Category Archives: HQ: Texas

[Review] Spy In The Saddle by Dana Marton

Spy In The Saddle    

by Dana Marton

Publication date: November 1, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Intrigue

<div style=”font-size:11px”>Publication date: 05/01/2013</div>Series: HQ: Texas # 6
Pages: 224

Back of the book

Two agents must work together without letting a tense past—and a sizzling new attraction—disrupt their most important mission in Dana Marton’s HQ: Texas miniseries

It’s been ten years since soldier Shep Lewis laid eyes on delinquent-turned-FBI agent Lilly Tanner, and this time they have an even bigger problem than each other: terrorists. In the center of a smuggling operation, Shep and Lilly must partner up and protect each other.

Not even their undercover identities can mask the mounting attraction between the pair as they struggle to survive in the merciless Texas borderlands. Can they put the past behind them and focus on the mission at hand? Or will their partnership reignite the flames of their untapped passions?  



Pre-order Spy In The Saddle

AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE | HARLEQUIN | BAM! 


HQ: Texas series reading order


LAST SPY STANDING

SPY HARD

THE SPY WORE SPURS

MOST ELIGIBLE SPY

MY SPY

SPY IN THE SADDLE

    


My Review: 

4.5 Star Review – Spy In The Saddle (HQ: Texas # 6)

I recommend this book.

I enjoyed this book by Dana.  This book includes passion, laughs, heartache, kidnappings, murder, betrayal and a few gun fights.

If you have not read the below I would recommend reading those books first from “HQ: Texas” series.
LAST SPY STANDING
SPY HARD
THE SPY WORE SPURS
MOST ELIGIBLE SPY
 MY SPY


Shep Lewis, an undercover operative, is working a case on tracking smugglers.  The team he is on has learned the FBI is sending an agent to help them.  When the Agent arrives Shep is stunned.  He was Lilly Tanners parole officer years ago.  She got him fired after setting his house on fire, stealing his car, and sending emails to him. 

This is who the FBI wants them to work with a “delinquent”?  He is pissed off.  She is hot and he is attracted to her and does not want to be.
Top it off they have to work together as a team and have each other’s back. 
Lilly has stayed out of trouble for years.  She worked her way up the ranks at the FBI and can protect herself.  She does not need Shep but boy does she want him…
 
Lilly gets a job in the Bar they are staking out singing so she can be there each night and watch the players they think are involved with the case.  Shep pretends to be her boyfriend.  As they both want the kisses and touches more each time they are running into trouble keeping it impersonal.
When they end up in bed he apologies and she punches him in the face.  When the other guys on the team see the bruise they wonder exactly what the hell happened.  Which makes working together that much harder. 
 
When Lilly goes missing Shep is beside himself trying to find her before something bad happens.  When she calls him to lure him into a trap but gives off clues he knows he needs to save her.  He arrives and calls for the backup that is needed but is hit with a dart and is kidnapped too…

Now who is going to save the day?  Will they try getting help from the team or have to help themselves? When Lilly lets Shep know the other reason she is in town to check out the team he feels betrayed.  Will Shep be able to overcome the betrayal and forgive Lilly for not telling him sooner?  

 
 
    
The chemistry between these two is like a fire that burns bright and hot!  Lilly is funny and sweet at the same time. I love how she is not afraid to step up and lay a smack down on Shep.  Shep is all protective male.  Once Lilly lays down the law he better damn well follow!!  Dana delivers another winner.  Very good read.   


 
Look forward to the next book in this series.

A few of my favorite parts:

Shep lay next to her, spent and stunned, staring at the ceiling. A part of his world had shattered and he didn’t know how to piece it back together, didn’t know how to process what had just happened between them.

It had seemed so right, so easy. Yet now, as sanity returned, he had to seriously reevaluate his actions. He had to take responsibility for the way he’d lost control.

“I didn’t come up with this in mind, I swear.”

She made some sleepy sounds. “I’m not complaining.”

Yet the fact remained that he hadcome up to her hotel room and made love to her. She’d been tired after work and…confused. He’d taken advantage of her. That was the way Jamie would see it. And Mitch. He winced.

He had no idea how to make this right.

“Marry me,” he blurted as he looked at her and tried hard not to want her again, tried and failed. His body was stirring already. Insanity.

She turned to him, wide-eyed and a lot more awake now, as a succession of emotions crossed her face. “What?”

“Jamie and Mitch are going to kill me for this.”

Her eyes narrowed. “Did you just ask me to marry you because of Jamie and Mitch?”

He looked at her miserably.

She sat up in the bed. “Get out,” she bit out the words. “I want you to leave.”

He sat up, too. “I should have protected you. Even from myself—”

She growled as she punched him.




The familiar voice flooded her with relief. “Shep? I’m stuck in here. Can you help?”

“Give me a minute.”

He sounded strange, slow and dazed. Was he injured? Maybe they’d beaten him before they’d tossed him in the back of the truck with her. That would explain why he hadn’t responded to her banging before. Maybe he’d been beaten unconscious. “Are you okay?”

A moment of silence followed, then, “What are you doing in there?”

All the frustration inside her surged to the front. “Getting a pedicure. What do you think?”

