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Black Raven was her grandfather’s go-to security company, and he’d already made the hiring call by the time he first told her his idea. With steadfast insistence, and continued reference to the horrors of terrorist acts that the ITT was examining, he’d worn her down in repeated phone calls. She’d given her grandfather one stipulation; she’d agree to Black Raven protection, but she did not want Jesus Hernandez to have anything to do with her on-site security detail. She didn’t want to see him or hear from him, and she damn well expected her grandfather to make this happen without it becoming an issue.
Zeus to anyone who knew him.
Once, years earlier, she’d known him well. Or so she’d thought. Turned out she hadn’t known him at all. She focused her gaze on the intricately cut crystal water pitcher that the waiter placed on the table. In the last twenty-four hours, she’d been too busy with work to worry about whether her grandfather had truly understood the gravity with which she’d made the stipulation. She hadn’t intended the demand as a request. She hadn’t intended it as something her grandfather could consider and reject.
Now, with the hard knock marking the arrival of the private security company and the literal changing of the guard for the amicus team, her stomach twisted into a hard, nervous ball. Samuel knew the reasons why she didn’t want Zeus there. At least he knew some of the reasons why. Surely her grandfather had damn well listened to her?
Knock. Knock. The email notification finally flashed that the message and the attachments were ‘sent.’ The cc copy that she’d sent to herself appeared in her inbox, with an accompanying ding, just as Lorenzo put a vase of fresh flowers on the worktable that he’d transformed into a dining table.
“Done,” she said, shutting down her laptop and standing. “Thank you for all your hard work today.” As Lorenzo stepped away from the table, she said, “Lorenzo, the table is beautiful. Merci beaucoup.”
Knock. Knock. Knock.
She walked across the room as Charles signed for the room service. She opened the door. Zeus, arm lifted and fingers curled together as he prepared to rap on the door again, towered over her five seven by a good ten inches. Dropping his arm to his side, he gave her a cool nod, his brusque manner suggesting a nod was all that was needed to bridge the gap between his decision to leave her and the intervening seven years. “Hello, Sam.”
GENRE: Romantic Suspense/Thriller
Foraging the cyber-world for puzzle pieces…
Zeus Hernandez, a Black Raven partner, is pulled away from a top-secret project to be the personal bodyguard to lawyer Samantha Fairfax. Terrorists have rendered the future frightening and uncertain, but Zeus and Samantha’s past makes two things crystal clear: she’ll be furious to see him and he can’t refuse the job.
Sorting pieces as stakes rise…
Danger surrounds the International Terrorism Tribunal, a court convened to combat terrorism. Samantha is thrust into the limelight when her mentor dies as the trial convenes in Paris, France. Her role requires steadfast focus and nerves of steel. She’s determined to do her job and move her life ahead, according to plan…without Zeus. He’s determined she’ll reconsider.
Completing the puzzle as their worlds collide…
As personal drama escalates behind closed doors, terrorists take aim at an Achilles’ heel that is capable of crippling Zeus, Samantha, and Black Raven. While forcing puzzle pieces to click into place, a personal reckoning looms for these two strong-willed people. There’s no denying they might be better off apart…but they fit together so well.
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Stella Barcelona has always had an active imagination, a tendency to daydream, and a passion for reading romance, mysteries, and thrillers. She has found an outlet for all of these aspects of herself by writing romantic thrillers.
In her day-to-day life, Stella is a lawyer and works for a court in New Orleans. She lives minutes from the French Quarter, with her husband of seventeen years and two adorable papillons who believe they are princesses. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Southern Louisiana Chapter of the Romance Writers of America. Her first novel, DECEIVED, was inspired by New Orleans, its unique citizens, and the city’s World War II-era history. Her second novel, SHADOWS, began her Black Raven series.
She is currently working on her fourth novel, CONCIERGE, another Black Raven novel, which will be released in 2017.