Skip to main content

Excerpt - Threat of Exposure by Lynette Eason

Threat of Exposure
by
Lynette Eason


Pages full of indecipherable codes are all that stand between DEA agent Brock Martin and drugs crossing the border. But if he wants to crack the case, he'll have to work with Texas Ranger Gisella Hernandez. Brock feels the case is way too dangerous for a female agent—especially one who refuses to admit she needs protection. Yet as they work together under the most dangerous threat of exposure, Brock discovers Gisella is stronger than she seems. And that his cowboy heart isn't so tough, after all.

Excerpt of chapter one:

DEA agent Brock Martin stared at the man behind the gun. The man who was supposed to be his informant. The man who'd sold accurate information to him over the last year. A man who Brock hadn't come to trust, but had come to rely on.

The cold January wind blew across his face, but that wasn't what caused his violent shudder. "What are you doing, Lenny?"

One minute they were talking like always, the next, the weapon had appeared in Lenny's hand almost before Brock could blink. The move had been totally unexpected and Brock drew in a deep breath, ready to draw on all of his hostage negotiation training.

Then Lenny gave a smile that chilled his blood. "I got a better offer from Harry Lowe. He decided you've caused him enough grief and lost profit."

Harry Lowe. A big-time drug dealer along the Mexico-Texas border. Brock had been working this area between Juarez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas, a long time. But one small slipup and he could die.

Lenny's cold eyes and steady hand holding the weapon said Brock had slipped up.

In a major way.

Dread and fear clawed its way into his chest. He swallowed hard trying to figure out how he'd ended up in this predicament. "Lenny, come on, man, you don't want to do this. Everyone at the station knows I'm meeting with you. And they're waiting for me to get back with whatever you have for me."

A nervous twitch of Lenny's left eye told Brock that it didn't matter. The man's hand trembled as he stared down the barrel.

Right now Lenny was more scared of not doing what Harry Lowe wanted than he was of going to jail for murder. Not a good situation for Brock.

More fear and no small amount of self-disgust curled through his gut. He'd gotten careless. Now, it seemed it might be his night to die. He'd always wondered how it would happen. How he would go. If he'd be ready.

He wasn't.

But now it seemed in this small church parking lot, hidden in the shadows of the trees, he was going to face his maker. God, please…

His mind formed the prayer even as he calculated the odds of successfully jumping Lenny. He realized he would have no chance of tackling the man or reaching for his own weapon, now on the ground to his left, before Lenny pulled the trigger.

So he had to make a choice. Jump Lenny and take his chances or bolt for cover and hope Lenny's aim was off. Bad odds all around.

Lenny sniffed and aimed the gun point-blank at Brock's head. "Sorry, dude, but a man's gotta do what a…"

"Put the gun down, Lenny!" the voice came from Brock's left behind the trees. Lenny jerked, whipped the gun toward the voice, and pulled the trigger.

Brock darted to the bumper of his vehicle, wishing he hadn't kicked his weapon quite so hard when Lenny had demanded he drop it. It glinted under the streetlamp ten yards away, mocking his incompetence.

Then he heard the pop of another bullet and felt the buzz as it careened past his cheek to plant itself in the asphalt beside him. God, get me out of this, please. I'm not ready to face You yet.

Adrenaline pumping, he rolled for cover even as he heard the discharge of another weapon, the howl of pain and the thud of a body hitting the asphalt.

Running footsteps echoed behind him as he lunged for Lenny, who now lay face down, and kicked his gun from his outstretched hand. Brock flipped the man, then planted a knee in his would-be killer's back as he swiped the cuffs from his belt.

Through gritted teeth, Brock muttered, "You're under arrest for the attempted murder of a law enforcement officer. You have the right to remain…" He broke off as a pair of boots stepped into his line of vision.

With Lenny's hands securely fastened behind his back, Brock allowed his eyes to travel north from the boots, up a pair of jean-clad legs to a belt fastened around a slim waist he could probably span with his hands. He let his gaze wander on up to the white shirt with a badge.

A badge with a star inside it. Right over the wearer's heart. She held her weapon ready and steady.

When he finally reached his rescuer's face, he knew in his gut exactly who'd saved his life.

"Hello, Ranger Hernandez." Brock hauled his now-subdued prisoner to his feet and stared at one of the most beautiful women he'd ever seen. Tall, lean and fit, she kept steady brown eyes glued to his. He swiped an arm across his forehead. "I'll say this for you. You have impeccable timing."
* * *
Ranger Gisella Hernandez flipped her braid over her shoulder and stared at the man she'd already decided she didn't like very much.

