by Joan Swan
Genre: Romantic Suspense (with paranormal elements)
Heat Level: 3.5/5
Elements/Tags: romance, suspense, paranormal abilities, conspiracy, firefighters,
Publishing Date: 12/31/13
Series: Phoenix Rising, 4
Format: Print and Ebook
For seven years, Halina Beloi has been in hiding. But she's never forgotten Mitch Foster, the long, lean man she had to leave behind. Until, that is, Mitch shows up with a list of questions and a 9mm in his hand.
All Mitch knows is that Halina broke his heart and disappeared. But new information has surfaced implicating her as a player in the deadliest game of Mitch's life. This time, he's not letting go without answers. Now terror, danger and heat will fuse them together or shatter the future. . .
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By the time he opened the driver’s door, the huge dog was trying to climb into Halina’s lap. The bottom half of his body was hidden beneath the dash as he sat on the floorboard. The upper half was draped across Halina, his big head resting in the crook of her elbow where she had her arm wrapped around his neck. The beast had to weigh well over a hundred pounds.
His golden brown eyes sharpened and a low growl hummed in the dog’s throat as Mitch slid into the driver seat. He paused before closing the door. “Halina, order him not to bite off my dick off or go for my jugular.”
She turned her head toward Mitch, but kept the side of her face against the dog’s neck. “Tikhiy, boy.”
Mitch shut the door and backed out of the drive. “Where’s the nearest emergency room out of town? You need to get your head looked at.”
“In more ways than one,” she muttered. “But I need to get to my storage unit first.”
“What’s in your storage unit?”
She only gave him an address in the neighboring town of Bellevue.
Before he searched for directions, Mitch tapped into an app on his phone and sent a scanned image of the fingerprints on the glass to Kai, who’d been the one to share this cool toy. Through his military contacts, Kai would get answers on this guy’s identity faster than any other source. And the sooner they discovered who their attacker had been, the sooner they could uncover the root of this danger. The attacker had said he was the new game in town, but Mitch believed this would ultimately end at Schaeffer. Just because the man was lying in a military hospital in Washington DC in a coma didn’t mean he hadn’t put this plan into action before his accident.
After retrieving directions from his phone for the storage unit, Mitch set a safe and sane pace through the mostly sleeping neighborhood to avoid notice.
He was completely off balance now and needed a million answers to as many questions. Stopping at the red light marking the intersection of the main road, he rubbed his eyes and took a deep, cleansing breath to get himself back on track.
His lungs filled with…Halina—a unique musky sweetness beneath the gentle scent of perfume. One Mitch had given her so long ago. The very first perfume she’d ever owned.
Why that memory hit him like a fist in the solar plexus, he didn’t know. But the gentle floral scent of jasmine and roses, laced with a hint of leather ambushed him. His nostrils flared. Fingers tightened on the steering wheel. Gut squeezed a hot line toward his groin.
The realization of how easily he reacted to her clashed with the memory of how quickly she’d taken him down at the hotel and then run, whipping up anger. “Why did he call you Beloi?”
“Because it’s my name.”
“Which name? You went by Sintrovsky when I met you. Same name as your ambassador husband, who you originally claimed as your cousin.
Schaeffer referred to you as Dubrovsky. You go by Raiden now.” He slanted her a glance and found her eyes open, but distant. “Interesting choice, by the way. Now, this guy is calling you Beloi. How many freaking names do you have? You’ve probably got a split personality to match every one.”
She rubbed her forehead near the injury and winced. “You’re not helping this headache.”
“Why did you tell that guy to let me and the dog go?”
Halina let out a long, heavy sigh. “I was hoping you’d run so he’d have a reason to shoot you.”
His gaze shot to her face again. The little curve of her lips spiked his irritation. “Halina.”
She winced and closed her eyes again. “What happened to your sense of humor?”
“What research was that guy talking about?”
“So many damn questions,” she said. “Do you not see the blood gushing from my head?”
“You’re not even bleeding anymore.”
“Do I need blood pooling beneath my body before you take pity?”
“You may be in that exact situation if we don’t figure out their next move before they make it. What research?”
“The genetic research I was doing at DARPA before I left.” She snapped the words, her voice harsh, nudging Mitch’s temper.
“Why did you tell that guy you’d get the research from the house if it’s not there?”
“Because I could fight him easier inside. And I knew Dex would be out of danger that way.”
Mitch jerked his head back in surprise. “Dex?”
She rubbed her face against the dog’s fur. It reminded Mitch of the way she used to cuddle deep into her pillow. The way he used to watch her sleep, study the beautiful lines of her face, the curves of her lips, the texture of her skin, the contrast of her dark lashes on blushed cheekbones. All the time thinking what a lucky bastard he was.
Now all he could think of was what a damn fool he’d been.
“Mitch, this is Dex,” Halina said. “Dex, Mitch.”
The light flipped green and Mitch turned onto the main road headed toward the freeway. “Dex is a dog?”
“What did you think…?” Her voice trailed off, followed by a soft, throaty laugh that drifted over his body like a touch. “Oh, okay, that’s funny. You thought he was a boyfriend, didn’t you? You must be letting your paralegals do your research again.”
Meet Author Joan Swan:
NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Joan Swan writes sexy romantic suspense for Kensington (Phoenix Rising Series) and independently (Covert Affairs Series). She also works as a sonographer at a top medical facility in San Francisco and lives in magnificent wine country on the central coast of California with her husband and two daughters.
Facebook profile: https://www.facebook.com/JoanSwanAuthor
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Tour Wide Giveaway Details:
Tour Wide Giveaway: (1) Kindle Fire HD, (1) Kindle, and (1) $25 eGC to Amazon or B&N will be gifted to three different lucky commenters from the tour. Please follow the Rafflecopter widget to enter to win at each stop. (Full Terms & Conditions located on the widgets.)
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Facebook Event: Wednesday, January 1.
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