Write a Review

Amidst The Storm (Book 1 of Lethal Hands series)

All Rights Reserved ©


(Bi M/M) Liam Devlin is not having a good year. First his wife left, and then a bullet ends his Army days. Now that he's recovered, life has become dull and monotonous. Until his ex-mother-in-law, Lesedi, arrives with a newspaper containing a curious ad. A bodyguard is needed for "The Boss": Nothing else to go on but Lesedi's word of the ad's legitimacy. What's a guy in want of excitement to do but join up? Enter Taito, his assigned partner. Attractive, resourceful, and with a charming personality that disguised a lethal warrior. Too bad the blue-eyed, brunet, baby-faced newcomer is straight as they come . . . right? Little does Liam know, this new adventure will test everything he (thought) he knew about himself. And perhaps the change of pace would turn out to be more than just the location.

Romance / Action
4.9 30 reviews
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

A shot snapped at Liam’s feet, and the terror in the pit of his belly spurred his aching legs faster. His muscles were already spent; tight and hot enough to scald the underside of his skin. But he had to keep going. His lungs felt charred, and the air he sucked in was arid and dusty. Shadows of faces and buildings swept by like phantoms as he ran, and the road he bolted down was endless. Hands reached from all sides; some even sprouted from the rocky soil. He dodged as best he could, but one of them caught an ankle with clawed fingers and dragged him to a stop with unearthly strength.

Before he could stare down at the nightmarish image of burns and boils he knew so well, Liam woke with a grunt and flailed into a sitting position. The cold sweat dripping down his chest met the cool air in the bedroom, and he shuddered. One hand swiped at some drops on his forehead, and the nightly affirmations began. He wasn’t in Iraq anymore; he was back in New York, lying in his own bed, and safe. The dream couldn’t hurt him, no matter how many times it came; he’d already lost count of the haunting nightmares some weeks ago. Instinctively, his eyes glanced to the left, but the customary mop of black hair wasn’t there anymore. With a quivering sigh, he looked away.

The cell phone on the bedside table caught his eye, and one hand was already reaching before stopping in midair. He knew he shouldn’t. She didn’t want to talk to him anymore.

“Aw, hell.” He grabbed the phone and dialed before his better judgment could intervene. He had to hear her voice one more time.

He’d met Adrian in a local New York university five years ago and had never fallen in love so fast. They’d been in the same year; a brilliant chemistry student versus Liam as an undeclared major. College was a way to pass the time and maybe learn something worthwhile while getting his bookish parents off his back.

Adrian became a rosy detour. Liam still hadn’t settled on a career, but he knew one thing: He was going to marry that woman. Something about them just clicked, and he couldn’t imagine loving anyone else when they were together.

After graduation, it took him three grueling months to earn the blessing of Adrian’s standoffish father. Haru was a stern man from Japan, and her mother Lesedi was a voluptuous South African native. The merger was luxuriant black waves, dark, almond-shaped eyes that sparkled, and smooth brown skin with warm, coppery undertones. A brunet, blue-eyed white guy teased for having a “baby face” probably wasn’t Haru’s first choice for a son-in-law.

Adrian had an intellect to rival the greatest minds in the country, and she landed a prestigious pharmaceutical career straight out of university. Liam, on the other hand, found he liked driving tow trucks and working all hours of the day. They found and bought an updated little colonial in the small coastal village of Nyack, roughly an hour commute to Adrian’s lab in Manhattan.

A year of wedded bliss passed peacefully in the warm, supportive household they built together. Liam eventually began to tire of his slothful boss and rude customers. He needed something different.

That was when he began to consider the military, and his life would never be the same after that decision.

It took a long time for Adrian to pick up the phone. “You can’t keep doing this, Liam,” she said in a hushed voice.

He knew why, and he couldn’t stop the stab of jealousy.

“I know, I know, I’m sorry. I just needed someone to talk to.”

“Another nightmare?”


“I’ll put you in touch with a therapist. You can’t keep calling me, Liam. We agreed to cut off all communication unless it’s an emergency.”

He scratched the back of his head. “I know, ba⸺”

His voice hitched and his eyes squeezed shut. It took incredible effort not to use the affectionate term. “This’ll be the last time, I promise. You can send your father after me if I don’t keep it.”

There was a small chuckle on the other end. “All right. Last time. What do you want to talk about?”

“I don’t know. How’s work?”

“Well, I won’t bore you with the details, but we’ve been working on this new medicine that . . .”

For the next ten minutes, he sat in enraptured silence listening to Adrian’s voice and wishing she was there beside him. He missed her so much.

His mind wandered as she switched topics and began talking about her coworkers, and he remembered one night when he thought their marriage might survive the aftermath of his deployment. One cool night in late March, three months after his return from Iraq, he found Adrian in the living room opening a bottle of tequila they’d had stashed in the cupboard. She offered him the first shot, and as the bottle emptied, they began to talk and laugh like their college days. An hour later, they were tangled in the sheets and around each other. The hangover in the morning was worth it for that short time of peace. And short it was.

