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Releasing Tomorrow! Zero Trace – The Arsenal Book 4 by Cara Carnes



Zero Trace
The Arsenal Book 4
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Cara Carnes

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Don’t get noticed.

Zoey “Zero D” Danson thought it was an easy rule to follow. For years she toiled in cubicle 12A of the NSA’s data farm compiling security briefings and Intelligence reports. But she put her neck on the line and burned a dirty government operation to keep a covert ops team alive.

Now she’s “one of them.” She’s not a nameless, faceless civilian anymore. She’s part of The Arsenal—and in way, way over her head.

Trust no one.

Gage Sanderson recognizes a threat when he sees it, and the newest geek in The Arsenal’s back office is trouble. She’s smart, secretive, sexy, and everything he shouldn’t want. They risked their necks to keep her safe, but she’s hiding something and it’s up to him to figure out what.

He’s sworn to never trust another crew at his back, but his team is worth the risk. He won’t make the same mistake twice—even if it means killing the only woman who’s ever made her way past his defenses.

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This book takes over where Blood Vows leaves off. Zoey has helped the Arsenal in several things earning their respect. However, the most recent has unfortunately put a target on her back, a call to the Arsenal has them sending someone to meet her.

Gage stepped in to get her out of a very sticky situation with orders to secure her and get her to the Arsenal.

This is a favorite scene as they collect her things and her cat.

“I don’t trust her,” Gage declared into the com.

Zoey Dansworth may have saved Fallon and his team, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t trouble. The woman skulked into her bathroom and shut the door. They’d been in the small, upper northside apartment for five minutes, and she’d yet to find Dobby—aka the reason they were there.

Gage glowered as something flashed in his peripheral vision. He drew his weapon and eased into the next room, a small dining room. The entire apartment was…

Clean.

Too clean.

Antiseptic, devoid of personal touches. Gage wasn’t the personal touch kind of guy. Give him a pillow and a passable sleeping surface, and he was good to go. But he had three sisters and a mom.

Women nested.

Hell, even Vi and Mary nested in their operational theater at The Arsenal compound—little knickknacks spread here and there, a few more than at first now that they’d both settled in with their men.

“She saved Fallon. I’ve worked with her in the past. She’s solid,” Vi said.

Gage couldn’t think of anyone he’d trust more than Vi and Mary, but that didn’t make them right. He aimed his weapon under the dining room table, where the white tablecloth moved. Something swiped at his leg.

What the ever-loving fuck?

He jumped backward and flicked the safety off his gun. A growl rumbled from beneath the table, followed by a hiss. Some rabid animal maybe? The paw had been small and gray, definitely not a cat.

“What are you doing? Put that away!” Zoey swatted his hand, positioned herself in front of his drawn weapon, and crouched down. “It’s okay, Dobby. The mean, scary commando isn’t going to hurt you. Come on out. It’s okay. Come on.”

Gage clicked the safety on his gun and listened as the woman cooed and whispered nonsensically. A hideous thing crawled from beneath the dining room table.

“That’s a cat?”

No way in hell. The wrinkled animal was half rat-gray and half tan, with bulging, green eyes. A feral-like rumble radiated from it as it swiped at Gage again and offered an opened-mouth hiss.

“Don’t be rude,” Zoey spat angrily as she curled the hairless, big-eared “cat” against her body and glared. “Dobby is a beautiful Sphynx. He takes a while to warm up to people, though. Here, you get to know him while I pack his clothes.”

“Clothes? Cats have clothes?” He stared at the strange woman as she went back toward the bedroom.

Snickering on the other end of the com made Gage growl a low warning in his throat. “Don’t.”

“Oh, you don’t scare me, Gage Sanderson. My man growls way better than that,” Vi said.

She was not wrong. Judson Jensen was one of the few men Gage wouldn’t ever want to take on in a fight. The former assassin had become a hell of an Arsenal asset, one who got a wide berth from everyone—including Gage.

“Here, put Dobby’s sweater on him, and I’ll get the rest of his things.”

The hairless cat growled from his new position in the crook of Gage’s arm. Zoey, aka Zero D, wandered out of the room. He followed.

Her shoulder-length hair was a bright purple with pink tips. She was a short bundle of full curves he couldn’t help but appreciate, especially since she’d changed into curve-hugging leggings with telephone booths which ran down her short legs.

He glanced down at Dobby, who watched with a wary expression. “I don’t like the situation either, but we’d best man the fuck up and get on with this. You gonna let me do this the easy way, or are we going the hard route?”

Dobby growled.

Fair enough.

Zoey’s voice drifted from the other room. Suspicious, he quietly made his way toward the bedroom, but couldn’t hear what she was saying.

“Can you amplify what she’s saying, Vi?”

