Friday, September 17, 2021

The Courage to Dare: Sizzling Romantic Suspense (The Man in the Arena Book 1) by Taylor Lee



Praise for The Courage to Dare …
Book 1 in Taylor Lee’s HOT new romantic suspense series: The Man in the Arena Series.

“USA Today best-selling author Taylor Lee does it again! The Courage to Dare is a hugely successful entry from an author who is dramatically raising the bar for Romantic Suspense. From the first page to the last, the sparks fly between Sheriff Luke Lang and Dr. Avajli Patel. The Courage to Dare has everything you’ve come to expect from Taylor Lee. Memorable characters, high octane action, and Lee’s special brand of sizzling hot romance." Only the Best

“A tribute to the Teddy Roosevelt quote—The Man in the Arena, Taylor Lee introduces her most challenging and complicated hero yet. Luke Lang is gravely injured and wracked with guilt. But he refuses to let the beautiful doctor help him. While he shoves the ‘Doctor’ away, he can’t stop wanting the woman.” Primo Plots

“A shy foreign ‘geek at heart’ Dr. Avajli Patel is accustomed to controlling her life to the nth degree. The arrogant Sheriff and wounded special ops survivor teaches her a new meaning of control. It’s hot!” Romance Reads Reviews”

•The sole survivor of a special ops mission he led, the grievously injured commander goes back to Northern Minnesota trying to find a reason to live--other than drinking himself to death

•Not a good option for the newly elected Sheriff of a busy county…

•She’s a medical doctor from India. He dismisses her traditional methods as quackery. But as much as he tries, he can’t dismiss her.

Love Kaylea Cross's heart pounding romantic military thrillers? Sylvia Day’s and Maya Banks red hot sexy heroes, feisty heroines and high adrenaline action? Fern Michael’s compelling characters? Grab The Courage to Dare and prepare to be addicted.


The Man in the Arena Series: The Courage to Dare; The Courage to Love; The Courage to Triumph is A tribute to the Teddy Roosevelt quote—The Man in the Arena. Taylor Lee introduces her most challenging and complicated hero yet.

Ladies of the Night, Taylor Lee’s NEW Sexy Suspense Collection: Sapphire, Book 1; Ruby, Book 2, Topaz Book 3, Diamond, Book 4 . The Ladies are covert agents in a secretive, off the grid security organization. Highly trained fighters, they’re as gorgeous as they are dangerous. The only thing these formidable women are NOT is “ladies.”

The Blonde Barracuda OMNIBUS Collection Taylor Lee's Sizzling Hot Romantic Suspense Best Selling Collection. INCLUDES Big Girls Don't Cry, In the Still of the Night and Every Breath You Take plus FOUR additional EXCLUSIVE NOVELLAS

The All Fired Up OMNIBUS Collection, Taylor Lee's Bestselling #1 Hot New Release—the ULTIMATE Sizzling Romantic Suspense collector's edition! INCLUDES Playing With Fire, Trial By Fire and Ring of Fire and the EXCLUSIVE You Light My Fire: Short Story Finale

The Dangerous Affairs Collection Sizzling International Intrigue. Best Selling in both Romantic Suspense and Military Romance and Women's Sleuths ! INCLUDES: The Moscow Affair, The Bangkok Affair, The Rio Affair PLUS THREE Novellas.

The Red Rock Collection Sexy Romantic Suspense. Bestselling in Romantic Suspense, Military Romance and Mystery Thriller. The Collection INCLUDES: Red Rock Rises, Red Rock’s Revenge, Red Rock’s Redemption: Book 3 PLUS THREE Novellas.

The Grandmaster’s Legacy Collection: If you think Shades of Gray is HOT, snatch up Taylor Lee's "The Grandmaster's Legacy," a four volume Collection of Erotic Historical Suspense. Warning: Intense, Explicit, Steamy HOT!
The Bad Ass Brigade: Bad Guys Beware, The Good Guys Are on the Prowl." A Sampler of Sizzling Romantic Suspense. Cops, Firefighters, Special Ops, Covert Agents, and Bad Ass Poker Players--HOT Men and HOTTER Women kick up a storm--and heat up the sheets in the process.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Read an Excerpt From Twist of Fate by Linda Wisdom



Diner waitress Allie Walker dreamed of grandeur, but even she never fathomed of being switched into the body of Brianne Sinclair, the world's most beautiful heiress. Dreams come true? Not for long. For when Allie came to as Brianne, there was a dead fiance at her feet--and she was holding the smoking gun!

