USA Today Bestselling Author
Code name: Garrison “Cowboy” Cassidy
Target: Winslow Greer
Mission: Take the ski champion to new peaks
Being quiet and reserved makes cracking cases and taking down enemies—one vile and malicious criminal at a time—easy for a stealthy agent like me. But when I meet Winslow, it requires every bit of my reserve to take it slow. I know once I give in to her tantalizing ways, it’s going to be one fast, slippery slope of passion and pleasure.
Death. The end. My final hurrah. At least that’s what I thought. But by some miracle, I escaped. Saving myself. That’s not enough, though. It’s not over. Peril is imminent, and I need help. Safety. Security. And there’s only one man I trust. But can I really put my life in the hands of a sexy cowboy in tight denims and a country drawl?
Olympic Skier Winslow Greer is the latest reported missing person. Garrison ‘Cowboy’ Cassidy is determined to find her before the worst happens. Whether it was a mistake or on purpose her kidnapper left her a way to escape. When she realizes she can get free, she does and runs for help.
Cowboy is notified as is Mayhem and they head to the police station. Once her parents arrive the situation is a bit touchy.
This is a favorite scene.
“Cowboy, this is Onyx. I heard from the sheriff a few minutes ago. He got a call from Lake Placid PD saying a couple just brought Winslow Greer into their station. You and Mayhem are still up there, right?”
I was out of bed with my boots on by the time he instructed me to head there. When I raced out of the room, Mayhem came out of his.
“Ranger just called.”
“Onyx called me. Let’s go.”
Just as we pulled into the PD parking lot, Mayhem’s phone pinged. He swiped the screen. “Ranger said they’re expecting us.”
“Two guys working with the FBI.”
“Copy that.” Neither of us looked the part, though. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had a haircut, to the point it hung past my shoulders. Both of us had visible ink and were dressed more like bikers than agents.
“Cassidy and Gable?” asked a man in uniform who greeted us at the door. “Follow me.” He walked away without waiting for a response from either of us.
“What’s Ms. Greer’s condition?” I asked when we reached a closed door and he put his hand on the knob.
“She’s shaken but has no visible signs of assault.”
“Visible?” asked Mayhem.
“She doesn’t want to go to the hospital until her parents get here.”
“They’re on their way?” I asked.
“Should arrive within the hour.”
“They aren’t here in town?”
The man shook his head. “Don’t know. It’s just what I was told.”
“Copy that.” I motioned for him to open the door. When he did, I went in first.
The blue eyes I’d stared into so often over the last few days filled with tears when they met mine. I walked over and knelt down near her chair.
“Winslow, my name is Garrison Cassidy, and I’m part of the team who’s been lookin’ for you. I sure am glad to see you, darlin’.”
Her breath caught, and the tears in her eyes ran down her cheeks. When she leaned forward and reached for me, I took her into my arms and stroked her hair as she sobbed.
“You’re safe now, sweetheart,” I soothed. “You’re safe.” I felt her nod, but until she let go, I wouldn’t either.
Too soon, I heard a knock at the door and it opening. “Excuse me, sir. Ms. Greer’s parents are on their way in.”
“I’m so sorry.” Winslow pulled away and wiped at her tears.
I brushed her hair from her forehead. “Don’t be.”
When I stood, my eyes met Mayhem’s. Thankfully, I didn’t see any judgment in them.
“Winnie!” a woman cried as she burst through the door. I took a step to the side to give Winslow and her parents space, when I felt her hand slip into mine.
“Thank you,” she whispered, looking up at me.
I squeezed her fingers before I let go, and Mayhem and I left the room.
His phone pinged. “Ranger’s requesting an update,” he said after swiping the screen.
Mayhem gave me a head nod and walked away. Once he’d gone out the door, I leaned up against the wall and put my hands in my pockets.
“She hasn’t reacted to much until you arrived,” the police officer commented. “Other than saying she didn’t want to go to the hospital until her parents arrived.”
“She’s in shock.”
He shook his head. “Hell of a thing.” The man looked up at the ceiling and let out a heavy sigh. “We haven’t questioned her yet. The boss told us this is FBI jurisdiction.”
“Correct,” I said without looking at him. While I had no desire to put Winslow through the hell of recounting her ordeal, we couldn’t wait much longer to see if she could tell us where she’d been for the last few days.
The door opened, and Winslow’s father stepped into the hall. “What are you waiting for?” he barked, looking between the officer and me. “Why aren’t you arresting the bastard who did this to my daughter?”
