Trey Pierce has spent years helping the Brotherhood, using his computer skills to dig out secrets and help deliver justice. But there's one mission he's yet to finish
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It was a busy Saturday night at the Devil's Playground, one of the hottest nightclubs in Las Vegas. The live band was rocking out the tunes, the walls were vibrating with hot bass riffs, and Trey Pierce was having none of it.
Deep in the basement, far below the dance floor, he ran his fingers over the keyboard, checking and double checking the algorithms. Over the years he'd refined the program, every new trick learned was fed into the code. The database connected and checked again with the law enforcement servers, sliding in to run a quick search and getting out before the firewalls could go up again.
Five years, and he was no closer to finding his mystery man.
Oh, sure there'd been leads — all discarded when the facts didn't match up.
So, he'd begin again. And again.
He was going to find the son of a bitch if it killed him.
A tone sounded in his ear, signaling an incoming call.
"Just a reminder you're up in five. Don't be late," Finn Storm said.
Trey got up from the computer. "Everything okay?"
"Got a full house of happy customers — nothing special there. But Jessie's meeting a new client here at the club, so Dylan's asking us to stay frosty."
"Roger that. On my way now." Trey stretched his hands over his head, tugging his black T-shirt free of his jeans. As his fingertips brushed the ceiling tiles, he felt the tension in his shoulders begin to ease, the muscles shifting to a more relaxed position.
Maybe not today. But soon.
I'll find you, you bastard.
He paused, checking out the screen that showed the bar and the handful of customers captured in the camera lens. A blond woman sat at one end, the seat beside her empty. She drank some clear liquid, likely water or club soda — the light blue coaster under the glass signaled the customer's non- alcoholic preferences to the bartenders so they could react accordingly.
There was a quiet dignity about the way she held herself, almost a sense of royalty. She glanced around every few seconds, a sign of nervousness. Either she was on a bad blind date or her escort had already dumped her.
A big mistake. A woman like that would have her pick of the club patrons if she wanted.
Too bad Trey was off the market for the next few hours. She'd be gone by then, snatched up by some lucky man.
He shrugged and headed out into the hallway.
It took only a few minutes to travel from the underground offices to the dance floor, the nightclub almost filled to capacity already.
Trey slipped through the crowd, smiling as he headed for his perch on a catwalk. It was a favored spot for club employees, one that allowed an excellent view of the happy customers.
"Where are you?" Finn asked.
Trey stayed silent as he spotted Finn standing on one of the staircases, studying the busy mob beneath him.
A few steps brought Trey up to the edge of the platform, and a quick jump had him coming up behind the fellow Brotherhood member. A tap on the shoulder brought the dark-haired man around with a start, his hands rising in self-defense before he recognized Trey.
"Damn it." Finn shook his head before dropping his guard. "You've got to stop doing that."
"Why?" Trey laughed. He'd learned how to move slowly and stealthily in his childhood, courtesy of growing up with a family who loved to hunt, and had taken that skill into the military where it'd been refined and perfected.
"Someday someone's going to catch you unaware, make you jump, and collect that fat pot Ace's been holding onto," Finn warned. "Got to be a few hundred dollars by now. Be a sweet present in someone's wallet."
"It sure will be. Except not you, not today." Trey looked out into the crowd. "I can hear the band all the way down in my office." He tapped his foot to the beat.
"Good music, good fun." Finn nudged him. "Got a few ladies checking us out. I'm spoken for, but if you're interested, I can drop down and get a number or three for you."
"Nah." Trey waved him off. "I can get my own dates, thank you very much." His thoughts wandered back to his monitors and the woman he'd seen.
"No problem." Finn cast his eyes back over the dance floor, searching for trouble.
"Trey," Dylan McCourt, his boss, interrupted. His voice snapped across the com link. "I need you at the bar."
Finn waved Trey away with a grin. "Go see what the man wants. Meet me later on the roof. We'll toss a few burgers on the grill and kick back with some beers."
"You're on." Trey made his way through the crowd.