Only struggling private investigator Pete Hackette believed her innocence. As Allie, she'd had a fierce crush on him, and now, as Brianne, she'd finally made Pete fall in love with her. But which woman was he really in love with? And which woman would survive when the real murderer was finally revealed?




Allie tasted the coppery flavor of fear as she spied the knife in his hand. It seemed to move in slow mo­tion toward her. Before she could utter a word, she felt a sharp pain in her chest, then a cold feeling in­vade her body. Just as suddenly the cold disappeared and a damp warmth flooded her skin.

She looked down to see her blood flowing freely down her chest. She looked back up at Whit. She was too stunned to react. For a moment, his anger receded and fear took over. Just as rapidly, it disappeared.

"Now maybe you'll know I mean business," he said cockily, although white lines appeared at the edges of his mouth when he realized how serious her injury was.

"No!" she whispered as she saw her surroundings seem to grow foggy and eventually turn black.

This isn't fair! she raged as the darkness surrounded her. He shouldn't be allowed to get away with this. Please, don't let this happen!

As if her heartfelt plea had been heard, the darkness seemed to fade to a misty gray fog. She still couldn't see anything, but she sensed a presence with her.

Do you want another chance? the presence asked, the unisex voice seeming to come from inside her head.


You may have to take on a problem even greater than your own.

I don't care, she heard her own voice answer as an echo inside her head.

Then it shall be.


"Brianne. Brianne! My God, what have you done?"

When Allie opened her eyes, she instantly knew that something was very different Not just with her sur­roundings; her body felt different too.

First of all, she didn't feel any pain in her chest, only in her head, which ached abominably. Next she realized she was kneeling on a very soft carpet. That alone told her she wasn't in her apartment. The beau­tifully dressed woman standing next to her, wearing a shocked expression, wasn't anyone she knew. Then she felt cold metal in her hand and looked down. That was when she saw the lethal-looking handgun. She was not only holding a weapon, but lying at her feet was a man dressed in a tuxedo. What caught her at­tention was the bright blossom of red flowering on his chest. There was no doubt in her mind that the color wasn't there because he'd spilled catsup on himself.


Allie realized the woman was talking to her. She unsteadily rose to her feet, and when she turned, she saw a mirror on the wall behind the woman. The re­flection staring back at her was more than a surprise. It was a shock that shook her to her toes.

She felt like Allie. She thought like Allie. The trou­ble was, she didn't look like Allie.

Instead of glossy black curls flowing to her shoul­ders, ash blond hair was pulled back in a French twist, with tendrils straggling across her pale cheeks. A white-and-silver, strapless gown covered her slender body instead of a pink polyester waitress uniform that had seen better days. She was positive she could see her own reflection in the mirror, but it looked like a faint mem­ory in the background.

What the hell was going on?

"Brianne, what happened here?" The woman grabbed her arm and pulled her around. "What have you done?"


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Read an Excerpt from Murder in Stopover by Mary Hagen


Barnes & Noble

Murder shocks the citizens of a small town in Wyoming when a body is discovered in the city park. Townspeople speculate and gossip about who would kill Pat Sullivan, a respected member of their community.

Sheriff CJ Roberts and Beth Perkins, his assistant deputy, begin an investigation and find their skills quickly challenged. Hal Hansen, also a deputy in the department, immediately steps in and guides them on how to conduct the gruesome task. Threatened by his knowledge, Beth is torn between solving a murder, her own ambitions, and falling in love with Hal.

Step by inconceivable step, the three discover hidden secrets about the victim, his family and his business. They find themselves ill prepared for the atrocities they ultimately uncover.

Chapter One



When the call came in at nine a.m., I had just entered the sheriff's office. I grabbed the phone before I put my handbag and lunch on the table, my mind doing a double take as I listened.

"Beth, Zoe here." Her voice sounded raspy. "Oh my god, you aren't going to believe this." She drew in her breath as I waited for her to get to the point.  "Well, I was finishing my morning run around the park. There's a dead man lying right in the track. Pat Sullivan. I've never seen a dead man before lying right out in the open.  Oh my god, what'll I do?"

"Calm down. You've done the right thing. As soon as Sheriff Roberts gets here, we'll come to the park. It'll be a few minutes. In the meantime, can you wait?"

"Okay," she said the word with hesitation. My mouth was open. Pat Sullivan was one of our most respected and active men in town. "Are you sure the man is Pat Sullivan and he's been killed?"+

"Positive. " She drew in her breath loud enough for me to hear. " He has a bullet hole between his eyes."

