Shoot To Thrill
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the hero, Kick Jackson
Shoot To Thrill
(book 1 of the Passion For Danger series)
A disillusioned black-ops hero is kidnapped by his ruthless former employers and forced to go on a suicide mission back to the scene of his worst betrayal—-but an innocent woman is caught in the trap and sent with him, forcing him to choose: her life, or his vengeance.
KYLE “KICK” JACKSON is a bona fide bad-ass. The product of a rough childhood and a youth spent proving how tough he was, Kick was the perfect CIA black-ops operative. Right up until the fateful mission that left his best friend dead and Kick in the hospital for months. They were betrayed…from the inside. Now his former bosses will stop at nothing, including kidnapping, to get him back to complete his mission.
Unfortunately, there is a complication. A big one.
LORRAINE “RAINIE” MARTIN is a fiercely dedicated ER nurse—-a vocation decided upon when her parents were killed in a brutal carjacking. But the impenetrable fortress of safety she has erected around herself and her heart do no good when she finds herself stranded in the unforgiving desert, dependent on a dangerous man without mercy for her very survival…and the only way home is to confront her worst fears.
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New York City
“So, who do you fancy?” Gina asked, leaning in close to her ear, visually sizing up the male prospects like she was scanning the sale racks at Macy’s.
Rainie sighed and nervously glanced over the crowd, trying to spot a man, any man, whose looks intrigued her enough to make her want to take a chance. But all she saw were the familiar doctors, residents, interns and admin staff she saw every single day at the hospital. Oh, maybe not the exact same people, but they might as well be. The men circling around the room like well-dressed sharks had the same polished, professional appearance, the same polished, professional smiles, and undoubtedly the same polished, professional come-on lines that were eventually used on every nurse in the hospital under the age of forty.
Seriously contemplating an escape strategy, she skimmed her gaze back to the entry door. Where a man was just walking in.
Rainie’s exit survey stopped dead in its tracks.
Well, maybe not that man. He didn’t look the least bit polished. And he was well over twenty-five. His rumpled navy suit and dark five-o’clock shadow looked more like they belonged to a burned-out police detective than a doctor—she knew the type well from dealing with cops daily in the ER. He looked hard. Jaded. No-nonsense. Dangerous.
And intriguing as hell.
Her pulse started doing the Snoopy dance. Not a good thing. This was exactly the kind of man a control-freak such as herself should avoid. But just like her high-risk job, the type also held a kind of fatal attraction.
What was a man like that doing at a medical professionals singles night? And yet he wore a name tag, so he must have a hospital ID to get in. Police liaison maybe? Military field medic?
Towering over the rest of the crowd by a good six inches, the man had thick, sable-brown hair that still bore evidence of a recent wet-combing which hadn’t done much to tame its waves or unruly length. Not military, then. She couldn’t see much below his shoulders, but they were broad enough to fill out his bad suit to capacity and then some.
Interestingly, he seemed even more uncomfortable than she felt.
His dark eyes roamed over the room like he was looking for something, or someone, specific. And caught her staring. Her pulse did a few more dance steps. Oh, no. She wanted to look away. Knew instinctively she should look away. But for the life of her, she couldn’t.
Instead of continuing his survey, he stared back until she felt her face flush.
That’s when he started walking. Toward her.
All this time Gina had been chatting away, pointing out this man or that. Finally she noticed she was being ignored.
“You’re not being very—” Her friend’s words halted with a small gasp.
“Ho-boy. I think I’m in trouble,” Rainie muttered, watching with rising trepidation as the man came closer and closer. Or was that excitement she felt thrumming low in her belly?
What on earth was she dreaming of? Unfortunately, she had a pretty good idea.
Gina read her illicit thoughts and her jaw dropped. “You have got to be kidding,” she hissed in her ear, scandalized. “That guy? He looks like a serial killer!”
“I think he’s sexy as hell,” Rainie murmured without thinking. Then glanced at her friend in consternation. Had she really said that aloud?
“Do not take him home, Lorraine Martin.”
Apparently she had. “You know me better than that, Geen. But maybe a drink… Here at the bar.”
“But,” Gina protested. “That wasn’t the idea, either, Rain. You need more than just a drink, girl. This is your chance to find someone safe and take him upstairs. Someone like a nice—”
“Boring doctor?” She shook her head. Not a chance. She might be a lonely chicken-shit, but she wasn’t desperate. “No thanks. Besides, so what if I have a drink with him? You know I can take care of myself,” Rainie reminded her. It was true. After dealing with crazies in the ER and seven years of studying self-defense, she was more than capable of fending off unwanted advances of any variety. She did so frequently.
“I know, but—”
“I’ll be fine, Gina. Go. Before I change my mind again and run screaming for the exit.”
After a short hesitation her friend murmured, “Fine. Take your walk on the wild side, sweetie. But call me first thing in the morning or I’m sending the police.” Then she melted into the crowd.
By now the stranger had threaded his way through the crush, and came to a stop directly in front of Rainie. Her heart was beating like a bass drum.
His gaze drifted slowly down her too-short, too-tight and too-revealing dress, then drifted back up again, pausing at her breasts. Her nipples zinged in response, tightening to hard points. Which of course he noticed. He didn’t smile, but his blue eyes darkened to a stormy grey as he watched them.
Her flush deepened, along with her consternation. “Look, I—”
“Would you like a drink?” he interrupted, the query amazingly calm and civilized, considering she felt like she was about to faint.
This was definitely not a good idea.