As the only child of an industrial magnate, Allyson Roberts has it all: love, fortune, and a promising career. Her perfect life goes up in smoke when she sees her father’s name in the papers next to horrible accusations. In a blink of an eye she loses her fiancé, her employment, and her fortune. Just when she seems to have hit the bottom, Ally is recruited by an undercover agency that is interested in her skills. She takes the job with only one goal in mind: to clear her father’s name. Vengeance is the only thought on her mind as she convinces herself that her heart has no room for love–or does it?
A former top agent in his field, Jake Morrissey has inner demons he can’t put to rest. Now he bides his time as a training instructor. He’s sworn off women, but try as he might he can’t keep his eyes off Allyson Roberts. When he’s asked to partner up with Ally on a new assignment, Jake is tempted to end his retirement. Will he keep running from his fears or will he find the strength to become the man he once was?
Ally stepped off the bus and surveyed her surroundings. From watching the highway signs during the drive she knew that they were at the far end of Connecticut. The parking lot was surrounded with lush greenery. Several low-slung buildings comprised the compound: this could’ve been a bed and breakfast or a camping facility, but it wasn’t.
One by one the recruits ﬁled out of the bus, breaking into small cliques that had formed during the bus ride. Their luggage had been unloaded next to the bus, but no one touched theirs, awaiting further instructions. Ally stood aloof, hoping that she wasn’t looking like an outcast. First impressions were important, and she was keenly aware that she wasn’t exactly succeeding in that department. Heather Darlington, the girl who had sat next to Ally during the bus ride, had ignored Ally the entire time, chatting instead with the two guys who sat across the aisle. Ally could have tried to join in, but she chose to spend the ride looking out the window instead. She wasn’t here to make friends anyway.
“Good morning, team.” A deep male voice brought them all to attention. “Welcome. I am Jake Morrissey and you may address me as Instructor Morrissey. I will be one of your instructors during your stay here.”
Ally focused her attention on the speaker. He wasn’t anything she expected a training instructor to be. He looked to be in his late twenties or early thirties. Six feet tall, with his muscular and trim body, he looked more like a model for GQ Magazine than a training instructor for an undercover agency. Not that Ally cared: as far as she was concerned she was off men indeﬁnitely.
“Real work will begin tomorrow,” Morrissey continued. “You will have a busy schedule, so I suggest you use today to get settled and organized. As I call out your name, come up front to pick up your room assignment and orientation package.”
One by one Ally’s teammates were called. Jake shook their hands and handed them their assignment folders.
At the sound of her name Ally felt her knees tremble. She braced herself and walked towards Morrissey in what she hoped was a steady step.
“Welcome aboard, Allyson,” Jake Morrissey greeted her with an extended hand.
“Ally, everyone calls me Ally,” Ally blurted out as Jake’s warm, ﬁrm hand closed around hers.
A faint smile appeared on his lips. “Glad to have you aboard, Ally,” he said, his gray eyes locking with hers for one electrifying moment. “You’re in building C,” he added matter-of-factly.
“Thanks.” Ally grabbed the folder from him and hurried after the rest of the recruits. She could feel her face burning. Everyone calls me Ally? What the hell was she thinking? This wasn’t everyone, for crying out loud. This was her training instructor.
Marie Astor is New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author. Marie is a die-hard romantic, which is why she loves writing romantic suspense and contemporary romance. In her spare time, Marie enjoys being adventurous out-of-doors. She often gets new story ideas while she is hiking up a mountain or trying to avoid bumping into a tree while skiing.
Marie loves hearing from readers and always answers all of her emails personally. Visit Marie at www.marieastor.com to learn more about Marie’s new book releases and events.
Books by Marie:
Janet Maple Series
To Catch a Bad Guy
Catching the Bad Guy
Bad Guys Get Caught
Standalone Contemporary Romance Novels
This Tangled Thing Called Love
Smitten at First Sight
More books by Marie:
A Dress in a Window (a short story collection)
Over the Mountain and Back (a young adult fantasy adventure novel)
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