Authors: Sherrilyn Kenyon
“Brisk, ironic, and relentlessly imaginative.”
“A delicious balance of suspense and sensuality.”
“Romantic suspense fans will welcome the second BAD Agency novel from bestseller Kenyon and RITA Award-winner Love.”
“All hell breaks loose in this… thriller.”
“A keen hand for suspense. … Humor and dry wit keep the plot from becoming too dark, and the sexual tension certainly raises the temperature.”
“Sexy. … A fast-paced, one-sitting read.”
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2010 by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love Snell
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First Pocket Books paperback edition May 2010
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Design by Lisa Litwack. Illustration by Larry Rostant.
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ISBN 978-1-4165-9753-7 (ebook)
From Sherrilyn Kenyon
Thank you to Dianna for being such a good sport and always making me smile. I never thought I could cowrite anything, but given that we often share a common brain—LOL—you made it not only easy, but a joy. Thank you so much for all the support.
Thank you to Kim, Jacs, Brenda, and Retta for reading all my manuscripts and making great comments. Thank you, fans, for coming back day after day. You guys rock!
To my husband for being my shelter in the storm. I’m grateful every day that I said yes when you asked me out to see a movie I couldn’t stand. For my kids, who are always my comfort and my greatest source of pride. May God bless and keep you all.
From Dianna Love
A huge thank-you to Sherrilyn for being the best friend and writing partner a person could ask for. She’s an amazing talent we’re lucky to have in publishing and one of the most genuine people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.
Anyone who has met me or interacted online with me knows nothing I do would be possible without the
unflagging support of my wonderful husband, Karl. Everything he does nurtures my muse and makes it easy for me to indulge my second love—writing. A special thanks to all the fans who have asked for more BAD Agency books and don’t hesitate to share their favorite book and characters with us. Your enthusiasm and excitement are all we need to keep expanding this series.
Thank you, Cassondra, for being the best assistant, who is making my life easier every day! Also, thank you to Tracy and the wonderful women at Shamrock Café in Tyrone, Georgia, who keep me fed when Karl is out of town. I love hearing from readers—[email protected]
diannalove.com—if you want to send me an email.
From both of us
Lauren McKenna proves continuously why she’s an exceptional editor. She has a gift for understanding the direction we take with each story and is always open to new ideas. Thanks also to Megan McKeever for all her help in getting the book out and to Merrilee Heifetz for her constant support.
We appreciate author Mary Buckham (so much!), who reads early drafts—quickly, no less—and makes great suggestions. Her study of interesting things like Asian culture and her husband Jim’s knowledge of rare information have stimulated some fun ideas when Sherri and I brainstorm. Another talented writer, Cassondra Murray, also reads every story and comes up with subtle suggestions that make a huge difference in the final draft. We have husband Steve Doyle to thank for a limitless knowledge of weapons and military procedures from his time with Special Forces, plus his feedback from reading every story. We appreciate
Annie Oortman’s PAL creative reports on every book. Thanks also to Hope Williams and Manuella Robinson for their beta reads that mean so much in the final version.
Thank you to each of the following: We used information on electronic forensics shared by Keith Morgan. Westly Bowen, on staff at Fayette Community Hospital in Georgia, provided medical information. Former NBC anchor Wes Sarginson helped with research on television reporters. Thank you to James Love, Dianna’s brother, who shared details about the Gulf of Mexico, and to Gail Jensen for her help with researching Chicago. Errors slip through on occasion just because we’re human and if you find one, it’s on our part, not the source who generously shared their time and knowledge.
An extra hug to the wild RBL Women, PW blogger Barbara Vey, and the Petit Fours & Hot Tamales bloggers—thanks for all the support, laughs, and martinis. You are too much fun!
We love our readers! You are the reason we work so hard to create a story that will take you away on an adventure for hours of entertainment. We appreciate the time you spend writing us emails and coming out to visit when we tour and sign—and the amazing gifts (you rock!). Thank you for allowing us to spend hours doing what we love most—creating a world where our characters can come out and play. Thank YOU!
If you’re a paranormal fan, check out the exciting new Belador series we have coming out in fall 2010… details at [http://www.SherrilynKenyon.com] www.SherrilynKenyon.com and [http://www.AuthorDiannaLove.com] www.AuthorDiannaLove.com.
Hunter Wesley Thornton-Payne III didn’t believe in premonitions of doom, but now might be an optimum time to reevaluate those beliefs. That last bone-jarring shudder of the thirty-year-old fishing trawler beneath him qualified as a preemptive warning.
Salt water sprayed across the deck from each side of the wheelhouse where he stood. Wearing a wetsuit didn’t mean he wanted to be blasted with water every thirty seconds. For the past forty-five minutes this floating hazard had plowed south through the Pacific Ocean toward tonight’s black-ops objective.
Failure would trigger hideous deaths for unsuspecting CIA agents over the next twenty-four hours.
A simple mission… on paper.
Scaling a sheer rock cliff rising two thousand feet out of windswept waves, and on a moonless night, might give him pause if not for his partner Eliot Sawyer. Having him on this mission should quiet any concerns.
But a dark shadow continued to hover over Hunter’s psyche, a sixth sense he trusted almost as much as he trusted Eliot.
A ferocious wave broke across the starboard side, the
tip of its watery tail lashing his face with cool spray. The faded teakwood deck quaked beneath his feet.
“This piece of shit better hold together long enough to get us into position.” Hunter wiped water from his eyes again. “You can bet that sack-a-shit Retter is riding around out here in something that can do more than ten knots. I should be hauling
ass up that cliff since this was his idea.”
Eliot laughed. The bastard laughed more than any other human Hunter had ever known. Even in college, humor had balanced out his mammoth size. “Thought you agreed this was the only way to slip inside Brugmann’s compound.”
Hunter hitched a shoulder in a don’t-remind-me response. He’d come to the same conclusion as Retter—BAD’s top gun and the lead on this operation—that approaching from the north under the guise of a decrepit fishing boat offered the optimum insertion point. Ehrlich Brugmann’s private residence perched on a cliff above a vertical wall of volcanic rock overlooking the northern coast of Kauai.