Against the Night (Raines of Wind Canyon Series #5)

Against the Night (Raines of Wind Canyon Series #5)

by Kat Martin

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Original)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, May 30


She's got the face of an angel and the body of…well, isn't that what he'd expect from an exotic dancer? But there's something about this girl that Johnnie Riggs can't shake. The former army ranger is hot on the trail of an elusive drug lord—and suddenly very hot under the collar, as well.

Amy's got her own agenda to pursue: her sister is missing and Amy seems to be the only one who cares. She'll enlist Johnnie's help and do her best to ignore her growing attraction to finally get some answers. But when the two trails begin to converge and reveal something even more sinister than they imagined, their mutual desire is the least of their problems. They'll bring the truth to light…or die trying.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778313199
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 02/28/2012
Series: Raines of Wind Canyon Series , #5
Edition description: Original
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 142,777
Product dimensions: 4.16(w) x 6.66(h) x 1.09(d)

About the Author

Kat Martin is the New York Times bestselling author of more than fifty historical and contemporary romance novels. To date she has over 13 million copies of her books in print in seventeen countries, including Sweden, France, Russia, Spain, Japan, Argentina, Poland, and Greece. Kat and her husband, author Larry Jay Martin, live on their ranch outside Missoula, Montana, and spend winters at their beach house in California. Kat invites you to visit her website at

Read an Excerpt

Johnnie Riggs was a night owl. Tonight he sat at a table at the Kitty Cat Club on Sunset Boulevard, watching a little blonde pole dancer with the hottest body he'd ever seen and trying like hell not to get an erection.

He reached for the Bud Light sitting in front of him, took a swallow and set the barely touched bottle back down on the table. He wasn't there to get drunk. He wasn't there to get turned on by some sexy little piece of fluff.

He was there to make a collar and a nice chunk of change.

A former Army Ranger with a P.I.'s license, Johnnie spent most of his time in the bars and clubs of Los Angeles, digging up information for clients who could afford his fees. And the occasional recovery job, if the money was high enough.

He glanced around the club, one of the better run strip joints in the area, a place an out-of-town businessman could go for a little harmless fun and not feel like he was about to get mugged when he walked outside to catch a cab.

Johnnie knew the owner, a guy named Tate Watters, a reasonable sort who ran a clean operation. Tate knew Johnnie was there to collect a skip, but Tate was a stand-up guy who did his best to stay on the right side of the law, and having a pervert around—Johnnie's target—wasn't good for business.

It was dark inside the club except for the neon beer signs behind the bar and the soft glow of lights over gilt-framed photos of nineteen-fifties strippers that hung on the walls. A row of colored spotlights lit the woman performing onstage.

The place smelled like stale beer and cheap perfume, and rock music hid the sound of clinking bar glasses and the heavy breathing of the men. Customers sat in the darkness at small round tables sipping whiskey or beer, staring toward the entertainment with big smiles on their faces.

Johnnie didn't blame them. He'd be wearing a big smile, too, along with a raging hard-on if he wasn't there on business.

He watched the woman on the stage. She was twenty-five or -six, a pretty little exotic dancer wearing nothing but red sequined pasties and a matching G-string. She wasn't just petite, she was dainty, little more than five feet tall, with the shiniest, straightest, long blond hair he'd ever seen. Short bangs fluttered across her forehead above a pair of blue eyes that made him shift in his seat against his growing arousal, and muttering a curse between his teeth.

The music played, the beat steady, loud and erotic. She raised a red spike heel, wrapped her calf around the pole and slid up, then sank back down, rubbing the pole between her pale, perfectly proportioned legs. He felt a tug in his gut so strong he had to shove back his chair and get up from the table. Grabbing his beer bottle, he walked to the back of the club where he could survey the room and put a little more distance between him and the scrumptious piece of ass on the stage.

He scanned the patrons, keeping a careful watch for his target.

Earlier in the week, he'd gotten a call from his Ranger buddy in Houston. Trace Rawlins owned a security firm with branches in Houston and Dallas. In the years since they'd left the army, they had worked together a dozen times, most recently on an abduction case that had led them into Mexico.

According to Trace, a guy named Ray Carroll had jumped bail and was on the run. Rumor was he had friends in L.A. and odds were good that was where he had gone to ground. Good ol' Ray had been arrested for possession and trafficking in child pornography—the lowest of the low as far as Johnnie was concerned. He would have taken the guy down for free if he'd had to, which fortunately he didn't.

