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Rules of Engagement (The Duquesnes, Book 1.5 2) Kindle Edition

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Length: 83 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews


"A fast-paced story, full of breathless, intense, mind-melting sex and suspense that'll have you gasping and begging for more long after this brief story's over."
— Fallen Angel Reviews

"Boy and girl end up sharing a cabin--I'm sure you have read such a story before. Are you willing to read it again if Ann Bruce promises to make it fun and sexy?"
— Mrs. Giggles

"The pages are smokin'... Bruce's style is smooth, the plot well thought out and believable."
— Simply Romance Reviews

"A book that cannot be put down once opened, the reader will be on the edge of their seat. Pull up a cold drink and a fan and be mesmerized."
— Coffee Time Romance

"A sumptuous feast for the senses, brimming with colorful characters and sexual delights."
— Night Owl Romance

From the Author


"You don't remember what happened last night?"

Confusion swamped her features. "Last night?"

Jake lifted a sardonic brow. "When you were attempting to enter this cabin," he reminded her dryly. Then, with emphasis, he added, "Illegally."

The confusion didn't disappear.

"As in, without the owner's consent."

"But..." Her voice trailed off as realization dawned. "Oh God." She squeezed her eyes shut and sucked in a breath. "That can't be right."

He mentally crossed out amnesia and drawled very sarcastically, "Oh, it's very right. I assure you, Katarzyna Delaney."

Her eyes flew open at his harsh, humorless tone, or maybe it was his pronunciation of her name. KAHT-ah-ZHEE-nah. Perhaps she wasn't used to people who didn't butcher her name on the first attempt. Luckily, he'd had plenty of practice with non-Anglicized names. All part and parcel of his previous job.

"My cabin has the bullet hole and the bullet from your weapon to prove it." Even with the faint Southern accent softening his words, they still had bite.

His captive looked as if she hoped the bed would open up and put her out of her misery. "Your cabin?" Her lashes lowered as she bit down on the corner of her lip. "That can't be right," she murmured, more to herself than to him.

"Technically, it's my cousin's."

Her eyes flew to his. "Your cousin's? Who's your cousin?"

He eyed her warily. "I'm the one who should be asking the questions."

Frustration crossed her features. "Just tell me if your cousin is Ella Willis."

"Ella Willis," Jake echoed, neither confirming nor denying her statement.

"A close friend," Katarzyna explained hurriedly. "She offered me the use of her cabin for the next two weeks. Her husband is my lieutenant."

Jake stared at her. She looked earnest enough, but the people in his world lied for a living. He dismissed the police ID--those could be forged. And Ella knew he was here. She wouldn't have offered the cabin to someone else without warning him first.

"Listen, you have to believe me. Please."

There was only one way to settle this. He crossed the room, snatched the cell phone lying on top of the highboy, flipped it open and powered it on. The reception wasn't great and he had to move to the window before a single bar appeared in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. He punched in ten digits and waited. The third ring was cut short.

"Hello?" a voice mumbled sleepily.

"Ella, it's Jake."

He heard sheets rustling and imagined Ella was pushing herself into a sitting position.

"What's wrong?" his cousin demanded, all traces of sleepiness gone from her voice.

"I'm at the cabin and I have an unexpected guest. She claims you sent her."

Ella took the telephone away from her ear and murmured something he couldn't make out. He assumed she was telling her husband to go back to sleep. Then she sighed into the telephone, confirming his worst suspicion. "Is she a tall, good-looking redhead?"

It was his turn to sigh. "Yes."

"Answers to Katarzyna Delaney?"

Another affirmative.

"Yes, I sent her."

He muttered an expletive, cast a hard look at the woman handcuffed to his bed, who was unashamedly listening to his conversation, and would've stalked from the room had he not been worried about the cellular reception. He settled for turning his back on the bed and the woman bound to it.

"You could've warned me."

"Yes, I could have," Ella agreed in a disconcertingly reasonable tone, "if you hadn't shut off your cell phone. Sometimes you take that whole loner thing too far. It's not healthy. Ted Kaczynski was a loner."

A low growl rumbled from his chest.

Ella blew out a breath. "You can get mad at me and yell at me all you want, but don't take your temper out on Katarzyna. She's been through enough." When the growl didn't cease, she added, "She needed to get away for a bit, so I offered her the cabin."

"While I'm still here," he pointed out between gritted teeth.

"So?" she drawled, using that careless tone of voice that always set off warning bells in his head. After a beat, she said, "She's attractive. You're available."

He was glad his interfering cousin wasn't in the same room because he might've strangled her. Then her husband would've arrested him. It wasn't worth the hassle.

Still, his voice lowered dangerously, as much to keep his captive from listening in as from temper. "Are you setting me up?"

"Dear God in heaven, no! She's sworn off relationships with men, so you're safe. Besides, I don't think anything permanent would work with you." She paused. "I was thinking more along the lines of a fling."

"Jesus Christ," Jake muttered, running a hand down his face. "You're pimping me out."

