Genre: Romantic Suspense

Sunday Spotlight: Untouchable by Jayne Ann Krentz

Posted January 13, 2019 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 4 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Sunday Spotlight: Untouchable by Jayne Ann KrentzUntouchable (Cutler, Sutter & Salinas, #3) by Jayne Ann Krentz
Series: Cuttler Sutter and Salinas
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: January 8, 2019
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 336
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A man's quest to find answers for those who are haunted by the past leads him deeper into the shadows in this electrifying novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Promise Not to Tell.

Quinton Zane is back.

Jack Lancaster, consultant to the FBI, has always been drawn to the coldest of cold cases, the kind that law enforcement either considers unsolvable or else has chalked up to accidents or suicides. As a survivor of a fire, he finds himself uniquely compelled by arson cases. His almost preternatural ability to get inside the killer's head has garnered him a reputation in some circles--and complicated his personal life. The more cases Jack solves, the closer he slips into the darkness. His only solace is Winter Meadows, a meditation therapist. After particularly grisly cases, Winter can lead Jack back to peace.

But as long as Quinton Zane is alive, Jack will not be at peace for long. Having solidified his position as the power behind the throne of his biological family's hedge fund, Zane sets out to get rid of Anson Salinas's foster sons, starting with Jack.

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Excerpt

Jack clipped the phone to his belt and stood looking down at the thrashing surf. The wild waves appeared chaotic; all the more so today in the wake of the storm. But the reality was that they were the end result of the spectacularly complex network of currents generated by the unfathomable power of the world’s oceans.

There were fierce forces at work but there was also a rhythm; a pattern. If you had enough data you could unravel the deepest mysteries of the sea.

Theoretically, if you had enough data you could predict a rogue wave.

Sometimes he wondered if he had followed the wrong career path. He could have lost himself in the study of fluid dynamics. Instead, he had immersed himself in the deep, dark undercurrents of the criminal mind.

Then again, maybe he had never really had a choice. Winter claimed that in order to do his best, most satisfying work, he had to heed the call of the inner voice that urged him to explore certain kinds of crimes. He had to work the cold cases, the cases that kept people awake at night.

He understood the dark lure of what Winter labeled his “mission.” But he had studied enough bad guys to know that there were serious risks involved. He wondered if Winter realized that his mission was damn close to what could be described as a compulsion. And compulsions were driven by very deep, very dark currents.

He told himself that he could always swim back to the surface. But what if he got caught in a riptide and became disoriented, like a diver hit with the unpredictable effects of nitrogen at depth? The poetical term for it was rapture of the deep. The slang was narced. It could thrill you or terrify you. It could also kill you.

“Jack?”

Winter’s voice yanked him out of the dark thoughts. Back to the surface.

He turned away from the crashing waves with a sense of relief and watched her come toward him. The dark fire of her hair was tightly bound up under a scarf to protect it from the cleaning operation. The old-fashioned apron that Arizona had provided covered her from throat to knee. For once she was not wearing all black. She had on an old, faded pair of jeans and a plaid flannel shirt. Her hands were sheathed in oversized cleaning gloves.

Beautiful, he thought.

At the sight of her the ominous darkness that hovered at the edge of his own personal Darknet receded. The crisp, blustery day got a little brighter. And suddenly the currents of his investigation began to come into sharper focus.

“How’s the cleanup going?” he asked.

“It’s not as bad as I thought it would be.” Winter came to a halt in front of him. “Most of the blood was soaked up by the rug under the coffee table. We wrapped it in the sheet of plastic that AZ brought with her. She’s going to discard it in the town dump. I’ll never be able to look at the coffee table the same way again but AZ understands. She promised to replace it. Aside from that, it’s mostly a matter of sweeping and straightening.”

“Good.” He glanced at the cabin and then looked back at her. “Did you come out here to take a break?”

“No.” She searched his face. “I came out here to see how the conversation with your foster dad went.”

And maybe because she had seen him standing on the edge of the bluff, looking down at the surf, Jack thought. The possibility that she might suspect he was a little unstable was starting to really piss him off.

Cuttler, Sutter and Salinas

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: January 2019

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Jayne Ann Krentz

The author of a string of New York Times bestsellers, Jayne Ann Krentz uses three different pen names for each of her three “worlds.” As Jayne Ann Krentz (her married name) she writes contemporary romantic-suspense. She uses Amanda Quick for her novels of historical romantic-suspense. Jayne Castle (her birth name) is reserved these days for her stories of futuristic/paranormal romantic-suspense.


