Free Shipping on Orders of $40 or More
Phantom Game (GhostWalker Series #18)

Phantom Game (GhostWalker Series #18)

by Christine Feehan
Phantom Game (GhostWalker Series #18)

Phantom Game (GhostWalker Series #18)

by Christine Feehan

eBookDigital original (Digital original)


Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now


Two predators collide with unbridled passion in this intoxicating GhostWalker novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan.
Jonas “Smoke” Harper has watched his brothers find their perfect mates, never imagining he’d actually meet someone who complements every part of him—even the monster that lurks within. But his instant connection with Camellia goes far beyond wanting the intelligent, beautiful, and lethal woman in his bed. They are two parts of a whole, linked to each other and to a larger network that exists everywhere around them.
Camellia has lived on her own for a long time, relying on her unique psychic abilities to keep her safe. She knows that Jonas was literally made for her, and that makes their addictive connection more dangerous than a thousand enhanced super soldiers. Once the larger threat looming over them is dealt with she’s going to get far away as fast as she can. Life has taught her that the only one she can truly trust is herself.
Jonas can sense Camellia is going to run—and the hunter inside doesn’t want to let go. Not when he knows how good they’ll be together. So he’ll just have to use all of his considerable skills to convince her to stay....

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780593439098
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/01/2022
Series: GhostWalker Series , #18
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: eBook
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 6,498
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Christine Feehan is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Carpathian series, the GhostWalker series, the Leopard series, the Shadow Riders series, the Torpedo Ink series, and the Sea Haven novels, including the Drake Sisters series and the Sisters of the Heart series. She also writes standalone thrillers set in the

Read an Excerpt



The mountains rose up, climbing higher and higher, towering all around, the peaks reaching for the clouds. All along the mountainsides and in the valleys between, red cedar, whitebark pine and spruce trees vied for space. This was true forest, two million acres of actual wilderness, most of it, left to the animals that were native to the area. Grizzlies, black bears, mountain lions, moose, timber wolves, mountain goats, elk, bighorn sheep and mule deer all made the vast forest home, along with a range of smaller animals.


Jonas "Smoke" Harper, Dr. Kyle Forbes and Jeff Hollister, three of the genetically and psychically enhanced members of GhostWalker Team One, continued along the nearly nonexistent game trail they'd been traveling for the past three hours.


"You still getting that bad feeling in your gut, Jonas?" Jeff asked.


Jonas scanned the dense forest with narrowed eyes, maintaining his purposefully relaxed gait while keeping his hand close to his weapon. "Yep."


Kyle sighed. "You sure it isn't just a stitch in your side?"




"You did notice that the higher we climb, the more bear scat we're coming across," Jeff said.




"Just thought I'd point that out." A small grin lit Jeff's face.


"I'm not sure he actually knows how to talk, Jeff," Kyle said. "Ryland did warn us. Said if we volunteered to come with him, we'd hear nothing but grunts for days."


"Wait." Smile fading, Jeff halted abruptly and glared at his companions. "You volunteered? Ryland ordered me to come with you two. Said I had to protect your asses."


Jonas and Kyle stopped as well, and Jonas took the opportunity to study Jeff without appearing to do so. It had been a couple of years since Jeff had recovered from a stroke that would have put any normal soldier out of commission for good. Jeff had fought his way back.


Jeff, like most men in the government's GhostWalker program, wasn't anyone's definition of a normal soldier anymore. These men were, instead, the products of a military experiment that hadn't quite gone as expected. They had gone into the program volunteering for psychic enhancements with the expectation of being of more use to their country, but along with removing filters in their brains, Dr. Peter Whitney had also performed experimental gene coding on them. That part they had not signed up for.


Worse, the first of Whitney's gene-coding experiments had been illegally performed on young orphan girls, with disastrous results. Those initial failures hadn't stopped Whitney though. Instead, he'd forged ahead with similar gene modifications on the soldiers, believing that grown men could better handle the pressures of the enhancements than the female children had. Team One had lost several of the men in their unit, and Jeff had suffered a brain bleed and stroke. He was fully recovered, but the entire team tended to watch over him, Jonas especially.


The survivors of Whitney's experiments were all admittedly stronger, and they now possessed some very incredible abilities, but those benefits had come at a steep price. They were all continuing to learn just how steep that price could be. Lily Whitney-Miller, Peter Whitney's adopted daughter, who was now married to their team leader, Captain Ryland Miller, had given them all exercises to do to strengthen the barricades in their minds. That allowed the ones who had been wide open to be able to be in public without an "anchor"-one who drew emotion and psychic overload from them-at least for short periods of time.