The earbud he wore went silent a heartbeat, then returned, the volume louder than before. Gage didn’t know how Vi had turned the com into a listening device. He never understood half of what she and Mary did. That’s what made them the Quillery Edge.

“I’m sorry. I know the timing sucks, but I’ve gotta go. I’ll be in touch when I can, but until then I need you locking everything down, just in case. I’m sure it’ll be fine, but we need to be safe.” Zoey’s voice paused. “Okay. Let me know if you see anything or anyone at all suspicious. Don’t try and be a badass. Bye.”

“Find out who she was talking to,” he ordered.

“Already in process,” Vi said. “I started vetting her through HERA before we dispatched you to retrieve her. Her phone records will be dumped soon enough.”

Good.

While a part of Gage was more than willing to eat a bullet because she’d saved Fallon and his team, he wasn’t fully ready to trust her. Not yet.

He’d almost died because of blind trust once before.

He wouldn’t ever let it happen again. The moment she entered the living room, he crowded into her personal space until she backed up against the wall. The flash of fear in her gaze gave him a second’s hesitation, but this needed to be done.

The Arsenal was good people. They didn’t deserve to get mired in whatever shit Zoey Danson was hiding. She’d done Fallon and his team a solid, which meant Gage and everyone else would have her back.

“You’re hiding something,” he said.

“Step back.”

“Whatever you’re hiding had better not surface and affect The Arsenal. If it does, you and I are gonna have problems.” Gage stepped back and handed over the sweater-clad cat. The sooner they got back to The Arsenal, the better.
Cara Carnes. Zero Trace (Kindle Locations 238-284). Heartscape Publishing, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

As Zoey keeps her secret things are about to take a turn. Her former boss Ian Schmidt from the NSA links her to the disappearance of a Congressman’s daughter. Zoey has no choice but to involve the Arsenal in her network that saves women and children in trouble.

Lots of hold your breath moments, suspense and action will keep you turning the pages as you watch not only Zoey’s network but also her and Gage’s relationship. These two are kindle melting hot in more ways than one.

5 Contented Purrs for Cara!

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Cara Carnes
Born in small-town Texas, Cara Carnes was a princess, a pirate, fashion model, actress, rock star and Jon Bon Jovi’s wife all before the age of 13. In reality, her fascination for enthralling worlds took seed somewhere amidst a somewhat dull day job and a wonderful life filled with family and friends. When she’s not cemented to her chair, Cara loves traveling, photography and reading.

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Snow and the Shadows – Roteran Shadows Book 1 by Cara Carnes



Snow and the Shadows
Roteran Shadows Book 1
By
Cara Carnes

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Princess Snow Cavell finds herself captured by her evil stepmother and handed over to seven ruthless men known as Shadows—the most feared assassins in the known galaxies. Snow’s link to the Cosmos is a threat, one that can no longer be tolerated if her stepmother intends to win the war and rule the Intergalactic Alliance.

Their orders are clear—either execute her or deposit her on one of the slaver colonies to be sold. But the Shadows have other plans for the beauty, plans that will fracture alliances throughout the galaxies and shift the tide of the Intergalactic War.

No one controls the Shadows. They’d sworn to remain neutral during the War, but all bets are off now that Snow’s life hangs in the balance.

**Author’s Note** This work was originally published in April 2018 as part of the Once Upon a Harem Series.

I have read many adaptations of Snow White but this one is by far my favorite.

Snow is the daughter of a slave and a king. The current Queen, her stepmother, wants her gone, dead in fact. The Shadows of Roteran were not having any of that and helped Snow disguise the fact she can in fact control the energy within the well. Then they claim a boon for their wasted time. Her father came up with the terms. She battles the guards, if she wins, the Shadows get her to use, then kill and send the proof to Queen Vilma.

This is a favorite scene.

I fought the guard as he forced my hand toward the liquid.

No. No. No.

I’d once touched the Summoner’s Well with an index finger the first solar cycle I’d been aboard The Paradox. The fallout had imploded the area and left me knocked out for days. Yora had explained it was because I was part Tezan. My mother’s bloodline was a conduit between the Well and its true commander, the Oracle.

Send the power to me, female. Relax and accept the queen’s will or you will die. Send the power to me.

The voice in my head was deep, husky. Steely like the blade of my sword.

One of the Roteran Shadows. I recalled the history Lazar had offered. When Tezans reigned over the Summoner’s Well, they voiced the Oracle’s Will. Roterans enforced the decisions. Roterans were a noble race who’d chosen to remain neutral in the Intergalactic War. They were fiercely private and feared by all. The purple color denoted the Shadow hierarchy.

Send the power to me, female.

I can’t. It’s too much.

I thought the response, though I was no telepath.

Send the power to me, female.

The psychic push was too much to resist. I succumbed, channeled the power the Well offered, and hurled it toward the voice.

