For readers of Lisa Gardner, Tess Gerritsen, Iris Johansen, and Debra Webb:
A Hart and Drake Thriller #3
#1 NYT Bestseller Sandra Brown called NERVES OF STEEL, the first Hart and Drake novel, "A perfect blend of romance and suspense. My kind of read."
In the second book, SLEIGHT OF HAND, you saw Hart and Drake risk everything to save a child and you knew they were meant to be together.
Now, see what happens when they lose it all...
Drake hunts a stalker with deadly intentions. Hart fights for justice for one special victim while also fending off her ex and his family as they try to destroy everything she holds dear.
Neither realizes the real danger lies with an old enemy whose fury has grown and will not be satisfied with anything less than Hart and Drake's blood.
New York Times Bestseller CJ Lyons explores the depths of obsession and passion in the third Hart and Drake book, FACE TO FACE.
Other books in the series:
Nerves of Steel (A Hart and Drake Thriller #1)
Sleight of Hand (A Hart and Drake Thriller #2)
About the Author
CJ has been called a "master within the genre" (Pittsburgh Magazine) and her work has been praised as "breathtakingly fast-paced" and "riveting" (Publishers Weekly) with "characters with beating hearts and three dimensions" (Newsday).
Her novels have won the International Thriller Writers' prestigious Thriller Award, the RT Reviewers' Choice Award, the Readers' Choice Award, the RT Seal of Excellence, and the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense.
Learn more about CJ's Thrillers with Heart at www.CJLyons.net
Read an Excerpt
Athena, goddess of war. Athena, goddess of wisdom.
Athena, goddess of a godforsaken burnt-out condemned tenement in the middle of Pittsburgh, rubbed her swollen belly and tried her best to breathe without making a sound.
She’d been wise enough to outsmart Lucien these past two weeks, and strong enough to escape his Rippers yesterday when two had caught up with her and tried to pound the truth from her.
Maybe her mother had chosen her the right name from that ragged book of myths and fairytales she’d treasured all her life.
The first Athena was a sly and clever goddess, able to hide in plain sight. Just like her. How many other teenagers, waddling with pregnant bellies and marked by the scar Lucien had left on her face, could escape death, not oncebut twice? Plus, find a safe haven for her and her unborn Baby Jane smack dab in the middle of Lucien’s turf, in the no man’s land of a smoldering gang war about to erupt in the July heat?
If only she could breathe. Every tiny gasp brought tears of pain to her eyes. Her back hurt, too. She’d been peeing blood ever since Lucien’s boys beat her. Baby Jane was all right, though. She knew from the way the baby kept doing somersaults, compounding her momma’s misery, but also giving her the strength to survive. Even if Athena was reduced to living like a rat, creeping through the burnt-out building, and crawling beneath charred graffiti-covered debris to her hole in the wall.
The shadows she spied through her peek-hole told Athena it was light out. She sucked on a finger, and tried to produce enough spit to ease her parched throat. Daylight or not, she had to go out, get water, and food. If not for her, for Baby Jane.
She eased her way to her knees and crawled through the maze of obstacles standing between her and free air. A wrenching pain seared through her, stabbing from her belly all the way to her back. Different from the other pains. This was Baby Jane, calling out, refusing to be denied.
No, Athena told her baby, not now. It’s too dangerous. Not now.
Another cramp made her cry out, her voice strangled as she shoved a fist in her mouth. A gush of water followed.
Athena curled up in a ball of agony, biting down on her hand so hard she tasted coppery blood, and knew her mother had been a fool after all.
She was no goddess, no pillar of invincibility.
She was a sixteen-year-old girl, pregnant with a baby coming too soon, carrying a secret that could mean the deaths of dozens.
And she was only human after all.
