Watch Your Back

Overview

Baltimore Homicide Detective Stevie Mazzetti has suffered losses no woman should have to endure. But when she learns that her ex-partner might have miscarried justice, she’s determined to put the past to rights, even when she becomes a target. It’s former Marine Clay Maynard’s job to see the risk in every situation, but he doesn’t have to look hard to find the danger surrounding Stevie. When Stevie attracts the attention of a vicious psychopath, Clay will do whatever it takes to keep her alive. That is, if he can stay ahead of a killer with everything to lose—and something terrifying to hide...

Characters

Clay Maynard - Hero
First a Marine, then a DC cop, then a PI, Clay Maynard has been defending those around him throughout his adult life. A good man, he’s got the heart of a warrior and the body to match. But the his warrior’s heart belonged to Stevie Mazzetti from the moment he first saw her, a mama bear desperate to keep her daughter safe. She was never ready, having lost her husband and son, so he waited until she was ready. But nearly losing her after she was shot spurred him to tell her that he loved her – and being rejected and asked to leave her alone nearly crushed him. He wishes he could stay away, but fate keeps bringing them together. Now her life has been threatened yet again, as well as the life of Cordelia, the little girl who’s also stolen his heart. He will protect them with his life, even if it means having to walk away again – but he plans to do everything he can to win Stevie’s heart while keeping her alive.
Stevie Mazzetti - Heroine
Small and compact, Stevie Mazzetti has suffered the loss of her husband and five-year-old son at the hand of a thug robbing a convenience store. Determined to go on for the sake of the child she carried in her womb at the time, Stevie has built a productive life. A single-mom, she managed to juggle the responsibility of raising her daughter, Cordelia, with her work with grief therapy groups and her career as a respected Baltimore homicide detective – until she was shot in the line of duty. Her near-death experience has changed her in too many ways. Learning to walk with a cane is hard, but even harder is dealing with disability leave – sitting on the sidelines when she’s accustomed to running after criminals. But hardest of all is the toll her career has taken on her daughter, who continues to have nightmares after being held at gunpoint by Stevie’s old homicide department partner, a cop gone very, very bad indeed. Now Stevie must also deal with the reappearance of PI Clay Maynard, a man who affects her in ways she’s not ready to accept. He’s worked with her, saving her life when she was shot, and he loves her. He’s told her so. But because she knows that she’ll hurt him and because Cordelia thinks Clay is a cross between Captain America and a guardian angel, Stevie has sent him away. But when her old partner’s associates start shooting at her and Cordelia, Clay is the only one she can trust to keep them safe.
Grayson Smith
A rugged body-builder, Prosecutor Grayson Smith is dedicated to the law and to getting justice for victims – perhaps too dedicated. He is devastated to learn that he has prosecuted an innocent man, obtaining a conviction for a murder the man did not commit. He commits himself to aiding beautiful PI Paige Holden in making this right, but as the death toll climbs, he realizes the manipulation of the law – and of Grayson’s own dark secrets – goes much deeper and broader than he ever could have imagined.
Paige Holden
Lethally fierce, black-belt Paige Holden has lost her confidence after a traumatic attack that left her injured and killed one of her self-defense pupils, but she hasn't lost a single iota of her loyalty, compassion, or courage. Having recently moved from Minneapolis to Baltimore to start over as a PI, she takes on a pro-bono case to prove her client’s husband innocent of the murder for which he’s been convicted. But the case rapidly becomes a nightmare as her client is targeted by a sniper and dies before Paige’s eyes. Prosecutor Grayson Smith might be involved in her client’s murder, or he could be her best chance at happiness – and staying alive.
Joseph Carter
Tall, dark, and broody, widower Joseph Carter started his career with the FBI after serving with the US Navy. An electrical engineer by training, he’s a whiz with security and gadgets, but it was the tragic loss of his first wife that had fueled his passion for reuniting abductees with their families. Now fueled by his feelings for Daphne Montgomery, finding her kidnapped son has become even more critical. She’s suffered so much during her life – he doesn’t want her to lose her son, too. Can he find Ford before it’s too late? Can he protect Daphne from a madman who wants her dead? And can he make her fall for him the way he’s fallen for her?
Daphne Montgomery
A sassy, brassy blonde with Dolly Parton hair, lime green mini skirts, long, long legs, and a West Virginia slang, Daphne has made her mark on the Baltimore prosecutors’ office despite getting a late start in her career. Mother to twenty-year-old Ford, Daphne’s come a long way from her Appalachian roots, persevering through a teen-aged pregnancy, a loveless forced marriage, a vicious divorce, and breast cancer, to finally become the woman she’s always wanted to be. But behind her careful mask of happiness and confidence prowl the childhood nightmares spurred by the horrific crimes she witnessed – and endured. When Ford is kidnapped, those nightmares become her new reality, but FBI Special Agent Joseph Carter has vowed to bring her son home. Can Joseph also convince her to allow the “real Daphne” to shine?
Emma Townsend
Petite and blonde, psychologist Emma Townsend is a grief counselor who, when faced with the sudden loss of her husband, is not able to follow the advice she gives others. She’s been burying her grief until a trusted friend intervenes, forcing her to deal with her late husband's memory. As Emma digs into the past, she discovers she’d inadvertently broken the heart of Christopher Walker, a trusted old friend from high school. Emma can’t bring her husband back, but is determined to fix this damaged friendship. But when she meets Christopher again after so many years, she wonders if she’s been given a second chance at happiness. 
Deacon Novak
Special Agent Deacon Novak is physically unforgettable with his bright white hair, his unique, bi-colored eyes, and the leather coat and wraparound shades he wears for dramatic flair. He uses his differences to his fullest advantage, throwing witnesses and suspects alike off their game so that he can expose their secrets. But it is Deacon who is thrown when he meets Faith Corcoran, a redhead with shadows in her eyes - eyes that see him far too clearly.