“I don’t want to hear excuses. Go do your goddamn job.”
I raised my eyes to his but didn’t respond. I understood every ounce of his anger. More, his feelings of helplessness.
“We haven’t questioned your daughter yet, sir. Until we do, we have no way of doing as you ask.”
Winslow’s father stared at the guy beside me, and I watched his fists clench in anger and his breathing accelerate with every word the officer said. Then his expression changed as acceptance gradually set in.
“What are you waiting for?” he asked a second time, but with less of an edge in his voice.
The cop turned his head in my direction.
“For you and your wife to arrive,” I responded.
“We’re here now,” he said at the same time Mayhem returned from outside. Winslow’s father looked at him, then at me. “Who are you?”
“We’re with the FBI, sir,” I answered for both of us, introducing myself first, then Mayhem, by our given names.
“Let’s get this over with.” He motioned for us to follow him into the room where Winslow sat, looking down at her hands folded in her lap, no longer crying.
Her expression, her overall demeanor bothered me. Something was off here, but I didn’t have enough information to even guess at what it could be.
Before her father had the chance, I stepped around the table and took the seat beside her. I moved the chair closer so our arms could touch if she moved even slightly. When she did, I rested my open palm on my leg, and she put her hand in it. Even without looking directly at her, I could see Mrs. Greer’s confused expression. I didn’t care what the woman thought. The minute Winslow’s hand was in mine, I felt some of her tension release. It was all I cared about.
I kept my voice even, void of as much inflection as I could. “I understand the last thing you want to do right now is talk about what happened to you, but if you have any information at all that could lead us to where you were being held, we might have a chance to catch whoever abducted you.”
Winslow’s eyes met mine, and I kept my gaze as even as my voice. “Whenever you’re ready.”
“There was a utility bill sitting on the counter addressed to Craig Ferrone.”
I looked up at Mayhem, who held up his phone. “How would you feel about us recording your statement?”
Winslow nodded, so I set my phone on the table and pressed the button to record.
“The place where he took me was on Main Street, across from the Lake Placid General Store. A basement apartment— in a brick house. The entrance is in the back, surrounded by evergreen trees.”
When Mayhem immediately followed the police officer out of the room, Winslow’s grip on my hand tightened.
Her father cleared his throat. “Winslow, he has to—”
“My partner and the Lake Placid PD have this handled. I’m not going anywhere.” I spoke directly to her rather than her father.
“Garrison, right?” Winslow asked.
She turned toward her mother. “I’d like to talk to Garrison alone.”
“Out of the question. Your mother and I need to stay with you.” I didn’t like the edge in her father’s voice, particularly when Winslow’s gaze fell to her lap like I’d seen it do earlier.
“Give us a few minutes,” I demanded more than asked.
Winslow’s mother stood and led her husband from the room despite his objections.
I squeezed her fingers. “Take your time.”
She nodded and took several deep breaths. “He didn’t…”
I waited to see if she could go on. “Assault you?” I asked when it didn’t appear she could.
She nodded. “He kept me in handcuffs and my legs bound.”
I looked down at the floor and noticed her feet were bare. No one had thought to give this woman a pair of socks? What in the ever living hell? “Be right back—”
<em.“No!” She clung to my hand with both of hers. “Don’t go.”
Heather Slade. Code Name: Cowboy (Kindle Locations 326-394). K19 Shadow Operations Book Four.
The interview with Winslow leads them to where she was held but then dead bodies start showing up, along with additional threats. Now they have to devise a plan to keep her safe while the search continues.
There are so many revelations in this book that are horrifying, and tension escalates as they try to identify possible victims.
Obviously, there is a connection between Winslow and Cowboy and that only grows with time together.
I really love how we get to see folks from other series as well as those added to this one.
So much frustration but things are starting to be resolved, as I now wait for the next book in this series.
5 Contented Purrs for Heather!
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USA Today and Amazon Top 15 Bestselling Author Heather Slade writes shamelessly sexy, edge-of-your seat romantic suspense.
She gave herself the gift of writing a book for her own birthday one year. Forty-plus books later (and counting), she’s having the time of her life. The women Slade writes are self-confident, strong, with wills of their own, and hearts as big as the Colorado sky. The men are sublimely sexy, seductive alphas who rise to the challenge of capturing the sweet soul of a woman whose heart they’ll hold in the palm of their hand forever. Add in a couple of neck-snapping twists and turns, a page-turning mystery, and a swoon-worthy HEA, and you’ll be holding one of her books in your hands.
She loves to hear from her readers.