Impossible. Not in Stopover. I struggled to regain my own voice.  "Don't leave. I'm hanging up to make some calls. We'll be there shortly,

"I'm not staying here. I'll wait at the top of the hill."


As soon as I was off the line with Zoe, I punched in Jim Black's number at his veterinarian clinic. His assistant answered the phone.

"I… Cher, this is Beth Perkins at the sheriff's office. I need to speak to Jim immediately."

"He doesn't like being bothered when he's on his rounds," Cher answered. "I'll have him call you back."

"I need to speak to him, now.  We have a murder on our hands," I shouted into my cellphone as though she was hard of hearing.

"A murder? Oh, come on, nobody ever gets murdered in Stopover."

"We've got one now. Get Jim on the line."

"Okay, okay. You don't need to yell at me."

In a few minutes Jim picked-up the phone. "Hi, Beth. Don't you think it's in bad taste to report a murder in Stopover?  We never have a murder here."

"It's not a joke. Zoe Martin found the body of Pat Sullivan in the park on her morning run. Get over there. CJ and I'll be right there, too."

"Pat Sullivan? I played golf with him on Sunday. You must be kidding."

"I'm not. You're the corner. See if you can figure out what happened. Now, I've got to call the highway patrol." I hung up before he could say more and placed my call to the patrol.

Sheriff Roberts walked in as I hung up my phone. His first words to me were the same as usual. He didn't need to say anything. I knew them by heart. "Bring me coffee with two teaspoons of sugar and one teaspoon of cream." He placed his briefcase next to his desk and swung his hat onto a hook.

"The coffee is not made. We've got a dead man in city park, Pat Sullivan," I said.

CJ turned and faced me. "What? Pat Sullivan? Did he commit suicide? Why? He's healthy as a horse."

"I've called Jim and the highway patrol. They're on their way. I told him we'd be right over."

For a minute, CJ stood and stared at me in disbelief before saying, "Grab my briefcase and the keys to the Jeep and lock the jail. I'll call Beatrice and she will fill in for us. I want you with me." He headed out the door, glanced at me and added, "Call Hal. He's on his way to the Gilbert ranch to check on vandalism to his mailbox and gate."

In addition to the sheriff's items, I grabbed my new handy little one and a half pound thirteen-inch computer I'd purchased with my own money after the town board turned down my request. It meant taking money out of my savings intended for getting out of Stopover, but I loved it and I could take notes.

As we drove to the city park, I called Hal and gave him the message. I heard his wheels screech and gravel hit against metal as he turned his car around. Before hanging up, he said, "A murder in Stopover. I can't believe it even if I'm new to the area."

The man was my nemesis.  I admit, I resented him. He got the job as CJ's deputy, the job I wanted, but I was passed over because I was a woman. Since my mother passed away, I'd worked as CJ's assistant, dispatcher and whatever needed doing and went with him on the usual calls we received.  If we were busy, his wife, Beatrice, filled in for us while we were gone. Our calls usually involved disturbing the peace after football games, drunk driving accidents, and occasionally domestic disputes, but never murder. I did reluctantly admit he was better trained.

The closest thing to murder occurred some thirty years ago before I was born when two ranchers, Lou Smart and Bob Curtis, got in a dispute over right of way passage. They shot at each other but missed and the problem was solved by our town lawyer, and our judge, Hubert Booker. We still have the same judge, but Bill Smith is our town lawyer now. The citizens of our small town will have something new to talk about.

CJ is lazy so the job of sheriff in Stopover is perfect for him. He does wear his uniform that is always pressed and his shirt starched because of the efforts of his wife.  He spends a good part of most of his days snoozing in his swivel chair in his office.

As we drove to the scene of the crime, CJ kept shaking his head in disbelief. I knew exactly how he felt.

Stopover is in the middle of the short-grass prairie country fifty miles from the nearest big city, Cheyenne, Wyoming. We have one hill in our town and the park is located at the bottom of it on the east side. A small pond is to the east of the park and shaped like a football field. CJ stopped the Jeep near the coroner's vehicle, a van painted with a dog, cat, horse, and cow at four corners around his name, Jim Black, Veterinarian Large and Small Animals.  The patrol had not arrived.

