Brady Fitzpatrick has spent a decade burying the pain of a broken heart while working for SIEGE, an information-gathering spy agency. That it kept him away from his family as well as his best friend Molly has been an unfortunate side effect. But when his brother, also an agent, is killed during a foreign op, Brady is drawn into a web of intrigue that threatens the lives of everyone he loves…
Molly Byrnes has loved Brady forever. As his best friend and a de facto member of the Fitzpatrick family, she holds them together in their crushing grief. But as a member SIEGE’s ground team, she doesn’t buy the official line about Brady’s brother’s “accidental” death and launches her own investigation—only to uncover a shocking secret that she and Brady must get to the bottom of before their target finds them.
Tangled emotions land them in bed together, opening Brady’s eyes to the incredible, fearless woman who’s been there for him all his life. But after a lifetime of disappointment, how can Molly trust the possibility of a future with him…or if they can count on any future at all?
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Reviews for Hearts Under Siege
“This book was very well written. The characters felt three dimensional and their actions were very believable. The plot kept me guessing and made the book really hard to put down. I actually laid in bed wondering what had happened to Christopher. The chemistry between Brady and Molly was intense and made a little sad to know that they waited so long to be together.”—Carole’s Random Life
“Hearts Under Siege is fast paced, full of high octane action and portrays a very honest look into human emotions. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it.”—Michel at Hesperia Loves Books
“The story is captivating, Molly and Brady are characters we would love to meet and there are so many twists and turns that I was completely hooked turning pages after pages without a break because I needed to know!”—Lecture toute une Aventure
Molly murmured, “Fitz, come here.”
The curtain bunched, and Molly’s heart seized as if Brady’s fist clutched it rather than the padded polyester fabric. She circled the beds and squeezed up next to him, prying his fingers off the drapery. “It’s okay,” she whispered. “We’re safe here. You can let go.”
At first, she thought he would. His face went from stoic to tortured, crumpling like a tin can, and a sharp noise forced itself out of his throat. She leaned into him, offering herself as support, and he clutched her against his chest, burying his face in her neck.
His entire body tightened, harder, harder, and Molly held her breath, waiting for the explosion. And also because his arms were banded so tightly across her back she had no room to draw in air.
The explosion didn’t come. Instead his muscles slowly loosened, a deliberate progression as he held tightly to his control. He couldn’t go on like that, she knew. Mustn’t. He had to give in now, while they were safe, so he didn’t cave at the worst moment, later.
“Brady, love,” she murmured, raising her head and cupping his face in her hands. “It’s okay. Let go.”
Brady couldn’t form the words. Couldn’t explain to Molly that he was afraid if he released the rage and hatred and bone deep sorrow caged within him, he would never be able to regain control. If he was uncontrolled, he couldn’t protect her, or the data he was trying to get home. He stood still, his hands resting on her waist because he couldn’t seem to let her go, and she stroked his hair back from his face, murmured to him, comforted him. He wanted to accept it, to sink into her and let her absorb his pain, and he knew she’d let him. But she had her own grief, her own burdens. She didn’t need his, too.
Somehow, her body had curved closer, and suddenly, his awareness of her shifted. It wasn’t comfort he craved anymore, and his brain clicked off just as a sharp warning flashed across it. He closed his eyes, dropped his head, and for the first time in their three-decade friendship, he kissed his best friend.
About the author
Natalie J. Damschroder is a multi-published author of contemporary and paranormal romance, with an emphasis on romantic adventure. Her 15 novels, 7 novellas, and 15 short stories have been published by Avid Press, Echelon Press, and Amber Quill Press, with current work published by Carina Press and Entangled Publishing. She is a 2012 recipient of the RWA Service Award and two-time finalist in the EPIC eBook Awards romantic suspense category: Fight or Flight in 2012, and Acceptable Risks, which won the category in 2013. She is also a multi-finalist in the International Digital Awards. You can learn more about her at www.nataliedamschroder.com, where you’ll also find links to her blogs and social media.
Also by Natalie J. Damschroder
Interview with Holly Hewson
HH: Natalie, thank you so much for talking with us at TRS. Your featured book is Hearts Under Siege. Where did you get the idea for this romantic adventure?
ND: It came from a couple of different places. The opening scene played out in my head while I was doing dishes one day. I’m not sure what sparked it, but I wanted to write about a guy who actually believed in true love. I cannibalized another book idea I’d had, about a guy falling for his brother’s wife and being a distantly supportive friend until she’s widowed. But I didn’t want her to be the hero. I wanted to write another best friends-to-lovers story, instead. Which is why Molly is in the front seat on page one.
HH: What do you like best about Molly and what will readers like about her?
ND: I love Molly’s loyalty and competence, her ability to work quietly in the background and give everyone what they need. It’s what makes her good at her job as well as the strength of all the relationships in the book, and it’s been very gratifying to have readers lover her as much as I do.
HH: What do you like best about Brady and why will readers love him?
ND: Brady has been called a doofus and everyone seems to want to slap him upside the head. LOL He’s a smart, fun, dedicated guy who is just stupid in matters of the heart. I think readers will love him because despite his initial poor choices, he never loses sight of what Molly means to him, even if it turns out to be more than he realized.
HH: What makes this work different than anything you’ve written so far?
ND: This is probably the first book in which I’ve managed to fully combine the action of my romantic adventures and the family ties of my Brook Hollow trilogy, which is contemporary romance. There’s tragedy and pain and people coming together to share and overcome their grief, but there’s also uncovering secrets and battling bad guys. And of course, at the core is the romance between Brady and Molly, and that feeds everything.
HH: What else do you have in store for lucky readers?
ND: I’m working on my next romantic adventure and the next book in my Soul series, and I have a whole slew of projects in the works, including a YA adventure series and a series of short stories that I am having great fun conceiving.
HH: What inspires you in your writing?
ND: Every book I read that I am reluctant to put down. I want to make other people feel the same way.
HH: What do you enjoy when you’re not writing?
ND: New England Patriots football, the Harrisburg City Islanders (local soccer team), watching my youngest daughter play viola in the orchestra, visiting my oldest daughter in Boston, going to movies (usually the big blockbusters), watching TV (so much good stuff on right now!), and of course reading.
HH: What are you reading?
ND: I just finished Christi Barth’s Friends to Lovers and started Before the Storm by Claire Ashgrove.
HH: What goals have you set for yourself this year?
ND: I spent all of last year with books in production, because I had a lot of releases at the end of the year and starting this year. So it was all revise, edit, proof, revise, edit, proof. This year is all about new material, as much as possible!
HH: Where can readers find you online?
ND: My website, www.nataliedamschroder.com