Category Archives: SAFE security

Unlocking Temptation (SAFE Security 2.7)

Unlocking Temptation is a fun short read featuring David and Autumn. It’s a Halloween caper with hot sex and new real estate.

David thought going to a Halloween party would be a fun night out with his new bride. After all, what kind of trouble could she possibly find at a costume party? Plenty.

Join David and Brea for a hot night of intrigue and treachery.

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Shards of Love (Jesse and Jessica 3) is Now Available

Wow–I’ve heard from a number of people about how much they LOVE this trilogy. It’s heartfelt, poignant, and unexpected.

The final book in the Jesse and Jessica trilogy is here! It’s a poignant story of love, loss, family, and forgiveness–and I hope you love it as much as I do!

When I set out to write this story, I had no idea it would be a trilogy. As I got to the end of Drawing On Love, I had to face the fact that their story could not be contained in one book. Once I got to the end of Broken Love, I knew that two books wasn’t enough. So I pushed on, and in ten days of marathon writing, I finished Shards of Love. My daughter named it during a family brainstorm session, and it perfectly captured the mess Jesse and Jessica had made of their relationship and the hardships they were set to endure.

Nobody is perfect, and I set out to capture that with this story. Jesse and Jessica are both deeply flawed. She’s spent her life trying to survive, and he’s about to endure things that are all too common in war zones around the world. This story of heartbreak, family, friendship, and love will leave you pleasantly battered.

For this one, you’re going to need a box of tissues.

And, if you can, please leave a review. I hate asking, but reviews drive algorithms, which make my books visible to readers. Thanks so much!


“I’d wanted the fairy tale, and somewhere along the line I’d forgotten that everyone in a fairy tale paid a price.”

All Jessica ever wanted was a family.

When the unthinkable happens, Jessica finds herself adrift in a sea of grief. It’s going to take everything she has to pull her life together and fight for the life she wants.

Warning: Bondage, D/s, rape (not romanticized)

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“Brat, that’s enough. Jesse didn’t do this job for the money. None of us do. We do this because we know we make a positive difference in this world.”

“Bullshit,” she sneered. “You aren’t fooling anyone.” She slammed the heels of her palms into my chest.

This was different from when she’d slapped me before. She’d been stunned by her reaction as much as I had, and I saw immediately that she hadn’t meant to hit me as much as she’d wanted to smack away the information.

But now she was attacking me. She was in pain and lashing out.

With a neat twist of my arms, I captured her wrists and pinned them behind her back. “Brat, I know you’re upset, so let’s take a minute to calm down.”

She struggled against my hold. “I don’t want to calm down. I’ve been calm for months, and it hasn’t helped. I’m tired of being rational and good. I’m tired of feeling all this pain, and no matter what I do, it doesn’t go away. I’m tired of pretending for all of you that I’m fine when I feel like I died months ago.”

My heart broke at the raw pain written on her features and trembling in her voice. Without further thought, I lifted her onto my lap and held her against me.

Her whole body softened, and she melted into me. I cradled her head, and she rested her cheek against my chest. Her hand grasped at my shirt.

Though the wrong circumstances had landed her in my arms, protectiveness and pure joy surged through me. After all this time, we finally had more than a surface-level connection.

Broken Love

Broken Love

A SAFE Security Trilogy: Jesse and Jessica 2

Jesse: Four months after Jessica walked away from me, I returned to find that she’d removed herself from my life as much as possible—even from her art studio and storefront on the first floor of the SAFE Security building. She couldn’t run far since she was carrying my child, and one night of playing nice landed me in her bed. While it didn’t repair the broken love between us, it renewed my determination to win her back.

Jessica: Ending up in the back of Jesse’s truck while he was on vacation wasn’t what I’d intended, but it gave us time to talk in a way we hadn’t before. Now that he understood I wasn’t a submissive, maybe we had a chance to be friends and co-parents?

I just wish I could stop yearning for his touch.


She sat up as I came in, revealing that she wore my shirt. “You were gone a long time.” Her lips pressed together, probably quelling the urge to ask where I’d been.

