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K.J. Jackson

Guardians of the Bones Books 1-4 (EBOOK BUNDLE)

Guardians of the Bones Books 1-4 (EBOOK BUNDLE)

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Guardians are sworn to protect, sworn to remain a secret. But when love comes into play, all bets are off in this steamy Regency romance series.  

EBOOK BUNDLE. The first 4 EBOOKs of the Guardians of the Bones series, each a steamy, heart-stopping historical romance adventure from USA Today Bestselling author, K.J. Jackson. 

This epic collection starts with Discreet Destruction...
A wayward ruler of the London underworld. The woman determined to protect him at all costs. Where betrayal and obsession meet, does love stand a chance in this adventure-filled historical romance?

He’s oblivious to the danger bearing down on him.
A titan of the rookeries, the last thing Declan Rudderton needs in his life is another thing to worry about. He has multiple gaming hells and his ever-expanding London empire that he has to manage. And it seems, as of late, he’s been bothered by the occasional alleyway knife-fight far too often. Yet he pushes forth, holding on—barely—until the day he discovers the maid he depends on to run everything around him isn’t anything he thought she was. She’s more—too much more. A betrayal—and temptation—like no other.

She’s been lying for years.
Verity Jones has been playing as a mute for years, working as a maid in the most lucrative gaming hell in the rookeries, all to get close to Declan, for it is her job as a guardian to ensure he is safe. She keeps him close, keeps him alive. A ruse that works to her advantage in every way, until the day Declan discovers she can speak. And read. And write. And was hired to be in life.

Her job—and life—is on the line.
Never mind that she fell in love with Declan long ago, Verity desperately needs this employ and cannot afford to lose it. Even though she destroyed every bit of trust Declan had in her and he now despises her, there is the matter of someone working hard to make sure Declan doesn’t see another sunrise. She swore to protect him and needs to uncover the threat, or she won’t just lose her job—she’ll lose the one person she would die for.

This ebook bundle of historical Regency romances contains 4 stand-alone stories: 
1. Discreet Destruction
2. Shadows of Scandal
3. A Savage Deception
4. Wicked Reckoning



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Discreet Destruction Sneak Peek:
{ Chapter 1 }

London, March 1827

Verity scooped up the cane from the muck of the ground and swung the heavy silver head of it directly at the knees of the cutthroat behind her.

That he’d reversed course from charging down the alleyway to join in on the attack on Declan meant she wasn’t as silent as she would have liked.

The first man she had gotten to had screamed as he went down. A dagger across the back of one’s thigh tended to do that. But the brute was too bloody tall for her to attack the throat. Luckily, after the blade across his leg, his cane was easy to rip out of his hand and knock across his jaw.

Where in the hell was Jack?

The cane slammed into the knees of the brute coming at her and she glanced past him. At the far end of the alley, Declan was engaged with two of the three cutthroats that had jumped him—one was already face down on the ground—but he didn’t need two more rushing him.

“Bitch.” The word was part swear, part howl.

His knees busted, the brute in front of her crashed into the brick wall, then slipped to the mud. She slammed the heel of her boot into his temple.

Best Declan didn’t come down the alleyway to investigate. With any luck, he didn’t hear the man’s scream through his own battle.

She tucked her blade into the pocket of her apron and crept into the shadows of the alleyway, moving closer to Declan.

One of the men he’d been fighting was in a heap against the brick of the building to her left and Declan was dodging the blade the last cutthroat was waving about.

To the left. Down. To the right. Declan flew while the other man lumbered, grunting.

Damn, he was quick.

She’d seen him fight many times, and every time, she was jealous. Fast. Strong. Smart. Levelheaded. Moves that were unexpected. So sure of himself. She wouldn’t want to go up against him. Ever.

But she did enjoy watching him.

Quick as the snap of a whip, Declan’s hand snatched the cutthroat’s wrist and he cracked it, the blade falling from the man’s hand.

A knee into the brute’s gut and then Declan slammed the cutthroat’s head back into the building behind him.

The man sank, slowly, crumpling into himself. Third one down and still air permeated the alley.

“Verity?” Declan’s look swung her direction.

Hell, she thought she was enough in the shadows. Close, but not too close. Damn the white apron she hadn’t had time to strip off.

He’d seen her and it was no use hiding. She stepped forward, nodding, just as a new cutthroat charged at Declan from behind.

She jumped, feinting fear, pointing as she held out the heavy cane in her hand to him. She would have offered a terrified scream if it had been plausible.

A quick glance behind him at the threat and he coughed out a, “Thanks,” then grabbed the cane from her hand and turned and swung.