Two weeks after that nostalgic night, she brought up the topic of Ryan, the coworker she’d grown close to during Liam’s absence. The divorce followed shortly after at her request.


He realized Adrian was waiting for a response.

“Greece sounds nice. I’m glad Tracy had fun,” he managed after sifting through his hazy memory.

She didn’t respond right away, and he knew this was the moment when the awkward silence would begin.

“Are you feeling any better?” she ventured.

“Yeah. Thanks.”


He took a deep breath as his heart knocked against his ribs. “I miss you.” He had to get the words out if this was truly the last time they’d speak.


“I know it’s over; I’m not naïve. I just had to tell you, or else I’d regret it.” He gave his forehead a little smack. “Anyway, thanks for the chat. Have a good life, Adrian. I mean it.”

It could have been his imagination, but he thought he heard a light sob. “You too, Liam.” Then the line went dead with a decisive click.

Liam tossed the phone to the foot of the bed and flopped onto the mattress like a two-year-old mid tantrum. “You’re a goddamn idiot!” he cursed himself.

With a groan of disgust, he rolled onto his side and stared out the storm window into the small, manicured backyard highlighted by scattered wisps of moonlight. His thoughts were straying back to the nightmare, but a reroute instead brought up fond memories of his battle buddy.

His name was Johnny Muller, and depending on the situation, he could be a boon or a bane. Between Johnny’s awful dad jokes, a knack for getting his buddy chewed out by the drill sergeant, and Adrian’s encouraging letters, Liam had survived basic training. His body warmed bit by bit to the new and brutal routines, and in the top tier of recruits.

On the heels of basic was another four and a half weeks of specialized training for an infantryman in Georgia. Once that was under his belt, he and the other grunts in his class had a brief three-week stint in Fort Drum back on home turf in New York. And then came the day to trudge into the belly of a C-17 destined for Abu Ghraib, Iraq.

It was a different world as soon as his boots hit sand, the sweltering heat and dust storms the new normal. During long missions and never-ending scuffles with insurgents, there were moments where he didn’t even think of Adrian. His focus was reduced to his duty and the people fighting beside him.

Two nerve-wracking years later, his tour ended just after Christmas. He returned home a new man and missed the camaraderie in the Army, but he longed for his wife more. He’d walked in from the cold with a dopey grin on his face, half-expecting Adrian to come running into his arms like a scene out of a movie.

Only that wasn’t how the reunion went. He sighed at the memory and stubbornly swiped at his wet eyes.

From the moment he came in that door, he could sense the change in their relationship, and it continued to tumble downhill. Adrian was distant, silent, and he could feel her pulling away. He’d make small talk, ask about her work, and tried out new jokes to see a smile light her face. He even made a reservation at her favorite Japanese restaurant for a romantic date night, but she used work as an excuse to back out. She always had some new project going. He was used to her career taking priority in the past, but this was a whole new drive.

There came a point where he’d thought there was something wrong with him. During the long nights, she slept curled on her side at the edge of the bed like she shared it with a frightening creature. It took some time to realize that he wasn’t the problem.

She’d waited barely four months to admit that things weren’t working out. That was when she finally admitted to spending time with Ryan and the bond they’d formed.

To top it off, the thing that hurt even more than that bombshell was her next admitting that she didn’t want children. She knew intimately that being a father was the one thing he desired more than anything else.

He hadn’t lifted a finger to fight the divorce; there was no point. The papers were delivered in early May, and he signed them the same day. Adrian had already moved in with Ryan by then. In what might be interpreted as guilt, she left the house and most of their material possessions to Liam. It was then that reality hit like a freight train: The love of his life was gone, leaving behind a cold, empty home and a mutilated heart.

It felt like nothing could drag him up from rock bottom.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

tbedford1971: Very good read

prettyprits1: Fun book, really enjoying it

Naomi: Nooooo dont stop! This is so good..I need more...i need to know that Pt kicks vipers butt!

Mark: Me gusta la capacidad de la autora para crear historias con tan buena trama, hacen que te quedes esperando por un capítulo más, y uno más, hasta que sin darte cuenta lo terminas de leer.Me gustan mucho todas sus historias en general.

Fiona Walker: Absolutely bloody loved it. A very well written slow burn romance that will I think, be continued in subsequent books. It leads nicely into the next one

nanacinda58: It was very well written. Story kept your interest up. Strong woman character.

TAVIA: This book is hot...it turns me on reading about the sex scenes. Love it

Armykookmin: Total mente recomendado,jente no se arrepentirán de semejante obra,ovio que igual tiene que gustarle el éxito😏😎

More Recommendations

Crazy_reader: It's a really nice read! !

dlmccoy57: Story line is good but the grammar and sentence structure needs to be edited. I &had to figure out some sentences. Just needs work for at least the English language.

honeygirlphx: I wish your books would be a tv series I can only imagine how amazing these fantasy stories would be!!

honeygirlphx: Can’t get enough of your writing! Thanks for sharing spicy and exciting

Bamalady78: I have absolutely nothing but praise for this story. Each book draws you in to the newest couple while still continuing the past couples storyline. Absolutely brilliant work of art.

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.