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AMAZON US ONLY.
Also available for Kindle Unlimited.
For all of my contemporary-reading Pookies, you ask and you shall receive!!
Here’s how this book came about…
Susan Stoker is a good friend of mine. She’s been in my closet. For real. She gave me shit for the large amount of Ugg boots I own. Again… for real. LOL
We met a few years ago and made a deal. This deal was made while we were sober—mostly.
Susan has a Kindle World and I have a Kindle World.
I write sexy, comedic, paranormal romance—she does not.
She writes sexy, military, romantic suspense—I do not.
So naturally we decided it would be a brilliant move to write in each others worlds.
Susan did it and rocked it out of the park. Now it’s my turn.
I’ve written the book, had the smexy cover made and I’m in love with it. And although it’s not my usual story, according to my mom (who is the Boss of everyone), my beta readers and critique partner it’s smokin’ hot, snarkilicious, full of suspense and they loved it.
AND if you are in KU you can read for free.
ALSO hit this LINK to check out Susan’s Kindle World Page and you can see all the fantastic books in her world!
Sadly Kindle Worlds is a US only program at the moment, but they are working on it. If you’re outside of the US and want to buy the book, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are some workarounds for you to get the book!
READ ON for the book description!
Avoidance had become my norm. After too many tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, I’d checked out—on everyone and everything—on life. Ex-navy SEAL. Totally broken man. I’d hit rock bottom so many times, I was sure I was about to fall straight to hell. It would be a welcome reprieve.
Then she found me. Beautiful, insane and more broken than I was. She needed my help. I needed her humanity.
How she found me was anyone’s guess. But she had. She needed rescuing. She needed a hero. I was none of those things.
But for the first time in many years, I wanted to be. I wanted to be her hero.
Becoming an undercover agent for the CIA had been my dream until everything went wrong—wildly wrong. Trapped in a cage with nothing to do but anticipate more torture from the ones I was supposed to trust, I had no choice but to escape—again. This time I’d succeed or die trying.
They’d turned me into a beast and it was time to show them exactly what I could do.
Finding the beautiful man who could help me end my pain was something I’d never expected—or wanted.
It was a complication for normal people. I wasn’t normal. I would never be normal.
Could two broken pieces make a whole? Could we truly disappear with the government hunting us down like animals?
He was Beauty and I was the Beast. Happily ever afters didn’t happen for people like us.
Or did they?
READ AN EXCERPT
A cage? A fucking cage? How had my life ended up in a cage?
Only four short months ago I was a twenty-eight year old woman in my prime with an exciting—albeit dangerous—career ahead of me and a fucking company car.
Now I was trapped in a four by four foot cage—in a highly classified lab.
Rattling the bars and realizing they were made out of some kind of electrified metal, I sat back and let the stinging in my hands abate. Taking stock of my life seemed pretty damned fruitless, but what else could I do given the horrifying situation I was in?
Fine. I’d use my mind so I didn’t lose what was left of it.
Closing my eyes and searching for a serene place to escape to was an epic fail. Meditation had never been my friend. All I could picture was Hair Pants, aka Benny—the last guy I’d dated—or some loose definition of the word—before I’d ended up in hell. Whatever. Anything to take my mind off the torture I’d been through and the torture that was yet to come was good. Digging into my embarrassing dating past was far less painful than trying to break out of my cramped prison—again.
Benny Hair Pants, here I come. He was actually a nice person, but…
Of course, I didn’t discover his alarming, furry secret until he’d disrobed in full light in my tiny government issued apartment after a booze-filled night on the town. He was a civilian. I should have known better.
Now to be fair—to me—I had no clue that Benny was a man-scaper. I mean, his back was as smooth as a baby’s butt and he clearly trimmed his chest hair. A little weird, but acceptable. However, when he removed his jeans and tighty whities to reveal what I’d have to describe as full on hair pants—covering every inch of the landscape all the way to his toes—I laughed so hard I almost choked. Guilt still plagued me on that one.
Occasionally, I played back the scene when I wanted to punish myself for something, but right now I was being punished enough as it was.
I had no clue why Benny Hair Pants popped into my thoughts. Benny couldn’t help being hairy, but I’d think a dude who clearly waxed his back and trimmed the chest rug might have had the foresight to de-hair his butt.
Suffice it to say that was the end of our very short relationship. However, the irony didn’t escape me. I’d thought Benny was working an animal look and here I sat in a freakin’ cage.
Actually, if I was being honest with myself—and why not? Since I was probably going to die soon anyway, I’d have to admit I’d never had a real relationship. I was too weird and now I was completely broken.
Noticing the plate of what the guards thought passed as food in the corner of my cage, I swallowed hard and pushed back the ravenous hunger that had consumed me for a week. I’d only eaten the disgusting rations once and the next thing I knew I was in a cage sporting more hideous scars all over my body.