Every time I saw Jim my heart went into triple time, I got all mushy inside, and I could feel heat rush up the length of my body. I knew my face turned red. I couldn't help myself.  He was my idea of the perfect lover and I had a crush on him. His black hair was thick and he wore it down to his collar. I could imagine running my hands through it. His eyes were deep brown and he was tall, one of the few men who made me feel short. I'm five feet nine inches. Unfortunately for me, he had his sights on our beautiful, petite librarian at our ancient Carnegie Library.

I pulled my rushing heart and mushy interior under control and walked with CJ to view the body. CJ took one look at the man and said, "Looks like a suicide to me."

Jim got to his feet and tugged at the gloves he had put on to check the body. "Afraid not. It's murder. Got shot right between the eyes. No sign of a struggled, no gun powder residue so I think he was shot from a short distance by someone he knew." He towered over CJ and me. "How you doing, Beth? How's that dog you found?" The sound of his deep voice almost made me melt into a puddle right at his feet.

CJ pulled on his earlobe. "You certain?"


With sirens blaring, the ambulance from our small hospital arrived on the scene and two medics jumped out. They opened the back doors and pulled out the stretcher and rolled over to Jim, CJ, and me.

The two stopped short of running over Pat Sullivan. "My God, Pat. Dead. Can't believe it," Eric Green, one of the medics, said.

CJ nodded his head. He glanced at our other medic, Virginia Sites who squatted next to the body and stared saying nothing for several seconds. When she spoke, she said, "Geez, a murder in Stopover and none other than our esteemed Mr. Sullivan. Can't believe it."

I was ordered to run yellow tape around the murder scene while Eric and Virginia bagged the body.  CJ was trying his best to act the part of a seasoned investigator and that included taping off the crime scene.  I thought he was out of his element, but all of us were. That is, until Hal Hansen roared down the slope, slammed on his brakes and came over to us.

He asked to see the body. Reluctantly, Virginia unzipped the bag and Hal studied the corpse. Before touching the body, he took gloves out of his pocket and put them. He poked the body a few times before turning to Jim, "We'll need an autopsy. How soon can you get it done?"

Jim's mouth dropped open showing his beautiful white teeth. I took in my breath.

"I've never done an autopsy on a human body. Besides, we'll need to talk with Pat's wife. Get her permission," Jim protested. He glanced at CJ for backup.

"We don't need her permission. This is murder. You've done animals. You can do a human." As usual, Hal would not take no for an answer. "Any idea of time of death?"

Jim shrugged his shoulders. "Not until we've done the autopsy. Doc Olivas may give me a hand."

While the medics loaded the ambulance with the body and the three men, CJ, Hal, and Jim, shifted their weight from one foot to another, I walked in ever widening circles around the crime scene in search of clues. That is until Hal barked at me, "What the hell are you doing? Disturbing the ground."

I resisted the temptation to snarl at him, "Go to…" You know where. Instead, I answered sweetly, "Looking for clues," without adding "you jerk."

Hal was almost as tall as Jim but not nearly as good-looking. He wore heavy rimmed glasses, both dark and clear. At the moment, his dark glasses were pushed up on his forehead and he was frowning.  Before he arrived in Stopover, the town's newest residents were the Sullivan's who came five years earlier followed by George Blackmore who was Pat's friend. We didn't have a deputy.

With the increase in tourist traffic, the town council decided we needed one to help with crime that might occur in our park.  In the wisdom of the council, they had authorized the establishment of three RV campsites with hook-ups at the end of our park for travelers to and from our national parks. The RVers could stay three nights free before they had to move on. It was hoped they would spend money in our fair "city" and I guess they did. The season was almost at an end with the start of schools around the country.

Our new deputy had retired from the Army. He had been in special forces, fought in Afghanistan, and been with an elite investigative group. He was such an egotist he made me puke. I had no doubt, he was aiming for CJ's job as sheriff of our large county in central eastern Wyoming. I did have to admit, he had nice blue eyes and light brown curly hair I would die to have. Mine was as straight as a spike of wheat.



Monday, September 13, 2021

Read an Excerpt From Stained by Jessica McBrayer



Top 100 Amazon series.

I absolutely love this book and this series. I'm currently reading the next book in this series and it's excellent. I want to get a tattoo at Thorn's shop. I'm from the East Bay and the descriptions are spot on!

Thorn works after dark. That’s when she combines her gifts as a tattoo artist and her powers as a natural born witch to weave magick into her ink. Her tattoo parlor, Stained, on Berkeley’s quirky Telegraph Avenue draws clients from all walks of life. Her work is in high demand from the supernatural community and the undead.