Dylan stood near the bar, waiting for him, the matching clothing marking him to the casual observer as one of the club employees. But he was much, much more to those who knew the truth. Dylan was the official leader of the Brotherhood — a group of Delta Force veterans dedicated to giving help to those who had nowhere else to go.
Jessie stood beside Dylan, her forehead furrowed. She wore her usual leather jacket despite the heat inside the nightclub.
Trey's pace slowed as he saw the woman sitting at the bar beside Jessie, looking his way. She clutched a small photograph in her hand.
It was the woman he'd noticed earlier on the monitors.
Her short blond hair was cut in a pixie bob, the dark blue suit and white blouse screaming "business professional," attire hardly appropriate for a night of carousing in the nightclub. In a different time and place he'd approach her after he'd handed off his watch and offer to take her to a small café where they could sit and talk over coffee, far from the noise and commotion of the Devil's Playground.
In a different time and place she wouldn't be here with Jessie, asking for the Brotherhood's help.
"This is Ally Sheldon," Dylan said in a slow, measured voice. "She called Jessie for help, and we're going to assist. We're going to go up to my office now to discuss the matter." He locked eyes with Trey. "You're coming along."
Jessie took the lead, walking with Ally as they skirted the edge of the crowd, heading for the elevator.
Trey touched Dylan's arm as soon as he could without drawing the blonde's attention.
"Why me?" he started. "No offense, but I thought Ace was up next on job assignments."
"I'll explain when we get upstairs." Dylan kept his voice low as they followed the women. "Let's just say this case is pertinent to your interests."
"What the hell does that mean?"
"Wait and see." Dylan slowed as they reached the elevators. "Be careful. She needs our sympathy, not our condemnation."
Trey glared back. "What type of man do you think I am?" It took all he had to not raise his voice.
"A dedicated, determined man who might not know where the line is because he's on the hunt."
Trey opened his mouth to reply but thought better of it as the doors opened.
The day had started off like every other at Sheldon Construction, working hard to create a brand-new world. She'd gone into their New York City offices with a smile and a spring in her step, thanks to Vincent being out of town. He was far away in Las Vegas, looking to close another big deal and push the company forward in a new direction.
Except, of course, when he was drinking away their profits.
She loved her adopted brother, but he could be a hell of a pain in the ass at times, his good business sense sometimes drowned by his love for alcohol.
The day ended with a smile and anticipation of a quiet night curled up with a plate of fresh sushi and a few hours of bingeing her new fave series.
Then it had all gone to hell, with a frantic phone call sending her to grab the first flight from New York City to Las Vegas. Edgar, Vincent's handler, had picked her up at McCarron airport, briefing her as they raced to the hotel where the two men were staying. She'd barely taken time to drop the luggage in the suite before dialing up the hotel security expert and asking for a local reference. The man hadn't hesitated before giving her a phone number, guaranteeing discretion.
The next phone call had been to Lyon Investigations, resulting in a cab ride to a nearby club. Jessie explained she wasn't keen on reopening her office so late at night, and, noting that Ally likely didn't want a private investigator coming to her hotel room, she suggested a nearby nightclub, run by Jessie's boyfriend, where they could meet and talk. It supplied the neutral meeting ground Ally needed, out of the public eye, as requested.
Ally had agreed, ending up at the Devil's Playground. Jessie must have called ahead because as soon as she approached the door, one of the bouncers came to her with a smile and a nod, escorting her through the crowd waiting to get in, and taking her directly to the bar.
The bartender didn't blink when Ally ordered a club soda, placing it in front of her with a smile. "Jessie'll be right down. Anything else you need, please let me know." The woman moved down the bar, leaving Ally alone.
She'd waited, looking around as she took in the vibrant atmosphere. She hadn't been in a club for months, too tired from working to spend time partying.
As promised, Jessie met her at the bar, and Dylan McCourt had come over a few minutes later, introducing himself as the nightclub owner and Jessie's boyfriend.
It took only a glance at his face to identify why Jessie had preferred the club instead of her office or Ally's hotel.
Concern. She saw it all over his face. Along with something else — devotion, dedication and pure, unadulterated love for the woman at his side.
