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Read an Excerpt
NYPD Blue & Gold Series
By Tee O'Fallon, Karen Grove
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2017 Tee O'Fallon
All rights reserved.
Gray paused, inhaling the building's thick, stuffy air. This op bugged the shit out of him to the point where he'd almost called it off.
A bomb-sniffing K-9 named Max had already gone through the building and detected nothing, but Gray's nerves were lit up like a subway station.
Something isn't right.
His gut warned him they were about to fall ass-deep into a trap. For eight months they'd been digging around without success trying to find the safe house used by Ahmed Methopolis, the now-dead Pyramid assassin who'd tried to kill Gray's sister, and two days ago an anonymous call came in on the NYPD Crime Stoppers tip line. As the lead detective in the Intelligence Unit — and lead investigator on the Pyramid case — Gray had first crack in deciding how to proceed.
He pushed the stairwell door open wider and froze.
The hairs on his neck spiked to attention, and a droplet of sweat trickled down his back. Gray's stomach churned away at the rot-gut coffee he'd had an hour ago. Even though Methopolis was long dead, he wasn't taking any chances. Pyramid assassins were infamous for booby-trapping their safe houses.
He felt a tap on his shoulder and turned to see Dom raise his brows, questioning Gray's hesitation. Since some explosive devices could be triggered by radio frequency transmission, no radios were permitted within a hundred yards.
We good? Dom mouthed the words.
Warning signals continued sparking up and down Gray's neck and back, but without a valid reason to articulate why he shut down an op mobilizing nearly fifty department personnel, three fire trucks, and two buses — aka ambulances — from the FDNY, and cleared an entire city block, there was no turning back now. If he did, his captain would either cut off his balls or relegate him back to a uniformed beat in the South Bronx. Maybe both.
He nodded, drew his Glock, and gripped it in both hands. Behind him, Dom and the other detectives did the same. He turned left into the hallway, toward Methopolis's door. Gray's boots barely made a sound on the carpeted floor. Only slight swishes of clothing and tactical gear came to his ears as the rest of his team quietly followed.
Every one of the men on his six was hand-picked by Gray and Dom, all with experience under fire. Yet another one of Gray's unbreakable rules: in a bad spot, take only the best. Particularly when he didn't know what — or who — might be waiting for them on the other side of the door. The only addition to his team was the tagalong FBI agent who he'd had no choice but to include. The moron was wearing a suit, for Christ's sake! Who the hell wears a suit to a high-risk warrant? On top of which, the guy had been late this morning and missed half of the pre-op briefing. Fucking feds.
Outside the apartment door, Gray and the others stepped aside so that TARU could do its thing. The NYPD's Technical Assistance Response Unit began scanning the walls on either side of the door with thermal imaging units to detect any devices attached to the inside of the door. Two bomb squad guys accompanied the team, one of whom was Sgt. Pete Miller. Although Gray hoped to hell Pete's expertise wouldn't be necessary.
Moments later, the lead TARU officer gave Gray a thumbs-up. No devices were detected at the door. Next a thin camera probe was inserted between the bottom of the door and the threshold. A small, portable device on the floor displayed a TV-like image of what the camera saw. The interior of the apartment was devoid of life, with only sparse furniture showing on the display. Another thumbs-up.
Though Gray had a search warrant in his pocket, building management had been strangely unable to locate the spare key to the apartment. Even the best locksmith would take too much time and would easily be heard puttering outside the door. For safety reasons, there would be no knock- and-announce.
Time to blow the door.
Gray signaled the Apprehension Tactical Team officer holding Big Bertha, the battering ram used for tactical entries. Behind Big Bertha was the bunker, the guy holding a shield in one hand and a handgun in the other. Next in line were the remaining A-Team members who would clear and secure the apartment. The rest of the men, including the FBI suit, stacked up behind Gray against the wall. At least the suit had the sense to draw his weapon and point it to the floor, not at the back of the guy in front of him. To the other side of the door, Pete and his partner, Finelli, waited, both wearing heavily padded green Gumby suits.
Gray listened for sound inside the apartment. Nothing. All he heard was heavy breathing from his team and the rapid beat of his own heart.
He held up his fist and counted to three with his fingers. On three, Big Bertha's thirty inches of epoxy steel slammed against the door. The sound of metal on metal reverberated in the hallway. With a loud creak, the door partially gave way. One more swing and Big Bertha tore the heavy door off the top two hinges. The door creaked as it twisted backward on the remaining hinge and crashed to the floor.
