Deceive Me by Ella Sheridan
Elliot Smith has trained hard to live alone and work alone, even when it comes to her job as a security specialist for JCL Security. No relationships, no ties, except the one to the man who kidnapped and murdered her mother. She’ll do anything to kill Martin Diako, the untouchable South African pirate king. When Deacon Walsh walks into her office, she finally sees a chance to do just that.
Deacon went from soldier to mercenary warrior to stay-at-home dad, and now his past is back to haunt him. Martin Diako, the father of the terrorist Deacon killed two years ago, is coming for revenge, and he has his sight set on Deacon’s daughter. An heir for an heir. Deacon will do anything to protect her, even if it means asking for help. But the security team he’s hired comes with an added complication: the only woman to interest him since his wife died.
Deacon always leads his team, and Elliot protects hers. They might have one chance at their enemy—if they can work together. Will their hunger for each other pull them together, or push them apart?
Deceive Me by Ella Sheridan is the 4th book in her Southern Nights series. I’ve read a few of these books from the series already, and they don’t need to be read in order, but a little background on the secondary characters is always a plus.
Elliot Smith is part of an elite team of soldiers, she had to work hard to get where she is and she loves it, her team are her family, but she hides a dark and shameful secret, and only Dain (her leader) knows the full extent.
Deacon leads a different team, and we start his story two years previous; it’s a routine mission at first, but then descends into chaos, as his mission goes from retrieval to kill. He loses one member of his own team, an innocent, and for a little while he goes home to care for his wife and daughter and to mourn one of his close friends and team mate.
Jumping to the present we find out that Deacon has lost his wife to cancer and is being stalked by the dead man’s father. The pirate king wants revenge and only the death of Deacons daughter will satisfy him.
So Deacon calls for back up in the form of a security firm that Dain and his team work for. (This security firm was featured in previous books). As soon as Deacon and Elliot meet …… the sparks fly, and she puts him on his butt literally.
Deacon thinks Elliot is a weakness, that the team baby and protect her. She soon puts him in his place, to the amusement of her team and Deacon’s best friend. But she earns his begrudging respect, is assigned a place on the team; her job will be to look after his daughter (Elliot is horrified at the idea, she doesn’t relate to young kids)
The sparks between them are almost instant, but Elliot doesn’t know how to act on them, the last time she slept with someone, they “disappeared” from the camp she was trained in. She’s a social misfit, she doesn’t know how to interact with outsiders, her family is the team of soldiers.
All the characters are well written, and the story is full of action and suspense, and throw in a few betrayals and you have a well written and exciting read.