August 7, 2018

Hot Pursuit (To Catch a Thief Book 1) -- Second Chapter Reveal!

Happy #TeaserTuesday!!

As promised when I revealed the first chapter of Hot Pursuit (read it here!), this week's teaser is the entire second chapter! Woohoo!! 

The book alternates between Jo and Nate's POVs, so this'll be a nice look into our leading man's world! Hint: There are a lot more rules and regulations than in Jo's ;)

Who else is counting down to August 27th?!?! I know I am!! If you want to pre-order Hot Pursuit for the special price of $0.99, there's only a few more weeks to do so! 



FYI - The final manuscript is currently being proofread, so there may be some grammatical errors! Sorry in advance!


- 2 -


“Do you think we’re getting a little close?” Nate called over his shoulder, eyes locked on the shoreline rapidly approaching.
“Ow!” A yelp sounded below deck, followed by the rapid slap of feet on steps. Leo, his partner, emerged from the tight staircase rubbing his forehead and wincing. “Shit, man. Sorry.”
He ran back to the wheel and kicked the engine into high gear. The water at the back of the boat bubbled as they fought the current pulling them toward the island.
Nate grinned. “I told you that jerk chicken looked questionable.”
He didn’t have to see his partner’s eye-roll to know it was there. “I was hungry. I grew up on chicken shawarma and tacos from the food trucks down the block. I thought I could survive anything.”
Nate snorted and shook his head.
“We didn’t all grow up in Pleasantville, Parker,” Leo half joked, half groaned.
His partner had a point. Leo had grown up in a crime-riddled area of Houston, the oldest of two boys, raised by a single mom. His only way out had been to enlist in the Army Reserve, using an ROTC scholarship to pay for college. Nate, on the other hand, had been groomed for the FBI since the day he was born. His father had been a high-ranking agent, they’d lived in a cushy suburb outside of Washington, DC, and he’d received the best education the nation had to offer. But that didn’t mean his childhood had been all roses. There’d been hard times too.
Impossible times…
A smile. A wave. Then pop! pop! pop! The screech of tires. A scream. The burning heat at the back of his throat. A ruby patch spreading wider and wider across the freshly mowed lawn, spilling into the driveway, a red river flowing down, down, down to the drain. The stark stains on his fingers as he tried to hold it in, the wet heat beneath his palms, growing colder and colder and colder.
Nate’s chest pinched.
He shoved the memory of that dark day back into the farthest reaches of his mind, locking it away like he always did, burying it. His lips smoothed to the focused line they’d been in moments before as he swallowed the emotions back and turned to his work for solace, grabbing the binoculars from the table. Nate lifted them to his eyes and searched for movement through the tinted windows.
He caught motion. The shadowy form of a body paced inside the house—tall and thin. He couldn’t make out anything else, but he had his suspicions about who it might be. They’d been tracking Robert Carter for months, and there was very little Nate didn’t know about his target’s personal or professional lives. The figure inside had to be his daughter—Jolene Carter.
Auburn hair.
Jade eyes.
Expert hacker.
And trouble with a capital T.
“Any update from the onshore team?” Nate asked, dropping the binoculars away to rub at the bridge of his nose, frowning.
“Carter and Ryder landed at the airport in Nassau about twenty minutes ago. They’re on his private boat now. He had a black briefcase with him, but no confirmation of what’s inside. We lost the satellite feed for about an hour when they were in Cuba meeting with the Russians. By the time it was back up, the deal was done.”
Slippery bastard, Nate silently cursed.
The bureau had been close to catching him so many times—so close!—and this operation could be their last chance. Rumors were circling with Nate’s informants that Carter was thinking about retiring from the business of crime after this one final trick he’d been planning for months. Some people said he’d been grooming his protégé, Thaddeus Ryder, to take over the business. Others said he just wanted to lie low for a few years, something to do with his health. More said the rumor was a joke, and there was no chance a man like Robert Carter would ever change his ways. But Nate had learned a long time ago to never believe the gossip—listen to it, take note of it, and then leave all the options open.
He and Leo had only been assigned to the Carter case for a few months. Neither of them worked for the art crime unit, but over the past few years, Carter’s business had taken a decidedly darker turn—one that made him a person of interest to the organized crime unit where Nate and Leo worked. They tracked a branch of the Russian mafia operating mainly in illegal arms deals for almost two years before even coming across the name Robert Carter. One of their undercover agents had let slip that the mafia was using a stolen painting as collateral against a deal—a stolen painting that had been attributed to the great Robert Carter, infamous art thief since the seventies. Once Nate and Leo started digging, they couldn’t believe all the threads they found tying the two seemingly separate criminal enterprises together. No proof, of course. Life wasn’t that easy. But counterfeit money and forged bank bonds with Carter’s signature style, as well as a refined selection of stolen art discovered during a raid, were enough to pique the bureau’s interest.
And Nate’s.
Because to him, this wasn’t just business.
It was personal.
Personal enough his application for the organized crime unit had almost been denied. Personal enough he’d had to argue his way onto this case. Personal enough he’d caught the way the boss’s attention had lingered for a few minutes before he’d given them this assignment, the question if Nate could control himself circling in those wise, hazel eyes.
But he could.
He would.
“Parker, you seeing what I’m seeing?”
Nate blinked at the sound of Leo’s voice, clearing his vision and turning his attention back to the house.
He nearly fell out of his chair.
“What the…” His voice trailed off as he snatched the binoculars from the table and lifted them to his eyes.
“Is she coming over here?” Leo asked, flabbergasted. “Should we do something? Should we move?”
“No, hold steady,” Nate said, blinking rapidly, unable to quite believe what he was seeing.
Jolene Carter.
In a bikini—a red string bikini.
Riding a jet ski.
Headed straight for their boat.
Nate squinted.
Is that a Ziploc bag of cookies in her hand?
He shook his head, stifling a smile at the sheer audacity of this woman. And then he dropped the binoculars away and squared his shoulders, trying not to focus on the fact that the grainy pictures in his files definitely hadn’t done Jolene Carter justice.
Not even a little bit.
Not even at all.


Thanks for reading!

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