The A-Team charged in first, M4s and MP5s raised, heavy boots pounding on the parquet floor. Gray, Dom, and the rest of the detective squad swarmed in behind. Shouts of "clear" echoed in the apartment as the interior rooms were deemed empty of human threats.
Still, Gray's heart hammered.
He and the other detectives separated and began a sector sweep of each room for explosive devices and other evidence, being careful when lifting or opening anything, and not turning on any light switches that might set off a hidden charge.
The main room held basic furniture, no photos, nothing personal, which was no surprise. Pyramid assassins were professionals, and the service they provided to their wealthy clients was completely anonymous. According to INTERPOL, when a Pyramid assassin moved on, his location was cleaned of all evidence, so Gray didn't really expect to locate anything useful. But maybe they'd get lucky. Even the best occasionally slipped up.
"Got a laptop," Dom called from another room.
"You gotta be fucking kidding me," Gray muttered as he hustled into the small bedroom on the south side of the apartment.
Perched on a wooden desk was a closed silver laptop. No power cord, no cables. With the lights still off and the shades down the way they were when they'd made entry, the room was dimly lit at best.
Gray flicked on his tactical flashlight and knelt to shine it under the desk. No wires and no devices. That he could see.
"Pete," he shouted over his shoulder to the bomb squad leader.
"Whatddya got?" Pete and Finelli entered the room. Each carried a black, hard-sided case.
"Sniff the laptop." Gray stepped aside to give Pete and Finelli room to work.
The men laid their cases on the floor beside the desk, and Pete opened the one containing a portable radiation detector. "Shine the light on the thing, would ya?"
Gray did as Pete asked, then with slow, precise movements Pete passed the detector over and around the laptop, then under the desk.
"Negative rad." Pete packed up the rad meter while Finelli removed another device from the other case.
This gadget Gray recognized as a trace detection unit that identified explosives, chemical warfare agents, and toxic and industrial chemicals.
With motions similar to those Pete used with the rad meter, Finelli scanned the laptop and the entire area surrounding the desk. "Nada," Finelli said, and began packing up the device.
Gray trusted Pete's abilities to sniff out explosives as he trusted no other soul. Between his time in the Middle East and with the NYPD, Pete had detected and deactivated more devices than anyone in department history.
"This doesn't make sense." Dom dragged a hand across his stubbled chin.
"No shit," Gray agreed. "No way would they leave a laptop behind. Sniff it again," he said to Pete.
"I got a better idea," Pete said as he left the room, returning a minute later with another hard-sided case. He opened it and hauled out a portable X-ray machine. Next he unstrapped the top portion of his Gumby suit and donned another vest in its place, this one containing protective lead panels. "You guys might want to step out while I grab a shot."
Gray, Dom, and Finelli left the room and watched from the doorway while Pete X-rayed the laptop from several different angles.
"C'mon back," Pete called, then shrugged out of his vest and dropped it onto the floor. He powered up the small laptop embedded in the cover of the X-ray case. Light from the computer's screen lit the room with a dim, eerie glow.
Gray and Dom looked over Pete's shoulder as, one by one, he cued up each image and zoomed in.
Pete nodded to his partner. "Finelli and I still need to check the walls, but this laptop's clean."
From the corner of his eye, Gray noticed the FBI agent now stood at Pete's other side. Gray acknowledged the agent with a nod of his head.
Pete pulled a small flashlight from his belt, turned it on, then stuck it between his lips. He angled his head to illuminate the keyboard and began a 3-D scan.
"I got this," the FBI agent said.
The words didn't register with Gray until the agent reached for the window blinds.
"No!" Pete shouted as both he and Gray rushed the FBI agent. "Don't open the —"
"Shit," Dom uttered, a step behind Gray.
The agent turned, but his arm was still in motion.
An explosion rocked the room.
The blast hurled Gray into the air. He slammed to the floor, using his hands to shield his face from flying debris.
Something sharp lodged in the back of his head. Excruciating pain seared his skull, his eardrums throbbing. Darkness closed in on his vision, and he nearly blacked out. From somewhere far away, he heard shouting. Footsteps pounding.
"Medics! Somebody get a goddamn medic!"
Smoke filled Gray's nose, along with the pitchy, tar odor often associated with C4 explosives. But something else permeated the air, coating his mouth, his tongue, and his lungs. A distinctly familiar chemical, plastic-like smell.