“I called Dean.”

“Oh.” Her gaze flickered away. “I’m finished in the bathroom. I used one of your disposable razors for my legs. I hope you don’t mind.”

This woman was completely at odds with the portrait Dean had in his head. To reaffirm that idea, I took a chance on Dean’s question. If she wasn’t on SAFE Security’s insurance, I needed to know she was covered somewhere. If she wasn’t, I’d change that situation immediately.

“Jessica, Dean said that he tried to cut off your health care by firing you from SAFE Security.”

“Let’s not talk about any of that unpleasantness. I’ve landed on my feet, okay?” She rolled to her other side and pulled the covers up, signaling that she was finished with the conversation.

Nothing got to me faster than an uncooperative Jessica. I sat on the edge of her bed and eased the covers from over her face. “Who is paying for your insurance?”

Her chest heaved a sigh. “You are.” She didn’t meet my gaze.

I was meticulous about my bank accounts. I hadn’t seen an increase in money flowing to health insurance. Actually, my monthly premium cost had dropped a few dollars. “How?”

She chewed at her bottom lip in a rare show of nerves. “Maybe you should ask David? It was his idea.”

Now my curiosity was piqued. I peeled back the covers and lifted her until she sat up and faced me. “Darlin’, I’d like an explanation.”

“We’re married.”

Shock that she would marry anyone was superseded only by the fact of who she claimed to have married. How the fuck could she marry David? He was already married. “How? Did he divorce Brea and not tell anyone?”

She winced. “No, I’m married to you.”

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Jesse and Jessica Get Their Own Series!

When I began writing Jesse and Jessica’s story, it grew into something incredible and unexpected. My first run at writing their love story ended up with a really, really long book, and the characters wouldn’t stop talking to me.

“You know that’s not the end,” Jessica would whisper.

“What about…?” Jesse would prod.

He’s a pushy one, and she gives me these long looks that I couldn’t ignore.

Their story turned into an epic trilogy. I’m amazed at how these two grew, changed, and each came into their own–separately and together. I laughed and cried while writing this, and I hope you do as well.

The reading order is as follows:

Forging Love (alternating viewpoints)

Drawing on Love (Jessica’s viewpoint)

Broken Love (Mostly Jesse’s viewpoint)

Shards of Love (alternating viewpoints)

Forging Love (prequel/SAFE Security 2.5): FREE novella! Buy from Amazon or Books2Read (which is all other outlets)

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Drawing On Love–Now Available!

Drawing On Love

(Mercenary Hearts 1)

Lessons I learned growing up:

1) Take care of yourself. Anyone else will let you down.

2) People come and go. Mostly, they go. It’s best not to get too close.

3) Lying and stealing are acceptable survival techniques.

4) Hide anything important.

Determined to stand on her own, Jessica Zinn embarks on a journey that will bring her face-to-face to a past she’s forgotten and force her to confront the demons she still carries. Through it all, Jesse’s unwavering love is a beacon that inspires hope in her darkest hours—but is it enough?

Warning: D/s, impact play, bondage, spanking, hard truths


He peered into my eyes and stroked his fingers through my hair. The blue of his irises had darkened, and a flame danced behind them. Suddenly I was seized with the desire to draw him, to capture by my own hand the wonder, need, and possessiveness I recognized there.

He leaned in to kiss me, but I pressed both hands to his shoulders. “Wait. Don’t move.”

“You don’t give the orders, my Brat. Ask for what you want.”

I didn’t want to argue with him. “Ten seconds. Please, Jesse.”

Granting my request, he froze. He watched the way I studied him, noting the faint lines at the corners of his eyes and the smattering of gray mixed with the light brown at his temples. I memorized the flecks of steel and the way light and lighter blues blended in his eyes. He allowed exactly ten seconds, and then his lips captured mine. Bypassing teasing altogether, he annihilated any resistance that might have cropped up due to my stubborn nature.