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What Are You Reading? (+ Dawn Ryder Giveaway)

Posted January 11, 2019 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 4 Comments

Casee: I’ve read a great book and listened to a not so great book over the last week. Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan was ah-maze-ing. Holy crap, this book did it for me in every way. It had all the feels. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend that you pick it up. Filthy English by Ilsa Madden-Mills was terr-a-ble. Terrible. I don’t know why I didn’t DNF it. It was a trainwreck waiting to happen. I just couldn’t quit it.

I’m currently reading Toxic Game by Christine Feehan. This is book #15 in the GhostWalker series. I really love this series. It’s actually my favorite of all her series. I also just started listening to Wanderlust by Lauren Blakely. I’m only about four chapters in, but I am enjoying the heroine a lot. Blakely is a new-to-me author so I’m really hoping that I like the book. The narrators seem good so far.

Holly: I finished listening to Highland Guard by Hannah Howell. I enjoyed it. The little boy in the story and his pets really made the book for me. Then I listened to How To Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper. I avoided these books in the past because the covers and titles made me think they’d be super campy, which I don’t like. Though they’re on the lighter side, they aren’t campy at all and I really liked this book. I tried listening to From Scotland with Love by Kelli Ireland, but it was super campy and the way the heroine was humiliated in the first couple chapters turned me off. I DNF’d it early on.

I finished reading Gimme Some Sugar by Molly Harper. Harper has fast become an auto-buy for me. I really liked this whole series. I read Fierce Obsessions by Suzanne Wright, which I liked well enough, but it wasn’t my favorite of the series and Tikka Chance on Me by Suleikha Snyder, which was cute. I wasn’t super satisfied with the final resolution, but I liked both MCs and can’t wait to read more from the author.

I’m currently listening to Jace: Wolves of the Rising Sun #1 by Kenzie Cox. I’m not sure what I’m going to read next.

Rowena: I’m finishing up my series re-watch of Game of Thrones so I’m hoping that my reading will pick up immediately after because I haven’t read but one book this week. I finished Governess Gone Rogue by Laura Lee Guhkre and enjoyed that book a lot. Mr. Adam Seton was the bomb! Haha, I’m not normally one for secrets in a story but I couldn’t even be mad at Amanda for hers because it was written in a believable way.

My plan from last week still applies this week so I’ll be reading Holiday Hoops by Kennedy Ryan and Blood Kiss by J.R. Ward for my book club next. Wish me luck!

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ Dawn Ryder Giveaway)Close to the Edge (Unbroken Heroes, #5) by Dawn Ryder
Series: Unbroken Heroes #5
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: February 27, 2018
Format: Print
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 336
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They are part of an elite unit. On task. Off grid. These are the men of the Shadow Ops task force. Be seduced and thrilled by Close to the Edge, the next Unbroken Heroes novel by Dawn Ryder.

HOW FAR WILL ONE MAN GO

Jenna Henson always plays it safe. It’s what has gotten her through all these years . So she never expected to end up in arm-to-arm combat with a gorgeous, muscle bound mercenary named Dare…

Agent Dare Servant lives for the thrill of the chase, the adrenaline high. He’s fully committed to his job, fully armed, and full-on dangerous. But when innocent, irresistible Jenna Henson walks in on his latest mission, the need to keep her safe becomes all-consuming.

TO PROTECT THE WOMAN HE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT?

Jenna’s captured the attention of Dare’s deadliest enemies, and with a target on her back, she needs Dare’s protection. But being Jenna’s bodyguard might be his hardest challenge yet. How can he keep her safe when he longs to take her in his arms and never let her go?

What Are You Reading: Close to the Edge

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


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What Are You Reading? (+ Scarlett Cole Giveaway)

Posted December 21, 2018 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 7 Comments

WAYR-New

Casee: The holidays have been kicking my butt. I have been reading crap for the last week. I finished Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts at 4:30 this morning. Unfortunately it was not an up all night reading session. It was more of a wake up before dawn, get coffee, sit down, pick up the book and decide to get this book over with. Yep, that’s my feels about this book. Lets just say there was a whole lot of skimming. I think I’m going to pick up Demon’s Mercy by Rebecca Zanetti. I was so excited when I saw that she was already releasing another book in her Dark Protectors series!

