sleep. Nothing more was heard for the next few chords; as a result, I assumed he’d turned around and gone back upstairs to his hook up. My brother would know, if he found me down here playing like this, at this God-awful time in the morning, it was probably best to leave me alone.

Instead of stopping when the song was over, I slid into one of my father’s favorites next. The almost jazzy, soulful rock sound caused me to drift even further away in my mind. A distant part of me hoped to stay lost in the space forever.

I would have stayed there, too, if it hadn’t been for the husky feminine voice that started singing. If not for my seal training, I probably would have jumped straight up in the air like a startled cat.

Teagan had quietly snuck up on me in my solitude and sat on the sofa catty-corner, facing me. My eyebrows shot up in surprise to see her, of all people, but I managed to keep playing without missing a note as she crooned words with a sultry voice which had goose bumps popping up all over my body.

My father was a gamblin’ man

Down in New Orleans.


Now the only thing a gambler needs

Is a suitcase and trunk.

And the only time he’s satisfied

Is when he’s on a drunk.


Oh, mother tell your children

Not to do what I have done.

Spend your lives in sin and misery

In the House of the Rising Sun.


Well, I got one foot on the platform

The other foot on the train.

I’m goin’ back to New Orleans

To wear that ball and chain.


Well, there is a house in New Orleans

They call the Rising Sun.

And it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy

And God I know I’m one.


By the end of the song, I was glued to the sight of the tiny woman who had been singing with such feeling that her head was tipped back, eyes closed, and the look on her face was nothing short of heartbreaking. Why Teagan was in the Marine Corps and not on some stage making her living, I had no damn idea. Her voice was one of the most amazing things I’d ever heard.

Her smoky voice brought me out of my contemplation. “That’s an awfully sad song to be playing this early in the morning, Riley.”

Pursing my lips, I grabbed a new death stick out of my pack and lit it up, taking a big inhale before responding to the inquisitive redhead “That’s an awfully sad song for you to know by heart, Teagan.”

She nodded her head in silent agreement.

Tipping my head to the side, I took in her rather put together appearance without letting my surprise show on my face. It couldn’t be but three-forty in the morning by now. What in the world was Teagan doing fully dressed, as if ready to walk out the door, instead of still sleeping soundly next to her lover?

“Surprised to see you here. Didn’t know you were in town. You’re up kind of early, aren’t you?”

“Same could be said of you, Sullivan. Being up early, that is.”

When she didn’t further elaborate, I responded, “Well, I know why I’m up. What’s your excuse?”

She snorted back at me. “Last time I checked, I didn’t need an excuse to leave a man’s house. Your brother knows the score. Don’t worry about his heart being all broken up over me.”

I laughed. “No morning nookie for Dec, huh?”

An unexpected, charming blush slid up her neck and eventually covered her cheeks. “Nope. No morning nookie for Declan. In fact, I should be going.”

“What’s the rush, Teagan? You’re trying to run out of here like a scared rabbit.”

Sitting forward, she rested her elbows on her legs and seemed to consider me for a minute. Extending one finger out in my direction, she waved it in a bit of a circle at me and then asked, “You want to talk about that? The reason why you’re down here before the sun is up, all by yourself, playing sad songs and lookin’ like someone just ran over your dog?”

Taking another deep drag off my cigarette, I questioned back, “Are you deflecting because you don’t want to answer me, or is this a tit for tat scenario you’re going for?”

She shrugged. “A bit of both to be honest. But if you’re willing to answer, so am I.”

Looking back down to my guitar, I started strumming another song. “I had a dream about my wife that woke me up. Couldn’t go back to sleep after that.”

“And why would a dream about your wife cause you to dread sleeping again?”

“Because they remind me of what I’ve lost. I don’t need those reminders. I live with them every second I’m awake.”

She was silent for a second before she asked, “Is your wife dead?”

The frank question from her surprised me. “No, she’s very much alive.”

“Then what is it you’ve lost, Riley?”

Stopping my strumming fingers, I waved around to our deathly still surroundings. “Do you see her here with me? Don’t you think if I still had her, I’d be in bed with her and not down here like some heartbroken jackass?”

“If she’s not dead, then take a page out of Bobby’s book and try to fix whatever it is you think is broken. Then she could be here, instead of you sitting down here like a self-induced dumbass.”

Shooting her annoyed look, I snapped, “I tried to fucking fix it, and I couldn’t.”

“I thought you Sullivans were made of sterner stuff. I didn’t know any of you could be described as quitters.”

“Says the woman who’s practically running out of my brother’s house instead of facing him the morning after having another one-night stand with him.”

Rolling her eyes, Teagan huffed. “Your brother’s not in love with me, dummy. I doubt anyone would find him sitting in the dark at the crack of dawn, picking chords on a fucking guitar and pining away for me. You, on the other hand, are doing just that for your wife, which means maybe you should be thinking about trying to patch up things with her instead of sitting down here and feeling sorry for yourself.” Teagan got up from the couch and headed past me towards the front door.

I stopped her right before she was ready to walk out by asking, “How do you know my brother’s not in love with you?”

“Because that man isn’t capable of loving a woman more than he loves his own dick right now. And that works just fine for me because I don’t believe in love at all. And that, by the way, is also the answer to all the other questions you asked me this morning. Now we’re even.”

With that, the door closed softly behind her, and I was once again left by myself with nothing to keep me company other than a small crackling fire, my now silent guitar, and new ‘if onlys’ about what I could have done differently to have won back my Kara.


 About the Author6150577

Jessie Lane is a best-selling author of Paranormal and Contemporary Romance, as well as, Upper YA Paranormal Romance/Fantasy.

She lives in Kentucky with her two little Rock Chicks in-the-making and her over protective alpha husband that she’s pretty sure is a latent grizzly bear shifter. She has a passionate love for reading and writing naughty romance, cliff hanging suspense, and out-of-this-world characters that demand your attention, or threaten to slap you around until you do pay attention to them.

She’s also a proud member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA).

You can follow Jessie at: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, & her Amazon Author Page


About Book Loving Pixies

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