"Sonofabitch," Pete moaned.
Beside Pete, Finelli struggled to get to his feet. The Gumby suit had protected him from most of the flying debris, and he appeared unharmed aside from a few scratches on his face.
Gray tried hauling his ass off the floor, but something held him in place.
"Stay down," Dom ordered in an eerily calm tone, his hand pressing firmly on Gray's shoulder. "All that pretty hair of yours is covered in blood. Let the medics have a look before you go ballroom dancing tonight."
"Fuck you," Gray said, thankful his partner was alive and seemingly uninjured.
"Not a chance." Dom chuckled. "You're too good-looking for my taste."
Gray hazarded a glance to where the FBI agent lay sprawled on his back on the far side of the room. The agent's chest was covered with blood, his suit jacket and shirt torn to shreds. A piece of metal stuck out of the man's forehead. His eyes were open, unseeing. Gray had seen it too many times before.
The agent had been killed instantly.
Gray exhaled slowly, trying to clear his head.
Medics who'd been on standby outside the building poured into the room. One put her hand to the agent's carotid then shook her head. She and the other medic began checking on Pete, whose face was contorted with pain.
Gray struggled to get to his feet.
"Sit your ass down." Dom increased the pressure on Gray's shoulder.
"No way." Gray shoved Dom's hand away. He struggled to his feet and was nearly overcome with dizziness and nausea.
Gray leaned heavily on Dom's arm while he regained his bearings. With Dom's aid, he staggered to the gurney where Pete now lay and clasped the other man's hand.
The FBI agent's body lay on the floor beside the gurney. Even though the dumb shit had triggered the blast, Gray felt a deep sense of loss.
Ironically, the agent's body had probably taken the brunt of the blast, shielding the rest of them from most of the shrapnel.
Pete took a shallow breath. "Nothing there," he gasped, his breath fogging up the oxygen mask. "It would have pegged ... the meter. Had to be ... epoxy."
"The lab will check it out." Gray gave Pete's hand a squeeze just before the medics rolled him out the door. To Dom, he said, "I'd bet my ass he's right. The bomb was probably encased in epoxy. Undetectable by standard methods."
"Could have been a bad sensor," Dom suggested. "A technical fritz or one of those fuzzy gremlins. Shit happens."
"Not to Pete." Gray let Dom lead him to a sofa in the adjoining room. "Pete Miller doesn't make mistakes. If that agent hadn't pulled the blinds, Pete would have found something. Guaranteed."
"Yeah, copy that." Dom glanced through the doorway to where the agent's body still lay.
Shafts of sunlight poked through the holes in the wall, and clouds of dust hung in the air. Gray and Dom both coughed to rid their lungs of contaminants. With every cough Gray's head pounded as if someone had taken a hammer to his skull.
The female medic set her supply box on the floor at his feet and practically pushed Gray onto the sofa, then began examining the back of his head. He flinched as she jostled whatever piece of shrapnel had lodged itself in his skull.
"Don't be such a baby, detective," she said.
"Smart-ass." He glared first at her then at Dom when his partner chuckled.
"How many fingers am I holding up?" she asked.
"Three," Gray answered.
"Who do you work for?"
"The NYPD," he said, knowing these were standard questions meant to ascertain the severity of his head injury.
"What's your name and rank?"
"Gray Yates. Detective."
"What's this guy's name?" She hooked a finger in Dom's direction.
"Detective Dominick Carew." Gray gritted his teeth, starting to get annoyed. He really wanted to get this examination over with so he could get back to finding out what the hell had happened.
The medic began feeling the sides of his neck for neck and spinal injury. "What year is it?" she asked in a calm voice, totally unfazed and clearly not intimidated by Gray's pissy attitude.
"Look, Little Miss Medic." Gray swatted her hands away. "How about getting that thing out of my skull, slapping on a Band-Aid, and letting me get back to work?"
"The only place you're going," she said in a sharp tone, "is to a hospital on a gurney."
"The hell I am." Gray rose from the sofa and swayed, grateful for Dom's steadying hand. "I'm walking out of here on my own two feet."
"Fine." She held up her hands in defeat. "It's your funeral if you pass out and crack your skull on the pavement. At least sit while I get you that Band-Aid for your boo-boo."
Ignoring the jibe, Gray sat down again, relieved at not having to go another round with the ornery medic who, he was coherent enough to realize, was only doing her job.
