By Becky Flade
The world’s love affair with James Bond is legendary. What’s not to love? Sinister foes, death defying stunts, international intrigue, the signature Aston Martin and a sexy man in a custom tuxedo perfectly accessorized with a smirk and an accent that rolls over you like liquid sex. I’ll admit: I dig on Double O Seven. And it’s not just me. Espionage-themed fiction is a popular entertainment genre as evidenced by the success of the Bourne books and movies; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; and the Mission Impossible franchises, to name but a few examples. My only complaint? The female characters. Women are typically portrayed as damsels in distress or backstabbing femme fatales.
I craved a heroine. A confidant self-assured woman is a supremely attractive character to watch but even more so to read. The more I thought about it the more I wanted to be the person responsible for creating that character. And the idea of flipping the script on a male-dominated trope delighted me! She’d need to be strong, intelligent, and sexy as hell with a cocky mouth and a defiant attitude. I wanted her to be fierce, dangerous and driven.
And covert CIA operative, Paige Aster, was born.
~ ~ ~
CIA field agent Paige Aster hides a cunning intelligence and lethal skill behind a mask of golden beauty. It serves her well as she moves from one undercover assignment to the next.
Retrieve a stolen United States military defense program from a terrorist cell in Dublin, Ireland, before they trade it to Islamic extremists in exchange for munitions. Her only back up on this time-sensitive mission is a deeply embedded MI-6 operative.
Eoin Fitzpatrick has sacrificed everyone he holds dear to bring these terrorists to justice. He’ll sacrifice Diana, too, if she threatens to compromise his mission or his cover. He has orders to do just that – his agency is only doing hers a favor.
Paige expects danger, but welcomes passion—taking her pleasure where and when it’s offered. She’s not prepared for the effect Eoin has on her. Or what happens when she surrenders to him—Paige burns for Eoin but will he leave her burned…
“Is it done? Do you and the others in the house bring in sex partners from time to time?” She straightened and stared at him.
“Yes.” He hissed the answer.
“I’m travelling; you and I meet at a pub and go to your place to hook up. It’s simple and happens all the time. Believable, even.” She thought of Michel and her lips tilted at the corners. Then, casting her eyes over Eoin, she deliberately arched a brow and tucked her tongue in her cheek. “Well, for most people, anyway.”
His lips thinned and the muscles in his cheek ticked as he worked to control the flare of temper. It delighted her. “Fine, we’ll do it your way.” Eoin pushed himself from the chair he’d been perched on and nearly charged for the door. “I’ll be here at seven-thirty tomorrow morning, be ready.”
Paige grabbed his arm as he passed her. “What are you so worked up about? If it goes wrong, you can just leave me hanging and you know it. This costs you nothing, Paddy-boy; it’s my ass on the line.”
He grabbed her shirt and pushed her against the closet door. She didn’t fight it and he had his mouth on her in seconds. His tongue delved and demanded she respond; she arched up into the kiss. Delight, desire, and anger thrummed through her as she both succumbed and made demands of her own. His hands molded to her hips and pinned her between the hard planes of his body and the wall behind her. Then he abruptly pulled away. They stood inches apart; the air crackled around them. Their gazes locked. He opened his mouth, then shook his head and left without a word.
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