Genres: Romantic Suspense
Protector Agent Josh Slater has spent years working for the secret government-sponsored agency known as OPAQUE. All the while hoping to find the man who paid his father to bring down a plane killing the then head of OPAQUE. Now, Josh's new assignment brings him back face-to-face with the one woman he ever deserted. His life would have been easier letting Mackenzie continue to hate him for leaving, but she's been targeted as leverage and he'll do anything to insure her survival. Even face her anguish over his family's shame.
Mackenzie Baudin has been over Josh Slater for years, so the idea of her uncle sending him to be her protector meant only a slight hiccup in her steel resolve emotions. But her uncle's promise that within the next twenty-four hours she would know the complete truth about her life hit her like the plane crash ten years ago. The day her mother and father were killed. The same day she gave her virginity to Josh Slater.
Slater’s Leverage is seriously action packed. It reminded me a bit of the TV show Alias. Secret government factions fighting an underground war. Secret identities, faked deaths, etc. If you like really action filled romantic suspense, this is great! The plot is certainly detailed-you are trying to figure out who is good, who is bad, who is being manipulated, and more. The romance aspect is a second chance story which is not my favorite (I am in the minority here so you might love that!). These two were previously together before he upped and left her without much of a goodbye. So, she has some trust issues with him. Mackenzie also did not know anything about this secret faction her family and Josh were involved in so its a lot of information for her to take in while seeing the man she gave her virginity to again for the first time in 10 years. I HATED that Josh called her ‘Macki”. It really bothered me for some reason. Its a terrible nickname and every time I saw it (which was often since thats all he called her!) I cringed!
Trope: Kidnapping, Revenge, Redemption, Second Chance, Mortal Peril
HEA: View Spoiler »
Award-winning author Claudia Shelton could write her name before the first day of school, but now she writes romantic suspense and contemporary romance, all with sexy alpha heroes and women strong enough to love them. She also presents workshops on everything from character development to networking to the ins-and-outs of being a new author.
Claudia’s debut novel, Risk of a Lifetime, released to 5-star reviews, reached Amazon’s Best Sellers Romance Series Top 100 and was named one of eBooks Galore top reads for 2014. She is also a two-time Daphne Du Maurier (Unpublished) finalist for excellence in mystery. Her new book, Slater’s Leverage, will be available November 2015.
Shelton is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), MORWA (Missouri RWA), Sisters in Crime, St. Louis Writers Guild, Missouri Writers’ Guild, and Saturday Writers.
For more information about Claudia and her books, visit http://www.claudiawriting.com
From Slater’s Leverage by Claudia Shelton:
“What’s going on?” Josh asked his boss.
“OPAQUE intercepted Coercion Ten’s Target List again last night. My name’s still there. So’s yours.”
“Sounds about right.” Most every OPAQUE agent had their name on the enemy’s list. If not, then Josh figured you needed to work a little harder at pissing them off.
“They’ve added a new column. Titled it—Leverage. There’s nothing in that column next to yours. Next to mine is one name.” Drake speed dialed his phone again. “Mackenzie Baudin.”
Josh’s chest tightened as if a belt had been notched three sizes too small. Not only was Macki an ex-cop, wealthy hotel owner and the boss’s niece, she was also the only woman Josh had never shook from his system. The idea she was a target in the underbelly game of life and death slapped him upside the head like a brick.
The two men shared a glance, then looked away. He’d controlled his breathing. Controlled his expression. But he’d felt the flare of his nostrils. Coercion Ten had gone too far this time. There’d already been too many deaths in Macki’s family.
“Do you think it’s real?” Josh asked.
“All the signs point that direction. I’ve been trying to reach Mackenzie all day.” The corner of Drake’s right eye twitched. “All I get is her damn voice mail.”
“She’s probably just busy. You know, running a high class hotel isn’t all glamour and glitz.” Hearing the words come out of his own mouth didn’t make Josh feel any better.
Drake shot him an evil-eye look. “Don’t give me that bull. You and I both know this is damn serious.”
Josh had to agree. When someone was targeted by Coercion Ten, every hour, every minute, every second counted. He nodded.
“They’ll try to break me and OPAQUE by targeting her.” Drake paused. “We can’t let that happen.”
“You can count on me. What’s my assignment?”
His boss’s expression blanked, the look he always got when he was torn on which way to turn. Torn between going with his gut or over thinking the situation. Josh knew the look. Not only from Drake, but from himself as well.
Squaring his shoulders, Drake rose to his feet. “Bottom line, I need you to go to Riverfalls, Illinois and protect Mackenzie.”
“Get this straight, old man. There’s no way in hell I’m going back to my hometown.” For years Josh had accepted every assignment. Every duty. Every dirty job out there. All for OPAQUE. All to pay back the debt he felt he owed. But the old man had stepped over the line this time. “You don’t know what you’re asking me to do, sir.”