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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Step Right Up! These Shifter Bad Boys Can't Wait to Meet You!!

Garen,Rubicon International, #1
By Ann Gimpel
Dream Shadow Press
55K words
 Release Date: 6/14/16
 

Undercover Shifter Bad Boys = Alphas With Serious Attitude
Tumble Across the Rubicon Into the Death-Riddled World of International Espionage
 
Book Description:
As an agent for an international espionage firm, Miranda has her hands more than full. Between secretly lusting after her boss, Garen, and making sure the dirty little secret about her double life as a wolf shifter remains hidden, she’s still a virgin at nearly thirty.
Sent to eliminate the head of a human trafficking organization in Amsterdam, she barely escapes with her life. Injured, frightened, and under attack the second her private jet lands in the U.S., she’s not certain where to turn.
Garen’s watched Miranda just as surreptitiously as she’s been eyeing him. Unfortunately, the fact that she works for him is a showstopper. Plus, he has a few secrets of his own that have kept him single. When Miranda insists on heading up a covert operation, he can’t come up with a plausible reason to stop her. Watching her sprint headlong into danger damn near kills him. He wants to hold her, love her, protect her.
Miranda’s life is on the line. Will Garen risk exposure to save her?
 
Excerpt from Garen:
The Gulfstream G280 shuddered as it banked hard right. Miranda Miller pushed one of the window blinds out of the way. Damn. Black as pitch outside the aircraft. She felt like warmed-over crap. Her mouth tasted sour, and her eyes were hot and gritty. She rubbed them and tallied how long it had been since she’d slept. At least two days. She reached for a Styrofoam cup in its no-spill metal holder, sloshed cold coffee around her mouth, and swallowed.
Her headset hummed. “Wakey, wakey, fraulein,” a heavily accented German voice rumbled. “We land at JFK as soon as the tower clears us.”
“What?” Fear sliced through her fatigue. “I told you we needed a smaller airport.”
“Sorry, fraulein. This one was closest. We are below recommended minimums on fuel.”
She considered asking the pilot why he hadn’t planned better but decided not to antagonize him. It was bad enough they were flying without a copilot—probably against FAA regulations. She had a dummied-up commercial pilot’s license tucked in her wallet under one of her many assumed names. Hopefully it matched the one on her phony passport. She hadn’t had time to check. If it came down to it, she’d been instructed to tell the tower she copiloted the flight.
As if he’d read her thoughts, the pilot’s next words were, “I need you to move into the cockpit, fraulein.”
“Alrighty. Give me a minute.”
“You do not have much more than that. I do not wish further difficulties with the U.S. authorities.”
Miranda wondered just what other problems the pilot might be referring to. She almost asked him, and then decided she didn’t really care. Her international security company engaged professionals. Most of them came from either the military or law enforcement and had checkered pasts. She unbuckled her seat belt and stumbled to her feet. Her crumpled, black pantsuit stank, but maybe only to her lycan senses. She hoped humans wouldn’t be able to smell stale blood.
A muffled chortle made its way past her lips. Maybe once anyone got a whiff of days old sweat, they’d give her a wide berth. Her body ached, especially her ribs where her target had slammed a lead pipe into her. She fingered her side and wondered if anything was broken. Not much you could do for ribs. They had to mend on their own.
A few steps took her to the tiny head in the rear of the aircraft. She splashed cold water on her face and winced when she took a good look at her scraped knuckles. Her target in Amsterdam—head of a worldwide human trafficking organization—had been much harder to eliminate than she’d expected. She’d needed her supernatural speed and strength—and her wolf form. One more face-dunking in cold water and she grabbed a towel to dry herself.
“Now, fraulein.” The jet shuddered again as its landing gear clicked into place.
The pilot sounded so exasperated, she rushed down the aisle and hurtled through the already-open cockpit door. He grabbed her arm and threw her into the empty seat.
“Watch it!” she snapped. Her upper lip pulled into a snarl. Claws pressed against the ends of her fingertips. Miranda struggled for control. Her wolf wanted to kill the human who’d manhandled her.
“Sorry.” The pilot’s voice was mild. She recognized compulsion beneath his words and wondered what the hell he was. “I do not wish to draw anyone’s attention,” he went on smoothly. “The rules regarding business-class jets are in constant flux.” He glanced at her with gray eyes that didn’t miss much. “Are you hurt?”
She nodded. “My assignment ran into unexpected snags.”
“Will you require medical attention before you proceed to the West Coast?”
She snorted. What a subtle way of asking if she’d been shot or stabbed. Lars Kinsvogel—or whatever his name really was—had obviously dealt with people like her before. Something he said caught her attention. “Won’t you be my pilot?”
He shook his head. “Someone fresh will relieve me.”
“Will I be able to stay aboard?”
He shot her an odd look. “Of course not. You must go through customs.”