With her raven familiar, Thorn’s been on the run all her adult life. She won’t talk about why. Only she knows of the horrors in her past. She only wants to practice her art of tattooing in peace. But when a murderer targets her clients, Sé, a tall, dark and Irish detective is assigned to investigate. They must trust each other to survive the cat and mouse game that ensues.

If You like suspenseful, supernatural, riveting stories then you like Jessica McBrayer's well written book.


Blood pooled with ink as the needles pierced her client’s skin. Thorn colored in the intricate design. Her stomach tightened as it always did, but years of practice kept her from showing it. The man she tattooed flinched as the pain registered. She smiled to herself. Pleasure and pain would soon be his addiction as it often was for those who came to her.

Her nitrile covered hands moved swiftly as they dipped the needles into ink and moved back to the design. The outline evaporating into blood and a more permanent ink. The flesh raw after she was done with it.

Her shop, Stained, tucked into the slightly seedy, increasingly funky but always vibrant Telegraph Avenue, hummed with the noise of tattoo machines, music and people milling around looking at the artwork displayed in books. Antique prints of ‘painted’ tattooed ladies gave the shop a burlesque feel. Thorn loved everything about it. Being just a few blocks from UC Berkeley, the shop was a favorite with students and more faculty and staff than one might guess. Each tat station was open to the public eye except for one back room where the artists could work on more private areas. She had chosen dark blue blending to cerulean towards the ceiling to soothe the customers, unlike the bright reds of so many other shops.

The man she worked on grunted, trying not to move, as she continued, adding ink and wiping away blood so she could see clearly. The design made itself known. As she wove it into existence, she chanted under her breath a spell of healing into the ink. She had created a sacred space in her store so she would be protected while she chanted and worked her spells.

Gérard, Reese, and Gwynn worked with her tonight, and they were busy with customers too. Gérard with his creole accent, Reese with her red hair, t-shirt and jeans, and Gwynn dressed in a hemp dress with her blonde hair thrown up in a messy bun held together with chopsticks. Jason, her intern, worked the front, helping customers, running errands for the artists and selling t-shirts and other souvenirs. Tonight he wore skinny jeans showing his boxers and a rainbow Muppets t-shirt.

Thorn had more work than she could handle, and that was the way she liked it. The shop was open during the day with a talented, experienced crew. Thorn covered the hours from early evening ‘til midnight and had a steady flow of customers until she shut the doors. Besides her discreet late-night patrons, she catered to a select clientele and never took walk-ins. The high fees from her late-night clients fed her bolt fund.

Her present client had made his appointment six weeks ago. He’d opted for a custom-designed pinup girl, and it was turning out nicely. She’d drawn up the design last night, and he loved it. Halfway through the night, Raven, her familiar, swept into the room onto his perch and cawed, “Trouble.” He was a large, midnight black raven, talons that could shred a man to ribbons and a beak like a bowie knife. He refused to be named. He mentioned that names held power over the being, and he wanted no binds on him, so she just called him Raven.

Raven would have warned her mind-to-mind if it had been a real threat. Whatever was coming was more likely some kind of annoyance.



Friday, September 10, 2021

Read an Excerpt from Line of Fire by Taylor Lee



Discover how challenging elections can be when sex and violence are in the mix.

Facing political opponents is a piece of cake for Gia. Facing her insecurities about her superstar lover is another matter.

Gia’s unconquerable political skills make winning the election a sure thing. If only she was as confident of her ability to capture and keep her inimitable lover. The arrival of one of his former paramours doesn’t help. Particularly, when the sexy blonde agent isn’t above sowing seeds of doubt in the insecure Gia—just for the heck of it.

Corrupt doesn’t begin to describe Gia’s political opponents. Try hooking up with international terrorists. Oh yes, and silencing a pregnant mistress when necessary. They might have been able to get away with it, if not for Logan and his super- secret agent team.

Unfortunately, the villains conclude if they can’t take Gia down at the polls they’ll have to take her down… permanently.


The tall, blonde woman gazed in the mirror at the gray-haired man sprawled on the bed across the room. His head was thrown back against the headboard. His eyes were closed; a greasy sheen dampened his forehead. With her back to him, Nadia was able to study him unhindered. Not that he was likely to notice her surveillance. It was clear he was much too agitated to pay attention to anything but his own anxieties. 


Reaching for the bottle of Cîroc Ten vodka, she poured a healthy amount of the crystalline alcohol into a glass and added two ice cubes from the silver ice bucket. Picking up the glass, she planted a soft smile on her face and turned to face him. As she ambled toward him, she allowed her thigh-high negligee to open slightly, revealing the abbreviated lacy slip beneath. 


