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Order of Protection (Courting Justice #1) ~ Page 1

Read Online Books/Novels:Order of Protection (Courting Justice #1)Author/Writer of Book/Novel:Lexi BlakeLanguage:EnglishISBN/ ASIN:B075PWH6YNBook Information:

A sexy and suspenseful new contemporary romance from New York Times bestselling author Lexi Blake where love and law entwine for a conviction of the heart.

To high-end defense attorney Henry Garrison, Win Hughes is a woman he met during one of the most trying times of his life. She’s soft and warm, and he finds solace in their brief relationship. But Win has a secret. She’s actually Taylor Winston-Hughes"born to one of the wealthiest families in the country, orphaned as a child by a tragic accident. Win moves in the wealthiest circles, but her lavish lifestyle hides her pain.

When her best friend is murdered in the midst of a glittering New York gala, Win’s charged with the crime, and the only person in the world she wants to see is Henry.

Henry is shocked at the true identity of his lover, but he can’t reject the case. This trial could take his new firm into the stratosphere. Still, he’s not getting burned by Win again. And yet every turn brings them closer together.

As the case takes a wild turn and Win’s entire life is upended, she must look to the people she’s closest to in order to find a killer. And Henry must decide between making his case and saving the woman he loves…Books in Series:Courting Justice Series by Lexi BlakeBooks by Author:Lexi Blake Books

ONE

MARTHA"S VINEYARD,

MASSACHUSETTS

Henry Garrison sat on the back-porch steps, looking out at the Atlantic. The waves were calm at this time of day, an endless beat that once had been the rhythm of his childhood. The sky was darkening, a storm coming in with savage quickness. It was one of the things he"d always loved about this place. One minute the sky was perfect, and then some terrible storm would roll in, and thirty minutes later the world was back to flawless again.

If only his life had turned out to be so quick to change. Oh, it had gotten shitty fast, but the cleanup afterward seemed like it might take a lifetime.

He let the coffee cup he held warm his hands and concentrated on the beach. When he looked out over that sand, he could practically see his grandfather walking. The old man who"d raised him had walked the shoreline every single day, combing the beach he"d known for decades as though he would find something new. He would show back up with some shell or sand dollar like it was a treasure.

Damn but he missed that old man.

Sometimes he didn"t though. He was happy his grandfather hadn"t lived long enough to see the complete wreck Henry had made of his life. Along with his daily walk on the beach, Alistair Garrison had sat right here on this porch and read the New York Times every single morning while sipping his two cups of coffee. Never more, because that would be too indulgent.

Control and discipline, my boy. Those are the keys to life.

Yeah, his grandfather hadn"t lived long enough to watch his only grandchild, the golden boy, fall from grace because of booze and arrogance. He hadn"t had to watch as the New York Bar had nearly taken away his ability to practice law. He hadn"t been alive to witness the downfall of his grandson"s made-for-the-tabloids marriage, and Henry was sure as hell happy he hadn"t been alive to know that his precious house was being put on the market to pay off a never-ending series of bills he"d run up when he"d been married. He"d bought cars and houses and other shit he didn"t need.

Most of which he didn"t even own anymore. He"d had to sell almost everything to simply keep his head above water. He"d blown it all on booze and luxury vacations and clothes with price tags that would have made his grandfather roll over in his grave.

Henry gripped the coffee cup with both hands, willing himself to stay out here on the porch and not go back inside the small but beautifully decorated bungalow. That had been his grandmother"s doing, and he reminded himself that he was happy she hadn"t witnessed his tragedy either.

He"d been packing up the closet in the smaller of the two bedrooms when he"d found a wooden box containing a lifetime"s worth of photos. They were black-and-white and color. Some had been professionally done"his father"s army photo, his grandfather"s wedding portrait, Henry"s Harvard graduation portrait. Some had been from the various cameras his grandfather had used over the years. There had also been a Bible with a pressed white rose in it. His mother"s.

Pictures of the dead. Pictures of people who"d smiled and had lives, and then they were gone and he was left behind.

But those bittersweet memories weren"t what had prompted Henry to practically run out of the house.

Nope. It had been the small bottle of Scotch he"d found. There had been almost half the bottle left. He"d looked at that liquid gold and known exactly how it would taste, how it would smell, the way it would burn down his throat. He"d stared at it and figured he could get three decent glasses out of it. He could go to the kitchen, grab one of the crystal tumblers his grandmother had been proud of, and sit and toast all that death.

He"d dropped the bottle on the carpet and walked out of the house. He"d walked to the small caf" two blocks from the beach and ordered a large coffee and told himself that he could keep the monster locked in that room. He would simply sell the contents of the house along with the structure.

The problem was, the monster didn"t live in the bottle. The monster was with Henry always.

His cell trilled, and he practically breathed a sigh of relief. Work was something he could deal with. Work was an addiction he could sink into. He set the cup down and answered the call. "This is Garrison."

"Hey, buddy. How"s the packing going"" David Cormack"s voice came over the line, a steady sound that soothed Henry. There was something about the ex"NFL star turned lawyer that Henry found oddly calming. David never flipped his shit, never got angry or emotional, but managed to also never seem cold.

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