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About the author:
Riley Blake writes mysteries, thrillers, and suspense. In addition to writing her own novels slated for release in late 2015/early 2016, Riley enjoys writing for Amazon’s Kindle Worlds. When Riley isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, going to garage sales, and redecorating her home with thrifty items. An animal lover, Riley has a potbelly pig, a few dogs, a couple of horses, and a chicken named Lord Wings.
What inspired you to write your book?
A writer for several Kindle Worlds novels and novellas, I was looking for another series to add to current Kindle Worlds projects and ran across Tiffany Snow’s Kathleen Turner books. After reading her first novel No Turning Back, I was hooked and couldn’t wait to start writing for her series at Kindle Worlds.
Here is a short sample from the book:
“Mr. Galloway?” She walked toward the large desk in the room’s center. “Your receptionist told me it was okay to come on up.”
Seated in an executive chair, Galloway faced the window. At first Kathleen thought he might have been on the phone, but after noticing it was cradled on its stand, she asked, “Um…should I come back?”
“No.” Galloway’s deep baritone voice was somewhat recognizable but she couldn’t place it by the simple one-word response. The leatherback chair slowly swiveled around. It was as if the man seated there had thought out this moment and wanted to set up the right scene. Almost cobalt-blue in color, his eyes twinkled as he tucked steepled fingers under his chin.
Kathleen’s heart raced as soon as she saw him. Her next breath caught in her chest. What was he doing here?
Full lips twitched before a slow smile crept across them, but the grin contradicted the tight expression on his face, the coolness in his hypnotic gaze.
Kathleen stared back at the man who had saved her from what could’ve been the worst night of her life. Given the look on his face, he may have been revisiting recent memories, too. His recollections were probably in line with what happened after he saved her.
She fidgeted. Smoothing her hands across her ordinary black skirt, she looked at him spot-on and waited for him to speak. At that moment, his blue-hot gaze dipped and his tongue swept across a too-noticeable mouth.
“Hello, princess.” This time his smile lit up the room. “I’ve been expecting you.”
“You seem surprised.” His voice was calm, collected. Then again, Kade held the advantage. He’d received notice in plenty of time to place the bait and set the trap.
Thanks to his buddy Terrance, who had been keeping an eye on Kathleen, he’d known of her plans as soon as she’d made them. Kathleen was in the market for a new job. As it happened, Kade possessed the necessary experience to stand in for a man who needed a helping hand. With the tracks placed, all he had to do was assume the role of the conductor and wait for the trip of a lifetime to begin.
“Nothing surprises me anymore,” Kathleen said, looking less than disappointed. “But you clearly expected to see me.” She tilted her head. “Or did you arrange this from the start?”
He took a deep breath, debating on how much he should tell her. “Call it fate.”
“Manipulation is a better word.”
“If you say so,” he said, appreciating the banter between them.
“Let me guess. You—and maybe Blane—have someone watching me.”
Her accusation was accurate, but how did Kade tell Kathleen that her so-called boyfriend, his big brother Blane, wasn’t exactly an obsessive fuck when it came to keeping her safe?
That honor belonged to Kade.
“How have you been?” she asked
Instead of answering, he remained quiet, observing her as she squirmed. Watching her in uncomfortable situations had become a hobby. If his brother hadn’t been involved with her, Kade wouldn’t have asked Terrance to watch over her. However, given the circumstances—her intimate relationship with Blane and the way Kade felt about that—he called in a favor. He couldn’t stand by and watch Kathleen and Blane together.
They were wrong for one another.
“Hello?” She waved her hand in front of his face. “Are you all right?”
Her pitched voice jerked Kade from his thoughts. She stepped closer to his desk. Staring up, he tried not to give a too-intimate assessment, the kind that sent his gaze traveling up and down and side to side. “Yes?”
“I asked ‘how you’ve been’ but you didn’t answer me.”
“How do I look like I’ve been?” Kade clasped his hands over his stomach as he studied her. He was tired, sexually frustrated, and staring at the lone reason for his sleepless nights. And things might get a lot worse.
“And you look…” He sucked in a quick breath. She looked hot as hell. Dressed in a tailored navy suit, Kathleen wore her straight skirt too short and her bone-white shirt way too tight. Flaunting assets had always been Kathleen’s style but she somehow managed to pull it off with a hint of innocence and a touch of class.