I also stopped listening to Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen. I really like O’Doul, but Ari? Not so much. I was having a hard time with her so I decided to take a break. Now I need to pick between Dirty English by Ilsa Madden-Mills (new-to-me author) or Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews. Both on audio. I know which book both Holly & Rowena would choose for me.

Holly: I spent the week reading books from Suzanne Wright’s Phoenix and Mercury Pack series. I read Feral Sins, Wicked Cravings and Carnal Secrets from the Phoenix Pack and Spiral of Need and Force of Temptation from the Mercury Pack. I know I read several of SW’s books when they were released, but I only marked Feral Sins in my reading log, so I’m not sure how many I got through. I’ve been enjoying both series, though i think I prefer the Mercury Pack books. They could be about 100 pages shorter each, but as I’ve read/listened to 5 in the past week, they’re obviously doing something for me.

I’m not sure what I’m going to read next. I have a huge influx of family coming in, so we’ll have to see how much reading time I have.

Rowena: First off, Casee quit messing around. Just listen to the Ilona Andrews already.

Christmas is in a few days and I’m still surprised that Brenna and I will be on our own this year. I’m not sad about that. I don’t think that I’m going to miss not having the entire family around (we had them for Thanksgiving). I’m actually pretty stoked to be doing our own thing. We’re going to have waffles with fresh berries, homemade whipped cream and all of our favorite breakfast things for breakfast and then we’re going to do our own steak Christmas dinner. I can’t wait!

As far as reading goes though, this week my reading picked way up. I went from reading one book in two weeks to reading all of the books the next week.

I read The One You Fight For by Roni Loren and that book made me cry, it made me sigh and I was super satisfied with the ending. I’m really enjoying that series by Loren. I also read Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills which was another great contemporary YA read for me. After that, I read Illegally Yours by Kate Meader and enjoyed it. I’m so glad that they changed the cover because the heroine pictured on the first cover was not black and Trinity was definitely a strong black woman. She was fantastic! After that, I jumped into Playing for Keeps by Jill Shalvis and enjoyed that one as well. Caleb was everything I hoped he would be.

Now, I’m reading 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne. I’m not that far into the book but I’m hopeful that I’ll love this one just as much as I loved The Hating Game. I can’t wait to jump in after I get off of work.

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ Scarlett Cole Giveaway)Final Siege (Love Over Duty, #2) by Scarlett Cole
Series: Love Over Duty #2
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Format: Print
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 304
Add It: Goodreads
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IN THE LINE OF FIRE…

Former SEAL Malachai “Mac” MacCarrick is all about the future he’s created with his Navy brothers in Eagle Securities, taking assignments in the most dangerous places, and doing things no one but ex-military would attempt. But when an urgent phone call brings his troubled past—and the woman he once loved—into the present, it’s a chance to redeem himself that he can’t refuse.

STRAIGHT TO THE HEART…

An investigative journalist researching an explosive story, Delaney Shapiro tells herself she got over Mac—and his role in her brother’s death—a long time ago. But the first moment she sees him at her bedside in an overseas hospital, she knows it’s not true. Every moment together rekindles the desire that once burned between them, and now that she’s a target for an emerging Russian arms dealer, Mac won’t let her out of his sight. To protect her, he’ll risk it all—including his life…

What Are You Reading: Final Siege by Scarlett Cole

What are you reading four days before Christmas? Any new or old holiday books that we need to know about?


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Guest Review: Renegade Protector by Nico Rosso

Posted November 20, 2018 by Jen in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Renegade Protector by Nico RossoReviewer: Jen
Renegade Protector by Nico Rosso
Publisher: Harlequin Intrigue
Publication Date: November 20, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third Person
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 256
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two-half-stars

When intimidation turns to deadly force,

It’s time for Frontier Justice.

If ruthless developers want Mariana Balducci’s land, they’ll have to kill her for it. And they nearly succeed—until Ty Morrison foils her attacker. The sexy San Francisco cop is part of a secret organization called Frontier Justice. Mariana is tough, but she realizes she can’t win this fight alone. And when bullets fly, Ty realizes battling bad guys is easier than fighting their sizzling attraction.

Look for 6 new titles from Harlequin Intrigue every month!

Harlequin Intrigue: Edge-of-your-seat mysteries, fearless romance…resourceful women and tough-as-nails men fight for survival.

Mariana Balducci is being pressured to sell her family’s California apple orchard to developers. When the developers start switching from hard-sell business tactics to all-out threats and violence, Mariana doesn’t know if she can hold out…until Ty Morrison swoops in to lend support. Ty doesn’t offer much information about himself or why he’s there to help, but Mariana needs him if she’s going to get the developers off her back and preserve her family’s heritage. Ty has an alternate agenda, however, and when Mariana finds out she may never forgive him.

