Publisher: St. Martin’s
A former Elite Ops captain with a dark past meets his match in a female ex-CIA agent who’s dead-set on revenge. And this time, the action—and the attraction—is more adrenaline-pumping than ever…DARE TO DESIRE
John Vincent has always led a life of danger, and now he has every reason to want to remain as dead as the obituary in the Australian papers had proclaimed him to be. He’d left nothing behind in the life he had once led—except for one woman, and one night of unforgettable passion. Now, both will return to haunt him…
SEDUCE TO DESTROY
Bailey Serborne is still tormented by a past she can’t change and a man she hasn’t been able to forget. A man who was supposed to dead.. But now, a stroke of fate has revealed that sometimes, a woman is given a second chance to heal her heart—and exact the sweetest revenge…
A moment out of time. That was what it felt like. Like a moment that would never return and she was desperate to hold onto it. To hold onto him.
She was still fighting to catch her breath when he rolled beside her and pulled her into his arms. For a moment she froze, so unused to being held by another that for the slightest second it was completely alien to her.
She lay against his chest, listened to his harsh breathing, the thunder of his heart and gave a desperate little prayer that she could hold onto it just a little longer.
“I knew you’d blow my mind,” he finally sighed.
“You would have to have a mind first,” she quipped, suddenly uncertain of herself.
What did a woman do with a man like this? Did she try to hold him? Let him go? What? God, she had no idea how to play the most important game in her life when she had excellent at other games that she had attempted in her career.
“I have a mind.” He rolled her to her back, rising over her as he gave her one of those rakish devil may care grins. “And I used to have a heart. I think you stole that too.” He was suddenly somber.
Bailey stared up at him, her lips parting in surprised wonder.
“Your heart?” she whispered.
“It’s very probable.” He winked down at her before bounding from the bed and striding across the room. “Showering with me?” He glanced back at her as she watched his cute, tight ass as he walked.
“Later.” She shook her head. She needed to get her bearings, needed to figure out where she was supposed to go from here.
“Later then.” He nodded. “I’ll step out and get us dinner after I shower. I have to check on a few things with a contact then I’ll be back.”
She nodded then watched wistfully as he disappeared into the bathroom. The sound of the shower seconds later had her blowing out a hard breath before she flipped the sheet over her body. A quick nap might get her equilibrium back. Besides, she was wore out, more tired than she could remember being in years.
A grin pulled at her lips at that thought. He had worn her out. Sated her. Made her feel treasured. She definitely wanted to keep him.
Long minutes later she felt the kiss on her cheek and his quiet “Be back soon, love.” The door closed behind him.
She was sliding back into sleep when hell broke loose outside. The explosion blew out the windows, shattering glass over the bed and lighting up the stormy night as Bailey screamed in horror.
Jumping from the bed she jerked the sheet around her and raced to the front door. Flames were licking up the side of the bungalow where he’d parked his Jeep. The vehicle was a mess of twisted metal, flames greedily consumed it and destroyed the fragile dreams she had been building.
Neighbors from surrounding bungalows were running for the driveway. Someone was yelling for help. Someone else noted in hysteria that there was a body in the vehicle. And all Bailey could do was stand there, her fists clenched in the sheet, her soul shattered.
This was what she got for wishing, for hoping. This was what Bailey Serborne got for dreaming.
He could hear screams. A woman’s screams, Bailey’s. The sound of her cries tore through the night as he dragged his eyes opened and fought to roll to his side.
He struggled to turn, blinking against the mud that covered his eyes and rain that poured over his face. As his vision finally cleared he focused on the hell that had been the driveway, and saw his partner, Guy Warner.
He was racing from his car to the Land Rover. The agent had a curiously smug expression on his face. And there was Bailey, wrapped in a sheet, screaming for Trent.
It was too late, Guy had already found him. He fought past the constriction in his chest, tried to think, to find the closest route to Bailey when he saw Guy move to her. She threw herself in his arms.
Trent blinked as his vision began to blur. He fought to refocus, watched then as another agency vehicle pulled up and one of the American SEALs that had worked this last op with himself and Bailey moved into view.
His gaze blurred again even as he fought it.
The night began to close around him, to smother him in darkness.
“Easy there Trent.” He was caught before he hit the ground and fought to struggle.
“Hold up,” a dark male voice hissed. “We’ve got this one covered buddy.”
Trent tried to shake his head, to make sense of what was going on. He recognized the voice, he just couldn’t place it.
“Bailey,” he groaned.
“Bailey’s covered. Let’s move out.”
He couldn’t see. His vision swam with colors that didn’t make sense. His skin burned like fire, like acid. He felt singed from the inside out.
“Bailey,” he groaned her name again as he fought the hands that forced him to move.
Bailey. He’d left her there. He’d promised to return. The first woman he’d ever promised to return to.
“Bailey’s safe.” Reno. That was his name. Reno Chavez. Navy SEAL. Part of the SEAL team working within the joint American/Australian operation they had conducted.
Dizziness washed over him again. Darkness covered him like a layer of ice. He couldn’t fight it this time. He couldn’t halt the tide of nothingness that washed over him and dragged him under.
He could feel death moving over him despite his battle against it. The breath stilled in his chest, fury rocked through him. Warbucks. The bastard had managed to defeat him before the battle had ever begun.