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Jessica’s Forgery–Deleted Scene

As I wrote Switching It Up, I had to figure out what was going on with Jesse and Jessica because it impacted what was going on with David and Brea. In doing so, I wrote Forging Love, a prequel novella for Jesse and Jessica’s story.

Once I finished Switching It Up, I went back to clean up Forging Love because I knew that you guys would want to read this story! One thing I realized was that I’d overwritten the story. If you’ve read these, you know that there’s a point when Their stories all overlap. I didn’t want to tell that from too many point of view, so I cut the ending of Forging Love. Some of what I cut wasn’t an overlap–it just didn’t fit into the timeline I’d established.

So this is an unedited scene I cut from Forging Love. It features Jessica and her father working together to create the diary that sends Jessica and Brea on their adventure.

Deleted scene from Forging Love

At home that afternoon, I fired up the stove and the coffee maker. Warren watched me, his chin wrinkled in confusion. “I thought you just had lunch?”

Leon had met Sylvia and me at a place renowned for crab legs, and I’d stuffed myself because who can stop when such deliciousness is in front of them? Not me.

I set out some papers where I’d handwritten the text of a false journal, the first step in the forgery process. Then I took one sheet and crumpled the edges. “I’m making a present for Brea.”

Warren studied the situation. “It looks to me like you’re aging paper. Are you forging for fun now?”

Though my parents knew a little about my past, we didn’t often discuss it. Certainly my father had never brought it up in a joking kind of way before now. I met his gaze and smiled. “Art is fun and fulfilling. Forging is an art.”

“Therefore forging is fun and fulfilling.” He pulled out a bar stool and settled on the opposite side of the counter. “Can I help?”

When I was young and learning the trade, BS had spent many an hour helping me perfect my skills. I didn’t know how I felt about essentially doing the same thing with the man who actually was my father. I took a deep breath. “Sure. We need all the cookie sheets.”

He got up and searched through the cupboards. “You can’t use the flat ones because your mother would kill us if they got ruined.”

Sylvia had an impressive collection of baking pans, and when the convection baking sheet craze had gripped the world a few decades ago, she’d signed on wholeheartedly. “We need ones with edges.”

“You’re going to soak them in coffee.” Warren caught on quickly. “I thought you were supposed to brush it on.”

“Brushing it on leaves obvious markings. I prefer to use a sponge.” I smoothed out the paper I’d crumpled. “First we wrinkle the papers on the edges. Since this is going to be a booklet, it’s reasonable that the middle of the pages wouldn’t be wrinkled, though they might be torn.”

I walked him through the process of aging paper. First I took some wet coffee grounds and strategically sprinkled them over a few of the pages. Then I poured a thin layer of coffee around the papers. “Never pour it directly on the paper. That’s an amateur move.” We scored small holes in some of the pages, and we mined an extra sheet for small bits to roll into balls. I showed Warren how to press these to the papers so that they melded together to create irregularities in the pulp.
Warren sponged away excess liquid. “Paper was made by hand back then, so irregular is the normal look.”

“True.” I rummaged through the deep drawer where Sylvia kept the graters, mashers, and other kitchen gadgets. I found a measuring spoon and a grilling fork. “These can be used to make additional marks on the pages.” I showed him how to use just the right pressure. Letting him help at all was taxing on my nerves. Not only was I beating back flashbacks of BS coaching me through the rudiments of forgery, if Warren messed up one of the pages, it would take a lot of time to recreate the text, and I’d stayed up really late last night composing these.

We stepped back to inspect our work. “Now what?”

“Now we bake them.”

Sylvia came into the kitchen, her hair still wet from her recent shower. “Bake what?”

“Pages of a journal detailing the location of buried treasure.” Warren beamed.

“Jessica is teaching me how to forge stuff.”

Sylvia’s mouth opened and closed like a fish out of water as she searched for a response. Finally she focused on me. “Do you think it’s wise to start down that path again?”

“It’s a present for Brea.” When Sylvia continued to give me a stern look that must have sent Leon scrambling for cover, I elaborated. “She won’t be fooled. She knows my work.”