The brute was out in an instant.

Declan spun back to her.

“You shouldn’t be out here, Verity. What are you thinking? You know these streets aren’t safe—and especially the alleys. Get the hell back to the Alabaster.” His irate words rained down on her.

Her head bowed, hiding her face, but she nodded, silently contrite. She moved forward, sliding past him as she picked over prone bodies and headed toward the lights of the street that led to the Alabaster.

Five steps past him and his voice cut into the night. “Verity—I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to yell at you. Scare you.”

Her feet paused and she half turned back, gave him a quick nod, then ducked her head, scurrying the rest of the way out to the main street.

“I can walk you back.” Declan’s voice was directly behind her. He moved too fast. He always did, popping up over her shoulder when she wasn’t prepared for him.

Not looking up at him, she shook her head, her steps quickening, and the sound of his boot heels faded behind her, stopping until there was no echo of them.

Off on her own.

A scared little mouse, on the run.

That was her job. Her real job.

A scared little mouse that was actually a deadly little mouse.


Verity hadn’t spoken in two years, four months, three days.

It was easy to keep track, for every day she awoke, she had to remind herself where she was. What she was doing. How deep she was in.

Two years, four months, three days of living with this farce of being a maid at the Alabaster gaming hell, and now she was staring at the end.

“You have to find a way out of it. Without answers, you are useless and you need to get out.” The long line across Hector’s forehead that was always present—from temple to temple and starker than the many other wrinkles creasing his skin—deepened with his aggravation.

She shook her head, her mouth pulling to a tight line. She would explain if she could, but she couldn’t speak. If she broke now, she didn’t think she could ever slip back into the pretense of her life.

Hector knew exactly why she wasn’t answering, but that didn’t stop a long sigh from exhaling from his lungs. Fingertips met fingertips in front of his mouth, making a steeple, and the sides of his forefingers tapped on his lips as he stared at her. “You’re going to have to give me more to go on, Verity, or I will be forced to pull you from the job. Put someone in your place that can find the answers we need.”

She leaned forward, picking up the quill on Hector’s desk and then stabbing the nib into the inkwell. Holding in a growl, she scrawled the point across the paper, ink smearing.

You cannot. I am trusted. No one is in a better position. Not even Jack. I cannot lose this post.

Hector’s hands dropped away from his face, his left fingers curling into a fist that landed atop the desk, the weathered wrinkles along his knuckles stretching to white. “Then make a bloody exception and speak to me. Tell me something—anything. I haven’t heard words from you in two years. You’ve done well on the job, but this current threat is not acceptable. And you won’t even talk to me. Explain it. Three attacks in one month cannot be condoned.”

She shook her head and scratched more words onto the paper, then spun it toward him.

You know why I cannot speak. I have this handled.

“I never should have put you on this job.” His head shook, more to himself than to her. “Never should have listened to Jack on the matter.” His fist uncurled and he sucked in a deep breath, leaning back in his chair. “You give me no choice. I have to pull you from the job.”

She jumped to her feet, her head frantically shaking as she slammed her knuckles onto his desk. Her left hand flew up, palm to him as her right hand grabbed the quill, dashed ink onto it and scrawled more words onto the paper, the last letters mere scratches in the paper for lack of ink.

I will find the source. I am close, I know it. I took care of the other threats well enough. Please don’t do this—you know why.

He stared at the paper for several long heartbeats. His dark blue eyes, aged almost to silver, lifted to pin her.

“Then find out who is attacking Mr. Rudderton. That is part of your job. Threats like this will not be tolerated.”

A stay of execution.

For now.

With a nod, she set the quill onto the desk gently, belying the desperation making her fingers twitch.

He would notice that. The slight shake along her pinky.

Hector liked that she didn’t flinch. Didn’t hesitate. Didn’t show fear. It was why he chose her to begin with.

Another farce that had been hard to keep up with for the past three years.

For she did flinch.

She did hesitate.

And she was absolutely, definitely afraid.

But all of that had to remain hidden. From him, from the world.

She nodded to him again. A promise with her look, if not her words, that she would find who was threatening Mr. Rudderton.

Hector accepted it with an incline of his head.

She turned, walking out of his office and into the night, her black maid’s dress letting her disappear into the darkness, into the shadows along the streets.

She made it halfway to her boarding house before the tears of frustration started to fall.

Rarely did she let the pitiful, desperate core of her bleed out with salty tears. But it had been so long—so long since the last time she had cried—that she couldn’t quite stop the tears as she usually did.

She had to find the threat against Declan, or all would be lost.

Her brother was counting on her.

And a noose was waiting for her.


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