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The Last Bullet [NOOK Book]


Former special agent Cleo North thought she had sworn off bureaucracy forever—but the Air Force Office of Special Investigations has other ideas. They need her expertise and are willing to pay her extravagant fee. The case? An off-duty U.S. tanker pilot recently took a bullet under suspicious circumstances and wound up dead.

It doesn't take long before Cleo and Major Jack Donovan from the OSI—along with some help from British Intelligence—discover the pilot was involved in some...

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The Last Bullet

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Former special agent Cleo North thought she had sworn off bureaucracy forever—but the Air Force Office of Special Investigations has other ideas. They need her expertise and are willing to pay her extravagant fee. The case? An off-duty U.S. tanker pilot recently took a bullet under suspicious circumstances and wound up dead.

It doesn't take long before Cleo and Major Jack Donovan from the OSI—along with some help from British Intelligence—discover the pilot was involved in some questionable activities. But why was he so interested in a U.S. Army Air Corps transport that went down in the English Channel in 1943?

When another murder links a far-fetched story of wartime international intrigue to millions of dollars in gold, only one question remains: who is behind the ultimate cover-up? And could Cleo be the next bullet's victim?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781460307816
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 11/15/2012
  • Series: Cleo North Trilogy
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 333,303
  • File size: 558 KB

Meet the Author

As an Air Force officer, Merline Lovelace served at bases all over the world. When she hung up her uniform for the last time, she decided to combine her love of adventure with a flare for storytelling. Since then, she's produced more than 85 action-packed novels. Over eleven million copies of her works are in print in 30 countries. Named Oklahoma's Writer of the Year and Female Veteran of the Year, Merline is also a recipient of Romance Writers of America's prestigious Rita Award.

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Read an Excerpt

The Last Bullet

By Merline Lovelace


Copyright © 2005 Merline Lovelace
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0778321819

Former USAF special agent turned private security consultant Cleo North crouched behind a dripping rhododendron bush and blinked the chilly, early May rain out of her eyes. Chewing on the inside of her lip, she worked a hair-thin wire through the cable box of a neat, single-story Denver bungalow.

The high-powered executive who'd hired her to beef up his security staff was inside the bungalow. He was either: (a) being held hostage by the thugs he'd gotten crosswise of in a not-so-shrewd business deal; (b) hiding from said thugs; or (c) sneaking in a little afternoon delight with his mistress of the moment.

Whatever the situation, he'd voluntarily or otherwise deactivated the sophisticated security systems Cleo had installed in his office. He'd waited until Cleo had gone down to the cafeteria for lunch to exit Worldwide Systems' high-rise corporate headquarters by the back stairs, then disabled the GPS tracking device she'd installed in his car.

Cleo had tracked him via the device she'd concealed in the heel of his shoe after the last time he slipped off to conduct a little "personal business." She'd been tempted to walk away from the job altogether at that point, but the exec's wife had received a phone call advising her that her husband was a dead man if he didn't withdraw his bid on a multi-million-dollar contract to construct a new shopping mall. The very real threat — and the outrageous fees this bozo was paying — had outweighed her growing disgust with the man.

If she found him with his pants around his ankles, though, she was outta here! North Security and Investigations, Inc., didn't need his hefty retainer. Cleo has as much business as she and her part-time staff could handle. Particularly since the air force had tapped her to work some very interesting cases lately. With very sexy OSI agent Jack Donovan, who was, at this very moment, in D.C. unraveling the tangled threads from their last adventure.

Hunching her shoulders against the rain, Cleo fed the wire in another few inches, just enough for its ultrasensitive fibers to pick up sounds inside the bungalow. Her client had given her permission to install whatever devices she deemed appropriate to his safety. His authority didn't specify this location, but Cleo wasn't too concerned about that minor technicality at the moment.

Shoving her wet hair out of her eyes, she activated the receiver and tugged on a headset. She heard a thud, magnified to ear-pounding proportions, then an agonized scream.


