Beautifully Brutal Romance

Shielding Josie

Cole Hackett, retired SEAL, reluctant civilian has one desire—a life without complications. So when Josie McLean, unpredictable hellcat daughter of police chief McLean and freshly licensed PI keeps sniffing around his cases, he’s determined to steer clear. She has trouble written all over her and the last thing he needs is to babysit a woman hell bent on getting killed in the pursuit of glory. 

Josie McLean spent two decades trying to gain a glimmer of attention from her father. Even a lucrative career as a private investigators isn’t enough to make him overlook the fact that she’d been born with the wrong parts. Despite his disinterest, she’s determined to be the best at her job, while keeping her butt on the straight and narrow to avoid his wrath. That is, until her case takes a life or death turn and everyone is a suspect.

Attitude and attraction collide when Cole and Josie’s cases intersect forcing them to band together to seek a dangerous enemy. When the mortal danger turns its sights on Josie, can both Josie and Cole step out from behind the shadows of the past and lean one another to find a killer before it’s too late?




“Tell me this is a joke,” Eric said, wincing at the back door of The Lit Dragon.

The low hum of traffic from Ocean Boulevard reached them behind the club and through the windows of Josie’s car.

The occasional dim street light lit the cracked asphalt of the back alley lined with dumpsters next to the rear exits of each business.

“Nope,” Josie said, trying not to laugh at the trepidation on his face.

While he had been killing it in graduate school, she had been trolling the nightlife and learning the ropes behind the bar of one of the hottest drag clubs in Long Beach. She’d worn wigs and glitter every night and the owner, Diamond, paid her under the table which worked out well since there were no traceable links between her and the club.

Eric pinched the bridge of his nose. “Look, you know I’ve got nothing against this kind of place, but what the hell do you expect me to do here?”

“Make friends,” Josie said, patting his shoulder.

He didn’t like being out of his element. And really? Who did? But for Eric, thrusting him into the unknown was right up there with torture.

He always surrounded himself with what made him most comfortable, the things that allowed him to focus on taking the information swirling in his head and making it a reality.

His bunker surrounded by his computers and tools.

His wall full of notebooks each filled with formulas and sketches of his inventions.

And her.

He had no social game, but The Lit Dragon seduced even the most repressed of people to let out their inner wild side and live it up. It would be good for him.

“I can do that,” he said.

She smiled at him and patted his thigh. “Blend.”

He shook his head, and his eyes widened. “Not doing that.”

© Casey Hagen, USA Today Bestselling Author