She rolled her eyes and pressed her lips into a thin line. “That’s why I wanted to land somewhere inland.”
His gray eyes narrowed to slits. “All flights from foreign destinations are subject to customs, no matter what the airport. Is this your first international assignment?”
Heat rose to her face. “No.” She was damned if she’d say anything else. She didn’t know him from Adam.
The radio crackled. The pilot responded in pilotese and banked the plane. “Flights from Europe are cleared to land at certain airports. With the fuel we have left, we could have landed in Philadelphia or Newark, but I have a feeling those two destinations would not meet your needs, either. What are you afraid of?”
Miranda wasn’t certain what she could tell him. Company policy was clear. Talk to no one. “Never mind.”
She thought about Garen, her boss and chairman for Rubicon International. She’d been half in love with his razor-sharp mind, lithe build, salt-and-pepper hair, and sky-blue eyes for years, but he didn’t see her as anything but a junior-grade agent. Rumor had it he scarcely acknowledged employees until they became full-fledged operatives. If her fellows were any indication, she had a way to go. At least a few more assignments. And then there was the problem of her being a lycan.
She sighed, and fantasies of Garen went up in smoke like they always did. It was nice to dream, but Miranda steered clear of men. Between her wolf side and her somewhat unorthodox career, intimate relationships carried too much risk of discovery. She relied on her fingers, a vibrator, and the occasional one-night stand to take the edge off her needs.
The jet banked yet again and dropped lower. Its wheels made contact, and the pilot hit the brakes. Because she wasn’t belted in, Miranda nearly plunged into the instrument cluster. Lars made an aggravated clucking sound, but he didn’t say anything. They taxied off the runway.
“Since I have to get off, I need to get my things together.”
“Wait until the aircraft comes to a complete stop, fraulein.”
He sounded so much like a bot, she stifled a laugh. The plane moved smoothly into an enclosed hangar. Once it rolled to a halt, she pushed out of her seat, returned to the passenger compartment, and unhooked her small duffel from the wall. Lars’ breath hissed against her ear. “Where are your weapons?”
“On me and in my bag.”
“Put everything in your bag. Clips separate.”
“I’m not that stupid.” She pulled a 9mm semiautomatic from its shoulder holster and punched the button to discharge its clip. She drew back the slide, extracted the chambered bullet, and stuffed it into the clip. Next came a snub-nosed .38 revolver and two knives. She spun the chamber to make certain all the bullets were out and then placed everything in locked gun cases in her carry-on.
Lars still stood practically on top of her. She met his gaze, noticing he was a few inches taller than her five feet eleven. “Yes?” She quirked a tired brow.
“Has anyone ever told you how beautiful you are?” He settled his hands on her shoulders. She smelled his arousal and knew he had a hard-on without even looking.
“Christ! Not now.” She spun from beneath his grip. “Let’s just get through customs and allow whoever’s knocking to search the plane.”
“We will have some downtime in the terminal. At least an hour.” He sounded hopeful.
Miranda looked at him. Really looked at him. Lars was attractive in a Teutonic sort of way, with ice-blond hair and gray eyes. His trim body suggested he worked out. Interest flickered but then died. She shook her head. “I haven’t slept for forty-eight hours. I’m dead on my feet.”
“Why did you not sleep during the flight? The air was smooth.”
Good question. She’d wondered the same thing. “I have no idea. Too keyed up, I guess.”
He shouted something in German to whoever was pounding on the side of the jet and took her arm. “I will watch over you until you are safely back in the plane.”
She opened her mouth to tell him it wasn’t necessary, but something in his face stopped her. In that moment, she understood he was a trained operative just like her. His role this time around happened to be pilot, but she was certain he’d stood in her shoes before. “Which branch of the military trained you?”
He shook his head and let go of her arm. “It does not matter. Follow me, fraulein.”
She shouldered her duffel and walked to the rear cabin door. Lars had just sprung the locks. He spoke soothingly in German to an obviously agitated customs officer standing at the top of the stairs. The agent’s beady, black eyes settled on her. “Do you speak English?”
“Yes. Is there a problem, sir? It’s been a long flight, and both of us are tired. It took me a while to get my bag together.”
Nostrils flared, the agent looked intently at her and then stepped into the aircraft, waving them down the jet’s steps. “Customs is the last door at the north end of the hangar,” he barked. “Don’t even think of running. This hangar is locked and fully alarmed.”
Lars placed a hand beneath her elbow and guided her across a concrete floor. “It is best if we do not deviate from a straight line,” he muttered.
“Holy crap,” she said. “Why are they so uptight?”
He shrugged. “As you Americans say, it goes with the territory.” He grinned, displaying very white, very even teeth. “Everything we do and say between here and the customs area is filmed and recorded.”

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