The screeching, megawatt decibels sent Cleo staggering back into the rhododendrons. She hit the ground butt-first, sputtering as the leafy petals shook and gave her another drenching.

"Oh, God, no! Noooo!"

That could be the scream of a woman at the peak of a mind-blowing orgasm, but Cleo's instincts said otherwise. Her client hadn't struck her as the type who would take the time to bring a woman to that kind of shattering release.

Tearing off the headset, she scrambled to her feet and reached under her jacket for the 10 mm Glock holstered at the small of her back. No time to call for backup. She'd have to use the element of surprise to best advantage.

She raced around to the rear of the bungalow, jerked up her knee and had her boot heel aimed at the back door when it was suddenly wrenched open.

Her client froze just inside the portal. He was naked, wild-eyed with terror and bleeding like a stuck pig from the pulpy mass that used to be his nose.

"Cleo! Thank God! Get me out of here."

The first rule of protective services was to hustle the protectee away from danger. Cleo would have done just that if another agonized scream hadn't ripped from the front of the house.

"Who's that?"

"Never mind her." Panting, the bare-assed exec tried to bulldoze past her. "I'm the one who's paying you."

"Wait, dammit! Tell me how many are inside."

"Two hired bruisers and Janie. Let's get out of here!"

The thud of pounding footsteps added frenzy to his efforts. He shoved Cleo aside and plunged into the rain.

She let him go. No way she was leaving a woman to be brutalized by two hired sleazoids. She was ready when a beefy thug barreled into the kitchen, a
.45 clutched in a fist that showed bloody, skinned knuckles. He did a double take when he spotted Cleo, which gave her more than sufficient time to fire. She shot the .45 out of his fist, making sure she took a good portion of appendage with it.

He doubled over, howling and clutching his arm to his chest. Cleo dropped him with a swift chop to the neck and kicked his weapon out of reach under the stove.

As she anticipated, the ruckus brought the second thug running. He pumped out two wild shots before she took him down with one to the kneecap. He fell forward, just happening to make contact with Cleo's knee on the way. His jaw cracked. His head snapped back. His eyes rolled.

Satisfied he was out cold, she scooped up his weapon and continued down the hall to find a naked, sobbing Janie huddled in a tight ball on the bedroom floor. Her face, too, was a pulpy mass, making Cleo wish to hell she'd aimed for more vital areas than hands and knees.

She helped the woman up, holding her awkwardly with one arm. With the other, she reached for the cell phone clipped to her waist.

"It's okay," Cleo murmured. "You'll be okay. I'm calling 911."


Excerpted from The Last Bullet by Merline Lovelace Copyright © 2005 by Merline Lovelace. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    fast-paced action thriller

    USAF Office of Special Investigations General Barnes hires former agent turned private security consultant Cleo North to accompany Major Jack Donovan on an investigation of the murder of an air force tanker pilot in England. As he briefs the two sleuths, Barnes warns North not to blow up anything as the brass is still reeling over the loss of millions of dollars worth of munitions when she blew up a cargo ship on her last mission. Someone shot two bullets into the head of Captain Doug Caswell who had quite a dossier involving black marketeering, porn rings, and gambling though none stuck. The oddity of the homicide is the bullets come from a special stock made in 1939 and used by a Sergeant Gordon who along with his plane and a shipment of gold vanished in 1943. As the modern day case takes several out of control spins, the American detectives learn that the past offers something more sinister and deadly, a biological agent that strengthens with age. --- The final tale in the exciting North trilogy (see THE FIRST MISTAKE and THE MIDDLE SIN) is a fast-paced action thriller that links a World War II unsolved event with a modern day mystery. The story line never slows down, but also furthers the relationship between the heroes who are in love but must concentrate on uncovering the culprit before a catastrophe occurs. Fans of military thrillers will appreciate Merline Lovelace¿s latest triumphant tale that once again proves why she is one of the sub-genre¿s ranking writers.--- Harriet Klausner

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    Posted April 24, 2011

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    Posted May 5, 2011

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    Posted January 10, 2011

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