“Okay,” he said after a minute. “Move away from the lid.”

She flattened herself to the bottom of the container and pulled some feedbags on top of her.

Was he going to try to shoot the padlock off? She didn’t think Brian and Tank would have let him keep his weapon. They’d certainly taken everything she had.

Bang!

Then suddenly the lid popped up, and Shep was there, gripping it with one hand while holding a fire extinguisher with the other. He blinked at her slowly, looking out of this world stoned, his irises wide, his movements not altogether coordinated.

“When did Brian give youa roofie?” She sat up, grateful to be able to breathe freely at last, every muscle in her body aching. Her clothes stuck to her with sweat, but she was uninjured, miraculously. She climbed out, with his help.

“Bull tranquilizer,” he said, his eyes glazed over. “I pulled it out, so I don’t think I got the full dosage.”

“Thank God.” The full dosage might have killed him. “Brian slipped me a roofie,” she told him.

He scanned her with thunder on his face, reaching for her hands.

“Not for that purpose,” she said, to ease his obvious worries. “Just so they could move me around easier.” But his touch felt nice, so she didn’t pull away for a few seconds.



Contact Info for Dana Marton

 

About Dana:

Dana Marton writes fast-paced action-adventure romances that take her readers all over the globe. She is a Rita Award finalist and the winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence. She loves writing stories of intrigue, filled with dangerous plots that try her tough-as-nails heroes and the special women they fall in love with. Her books have been published in seven languages in eleven countries around the world.
She would love to hear from her readers.   
Okay, the above version is the glamour version for press releases. The truth is that my path to publication was nothing but unglamorous. I wrote for 13 years and completed 4 books (as well as having others in various stages of completion) before I finally received a call from a Harlequin editor. I was beginning to wonder if I was being tenacious or just too dense to know when to quit. But it all worked out at the end! J I love, love, love writing and would spend all day in front of the computer if I could just break my family of the habit of wanting to eat and wear clean clothes. What’s up with that? But I must get up from the desk now and then, if only because my Internet connection goes down or my ancient PC overheats. Then I do enjoy cooking, knitting, hunting for treasures at the flea market, our Beagle, Peanut the Destroyer, and gardening.

I’d love it if you picked up one of my books and emailed me to tell me what you thought of it. I’ve been known to name characters after readers. Just ask Princess Judi. 

Connect with Dana:
 

Read an Excerpt

As Shep Lewis, undercover commando, strode into his team’s office trailer on the Texas-Mexico border with his morning coffee, his bad mood followed him. To do anything right, a person had to give his all—and he did, to each and every op. But it didn’t seem to make a difference with his current mission.

He adjusted his Bluetooth as Keith Gunn, one of his teammates—currently on border patrol—talked on the other end. They all took turns monitoring a hundred-mile stretch along the Rio Grande, in pairs.

“Do you think they’ll really send in the National Guard to seal the border?”

“They won’t,” Shep said between his teeth. “It would just delay the problem.” For some reason, the powers that be didn’t see that the National Guard was a terrible solution, which frustrated him to hell and back.

His six-man team had credible intelligence that terrorists with their weapons of mass destruction would be smuggled across somewhere around here, on October first—five short days away. His team’s primary mission was to prevent that. Switching out players for the last five minutes of the game was a terrible strategy.

They had the exact date of the planned border breach. If they could somehow discover the exact location, they could lie in wait and grab those damned terrorists as they crossed the river. The bastards would never know what hit them.

The National Guard coming in to seal the border could not be hidden, however. Which meant the terrorists would move their crossing to a different place at a different time and might slip through undetected. The sad fact was, even the National Guard didn’t have the kind of manpower to keep every single mile of the entire U.S. border permanently sealed.

“The op has to be small enough to keep undercover to succeed,” he said, even if Keith knew that as well as he did.

“Except, we don’t have the exact location for their crossing.”

“We will.” But he silently swore. They were running out of time, and the stakes couldn’t have been higher—national security and the lives of thousands.

There could be no more mistakes, no distractions. They had five days to stop the biggest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11. Failure wasn’t an option.

Keith cleared his throat. “The FBI’s guy will be here today.”

“Don’t remind me.” Frustration punched through Shep. Everybody seemed to have a sudden urge to meddle. “Where are you?”

“Coming in. Ryder’s cutting the shift short. He wanted to talk to the whole team at the office.”

“More good news?”

“He didn’t say. We’ll be there in ten.”

They ended the call as Shep strode through the empty office that held their desks and equipment, passed by the interrogation room to the left, then team leader Ryder McKay’s office. Ryder had been on border patrol this morning with Keith.

Voices filtered out from the break room in the back, so Shep kept going that way.

“She burned down his house, stole his car and got him fired from his job.” Jamie Cassidy’s voice reached him through the partially closed door.

Okay, that sounded disturbingly familiar. Shep’s fingers tightened on the foam cup in his hand as he paused midstep, on the verge of entering. His mood slipped another notch as old memories rushed him. He shook them off. No distractions.

“She broke his heart,” Jamie added.

All right, that’s enough. Shep shoved the door open, maybe harder than he’d intended.

He stepped into the room just as Ray Armstrong said in a mocking tone, “Must have been some love affair.” He glanced over and grinned. “Hey, Shep.”