Ally's heart ached for a second, wishing she had someone like this in her life. Someone to lean on when times get tough, when things broke the wrong way.
She'd only managed a brief explanation of why she needed Jessie's help, flashing Vincent's photograph, before another club employee showed up — a handsome man wearing what she guessed was the nightclub uniform. There was no introduction, just an announcement they'd all be going up to Dylan's office. They went to an elevator, riding up to a higher floor.
Ally wasn't sure if she should be comforted or terrified by his addition to the group. There was a quiet strength about the dark-haired man, the generic black T-shirt stretched across his broad shoulders and tight on his arms.
The elevator doors opened. Dylan went first, then Jessie.
The mystery man walked behind her. She sensed his stare on the back of her neck and wondered if she'd met him before.
I'd remember you, she thought. Definitely.
She pulled back a sigh. She hadn't come to the nightclub to find a date, and the circumstances made one impossible, even a brief one.
Ally slipped the idea into a side folder in her mind for consideration at a later date.
The office was set high above the dance floor, the glass window facing out toward the live band and vibrating with the loud music. It resembled any number of business offices she'd been in over the years.
It could have been anywhere.
Except it was here, and she needed their help, her stomach twisting into knots as if she were on the edge of a cliff looking at the jagged rocks below.
"Please, have a seat." Dylan gestured at the chair in front of the desk.
Ally settled into the cushioned chair. "I'm sorry, but I'm a bit confused." She nodded toward the unknown man as he leaned against the wall, his arms crossed. "What's he doing here? I thought I mentioned the need for privacy in this matter. The more people involved, the more of a chance of this leaking out. I can't afford to have this break on the morning business news. A bouncer ..."
"This is Trey Pierce," Dylan said. "He's my technical support man, a computer professional. One of the top in the field, if not the best. Jessie and I think he'll be able to help us find your brother."
Ally eyed Trey, taking in the information. He looked like he'd be more comfortable swinging a hammer on one of her construction sites than sitting behind a computer, working electronic magic.
She wondered what other talents he had hidden away under that stoic exterior.
He raised one eyebrow as if he'd heard her, one edge of his mouth twisting up. Her cheeks burned at being caught out, and she dropped her gaze to the carpeted floor.
Jessica cleared her throat, drawing Ally's attention back. "Right. Trey, this is Ally Sheldon. She came to me tonight because her brother is missing and she needs help to find him." The blond woman stared directly at Trey. "Right after I met her at the bar, I thought of you."
Trey frowned. He gave a brief nod.
Jessie continued. "Dylan's got certain resources I can call on to help out at times. This is one of those times. Trey's computer skills are unmatched — he'll be a valuable asset on this case."
Ally drew a deep breath, forcing down the pang of fear threatening to choke her. "I'm willing to try anything as long as it's discreet. I don't need the press getting hold of this."
"Don't worry," Dylan replied in a low, reassuring tone. "No one will know we're involved. Jessie will vouch for us."
"I assume so. One hint of this going public and I won't hesitate to sue the hell out of you." She pressed as much steel into her voice as she could.
Jessie nodded. "Understood." She glanced at Trey. "If you wouldn't mind, for his sake, please start again from the beginning."
"All right." She steadied herself. "As we started to discuss down at the bar, my business partner is missing. My adopted brother." She took the glossy picture out of her purse and placed it on the table, same as she'd done downstairs at the bar at their first meeting. "Vincent Sheldon, the face of Sheldon Construction."
"I've seen some of your work," Dylan said. "A few sites around town."
She nodded. "We usually do only residential projects, but we're trying to expand into the commercial area. My father and my uncle created the company decades ago, two brothers building a future together."
Her heart ached with the familiar pain, never dulled by time. "When I was seven years old, my parents died in a car crash, and after that, I was raised by my aunt and uncle. Vincent was the brother I never had. His family's been good to me, and I've tried to be a good daughter to them. That, unfortunately, includes taking care and covering for Vincent. He has ... issues."
Trey came over to look at the color photograph of Vincent. His eyes narrowed as he studied the image. His gaze flickered to Dylan, receiving only a nod in response.
