Authors: Elle Kennedy
the Thrilling First Book in
Killer Instincts Series
“If you’re looking for a chilling, hard-core romantic suspense loaded with sensuality, military camaraderie, and dry humor, why not arrange for a
“Talk about your kick-ass heroines. . . . Kennedy kicks off a gritty and thrilling new romantic suspense series with a heroine who is every bit as lethal as her hero. This launch novel sets up a reluctant partnership between two mercenary groups with deadly reputations: one all female, the other all male. The action is raw and deadly, and the passion sizzling. Romantic suspense just gained a major new player!”
“Romantic suspense fans will want to get ahold of this book! . . . Elle Kennedy, please write faster!”
—The Book Pushers
“With its dark, edgy tone, passionate love story, and deadly protagonists,
is a surefire win for fans of romantic suspense.”
“This was a very good romantic suspense. It had all the right elements that I look for in a book like this. The hot alpha men. The strong women they pair up with.”
—Fiction Vixen Book Reviews
“Anybody looking for action, intensity, and passion will love this novel.” —The Book Whisperer
“With a large cast of colorful characters, multiple intertwined plot threads, and sick, twisted villains,
is a high-stakes story about overcoming the darkest, most depraved side of humanity. Fans will be eager to see what Ms. Kennedy has in store for her mercenaries.”
—Shannon K. Butcher, award-winning author of the Edge series
Praise for Elle Kennedy
and Her Novels
“A must read.”
—Fallen Angels Reviews
“An undeniably erotic story. . . . The sex scenes are incredible and the characters are compelling . . . a great read!”
“A top-notch tale.”
“Elle Kennedy makes her characters sexy, lovable, and realistic.”
“[A] heart-wrenching, sensual story that will make you laugh and cry as the characters come to life before your very eyes. . . . This is one emotional roller-coaster ride you don’t want to miss.”
—Long and Short Reviews
Also Available in the Killer Instincts Series
A KILLER INSTINCTS NOVEL
Published by New American Library, a division of
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA
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First published by Signet Eclipse, an imprint of New American Library,
a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Copyright © Leeanne Kenedy, 2013
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.
If you purchased this book without a cover you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”
For my family
This book was definitely a challenge to write, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the invaluable assistance of my editor, Jesse Feldman, who whipped the story into shape with her astute comments and constant encouragement.
Special thanks to my research assistant and early reader, Amanda, for all her help and support; to readers Fatin and Heather, for their feedback, enthusiasm, and sheer awesomeness; and major high fives to my amazing circle of friends for letting me bounce plot ideas off them and talk their ears off, and for giving me pep talks whenever the writer’s block settled in!
“This is boring as fuck,” Luke Dubois declared as he flopped down on the couch. His weight caused the cushions to bounce, which in turn woke up Trevor Callaghan, who was sprawled on the other end of the brown leather sofa.
Looking alert despite having just been jarred from slumber, Trevor tossed a crooked grin in Luke’s direction. “Not every mission means hanging off a helicopter and shooting shit up, squid.”
Luke bristled at the patronizing nickname—Trevor never failed to dis the navy, Mr. Army man that he was—but a part of him was actually happy to be insulted. It’d been far too long since he’d seen Trevor so lighthearted. When Trev had rejoined the team six months ago, he’d looked like a zombie. Scruffy, moody, dead inside. It had taken the man a year and a half to get over the loss of his fiancée, but he was finally on the right track. He’d cut his hair, burned the beach bum outfits, taught his facial muscles how to smile again. It was good to have him back, even if Trevor’s leadership skills annoyed the hell out of Luke sometimes. If Morgan had made Luke team leader on this gig, they’d be storming Vince Angelo’s club. But Trevor had always preferred the cautious approach. Also known as the
“This isn’t even a mission,” Luke countered. “All we do is watch.”
A third voice joined the mix, this one boasting an Australian accent and a whole lot of scorn.
“Don’t you even think of complaining, mate,” Sullivan Port said as he strode into the living room in nothing but a towel. The white terry cloth, hanging low on the guy’s hips, was way too small for that huge body of his. Sullivan was six-three, with broad shoulders and a heavy chest, and he constantly seemed to be strolling around half-naked. Maybe it was an Australian thing.
get to watch naked girls every night,” Sullivan added. “
watch the building. Naked girls is my job. Tell me, how is that fair?”
Luke couldn’t argue. Of all the men on Jim Morgan’s mercenary team, Sullivan probably did have the greatest appreciation for the female form, and no matter where the guy was, he always managed to find a hot, eager girl ready for a lay. Not that Luke was hurting for female company himself, but Sullivan was a whole different league of player. Luke once watched a prostitute in Amsterdam offer to pay
to go upstairs with her. If Sully weren’t such a cocky rub-it-in-your-face type, Luke might even call him his hero.
“Morgan is punishing me,” Sullivan went on, crossing the parquet floor toward the kitchen. He disappeared behind the enormous refrigerator door, then reappeared with a beer bottle, towel flapping against his thighs as he returned to the living area. When he plopped down on the armchair across from the sofa, both Luke and Trevor shielded their eyes.
“Whoa, fix that towel, man,” Luke ordered.
“Fix it?” Trevor echoed. “No, go put clothes on instead. For the love of God, this isn’t a frat house.”
Sullivan shrugged. “I like having a cold beer after a shower.” He grinned. “If my cock makes you feel inferior, that’s not my fault.”
There, it was official. This was not a mission. When grown men started talking about each other’s cocks, it meant things were bad.
Stifling a yawn, Luke focused on the wall of floor-to-ceiling windows flooding the loft with sunlight. He couldn’t wait for the sun to set. Once that happened, the three of them could relieve Holden and D and get the hell out of this apartment, which was ironic because as safe houses went, this Tribeca loft might actually be the sweetest digs the team had ever used.
Three thousand square feet, the place boasted fourteen-foot cathedral ceilings, oversize windows, and an open-concept layout using wood beams and exposed brick. The kitchen was top-notch, spilling onto a formal dining room, and the luxurious living room offered L-shaped leather couches, overstuffed armchairs, and a massive stone fireplace. Not to mention the three enormous bedrooms, private terrace, amazing sound system . . . Morgan must have shelled out some big bucks to secure this place for the month.
Unfortunately, the novelty of this sweet loft was beginning to wear off. Luke was tired of sleeping all day. Pretty tired of doing shit-all at night too, but at least it beat being cooped up indoors. He wasn’t made for indoors. He needed action. Excitement.
Battling another burst of impatience, he swiped a pack of Marlboros from the coffee table and headed for the glass sliding door that opened onto the terrace. He lit up, opened the door, and blew a cloud of smoke into the cool evening air.