Shep shot a cold glare at the three men, all hardened commando soldiers: Jamie, Ray and Moses Mann.

The latter two had the good sense to look embarrassed at being caught gossiping like a bunch of teenage girls. Jamie just grinned and reached back to the fridge behind him for an energy drink.

The fridge and wall-to-wall cabinets filled up the back of the break room, a microwave and coffee machine glinting in the corner. In front of the men, high-resolution satellite printouts covered the table.

This close to D-day, they didn’t take real breaks anymore. They worked around the clock, would do whatever it took to succeed.

Yesterday’s half-eaten pizza, which they were apparently resurrecting as breakfast, sat to the side. Jamie pushed it farther out of the way as he lifted the drink to his mouth with one hand while he finished marking something on one of the printouts with a highlighter.

“So—” He looked at Shep when he was finished, too cheerful by half. “Want to tell us about her?”

Shep stepped closer, in a way that might or might not be interpreted as threatening. They’d all been frustrated to the limit lately, and a good fight would let off a lot of pressure. “I liked you better when you were a morose bastard.”

Ray leaned back in his chair. “He’s mellowed a lot since hooking up with the deputy sheriff.” He turned to Jamie. “She’s definitely changing you, man.”

And not to his advantage, Shep wanted to add, but that wasn’t entirely true, so he didn’t say it.

Jamie didn’t seem concerned about the perceived mellowing. A soft look came over his face as he capped his highlighter. “Love changes everything.”

“Really?” Shep narrowed his gaze at them. “Four of the roughest, toughest commandos in the country and we’re going to sit around talking about love? What the hell? Are we still part of the top secret Special Designation Defense Unit, or is this now the Wrecked by Cupid Team? Have changes been made while I’ve been out?”

He believed in true love. He’d seen it work; his parents had had it. But he also knew that—like anything else important—it only worked if you gave it your all. People like him, and the other guys on his team, could never do that.

He wasn’t the type to do things halfway, anyway. He either charged full steam ahead or wouldn’t even start. Love just wasn’t in the cards for him.

“Romance is the kind of—” he began, trying to be the voice of reason.

But Mo gave a warning cough.

He would. He was another recent, unfortunate casualty.

He looked Shep straight in the eye. “Love is nothing to be ashamed of.”

Shep wished the best for him and Jamie, but in his heart of hearts, he had doubts about their long-term chances. Yet what right did he have to be discouraging? He laughed it off. “It’s sad to see battle-hardened soldiers turn sappy.” He shook his head, looking to Ray for support, a good laugh or some further needling in Jamie’s direction.

But, in a stunning display of betrayal, Ray turned against him. “So what’s this about your psycho girlfriend?” he asked between two bites of cold pizza, sitting a head taller than anyone else in the room.

If Mo was built like a tank, Ray was built like a marauding Viking—his true ancestry. Jamie, between them, was the lean and lithe street fighter.

They didn’t intimidate Shep one bit. “We’re not talking about me.”

A roundhouse kick to Jamie, then vault on Ray, knock him—chair and everything—into Mo. That would put an end to all the smirking.

Except that Ryder, the team leader, had forbidden fighting in the office after an unfortunate incident when they’d first set up headquarters here. As it turned out, even though the reinforced trailer was bulletproof, the office furniture, in fact, was not indestructible.

So Shep threw Jamie only a glare instead of a punch that would have been way more satisfying. “She was a kid, all right? I wasn’t her boyfriend. I was her parole officer. End of story.”

“He never pressed charges,” Jamie told Mo under his breath in a meaningful tone, obviously in the mood to make trouble this morning.

Shep threw his empty coffee cup at him. “Didn’t anybody ever teach you to mind your own business?”

Jamie easily ducked the foam missile. “How about you tell us about her and then it’ll all be out in the open? It’d be good to know what we’re dealing with here.”

When they built ski resorts in hell and handed out free lift passes.

“Any reason we’re discussing Lilly Tanner this morning?” Saying her name only made him flinch a little. His eyes didn’t even twitch anymore when he thought of her.

Ray suddenly busied himself with the printouts on the table. Jamie had a look of anticipatory glee on his face.

A cold feeling spread in Shep’s stomach. “How did her name come up?”

He’d made the mistake of mentioning her to Jamie when they’d been on patrol together a while back. He hadn’t expected that she would become the topic of break-room discussion. Jamie wouldn’t have brought her up for gossip’s sake. But then why?

“She’s the consultant the FBI is sending in,” Mo said with some sympathy. He might have been built like a tank, but he did have a good heart.

Shep stared, his mind going numb. Individually, all of Mo’s words made sense. But having them together in a sentence defied comprehension. “Has to be a different Lilly Tanner.”

The one he’d known over a decade ago had been a hellcat. He’d always figured she would end up a criminal mastermind or an out-of-control rock star—she had the brains and deviousness for the first, the voice and the looks for the second.

Jamie tapped the highlighter on the table and grinned. “She’s the one. I checked when I heard the name.”

He didn’t like the new, cheerful Jamie. He was used to the pre-love morose Jamie who could curdle milk with just a look. As a good undercover commando should.