Jeff looked good to Jonas, but still, he glanced at Kyle just to make certain. Kyle would be better at making an assessment. If the doc thought Jeff needed a break, he'd find an excuse to take one. Jeff never shirked the physical therapy designed to strengthen the weaker side of his body or the mental exercises to strengthen the barriers in his brain. He stayed in therapy the brain surgeon recommended to ensure the psychic talents he used didn't bring on another bleed. He was one of the hardest-working GhostWalkers Jonas knew-and that was saying a lot.


Their unit, GhostWalker Team One, was tight. They looked out for one another. They trusted few others, and those they brought in, they did so slowly and carefully. Years ago, their team had been set up for murder, separated and held in cages, essentially waiting to die. Ryland had planned their escape, and Lily had hidden them at her estate until they could get to the bottom of the conspiracy against them. In the end, they had managed to come out on top, thanks in no small part to their dedication to training hard and working together. They still ran missions, but they trusted and depended only on one another.


Now, there were three other GhostWalker teams. Whitney had used each team to perfect his technique so that each subsequent unit was able to handle their enhancements much better than the team before them. But he'd also added more and more genetic coding, turning the soldiers into much more than they ever expected-or wanted-to be.


There was a special place in hell reserved for sociopathic monsters like Peter Whitney-or if there wasn't, there ought to be. Jonas wouldn't mind bringing a little-or maybe a lot-of that hell to Whitney in the here and now, especially as more and more of his most diabolical experiments, all on orphaned girls, came to light. Unfortunately, as evil as he was, Whitney had a solid network of connections among America's most powerful, including high-ranking government officials, billionaire defense contractors, bankers, and his own private army of expendable supersoldiers, all of them would-be GhostWalkers who hadn't made the official cut. Between his connections and his army, Whitney was virtually untouchable.


Jonas sighed as his gaze swept the surrounding forest. He used every enhanced sense he had, both animal and human. They were being watched. He had been aware of it for the last few miles but hadn't been able to identify exactly where the threat was coming from-or from whom. Or rather, from what. He was certain their observers were not human.


"You feel it?" Kyle asked him quietly, turning toward him.




Jeff heaved an exaggerated sigh. "You ever think a word now and again might be helpful?"


"Not certain what it is yet."


Jeff shoved a hand through his perpetually sun-bleached hair. "It? Not a who. An it?" When Jonas didn't answer, Jeff rolled his eyes. "Why did I agree to keep the two of you alive? You're both a pain in the ass." He began walking again, doggedly putting one foot in front of the other. "Do we even know where we're going?"


"Nope." Jonas hid his grin. Annoying Jeff was one of his favorite pastimes, and when the tension was beginning to stretch out, like now, a little humor went a long way. In spite of his amusement, he stayed on full alert, looking for the sentries watching them.


He was fully aware Ryland hadn't sent Jeff. Jeff had come with him, like Kyle, because they were his friends, and they hadn't wanted him to check out his strange feeling alone. It had been that simple. Friendship. The feeling, at first, had been a vague calling to him. For the last mile, along with that compulsion he felt, he now felt uneasy, as if there were a threat, but he couldn't place where it was coming from.


Night was falling. In the forest, especially this deep in the interior, it was always a good thing to establish a camp before sunset. Too many wild animals hunted after dark. He could connect with them and, if he was lucky, keep them away, but it was silly to take chances. The trees were thick, the brush heavy. The trail they were on was very narrow. Tree frogs were abundant, staring at them with round eyes as they passed. In the vegetation at their feet was the constant rustle of leaves as rodents rushed to get undercover.


"We should find a place to camp for the night. Build a fire."


"I tried to send word back to the others," Kyle said. "But I'm not getting through. Could be the density of the canopy, but I should be able to . . ." He trailed off.


"I'm not surprised." Jonas wasn't. There was something at work here. He'd gotten that feeling in his gut and wanted to check things out.


Jonas had told Ryland he had felt a strange pull toward this side of the mountain for some time and wanted to take time off to explore. They'd just recently come off a dicey hostage rescue. They'd managed to pull off the rescue without a single casualty even though things had gone sideways twice, and they all had some downtime coming. Jonas wanted-no-needed to explore the miles of wilderness around the fortress they had carved out for themselves close to Team Two.


"Have you noticed that we're losing visibility, Jonas?" Kyle asked. "The mist is getting thick."


Jonas could see the fog moving through the trees at times. At first it stayed low to the ground, gently rolling like ocean waves on a cloudless day. Then a few fingers of mist crept through the trees toward them in an eerie display, looking like giant hands pulling an equally giant blanket through the forest until it was impossible to see through the gray vapor. Jonas glanced down at the trail they were following, but the swirling mist had thickened so much that he couldn't see even his own boots-a strange phenomenon.


