When private investigator Matt Morrison’s best friend is murdered, all evidence seems to point at his company, but Matt’s every attempt at entry is thwarted. Violently. When pretty Ariel O’Donnell comes unexpectedly to his rescue, he resolves to keep her out of what is clearly a dangerous situation. Unfortunately, it seems Ariel is already involved and the forces set in motion by Bill’s death are closing around her.
The longer she walked down the hallway, though, the more it seemed wrong. The walls were unpainted. Plastic draped unframed doorways. Construction or remodeling. She would have remembered that as a landmark. She didn't. Her heart sank.
Think. Work it out logically, she told herself.
She couldn't. She couldn't remember the way out of the damn building.
Then something caught her attention.
A sound. Or rather, sounds.
Was that a voice?
Voices, definitely. A low rumble, a man's voice, but it was people talking. They didn't sound happy. At this hour, she didn't blame them. A second shift working late maybe?
People meant directions, though. Or so she hoped.
Relieved, she followed the sound of the voices to a doorway, parted the plastic flaps that covered it...and froze in shock and horror.
Four men. Two held a third and not gently...
They hadn't seen or heard her, they were too intent on what they were doing.
Ariel looked at the third man.
He didn't look good, blood stained his mouth, his expression was slack, there was an abrasion on one cheek and he sagged in the arms of the other two as the third man bunched his fist to hit him again.
With obvious effort, the battered man braced himself defiantly. He lifted his head and for the briefest of moments their eyes met.
Shock shot through her.
He had the most amazing eyes. Sea-ice eyes. Eyes of a green so intense it was like the sun shining through an iceberg, as clear as glass, as bottomless as the ocean. Bottle-green eyes. Piercing, intense.
He was handsome, his features strong and even, his face a little long, with a high forehead. Thick wavy dark blond hair spilled over it. His mouth was firm, with a split in it where they had hit him. His shoulders were broad, strong.
For a moment, he stared at her, dazed, and then those startling eyes registered her presence. They widened in alarm.
The other man hit him again.
If they kept it up, if they kept hitting him, they were going to kill him.
The wings tattooed on Nike's back cover the scars of her dark past. Once she worked for a secret division of the CIA, then she walked away after they asked her to go one step too far. A new branch of Homeland Security, a fast-response group called the NIO, deals with domestic and foreign terrorism within US borders. Nike has skills the NIO needs. Then the NIO uncovers a conspiracy that threatens everything...
The big custom-built Hummers bumped their way through the jungle along the rutted road to the oil fields. It was hardly Callie's first trip out there but it was the first in such prestigious company. Her father's boss and some man from the State Department, of all things, travelled with them. It didn't look as if she'd need the book she had in her backpack, or get the chance to read it.
Oddly enough, it was turning out to be something of an occasion. Originally, they hadn't planned to bring her along on this trip but she'd just turned eighteen and was due to fly back home to the states in just a few weeks. In less than a month she'd start her first year at PrincetonUniversity with a major in international studies. As it happened, Princeton was where both her father's boss, Tony Gallegos, and the man from the State Department, Phillip Reeves, had attended college.
Once her father mentioned it, both men insisted on bringing her along so they could fill her in and trade stories of their time there.
There were several vehicles in the expedition into the jungle where the oil rigs were located, a truck with some of the oil field workers, cars with guards both ahead and behind, another truck carrying supplies and their own Hummer.
Except for the presence of Mr. Reeves, it was a fairly routine trip. Tensions over the oil were rising among some of the more radical groups in the area so he'd come to try to negotiate with them to see if he could smooth the waters a bit.
First, though, he wanted to visit the oil fields. A lot of people were pretty pissed about it and some of them would be even more so if they knew about this trip. Some of them thought that statement said too much about his priorities, that like in Iraq the oil fields were more important to the U.S. than the negotiations. It was the oil that Reeves really cared about.
Callie had even heard some of that kind of talk on the streets among the people she hung out with there, her parkour and free-running friends.
Listening to him on the way out, she couldn't really argue the point, it was all he talked about, the importance of the oil fields. That was, when he wasn't talking about Princeton and the bars she had to visit in the towns near the campus once she was there.
So far, though, the trip had gone pretty quietly with the two men trading stories of their days at college. Callie caught an amused and resigned look from her father when the other two men weren't watching. He gave her a wink and she smothered a grin.
She glanced out the windows at the thick undergrowth that ran so close beside the windows here along the road where the sun could reach and then up at the trees that towered high above them. Branches clattered and scraped against the glass. The sky was cloudy and dark above them, the sunlight of the morning vanishing as the rainy season clouds rolled in. To those who didn't know the rain forest it was surprisingly cool, the clammy air thick and heavy with moisture. Some folks thought the humidity at home was bad but they'd never been in the jungle in the rainy season.
Both Mr Gallegos and Mr Reeves were reminiscing again over their days at college. Callie restrained a sigh, listening with only half anear. A part of her longed for the book in her backpack. It was a long usually boring trip, broken only by the appearance of an animal or bird erupting out of the brush but now she couldn't even read or she'd look rude.
The sudden chatter of automatic weapon fire shattered the boredom, the quiet.
Instantly it became a green and scarlet nightmare as bodies shuddered with the impact of bullets, blood sprayed, screams and cries rang out as men fell amid the shouting and confusion.
Anne Sheridan's seaside property is both her home and the inspiration for her painting. To some, though, it's also the perfect location for an exclusive resort. Now she finds herself in the middle of a dangerous high-stakes game of real-life Monopoly. CEO Michael Kelley hadn't intended that when he made the offer. With so much money involved, now he has to keep her safe while she decides whether to take it or not.
A steamy, sultry thriller, Picture Perfect will set your pulse racing...
(Previously published as Lucky Charm)
Once the golden boy in Hollywood, Jack Tyler's life and career are on the skids. Struggling to find some direction, a visit to an old friend brings him to Millersburg and the community theater group there. He's fighting his demons hoping to rediscover his roots, his love of theater, through them.
He also discovers schoolteacher Molly Brighton.
Molly, though, wants no part of the sexy new director. He's too handsome, too charming, too dangerous to her heart.
The attraction is difficult to ignore, especially when aided by Jack's old friend, an unrepentant matchmaker with his own reasons for bringing them together.
Collect the whole Millersberg Quartet here