Sylvia didn’t buy my story. She wasn’t as desperate as Warren to connect with me. She crossed her arms. “What do you hope to accomplish by giving this to her?”

I decided it was best to come clean. “David and the rest are heading out on missions tomorrow. I’m hoping Brea will decide to go somewhere with me instead of just sitting around, waiting for them to get back. She’s been researching legends of buried treasure in San Tesoro, so I thought this presented the perfect opportunity to go looking.”

Warren removed a sheet pan from the oven. “They have nice beaches. I hope you’re not going hiking through a jungle and up a mountain. While you’ve come a long way in the last nine months, you’re still not up for strenuous physical activity.”

I wasn’t about to rule that out. Maybe I wasn’t fully recovered, but that wasn’t going to stop me from pushing myself. “I’m sure we’ll spend some time looking for treasure. There’s a treetop hotel there where we can basically stay in treehouses.”

This was a true statement, and I used it to put Sylvia at ease. The last thing either of them needed right now was to spend time worrying over Brea or me. This was why Jesse, David, Dean, and Frankie treated most mission details as if they were classified; they didn’t want us to worry about factors that were beyond our control. Lying was sometimes a sweet and thoughtful kind of manipulation.

“You’ll miss PT,” Warren said. “You’ll miss your session with Doctor Eliachevsky.”

I hoped to be back in time to make my Thursday appointment with my shrink, but I kept that to myself. “I’ll be fine. This’ll be a kind of therapy for me.”

“Do you want us to come with you?” Sylvia abandoned her firm stance. “It’s been a long, long time since we’ve gone on vacation with you girls.”

I’d been inspecting the finish on the dried pages. Once the booklet was put together, I’d distress the edges. Sylvia’s wistful tone made me feel guilty. I straightened up and looked her squarely in the eye. “Maybe next time. I’m thinking this’ll have more of an irresponsible feel than a bring-your-parents-along feel.”

Warren coughed, and his face turned red. “Pack sunscreen. And condoms.”

I lifted a brow. “I hadn’t planned on it being that fun, but I’ll make sure I’m covered.”

Sylvia eyeballed the baking sheets. “Since you have those out, let’s make snickerdoodles.”

It ended up being a nice family bonding experience.

The next morning, Warren dropped me off at my treasure store. He hauled my bag inside. “You’re sure about this?”

“Yes. Even if we don’t go anywhere, I’ll stay with Brea while David is away.”

“You’ll call and let me know either way?”

I kissed his cheek. “I promise.”

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Thoughtful Heroes

When I was a teenager, I had a subscription to Sassy magazine. As a 13 yo, I loved it. By the time I was 14, I’d outgrown it. I decided to let the subscription run out, but it didn’t. It just kept coming. Finally one day, I remarked on this puzzling event to my dad, and he laughed. “I keep finding those subscription cards on the kitchen table, so I send them in. I thought you were leaving them for me because you wanted to renew the subscription.”

Thoughtful, right? I think about things like this sometimes when I’m creating my heroes.

David and Brea have been through a lot in their three books, and part of what he had learned is to be mindful of how her perspective is different from his (and vice versa) due to their previous experiences. He know that she has a ton of baggage, too much to tell him in a few months. He could literally spend a lifetime finding out about everything she’s said and done. At the end of the day, he has to trust that he knows her well enough to respond appropriately to anything that might come up. Here’s an excerpt where he finds out some pretty damning things about her, and he responds like a true hero.

Excerpt from Switching It Up:

I sat in my chair and opened the file. It contained eight-by-ten glossies. The top one showed a much younger Brea deep in conversation with an older man wearing wire-rimmed glasses. He looked familiar, but his name didn’t come to me. The next one was a satellite image that showed her in some kind of compound, a rifle slung over her shoulder. The third featured a swarthy man kissing her cheek, and the last two showed her speaking with groups of people. I picked out a known gun runner, two high-level drug dealers, and Eugene Bowen, the kidnapper she’d known as Brian Sullivan.

I closed the file folder. “What’s all this?”