He gave a noncommittal grunt and stepped back.
Dylan nodded at Ally. "Please, continue."
"He ducked out on his handler, Edgar, three days ago." She forced herself to keep talking, pushing past her nervousness at revealing family secrets. "After Edgar called, I flew here. He's been tearing up the town but can't find Vincent. We're trying to find him without asking the authorities — we'd rather keep this off the record if at all possible." Ally ran her hands through her short hair. "In blunt terms, Vincent is an alcoholic. A very bad one. Blackout drunk, I believe is the technical term. A family tendency I choose not to follow."
Jessie perched herself on the edge of the desk. "I'm confused. You're listed as his personal assistant on the Sheldon Construction website. Being family, I'd expect you to have a bit more important position. You say your father and brother created the company, so the two of you should be equals. You yourself just said you were business partners." She scrunched up her face as if smelling something foul. "Not to mention that, if he's so fond of the bottle, why the hell isn't he in rehab?"
Ally fought the urge to flinch, faced with the direct question. "Vincent was very sickly for the first two years of his life — in and out of the hospital with various issues. Nothing life-threatening, but my uncle doted on him from the start, giving him everything he wanted. I've sat by for years and watched my aunt and uncle spoiling him, covering up his mistakes, and buying people off when they couldn't. My aunt couldn't have any more children after Vincent, so while she was thrilled to take me in and raise me as her own, she always has a soft spot for her only son."
She put up her hand, twisting her frown into a weak, defensive smile. "Don't worry, I've done my time in therapy. In short, Vincent is the only male child, my senior by a single year, and thus the unofficial heir to Sheldon Construction. When my parents passed, the will specified I'd always have a place in the company. My aunt and uncle decided the best spot would be beside Vincent, a step back and in the shadows."
"Why?" Jessie demanded. "If your father worked so hard, why pass it onto a drunken cousin?"
Excerpted from "Hard Pursuit"
Copyright © 2018 Sheryl Nantus.
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
Will their attraction to each other, withstand the secrets that must come to light? Published by Entangled Publishing and written by Sheryl Nantus. Were swept away again into the world of the Delta Force Brotherhood. Men who are willing to put anything on the line to help anyone who is unable to help themselves. In Sheryl Nantus 3rd book in this series. It is Trey Pierce turn to put all or nothing on the line. The only difference, this is personal. Trey spent years trying to find the person responsible for leaving him wounded and his best friend dead. Now, he might have found the person responsible. However, justice might not be sweet, when he becomes attracted and later involved with Alley Sheldon. Alley Sheldon is a woman on a mission. A mission to find her wayward brother to save the company that has been in her families for years. This was nothing new for Alley! Though her brother was the oldest, Alley, herself was the more responsible one. But focusing on finding Vincent has become difficult when Trey Pierce was assigned her case. Getting involved with him wasn’t planned, yet she can’t deny the attraction that she feels for him. Hard Pursuit was another exceptional story. This too like the other book that I read in this series, can be read as a stand-alone. The plot was well written, but the mystery behind the accident wasn’t a big mystery to solve. Sheryl Nantus did a wonderful job of writing characters that you can get connected to. Even those characters that you can’t help but dislike. Hard Pursuit an exceptional story leaving us readers to wonder if a casual meeting is ever an accident.
This is my first book by Sheryl Nantus. I was surprised how well developed the characters were and how the story pulls the reader in right away with a story of a wayward brother and a revenge. Trey and Ally were well developed and everything they did felt real and flowed though out the story. The reactions and actions of the different characters made since as the story moved closer and closer to the concussion. Their is romance and sex in the story but flows well this the story. Hard Pursuit has a great flow from chapter to chapter that will keep readers wanting more as they end the story. Since this was the first in the series I read the author was able to bring readers up to speed fast and this is a stand alone novel. Thank you to Netgalley and Entangled Publishing, LLC (Amara) Publishing for the advance copy.
