She’s determined to be successful--no matter
who tries to stop her
Someone is willing to kill for control of Drake Trucking, a well-respected firm now run by a woman named Carly Drake. Big money is involved. And very big danger.
Multi-millionaire Lincoln Cain is determined to keep the promise he made her grandfather, the man who helped him change his life after he got out of prison. Cain has vowed to protect Carly, no matter what it takes.
Unfortunately, the only way to keep her safe is to keep her close--and fight like crazy.
Post a comment to be entered in a chance to win a copy of one of Kat Martin's book (print or Kindle or Nook). Open to U.S. mailing addresses only.
Kat Martin Bio
Bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. Currently residing with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, in
, Kat has written sixty eight
Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels. More than sixteen million copies of her books
are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Her last
novel, INTO THE FIRESTORM, took the #7 spot on the New York Times Bestseller list.
This will be the 15th novel in a row to be included on that prestigious
list. Kat is currently at work on her
next Romantic Suspense. Missoula,
Linc continued to drive the road, searching for any sign of where the vehicle holding Carly might have pulled off the highway. But the rain had returned, become a steady downpour, and any tracks that might have shown up had been washed away.
“We aren’t going to find her,” Ross said. “We need to call the sheriff, get some deputies out to help with the search.”
Linc’s insides tightened. Deep down, his gut was telling him that getting the cops involved was exactly the wrong thing to do. But Ross was right. He couldn’t just leave her out there. He had to do something and he had to do it soon.
He slowed, turned the truck around and headed back toward Carly’s pickup. Frank was there in case she returned. Linc wanted to take a last look around before he called Howler--before he put Carly’s life in the hands of a man he didn’t trust.
He pushed down on the accelerator, worry gnawing at his insides. He should have handled things differently, found a way to convince her of the danger. She was his responsibility. He’d given Joe his word.
“Slow down,” Ross said. “There’s someone walking in the road up ahead.”
He braked a little, spotted the lone figure moving along the edge of the pavement in the direction of the pickup, head down against the rain, hands jammed into the pockets of a pair of rain-soaked jeans. The headlights outlined a woman he recognized immediately. Linc slid to a halt behind her, jammed the truck into Park, jumped down and started running.
She turned at the sound of her name, realized who had called out to her, and started running toward him. “Linc!” She reached him, collided with his chest, and his arms went hard around her.
“Carly. Honey, are you okay?” He was shaking. He didn’t know if it was relief or fear.
A sob escaped. Her fingers curled into the nylon jacket he was wearing over his T-shirt. She buried her face in his chest and just hung on.
He cradled the back of her head. “It’s okay, honey. Everything’s okay.”
Carly looked up, stared into his face, and for the first time seemed to realize what was going on. “I’m...I’m wet and...and muddy. I’ll ruin your clothes.”
He pulled her closer. “I don’t care about my damned clothes. Just tell me you’re okay.”
She swallowed and nodded. “I’m...I’m all right.”
He didn’t let go, just scooped her up in his arms, and started striding back to his truck. Her body softened against him and he prayed she was telling the truth, that whoever had taken her hadn’t hurt her.
Ross slid over behind the steering wheel. Linc climbed in on the passenger side, settled Carly in his lap and turned up the heater, hoping it would stop the shivers running through her body.
“That’s Ross Townsend,” he said, working to stay calm. “He’s the PI you talked to on the phone.”
Ross flicked her a glance. “Glad you’re okay, Ms. Drake.”
“It’s...it’s just Carly.” She returned her attention to Linc. “It was El Jefe. You were right. I should have listened to you.”
“I don’t want to be right. I just want you safe.”
For several moments, she let herself rest against his chest. As the shaking began to ease, she sat up and slid off his lap, onto the seat beside him. “I need to tell you what happened, but first I...I’ve got to get my truck. It’s just...it’s only a little ways down the road.”
“We’ll pick it up tomorrow,” he said.
“Please, I just...I want to go home, Linc, please.”
He looked down at her, saw that her bottom lip was puffy in one corner, and a wave of fury hit him. He wanted to know what the hell had happened, what the hell was going on. He wanted to make sure nothing like this happened to her again.
“You heard the lady,” he said to Ross. “Take her back to her pickup. You can drive it back to her house and Frank can follow you.” He didn’t mention that once he got there, he’d be staying with Carly while Frank drove Ross back to the ranch.
Ross put the GMC in gear and headed down the road.
A few minutes later, after only a minor protest, Carly was belted into the passenger seat of the truck, Linc back behind the wheel. Ross and Frank followed in the F-150 and Frank’s Chevy Malibu.
The rain picked up again, battering the windshield as he drove back toward Iron Springs. The slap, slap of the wipers filled the quiet inside the cab.
Carly remained silent.
Worried, Linc started talking, telling her how they had found her, hoping his words would somehow make things easier.
“After you left Frank at the market, he decided to stop by your house, make sure you’d gotten home okay. When you didn’t show up, he went back to the Stop and Shop and tracked you from there. He found your pickup on the side of the road, but you weren’t in it so he called Townsend, who’s staying at the ranch. Ross and I went back to your truck and started trying to track you from there.”
She looked up at him. “I’m glad you didn’t call the sheriff. If the cops had shown up...” She let the sentence trail off, went back to staring out the window.
“That’s the reason I didn’t call. I was afraid it would only make things worse for you.”
She leaned back in the seat, kept her eyes fixed on the beads of rain rolling down the glass.
“They took my gun,” she said softly. “I got off a few shots, but there were four of them. They pinned me down and the shots went wild.”
He clamped down on his temper. If she realized how upset he really was, it would only make things worse. “Where did they take you?”
“I don’t know. I was blindfolded. The only thing I know about El Jefe is he wears thousand dollar high-top sneakers and they were at least a size twelve.”
“So you never got a look at him.”
“No. But the guy has kind of a deep raspy voice and he speaks with a Spanish accent. I remember his feet pointed in like he was a slightly pigeon-toed.”
“He hit you?” he asked, making the question sound casual when he was feeling exactly the opposite.
“He slapped me a few times to make his point.”
His hands tightened around the wheel. “Which was?”
“He wants Drake Trucking to start working for him. We’re supposed to haul his goods--whatever they are--take them wherever he wants them taken. No questions asked. In return, he pays me a boatload of money.”
“And if you don’t do it?”
“He didn’t say exactly, but I’m guessing he kills me.”