My dear friends clearly had some fun implanting God only knew what inside me. Sabrina Wenbo and Don Jarred were scientists—mad government scientists—and I was their pet at the moment. I was also stupid and short-sighted, but hindsight is twenty-twenty.
There had been six of us—bright eyed and bushy tailed brand new CIA recruits. We were clearly interchangeable. I was the only one left alive as far as I knew. The others were gone and I assumed dead. Lucky them.
Methodically pushing the food into the cracks and crevices in the filthy floor beneath my cage was the only power I had at the moment. I would not be drugged again and the first chance I had to make a break for it, I would. The guards—who were horrid walking clichés dressed completely in black—would force-feed me if they knew what I’d been doing.
Wenbo and Jarred had enhanced me to the point that they feared me. I feared myself. I was a monster—a beast. However, as barbaric as I’d become, I had no plans to live out what was left of my life in a cage. I was a fighter. I’d always been a fighter. They’d made me an abomination and a killer. Now it was their turn to reap what they’d sown.
Today was the day I’d take my life back…
Or die trying.
The room was dim. My head was pounding. My mouth felt like sandpaper.
Get a fucking grip. Panic gets you nowhere except six feet under. Dead was not on my agenda today.
Closing my eyes, I pushed aside the excruciating pain that racked my six foot four frame and focused my mind. My name… what the fuck was my name?
Carter. My name was Carter… is Carter.
Wait… was it? Yes. My name is Carter. Carter Davis. Former Navy SEAL. Four tours in Afghanistan and many more that weren’t on any government record book. Hell, I was fairly sure I didn’t exist anymore, according to dear old Uncle Sam.
I was no longer in the game. I had enemies, but I’d been off the radar for several years now. As far as I knew, Tex was the only man from my old life who had a vague idea where I was and what I used to be. And that loyal son of a bitch would never give me up.
Was it day? Was it night? Fuck…
My body felt like it had been run over by a Mack truck. Opening my eyes took extreme effort. However, the frantic lavender-eyed woman was gorgeous enough for me to make the effort. She paced the room like a caged tiger—long limbs, wild dark blonde hair and a completely freaked out demeanor.
What in the hell was going on?
“Ohthankfreakingod,” she choked out on a single breath, wringing her hands and peering at me with red-rimmed amethyst eyes. “You’re not dead.”
“Debatable. Do I know you?” I asked in a pained voice that sounded like I’d swallowed gravel.
She’d clearly been crying. Why?
“Umm, no,” she replied haltingly, with shaking hands as she tidied the blankets that covered me. “Not really—not yet… I mean no. No, you don’t know me.”
“Where am I?” I asked, attempting to move my arms. They felt like they weighed a ton. What the fuck?
Had I been poisoned? Kidnapped? The woman smoothing the damp hair from my forehead didn’t seem remotely dangerous or the type to kidnap, but…
“Name?” I demanded roughly, narrowing my eyes while slowly and painfully moving myself to a seated position with Herculean effort. “Location?”
“What the hell? You sat up,” she pointed out, dumbfounded.
Raising my brow and taking in my surroundings, I gave her a curt nod. “Apparently,” I snapped. “Answer my questions before I decide to stand up. I can promise you that won’t end well.”
During my time as a SEAL, I’d been shot, tortured and had gone for weeks without solid food. I was familiar with the side effects of those situations… What I was feeling now?
Well, it was fucked up.
“Is where we are? Or your name?”
“Actually both,” she said with a giggle that didn’t belong in this particular conversation. At all.
“How about this, Georgia from Georgia… you tell me what’s going on—all of it—and you’ll leave this room alive.”
“Is there another option?” she asked, wrinkling her nose and tilting her head.
Goddamn it, she was stunning.
Inhaling in through my nose and breathing out through my mouth, I gave myself a second to reconsider suggesting she could get naked and crawl into the bed with me. Once a manwhore, always a manwhore. Clearly I’d lost a few necessary brain cells when I was beaten to a pulp… or run over by a truck… or poisoned… or God only knew what. At least I was in still in the state I’d chosen as my temporary home.
Home was a vague term though. I hadn’t had a home in years and that worked for me just fine. Being tied to anything for longer than a month or two made me uneasy. Quite honestly, this situation was making me uneasy. The woman running the show at the moment was not running on all cylinders.
And why in the hell wasn’t I wary of Georgia from Georgia? I wasn’t in any position to be threatening anyone, even a small woman at this point. She could end me with a needle, a gun, or possibly just by leaving me here to die.
Not being in charge was not my idea of a good time. “You have three seconds,” I growled as she watched me like I was a science experiment gone awry.
“Okay,” she said, expelling a long sigh and gingerly sitting down on the edge of the bed.
