What is a Black Friday without a few gifts and surprises? Katie Reus wanted to be here, but due to deadlines (and we totally want more stories, right?), she was unable to participate. However, to celebrate the release of Edge of Danger, she’s sent along these fabulous beauties instead: a fabulous exclusive excerpt and 2 signed copies of Edge of Danger to giving away and I know you want it. *grin*
When an assassin tries to kill undercover DEA agent Tucker Pankov the same week his boss is taken out, Tucker has good reason to be paranoid. And when other members of his elite team are not only targeted, but stripped of top-secret security clearance, Tucker has one shot at discovering who wants them dead—and why. So he kidnaps the only woman he thinks can save them.
Brilliant NSA analyst Karen Stafford doesn’t like being forced into anything, especially by someone she doesn’t trust. Yet after a hijacked US-owned drone starts attacking government installations resulting in mass casualties, Karen has to take Tucker’s side. Now, two unlikely allies must unite to prevent an escalating and unthinkable terrorist conspiracy. But as Tucker and Karen grow intimate, they realize the conspiracy runs deep, and their enemies are closer than anyone realized.
Excerpt from Edge of Danger
As they disconnected, he pulled on a pair of jogging pants and grabbed his sidearm from his nightstand. Even though he knew it was loaded, he checked the magazine out of habit. Full. Exiting his room, he moved on silent feet down the hallway that led to the living room and kitchen. As he made his way, he passed the keypad for his alarm system, and a shot of adrenaline punched through him.
It was off.
The system was wireless and not linked to his power system, and it never went off-line. Not even when he lost power. He traveled most of the year and wanted his house secure even when he was gone, which was why he’d opted for this specific system. No way had it gone off without help. This was intentional.
His heart rate kicked up a fraction. Ducking into the closest room, his office, he quickly swept it. Empty. He moved to the window and had started to pull back the curtains when he heard a creak.
It was quiet, almost imperceptible, but he knew every sound his house made. It had been built in the forties and had real wood floors he’d had refurbished. And Tucker knew exactly where that creak had come from. A board at the beginning of the hallway, right where the kitchen opened up. It had a very distinctive sound.
Weapon in hand, he moved away from the window and crept to the doorway, giving himself enough room to have his pistol out and drawn without the worry of it being taken from him if someone attacked. If someone made a move, they wouldn’t be able to make it to him before he fired a few rounds.
Whoever was in his home had to know Tucker was aware of his presence. Or at least guess. The house was too silent. Which took away a little of his advantage.
As he waited, everything around him sharpened, his senses going into straight battle mode. Someone could be here to rob him, but his gut told him otherwise.
He lived far enough out that his place wasn’t easy to find, and disabling his security system would have taken time and an expertise far beyond your average thief.
Another creak. This one closer.
Tucker tensed, his finger on the trigger. He wasn’t just going to blindly shoot, but he was ready.
Another creak. That one next to the guest bathroom door.
Which meant the intruder would be in his path in three, two, one.
“Drop your weapon, put your hands in the air!” Tucker shouted as the hooded man came into view, his own weapon—with a fucking suppressor—drawn. “Now, or I drop you where you stand.” His voice was quieter now, his intent clear in each word. All it would take was a bullet to the head.
It was hard to read his facial expression because of the hood, but the man stood right around six feet, had a solid build. Wearing all black, including rubber-soled boots that made almost no sound, the intruder looked like a pro.
The silenced weapon clattered to the floor, the sound overpronounced in the quiet of his home, before the man put his hands in the air. When he moved, Tucker could see the bulky outline of a vest. If he had to take a killing shot, it would be to the head.
“Kick it away.”
The man did as he said.
“On your knees.”
Silently the man started to kneel down but at the last second leaped forward.
Training kicked in automatically. Tucker fired, hitting the man in his calf as he tried to dive out of the way.
The hooded man cried out as Tucker swept into the hallway, conscious of his six as he trained his weapon on the guy.
He’d grabbed his fallen weapon.
Tucker fired, two shots to the middle of the forehead. Normally he’d take a center mass shot, but there was no point with the guy wearing a vest.
