Powerful. Dangerous. Male. Alexi Stepanov was everything that painful experience had taught Jessica Sterling to fear. Which was why he made the perfect protector for her dearest friend. What made better sense than to counter a threat with maximum threat? Keep your enemies closer...wasn't that the general wisdom? Only, Alexi was too close for comfort.... In honoring a vow, Jessica had resigned herself to a cold, lonely life as a wealthy widow, but Alexi warmed her world with his large, loving family...and a heat he alone stirred. Once, a man's touch had meant taking, but Alexi's touch was giving. And deceiving. For Alexi knew her friend had never been in danger. Jessica was.