She whipped out a shiny set of tweezers from her kit, then dug into the back of his head and yanked out a piece of bloody shrapnel that she held up for his inspection.
"Got you good, buddy." Dom examined what appeared to be a piece of twisted metal about a half inch in length and width.
"Ye —" Gray hissed in a breath as the woman slapped something onto the back of his head that stung like a sonofabitch.
Out in the hallway, Gray's captain let fly a round of curses.
"I want answers, dammit," Captain Kree shouted. "What good is a bomb squad if they can't even detect a fucking bomb? I'm gonna have Miller's ass on a plate."
As the medic applied a Band-Aid, Gray flinched, which only served to make his head throb even worse.
"Make sure he gets that stitched up," the medic said to Dom. A few moments later, she packed up her kit and disappeared through the door.
Over Captain Kree's shouting, Gray heard Dom grunt.
"What?" Gray shifted to see Dom surveying the damage. He knew his partner well enough to know something was up.
"The explosives must have been hidden behind the wall." Dom pointed to the blast hole. "Someone did a kick-ass job of re-taping the new sheetrock."
Gray stood slowly, grabbing the doorjamb for support. Again, Dom reached out to steady him so they could both eyeball the damage.
"The blast blew open a three-foot-wide hole," Dom said, "but most of the exterior wall remained intact. The explosion was directed inward."
Their eyes met. "Anti-personnel bomb," they both said at the same time.
Excerpted from Blood Money by Tee O'Fallon, Karen Grove. Copyright © 2017 Tee O'Fallon. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
After reading “Burnout” by this author I knew I had to get this second book in the series (NYPD Blue & Gold) as soon as it was published. How lucky am I that I won this book in a contest and it was just as great as the first book. NYPD Detective Gray Yates (yes, Cassie’s brother that you met in “Burnout”) is slowly falling in love with a woman who works as a secretary at the NYPD. Alex Romano, a single mother, becomes an unwitting pawn in a blackmail situation and this shakes Gray’s trust as he tries to protect Alex from the Pyramid – an international organization of assassins. There is so much drama between Alex & Gray as she tries to do the right thing while protecting her seriously ill daughter. Once again, the writing is great, the characters so believable and the suspense all that you could want. I am so looking forward to the next book in this series and I understand that Ms. O’Fallon is going to be starting a Federal K9 series as well. If so, I will be watching for that one as well. (by paytonpuppy)
If it’s at all possible I loved this new suspenseful cop romance even better than the first one in the series, but I think it was helpful to read these books in order because of secondary characters in this story. Alex, a woman with a battered past and raising a sick child on her own, lies on her application for a job with the NYPD to avoid problems from her past creeping up on her. While on the job she and a detective by the name of Gray, a war torn soldier, develop a common interest in each other which ends up getting tangled with the lies from both of them about their pasts. How they got through the lies and the trouble caused by them made for a chilling tale…with a scorching romance thrown in for good measure. Once started, I couldn’t put this book down until The End!
An exciting story, filled with tense suspense, fear, danger, misgivings and trust issues all well balanced with the cutest kid and two mistreated hearts trying to find a way to happiness with all the possible roadblocks on their way. The story immediately took my interest and pulled me into the world of terror and secrets. Alex Romano is an intelligent, independent woman who is used to take care of things by herself and not rely on anyone's help or support. Her son Nicky has a rare form of leukemia, and she is willing to do anything to protect her son, to keep him safe, and to get him healthy. Gray Yates was betrayed by his former love interest while in Afganistan resulting in the deaths of children, comrades, and his best friend's girlfriend. The guilt, the regrets, the remorse is something he is used to carrying with him until Alex caught his eye and he felt maybe there was a chance of happiness for him as well. I loved the connection between Gray and Alex. The chemistry was hot, and their lust-filled thoughts were melting the pages. Both of them had something they were hiding from the world around them, but no one expected the extension of the lies and deception Alex had built around her and Nicky. The story unfolds rapidly, the continues twists and revelations keeping the tension high and the feelings raw. There came a point where I wanted to shake Alex, as it seems there's always something more, starting to feel as suspicious and tired of her lies as Gray was. Alex and Gray put each other's trust and honesty to test again and again until the drama filled crescendo. Constant conflicts and action, violent battles with the terrorist, mixed with gorging hot romance with serious trust issues, and one adorable young man, that will steal your heart, with a mother who is willing to sacrifice everything for her son's life and health. Buckle up, it is a high-speed, explosive, and highly entertaining tale! ~ Four Spoons
Amazing author-great series.
this is my first time reading a story by the author, and goodness, this is an excellent read! Engrossed from the beginning of the story, I dropped all my plans to work on my knitting and kept reading until the end. Great story and even though it is the second of a series you do not have to have read the first story to enjoy this one.