There were many things I liked about this book, and many things I didn’t. I did actually like the romance between Mariana and Ty. It moves too fast like so many romantic suspenses, but they do seem to have a great connection. I believed that they’d be a good couple going forward. I like that there was a lot of action in the book–there is a lot happening and it kept me interested. I also liked Mariana and Ty. Both were kind of broody but were smart and driven. Plus, the people in this world are diverse in a casual and realistic way, not entirely white as other Harlequin books would have you believe.

Unfortunately, the book also suffers from some of the same criticisms I often have with Rosso’s books. He focuses much more on description and inner thoughts than on dialogue, and his description is sometimes overwrought and kind of silly. Take this passage where Ty is describing eating an apple from Mariana’s orchard:

Savoring it this way strengthened the connection he’d been feeling with her all night. Her work, part of herself, was in his mouth, intimate and close. An apple had never made his blood rush like this.

A little dramatic, especially when he just met hours ago her, no? It’s not bad exactly, but it does get a little old as the story goes on. The plot also has way too much that doesn’t make sense. It’s never properly explained why these seemingly legit land developers would suddenly become willing to kill someone, beyond “money.” Mariana also just lets Ty into her life immediately, with very little mistrust or hesitation. Girl, you have no idea who he is or why he is there, and you barely ask any questions! It’s dangerous and, more importantly, draws out Ty’s lie of omission for absolutely no reason. 

Worse, the larger story arc that I assume will be continued in future books makes no sense. There is almost no explanation given for Ty’s secret mission. He wants to rebuild an organization his ancestors helped found, called Frontier Justice, that…got justice? On the frontier? I really had no idea what that meant beyond that they “helped.” And now Ty, who is AN ACTUAL POLICE OFFICER I might add, wants to create a vigilante justice organization. In this book, they do some pretty illegal stuff to help Mariana, too. He doesn’t seem to plan to quit his day job so how exactly would that work? I don’t know if there was just not enough attention given to world-building/explanation or if the whole premise is poorly designed, but either way, I rolled my eyes a bunch.

It probably sounds like I hated this book, but I definitely didn’t and I really struggled with wanting to give this a 3 instead of 2.5. I was disappointed in parts of the plot, for sure, but I think (?) this will be the start of a new series. I hold out some hope that future books will work better on that front. Still, this book has a different vibe and tone than your average Harlequin Intrigue, and I appreciate that. I appreciate Rosso’s voice, even if I don’t always love his stories, which is why I am glad to see him bringing something fresh to Harlequin.

Grade: 2.5 out of 5

two-half-stars


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Excerpt Spotlight: Too Far Gone by Allison Brennan

Posted November 19, 2018 by Rowena in Promotions | 1 Comment

Too Far Gone is the fourteenth book in the Lucy Kincaid series by Allison Brennan and it promises to keep your blood pumping with suspense and I’ve been in the mood for more suspense in my novels so I’m mighty interested in this one.

I don’t read too many romantic suspense books but after reading the blurb for this book, I was curious. Allison Brennan must be doing something right if she’s writing the fourteenth book in this series and it sounds like a good one so I’m thrilled to be spotlighting it here on Book Binge.

Excerpt Spotlight: Too Far Gone by Allison BrennanToo Far Gone (Lucy Kincaid, #14) by Allison Brennan
Series: Lucy Kincaid #14
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 496
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The next intense installment in Allison Brennan's New York Times bestselling Lucy Kincaid series.

Things finally seem to be going well for FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid. She's just finished training for Hostage Rescue, her husband's relationship with his son is back on track, and her tense relationship with her boss, Rachel Vaughn, has become much more bearable. That is, until her first hostage case throws everything off track.

When a man who appears under the influence and mentally unstable holds a group of people hostage and dies in a shootout with the FBI, Lucy is assigned to investigate what happened. His descent doesn't make any sense - he was an upstanding citizen a year ago and only started declining after a series of blackouts and strange occurrences. Even his autopsy seems suspicious, and the body has been cremated without the proper approval. As Lucy investigates, she realizes that this story may be more complicated than she thinks, and that her own life might be in danger.