The only thing he liked less at the moment was the thought of Lilly Tanner reappearing in his life. The possibility caused a funny feeling in his chest. “They’ll have to send someone else.”

“Unlikely.” Ray grimaced. “We’ve been read the riot act.”

“Sorry about that.” Jamie had the decency to look apologetic at least. “My bad.”

He’d crossed the border and taken out someone he’d thought to be the Coyote, the crime boss who set up the transfer of terrorists into the U.S. Except the man Jamie had shot had been a plant. The Coyote had gotten away, and the Mexican government was having a fit over a U.S. commando entering their sovereign territory.

Hell, none of the team blamed Jamie. But now the FBI was sending in their own man.. woman.

Shep closed his eyes for a pained second.

His team would either stop those terrorists from entering the country with their chemical weapons or die trying. The last thing they needed was the FBI meddling and putting roadblocks in their way at the eleventh hour.

Ray shrugged. “D.C. city girl coming to the big bad borderlands. Give her a few days and she’ll be running back to her office, crying.”

Shep swallowed the groan pushing up his throat. The Lilly Tanner he’d known didn’t run crying to anyone. He was about to tell them that, but gravel crunched outside as a car pulled up, then another.

“Ryder and Keith are coming in early,” he told the others. Maybe Jamie was wrong. Their leader would have the correct information.

Keith, the youngest on the team, came through the door first, tired and rumpled after a long night on the border. He did the best with people they caught sneaking over. One of his grandfathers was Mexican. He had the look and spoke the language like a native. People told him things they wouldn’t have told the rest of the team.

He looked around and apparently picked up on the tension in the air because he raised a black eyebrow.

“What’s wrong?”

Shep couldn’t bring himself to answer. He sank into the nearest chair and reached for a slice of cardboard pizza, then stared at it for a second. He wasn’t even hungry.

“The FBI agent who’s coming… She’s a woman,”

Mo said. “She’s—”

Ryder pushed in. “I was just talking to the Colonel, too. Lilly Tanner. Isn’t it great?”

Shep’s jaw tightened. “How do you know about Lilly?” He shot a dark look at Jamie. Couldn’t he keep his mouth shut?

But Jamie shrugged with wide-eyed innocence.

“She’s Mitch Mendoza’s sister,” Ryder said.

A moment of confused silence passed as the men looked at each other, processing the unexpected information.

Jamie spoke first. “The one he’s been looking for?”

His sister was married to Mendoza, so this was family business for him. “I thought her name was Cindy.”

“Got changed at one point along the way. You can ask her all about it when she gets here.”

Mo clapped Jamie on the back. “Hey, that makes her your sister-in-law, doesn’t it?”

A stunned smile spread on Jamie’s face as he nodded. “Kind of. Yeah.”

Ryder headed to the back for coffee. “Mitch found her just recently. Different name and everything, but it’s definitely his sister. They had the DNA test done to confirm it.”

Shep rubbed his temple where a headache pulsed to life suddenly.

Mitch Mendoza, another member of the SDDU, Special Designation Defense Unit, the large team that Shep’s smaller group belonged to, came from a family destroyed by drugs. He’d been a teenager when his father had sold his little sister for coke. Mitch had been looking for her ever since.

And now he’d found her at last.

Except that through some bizarre turn of events, Mitch’s Cindy Mendoza was Shep’s Lilly Tanner. Shep swallowed. And she was coming here.

He tried to remember if he had any aspirin in his desk drawer. “They’ll have to send someone else.”

Jamie lifted an eyebrow, a warning look forming on his face. “She’s my family,” he said, in case somehow Shep didn’t get that.

He did. Shoot me now.

“She can’t be my Lilly Tanner. There must be a hundred Lilly Tanners out there.” He stubbornly clung to denial.

“She’s yours.” Jamie extinguished that hope with ruthless efficiency. “I ran a background check on her when I got the name. Right age. Came from the juvie system. Right city.”

Shep pushed to his feet.

“Where are you going?” Mo wanted to know.

“Taking a break.” He needed an hour at the gym.

He needed a little time to clear his mind so he could focus fully on his work. His thoughts were all over the place, and he had plenty to get done today.

No distractions. He had to erase the picture that filled his mind: the seventeen-year-old bundle of holy terror that had made him quit the juvenile justice system. Sort of. Okay, fine, they fired him because of her.

But even as he moved toward the fridge to grab a bottle of water to go, another car pulled up outside. A throaty engine rumbled, sounding nothing like the team’s SUVs. A car door slammed.

He had a hollow feeling in his stomach.

The urge to run hit him, but he stood immobilized as he listened to heels clicking on the floor in the main office area. On reflex, he cataloged the weapons within range: his gun at his hip, his backup firearm in the ankle holster, the knife in his pocket.

Then the door swung open and a pair of familiar devil-black eyes, fringed with thick lashes, scanned the break room before they zeroed in on him.

Oh, holy hell. She was definitely his Lilly Tanner.

Yet she was nothing like the girl he remembered.

Her full lips stretched into a smile that made Ray stare openmouthed. Shep considered throwing the water bottle at the idiot to snap him out of it. Then he realized that the rest of them were just as bad, staring at her, more than a little dazed. Great.