This is only Tee O'Fallon's second published book but I am completely amazed by how well-researched and well-written this book is. BLOOD MONEY is exciting and fast-paced, has the perfect balance of romance and suspense, and will definitely keep readers on edge and eager for more after the last word. Alex Romano is a single mom with a very sick child, a mountain of debts and secrets, just ripe for the picking. With the access she gets at her job at the NYPD headquarters, she's just the kind of person that could be vulnerable to pressure from anyone whose knows what strings to pull and with an international organization of assassins/mercenaries blackmailing her and threatening her child, she's in a no-win situation, no matter how you look at it. Working with the cops to take down the threat against her is the only way to save her child, maybe keep herself out of jail and salvage her fledgling relationship with Detective Gray Yates but her secrets may be the death blow to a relationship that barely had a chance to flourish. Gray has earned the right to be skeptical about people and their motives and in spite of the strong attraction he feels for Alex, he's right to be suspicious of her motives for getting involved with him. He is the lead detective in the case against the organization threatening her and she could be with him to get information for them, but the more time he spends with Alex, the harder it becomes to believe she's using him and the harder it is to keep his hands off her. But when her secrets come to light, will he be walking away from her or putting her in cuffs? This book was so intense on every level. The passion between Alex and Gray was so powerful, the emotions so deep, the secrets so heartbreaking, the threats so real and my stomach was constantly churning with the roller-coaster ride this story took me on. This author may need to teach a class on how this stuff is done! This is one of my favorite books so far this year and I unreserved recommend it to both fans of and newbies to the romantic suspense genre. I'm excited that this is only the second book and there are potentially a few more characters that could have stories (I'm looking at you, Jess Yates), which means more books hopefully and I can't wait. Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely mine.
BLOOD MONEY (NYPD Blue & Gold Series Book 2) by Tee O’Fallon Tormented What an excellent story! Two tormented hearts afraid to start again because of their pasts. Can Gray or Alex let go of the past and open themselves up enough to trust each other and move into the future? You'll have to read BLOOD MONEY which is an emotional romantic suspense novel to find out. I was glued to my e-reader until the end! This is the first Tee O'Fallon story I've read, and although it's the 2nd book in the NYPD Blue & Gold Series, each book can be read as a stand alone. However I'm looking forward to reading Book 1 (and HOPING for a 3rd). Due to sexual and adult language and situations this novel is recommended for readers 18 and older. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC copy of this book via Tasty Book Tours through NetGalley in exchange for an honest blog tour review. Favorite Passages ~ ~ It was like he’d been bushwhacked by Cupid. ~ The second he’d looked into her watery eyes, he’d been defenseless. They had been like a shifting, Caribbean-blue tidewater of emotions that spoke directly to his heart.
I loved these characters, and the storyline was very enjoyable.I loved the cover the best,very hot!!!
Ms. O’Fallon is a new author for me and I have to say, I have become already a fan. Blood Money is book 2 of her series titled NYPD Blue & Gold. This one centers around Detective Gray Yates, a by the book detective whose outlook on life and love was affected by a devastating incident in Afghanistan. Alex Romano, is a woman hiding in plain sight, with a very sick child, and as any mother, will do anything for that child. Just when they decide to date, their world turns upside down. Gray feels betrayed . Yes , Alex has been lying , but she has not been using him. The plot is complex, the main and secondary characters are well developed, there is suspense, intrigue and romance. It’s a reminder that life is not black and white, that a mother’s love is unbendable , and that one needs to take chances in life , especially in love. If you like suspense, romance, complex characters , an engaging plot and hunky men, this one is surely the one for you. I was gifted this book by Netgallley and Entangled Publishing. The opinions expressed are solely my own.
Excellent!! This one had just the right blend of romance, suspense, and mystery. Add in intriguing characters and an excellent storyline to come up with this absolute must read. Single mom, Alex Romano, has secrets. Secrets that could mean life or death for her and her young son. Detective Gray Yates is drawn to the beautiful Alex and wants nothing more than to get to know her. Then he learns she is in the middle of his current case. Will he uncover her secrets and leave her exposed or will he protect her and her son? Don't miss this one. I highly recommend it.