The Duke and the Assassin – The Royal Agents of MI6 Book 1 by Heather Slade

The Duke and the Assassin
The Royal Agents of MI6 Book 1
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Slade

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An M16 agent falling for the wrong woman.
A Russian with secrets to hide.
And the passion that defies the rules…

THE DUKE

My team. My family. My allegiance. As a duke, the boundaries and loyalties are clear. I may be the Marquess of Wells with a stoic and rigid father on his deathbed, but I have desires and needs that break those boundaries. Falling for an assassin may be an issue. But I haven’t faced a problem yet that I can’t solve—other than assembling a crib.

THE ASSASSIN

Secrets. Lies. Deception. As a Russian assassin, I’m riddled with it all. Now, with a ten-million-dollar bounty on my head, there’s no way I can get out alive. But the irresistible and incorrigible duke thinks otherwise. He wants me in his life, in his arms, and in his bed. There’s no declining the desires of a duke. And quite frankly, I have no intentions of denying him anything.

NOTE:
This book was previously published under the title of Shiver, it has been extensively re-edited.

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The determination of Thornton ‘Shiver’ Whittaker, the Marquess of Wells, 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 ‘Pinch’ Fulton, who finds her in Finland. Axel is the Whittaker estate gardener’s son and one of Shiver’s best friends.

Before he can follow her, he has to speak with his mother, Duchess Victoria, his brother Sutton ‘Wilder’ and sister Darrow. With his father the Duke fading he has decisions to make especially with regards to his position with MI6.

Shiver does finally locate and reunite with Orina in the US.

This is a favorite scene.

Fear, longing, regret, and hunger all rowed within me. I took several deep breaths in an attempt to settle my racing heart. Just being in Losha’s presence again flooded my system with adrenaline.

The baby looked so much like her that I yearned to just sit and stare at him. There had been a point in time when I wondered what she’d looked like as a child. Now I knew, at least as a baby.

Kazmir. That’s what she’d named him. When she said it, I could feel the pride and love that poured out of her. There was no question the baby was Losha’s. But who was the father? Would she tell me if I asked, or would she refuse, saying it was none of my business?

When we arrived at the house, I waited behind them for the gate to open and then followed them inside the compound.

Gunner came out of one of the front doors and walked over to the car. “Shiver.”

“It’s good to see you.” We embraced, patting each other on the back.

“Listen—”

“It’s okay, Gunner. I understand.”

“I’m relieved to hear it.”

I watched Losha get the baby out of the car seat. “Can I help?”

“Do you want me to take him?” Zary asked.

Losha shook her head. “We’ll be fine.”

“What can I do?” I asked when Zary and Gunner walked to the door I’d seen him come out of.

“The house code is 1223,” she said, motioning to the keypad.

“Got it.” I opened the door when the lock clicked and held it for her. “Do you need anything from the car?”

“Not for now,” Losha said, shifting the baby to her other hip. “He’s hungry.”

I nodded.

“Will it make you uncomfortable?”

“What’s that?”

“If I feed him.”

I shook my head, wondering why she thought it might. When she sat and unfastened the buttons on her shirt, I understood, watching in fascination as the baby found his mother’s breast. When his tiny hand rested near Losha’s face, I felt certain it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.

I looked up and found her studying me in the same way I’d been studying her baby.

“Thank you.”

“What for?”

“Letting me… in.” I was so emotionally overcome, I couldn’t think of the right words to describe the way I was feeling. “I never…”

“What, Shiver? You never what?”

I ran my hand through my hair, glancing back at the baby. “Dreamed that anything so beautiful existed.”

“I know,” she whispered. “He takes my breath away.”

“Not just him. Both of you. I’m so in awe I can hardly speak.”

Losha’s eyes filled with tears, and she turned her head away. “I’m sorry,” she whispered.

“What for, Losha? Why are you sorry?”

“So many things.”

I looked out at the ocean. “Me too. So many things.” In that moment, I was consumed by regret. Why couldn’t this have been something we’d done together? Why had she shared this miracle with someone other than me? I wanted to shout the questions at her, while at the same time, never wanting to know the answers.

“Can you ever forgive me?” I thought I heard her say.

“What ever for?”

She shrugged, her eyes resting on her baby.

“I would never begrudge you this happiness, Losha. Not ever. It’s so obvious that you were meant to be a mother. I would never dream of wishing anything else for you or him.”

“But…”

“Who is he, Losha?”

“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. The Duke and the Assassin (Kindle Locations 929-965). The Royal Agents of MI6 Book One.

Things get a bit crazy as Shiver’s father dies. Losha and her friend Zary discover a bomb in the townhouse they were staying at. It’s here that many people get involved to keep them safe.

Some of my favorite characters show up in this book, there’s plenty of suspense and intrigue as well as a fair amount of family drama. Shiver and Losha have many ups and downs, but their love is very apparent right from the start and extends to their son.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

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Heather Slade

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.

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