There was another component to the fog he found fascinating. A warning, or dread, that acted on their bodies. He could hear both Kyle's and Jeff's hearts accelerating. His own pulse rate had tried to increase, and he had instantly forced his heart under control. All three GhostWalkers slowed considerably, eventually halting altogether.


Jonas waited in silence for his eyes to adjust to the fog rolling off the ground and rising in dark tides nearly to his waist. Given time, he could see through just about anything. He was often called "Smoke" because he moved through and could disappear into places no one else could. He saw through things no one else could see through. It was only a matter of time before his vision would adjust to the strange mist hiding the trail.


"Looks as if the fog is dissipating in that direction," Kyle said, indicating to the right with his chin.


Jeff nodded. "And our little game trail leads in that direction too, Jonas. If we're going to find a place to camp before nightfall, we should double-time it out of this mist."


Jonas didn't move, studying the forest and rocks in front of him. The path had wound through the trees and rocks earlier. He had a good memory. More than a good memory. His mind mapped things out for him in grid patterns. The game trail hadn't veered to the right. It had continued upward, straight ahead, winding around tree trunks and large rocks, but it hadn't really swung left or right.


"Give me a minute."


Keeping completely still, Jonas swept his gaze up and down the fog-shrouded forest floor in a grid pattern, paying special attention to the area where the game trail should have been. At first there was a strange shimmer, very reminiscent of a mirage in the desert. But Jonas persevered until the shimmer dissipated and what lay beneath became clear.


"The actual trail is straight ahead. It's being hidden from us."


"That's not good," Kyle observed. "And we're being watched to make certain we go where we're directed?"


"Yep." Jonas took the first step onto the very narrow game trail to see if it would trigger an attack of some kind.


"This is some kind of crazy-ass magnetic earth thing happening, like in the Bermuda Triangle," Jeff muttered. "We're going to get misdirected all over the place, aren't we?"




Jonas wished the phenomenon came from a "magnetic earth thing," but he seriously doubted it. Something was going on in the mountains above the two fortresses that GhostWalker Teams One and Two had established to keep their families safe. Weirdly, the compulsion to continue forward was still on him, but the threat was still quite hazy, as if it were very, very far away.


He had to consider going back down the mountain and telling Ryland what they'd run into. The fog was manufactured, and someone had planted a very potent danger signal in it. Not only that, but they had diverted them from the real trail. Very few could manage. He wasn't going back. He couldn't go back. The compulsion to continue was stronger than ever. That didn't mean he wanted to risk Kyle and Jeff.


"You two could make it out of the danger zone if you hiked down fast for two hours and then camped." The offer had to be made, and he did his best to sound casual. He knew there was no way either of his friends would take him up on it, but still, he had to try.


"Can't leave you here without direction, Jonas," Jeff said. "Especially since we all know you're afraid of the dark; otherwise, I'd advise we just leave your stubborn, knife-wielding ass right here in Creepy Hollow."


"Technically," Kyle said, "a hollow is a low-lying area, not a mountainside."


"Work with me, Kyle. 'Creepy Mountain' doesn't have the same ring to it," Jeff quipped, bringing humor to the tense situation.


The tension continued to build in spite of Jonas seeing through the fog to the trail beneath it. The dark purplish beads had a strange reddish cast to them as they swirled almost hypnotically around the men.


"Seriously, it isn't a bad idea to let Rye know there's something going on up here that wasn't here before." Jonas tried a second time.


"It's that bad?" Jeff asked. He began walking, showing Jonas he wasn't about to be left behind. "Now I feel like I've got a target painted right between my shoulder blades."


"You've got a pack on. They wouldn't be able to see the target, so they would have to aim for your thick skull, Jeff," Kyle said helpfully.


"Great. Now the back of my head is all tingly. I think my psychic abilities are expanding. I can feel someone targeting me right now."


"You're so full of shit," Kyle said. "I think you need serious help. You're turning into a psychic hypochondriac."


"There isn't any such sort of thing. You're making that up."


"I'm a doctor. I would know," Kyle assured solemnly.


"Jonas, is there such a thing as a psychic hypochondriac?"




Jeff burst out laughing. He kept the sound low and directional so only his two companions could hear, but it was real. All the while they were walking along the game trail, Jonas continued to scout for a good place to camp for the night. He wanted somewhere they could defend if needed. With every step they took, the feeling of danger increased.

Customer Reviews

Explore More Items