Just because summer is almost at it's end doesn't mean you have give up those good summer reads! If you like gun fights, car chases, a dose of humor and some good old fashioned stolen kisses, check out Book 2 in the Defenders of Love Series. There are three books in the series but each one can be read as a stand alone. Watch out for Aunt Clara, she doesn't take anything from anyone!
All Katie McCoy wanted was a quiet Friday evening, a frozen pizza and a pair of comfy pajamas. Damn her stupid ex-fiance to hell for the armed men that stormed her apartment and dragged her off on a matter of “national security”. Wearing those comfy pajamas and nothing else, she wasn’t at all prepared for the interrogation that awaited her…or the man with the questions.
Kaiden James would like to get through one vacation without the job interfering. Just once… Called away from his cousin’s wedding and his best man duties, he is less than happy to have to deal with Homeland Security’s new domestic terrorism case. Until he gets a look at the pajama-clad suspect...
After several attempts on Katie’s life, it’s clear she’s no terrorist but a loose end the real suspects need to tie up…and fast. Can Kaiden solve the case and keep her safe without losing his heart in the process?
A little excerpt for your reading pleasure...
Katie glanced around the small, dark room where she sat with one wrist handcuffed to a steel table. The only furniture in the room—a table and a couple of metal chairs—were bolted to the floor. All of her attempts to slip out of the handcuffs had been futile. The more she struggled the tighter they seemed to get, chafing the skin around her wrist until the flesh felt raw.
Dropping her head to her free arm resting on the table, Katie sighed deeply. Twenty four hours ago she had been jogging down the boardwalk enjoying a stunning Virginia Beach sunset. A hot shower, some worn flannel pajamas, and a frozen pizza had been her big plans for the night. Until armed men dressed all in black came crashing through her front door and dragged her away to God knows where for God knows why.
Actually, she had a pretty good idea as to why. But she wasn't about to say, not without a lot of
prodding. That lousy no good ex of hers had stirred up more than one mess in her life and she wanted nothing more to do with him. Ever.
The echo of footsteps in the hallway caught her attention. When they stopped outside the door, Katie braced herself. The way this night had gone so far, who knew what was about to happen. Not that she could do much with one wrist handcuffed to the table. She eyed the single incandescent bulb that hung over her head, the only other item in the room aside from the table and two chairs. Nothing to defend her one-armed self with.
Muted voices passed through the small space beyond the heavy door but strain as she might, Katie couldn't make out any words.
Katie refused to give into the panic that was building. She needed a clear head to figure how to get out of this mess. The bad guys had guns. All she had were her wits. If she could keep them about her, that is. Which didn't seem likely as the panic grew when the sound of a key in the lock echoed through the small room.
The heavy door swung open. Fully expecting
another black clad, automatic rifle bearing commando like the ones that had dragged her from her apartment, Katie's jaw dropped when a tall, broad frame wearing a tuxedo filled the space. His form almost completely blocked out any light from the hallway. Katie sucked in a breath.
"Good evening, Ms. McCoy." Tuxedo man stepped through the door, not making eye contact as he studied the file in his hand.
He didn't have to introduce himself. She knew exactly who he was. Oh crap. Would he remember her?
"I'd shake your hand or curtsy or something if I weren't attached to this stupid table." Katie scowled for effect but he still wasn't looking at her. Instead, he chuckled as he settled himself in a chair opposite hers, stretching his long legs underneath the table.
"Don't worry, Miss. Despite the fact that I missed a delicious prime rib dinner this evening I will not bite you." That explained the tux.
"You mean you don't always dress that way for an interrogation? Don't I feel special now?" she snapped, unable or unwilling to bite back the sarcasm as she sat as far back in her chair as she could.
Finally he looked at her. She saw the quick gleam of recognition before it disappeared.
He knew who she was.
"See anything you like?" Katie grumbled, resisting the urge to squirm under his blue gaze.
"What's your name?" the man asked casually, although Katie knew casual had nothing to do with it.
"You know my name. You just used it. Stop trying to butter me up and get down to business. I'm sure you know everything about me. I mean, I doubt those commandos of yours kidnap random women for fun on a Friday night. Or maybe they do?" She noticed the man watching her with the slightest hint of a smile.
"Are you always so defensive?" He eyed her again, as if seeing straight into her soul.
Her blood started to percolate a little in her veins under the intensity of his scrutiny. Aggravation, that's all. What other explanation could there be for the sudden rise in her internal temperature.
"McCoy. My name is Katie McCoy. And only when I have been kidnapped by a bunch of Special Forces wanna-be's. That tends to ruffle my feathers a bit, Mr…?" Two could play his game.
"James. Agent James."
"Your mother not like you much?"
He eyed her questioningly. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"She named you 'Agent', so she must not have liked you very much."
The man chuckled and she almost smiled in return until she went to push a stray hair behind her ear and realized handcuffs still held her to the steel table.
"It's Kaiden, Ms. McCoy. Agent Kaiden James."
"Agent of what agency?"
"Well, aren't you full of questions tonight?" He winked at her as he leaned back in his chair.
Katie scowled at him across the small space. "I always have a lot of questions when I am dragged from my home in my pajamas in the middle of the night."
Agent Kaiden James looked at his watch. The same military style, digital type Nathan used to wear. Katie scowled again. The memory of her ex-fiancé was not what she needed to be thinking about.
"It's barely nine in the evening, Ms. McCoy. I would hardly call it the middle of the night. Do you always dress for bed at dinner time?"
"I wasn't exactly expecting any company," she shot back.
"No, I suppose you weren't." He fiddled with his watch again, eyes narrowing as he studied the illuminated face. She didn't remember him being so pensive the last time they had met. Of course he had been under the influence of some strong narcotics. When would he admit that he knew her?
"Why am I here, Agent James?"
"Please, call me Kaiden."
"Fine, Kaiden, why am I here?'
"Do you really expect me to believe that you have no idea why you are here?"
"Yes, I do. Apparently making a frozen pizza is a capital offense in this part of the world. You still haven't even told me what agency you represent, Agent James."
"I'm with Homeland Security. My specialty is domestic terrorism."
He thinks I'm a terrorist? Seriously? Katie started laughing.
"There is nothing to laugh about, Ms. McCoy. You are in some serious trouble here."
"You think I am a terrorist? Please. Did you have a few drinks at that wedding?"
"Sadly, no. I didn't have the opportunity. Which means I am completely sober as we have this conversation." His words were serious but his voice held a hint of humor.
"Do you remember me, Agent James?" Do you remember a certain sponge bath perhaps?
He shrugged. "Should I?" He acted nonchalant but she could tell he knew exactly who she was. Well, if he wanted to play hard to get, she could too.
"It must have been another Mr. James who… well, I must have been mistaken anyway." She offered up a smile meant to be both a little sexy and a little bit shy.
Katie watched as Kaiden sifted through some papers in his file without acknowledging her. She tapped a finger against the metal table as she watched him intently. Oh, he definitely knew exactly who she was.
"Do you want to tell me why I am here or what?"
He looked at her pajamas with a half-smile.
"You are overdressed for the occasion, Agent James."
"Perhaps a hospital gown would have been more appropriate?"
He did remember her. Katie couldn't help but smile. Despite the circumstances—she eyeballed the cuff on her wrist—seeing Kaiden James again was the best thing to have happened to her in months.
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