Copyright © 2008 by Ann Bruce. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 224 KB
  • Print Length: 83 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Ann Bruce (November 11, 2011)
  • Publication Date: November 11, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0066PSJME
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #617,900 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Ann Bruce is the pseudonym for a self-professed computer geek who, in between snowboarding, reading comic books, and wearing out the buttons of her PS3 controller, writes because it's an acceptable means of explaining all the conversations that take place in her head.

You want more? Really? Well...

I have wanderlust; I called five countries on three continents home.

I switched majors five times in university...and still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

I had nine jobs and four careers before I turned twenty-five.

I watch mainly cartoons because they have better storylines than sitcoms and reality shows. (PINKY AND THE BRAIN trumps AMERICAN IDOL any day!)

One day I want to be a full-time writer. Maybe. Still haven't decided. I hear it doesn't pay very well. Being a superhero, sans cape and tights and decoder ring, is still an option. (Pay sucks for superheroes, too, but I'd have cool toys!)

And I'm easily amused and dis-- Ooh, shiny!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Nina on January 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novella by Ann Bruce was quite an enjoyable read. The characters were well-developed & I enjoyed the story line & the concept of the plot. Katarzyna & Jake meets for the first time in a cabin, not knowing the other would be there. These two avoid relationships like the plague since Jake was betrayed by a former lover & almost died as a result. As for Katarzyna, she has been jilted 3 times at the altar & is in no hurry to rush into another relationship. Except when she meets Jake, he becomes the perfect candidate for fixing one problem of hers which you'll have to read to find out! One thing's for sure though, Jake & Katarzyna definitely has an explosive sexual chemistry!

Ann Bruce always knows how to turn up the steam factor in her novellas. This one was no exception. This story moved at a fast-pace with suspense & action. However, I felt this story was more focused on erotica. The plot was a little weak for my liking & I would have liked more relationship development between Jake & Katarzyna. In all, Rules of Engagement was not a bad read, but it's not one I would read again.

Overall, I rate Rules of Engagement 3.5 stars.

Keep in mind this novella IS Erotic Fiction. Hence, it WILL be short; It WILL contain adult reading materials such as SEX & VIOLENCE; Also, keep in mind that it is FICTION! Therefore, if you are contemplating about this novella, consider all these factors before downloading it. Don't download & read it, then bash it afterwards because it was not what you expected. So, you've been warned.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Bella March on January 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Waking in the middle of the night to the sound of a prowler outside, Jake Duquesne slips out the back door of his cousin Ella's out-of-the-way cabin. Stealthily making his way around the front of the cabin, he sees a shadowy figure on his front porch.

After a brief tussle with the intruder, Jake realizes he's just cold-cocked a female...and a cop. At least, she's carrying a gun and a badge. But Jake's made many enemies over the years, so he can't be too careful. After all, that's why he's in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He's recovering from multiple gunshot wounds, inflicted by his former lover.

When Katarzyna Delaney wakes, she's handcuffed to a bed, still in pain from the recent struggle with the stranger squatting at her friend's cabin. Could the night get any worse? Engaged and jilted three times, most recently two days ago, virgin Katarzyna was ready for some solitude. Once they cleared things up and realize they've been set up by Ella, however, a plan forms in Katarzyna's head: seduce her friend's sexy cousin and remedy the problem of her virginity with a no-commitment fling for the next two weeks while she's on vacation.

Jake agrees to the two week affair, with some rules of his own and for the next several days, they experience unbridled passion. But when Jake's past catches up to him, unwittingly pulling Katarzyna into the danger as well, both realize their feelings have progressed beyond a mere fling. They may be thinking about a future together, but first they'll have to survive the present.

Scorching hot doesn't begin to describe Rules of Engagement! Action packed from the first moment, this story pulled me into its grip and didn't let go.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 14, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this story. Sexy, suspensful and even a lil humorous at times. Although it is a short it has a good lead in, middle, and end something that is lacking in a lot of shorts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth V on May 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a very good book and the first one I have read from this author. Would read anything Ann writes in the past as well as the future.
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Jake's taking a well-earned vacation, after having been shot in chest three times by a woman while on a mission his family's cabin in the middle of nowhere woods sounds friggin' ideal.

Katarzyna three times almost married woman has just been jilted on the altar, swearing off all men she takes her friend's offer to use her cabin in the woods, far away from all men sounds friggin' ideal.

Jake handcuffs the attacker in his bed, the woman is gorgeous but he has no idea why she's stalking around the cabin - when Katarzyna comes to the strangers learns they've been set up. The mutual attraction leads to hold no bars nine day romp in the sack with one condition, the sex won't turn into a relationship.

This short erotic romance is for all the romantic suspense lovers! You got yourself a black ops operative with great bedroom skills, a town cop with chips on her shoulder about men and intact virginity, well at least for the first 20 pages. And of course handcuffs and cast iron headboard. Can it get any better than that? Yeah though so - pretty damn hot!

This is almost bordering on erotica except the story is good and the characters are lovable and totally three dimensional. I loved the little plot, the revenge and pudding love story and of course all the damn hot dominating bedroom/kitchen/anywhere scenes. Can't beat an alpha male who knows what he wants in the bedroom and isn't afraid to be really open mouthed about it.
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