Number one, he'd stood her up.

Number two, he'd met with a known drug runner without any backup.

Number three, he hadn't said "thank you" for her saving his life.

And she was supposed to work with him. As if she needed life to get any more interesting.

Give him a chance, she ordered herself.

She gave her hat a shove back on her head and addressed his timing comment. "You were supposed to meet me over two hours ago. I don't like to be kept waiting."

The man before her blew out a short laugh. "And I don't like to look death in the face. Looks like neither one of us was meant to be happy tonight."

For some reason, that comment amused her. She appreciated the fact that she didn't seem to intimidate him, as her badge seemed to scare off more men than it attracted. Gisella fought to keep the smile from curving her lips, but wasn't sure she succeeded when he raised a knowing brow. She gestured toward Lenny. "How's he?"

Brock shot the man a disgusted frown. "It's a shoulder wound. He'll live." Gisella thought she heard a silent "unfortunately" on the end of that last sentence.

"I wasn't gonna kill you. You got this all wrong," Lenny whined. He looked at Gisella. "I can't believe you shot me."

She turned to the dealer and gave him a stare that made him cringe. "I wouldn't have given you any warning if I'd had a choice." She looked at Brock. "You were right in my line of fire. I had to do a little maneuvering."

So that was why she'd yelled. Typically, in that kind of volatile situation, a cop shot first, two lethal pops to the chest, and it was over. Her eyes frosted even more as she said to Lenny, "You're lucky I always hit what I'm aiming for."

"And you were going to kill me," Brock ground out. "A fact I'll be happy to testify to," he said as he pulled the man to the car. As mad as he was at the man, he wouldn't make him wait in the cold for the EMS. He wasn't giving Lenny anything else to complain about that would prolong their night.

"And I make a pretty good witness," Gisella offered. Then she sighed. "I'll meet you at the station. I guess I'm going to have a lot of paperwork to fill out tonight. Not to mention calling my captain and getting him to do some fancy talking so I'm not assigned a desk job while this is investigated."

Brock grimaced. "I'll have to wait on the EMS to get here. I'd transport him, but don't want to have to clean out my car. Speaking of which, there's a videotaped recording of everything that just happened. Your boss shouldn't have any trouble getting this cleared up ASAP."

A glimmer of respect finally reared its head. "That'll help a lot."

He nodded. "I'll get someone to take over for me and meet you in half an hour."

"I'll be waiting." She shot him a pointed look. "Again."

He gave her a slow smile and Gisella felt her heart tremble at his low, "I'll be there."

A little unnerved by the attraction she felt for a man she'd just met, she shook her head and headed for the vehicle she'd left parked on the other side of the trees.

Gisella had flown down from San Antonio, grabbed a cab and rushed to meet Brock Martin, one of the drug enforcement agents assigned to the El Paso area of the border.

El Paso was a twenty-minute drive from Boot Hill, which was a five-minute drive from Juarez, Mexico. Her objective was to pick Brock up and head straight to Boot Hill. She hadn't planned on getting sidetracked saving his life along the way.

But I guess You weren't ready for him to die yet, were You, Lord? Thanks for using me in this situation. Now, please, please help me find the ones responsible for the drug smuggling and the murder of Captain Pike.

For the past four months, Gisella and her company of Rangers had worked hard trying to gather the evidence needed to take down the organization responsible for their leader's murder. Just recently, she and her fellow Rangers had taken the information contained on the flash drive they'd found on Melora Hudson's estate a few weeks ago and narrowed down the possibilities of where the drugs could be entering the country from across the border.

Melora's husband had been killed because of his association with the Lions of Texas, an elite group responsible for millions of dollars worth of drugs coming over the border, and Melora had almost been killed herself. Fortunately, they'd found what the killers were after and now the Lions had no reason to go after her anymore.

And thanks to the information on the flash drive, Boot Hill seemed to be the next logical choice in their hunt for the top members of the criminal organization. Gisella and the other Rangers believed the drugs coming into San Antonio, and all parts of Texas, were originating from that tiny, almost nonexistent blip on the map.

When Brock had failed to show up for their scheduled meeting a few hours earlier, she'd gotten tired of waiting around, did a little snooping and found out from one of the other agents where he was.

She'd punched in the location of the church in her GPS and driven straight there.

