Recruited as a spy out of college, Katrina Keller learned to use every asset at her disposal to ferret out sensitive information for the Americans. But after her cover was partially blown, the love of her life—another federal agent—left under the impression that she had betrayed their country. In response, Katrina buried her pain and sought refuge in a low-key operation run out of an amusement park. Then, just as Katrina thinks she’s really moved on, Skye Prescott crosses her path once again.
Skye never recovered from Katrina’s betrayal. Hiding in the shadows, he turned himself into a reckless, ruthless force of nature. But when his supposedly piece-of-cake mission thrusts Katrina back into his life, he quickly realizes he made a terrible mistake by leaving her without digging for the truth first. Skye’s nature demands swift action. Nothing gets in his way when he decides what he wants. And now not even Katrina’s protests will stop him from winning her back.
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
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The conversation had been going on for some time, and Hagen was beginning to lose what little patience he possessed. Although he gripped the phone with fingers that were tightening slowly, he managed to keep his voice even and calm as he spoke.
“What about Siran?”
“Michael’s unavailable.” The cool voice at the other end of the line belonged to Daniel Stuart, director of the FBI, and from his tone it was obvious he wasn’t in the mood to be helpful. “I’ve done some restructuring, you know, Chief. Michael’s heading my old agency, and he has his hands full.”
Hagen found it difficult to contemplate Daniel’s recent appointment without gritting his teeth in rage that he himself had been passed over for the directorship. Now he relaxed his jaw and tried to be polite, not his strongest trait. “Congratulate Michael for me. How about one of your bright boys?”
“Sorry. Can’t spare any of them.”
After counting silently to ten, Hagen said, “You pulled your people off the surveillance I needed a while back and never gave me your reasons for doing so. Is that why I’m having such a hard time now, or am I imagining things?”
Daniel laughed shortly. “I told you why then. I owe those ladies, and I’ll be damned if I’ll help you snatch Josh Long for one of your devious plots.”
“I’ve altered that plan,” Hagen announced.
“Good for you.”
This time Hagen counted to twenty. It didn’t help much; when he spoke his voice held a definite snap. “I don’t give a damn about Long or any of that group. I need one man, Daniel, just one good man.”
Daniel’s second laugh was one of genuine amusement. “Well, you know, Chief, your reputation’s growing. Except for a loyal few that you’ve managed to lose, most of the agents who’ve worked for you swear they’ll never do it again. I’m not sure if they’re afraid of getting killed or getting married, but they’re quite definite about avoiding you.”
Hagen ground his teeth. “I’ve only lost two agents to marriage: Raven and Kelsey. The rest were onetime volunteers. And Derek, of course, but that wasn’t my doing. Sarah still works for me and Michael was always your man.”
“Ummm. Still, your name’s become synonymous with matchmaking. You’ve also gotten just a bit too well known for your habit of sending agents into situations with sketchy or deliberately false information. Agents don’t care for that, Chief, it makes them nervous.”
“Look, I don’t see your problem.” Daniel’s voice was sardonic. “Simply draft yourself a few people who haven’t heard of you yet. There must be some out there.”
Hagen didn’t bother to count. He was reluctant to disclose exactly why he needed an experienced man since he always disliked—and generally avoided—sharing the limelight with anyone, but this time he was driven to it. “Daniel, I have good reason to believe I can finally capture Adrian.”
There was a moment of silence, and then Daniel spoke slowly. “You always wanted him, didn’t you? Even though terrorists aren’t, strictly speaking, your field.”
“I mean to get him this time,” Hagen said flatly.
“You want one of my men?”
Hagen swore. “Gigi’s place.”
Daniel seemed to consider the matter. “That’s a hell of a big place. A lot of people could be hurt. Maybe I should—”
“It’s my trap,” Hagen told him, “and I’ll spring it. I just need one of your men, Daniel.”
Daniel argued. In fact, he argued for a good ten minutes, hotly at times. But he finally gave in, saying, “Well, I have one agent who hasn’t worked with you yet.”
“A good man, Daniel.”
“Oh, he’s good. He spent some time in Europe, but I’ve had him on the domestic payroll for a few years now. But you treat him like a pro, Chief, or he’ll likely put a bullet in you.”
“I don’t need a hothead.”
“All right, then.” With an effort Hagen kept the triumph out of his voice. “Send him to me.”
“He’s on his way.”
Hagen hung up the special scrambler phone and sat alone in his office, smiling. But he undoubtedly would have lost the pleased expression if he’d been privileged to overhear the conversation going on in a Washington, D.C. office.
“Well? Did he take the bait?”
Daniel leaned back in his chair and grinned at the man sitting in his visitor’s chair. “Hook, line, and sinker.”