January 19, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Sneak Peek Saturday – Temptation’s Fire

So here’s the deal; every Saturday, I’m going to give you guys a sneak peek of something I’m working on. This week, I’m sharing an excerpt from Temptation’s Fire, the third book in the Shadowguard series, slated for release in February.

And to kick it off, I’m sharing the cover, featuring Ivan Montgomery, the third book’s all-too-hot hero.

And if you haven’t checked out the series yet, what are you waiting for?! Temptation’s Heat and Temptation’s Kiss are already out!

Maggie O’ Reilly sat back in her chair, the images on her computer screen blurring as she rubbed her tired eyes. She’d been paging through the digital archives of the Clifton Record for hours.

And that was just today.

Really, she hadn’t stopped looking since Kane Dawson and Ivan Montgomery had given her the photograph last week.

She picked it up from her desk, looking at it for the hundredth time. The man could have been anyone. He was just an average guy, his dark hair a little long and curling around the hood of a sweatshirt that hung out the back of his leather jacket. His eyes were watchful, ironic since he’d obviously missed whoever had been aiming a camera his way as he headed into the old welding shop at the edge of town.

Except Maggie had a feeling he wasn’t just guy. Had a feeling this wasn’t just a story.

She reached up and released her hair from its messy bun. It cascaded around her shoulders in a tangle of copper waves, and she sighed as she put her bare feet up on the desk. This time of night, the office was blissfully quiet, the phones silent, nobody tapping on a keyboard except her.

Plus, she could put her feet up without worrying about that leach, Truman, looking up her skirt.

She looked at the picture again, wondering why the guy looked familiar. Shadowguard Security had run the guy through the criminal databases to no avail. Kane and Ivan had given her the photograph hoping she could tie him to previous story or an undercover source, but so far, she’d turned up nothing.

And the guy in the photograph wasn’t the only thing bothering her. The whole thing felt off, starting with Shadowguard Security itself.

She’d been trying to get into the private firm for almost a year, hoping to crack one of its employees, get a source on the inside. She knew their party line; that they were a security firm specializing in physical and digital security, counter-measures, and surveillance.

But she had a feeling there was more to Shadowguard than met the eye. Whatever they did, it was important enough to keep quiet and lucrative enough to insure Shadowguard headquarters was understatedly posh. Plus, they must be compensating their employees well, because Maggie hadn’t gotten a single one to crack in all the time she’d been trying to get in.

That kind of loyalty was bred only through mutual respect. Or family.

She turned her thoughts to Ivan Montgomery, son of Ambrose Montgomery, head of Shadowguard. She had no explanation for the flutter than started in her stomach at the thought of Ivan. They’d met twice since Maggie began working on the identity of the man in the photograph. The first time, Ivan had dropped off some more pictures. None of them had been very different from the one she had, and she’d found herself wondering if she was imagining the warmth in his eyes, the way he’d looked at her a little longer than necessary.

She’d been surprised a couple of days later when Ashley, the receptionist, told her she had a visitor. She was even more surprised to realize it was Ivan. Maggie had given him a brief update on her progress — very brief, since she hadn’t made any — and he’d asked her out to lunch.

She’d told herself it was business. Ivan was just the ticket she needed into Shadowguard Security. And she needed a ticket. Needed a big story and the promotion and raise that would come with it.

But a funny thing had happened over lunch. She found that she liked Ivan. More than that, she felt something deeper than an attraction to his piercing green eyes, the dirty-blond hair that was long enough to fall over his collar. More even than the muscular chest filling out his t-shirt, the broad shoulders straining the leather jacket.

There was something vulnerable behind his swagger, something gentle in the way he pulled her chair out for her, the careful way he moved around her, like she was a skittish animal that might make a run for it if he made any sudden moves.

They’d talked about work — his and hers, although he was careful not to say anything too revealing — and by the time he’d walked her back to the office, she’d found herself wondering if he would ask her out.

He hadn’t, and she’d had to stifle a pang of disappointment.

She put the photograph on the desk and refocused on the computer. Visiting hours at Clifton Meadows ended at nine. She could work for another two hours and still make it in time.

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