“Good morning, gentlemen.” Her voice was a sexy purr, enough to make a man sit up and pay attention, nothing like the disdainful teenage tone Shep still heard sometimes in his nightmares.

She had stretched up and filled out, and somehow managed to look like a Playboy Playmate even in a straight-cut charcoal FBI suit. She wore her wild, dark curls pulled back into a no-nonsense bun, her five-inch heels a somber black, yet everything about her somehow spelled sex, which made Shep feel all wrong and uncomfortable.

She’d been his charge once. He was pretty sure he shouldn’t be standing there thinking how she was the hottest thing he’d ever seen.

Good thing he knew too much about her to fall for the new look. Hell, he even knew where her tattoos were—

He caught himself and tried to backpedal out of that thought. Too late. A strange heat flooded him.

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Filed under Dana Marton, Excerpt, Harlequin, HQ: Texas, Intrigue, Review, Synopsis

[Review] My Spy by Dana Marton

My Spy by Dana Marton

Publication date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Intrigue

<div style=”font-size:11px”>Publication date: 05/01/2013</div>Series: HQ: Texas
Pages: 440

Back of the book

2 Complete Novels for 1 Price!  

The stakes are higher and the danger is bigger in Dana Marton’s HQ: Texas miniseries. 


A mission gone wrong forced injured soldier Jamie Cassidy to start anew…and run right into the path of deputy sheriff Bree Tridle. The sassy, sexy Texan was as determined to uncover a local money-laundering scheme as Jamie was to keep her safe from the stalker hot on her trail. But Jamie, now an undercover operative, was also on a covert mission of his own: track smugglers threatening to bring terrorists into the U.S. Could Jamie’s and Bree’s cases be related? When a deadly attack on Bree’s home escalates the danger and their attraction, Jamie and Bree must face their enemies together to save not only their country, but their one chance at love. 
 

2 books in 1! Last Spy Standing also included in this book!

 


 

 

 

Pre-order My Spy


Amazon
 
B&N
 
Harlequin
 
BAM



HQ: Texas series reading order


LAST SPY STANDING

SPY HARD

THE SPY WORE SPURS

MOST ELIGIBLE SPY

MY SPY

SPY IN THE SADDLE

    


My Review: 

5.0 Star Review – My Spy (HQ: Texas # 5)

I recommend this book.

I enjoyed this book by Dana.  This book includes passion, laughs, heartache, a stalker, murder, handicapped characters and a bomb.

If you have not read the below I would recommend reading those books first from “HQ: Texas” series.

LAST SPY STANDING – this is included in this book 

SPY HARD

THE SPY WORE SPURS

MOST ELIGIBLE SPY

 


Jamie Cassidy, an undercover operative, is working a case on tracking smugglers.  He has to reveal his job when he almost gets arrested for spending a counterfeit bill he got from the bank on a book. 

Brianna ‘Bree’ Tridle, former beauty queen, now deputy sheriff takes him in custody.  She is working on a money-laundering case that could be related to Jamie’s case.

After Jamie is told to work with Bree he discovers that she is being stalked.  As their investigations continue the leads they get point back to each of their cases. 

As the stalker escalates the danger to Bree has Jamie in knots over his feelings and protectiveness to her and her sister. 

What is happening to the man who decided he never needed a woman?  As Bree is drawn closer to Jamie she is wondering if he will want her to choose between him and her sister.  

         
The chemistry between these two is explosive.  Bree is a cheerful sarcastic woman who is trying to keep her town free of crime and take care of her sister.  I love how Dana wrote Jamie’s character I totally love him.  The storyline in the bank where Jamie opens up a little about his feelings and his loss just about breaks your heart.  As tragic as Jamie’s back story is you can get an understanding of his feelings and concerns from it.  She totally cracked me up with him getting busted with the counterfeit bill while buying a book.  Well played Dana well played. Very good read.  


 
Look forward to the next book in this series.


Spy In The Saddle – Due out in November 2013

A few of my favorite parts:

 “I assume you didn’t go get stiches because you don’t have time, not because you’re scared of the needle?”
He shot her a dark look. He did that so well. Must have been part of his training.
“Why don’t I slap on some butterfly bandages, as long as we’re both here. Then you won’t have to go see a doc. You’ll save a ton of time that you could use to glare at people. I’d hate to see you slip off schedule.”
His eyes remained stoic, but the corner of his sculpted mouth twitched. “Make it quick.”


“I’m not asking. I’m telling you. Don’t involve yourself. Forget everything we’ve talked about earlier.”
“Or what?” A laugh escaped her and trilled along his nerve endings. “You’ll spank me? For heaven’s sake. I’m an officer of the law. I’m trained to handle myself.”
The visual of the spanking bit left him both speechless and breathless for a second.


“You know, we do have a public-indecency ordinance in place.  You seem to have a habit of going pant-less in public,” she remarked as she stood and squeezed water out of her hair and clothes. 
He glanced back as he got to his feet. “You going to arrest me for that?”
She sighed. “I kind of like it. Does that make me shallow?”
Surprise crossed his face, then a half smile formed. “You’re not what I expected.”

