USA Today Bestselling Author
What could be sexier than British-accented spy?
Put him in a tuxedo and hand him a brandy.
A commoner buried in his work.
A correspondent in over her head.
Fiery and furious, they dig deep into the throes of passion.
Reporters need to back off. I’ve got a job to do. Being overworked, overwhelmed, and underappreciated, the last thing this M15 agent needs is a sexy and incredibly persuasive journalist knocking me off my game. But the terror in her eyes tells me she needs me—in more ways than one.
The byline of a lifetime. Every reporter wants to unearth the biggest news story to hit the globe. And I’m close—so close. But when a body is left on my floor with a note, “You’re next!” I know I’m in over my head. Can this correspondent let down her guard and let the commoner take over?
While each book in the Royal Agents of MI6 series is a standalone with its own HEA, they may be more enjoyable read in order.
Previously released as Pinch.
Pinch and Darrow always had an on and off relationship. Now it’s truly over and they are both moving on. However the way Darrow is moving on is just a little bit different since at the moment no one knows where she is. Well that isn’t exactly true, some folks know, just not Esland.
Esland is Darrow’s best friend and she’s concerned about her, but she also has a problem. Darrow told her if she ever needed help she should go to Pinch. When she does, well lets say the first encounter doesn’t go well. The second one, gets his attention.
This is a favorite scene.
My father and grandfather before him were the head groundskeepers at the abbey. As a child, the three Whittaker siblings and I had explored every nook and cranny of the vast estate. While my father lived in a modest cottage rather than in the abbey itself or in one of the other manor houses, I’d always considered the estate my home in the same way the Whittakers did.
“I thought that’s where you were taking me.”
“No.” I didn’t tell her about Wilder’s offer, or that I preferred being farther away from London.
“You understand that your life was threatened, Esland?”
She looked out the window even though it was too dark to see anything.
“You’re not surprised.”
“I’m a journalist. Many of us are threatened or even killed for the injustices we expose.”
“This is personal. Whoever is issuing the threat knows you as Ezzie.”
She wouldn’t look at me, which was to be expected. Her hand went to her throat, indicating her subconscious was in protective mode.
“There will be an investigation into the murder. MI5 will take over and can keep it out of the media. However, if there’s anything I need to know before we’re involved in an official capacity, this is your opportunity to tell me.”
“Are you going back to London tonight?”
“I’m not going anywhere.”
That surprised her enough that she turned and looked at me. “Tomorrow?”
I shook my head. “You are, for all intents and purposes, under protective custody.”
“I’m in custody?”
“Listen to what I say, Esland. Under, not in. It means I’m keeping you safe.”
“There must be others who could do that.”
Right. There were presently three others on Kingham grounds who could very well do the job. However, until I was able to gain clarity on why my gut was insisting I be the one to protect her, I’d listen to instinct alone.
“You don’t even like me.”
True statement, although it was more the job she did and how it impacted my investigations that I didn’t care for.
“Why did you say you were at the pub to see me earlier?” I asked. “Were you already aware of the dead man in your flat?”
“You’re not a child, Esland. I’ll ask again. Why were you at the pub to see me?”
“I wanted to talk to you about Darrow. And then you dumped me in the street. Nice move, by the way.”
“First, sarcasm has no place in our conversations. Second, you’re lying to me. Lastly, as I said before, I didn’t dump you anywhere.”
“Why did you do it?” she asked. “Am I really that horrible of a person, or that much of a nuisance?”
I honestly couldn’t tell her why I’d picked her up and carried her out of the pub. Even I had to admit it was a wanker’s move.
“I’m sorry I did that.”
“Are you refusing to answer my question?”
“To be honest with you, I don’t know why.”
I saw a slight nod of understanding.
“Thank you for the apology.”
She did rub on my nerves, but was it her job or was it something else entirely? When Pique offered to take over Esland’s detail, my reaction had been inexplicable as well. I’d immediately felt an overwhelming need to protect her, even from my colleague. When she asked if I was returning to London, a feeling settled in my chest like a heavy stone. The idea of entrusting her safety to anyone else was unacceptable. Why? I couldn’t explain it.
“Tell me about your parents.”
She sighed, taking a long time to answer. “I miss them so much.”
“I’m sure you do. What were they like?”
“I never doubted they loved me.”
“They were a unit unto themselves. I was the third to two who didn’t need one.”
I didn’t hear hurt in her voice; I heard acceptance.
“They were on their way home from visiting you when the accident happened.”
“Yes. I was at university.”
“Must’ve been rough. You said earlier that you have no other family.”
“Both my parents were only children. I don’t think they ever tried to have another child.”
So no aunts, uncles, or cousins, also like she’d said earlier.
“My mother was a reporter, albeit a very different one than I am.”
“She was more of a social reporter.”
“How would you describe yourself?”
“As I well know.”
When I saw a slight smile from her, I smiled too.
“I never told a soul about Wren’s true identity.”
“I told you earlier that I found out from Darrow.”
“Yes.” I shook my head. One would’ve thought Darrow, of all people, would’ve known better.
Esland stood. “Where am I sleeping?”
“I can sleep on a sofa somewhere. I don’t need to take the only bed.”
“Not up for discussion.”
“You’re very intransigent, aren’t you? Your way or no way?”
“Right. Only sometimes. I wonder if Darrow would agree?”
I watched Esland walk away, knowing her estimation was dead-on. Darrow would say that I consistently refused to compromise, that I wouldn’t apologize, or even try to see things her way. I could hear her voice in my head, saying all of those things. Not that she was any less stubborn than I was.
Heather Slade. The Commoner and the Corresondent (Kindle Locations 346-401). The Royal Agents of MI6 Book Three.
I have to say getting information out of Esland was much like pulling teeth for Pinch. It doesn’t help that he’s falling hard and fast for her. She on the other hand has loved him for a very long time and her friendship with Darrow is holding her back.
Plenty of suspense and intrigue as we find out why the body and threat turned up in Esland’s apartment. We finally find out where Darrow is, we see some folks from K19 as well, I love that by the way.
Not an easy relationship but one that makes so much sense. Lots of memories, with a few twists and turns that may surprise you.
I really can’t wait for the next book in this series.
5 Contented Purrs for Heather!
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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.