Make me shiver . . .
Thornton “Shiver” Whittaker, Marquess of Wells and MI6 agent, put his life and that of his colleagues on the line to negotiate Orina “Losha” Kuznetsov’s freedom from United Russia. But now that the $10 million bounty has been removed from the beautiful but deadly Russian assassin’s head, she not only refuses to come out of hiding, she refuses to have anything to do with him.
Shiver has always put MI6 first, even before his family, who, with his father on his deathbed, is insisting he return to England and fulfill his duty as marquess to take over as Duke of Bedfordshire when his father dies.
But the woman he loves isn’t in England. He isn’t sure where she is, but he has to find her and convince her to spend her life with him.
It isn’t just that Orina Kuznetsov is afraid that United Russia won’t hold up their end of the bargain, there’s another secret Shiver can never find out and that’s what keeps her from giving in to him.
This is an awesome start to a new series! The determination of Thornton ‘Shiver’ Whittaker to locate the love of his life, Orina ‘Losha’ Kuznetsov, is quite the project. He has agents all over keeping their eye out for her. It’s MI5 agent Axel that first finds her in Finland. Axel is the Whittaker estate gardener’s son and one of Shiver’s best friends.
When Orina found she was pregnant she went into hiding from United Russian, the modern equivalent of the KGB. That earned her a hefty price on her head. Her goal, stay alive and keep her son safe. The one person she really doesn’t want to find her is Shiver, she never told him she was pregnant and won’t.
Many twists and turns, finally lead Shiver to Orina. This is a favorite scene.
Shiver took several deep breaths in an attempt to settle his racing heart. Just being in Orina’s presence again spilled adrenaline into his system.
Fear, longing, regret, and hunger all rowed within him.
The baby looked so much like Orina it made his heart yearn to just sit and stare at him. There had been a point in time where he’d wondered what she’d looked like as a child. Now he knew, at least as a baby.
Kazmir. That’s what she’d said his name was. When she said it, he could feel the pride and love that poured out of her. There was no question that the baby was Orina’s. But who was the father? Would she tell him outright if he asked, or would she refuse, saying it was none of his business?
When they arrived at the house, Shiver waited behind them for the gate to open, and then followed their car inside the compound.
He parked and saw Gunner come out of one of the front doors.
“Shiver,” he said, walking over to the car.
“It’s good to see you.” They embraced, patting each other on the back as men were so often compelled to do.
“It’s okay, Gunner. You don’t need to explain. I understand.”
His friend nodded. “I’m relieved to hear it.”
Both men walked over to the car. “Can I help?” Shiver asked as he watched Orina get the baby out of the car seat.
“Do you want me to take him?” Zary asked.
Orina shook her head. “We’ll be fine.”
Zary nodded and she and Gunner walked away.
“What can I do?” Shiver asked, following Orina in the direction of the other front door.
“The house code is 1223,” she told him, motioning to the key pad.
“Got it,” he said, opening the door for her when the lock clicked. “Do you need anything from the car?”
“Not for now,” she said, shifting the baby to her other hip. “He’s hungry.”
“Will it make you uncomfortable?” “What’s that?”
“If I feed him.”
Shiver shook his head, wondering why she thought it might. When she sat and unfastened the buttons on her shirt, he understood, watching in fascination as the baby found his mother’s breast. When his tiny hand rested near Orina’s face, Shiver felt certain it was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen.
He looked up and found her studying him in the same way he’d been studying her baby.
“Thank you,” he murmured.
“Letting me… in.” He was so emotionally overcome, he couldn’t think of the right words to describe the way he was feeling. “I never…”
“What, Shiver? You never what?”
He scrubbed his face with his hand, glancing back at the baby. “Dreamed that anything so beautiful existed.”
“I know,” Orina whispered. “He takes my breath away.”
“Not just him. Both of you. I’m so in awe I can hardly speak.”
Orina’s eyes filled with tears, and she turned her head away. “I’m sorry,” he heard her whisper.
“What for, Losha? Why are you sorry?”
“So many things.”
Shiver looked out at the ocean. “Me too. So many things.” In that moment, he was consumed by regret. Why couldn’t this have been something they’d done together? Why had she shared this miracle with someone other than him? He wanted to shout the questions at her, while at the same time, never wanting to know the answers.
“Can you ever forgive me?” he thought he heard her say.
She shrugged, her eyes resting on her baby.
“I would never begrudge you this happiness, Losha. Not ever. It is so obvious that you were meant to be a mother. I would never dream of wishing anything else for you or him.”
“Who is he, Orina?”
“What do you mean?”
“Who is the man you loved enough to have a child with? Who is the man you loved in a way you could never love me?”
Heather Slade. Shiver (Kindle Locations 866-902). Military Intelligence Section 6 Book One.
Finding her isn’t the only issue Shiver has. His father, the Duke, is dying which means he will soon take the title and he plans to make many changes especially where his siblings are concerned.
A bomb, family intrigue, suspense and so much more as the relationship between Orina and Shiver heats up again.
5 Contented Purrs for Heather!
My books are filled with things that bring me joy: music, wine, skiing, families, artists, and cowboys. Not always in that order.
I’m an Amazon best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak, teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur.
I grew up an east coast girl, and then spent half my life on the west coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.