Contact Info for Dana Marton

About Dana:

Dana Marton writes fast-paced action-adventure romances that take her readers all over the globe. She is a Rita Award finalist and the winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence. She loves writing stories of intrigue, filled with dangerous plots that try her tough-as-nails heroes and the special women they fall in love with. Her books have been published in seven languages in eleven countries around the world.
She would love to hear from her readers.   
Okay, the above version is the glamour version for press releases. The truth is that my path to publication was nothing but unglamorous. I wrote for 13 years and completed 4 books (as well as having others in various stages of completion) before I finally received a call from a Harlequin editor. I was beginning to wonder if I was being tenacious or just too dense to know when to quit. But it all worked out at the end! J I love, love, love writing and would spend all day in front of the computer if I could just break my family of the habit of wanting to eat and wear clean clothes. What’s up with that? But I must get up from the desk now and then, if only because my Internet connection goes down or my ancient PC overheats. Then I do enjoy cooking, knitting, hunting for treasures at the flea market, our Beagle, Peanut the Destroyer, and gardening.

I’d love it if you picked up one of my books and emailed me to tell me what you thought of it. I’ve been known to name characters after readers. Just ask Princess Judi. 
 

Read an Excerpt

He had two weeks to gain the information he needed to stop terrorists with weapons of mass destruction from entering the country. But everything his six-man team had done so far had been a bust.

Undercover operative Jamie Cassidy sat with his back to the wall in the far corner at the Yellow Armadillo, a seedy, small-town bar on the backstreets of Pebble Creek, Texas. Country music streamed from overhead speakers; the place was dark and dingy, the food was fried within an inch of its life. But the beer was cold, the only nice thing that could be said about the joint.

“So you have no idea who the new boss is?” he asked the scrawny farmhand across the table.

Billy Brunswik fingered the rim of the tattered Stetson on his lap, his eyes on his empty glass. A cowboy tan left the top of his forehead white, the rest of his face several shades darker. His checkered blue shirt was wrinkled and smudged with dirt, as if he’d been wearing it for more than a day or two. He silently shook his head.

Jamie had his own cowboy hat and jeans and shirt to fit in, a far cry from his usual commando gear. In a place like this—a known hangout for smugglers—being spotted as a government man could quickly earn you a bullet in the back.

He waved the perky blonde waitress over for another round for Billy but didn’t return her flirty smile. His attention was on the man across the table. “It’s tough. Believe me, I know.” He waited until the waitress left. “In this economy, and they cut off work. Hell, what are you supposed to do? Who do you go to now?”

“Nobody knows nuthin’.” Billy set his empty glass down and wiped his upper lip with the back of his calloused hand, then pulled out a tin of chewing tobacco and tucked a pinch between gum and cheek. “I can barely buy groceries for the girlfriend and me, I’ll tell you that.”

Jamie watched him for a few seconds, then slid three twenties across the table. “I know how it is.”

Billy was on the cash like a duck on a june bug, the bills disappearing in a flat second. He looked around nervously, licking his crooked yellow front teeth. “I ain’t no snitch.”

Jamie gave a sympathetic nod. “A man has to live. And I ain’t asking for nothing that would get you in trouble. Just need enough to show the boss I’ve been working.” He shrugged, playing the halfhearted customs agent role.

Billy hung his head. “I do work a little,” he admitted. “When nobody’s lookin’. Just some weed.”

“Who do you kick up to?”

“Ain’t nobody there since Kenny.”

And no matter how hard Jamie pushed the down-on-his-luck farmhand after that, Billy didn’t give up anything. Although he did promise to get in touch if things changed.

Developing an asset was a slow and careful business.

Jamie left the man and strode across the bar, looking for familiar faces as he passed the rows of tables. The two border towns his team watched, Hullett and Pebble Creek, had their share of smugglers, most of them lying low these days. He didn’t recognize anyone here today.

He paid the waitress at the bar, stepped outside into the scorching heat then shoved his hat on his head and rubbed his eyes. He’d spent the night on border patrol, then most of the morning running down leads. His legs hurt. The doc at Walter Reed called it phantom-limb pain.

He resisted the urge to reach down and rub his prosthetic limbs. It did nothing for the pain, and he hated the feel of the cold steel where his legs should have been.

He strode up to Main Street, came out by the bank and drew a hundred out of the ATM while he was here, since Billy had cleaned him out. Then his gaze caught on the bookstore across the street. Maybe a good read would help him fall asleep. When on duty, his mind focused on work. But when he rested, memories of his dark past pushed their way back into his head. Sleep had a way of eluding him.

He cut across traffic and pushed inside the small indie bookstore, into the welcoming cool of air-conditioning, and strode straight to the mystery section. He picked out a hard-boiled detective story, then turned on his heels and came face-to-face with the woman of his dreams.

Okay, the woman of every red-blooded man’s dreams.

She was tall and curvy, with long blond hair swinging in a ponytail, startling blue eyes that held laughter and a mouth to kill or die for, depending on what she wished.

His mind went completely blank for a second, while his body sat up and took serious notice.

When his dreams weren’t filled with blood and torture and killing, they were filled with sex. He could still do the act—one thing his injury hadn’t taken away from him. But he didn’t allow himself. He didn’t want pity. Foreplay shouldn’t start with him taking off his prosthetics—the ultimate mood killer. And he definitely didn’t want the questions.

