Sunday Snippet: Midnight Alias by Elle Kennedy

One of my favorite romantic suspense series is Elle Kennedy’s Killer Instincts series. Today Elle is sharing with us one of here favorite scenes from the latest book in this series Midnight Alias.

The waitress returned with Luke’s beer. This time he sipped slowly. Couldn’t afford to get hammered on the job.

When he felt a pair of eyes boring into him, he realized the waitress hadn’t left. She stood next to him, watching the stage. “She’s good, ain’t she?” the top-heavy blonde drawled.

“Beautiful,” he heard himself say.

The music died, and his goddess was rewarded by deafening applause and lewd shouts. He noticed the waitress moving away and cleared his throat. “How much for a private dance?”

She giggled. “I don’t do that. I just wait tables.”

He hooked a thumb at the stage below. “I meant with her.”

Disappointment flashed in the blonde’s eyes. “That one’s expensive.”

“How much?” he asked again.

“A hundred out on the floor. Five hundred in the VIP rooms.”

Luke whistled softly. Five hundred to get the goddess alone? Pretty damn steep.

On the other hand, he pictured her beautiful face, the heart-stopping body, and decided it could actually be considered a bargain. Ignoring the waitress’s amused expression, he pulled out his wallet and did a quick count.

“Arrange it,” he said, his voice coming out gruff.

“You got it, big spender.”

As she flounced off, Luke released a heavy breath. What the hell was he doing?

What you were asked to do. Investigating.

Well, sure. Morgan had ordered him to pay closer attention to the stripper, hadn’t he? Nothing closer than a lap dance.

A few minutes later, the waitress returned and gestured for him to follow her down the wide spiral staircase. With the blonde taking the lead, they wove through the tables scattered around the main room, past several curtained alcoves and the hallway he’d noticed staff members coming in and out of. Didn’t go near the second spiral staircase, which intel told him led up to the management offices, including Angelo’s. Luke suppressed his disappointment. Ah well. The opportunity to snoop around would present itself eventually.

They went beyond the bar area, stepping into a shadowy corridor lined with half a dozen doors on each side of it. The waitress led him to one at the end of the hall, where a dark-skinned bouncer with massive shoulders stood guard. The behemoth’s sharp gaze pierced Luke.

“No touching,” the bouncer said curtly. “We’ll be watching. You touch, you’re out.”

“Yes, sir.” He appreciated the warning. It told him that the folks at the Diamond Mine didn’t fuck around. Someone was looking out for his girl’s safety.

Your girl?

The girls, he mentally amended. The bouncers looked out for the girls who worked here. All of the girls. Not just the one who got his blood going.

The big man opened the door for him and Luke stepped inside, surprised by the tasteful interior of the VIP room. He’d expected a strobe light and tacky decoration, but instead found a plush leather couch in a semicircle shape, walls draped in red velvet, and an old-fashioned-looking light fixture emitting a romantic glow.

“Drinks are free,” the bouncer barked, nodding to the wet bar by the couch. “Livy will be in soon.”

As the door shut behind him, Luke bypassed the bar and sat down. He studied the room, immediately pinpointing the locations of the three security cameras. Did they pick up sound too? He’d get Holden to check it out later, but right now it meant he couldn’t be too direct in his fishing expedition. If Livy Lovelace had any information about the missing DEA agent, he’d have to use some subtle digging to pry it out of her.

He was considering pouring himself a drink after all when his goddess sauntered into the room.

The saliva in his mouth turned to sawdust. Oh boy. The woman wore nothing but that silver thong and garter combo she’d stripped down to onstage, and her bare breasts, high and round, gleamed in the dim lighting of the room. Jeez, she was even more gorgeous up close. Smooth golden skin. Movie starlet face. And tall, he realized, as she walked toward him, hips swaying.

He opened his mouth to say something—Hello would probably have been a good start—but no words came out. His vocal cords had turned into limp spaghetti noodles.

She didn’t speak either. Just advanced on him like a wary jungle cat, green eyes locked with his. When she was standing a foot away, Luke saw her face change. Gone was the wariness. The tension in her jaw eased. And she went into seduction mode.

“Hey there,” she murmured. “Mary said you like the way I dance.”

Mary? Right, the waitress. Luke still couldn’t remember how to talk, but he managed a quick nod. Her voice was not what he’d expected. It was husky, throaty, with a musical lilt to it.

“Not much of a talker, I see.” She tossed her long chestnut hair over one bare shoulder and smiled wryly. “All right then.”

Music began to pour out of the speakers mounted on the walls. It was some slow, jazzy beat, but he paid no attention because really, how could a man pay attention to a song when the sexiest woman on the planet was climbing onto his lap?

midnight alias

She’s smart, seductive, and in way over her head. He’s her only way out. An undercover DEA agent has gone off the radar. Suspecting an internal mole, the government needs Luke Dubois and his elite team of operatives to recover their man, and the New Orleans native thinks he’s found his way inside the dark underbelly of Manhattan: Olivia Taylor, the girlfriend of a mob boss and the sexiest woman he’s ever laid eyes on. His new mission objective? Get past Olivia’s defenses and convince her to take a chance—on him.

All Olivia wanted was to finish law school and live a normal life, but that dream was shattered when one dangerous night put her deeply in a mobster’s debt. Now Luke and his team will help her escape—in exchange for intel on the missing agent. But Olivia doesn’t anticipate her intense attraction to the reckless Louisiana charmer or that she’ll be forced to risk everything—including her heart.

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