USA Today Bestselling Author
A man of honor.
A man of war.
Ares will battle for his country
and for those he loves.
They don’t call me “Ares” for nothing. I fight like hell for what I believe in, and I believe in fighting for what’s right. I will take down any enemy who threatens the good of our country—or any country. Human lives are at risk and I’ll be damned if I sit by and watch anyone hurt another.
When I encounter Margeaux, I know immediately she’s far from my “Nemesis.” Together, we’re going to destroy the enemy—we’re going to win this war. And when we do, nothing will keep us apart.
When Kellen “Money” McTiernan took over the CIA one of the first ones fired was Philip ‘Ares’ Kappas, guilt by association. He was also immediately snatched up by K19. Now he’s going to be part of the UN Coalition Against Human Trafficking. Henri “Baissier” Marchand the French Ambassador to the UN is in charge and would be Ares boss.
His counterpart from MI6 is Margeaux ‘Nemesis’ Jordan. It’s their first meeting that had me giggling and really sets the tone of the relationship right from the beginning.
This is a favorite scene.
Thank God I still “officially” worked for K19. Somehow, we’d managed to cut through the typical bureaucratic red tape and got shit done. Something that wasn’t as true for my coalition counterparts.
In the last several weeks— in my official capacity as the US task force’s commanding officer for the UN Coalition Against Human Trafficking— I’d assembled a team of some of the best agents I’d ever worked with.
“You’re really stickin’ it to ol’ Money,” said Doc, laughing. “You’ll be happy to hear I got a call from him.”
“Why would that make me happy?”
“Because he’s pissed you poached Tank, Blackjack, and Atticus.”
“None of them worked for him.”
Doc laughed again. Harder. “You’re right, but now, he’s in hot water with the NRO since the UN told them he was the one who recommended not just you but your whole team. And since the Security Council trumps the NSA and NRO, at least officially, they couldn’t say no to letting them go.”
Doc was right, hearing McTiernan was getting bitched at was the icing on the cake for me. The real prize, though, was the combined capabilities of the guys I’d be working with.
“You’re doing good work, Ares. You’re the right man for the job.”
“I appreciate you saying so, Doc.”
“Listen, I also got a call from Z Alexander.”
“I heard the UK team suffered a tough one last night.”
“I made a recommendation to Marchand that this would be a good opportunity for the US and UK task forces to launch their first joint investigation,” said Merrigan.
Henri “Baissier” Marchand was the French ambassador to the United Nations and the man I reported to in my role as a coalition CO. “Did he agree?” “What do you think? Doc said with a grin.
Two days later, I flew into London Heathrow Airport. The following morning, I had a meeting scheduled at the SIS Building at Vauxhall Cross at zero nine hundred. As a former special agent in charge, then as a deputy director, I’d visited the chief of MI6’ s office more than once. Z Alexander was a stand-up guy, one who, like Doc and Merrigan, I respected very much. More, I enjoyed working with him.
The door to his office was open when I approached, and I heard a woman’s voice.
“He’s ridiculous. I mean, have you seen him? He’s a walking, talking cover model for a romance book,” said the woman I guessed was the UK task force CO, whom Z and I were scheduled to meet with.
I didn’t wait to hear his response. Instead, I stalked into his office despite the protests of his secretary, ordering me to stop.
Comments like the woman’s were something I’d heard most of my life, coupled with things like “Greek god” and “Adonis.” Worse was the comparison to the model whose likeness had been used for the Marvel comic book character Ares. True, it had been the fodder used when I was given my code name. However, the initial sketches had been drawn for the release of an issue that came out twenty years before I was born.
I cleared my throat, which was unnecessary for Z, who watched me walk in and didn’t bother masking his amusement at my hearing what the woman I’d be working with had to say about me.
“Good morning,” I said, taking a seat in the empty chair before it was offered. “You must be Margeaux.” I looked her up and down, letting my gaze linger too long on her ample cleavage.
While my intention had been to make her feel as ill at ease as her inappropriate comments made me, the stirring I felt in my groin was as surprising as it was unwelcome.
She folded her arms, covering her breasts, and raised her chin. Her eyes bored into mine when I finally looked up at her face. “Point taken,” she muttered.
I smirked. Good on her for not pretending she hadn’t classified me as a piece of meat, as they say.
Z cleared his throat like I had when I walked in.
“Hello, Ares,” he said. “Welcome back to SIS.” I shook his extended hand. “May I present Margeaux Jordan, code name Nemesis.”
I nodded in appreciation. The Greek goddess so named was the personification of divine retribution, punishment, and justice. How fitting. “Officer Jordan,” I said, extending my hand. “Philip Kappas.”
“Ares,” she said, shaking it. “God of war.”
“Nemesis,” I heard Z admonish under his breath. He motioned for me to retake my seat before sitting as well.
“Nem will brief you on the events of two nights ago, which resulted in our request for coalition assistance.” He turned to my counterpart. “As I’m sure you’re aware, Ares was responsible for taking down one of the largest trafficking rings in US history. Our investigation will benefit greatly from his expertise.”
I didn’t look directly at the woman; however, from the corner of my eye, I saw the ghost of a bristle. I would’ve had the same reaction if I were in her position. She was MI5’ s leading expert on this type of crime. It was the reason she’d been tapped as a task force leader in the same way I’d been.
“Shall we?” I asked, motioning for her to stand.
“Are we not doing the briefing here?” she asked Z.
“I’d intended to. However, another matter has come up, requiring my attention.”
“Understood.” She got up and walked out, not bothering to see if I followed.
“You owe me one for this,” I said over my shoulder, following her as Z’s chuckles faded the farther away I got.
Heather Slade. Code Name: Ares (Kindle Locations 77-123). K19 Allied Intelligence Team One Book One.
Ares seems to have a problem with stepping on Nem’s toes, making suggestions that are approved before he discusses them with her. The biggest one is working remotely, from an estate outside of London belonging to one Nem’s team Cayman’s family.
Wren and Wilde Wittaker also join this team as they attempt to find the origins of two shipping containers that had 124 fatalities within. Nem’s team takes lead on this while Ares’ team assists with finding Luisa Reeve and getting the others with her safe.
This is a very emotional book, between the deaths, recoveries, and a very convoluted investigative path, I couldn’t put this book down. I loved the growing romance between Nem and Ares in spite of the fact they both fight it tooth and nail.
I can’t 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.