The average man wouldn’t assume she’d dressed to impress. Kade, however, was not an average man.
“Lovely,” he bit out. He immediately cringed. His response didn’t even sound like something he’d say. This meeting was not going as planned.
Kathleen kept her distance but Kade didn’t think it was as easy as she made it appear. Closing the space between them, she indicated a chair opposite the desk. “May I?”
He pulled a stack of documents from his fax machine and set them aside. “Yes, please. You and I have a lot to discuss.”
“Why don’t we start with why you left me alone in that motel room?” She paused, fidgeted again, and then blasted him by saying, “After everything we’d been through, after what you…stopped…how could you? You left me alone in a roadside motel.”
“Be very careful, Kathleen,” Kade warned, standing. He chose his new position next to the floor-to-ceiling window. Below his office, downtown Indianapolis buzzed with typical city activity. Between those four walls, however, time stood still. “The questions you ask may lead to answers you can’t handle.”
He heard the slight hitch in her chest as she sucked in a ragged breath. He recognized it well, had heard it on several occasions. One such time stood out, the time when he’d kissed her at that ridiculous club where she occasionally worked nights.
His lips twitched as he thought of their kiss and his upcoming request. Actually, it was more like a demand, a job requirement. She’d view it as an ultimatum, which was fair enough. If she worked for him, she wouldn’t have time to sling beer mugs.
Her new position at Galloway and Associates would require her undivided attention. Besides, she couldn’t exactly bartend if she worked for Kade. It was a matter of logistics.
Sure it is.
He looked away from the window and studied Kathleen. She was too damn pretty and sexy as hell. To add to her appeal, she was smart and crazy-courageous to boot. The last two attributes held true value for someone like Kade, an assassin-for-hire and former FBI agent.
Realizing she hadn’t made a sound, he asked, “Speechless now, are you?”
“No,” she said, defiance in her voice. “I can handle whatever needs to be handled.”
“I doubt that,” he said, smirking. Where Kathleen was concerned, his mind often stayed in the gutter.
Her nostrils flared and she took a deep breath, one filled with clear agitation. “That’s not what I meant.”
“You and I don’t always interpret things the same way.”
“Knock it off, Kade,” she said firmly. “Please.” Her tone changed. “I need to know what happened that night. I want the truth. Why’d you leave?”
Damn. She’s still stuck in the past.
“Who called you?” she continued. “Why didn’t you come back to the room?”
“Blane.” Kade walked around the desk and sat next to her. “My brother.” He added the obvious and said it with attitude and meaning, driving home a specific point. “But you knew that already.” She started to speak so he hurriedly added, “And I didn’t leave you. I took the call. When I returned to the room, you were asleep. I watched over you until Blane came to relieve me of…” Pure torture. Man hell.
“Of what?” She looked pissed for some reason. “Why not say what you mean, Kade? You mean your duties, your unwanted job as my protector, right?”
“I see someone didn’t leave their flying broom and cape at home today.”
“You owe me an explanation.”
“That’s one thing I don’t owe you.” He could be a crass bastard when necessary, but he probably wouldn’t get very far with Kathleen if he didn’t smooth things over. “Fine. I’ll play it your way. What’s with all the questions?”
She went pale. “Never mind. It’s not important.”
“It must be,” he said carefully, wrapping a lock of her hair around his forefinger and fixating on the silken strand glistening in the light. Touching her, just for a second, was like a caress to the soul.
“I…just… wanted to know if you left me.”
“Now you know,” he said, watching the lock fall away from his finger. “I didn’t.”
To his surprise, she grabbed his wrist. “Then why didn’t you wake me up when you came back? Why didn’t you stay once Blane arrived? Why didn’t you say goodbye? It’s the least you could’ve done. Why didn’t you—”
“Pick up where I left off?” he suggested, staring down at her delicate fingers.
How could she sleep with his brother at night and turn to him with questions about days that didn’t matter, an affair that didn’t happen? Since she’d waded into those treacherous waters, perhaps he should see how far the fearless little princess was willing to swim.
He lifted her hand to his mouth and nuzzled her palm. He then left a path of gentle kisses from her wrist to her forearm. “Do you really want me to put you in this position, Kathleen?”
“What position?” She gulped. “You mean the job or….?”
“Job, hell.” He deliberately lowered his gaze and stared at her cleavage. “We both know I’m not talking about the job right now.”