Deep Breath

He had no idea what it meant to be a hero.

Stopping at a roadside diner usually means bad chili, not a hostage situation. But Smithson Group operative Harry van Zandt finds himself in the middle of just that when armed men burst through the door. They’re after the woman in the nearby booth, and their message is clear:

She’s got seventy-two hours to come up with a valuable document or her brother dies. Harry, too, if he doesn’t see that she delivers. Harry’s on his own mission involving the same document, so he doesn’t mind helping treasure hunter Georgia McLain. She’s smart, tough, sexy… and she’s desperate.

Georgia’s not turning over the document to anyone. It’s her only hope for clearing her father’s name. With Harry’s help, however, she can double-cross the thugs. On the road with a price on their heads, the two find themselves caught in a web of secrets, lies, and desire, with no time to catch their breath.

“The love scenes—including one that borders on erotic—are electrically charged, and the book is satisfying from start to finish.” — RT Book Reviews

“Great story line, fun characters, romantic originality, well written and edited. Unique and rolls right along. Well recommended and not a boring line in the novel.” — Murphy, 5 Stars, Amazon reviewer

Harry had just rung off when Georgia walked up to the table, her shaggy brown waves framing again her amazingly beautiful face.

She dropped her bag onto the seat of the chair between them and pulled it close before she sat. “That’s so much better. I was starting to get a headache, and feel like a repressed au pair or something.”

“Something like the executive assistant you were supposed to be?” She might feel repressed, but uninhibited better described the way she looked, not to mention her actions. As harmless as it had been, he was still working to get that kiss out of his mind.

“If I’d had more shopping time and more shopping choices, not to mention more shopping money of my own, your executive assistant would have definitely been wearing something else,” she said, holding the unbuttoned edges of her sweater much the same way she’d held his lapels.

He watched her eyes light up as she reached for the drink he’d ordered for her. One forearm braced on the table, he sipped at his own. “Yeah? What?”

She frowned, shaking her head as she swallowed. “Something that didn’t scream church lady.”

The way she fit that sweater did not make him think of church at all. “The pearls were too much?”

“Actually, I like the pearls,” she said, fingering them as she spoke. He liked them, too. He wanted to see her wearing them and nothing else in his bed. “And the sweater’s nice. It’s just not me. I’m more into—”


“I was going to say pin strips. But really, anything would work as long as it’s not bubblegum or fluffy. I’m not exactly the fluffy type.”

He thought of the hellcat who’d tried to strangle Charlie Castro. She didn’t fit into pin stripes or oxfords any more than she did into bubblegum or fluff. “I would never have thought that you were.”

“I’m not exactly into pin stripes,” she admitted, echoing his thoughts. She dipped a tortilla chip into the bowl of warm salsa. “It’s more a lesser of two evils since I don’t know of any exec who would go for T-shirts and jeans.”

“You know a lot of execs?” he asked, opening his menu.

“I used to be married to one.”

That was interesting. “How did you fit in at the company Christmas parties?”

“The truth?” She pulled up a memory and smiled. “I was a hit. What woman doesn’t want to find out the best antiques for investment?”

He laughed. “For some reason, I see you sharing that investment information with the husbands instead of the wives.”

She ate a couple of chips, sipped at her drink, licked the salt from her lips. When their server arrived, she ordered a la carte, tamales and borracho beans.

And then she gave him her attention. “Answer me this, Mr. Engineering Firm, how you would like it if your co-workers got too friendly with your wife? Would you dump the job? Or dump the spouse?”

Harry couldn’t imagine a single one of his co-workers hitting on a woman belonging to a member of the team. But he also knew that outside of the SG-5 ranks, it happened way too often.

He hated that it had happened to her. “I guess that would depend on which came with the better benefits.”

She stared at him blankly for several seconds. The she threw a chip at his chest. “You are a horrible man.”

“I am,” he agreed, then sobered. “And I’m also very sorry you went through that.”

She shrugged. “We all have stuff in our past. I’ll bet you could even think of something if you tried.”

“I’d rather not. I kinda like my present.” He wondered what she would think if she knew how many men he’d killed in his life.