 

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE PLAY || KOBO || THE RIPPED BODICE

Excerpt

CHAPTER TWO

FBI Special Agent Lucy Kincaid geared up in the back of the SWAT van and followed team leader Leo Proctor to the staging area kitty-corner to the coffeehouse that was currently under control of a gunman. Lucy wasn’t part of the SWAT team. She was the newest trained hostage negotiator, though she would be second to Proctor for a minimum of six months. She wouldn’t be talking to the suspect today; she was tagging along on her first official outing after completing Hostage and Crisis Response Training at Quantico.

As soon as she stepped out of the air-conditioned van and into the hot Texas humidity, she began to sweat. Fortunately, she wasn’t decked out with an extra twenty- five pounds of SWAT gear; she was only required to wear her Kevlar vest and sidearm.

The FBI was here to back up the SAPD, who were taking lead in the hostage situation at Java Antonio, a small but popular independent coffee shop in downtown San Antonio.

Lucy followed Leo from the van while the rest of the team checked their weapons and gear.

“Lieutenant, sit-rep?” Leo said to the man clearly in charge who was directing personnel from the back of a police communications van. There were a dozen city and county vehicles filling all four streets that led to the intersection, which now held a tactical truck. Each street had been blocked off, and all businesses in a two-block radius evacuated or locked down.

“Proctor. Glad you’re here.” He glanced at Lucy. “Agent Kincaid, hostage negotiator. Kincaid, Lieutenant Jordan Young.”

They shook hands. Young was forty and had the aura of former military officer, and it was clear by how his officers spoke to him that he garnered respect from his men and women.

“I need you to negotiate, Leo—I’ve already set up a command, I’m the highest-ranking officer here.”

“My people are your people,” Proctor said. “Kincaid’s my second.”

Being second essentially meant backing up the primary negotiator. Listening to all communication, taking notes, passing along information between the negotiator and command and vice versa.

Generally, the individual in charge of the scene was not the same person negotiating with the suspect. That SAPD and the SA-FBI worked well together was a testament to the men and women who led each department and the teams who cross-trained together.

“I have two snipers, one on each corner building,” Young said, gesturing. “Two men in the back. If you can spare a pair I’d like to have them tag up with my team in the alley, and if you have a sniper we can use one back there. The rear is the only exit other than the front door.” Proctor said in his radio, “Dunning, take your team and secure the back with SAPD; Ramirez, find a roost with clear line of sight to the emergency exit. From here on out, Lieutenant Young is in command of this operation and you’ll take direction from him, primary emergency channel.”

“Roger,” the team leader said over the radio. “Suspect?” Proctor asked.

Young shook his head. “Working on an ID. No cameras inside, but we have a description from one of the hostages who escaped during the initial confusion. In fact, a dozen people got out before the shooter locked down. From preliminary statements, the guy was talking to himself and acting ‘off’—weird was the word most used. He was wearing a thick windbreaker and it’s over ninety degrees and humid as hell. When the manager confronted him, he snapped—per a witness. Another witness said he acted like he was quote, ‘off his meds.’”

Unfortunately, Lucy knew that mental illness was one of the leading causes of spontaneous hostage situations. But generally, if the individual was mentally ill, they took people they knew hostage—family or friends—in a residence. This situation was distinctly different.

Young continued. “He fired two shots. Per witnesses, they both went into the ceiling. No one saw anyone injured inside. There are conflicting statements as to how many guns he has and what kind, though I’m going with one of the witnesses who stated he’s a gun owner and identified a nine-millimeter in the shooter’s hand, standard-capacity magazine, and a second handgun in his waistband, also a semi-auto—either a nine-mil or a forty-five.”

“Number of hostages?”

“Best guess is fourteen. Do you have thermal imaging in your truck? Fire can set up as well, but they’re still en route.”

“We got it,” Proctor said. “My tech just needs a minute.”

“Good. We need to know where he is, get some sense as to what’s going on in there.”

“Is this personal?” Proctor asked. “Target an employee? Customer?”

“Don’t know. We asked the witnesses for the basics, everyone said that he was alone and didn’t appear to know anyone. They are all sequestered down the street, my people are working to get more information. He hasn’t called out or made demands, but this whole thing started less than an hour ago. I need you to make contact, develop a rapport as we gather additional information. We need to de-escalate this as fast as possible.”

Proctor listened to his com then said, “Roger, hold positions.” He said to Young, “My team is in place, Ramirez has one hundred percent visual of the rear door.”

“Excellent.” Young handed him the bullhorn. “Work your magic, Leo. Godspeed.”

