Authors: Kay Hooper
|Random House Publishing Group (2013)|
In this alluring novel of romantic suspense from New York Times bestselling author Kay Hooper, two lost souls face their demons - and forge a connection as profound as the ocean is deep.
When Robin Stuart is pulled, drenched and shivering, from the stormy seas, she can only cling desperately to the arms that surround her. But she has reason to suspect that she's traded one terror for another. Robin has been too close to danger not to recognize it again: in the eyes of the rugged, fearless man who saved her life.
Michael Siran is an expert at playing dangerous games. But from the moment the terrified beauty with the piercing gaze sets foot on his ship, he's touched by a true sense of purpose. Throwing caution to the wind, Robin insists on remaining by his side - even though she is asking the world of a man who trusts no one. As they share a passion born in turmoil and fueled by peril, Michael is determined to give her everything - if he can only make her understand that even heroes are human, and that her courage runs as deep as his love.
“Hooper’s darkly riveting Blood trilogy comes to a terrifying climax.… The chilling intensity of this novel is sure to haunt your dreams!”
—RT Book Reviews
“Series fans and newcomers alike will appreciate the appendixes, which include bios of Special Crimes Unit agents and definitions of their various paranormal abilities.”
“Disturbing … Hooper pulls out all the stops.”
“Fans of Kay Hooper won’t be disappointed.”
—The Romance Reader
“Another solid entry.”
“You won’t want to turn the lights out after reading this book!”
“Spectacular … With its fast pace, high-adrenaline plot, cast of well-developed characters, and fluid dialogue,
fills every expectation a reader could have.… I highly recommend.”
—Romance Reviews Today
SLEEPING WITH FEAR
“An entertaining book for any reader.”
“Hooper keeps the suspense dialed up.… Readers will be mesmerized by a plot that moves quickly to a chilling conclusion.”
CHILL OF FEAR
“Hooper’s latest may offer her fans a few shivers on a hot beach.”
“Kay Hooper has conjured a fine thriller with appealing young ghosts and a suitably evil presence to provide a welcome chill on a hot summer’s day.”
“The author draws the reader into the story line and, once there, they can’t leave because they want to see what happens next in this thrill-a-minute, chilling, fantastic reading experience.”
—Midwest Book Review
“A well-told scary story.”
“Hooper’s unerring story sense and ability to keep the pages flying can’t be denied.”
—Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
“Hooper has created another original—
sets an intense pace.… Work your way through the terror to the triumph … and you’ll be looking for more Hooper tales to add to your bookshelf.”
Times Record News
“It’s vintage Hooper—a suspenseful page-turner.”
“Expect plenty of twists and surprises as Kay Hooper gets her series off to a crackerjack start!”
SENSE OF EVIL
“A well-written, entertaining police procedural … loaded with suspense.”
—Midwest Book Review
“Filled with page-turning suspense.”
—The Sunday Oklahoman
Sense of Evil
will knock your socks off.”
“A master storyteller.”
“A fast-paced, suspenseful plot … The story’s complicated and intriguing twists and turns keep the reader guessing until the chilling end.”
“This definitely puts Ms. Hooper in a league with Tami Hoag and Iris Johansen and Sandra Brown. Gold 5-star rating.”
“A stirring and evocative thriller.”
—Palo Alto Daily News
“The pace flies, the suspense never lets up. It’s great reading.”
“An intriguing book with plenty of strange twists that will please the reader.”
—Rocky Mountain News
“It passed the ‘stay up late to finish it in one night’ test.”
—The Denver Post
“You always know you are in for an outstanding read when you pick up a Kay Hooper novel, but in
, she has created something really special! Simply superb!”
“Hooper keeps the intrigue pleasurably complicated, with gothic touches of suspense and satisfying resolution.”
“A first-class reading experience.”
—Affaire de Coeur
“Harrowing good fun. Readers will shiver and shudder.”
“Kay Hooper has crafted another solid story to keep readers enthralled until the last page is turned.”
“Kay Hooper comes through with thrills, chills, and plenty of romance, this time with an energetic murder mystery with a clever twist. The suspense is sustained admirably right up to the very end.”
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
2013 Bantam Books eBook Edition
Copyright © 1988 by Kay Hooper
All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by Bantam Books, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.
and the H
colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.