Not wanting to give herself away, she'd circled the building twice, then found a suitable parking spot that would enable her to be of some help should Brock need it, yet far enough away not to tip off the informant.

When she saw how Lenny had been acting, the hairs on her neck stood straight up. When that happened, she knew to pay attention. She'd pulled her weapon. Creeping in closer hadn't been a problem underneath the shelter of the trees.

Now, the ordeal was coming to a close. As she reached her vehicle, she heard the scream of sirens and saw the flashing lights of the approaching ambulance.

Help had arrived and she could get back to the office. Anxious to get on with her reason for being in El Paso, she drove with a single-minded purpose and thought about the man she would be working with.

A very good-looking—in a Brad Pitt sort of way—man. From the sandy blond hair and flashing blue eyes to the perfect smile. Her heart trembled at the memory of the smile that flashed white teeth and deep dimples. The fact that he probably hadn't shaved in two days didn't detract from his attractiveness at all. On the contrary, she liked the rugged look.

Gisella blinked at her thoughts. What in the world was she doing? She didn't think she even liked the man and she was daydreaming about how good-looking he was. When was the last time she'd done that?

She couldn't remember.

You're here for a reason, she reminded herself sternly. The mental admonishment brought her up short.

She was here to find a way to bring down the Lions of Texas, a group responsible for the death of her boss, Captain Gregory Pike. The Lions had already made millions of dollars smuggling their drugs over the border from Mexico. Her desperate hope was that Brock Martin might have some answers for her on where their entry point was.

When she'd learned she was to be paired up with the drug enforcement agent, she'd done her homework and researched everything she could find on him. Which wasn't much.

But she had learned that he'd been working the border for more than 10 years, was experienced and well-liked in his department. She hoped together they could pool their resources and bring down the Lions.

She parked at the entrance to EPIC—the El Paso Intelligence Center. Agencies currently represented in the building included the Drug Enforcement Agency and almost every division of law enforcement one could think of. Their job was to keep the border—and the citizens in the surrounding small towns and cities—safe.

And she was going to have a hand in that.

Climbing out of her car, she headed inside and made her way to the department she'd left only a couple of hours ago in order to rescue her temporary partner.

Sitting at her desk in the office she'd been assigned upon her arrival, she stared at the desk opposite hers.

Brock Martin. DEA agent. One who sometimes acted as the Lone Ranger. Sometimes followed the rules, sometimes not. But still, from all appearances, a good man who got the job done.

"Lord, I hope You'll let me in on this plan of Yours that seems to be unfolding."

"Talking to yourself?"

Gisella jerked at the deep voice and whirled to find Brock standing in the doorway looking at her. She felt the heat crawl into her neck and knew within seconds her cheeks would be fiery in spite of her olive skin. "Something like that. You got here fast."

He pulled off his gloves then shrugged out of his heavy coat to drape it over the back of his chair. As he lowered himself into the seat, he said, "Backup got there pretty quick. I didn't have to hang around much longer." He steepled his fingers under his chin. "So. We're going to be partners for a while, huh?"

"Looks that way." She tried to ignore how well he filled out his pullover gray sweatshirt and how his blue eyes regarded her with an intensity that seemed to reach into her very soul. She cleared her throat. "So…why didn't you have any backup tonight?"

"Not everybody takes backup with them when they meet an informant."

She eyed him. "The smart ones do."

He blinked. Then barked a laugh. "Right. Well, it just so happens that I had backup with me, but he got a call that his wife was in labor. Needless to say, I sent him on his way." He rubbed a hand across his lips then frowned. "I'll admit, Lenny surprised me. For over a year, the man has provided solid information—and made a small fortune off of me." He shrugged. "I had no reason to suspect tonight would be any different." Another pause as he looked at her. "I'm glad you tracked me down."

Print book:
eHarlequin.com (Save an extra 10% with code SAVE10EHQN at checkout!)
Barnes and Noble
Amazon
Christianbook.com
BooksaMillion.com
Borders.com

Ebook:
eHarlequin.com (Save an extra 10% with code SAVE10EHQN at checkout!)
Nookbook
Kindle
BooksaMillion.com
Borders.com


