About UNDER THE WIRE
HelenKay Dimon returns with another hot installment of her romantic suspense series featuring the fierce men of Alliance – a top-secret military security agency – and the only women who can tame them.
Alliance agent Reid Armstrong has every intention of taking a well-deserved vacation. That is, until he learns that Cara Layne, his former fiancée, is missing. When it turns out she was lost during a mission on a remote Russian mountain, Reid is sent after her, determined to save her life and make up for his greatest mistake ever—letting her go in the first place.
Cara’s bad day has just begun. After waking up to find her camp destroyed and her team missing, she’s left to face the harsh mountain wilderness alone. Now she’s got an even bigger problem: Reid Armstrong has been sent to save her. Cara can’t deny the feelings she still has for him, but he broke her heart and didn’t look back. How can she ever trust him again?
As enemies close in on all sides, it’s up to Reid to regain Cara’s trust and her heart. Without it, their lives—and any future they may have together—may be lost forever.
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“Don’t make me sorry I brought you.” Reid walked around, mentally cataloging every stone and every leaf as Parker captured the scene in photographs.
“I can outshoot you but I do wish I could outrun you.” Parker broke the usual protocol of securing the scene and glared at Reid. “Just spill it. Is this an actual assignment or not?”
“It’s personal and . . .” His words trailed off as his eyes focused on the figure breaking through the mass of trees and heading right for them.
Parker must have picked up on the unexpected guest because he spun around and joined in the staring. They both watched as she got closer, stumbling and off balance, before stopping about ten feet away.
“One more step and I’ll blow your balls off.” Cara stood there, voice and hands shaking as the barrel of the gun bobbed around.
Relief smacked into Reid so hard that the breath whooshed out of him. He fought the urge to double over and rest his palms against his knees. He opted for putting his gun away instead, surprised when his hand trembled. “Thank God.”
Parker scoffed. “That’s your response to what she just said?”
“She’s bleeding.” The words kept repeating in Reid’s head before he finally said them out loud. Then he really looked at her. Her dark hair hung half in and half out of a ponytail band. She wore hiking boots but her utility pants had a long gash down the thigh. Ripped clothes. A bloody shirt. No jacket. Shaking hard enough to make her body sway.
Parker took a step toward her then stopped when she aimed the gun directly at him. “She looks like shit.”
Reid’s gaze toured her body, looking for obvious injuries. A hefty case of shock seemed to be right on the verge of kicking her ass. Not good. He needed her calm. Had to get her warm.
With careful steps, slow and as nonthreatening as possible, he moved in closer. “Cara, it’s me.”
She nodded and kept nodding. “I know.”
“Wait, you two are friends or something?” Parker asked.
“The threat still stands, Reid. I don’t trust anyone, including you.” She tightened her grip. “Do not move.”
“I like her so far.” Without any obvious footsteps, Parker had moved. Shifted his body until he drew almost even with her side. “Except for the part where she looks ready to pass out. Guns and fainting don’t mix.”
Reid agreed but didn’t let his concern for her show. “She knows how to handle a weapon.”
She glared at Parker. “And I’ve never fainted in my life.”
Anger. Reid took that as a good sign.
“Do you have a mirror?” Parker asked, drawing her attention back to him. “You look like you’ve been ripped apart by mountain lions.”
She frowned, as if sizing him up. “Weapons down and stop shuffling around.”
“That is never going to happen, sunshine.”
Her eyebrow lifted as her body seemed to steady. “Sunshine?”
Parker shrugged. “I thought I’d try flattery.”
Just enough talk. Reid moved in. One lunge and he’d have her gun. He didn’t want to rattle her or push her any closer to the edge. Didn’t want to get shot either. “Cara, look at me. I need you to lower that weapon.”
“I can’t.” She shook her head as her words came out in a new wave of panic heavy breaths.
“We’re here to help.”
Her eyes turned a little glassy, as if she had trouble focusing. “Someone called in the Alliance?”
“She knows about the Alliance?” Parker asked, sounding stunned at the idea. “Clearly I’m the only one who doesn’t know what’s going on right now.”
Reid ignored his friend. Blocked out the cool air and the danger involved in standing out there, exposed. Kept all of his attention on Cara.
“I came for you.” And that was not a lie. He would cross oceans without blinking if it meant keeping her safe. Their rough past didn’t change that.
She frowned. “How did you know where to find me . . . or to come now?”
“You’re in danger.” Reid thought the gnarled tent should make that obvious, but she clearly was not in a stable mental place to be able to reason things out for herself. “Cara, you have five seconds or . . .”
“She asks a good question, man. What kind of threat do you intend to make next?” Parker whistled as he made one last move. He stood next to her with a hand close to her arm.
Reid waited for Parker’s slight nod. When it came, Reid knew they were ready. Both in position. They could disarm her without incident then get her help . . . and seek a few much-needed answers. But he needed to draw her attention first. “What the hell happened here?”
“They’re dead.” The desperate words sounded as if they’d been ripped out of her.
He forced his instincts back. Did not rush in or give in to the tension pumping through him. “Who, Cara?”
“My whole team.”
That didn’t really clear anything up for him or stop the tension shooting through him. “How did—”
“Reid.” The hand with the gun dropped to her side and she rushed forward, closing the short distance between them. Her free hand came up and fingernails dug into the sleeve of his thin jacket as her gaze searched his. “We need to hide.”
“I think she’s tipped over.” Parker slipped the gun out of her hand and checked it before tucking it away behind his back.
A wave of relief crashed over Reid, followed by an even bigger one of dread. “Let’s calm down for a second.”
She held on to him. Both hands now. Her fingers tightening around his biceps as her eyes and voice begged for help. “We have to go.”
Reid agreed she needed to get out of there and relax. “Why?”
“They’ll be back.”
He glanced at Parker, who just shook his head and asked, “Who is ‘they’?”
“They’re coming—” Her words cut off as she dragged in deep breaths. “This time they’ll kill me, too.”
HelenKay Dimon spent the years before becoming a romance author as a…divorce attorney. Not the usual transition, she knows. Good news is she now writes full time and is much happier. She has sold over thirty novels, novellas and shorts to numerous publishers. Her nationally bestselling and award-winning books have been showcased in numerous venues and her books have twice been named “Red-Hot Reads” and excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine. But if you ask her, she’ll tell you the best part of the job is never having to wear pantyhose again. You can learn more at her website: www.helenkaydimon.com.
Praise for UNDER THE WIRE
“A sharp, complex, and intense romantic-suspense novel.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Dimon has deftly combined sizzling romance with covert operations in a sexy thriller that will leave readers searching her backlist and eagerly anticipating future installments.” — Publishers Weekly
“Dimon is a master of romantic suspense.” — RT Book Reviews
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