What People are Saying About This
"A perfect blend of romance and suspense. My kind of read." ~New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown
"Tensions sizzle in this hot new medical thriller by CJ Lyons. Think you know what’s going to happen next? Guess again..." ~New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner
"Pulse-pounding suspense and hair-raising chills...a story of danger and intrigue that defies any reader to put it down." ~New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs
"A page-turner of a story. NERVES OF STEEL is taut, gripping and nonstop. Don’t miss it!”~New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers
Additional Praise for CJ Lyons’ medical thrillers:
"CJ Lyons continues to mesmerize readers…pulse-pounding." ~Fresh Fiction
Lyons "is a master within the genre." ~Pittsburgh Magazine
"This exhilarating medical thriller gets the blood pumping …This is a terrific thriller and fans of Michael Palmer will enjoy this fine tale." The Mystery Gazette
"A powerful and dramatic look into the frenzied world of emergency medicine...Lyons’ characters are dynamic and genuine. Readers need only shut their eyes to imagine this group on the big screen." ~Suspense Magazine
"Sure to keep readers enthralled…a suspenseful and engaging tale that comes to an exciting conclusion. Readers won’t want to miss this one." ~Romance Reviews Today
"A great fast-paced read….Not to be missed for fans of ER and Grey's Anatomy." ~4 ½ Stars, Book Addict
"Lyons delivers a breathtakingly fast-paced medical thriller." ~Publishers Weekly
"A winner!" ~Romantic Times, Top Pick
"Simply superb…riveting drama…a perfect ten." ~Romance Reviews Today
"Characters with beating hearts and three dimensions." ~Newsday
"A pulse-pounding adrenalin rush!" ~Lisa Gardner
"Tense, whip-smart medical scenes." ~Tess Gerritsen
"Packed with adrenalin. I can't recall a hospital novel that so thrilled me." ~David Morrell
"…Harrowing, emotional, action-packed and brilliantly realized. CJ Lyons writes with the authority only a trained physician can bring to a story, blending suspense, passion and friendship into an irresistible read." ~Susan Wiggs
"An intense, emotional thriller…(that) climbs to the edge of intensity." ~National Examiner
"Fantastic, fast-paced." ~Genre Go Round
"The characters are real and I'm now addicted to this series. Five stars!" ~Readaholic
"Fast-paced & exciting, the characters are compelling." ~Jenn's Bookshelves
A "gripping narrative full of suspense, complex relationships and real, honest human emotion." ~ Pittsburgh Magazine
"Adrenalin pumping." The Mystery Gazette
"Riveting." ~Publishers Weekly
"A cinematic…high-speed thriller." ~Kirkus Reviews
A "suspenseful thriller laced with medical intrigue." ~Booklist
Dear Fellow Booklover,
I owe my love of books to my mother, who started me reading at an early age. I skipped “see Jane run” and went straight to Agatha Christie and Nero Wolfe, the books stacked around our house like Legos.
The best present my mother gave me was when I was eight or nine and had already devoured the entire children’s section of the library. She convinced the librarian to give me an adult library card, which meant I had a whole new universe of stories to traverse. There I discovered Ray Bradbury and Robert Heinlein and Ellery Queen along with characters like Horatio Hornblower, the Stainless Steel Rat, the Saint…The only limitation was how many books I could carry to the car by myself. I remember stretching my arms as long as they would go, balancing a teetering stack of books with my chin pressed down on the top one, inhaling that scent of well-worn paper and binding glue, thinking this was heaven.
A few years later, my mother began working for a local bookstore. First, at the cash registers, but she was quickly promoted until she became their Trade Fiction Buyer. I had no idea what that meant except that suddenly I was able to get books by my favorite authors BEFORE they came out! My friends, fellow bibliophiles, were so jealous! But I shared the wealth, sneaking them the ARCs my mom gave me. The bookstore became our favorite place to hang out after school and my mom would call us in when sales reps visited, letting us look at their catalogues and asking us our opinions. I’ll never forget the feeling of pride I felt when books I told her would be hits did indeed breakout and make it to that coveted display window at the front of the store!
Through her store, my friends and I got to meet visiting authors, including the wonderful and amazing Isaac Asimov. We only spoke for a few minutes, but he made such an impression on menot because he was a genius or talented or a rock star of the SF world, but rather because he was so very normal. Even the fact that he had taken the train from New York because he hated to fly made him seem human.
That’s when I realized anyone could write a book, if they were willing to put in the work. I’d been writing all my life, it’s my way of understanding the chaos that surrounds us in this world, but at that moment I realized I could take my little stories and really do something bigger, create an entire world with people I brought to life…and I wrote my first novel. It was terrible, as most first novels are. I was fifteen at the time, still had not made the leap of logic from writing a book to actually publishing it for others to read, much less getting paid or making a career from writing. But it was a wondrous achievement and started me on the path I’m on today.
All thanks to my mom, who was a bookseller for over two decades before she finally retired, and her love of books.
I’m very grateful that you have chosen one of my books to read and appreciate your time and attentionboth in short supply these days! I look forward to hearing any thoughts you have on it.
Thanks for reading,