Save 20% off all Love Inspired Suspense Books

Comments

Popular Posts

Year of the Dog serial novel

About Year of the Dog : A month or two ago, I remembered an old manuscript I had completed but which hadn’t sold. It was a contemporary romance meant for Zondervan, titled Year of the Dog . The book had gone into the pipeline and I even got another title ( Bad Dog ) and a cover for it, but eventually my editor at the time decided she didn’t want to publish it, for various reasons. She instead requested a romantic suspense, and so I cannibalized some of the characters from Year of the Dog and thrust them into the next book I wrote, which was Protection for Hire . Honestly, I didn’t take a lot from Year of the Dog to put in Protection for Hire , aside from character names and a few relationship ties. I was originally thinking I’d post Year of the Dog as-is on my blog as a free read, but then it occurred to me that I could revamp it into a romantic suspense and change the setting to Hawaii. It would work out perfectly as (yet another) prequel to the Warubozu series and introduce

Just another day at youth group

My Christian contemporary romance, Single Sashimi , includes some of the wilder tales from my and my husband’s stints as youth staff workers at our church. The Steven character in the book is actually the same Steven who’s the associate pastor and youth group leader at our church now, since I wrote Single Sashimi when he was still in youth group. :) He’s a young man in his late twenties (maybe early thirties?), and he’s full of great ideas and lots of energy. On one particular Saturday, my husband and I were at youth group as usual. Steven had bought a tug of war rope—the really long, thick kind that looks like it belongs on a sea trawler. The opening game for the kids was, of course, tug of war. Then we came indoors for a three-song worship set. After worship, we usually split up into Junior High and High School for lessons, but this time Steven had an idea: “Okay guys, we’re going to have a tug of war--staff versus kids. If you guys win, we’ll ditch the lesson and go out t

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

Year of the Dog serial novel, chapter 9

I’m posting a Humorous Christian Romantic Suspense serial novel here on my blog! Year of the Dog is a (second) prequel to my Warubozu Spa Chronicles series. Year of the Dog serial novel by Camy Tang Marisol Mutou, a professional dog trainer, is having a bad year. While renovating her new dog kenneling and training facility, she needs to move in with her disapproving family, who have always made her feel inadequate—according to them, a job requiring her to be covered in dog hair and slobber is an embarrassment to the family. She convinces her ex-boyfriend to take her dog for a few months … but discovers that his brother is the irate security expert whose car she accidentally rear-ended a few weeks earlier. Ashwin Keitou has enough problems. His aunt has just shown up on his doorstep, expecting to move in with him, and he can’t say no because he owes her everything—after his mother walked out on them, Aunt Nell took in Ashwin and his brother and raised them in a loving Chri

A new tier in my Patreon

I started my Patreon for my fans and for people who didn’t want to buy my books on Kindle. My patrons get each new ebook 2-3 weeks early for only $3 (which is usually the newsletter-only price), and they only get charged when I release a book, not every month. At the moment, I’m releasing my Christian historical romantic suspense series, Lady Wynwood’s Spies. But after I finish that series, I’ll be releasing my Christian contemporary romantic suspense series, the Warubozu Spa Chronicles, and those in my Patreon will be able to get those books early, too. I just added a new $1.00 tier for fans who would prefer to read my books in Kindle Unlimited or buy the Kindle ebook, but just want to support me. Click here to read more about my Patreon. Thank you so much for reading my books!

Grace Livingston Hill romances free to read online

I wanted to update my old post on Grace Livingston Hill romances because now there are tons more options for you to be able to read her books for free online! I’m a huge Grace Livingston Hill fan. Granted, not all her books resonate with me, but there are a few that I absolutely love, like The Enchanted Barn and Crimson Roses . And the best part is that she wrote over 100 books and I haven’t yet read them all! When I have time, I like to dive into a new GLH novel. I like the fact that most of them are romances, and I especially appreciate that they all have strong Christian themes. Occasionally the Christian content is a little heavy-handed for my taste, but it’s so interesting to see what the Christian faith was like in the early part of the 20th century. These books are often Cinderella-type stories or A Little Princess (Frances Hodgson Burnett) type stories, which I love. And the best part is that they’re all set in the early 1900s, so the time period is absolutely fasci