For a bad guy—or girl—she smelled awfully good.
“I’m forming my damn thoughts,” she shot back, running her hands through her wild hair and rolling her eyes at me.
Unbelievable. She’d clearly done something to incapacitate me and was now acting the victim? If I could just stand, I could get my bearings and get the hell out of here. Since that seemed beyond the realm of possibilities at the moment, I’d have to listen to her story. However, the longer she paused, the less likely the truth would fall from her mouth… a mouth that was made for sin.
Damn it, I don’t do the enemy. Right now Georgia from Georgia was the enemy until she proved otherwise.
“Now, this might sound a little weird, but…” she said, while twisting her hair in her slim fingers.
“Did you just say weird?” I asked.
Was I being punked? Was this some sort of fucked up joke compliments of my former unit that I’d avoided like the plague since I’d been stateside?
She nodded and then jumped up and began to pace again. “Yep, weird.”
The room was small and her movement made me dizzy. There wasn’t much to the room—more like an afterthought—a bed, a dresser, a chair and a braided rug that had seen better days…
Was this her home? A motel? Shit, as my body began to regain strength, my mind became more muddled.
“Go on,” I said, not letting on that I was able to move my arms and legs with more ease now. I had no clue if my beautiful Georgia was working alone.
“Okay, so Tex told me to find you.”
“Bullshit,” I interrupted her. “Not possible. He doesn’t know where I am.”
Her pacing stopped and I watched her search for her next lie. “True,” she agreed. “He didn’t know exactly where you were, but… umm…”
“Listen lady,” I snapped, quickly losing what little patience I possessed—which had never been much. “Get to the point. Now.”
“I picked you up in a bar because I’m a… well, I suppose the fastest way to explain it is I’m government experiment. You weren’t hard to pick up at all. I figured you’d be… umm, you know…”
“Clearly I don’t know,” I said, closing my eyes for a brief moment and shaking my head. Georgia from Georgia was missing a few screws. A government experiment?
“I thought you’d be old and ugly.”
“Because?” I asked, somehow finding this bizarre exchange amusing.
“I don’t know,” she replied with an annoyed shrug. “Tex said you were a deadly killer. I need a deadly killer and someone who can make me disappear. He didn’t mention you were hot and ripped and really freaking tall. Anyway, I don’t want to live on an exam table or in a cage for the rest of my life. So since it would take a nuclear explosion to kill my abnormal ass, I decided to escape. But escaping from the government when they’ve spent millions of dollars on you tends to be a bit difficult. Plus, I’m pretty sure I might have accidentally killed a few people on my way out. I tried not to, but… you know, they weren’t too keen on me busting out.”
“Are you right in the head?” I asked, trying to follow her ridiculous story. I did have to admit I enjoyed the hot and ripped part, but… she was unkillable? Living in a cage? Accidentally killed people? If her goal was to confuse, she was succeeding.
“Well, no, probably not. But really, who is?” she asked.
“Fine point. Well made,” I said with sarcasm dripping from each word. “Please do go on, I’m sure this gets better.”
“It does,” she assured me, either ignoring my cynicism or letting it fly right over her insanely sexy head. “Well, umm… so after the shit show of my escape and a brief detour, as I said I picked you up and then…”
She stopped, let her head fall back on her shoulders and stared at the ceiling.
“Clock is ticking,” I reminded her.
“This was a bad fucking idea,” she muttered, turning away and lightly banging her head against the wall. “Such a bad idea. Never should have listened to Tex and now I’m stuck with him. Bad, bad, bad idea.”
“Georgia,” I said harshly.
She paused her self-flagellation and glanced over in surprise, as if she was shocked I was still in the room with her. She was off her rocker, but unfortunately I was attracted to trouble that looked like her. And she was clearly going to be a lot of trouble.
“What exactly is the bad fucking idea? And while you’re at it, explain why I can’t move my limbs.”
“Should I start at the very beginning?” Georgia asked.
“It’s a very good place to start,” I replied, trying to bite back the grin that was pulling at my lips.
Her delighted laugh filled the small dingy room and she clasped her hands together in glee. “I didn’t take you for a Sound of Music fan.”
“And why not?” I asked, pretending to be insulted.
What the hell was I doing? Playing von Trapp Family trivia with a lunatic that I secretly wanted to bed? Her laugh was like a gust of fresh air and for a moment I forgot all of the ugliness in my past. My gut said she was for real and my gut had served me well, but far too many puzzle pieces were missing at the moment for me to break into Edelweiss.
And trust me I could. Reciting that movie almost word for word had kept me sane during some of the most horrific moments of my existence.
“Back to the story, Georgia. Now,” I said, getting serious. I would not be seduced by a laugh. I was too far gone for normal.
“Right. The story… You’re not going to believe me.”