Rogue Christmas Operation

 

The Blurb :

He’ll sacrifice his safety
…for a woman who could completely upend his Christmas.

After Gage Graham saves her from drowning, Hope Fischer revives, determined to learn the truth about her sister’s death. All she has to do is infiltrate a mysterious closed Virginia town and discover why the attractive—but secretive—Gage feels compelled to help her. Can she trust him? Will he risk being discovered by his former employer, the CIA, for a woman he just met? Neither will matter if a killer succeeds.

Where to buy this Madness :

EXCERPT

 

***

She’d been warned. That’s what everyone wanted. For her to leave it all alone. To go back to California and bury her head in the sand.

But then a murderer would go free.

She had failed her sister once. Not again. She swallowed past the ball of anxiety in her throat. You can do this.

The SUV zoomed up alongside her, sending a new wave of fear crashing through her. What was he doing?

No sooner had the thought crossed her mind than the SUV swerved sharply. The front end slammed into her side of the car, propelling it into a wild slide toward the edge.

Hope panicked, hitting the brakes. The wheels locked. Her vehicle lost traction and went into a skid. Everything was happening so fast. Too fast.

Spinning out of control, her car missed a large tree and slid over the edge of the slope. A high-pitched cry escaped her lips. Dirt and rocks spit up. She tried to straighten the steering wheel and pumped the brakes. Her car fishtailed, clipped a tree and went airborne.

The sedan flipped. Rolled end over end down the gradient. Metal crunched and groaned around her.

Hope’s seat belt jerked hard across her body, cutting off her oxygen for a second.

The airbag deployed like a hot fist, knocking her head back against the seat. Dust and chemicals saturated the air.

Her lungs seized as a scream lodged in her throat.

The car slammed to a stop with the impact of crashing into a brick wall. Her skull smashed into something hard. 

A riot of pain flared…everywhere. In her head, chest, bones—even her teeth hurt.

Her vision blurred. Not that it mattered. She couldn’t see past the airbag, which was the size of a large beach ball in her face.

Hope pushed on the light fabric, and the airbag deflated. Coughing, she wiped at the wetness coming from her nose with the back of her hand. Blood. Her nose was bleeding.

She switched on the interior light and pushed the deflated airbag out of her way.

The headlights were still on.

Water.

The car was in the lake. Beneath the water, or at least half of it. The weight of the engine pitched the front end forward, so that the car was almost pointing straight down. She looked back at the rear window. Rain and darkness.

Water was starting to seep inside the vehicle. The foot well was filling up as water rushed in. Faster and faster.

Hope pressed the button to release the seat belt. But nothing happened. It was stuck, jammed tight. She yanked on the belt, trying again, tugging and pushing. Praying.

Oh, God. She was trapped.

Icy water rose past her hips to her waist. Shockingly cold. Her toes were already growing numb, and she was shivering. She had to get out. Now!

Her purse floated up on the passenger’s side. If she reached it, got to the Swiss Army knife inside, she could cut herself free.

She extended her hand in the water. Her bag was inches from her fingertips. She stretched out as much as she could, straining her arm muscles. A pang wrenched through her chest, her eyes tearing at the intense pain, but she didn’t stop. She kept reaching for her purse. Almost had it. The bag was so close—she needed to stretch a hair farther, but the seat belt had her pinned.

The car shifted, still moving. Down and down it sank. The car tipped to the side, and water carried her purse away, out of reach.

***

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