The case was interesting because Ray was the grandson of the late Texas oil billionaire, C. P. Carroll. C.P.'s widow was filthy rich and she doted on her grandson, which, with that kind of money at his disposal, made Ray a flight risk. His bail had been set at a half-million dollars, which his grandmother had posted.

But Ray had taken off for parts unknown, leaving grandma on the hook for a boatload of money if her boy wasn't caught and brought back to appear in court. For ten percent of the bail fee, a cool fifty thou less a referral fee to Trace, Johnnie had agreed to find him. Surprisingly, once he'd started digging, narrowing his search hadn't been all that hard.

Since leopards didn't change their spots and jackals like Ray were fairly predictable, it didn't take long to find out that Carroll hung out in the local strip clubs.

The Kitty Cat was his favorite. According to the bartender who ID'd the photo Johnnie had shown him, a guy calling himself Ray Conners had been in the club both Wednesday and Thursday nights. Johnnie had come in on Friday and again tonight but so far hadn't seen any sign of him. Not until now.

The black padded vinyl front door swung open, letting a thin slice of street noise into the club. Recalling the photo, Johnnie recognized Ray Carroll as he ambled over to the bar. He was an average-looking forty-year-old, with thinning brown hair and the kind of greasy smile you'd expect to see on a creep like him. He sat down on one of the black vinyl bar stools, and the bartender, a tall, spare, good-looking Hispanic guy named Dante, flashed Johnnie a heads-up glance before taking Ray's drink order, a double Grey Goose martini on the rocks.

A cocktail waitress walked past. The girls who performed also served drinks, though for that they wore a few more clothes. This one, a brunette, was tall and svelte, dressed in a little blue satin two-piece number, the bottom cut high on the sides, a built-in push-up bra shoving her heavy cleavage nearly over the top. Not indecent, but definitely less than the old bunny outfits they wore at the Playboy Club.

Johnnie sipped his beer, his attention fixed on Ray, who stared with fascination toward the stage. The dancer, Angel Fontaine, being not much bigger than a kid, was Ray's favorite according to Dante. He watched as she dipped and swayed to the music, the red sequins on her nipples flashing in the spotlight, the light changing color to the rhythm of the music.

Johnnie tried to look away, but found himself as mesmerized as the drunks at the tables. Like the rest of her body, her breasts were perfectly formed, not too large, not too small and tilted provocatively upward.

Her face wasn't perfect, he had finally gotten around to noticing. Her mouth was a little too wide, making her pouty lips a little too pronounced. Her cheeks were as flawless as rose petals but her chin was a little too pointy.

She was the sexiest woman Johnnie had ever seen.

She turned, thrust her pale, luscious ass into the air and wiggled it suggestively, and his groin tightened. If he didn't make his move soon, he wouldn't be able to walk, let alone make a collar.

Ray came off his stool just then and started toward the stage. Johnnie noticed the folded dollar bills in one hand as he approached the little blonde.

Another man beat Ray to her, leaning over and stuffing a ten-dollar bill into Angel's sequined G-string, the scrap of red barely covering the spot every guy in the place dreamed of touching. Angel whirled away from him and smiled, mouthing a thank-you. When she turned her back, raised her arms above her head and began swaying to the hard rock beat, another man stuffed a bill into the glittering strip of red around her waist above that sweet little ass.

Ray moved closer, hovering as Angel approached the edge of the stage. He leaned toward her, stuffed the money into her G-string. He was grinning when he turned away, his mind on pussy instead of escape.

Johnnie made his move, slamming into Carroll, knocking him over an empty table, both of them crashing to the floor. Ray struggled as Johnnie caught his arm, cranked it behind his back, lifted and hauled him to his feet. Johnnie caught sight of the club's big Asian bouncer moving toward them, but he didn't seem to be in much of a hurry. Guess he'd got word about the pervert, too.

Carroll squirmed in his grasp. "What the fuck? Who the hell are you?"

"I'm your worst nightmare," Johnnie said, cranking the arm a little higher, eliciting a satisfying grunt of pain. "I'm the guy who's gonna make sure you get back to Houston safe and sound." Ray stumbled a couple of times as Johnnie's heavy frame propelled him forward, slamming him into the wall beside the door. "I'm the guy who's gonna put your sorry, sick ass back in jail."

The moment the song ended and she stepped down from the stage, Amy started to tremble. Angel, she reminded herself. Angel, not Amy.

"You okay?" Her roommate walked toward her, Babs McClure, Sugar Babs, she used as her stage name. She was five foot seven with a curvy figure and chin-length dark brown hair she sometimes covered with a hot-pink wig.

