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Authors: Kara A. McLeod

Actual Stop

BOOK: Actual Stop
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Special Agent Ryan O’Connor’s life is exactly on track—she’s with a wonderful woman, and she’s doing something she loves. Sure, her boss can’t stand her, but she figures if that’s her biggest problem, she’s pretty damn lucky. She should have known it was too good to last and that when fate finally slapped her, it would do so hard enough to leave a mark.

When Ryan’s ex-girlfriend, Special Agent Allison Reynolds, suddenly reappears in New York, her carefully constructed world is thrown into chaos. As they’re forced to work together, Ryan is compelled to confront several realities that she wishes she could avoid. One of which is that it’s terrible to mix the past with the present. The other is that it’s not only the past that paints the present with lead.

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Actual Stop

© 2016 By Kara A. McLeod. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN 13: 978-1-62639-676-0

This Electronic Book is published by

Bold Strokes Books, Inc.

P.O. Box 249

Valley Falls, New York 12185

First Edition: June 2016

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.


Editor: Shelley Thrasher

Production Design: Susan Ramundo

Cover Design By Melody Pond


This book represents the culmination of about six years’ worth of off-and-on writing (clearly, I’m the absolute queen of procrastination; you don’t have to genuflect in deference to my reign, but feel free to bow your head respectfully), and then maybe a year of off-and-on editing after that. A great many people showed an inordinate amount of support during both processes, and I’d be absolutely remiss if I didn’t express my sincerest gratitude for their contribution to this work:

Rad, who was an amazing friend and influence long before I started this journey and who has been nothing but encouraging since. Funnily enough, words are failing me at the moment, so I’ll just say thank you.

My editor, Shelley, who I’m sure wanted to reach through the computer and strangle me at several points during the off-editing process but who somehow managed to refrain. You gave me a lot of great advice, some of which I actually remember, and I look forward to working with you on the sequels…assuming you haven’t already told BSB you’re busy that day. (Not sure I’d blame you if you did.)

Chief, who’s tirelessly diplomatic even when telling me I’m a hot mess. You’re so good at it, I didn’t even realize that’s what you were saying until now. I’m currently rethinking all our conversations. Don’t worry. I’ll catch up. Eventually.

My hetero soul mate, who patiently listens (and re-listens) to the plots of every book I have in the works whenever we’re together and still manages to express the same level of enthusiasm each time. You’re a trooper, lady. I managed to work in variations of your favorite words several times, that’s how much I love you. Happy hunting!

Thing One, who’s always down to read any draft of anything I write, who tirelessly boosts my ego by repeatedly asking when she can have the next installment, and who’s unendingly positive in her comments and critiques. I miss you like crazy. Keep calm and UNGA on, my friend.

My dad, who’s actually given me all the advice credited to Ben throughout the book. Just because Ryan sometimes acts bratty and rolls her eyes doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the pearls of wisdom. Especially the one about the wagon. That one’s my favorite.

And finally, to Glocamorra, whose generosity in allowing his name and likeness to be used can never be fully appreciated. I sincerely apologize for calling you a crocodile. I know you’re an alligator. No disrespect was intended, I swear. Please don’t eat me.


For Pumpkin, who handled my “f-you attitude” toward the apostrophe with all the grace and poise anyone could ever hope to muster. You can’t see it, obviously, but I’m clapping for you. I know how much you like that.

Chapter One

“Thanks for coming with me,” I said to Special Agent Meaghan Bates as we pulled out of the parking garage and onto Adams Street. “I really appreciate it.”

“You owe me,” Meaghan replied without hesitation. “I definitely didn’t want to be out here this late. What are we doing exactly?”

“Going on an interview.”

I didn’t even have to look at her to know she’d rolled her eyes. “Gee, thanks. Do you think you could be any more vague?”

I grinned at her sarcasm. “A buddy of mine from WFO asked me to take a run at a guy who passed a counterfeit hundred down in Maryland.”

“Since when do you do favors for the guys from Washington?”

“Since she did a favor for me. Quid pro quo and all that.”

“Why didn’t you just pass it along to the counterfeit squad?”

“Because she asked

Meaghan sighed and slumped down in the passenger seat. “You know Mark’s going to crucify you for this if he finds out, right? That man has made it his mission in life to destroy you.”

“Trust me, I know.”

“So why are you taking this chance? Can’t you find less consequence-laden ways of annoying your boss like a normal person?”

“I told you, because she asked me. Besides, how’s he going to find out?”

“That man’s the devil. If there’s a way, he’ll find out.”

“I’ll keep you out of it, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

“It’s only partly what I’m worried about.”

“Where’s your sense of adventure?”

“This has disaster written all over it,” Meaghan muttered.

I grinned again.

In case you’re wondering, I’m a special agent for the United States Secret Service. I won’t be offended if you don’t believe me. When most people think about Secret Service agents, they think of tall, broad-shouldered, dark-haired males wearing mirrored sunglasses, an earpiece, and no facial expression. Medium height, blond-haired, blue-eyed, smirking females never enter anyone’s mind.

Because of that, I’m a natural choice for undercover assignments. And my air of innocence helps me get anyone to tell me anything during an interview, given enough time. Usually my friends laugh when I say as much. Okay, they always laugh.

Most people think we work only out of Washington, D.C. and only protect the U.S. president and his family. Not true. President Lincoln actually founded the Secret Service in 1865 to combat the growing counterfeit-currency problem plaguing America. We didn’t even get in on the protection gig until 1901.

BOOK: Actual Stop
7.68Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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