Hell, even he hated touching the damn things. Who wouldn’t? He wasn’t going to put himself through that humiliation. Wasn’t going to put a woman in a position where she’d have to start pretending.

But he dreamed, and his imagination made it good. The woman of his dreams was always the same, an amalgamation of pinup girls that had been burned into his brain during his adolescent years from various magazines he and his brothers had snuck into the house.

And now she was standing in front of him.

The pure, molten-lava lust that shot through his gut nearly knocked him off his feet. And aggravated the hell out of him. He’d spent considerable time suppressing his physical needs so they wouldn’t blindside him like this.

“Howdy,” she said with a happy, peppy grin that smoothed out the little crease in her full bottom lip. She had a great mouth, crease or no crease. Made a man think about his lips on hers and going lower.

He narrowed his eyes. Then he pushed by her with a dark look, keeping his face and body language discouraging. Who the hell was she to upset his hard-achieved balance?

He strode up to the counter and paid with cash because he didn’t want to waste time punching buttons on the card reader. He didn’t want to spend another second in a place where he could be ambushed like this. The awareness of her back somewhere among the rows of books still tingled all across his skin.

“I’m sorry.” The elderly man behind the counter handed back the twenty-dollar bill. “I can’t take this.” He flashed an apologetic smile as he pushed up his horn-rimmed glasses, then tugged down his denim shirt in a nervous gesture. “The scanner kicked it back.”

“I just got it from the bank across the street,” Jamie argued, not in the mood for delay.

“I’m sorry, sir.”

“Everything okay, Fred?” The woman he’d tried to pretend didn’t exist came up behind Jamie.

Her voice was as smooth as the kind of top-shelf whiskey the Yellow Armadillo couldn’t afford to carry. Its sexy timbre tickled something behind his breastbone. He kept his back to her, against enormous temptation to turn, hoping she’d get the hint to mind her own business.

Then he had to turn, anyway, because next thing he knew she was talking to him.

“I’d be happy to help. How about we go next door and I’ll help you figure this out?”

The police station stood next door. All he wanted was to go home and see if he could catch a few winks before his next shift. “I don’t think so.” He peeled off another twenty, which went through the scanner without trouble. Next thing he knew, Fred was handing back his change.

“I really think we should,” the woman insisted.

Apparently, she had trouble with the concept of minding her own business. He shot her a look of disapproval, hoping she’d take the hint.

He tried to look at nothing but her eyes, but all that sparkling blue was doing things to him. Hell, another minute, and if she asked him to eat the damned twenty, he would have probably done it. He caught that thought, pushed back hard.

“Who the hell are you?” He kept his tone at a level of surly that had taken years to perfect.

The cheerleader smile never even wavered as she pulled her badge from her pocket and flashed it at him. “Brianna Tridle. Deputy sheriff.”

Oh, hell.

He looked her over more thoroughly: the sexy snake-skin boots, the hip-hugging jeans, the checkered shirt open at the neck, giving a hint of the top curve of her breasts. His palms itched for a feel. If there was such a thing as physical perfection, she was it.

Any guy who had two brain cells to rub together would have gone absolutely anywhere with her.

Except Jamie Cassidy.

“I’m in a hurry.”

“Won’t take but a minute.” She tilted her head, exposing the creamy skin of her neck just enough to bamboozle him. “I’ve been having a hard time with counterfeit bills turning up in town lately. I’d really appreciate the help. I’ll keep it as quick as possible, I promise.” The smile widened enough to reveal some pearly white teeth.

Teeth a man wouldn’t have minded running his tongue along before kissing her silly.

Another man.

Certainly not Jamie.

Okay, so she was the deputy sheriff. The sheriff, Kenny Davis, had been killed recently. He’d been part of the smuggling operation Jamie’s team was investigating. A major player, actually.

After that, Ryder McKay, Jamie’s team leader, had looked pretty closely at the Pebble Creek police department. The rest of them came up squeaky clean. A shame, really. Jamie definitely felt like his world would be safer with Brianna Tridle locked away somewhere far from him.

She was too chirpy by half.

He didn’t like chirpy.

But if she wasn’t a suspect, she could be an ally—if he played his cards right. Although poker wasn’t the first thing to spring to mind when he thought about playing with her. He could no longer feel the air-conditioning. In fact, it seemed the AC might have broken since he’d come in. The place felt warm suddenly. Hot, even.

He loosened the neck of his shirt. “Fine. Five minutes.”

He held the door for her, regretting it as she flashed another gut punch of a smile. She better not read anything into that basic courtesy. He’d been raised right, that was all. He couldn’t help it. He wasn’t falling for her charms, no way, he thought as she walked in front of him, hips swinging.

The gentle sway held him mesmerized for a minute. Then he blinked hard as he finally focused on one specific spot. Was that a small firearm tucked under her waistband, covered by her shirt? Hard to tell with his eyes trying to slide lower.

He looked more carefully. Damn if the slight bulge wasn’t a weapon. She’d been armed the entire time and he’d never noticed. He was seriously losing it.

