(Blood Money #1)
by Edie Harris
Published by: Carina Press (HQN)
Publication date: November 3rd 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance,
Born into a long line of spies, sanctioned killers and covert weapons developers, Beth Faraday carried out her first hit-for-hire when she was still a teenager.
That part of her life—the American spy royalty part—ended one year ago, with a job gone wrong in Afghanistan. The collateral damage she caused with a single shot was unfathomable and, for Beth, unforgivable. She’s worked hard to build a new life for herself, far away from the family business.
But someone, somewhere, hasn’t forgotten what Beth did in Kabul. And they want revenge.
As the Faraday clan bands together to defend Beth and protect their legacy, Beth is forced to flee her new home with the unlikeliest of allies—MI6 agent Raleigh Vick, the only man she’s ever loved. And the one she thought she’d killed in the desert
- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Blamed-Blood-Money-Novel-Bloody-ebook/dp/B00MTGFB7K/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414686060&sr=8-1&keywords=blamed+Edie+Harris
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Oh, these games we play. Beth smiled wryly as the crosshairs of her scope framed him beautifully from six hundred yards away, unable to prevent the melty little sigh that escaped her.
Not that she’d ever admit to sighing over him, whoever he was this time around. Her brows knit in a scowl as she studied him, loathing the desert sun for the way it burnished him bronze—and loathing him for looking like a god in its glow.
How long had it been since Cyprus? Nine months, twelve days, and… Well, the hours and minutes didn’t matter anymore, because here he was. Granted, six hundred yards away and completely unaware of Beth lying belly-down on a hill in the outskirts of deadly Kabul, but still—here.
Her pulse picked up its pace as she remembered the last time she’d seen him, nine months, twelve days and twenty-two hours ago. Yes, twenty-two. A girl didn’t easily forget the last time a pair of broad-palmed, callused hands had stroked her to orgasm. At least, not when those hands belonged to him.
He stood on a dusty street corner under an awning, talking animatedly with a keffiyeh-wearing man who appeared decidedly upset. Her attention focused on the hands she could still feel like a brand on the tender skin of her belly, her inner thighs. He gestured easily, attempting to calm his companion, clearly speaking the other man’s language with enviable fluency. She stared at his moving lips through her scope, unconsciously wetting her own as she caught a glimpse of the gap between his front teeth.
And there was her confirmation, dental and undeniable. Different as always, and yet the same, despite the change to his coloring and clothing.
His hair was shaved down to a close buzz, appearing to be some shade of brown; in Cyprus, he’d been a sun-streaked, shaggy blonde, all surfer chic as his cover had demanded. She couldn’t see his brows behind the large aviator sunglasses he wore, but as he turned his head, she caught a glimpse of his other identifiable marker—the scar cutting across his jaw to the left of his mouth, earned years ago during an incident in Serbia.
Coincidentally, Beth had been underneath him during said incident.
Crap, but she hated when he went all bossy-britches on her. She’d worked under his command for a decade, back when her role in the family business had been her reason for breathing, and old habits died hard. Stalking through her unlit living room to the front windows, she peeked through a slat in the teakwood blinds at the night outside, dark and cold. No sign of life on the street below…or in the window across the way. “If you guys are so concerned about me, why isn’t one of you here yet?”
“Tobias is on his way to you.”
“What?” Her other older brother—the fussy lawyer—was probably the last family member she’d expect to show up on her doorstep in Chicago. “Why?”
“That’s what I’m trying to tell you. We’ve got trouble.”
“Then why…why didn’t you call my cell?” Her cell was secure, but anything they said on the landline could be overheard, and likely was, given her storied past. It was why Casey had demanded she get a landline in the first place, so anyone listening would witness Beth being a normal—capital “N” normal—civilian when she spoke to the cable company or one of her coworkers at the Institute.
“Because I want them to know we know.” Casey’s voice was brutal and as cold as the weather outside her apartment. “A hit’s been put on you.”
She froze, her stomach cramping. “You really are in Belfast, aren’t you?” she whispered as everything clicked into place. Tobias flying to see her. Human footprints on Bob and Keith’s balcony. The dark window across the street.
Wait. Not so dark, not anymore. Flashes of light, the kind that signaled discharge by a firearm, lit up the bay window that hadn’t shown any sign of life in nearly forty-eight hours. His window. “Shit.”
The Beretta was back in her hand before she took her next breath, dropping the cordless phone to the rug on her brother’s concerned shouts. Not bothering to find shoes, she dashed down the stairs and out into the street—an empty street that held new menace, every shifting shadow a possible threat—in nothing but her socks. The freezing winter air cut through her thin blouse, sharpening her senses as she sprinted up the shoveled sidewalk.
She had to save her friendly neighborhood spy.
Riding the crowded train tucked against Vick’s side was crazy, stupid wonderful, spurring an insistent warmth in the region of her chest that had very little to do with how many layers she wore against the February chill.
Damn it. It would be so much more convenient to blame the scarf.
The train car lurched, causing a morning commuter to jostle her from behind. Immediately, Vick tightened his arm around her waist. After they had boarded the Brown Line at Armitage, he’d sandwiched her between his big body and a metal pole, using his forearm to steady her as he gripped the pole with a gloved hand. The entire left half of her body soaked up the heat from his tall, muscled frame, and Beth couldn’t help but heave a silent, melting sigh at the glorious perfection of him.
Though he was entirely too perfect, in her opinion. She missed the gap between his front teeth, sighed over the loss of his bruiser’s nose. The scar on his cheek she actively mourned, because to her, it hadn’t been a flaw but a badge of honor. He’d earned it saving her life, and then he’d kissed her silly. It was all she could do not to reach up and trace her gloved fingers over its faded echo.
But his body…well, she was woman enough to admit she preferred this heftier build over the zero-percent-body-fat look he’d been working hard back in the day. After being treated to his shirtless torso all morning, she knew exactly what sort of care he put into his fitness, every minute spent at the gym evident in the taut muscle of his pectorals, the packed ridges of his abdomen, the bulging curves of his biceps. But there were bitable parts to him now—firm flesh at his ribs she could dig her fingertips into, the slightest hint of softness hiding beneath his navel and the happy trail that disappeared into the waistband of his trousers.
She wanted to nuzzle the spot until he was a panting, twitching mess.
AUTHOR BIO:Edie Harris studied English and Creative Writing at the University of Iowa and Grinnell College. She fills her days with writing and editing contract proposals, but her nights belong to the world of romance fiction. Edie lives and works in Chicago and is represented by Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary Agency.
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