Wrong Place. Wrong Time. Wrong Man –
yet he made her feel so right.
A prim and proper high school teacher
Recently divorced Bethwyn Banfield just wanted one out-of-character night on the town, and the tall, dark, tattooed stranger she meets is not what she was looking for. But their instant, electric attraction is undeniable.
The cop with a bad boy past
WASP Team Undercover cop Damon Nyhuis has spent two years infiltrating the notorious Notechi Motorcycle Club, doing whatever it takes to remain in deep cover. But when he sees his high school calculus teacher in a bar looking as hot as she did thirteen years ago, the last thing he is thinking about is his job. And that turns out to be the biggest mistake of his life.
A race through the desert
Kidnapped and dragged to the middle of nowhere, Beth and Damon must escape the murderous Notechi – but to do so is only the beginning of their ordeal. The desert is vast, desolate and unforgiving, and the Notechi are right on their heels.
Their passion as hot as the sun
In the cool of the desert night they run, but in the lethal heat of the day they must rest – and quickly, lust becomes so much more.
First, they must make it home. But then – can there really be a future for the teacher who wants her own family, and the cop who makes certain he’s always alone?
On an impulse after learning her ex-husband was now in a serious relationship, Bethwyn decided to go out to a bar with the intention of getting laid. She really hadn’t thought that whole thing through and had just decided to leave the bar, giving up on her one night out of character. Then she’s approached by Damon.
Damon’s still undercover as Todd aka ‘Crawls’ but when he sees Bethwyn he knows he has one chance to get her attention and he takes it. What he doesn’t expect is to have company bust in at his house. He’d let his guard down and now they are both in trouble. Notechi type of trouble that could very well end with them both dead.
It was mid-morning by the time they arrived at Tiger Snake Station where the Notechi headquartered. That’s when everything goes a bit crazy.
This is a favorite scene.
They’d reached a large room, decorated in a kind of modern country style with white fabric couches and a shaker-style kitchen at one end. In the middle of the room – looking out through large windows that viewed what looked to Beth like a world of nothingness – dirt and scrub and flatness, with maybe the slightest undulations in the far, far distance – stood a man. His back to them all.
He was tall, as tall as Todd, but bigger in width. Not with more muscle, as Beth knew Todd was all muscle, but bulk. He wasn’t fat, not exactly, just big. And on that big, broad back – was a leather biker jacket. And on that jacket, was embroidered two entwined, banded snakes. And beneath that, a single word: Notechi.
The man turned around.
“Todd,” the man said.
“Knife,” said Todd. “There’s clearly been a misunderstanding. Let’s sort this out, you know I—”
But Knife held out a hand, and Todd fell instantly silent. “No bullshit. I know what you’ve been doing.”
“Do you?” Todd said. “Because I have no idea. Could you fill me in so I at least know what I’m supposed to have done?”
Knife shook his head. “I’m not playing games. You’re very convincing, I give you that.”
“This isn’t an act,” Todd said. “I’m telling you the truth.”
Knife laughed out loud, and then – awkwardly – head goon and the rest all joined in.
“Bullshit,” Knife repeated. He pointed at one of the white couches. “Sit.”
Head goon pushed Todd towards the couch, but no one moved Beth anywhere. She stood uncomfortably just inside the room, flanked on either side by a bikie – one with long brown hair and a grey-flecked goatee, the other totally bald.
Knife’s gaze slid from Todd to the rest of the room, then stilled and held when he saw Beth.
“Who the fuck is she?” he said, still staring at her, but clearly directing the question at head goon.
Beth realised that head goon now held his gun in his hand, and the man tapped it against his thigh as he spoke.
“She was with Crawls,” he said.
Beth couldn’t look away from the gun as fear began to overtake any hope she’d been clinging to. It was not good that the man was holding a gun. It was not good at all.
“So you brought her with you?” Knife asked with a mix of fury and incredulity. “Why the fuck would you do that?”
“We couldn’t leave her,” head goon explained. “She’d seen us—”
“I won’t tell anyone anything,” Beth said in a burst of words that bubbled up from nowhere. Or at least she tried to. The tape still covering her mouth turned it all to mumbles.
Knife strode up to her, and as he moved, Beth realised he had a gun tucked into the front waistband of his faded black jeans.
She stopped breathing as he came to a stop in front of her. For long moments, he just stared, as if he was assessing her. His gaze slid down to her feet, then slowly, slowly upwards over her creased, colourful skirt and her untucked black blouse. He would have been handsome, this Knife guy, with his thick mahogany hair, cool blue eyes and strong jaw, if he wasn’t so clearly bad. And not bad in a good way. This wasn’t a sexy bad, not like Todd who oozed danger, but not in a way that threatened her. Or at least, Beth desperately hoped her instincts were right and that was true. But with Knife, there was no question, no hoping anything – he was capital B Bad. All caps bad even: BAD.
He was absolutely a danger to Beth. He would hurt her, she knew it. He’d hurt her, and not blink an eyelid.
He reached out and ripped the tape off her mouth.
It stung like hell, and she remembered to breathe again as she gasped in pain.
“What you say?” Knife demanded.
“I won’t tell anyone anything,” Beth repeated, her voice scratchy and dry. “I won’t. It’ll be like this never happened, like it was all a dream or something. I promise.”
“Sweet thing,” Knife said, in an approximation of a charming tone. “How many times have you broken the law?”
Beth’s mouth opened and closed, but no sound came out.
“Just as I thought,” he continued, as if she’d spoken. “Zero times. So I can’t see any reason why’d you start now with failing to report a crime. And you’ve seen a few so far, I imagine – kidnapping, assault – and pretty soon, murder. So, sweet thing – you cool with that? Cool with walking away, never breathing a word after witnessing bits of your boyfriend’s brain fucking up my new furniture?”
She didn’t reply. How could she?
He’d just vocalised the reality of what was happening to her, and it was impossible. All of this was incomprehensible. Fear tightened her throat and made unshed tears sting her eyes.
His hand reached out, slipping a finger under the collar of her blouse and then sliding downwards, the glide of his knuckle grotesque against the swell of her breast. His voice was low and thick with faux seduction. “Cool with not reporting a rape, sweet thing?”
She stepped backwards, not caring about the goons or the gun or anything as she reacted instinctively. “Don’t touch me!” she yelled.
And over Knife’s shoulder, she saw a flurry of movement and then the sickening thud of fists against skin and bone.
Ashton, Leah. Elite SWAT Box Set: Books 1-3 Kindle Locations (3076-3118). Kindle Edition.
From an initial fight because of the threat to Beth things start to go downhill. Fortunately, Knife’s mistress Suz puts up a fuss and he decides to take her back to the city. From here Damon and Beth make their own luck and begin a harrowing journey across the desert. something that must be accomplished before Knife gets back.
There is plenty of suspense, action and sizzle in this book and I’m already reading the next one.
5 Contented Purrs for Leah!
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RITA® Award-winning author Leah Ashton writes fast-paced romantic suspense and smart, modern contemporary romance. All her books feature strong heroines, deliciously heroic heroes and swoon worthy happily ever afters.
Leah lives in Perth, Western Australia with her gorgeous husband, two amazing daughters and the best intentions to meal plan and have an effortlessly tidy home. When she’s not writing, Leah loves all day breakfast, rambling conversations and laughing until she cries. She really hates cucumber. And scary movies.