The man stilled, dropping back with a thud as his weapon hand fell loudly against the wooden floor of the hallway. Tucker moved carefully, kicking it away before he checked the man’s pulse and took off the hood. By the time he’d pulled it off, there was a slight blue tinge around his eyes, nose, and mouth.
Certain he was dead, Tucker checked his person for any identifiers and found none before he moved on to the rest of his house. Next he cleared his garage, then the shed. Before moving on he turned his power back on and reconnected the alarm. Resetting it so no one could infiltrate his house while he was gone, he swept his property. He found a four-door car with mud smeared on the license plate hidden off the side of the road about a mile away. Unfortunately there weren’t any identifying papers inside. He memorized the plate, then raced back to his place.
Careful to avoid the blood pooling in the hallway, he grabbed his cell and found two missed calls. Both from Cole. As he pulled out his fingerprint kit, he called his friend back. He was going to call the police, but he was taking the guy’s prints first. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust the locals, but the DEA had more resources and this was clearly personal.
Which meant the chances of this being linked to one of his cases was high. He had to know what and who he was dealing with, and he’d get answers faster than the local PD.
“Someone just tried to kill me,” Cole said as way of greeting. “Can’t identify him, but he was a professional.”
Well, hell. “Me too. You called the cops yet?”
“No. Someone also went after Brooks. This isn’t fucking random,” he snarled.
“Anyone contacted Kane?” The last member of their elite group.
“Can’t get ahold of him.”
Tucker reined in a curse. “Get the prints of your guy. Then pack a bag. Can you dispose of the body?”
“Do it. Then we rendezvous at location bravo.” Their team had five backup places to meet if the shit ever hit the fan. They were all random and none had ties to any of them. Tucker picked the second location because it was the first that popped into his mind.
“You sure no cops?”
“You want to alert whoever sent these guys after us that they failed?” Because the moment they did that, they’d become sitting targets. No, they needed to ghost out while whoever was gunning for them thought they were dead or about to be. Then they’d regroup and figure this thing out.
“I know. Just feels like we’re crossing a line.”
Tucker snorted. He’d cross whatever line necessary to keep his men alive. “Bring all your weapons, ammo, passport—real and aliases—any burner phones and all your electronics if you’re sure they’re not traceable. We need to figure out who’s after us.”
“On it. I’ll keep trying Kane.”
“Me too.” After they disconnected, Tucker packed everything he needed, then took care of the body and blood, storing the dead man in the trunk of the car he’d abandoned on the side of the road. It wasn’t the first time he’d had to dispose of a body, not with the jobs he’d been assigned to, but it was the first time he’d removed one from his own home and wasn’t telling anyone else about it. He cleaned up the blood the best he could, but if pros came in here with luminol they’d find the evidence.
But if anyone else came out here looking for him, he’d be long gone before they got here.
He needed to stay alive. Because whoever had come after his men had made the biggest mistake of their lives.
Meet Katie Reus!
Katie Reus is the New York Times, USA Today, & IndieReader bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Moon Shifter series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom’s stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it. However, she didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense.
Want to purchase Katie’s novels?
Darkness Awakened (Darkness #1)
Taming the Alpha (Crescent Moon #1) (with Savannah Stuart)
Red Stone Security Vol 1
Sworn to Protect
Alpha Instinct (Moon Shifter #1)
Claimed by the Warrior (with Savannah Stuart)
First Surrender (The Serafina: Sin City #1)
Dangerous Deception (with Savannah Stuart)
Beyond the Darkness (Dragon Shifter)
Unleashed Temptation (Miami Scorcher Series #1)
Running From the Past
HIs Secret Past
Taste of Darkness
Please help spread the word: Tweet: Celebrate the chaos of #BlackFriday with #holiday #stories & #contests by 20+ authors Nov27-Dec24 #LiteraryEscapism http://wp.me/p3SIUp-cte
Thank you Katie for taking part in Literary Escapism’s Black Friday!
Katie is giving away. To enter, all you have to do is answer this one question: since I goofed, let’s go with erinf1’s question…what have you asked Santa for? Remember, you must answer the question in order to be entered. (US Only)
Have you checked out the other Black Friday contests yet? Check out the Master List to see all the Black Friday giveaways. All Black Friday contests will remain open until December 31st. All giveaways are subject to LE’s Giveaway Policy.