Originally published in paperback in the United States by Bantam Books, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., in 1988.
Cover design: Carl Galian
Cover photographs: © iStockphoto
Bantam Books mass market edition: October 2013
AGEN WAS ANNOYED
. He was always irritated by delays in the execution of his plans, and since this was a particularly vital plan, he was more than usually annoyed.
“Where?” he demanded, speaking flatly into the mouthpiece of his telephone, equipped with a scrambler.
“Just gone, and his men with him.” The voice that replied to Hagen’s question sounded hollow because of the scrambler, yet not even the technological device to prevent interception of telephone
conversations could leach from it all indications of a strong and dynamic personality.
“You can’t even tell me where?” Hagen asked.
A rueful sigh came over the wire, and the voice replied with an underlying layer of mockery that made Hagen grit his teeth. “No, I can’t. I’ve been tracking that bunch for months, as you very well know, but this time they’ve given me the slip. Sue me. Now, if you want the women—”
“No,” Hagen said, allowing himself to grimace since he was alone in his office. “That’s the quickest way of committing suicide I know.” He muttered the comment, but his voice was clear and distinct nonetheless.
“That was my reading of the situation. In any case, the bait for your trap is momentarily out of reach. I’ll keep looking if you like, but I have to tell you the chances are slim until he decides to surface again. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he’d gone to ground.”
“What?” For the first time, Hagen was honestly shaken. “Impossible!”
“Chief, every soul in that whole bunch has terrific
instincts. You may think your little tests these last months have been subtle, but what you left out of the plan was a culprit.”
“There was no need to—”
“No?” the voice interrupted sardonically. “You think they aren’t going to get suspicious when some unnamed enemy tests their security more than once? If I were in the place of any one of them, I’d be very busily trying to find out what the hell was going on. You’d better take it as a yes—that’s what they’re doing.”
Hagen was silent for a moment, then offered what he knew was a weak objection. “They wouldn’t leave the women unprotected.”
“Unprotected? Remember what Kipling said about the female of the species, Chief? Take that as a yes too. Those ladies need protecting about as much as a battleship does. You want my advice, you’d better back off for a while.”
Hagen ignored the advice. “Where’s the yacht?”
? No sign of her in her usual area. They may be aboard her, but she could be in the South China Sea for all I know.”
“Have you checked with Captain Siran? He may—”
“Sorry, Chief. He’s unavailable.”
Hagen’s voice began to lose its forced patience. “Why is he
“Took a leave of absence for personal reasons.”
“What aren’t you telling me?”
There was a brief silence, and then the voice said, “Just that you can’t count on Siran at the moment, Chief. He has his own fish to fry.”
Hagen heard more than the words. Bluntly he asked, “Daniel, what’s going on?”
The sigh this time wasn’t wry or mocking; it was weary. “What goes around comes around. The captain has his hands full with a specter out of his past.”
“He didn’t even give me a chance to argue with him.”
After a moment Hagen said, “If anyone can handle himself, it’s Siran. I could have used his help, however.”
“Yes. Well, your plans are on hold for the time being.”
“You’re absolutely sure you can’t locate them?”
“Afraid I can’t. You wouldn’t think a public figure of his prominence could disappear so quickly or so thoroughly, but he does seem to have the knack of it. So you have two choices, Chief. Either wait until he shows himself—however long that takes—or try to find out where he is from one of the ladies. The former being preferable to the latter, if you ask me.”
Hagen swore softly. “Agreed. If I show any interest at all, Raven will be onto it instantly.”
“You train your agents too well,” Daniel noted dryly.
“That wouldn’t bother me so much,” Hagen retorted irritably, “if only they’d
my agents.” He sighed. “I don’t suppose you’d be interested?”
Daniel chuckled softly. “No. You and I would no doubt lock horns. No, thank you; I’ll stick to my own bailiwick.”
Unsurprised, Hagen said, “It was worth a try. Well, keep me advised. And, if you hear from Siran, let me know.”
The connection was broken.
HEN SHE WAS
plucked, drenched and shivering, from the angry gray-green Atlantic, her first instinct, her only instinct, was to cling with all her remaining strength to the warm, wet arms that had saved her. And cling she did, like a desperate thing, until the man managed to break her grip and wrap her in a dry blanket.