ひとり寿司第28章パート2

「ひとり寿司」をブログに連載します! ひとり寿司 寿司シリーズの第一作 キャミー・タング 西島美幸 訳 スポーツ狂のレックス・坂井 —— いとこのマリコが数ヶ月後に結婚することにより、「いとこの中で一番年上の独身女性」という内輪の肩書を「勝ち取る」ことについては、あまり気にしていない。コントロールフリークの祖母を無視するのは容易だ —— しかし、祖母は最終通告を出した —— マリコの結婚式までにデート相手を見つけなければ、無慈悲な祖母は、レックスがコーチをしている女子バレーボールチームへの資金供給を切ると言う。 ダグアウトにいる選手全員とデートに出かけるほど絶望的なわけではない。レックスは、バイブルスタディで読んだ「エペソの手紙」をもとに「最高の男性」の条件の厳しいリストを作った。バレーボールではいつも勝つ —— ゲームを有利に進めれば、必ず成功するはずだ。 そのとき兄は、クリスチャンではなく、アスリートでもなく、一見何の魅力もないエイデンを彼女に引き合わせる。 エイデンは、クリスチャンではないという理由で離れていったトリッシュという女の子から受けた痛手から立ち直ろうとしている。そして、レックスが(1)彼に全く興味がないこと、(2)クリスチャンであること、(3)トリッシュのいとこであることを知る。あの狂った家族とまた付き合うのはごめんだ。まして、偽善的なクリスチャンの女の子など、お断り。彼はマゾヒストじゃない。 レックスは時間がなくなってきた。いくら頑張っても、いい人は現れない。それに、どこへ行ってもエイデンに遭遇する。あのリストはどんどん長くなっていくばかり —— 過去に掲載済みのストーリーのリンクはこちらです。 *** キッチンテーブルの上にごちゃごちゃと置かれている食べ物を見つけた。フルーツが入ったお皿は、すでに子供たちがめちゃくちゃにしていたが、新鮮なマグロの刺身は、巻き寿司の隣にきれいに並んでいた。天ぷら鍋から取り出したばかりのもち粉チキンは、まだ湯気が立っていて、祖母の自家製たくあんが、その隣の小皿に置かれている。 「わあ、叔母さんか誰かが、エビの天ぷら作ったんだわ」トリッシュはエビの天ぷらを紙皿に取った。 レックスはお皿をつかんだ。ここに来た唯一の理由。祖母ですら、美味しい日本食を食べていると

A List of my Free Blog Reads

Curious about what my writing is like? Here’s a list of all my free books and the free short stories, novellas, and novels that you can read here on my blog. I’ll update this post as I add more free reads. Christian Humorous Romantic Suspense: Year of the Dog (Warubozu Spa Chronicles series, Prequel novel) (Currently being posted monthly on my blog as a serial novel) Marisol Mutou, a professional dog trainer, finally has a chance to buy a facility for her business, but her world is upended when she must move in with her disapproving family, who have always made her feel inadequate. When she stumbles upon a three-year-old missing persons case, security expert Ashwin Keitou, whose car she accidentally rear-ended a few weeks earlier, is tasked with protecting her. However, danger begins to circle around them from people who want the past to remain there. Can they shed light on the secrets moving in the shadows? Christian Romantic Suspense: Necessary Proof (Sonoma series #4.1, n

Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 2: Berserker is now on sale!

For seven days, from January 30th until February 5th, book 2 in the Lady Wynwood’s Spies series is only 99 cents. If you haven’t gotten it yet, be sure to snatch it up while it’s at this sale price. Here’s the back cover description: A Christian Historical Adventure set in Regency England with romance and a supernatural twist Part two in an epic-length serial novel A dire situation Mr. Solomon Drydale and his team are reeling. After only a single act of mayhem by underworld lord Apothecary Jack, one of their group is down and another is missing. An urgent plea Desperate, Sol acts on his forbidden knowledge of an agent for the Crown who is known only to the highest levels of government— le petit prince , master of disguises. He defies his superiors and asks the Prince for help. A hazardous hunt Now, the team must learn to work with a new member to save one of their own. But time is running out before Jack finds him and breaks him—and puts all of their lives at risk.

Tabi socks, part deux

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.25.2008 (If you're on Ravelry, friend me! I'm camytang.) I made tabi socks again! (At the bottom of the pattern is the calculation for the toe split if you're not using the same weight yarn that I did for this pattern (fingering). I also give an example from when I used worsted weight yarn with this pattern.) I used Opal yarn, Petticoat colorway. It’s a finer yarn than my last pair of tabi socks, so I altered the pattern a bit. Okay, so here’s my first foray into giving a knitting pattern. Camy’s top-down Tabi Socks I’m assuming you already know the basics of knitting socks. If you’re a beginner, here are some great tutorials: Socks 101 How to Knit Socks The Sock Knitter’s Companion A video of turning the heel Sock Knitting Tips Yarn: I have used both fingering weight and worsted weight yarn with this pattern. You just change the number of cast on stitches according to your gauge and the circumference of your ankle. Th