Amy managed to nod. "I will be in a minute." It was one thing to be out there beneath the spotlights, dancing almost naked as Angel Fontaine, another entirely to be just a normal woman again. Onstage, she could fool herself into thinking she was Angel, a woman who enjoyed every catcall, every wolf whistle from the men she danced in front of without her clothes. An illusion she worked tirelessly to achieve.

But it didn't last long once she stepped out of the spotlight.

"That was quite a scene." Babs cocked her head toward the side door where the brawny, dark-haired man had just hauled a scummy-looking customer out of the club.

Amy followed Babs's gaze. As if she hadn't noticed the brawl just a few feet in front of the stage.

"Dante says the creep that guy busted is into kiddie porn."

Amy shuddered. "He certainly looks the part." She crossed the backstage area and started up the stairs leading to the studio apartment she and Babs shared above the club. "So I guess the other guy is a cop or something."

"Or something." Babs fell into step beside her, pulled off her pink wig and ranked a hand through her dark hair. "He was in here last night, too."

"I saw him."

Babs grinned. "Hard to miss a guy who looks like that."

Amy grinned back. "No kidding." Six feet of solid muscle, barrel-chested with a thick neck and shoulders. As he'd walked—more like swaggered—toward the stage, she'd noticed a tattoo of an eagle on his very impressive biceps. Every move he made spoke of power and strength, and in a rugged, masculine way, he was handsome.

"I asked Tate about him," Babs said. "Says his name is John Riggs. He's an ex-Army Ranger. Does P.I. work and pretty much anything else he can make a buck at." Babs rolled her eyes. "What a hunk."

Just hearing the words brought his image to mind: dark brown hair and eyes such a deep brown they looked black, strong jaw roughened by the shadow of a beard. He was the kind of guy who should have Dangerous stamped on his forehead.

Amy's mind slipped back to her performance onstage and the way he had looked at her, his eyes following her every move. She had never felt a gaze so intense.

It was late, nearly closing. Amy blew out a breath, suddenly exhausted.

"You look like you could use a cup of coffee," Babs said as they reached the small apartment they shared and Amy unlocked the door. There were other small apartments down the hall, cheap places for the girls to live. "I put on a fresh pot before I went downstairs."

"Sounds good." The rich aroma filled the room as she stepped inside. She and Babs hadn't known each other long yet Babs watched out for her. She was Amy's only confidante, the only person who knew the truth, knew she wasn't really an exotic dancer, had never done anything in her entire life remotely as wild as what she was doing now.

She wasn't a stripper, a pole dancer, a lap dancer or anything the least bit similar. She was a schoolteacher from Michigan, a woman who had absolutely no business being naked up onstage.

They crossed the studio apartment: two single beds, a kitchenette, and a small living area with a sofa and chair. Babs went to the kitchen counter and took down two mugs, pouring coffee into each one. Amy grabbed her robe from the hook beside the door, slipped it on and breathed a sigh of relief once she was more decently covered. Babs was still wearing her dark blue satin cocktail waitress costume, sexy but no worse than the bikinis women wore on the beach.

She took the mug Babs held out to her and they carried them over to the tiny round table in the corner.

"So what about the hunk?" Babs asked, watching her over the rim of her cup.

Amy's blond brows went up. "What about him?"

"He was certainly giving you the eye."

Amy just shrugged. "When you're up there naked, they all give you the eye."

"This was different—and don't tell me you didn't notice."

Oh, she'd noticed all right. She could feel the heat in those dark eyes all the way across the room. It was what that hot look did to her that was startling. The Kitty Cat Club was filled with men every night. None of them made her stomach flip the way a single look from John Riggs had. Two nights in a row, he'd sat in the shadows watching, his fierce gaze singularly focused on her. At the same time he seemed aware of every other person in the room.

"He got his man tonight." Amy sighed. "We won't be seeing him again."

Babs sipped her coffee. "Wanna bet?"

Amy glanced up. "You don't think he'll come back because of me?"

"I've been doing this for almost three years, hon. One thing you learn to recognize is when a man is interested. And let me tell you, honey, John Riggs has a major interest in you."

Her stomach contracted. If she closed her eyes, she could almost feel the heat in those dark eyes burning into her. "You're crazy. He was here on business, that's all."

"Five bucks?"