Proctor took a breath, visibly relaxed, then turned on the bullhorn.

“This is Leo Proctor of the FBI. I will be calling into the coffee shop. I’d like you to answer, just to talk. Just see how you’re doing, how the other people are doing.”

He then nodded to Young’s assistant, a uniform by the name of Jones, who handed him a phone already set to dial into the Java Antonio main number and record the conversation.

They let the phone ring more than thirty times. There was no answer and Proctor ended the call.

“Lieutenant,” Jones said after listening to his radio, “we have an ID. Charles James McMahon, forty-six, address in Helotes per DMV. Two deputies are on their way now.”

“Married? Kids? Employer?” “Unknown, we’re working on it.”

“Work faster. Something triggered him, we need to know what so no one gets hurt.”

“Yes, sir,” Jones said, already on his phone.

Proctor got on the bullhorn again. “Mr. McMahon— Charles—this is Leo Proctor. I really need you to pick up the phone. I know you don’t want to hurt anyone. We need to talk. You and me. We can work this out, but I’m sure you don’t like shouting through a bullhorn any more than I do.”

He dialed again, waited. No answer. He hung up. He didn’t show any frustration, any rush. “As long as he’s calm, we can get out of this,” he said almost to himself. “Lucy, get Yancey out here. We need eyes in.”

Lucy briskly walked to the tactical van. Tim Yancey was a technology analyst in their office and in charge of the equipment during tactical operations. He was a bit high-strung, skinny, and sharp on his feet.

“I know, I know,” Tim said before Lucy could speak. “It’s almost calibrated. Okay, okay,” he said to himself and followed Lucy over to the staging area which had a direct line of sight to the coffee shop.

“I need to expand the range,” he said as he walked up and put the thermal imaging camera on a table next to the SAPD tactical van. “Okay, okay,” he mumbled again and pressed a few buttons to expand the field.

A blob of orange quickly took on distinct human shapes. Most were on the floor. Young immediately pointed to one on the left that was moving and had another shape close to him. “That’s our guy. He’s holding a hostage. I count . . . fifteen plus the gunman?”

“I concur,” Proctor said.

Young asked Tim, “Why are these three shapes faded?”

“They’re in another room,” Tim said. “Probably the storage room, a bathroom—I don’t have the exact lay- out.”

Young motioned at one of his men. “Where are the blueprints I asked for?”

“Coming.”

“I needed them five minutes ago.” “He didn’t plan this,” Lucy said.

Everyone looked at her. She didn’t realize she’d spoken out loud.

“If he did,” she continued, “he would have made sure that everyone was in the main room. Those three had time to hide in the back and he didn’t notice? Others es- caped? A dozen people ran out before he locked the place down. I think he would notice if he had a room full of customers and no employees.”

“Point taken,” Young said. “Don’t know if that makes him more or less dangerous. Get him talking, Leo, I’m going to push my people to get us more intel.”

Leo used the bullhorn. “Charles, this is Leo Proctor again. I’m calling you now. Please pick up the phone.”

He hit redial.

Lucy adjusted her earpiece and heard the ringing phone. She watched Tim’s thermal imaging system and saw the suspect cross the room—with a hostage in tow—and stand next to what she presumed was the phone on the wall behind the counter.

“Answer it, buddy,” Leo mumbled. “Pick it up, you want to.”

The man put a hand on his head—more like he was banging the side of his head with his gun hand, as if flustered or frustrated. He walked away a couple of feet. Leo hung up. He counted to ten. Then he hit redial.

McMahon went back to the phone. He answered.

Lucy Kincaid

Are you as excited for this release as we are?

About Allison Brennan

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Allison Brennan believes that life is too short to be bored, so she had five children and writes three books a year.

Allison has penned more than two dozen thrillers and many short stories. RT Book Reviews calls Allison “a master of suspense” and her books “haunting,” “mesmerizing,” “pulse-pounding” and “emotionally complex.” RT also said that "The Lucy Kincaid/Sean Rogan books are getting better and better!"

COLD SNAP, was a finalist for Best Thriller in the Thriller Awards (ITW) and FEAR NO EVIL (2007) and COMPULSION (2015) won the Daphne du Maurier award. Allison has been nominated multiple times for RWA's Best Romantic Suspense award, and the Kiss of Death's Daphne award.

Allison lives in Northern California with her husband, five children, and assorted pets. Her current release is THE LOST GIRLS, a romantic thriller. MAKE THEM PAY will be out in March, 2017.


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