“This is the woman you’re planning to marry. Are you aware of her background?”

While I knew a lot about her background, there was a ton that was still a mystery. For the most part, Brea didn’t like to talk about her past. She had secrets and things she just didn’t want to talk about, and I’d promised to respect her wishes. I lifted my shoulder in a noncommittal move. It was the ultimate passive-aggressive evasive maneuver.

Grayson chuckled. “I have to be honest, David. I never thought you’d be blinded by love. It’s kind of sweet.” He perched on the arm of the chair on the other side of my desk. “I looked into how the two of you met. The FBI agents with whom you worked filed reports, and I followed up with phone calls. Liam Adair and Keith Rossetti were quick to come to Brea’s defense, and that’s when I realized that she was a master con artist.”

Verbal games and intrigue weren’t funny when they involved my fiancée. “I’m aware of her past, as are you. Cut the bullshit and tell me why you came. I’m not changing my mind about the mission.”

“Fair enough.” He got to his feet, opened the file folder, and tapped his thumb on the older, bespectacled man speaking to a teenaged Brea. “That’s Luis Ramirez, wanted for smuggling drugs and arms in sixteen countries. He’s involved with human trafficking and efforts to arm home-grown insurgents in the US.” He flipped to the next picture. “This is a training facility for a Columbian drug cartel.”

I dismissed them both. “She’s never been to Columbia.” Of course I had no way of knowing if she had or not. In her secret box that she kept hidden from even me, I knew she had a stack of fake driver’s licenses and passports.

This time, Gray did the shrugging. “Associating with many of these people is treason. I don’t even have to arrest her or charge her with anything. There won’t be a trial. She has sensitive information that we need for purposes of national security. I can lock her in a cell in a black site and throw away the key.”

Cold fingers of rage wrapped around my vital organs. I rose slowly, facing my former CO, and it took every ounce of self-control not to kill him. Even if the photos weren’t real, I had no doubt that Gray would follow through on his threat because he believed in violence and retribution.


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Word Count: 57,400

It’s a Double Release Date!


A SAFE Security series
by Michele Zurlo
Genre: BDSM romantic suspense
Book 2
As Brea settles into her new life as a D/s switch, treasure hunter, and David’s fiancée, her old nemesis Grayson Cuyler resurfaces with a deadly deal. Either David must accept a dangerous, unsanctioned mission or Cuyler will make sure Brea pays for her former life as a thief and con artist. Against Brea’s wishes, David and his team take on this impossible task.
Left behind, Brea and her sister/partner-in-crime Jessica hatch a plan that will take them to the Central American country of San Tesoro and put them in the clutches of the man from whom David must steal the prize that will save or doom them all.

He placed one of the throw pillows on his lap. “Come on up, Sugar.”
This was his favorite position for spanking me. It was comfortable for us both. I arranged myself across his lap with my knees underneath me and my ass lifted. The pillow he’d put on his lap took some of the stress off my knees and allowed me to maintain my position longer.
Immediately I felt the roughness of his palm against my posterior. It moved in circles, stimulating me in unexpected ways. Normally before a spanking I was a bundle of nerves, but not this time. Or maybe I was strung so tightly that the slightest touch was magnified. By the time his forays spread to my upper thighs, the small moan in my throat deepened and defied containment.
He started lightly, warming up his hand and my bottom. Soon the force doubled, and doubled again. As I cried out, I became aware of tears wetting my cheeks. Blows rained across both cheeks and my upper thighs. A few caught my pussy, and each time, my ass lifted higher to give him better access.
My ass was on fire, but I didn’t want him to stop. I begged him for more, and he didn’t let up. Now the blows centered more and more around my pussy. All of a sudden, a climax detonated in my core. Sounds of pleasure mixed with misery. Tears dripped from my eyes, and the languor of orgasm calmed my insides.
Sir picked me up and turned me around. He wrapped a soft blanket around me and cradled me in his warm embrace. “You did wonderfully, Sugar. That was a beautiful climax. Thank you for giving yourself to me, for trusting me to make sure you got what you needed. I love you so much.”
He talked to me, whispers and murmurs of praise and affection, until my sobs had quieted. I clung to him, my anchor in this maelstrom.
Book 2.5
Jessica Zinn: Rebuilding my life hasn’t been easy, and I’m far from done. I have some habits I can’t seem to shake, like picking pockets, forgery, and manipulating men to get what I want. I don’t want to manipulate Jesse, but the lines have blurred, and I can’t separate my honest emotions from my bad habits.
Jesse Foraker: I fell in love with Jessica the first time I saw her, and I’ll wait as long as it takes for her to be ready to love me back.
The time has come for Jesse to make his move, but will Jessica’s love be the real thing, or a forgery?