Amy laughed. "You're on."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Against the Night 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 70 reviews.
danja More than 1 year ago
Finished this book in less than half a day. It was such a good read. one of my fav
The_Reading_Reviewer More than 1 year ago
John Riggs is a former ranger, full-time PI, and all around do not mess with me tough guy. So why is Amy Brewer, this slip of a woman, an exotic dancer no less making his blood boil to a point of combustion. There is something beneath the exterior when you look really deep and see that her innocence is genuine. When their paths cross and she hires him to find her missing sister – Johnnie wonders if this is a step into heaven with an Angel or eternal damnation. Amy came to find her sister and stepping into her sister’s shoes as a dancer was step one. Taking a leap of faith to hire a PI to help her was a huge risk but one she knew had to happen. What Amy never foresaw was the terror she would face on land and sea in the search to find and free her sister. The scariest moments are when she is alone with Johnnie, laying in the warmth of his arms, knowing this cannot last but wishing so much that it could. She will take a bullet for Johnnie who is doing everything he can to find her sister and using resources she never knew existed. However, when everything is concluded will she run back to Michigan or stay with Johnnie and fulfill a new kind of adventure? Kat Martin cannot stop writing incredible books in this series. Every book stands out as spectacular with character depth, suspense, and enough romance to warm any night. Ms. Martin proves that a series can go on and remain fresh and intriguing and proves it with this latest book.
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Former Army Ranger and now Private Investigator, Johnnie Riggs is hanging out in a strip joint looking for a crook who's skipped his bail. But his attention is very distracted by a sexy gal who's an exotic pole dancer. Finally, he sees his prey and grabs him, but Johnnie returns to ask the dancer out. This is the first in a series of novels called The Raines of Wind Canyon, and it strikes a new pose for Kat Martin! Angel is not the loose woman she appears to be; apparently, she's (Amy) come to the big city, Los Angeles, from Michigan to find her missing sister. She'd love to ask Johnnie to help her after she finds out who he really is, but she's sure she can never afford what she believes is probably an exorbitant fee. The sparks are definitely flying between these two and at first it takes all their inner strength not to fall into bed immediately. The story progresses when Johnnie at first is annoyed that she wants his help instead of just providing some action, but he just can't resist being with her! Both the romance and the criminal side of the story rapidly progress with the search for Rachel, a beautiful woman as well who came to the city to become a star but got caught up with a creep making huge promises but with other nefarious ideas in mind for employing her. When Johnnie and Amy set out on their mission, they have no idea how their search will threaten their own lives and their passion as well!!! Kat Martin has done a fine job again with this latest romance/crime thriller novel. The characters in this new first novel in a series are edgier in one sense, which gives them an air of unpredictability that adds to the suspense of the story. Trusting and love are sometimes part of a perilous journey, and Johnnie and Amy bring the form to the top of the game! Very nicely done, Kat Martin!
Glenajo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Quick, Fun ReadWhen Amy Brewer's sister goes missing, Amy moves to LA to see if she can follow her trail beginning at the Kitty Kat Club where Rachael used to work. While Amy is pole dancing, she can feel the Johnnie Riggs¿ eyes focused on her. Amy discovers that Johnny is a private detective, and conveniences Johnny to agree to help Amy find her sister. Johnnie uses all his Army Ranger knowledge, along his friends Special Forces friends to track Amy¿s sister Rachael. Sparks fly throughout the story to make it heavy on the romance with a fairly predictable story. This is an average romantic suspense. The characters are fun and interesting, and the story moves quickly. Though not particularly memorable, Against the Night is easy and diverting. It is the fifth book in Martin¿s Against series.Received Galley from
Karenls1956 More than 1 year ago
Bigedsgirl1 More than 1 year ago
All of Ms. Martin's Against series are great reads, but if you only read one, make it this one. I've read it so many times and though I love all the heroes in the series, John is the one I wish to call my own. Read this fabulous, suspenseful romance and you'll see what I mean. You'll thank me; I promise.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic writing!
stewartsd More than 1 year ago
I have read the entire series so far and they are all excellent stories.
JuneCO More than 1 year ago
Kat Martin books are a new read for me. I was given three of her Raines of Wind Canyon books by a friend. Loved them and ended up ordering seven more of the Raines of Wind Canyon series on my own. Ms. Martin combines a great story with the right amount of romance. I find once I start one of her books, I have a hard time putting it down until it's finished. Her novels keep the reader's attention.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The plots are a little different but the relationships are all the same in this series. Just skip over the "same old story" and the rest is pretty good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am enjoying the series and it gets better with each book. The story and the characters become more in-depth than they were in the first part of the series. When I read the synopsis I was concerned about this one but luckily I was wrong :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good who done it book!