He drew in a slow breath as they walked into the station. On second thought, forget developing her as an asset. Working with her would probably be more trouble than it was worth.

He was going to tell Brianna Tridle where, when and exactly how he’d come into possession of the stupid twenty-dollar bill in question. Then he was walking out and not looking back. If he had even a smidgen of luck coming to him, he’d never see her again.

“I really appreciate this.” Bree measured up the cowboy with the bad attitude.

Not a real Texas cowboy, actually. He was missing the Texas twang, his general accent making it difficult to pin down from where he hailed. And he wore combat boots with his jeans. It threw off his cowboy swagger. He had shadows all around him, his aura a mixture of dangerous and sexy. He was hot enough to give women heart palpitations on his worst day.

Not that that sort of thing affected her. She was a seasoned law enforcement officer. “And your name is?”

“Jamie Cassidy.” He didn’t offer his hand, or even a hint of a smile as he scanned the station.

She’d bet good money he didn’t miss many details.

Fine. She was proud of the place, clean and organized. The dozen people working there were the finest in South Texas. She would trust each and every one of them to have her back.

While he examined her station, she examined him.

He stood tall, well built, his dirty-blond hair slightly mussed as he took his hat off. When he ran his fingers through it in an impatient gesture, Bree’s own fingertips tingled.

He had the face of a tortured angel, all angles and masculine beauty. His chocolate-brown eyes seemed permanently narrowed and displeased. Especially as he took in the metal detectors she’d had installed just last week.

Lena, the rookie officer manning the scanner, held out a gray plastic tray for him.

Bree offered a smile. “We just upped our security. If you could hand over anything metal in your pockets and walk through, I’d appreciate it.”

She was in charge of the station until the new sheriff was elected. They’d had an incident recently with a drunk housewife who’d come in to file a complaint against her husband, then ended up shooting a full clip into the ceiling to make sure they believed her when she said she would shoot the bastard if he came into her new double-wide one more time with muddy boots.

She’d been a bundle of booze and wild emotions—the very opposite of Jamie Cassidy, who seemed the epitome of cold and measured.

He scowled as he dropped his cell phone, handful of change and car keys into the small plastic tray. “I’m going to set the alarm off.” He tapped his leg. “Prosthesis.”

That was it, then, Bree thought as she watched him. The reason why his walk had been off a smidgen. “Not a problem, Lena,” she told the rookie, who was staring at him with dreamy eyes. “I’ll pat him down.”

“No.” His face darkened as his gaze cut to hers.

They did a long moment of the staring-each-other-down thing. Then his lips narrowed as he fished around in his shirt pocket and pulled out a CBP badge.

Customs and Border Protection. And the plot thickens. She tilted her head as she considered him. Why not show the badge sooner?

Maybe it was a fake. She’d worked pretty closely with CBP for the past couple of years. She’d never seen him before. If she had, she would have definitely remembered him.

She widened her smile. Defusing tension in a bad situation always worked better than escalating it. “I need to check you just the same. New procedure. Sorry.”

For a second he looked like he might refuse and simply walk away from her. She kept her hand near her firearm at her back, ready to stop him. She preferred to do things the easy way, but she could do it the hard way if needed. Up to him.

But then he seemed to change his mind and held out his arms to the side. She wondered if he knew that his smoldering look of resentment only made him look sexier.

“It’ll only take a second.” She ran her fingers along his arms first, lightly. Plenty of muscle. If he did change his mind and began causing trouble, she would definitely need her service weapon.

She moved her hands to his torso and found more impressive muscles there. She could feel the heat of his body through his shirt and went faster when her fingertips began to tingle again, a first for her during pat down. What on earth was wrong with her today? She tried to focus on what she was doing. Okay, no shoulder holster, no sidearm here.

“Almost done.” She squatted as she moved down his legs, pausing at the sharp transition where the living flesh gave way to rigid metal. Bothof his legs were missing. Her gaze flew up to his.

He looked back down at her with something close to hate—a proud man who didn’t like his weaknesses seen.

“Enough.” He stepped back.

But she stepped after him. “One more second.”

Awareness tingled down her spine as she pulled up and reached around his waist, almost as if she were hugging him. And there, tucked behind his belt, she found a small, concealed weapon.

She removed the firearm carefully, pointing it down, making sure her fingers didn’t come near the trigger. “When were you going to tell me about this?” She checked the safety. On. Okay.

 

Side Note this book also contains the below book:

 

Last Spy Standing by Dana Marton

Publication date: Jan 1, 2011

<div style=”font-size:11px”>Publication date: 05/01/2013</div> This is the First book in the HQ: Texas SeriesPublished by Harlequin
Pages: 224

Back of the Book

 

Black ops specialist Mitch Mendoza had thought this South American rescue mission would be routine. But the jungle held unexpected dangers: deadly snakes, armed drug runners and Megan Cassidy. The undercover CIA agent had legs for miles and a hidden agenda–one that interfered with Mitch’s plans. So though he was a lone wolf, he had to keep her close, or risk letting his mission fail. After years of working alone, Mitch found himself distracted by Megan’s steely resolve and her soft curves. And he couldn’t afford that. Not if he wanted this assignment to be a success…and get both of them out of the jungle alive.

 

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