Another bell ringer from Sheryl and the Delta Force Brotherhood Series. Damn this was a good book. We start with Jessie meeting Ally at the club, Ally's brother has gone missing. Not unusual for this drunken, over indulged, sob who requires a handler to keep him in check. Being in Las Vegas on business is like giving Vincent the keys to the kingdom, he's got all the booze he can drink and gamble. When he goes off grid, ditching his handler Ally hires Jessie, who calls in Dylan and Trey. Trey is the computer hacker wizard and all around good guy but who carries a long time need to see justice served after he and his best friend from the military are run down on the streets of NY City. All Trey remembers is the mark on the drivers arm. When the photo Ally brings Jessie of her brother reveals a similar mark, Dylan calls Trey in, knowing he's been searching for any clue to this birthmark without success. Trey is keeping an eye on Ally, while Edgar, Vincents handler is also out looking for him. Ally has enabled Vincent their entire adult life, especially in the business. She feels like she owes him. When her parents were killed and his parents, her Aunt and Uncle took her in, clearly Vincent was the golden child and Ally was Ally. As the book goes on and the parents are finally brought up to speed on a few things I guarantee you these people will turn your stomach. And what goes around comes around. Karma she's a bad b**ch for these folks. Meanwhile it's taking days to find Vincent, Ally along with Trey handle the company business and Ally is feeling pretty good about it. These two are definitely attracted to each other and one night things get really intense, until Trey shuts it down. He wants to see Vincent first and look at him give him the chance to speak and doesn't feel right about sleeping with Ally, she doesn't know what has happened. He doesn't want to tell her until he's sure he's right. Or close to right. She doesn't understand why he just pushed her away and she's hurt and not happy. As any woman would be. I'd have drop kicked him. When the call finally comes that Jessie has found Vincent and is bringing him back to Vegas, Ally shifts into operational mode. Clean up Vincent, make him presentable and try to get things together for this business deal. Vincent is so much worse than even painted when he finally shows up and shows his backside to everyone. Nasty bugger. Great writing Sheryl! After confronting Vincent, Ally is shaken and throws Trey out. After a series of fateful events Ally really starts to take a hard look at her life, Trey and things shift once again. The story really heats up at the point and all I could do was keep turning the pages. This book was electric from beginning to end. Sheryl hit the ground running in this one and never let up. It's a fantastic read and a fantastic series. **advanced reader copy from NetGalley and Entangled for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions contained in my review are my own**
This was the first book I've read by Sheryl Nantus and what a start! Fabulous story with characters who will break your heart and restore your faith in humanity and love. With a strong, smart woman and a super-alpha, Hard Pursuit is a winner from the first page to the last. The complex plotline never gets out of hand and I couldn't put this book down. Both main characters have agendas and the book keeps you wondering how they will work it out. Fast paced and full of twists and turns, I stayed up half the night to finish Hard Pursuit and so will you. I can't wait to pick up another Delta Force Brotherhood book and tear through it just as quickly.
Excellent book! It's full of mystery, suspense, passion, and romance. Very well written with some characters you will love (Trey) and others you will hate (Nick). The story has lots of little twists and is very enjoyable. Trey Pierce has put everything into tracking down his best friends murderer. When a new lead come walking right through the front door, it seems too good to be true just like the woman herself. Ally Sheldon peaks Trey's interest like no other woman ever has. He knows deep in his gut that she's hiding something though. Something that could put them both in danger. Sure Ally wants to find her brother but there's more. I doesn't matter how attracted he is to Ally, Trey is determined to not only uncover her secrets but to also find his answers. I definitely recommend this one.
Loved this book! Troy is a computer expert and part of the Brotherhood, when he meets Ally, a construction company executive that is dealing with her cousin's alcoholism and shenanigans when he (the cousin) goes missing. Troy is called in to try to help find him, but finds something more than the cousin. In addition to finding the answer to a problem that's haunted him for five years, he also found Ally, a woman who, if not for her cousin, he could love. This is a quickly moving story that hooked me from the first page and kept me hooked until the last page. I loved the characters and loved the story. While this is part of a series, this is a stand alone novel. This is a must read for fans of the genre and I've added the author to my must read authors' list.