On the far end of the fire escape, Jessica stared at something in her hands, and I realized what had happened. “Jessica, did you open this window?”
She started, put her hands over her heart, and closed her eyes. “Christ, Jesse. You scared the shit out of me.”
“You set off an alarm.” I turned to Dean and Frankie. “Jessica decided to take the fire escape instead of the elevator.”
Frankie scowled. I knew that look, and I felt the need to protect Jessica. My entire stance altered as I puffed out my chest and crossed my arms.
Dean put his hand on Frankie’s arm. “Let’s let Jesse deal with this. Maybe look into getting Jessica her own access code. At least then we’d know it’s her and not Brea coming and going.”
I entered a code on my phone to deactivate the threat warning, and then I poked my head back out the window. My breath turned to fog in the air. “It’s cold. Why don’t you come in? We’ll let you use the stairs or the elevator free of charge.”
She turned away from me. “I’m okay.”
Though she wasn’t wearing a jacket, she did not appear to be suffering from the cold. Reasoning that she probably wouldn’t shoot me, I shed my bulletproof vest and climbed out the window. As I came closer, she edged farther away until the railing got in her way. “Don’t jump on my account.”
A pathetic laugh or cough struggled to be heard. Whichever it was, she squelched it before it got far. “I’m not suicidal.”
“So you’re standing on a third-floor fire escape without a jacket in winter because?”
“I want a cigarette.”
Book 1
Relocating to Kansas City with David and working for SAFE Security was everything Autumn thought she wanted…except that the job isn’t what she thought it would be, and her past seems to have a stranglehold on her emotions.
When Autumn takes a case without informing the rest of SAFE Security, she finds herself in hot water when secret victory blows up in her face. Her impulsive mistake almost costs their lives—and she soon finds herself jobless. Reeling from this failure and the way it’s damaged her relationships with David and the team, she vows to start fresh—with a new name and in a new city. Unfortunately a local crime boss has other ideas.
In the midst of a mission, David must rush back to try to stop Autumn from leaving—only to find that Autumn and her sister have disappeared. Can he find them in time to save them and his relationship with the woman he treasures?
In Treasure Me, Michele Zurlo delivers a sexy, action-packed adventure tale full of emotional twists and turns.
David thought going to a Halloween party would be a fun night out with his new bride. After all, what kind of trouble could she possibly find at a costume party? Plenty.
Join David and Brea for a hot night of intrigue and treachery.

Tomorrow’s News! Hint–SAFE Security

Tuesday, August 15 marks the DOUBLE release of Switching It Up (SAFE Security 2) and Forging Love (SAFE Security 2.5). If you haven’t started the series, it’s not too late. Here’s the reading order:

Re/Leased (Doms of the FBI 5)–this is a stand-alone novel that launches David and Brea/Autumn’s relationship.

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Treasure Me (SAFE Security 1)–Though this is the first book in the series, it takes up where Re/Leased left off. David and Brea have a lot of issues left unresolved, and since trouble follows Brea around, there’s plenty of perilous drama too!

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Switching It Up (SAFE Security 2)–This new adventure takes them to the jungles of South America and introduces a new dynamic into their D/s relationship.

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Forging Love (SAFE Security 2.5)–Jesse and Jessica have been dancing around one another for a while now. This prequel is the start of their relationship, but is Jessica building something with Jesse or faking it?

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