Swaying her hips from side to side as she closed in on him, Nadia tossed him a sexy wink. “I have a suggestion, Stewart. In fact, I have several.” Eyeing his wrinkled formal attire, she pursed her lips. “May I suggest that you would be more comfortable with fewer clothes?” she teased. “Make that a lot fewer clothes.” When he frowned, she quickly added, “After you take a sip of this extraordinary vodka, that is.”


Reaching for the glass, the agitated man grabbed it with both hands and tossed back the potent alcohol as if it were water. Smacking the glass down on the bedside stand, he rose to his feet and shoved her to the side. Striding across the room toward the floor-to-ceiling window, he looked out into the dark street below, then turned back and glared at her. “I don’t have to tell you that was a challenging meeting, Nadia. You aren’t stupid. If anyone knows how treacherous those fucking Russians are, it’s you. But I swear to God when it comes to outright perfidy, no one beats those vicious Colombian bastards.” 


His voice was strained with anger and stippled with what Nadia knew was fear. Reaching for the silk handkerchief in his breast pocket, he swiped at the sweat glistening on his forehead and upper lip. As if aware that the perspiration on his face intimated the slightly rancid odor emanating from his body, the usually fastidious man stripped off his Versace suit coat and tossed it on the sofa. Grabbing the elaborate bottle of Cîroc Ten and an empty glass, eschewing ice cubes, he filled the glass to the brim with the pricey vodka and sank onto the armchair beside the bed. 


Reaching for the Cîroc Ten, Nadia sidled up next to the agitated man. Murmuring softly, she intoned, “Not to kick a man who’s already paying through his ass for his miscalculation, but from what I understand, you did all this to prevent a nonentity of a woman from winning a race she never could have won?”


He snorted in disgust. “That shows how ignorant you are. In addition to being as accomplished a politician as her ass and her tits are Hustler-worthy, Gia Tremaine, the ‘nonentity,’ is backed by the most accomplished moneyman I’ve ever run up against.” He groaned aloud. “Christ, in addition to banging her, the fucker actually might be in love with her. Which makes Logan Fowler the most dangerous man I’ve ever tangled with. Oh, and to underscore my concerns, apparently the motherfucker is former Special Ops—make that Delta Force.”


“Hmm. Challenging, indeed.” Nadia blew out an audible sigh. “Love and politics. Add the resulting mayhem of illegal contributions—yours—hmm. Not to put too fine a point on it. You appear to be up against a formidable man—not to mention a more than formidable woman . . . ”


Ensuring that the clearly intoxicated man finished what was now his third full glass of eighty-proof alcohol, Nadia managed to get him undressed and onto the bed. Crawling up over him, she sat on his thighs and shot him a sultry gaze. She eased off her negligee, then reached for the hem of the diaphanous slip. In a lazy movement, she inched the filmy concoction over her head and tossed it aside, revealing her naked body. At his groaning albeit inebriated interest, she crawled up over him and positioned herself above his upturned, flushed face. Smiling down at him, she murmured, “C’mon, big guy. You know what I like. What we both like. How about I show you what I can do with that my expert tongue, and then if you’re up for it, you can show me what you can do with yours . . . ” 


Nadia waited until she was sure the snoring man was dead to the world, and would be for some time, then rose to the side of the bed. Slipping on her discarded negligee, she retrieved her phone from the chest drawer. She stole into the bathroom and locked the door securely behind her. Unhooking the faux emerald from the chain at her neck, she clicked the latch. Removing a miniscule drive, she inserted the microSD card into her phone and hit send. 

In minutes, her phone vibrated. Nadia grinned as she read the incoming message. “Damn, Agent Antiov. You haven’t missed a beat since we worked together eight years ago. I should have known if anyone could help us take down that pretentious prick it was you. By the way, naughty lady, thank you for strategically placing the mirror the way that you did. It was nice of you to ensure that all of us egregious voyeurs had an uninterrupted view of your ‘assets’ while you went to work on our target. Particularly when you got him so drunk he couldn’t have gone after your scintillating bod if he’d tried.”

She shot him a disdainful emoticon confirming the drunken man couldn’t have gotten his flaccid dick in her  if his life depended on it. Her grin widened when she read his closing acclamation. “I trust you won’t mind if I add a personal note, Agent? That being that the years haven’t diminished your impressive backside. It is as spectacular as it ever was. —L”



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