The thick liquid encompassed my hand. My insides burned, my body trembled. Pain coursed through my veins, singed my blood as though my entire body was about to explode.

Send more, female, the second male voice commanded. Too weakened from containing the Well’s power, I obeyed.

The guardsmen’s grip on me slackened. I collapsed beside the column.

“Well, it’s as you suspected. She is a common Tezan whore.” The queen waved her hand. “Do as you wish with her, guardsmen. I tire of her presence.”

The men laughed and jeered as they hauled me away. I punched and kicked. “Touch me and you die.”

I shouted the warning again and again as the men dragged me backward. I knew what guardsmen did with slave whores. I’d heard enough stories, remembered the horrors from my father’s home world.

“I thought you wished her sold at the market.” The stranger’s voice boomed within the room. One of the Shadows stepped forward, his gaze flashing disinterest as he regarded me. “We don’t trade damaged goods, Queen Vilma. You know better than to waste our time.”

“Yes, clearly my information was incorrect. My apologies. I expected the slave to have at least some royal Tezan blood. She’s not worth the effort of hauling to the slave market. My guardsmen will have their fun, then snap her neck. I have no need of your services after all. You shall have another opportunity to prove your loyalty to the new Crunan Skeron Empire.”

“I’m afraid you owe us a boon for traveling here, Queen. I must insist. If you don’t wish to waste credits, give the female to us. I assure you she’ll be taken care of in a manner befitting her station.”

“I’ve heard you Shadows are quite sadistic.” The queen smiled. She raked a long, talon-like nail down the man’s torso. She looked over at my father. “What say you, husband? Do you have a preference for how your slave’s child dies?”

My gut soured. Nausea threatened. I hung between the two guardsmen.

My father’s lip curled. “No, but this bores me. I require entertainment. Choose two of your best guardsmen, my bride. I hear my slave child is trained in weaponry. Let us see what she has learned. If she loses, your guardsmen may have her. If she wins, she will die at the hands of the Shadows.”

“Excellent.” The queen purred the order. “Proceed as my husband commands.”

The two guardsmen released me. Pain rose up my thighs as my knees impacted with the hard cargo deck.

They’d killed Lazar, Evon, and Vellis. And my caregiver Yora. I seethed and molded the anger. The time for a decision was upon me. Truth told, I should be dead already. Had it not been for the Shadows in my head, I would be.

Someone had taken the power I channeled without anyone noticing. How? Why?

Why would Roterans help me?

The questions rolled through my mind.

I took a deep breath and decided to trust my gut instinct.

A wise warrior retreats to fight another day. There is no victory in a certain death.

Lazar always taught me lessons through sayings that were more riddle than anything else. What would he have me do? The answer was swift, the only one.

Warriors did not surrender. They died in battle.

The Shadows. I’d fight to win, align my fate with the seven strangers circling my father and his new bride. Perhaps they’d let me pay for my freedom. I knew so little about the Roterans, but Lazar always portrayed them as a proud, noble species.
Cara Carnes. Snow and the Shadows.Roteran Shadows Book 1. Kindle Locations 152-193. Kindle Edition.

There is far more to the Shadows than anyone knows, and some of that is shown when they honor her fallen guards.

I love the way this story slowly winds it’s twisted tale. The patient way the seven shadows wait for her to realize each piece of them as the attraction builds steadily.

Awesome world building and I loved all the heroes and the couple of heroines. Snow and her Shadows are perfectly matched. I can’t wait to read their next adventure.

5 Contented Purrs for Cara!

Cara Carnes

Born in small-town Texas, Cara Carnes was a princess, a pirate, fashion model, actress, rock star and Jon Bon Jovi’s wife all before the age of 13. In reality, her fascination for enthralling worlds took seed somewhere amidst a somewhat dull day job and a wonderful life filled with family and friends. When she’s not cemented to her chair, Cara loves traveling, photography and reading.


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ARC Review of Protecting Mari – Police and Fire: Operation Alpha by Cara Carnes



Protecting Mari
Fire and Police: Operation Alpha
By
Cara Carnes

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Who do you turn to when the law is the problem?

Marisol hoped divorce was the key to a new life—one away from her crazy ex-husband. Instead she’s working two jobs and struggling to make ends meet as her problems escalate. Terrified and desperate for help—any help—she turns to a stranger, a man her brother swore could help with just about any problem. The answer to her problems is tall, dark, deadly and everything she’d once thought she wanted in a man. But to him she’s a job. Nothing more.

No one should fight an impossible war alone.

When Ethan founded Counterstrike he expected a challenge but nothing could have prepared him for Marisol. She’s smart, courageous, compassionate, headstrong, and everything he’s ever wanted. But her troubles come with a price tag he didn’t expect when he must face his own personal demons to keep her safe.

They’ll both soon discover the hardest battle is the one for their hearts.

Right from the start we get to see the trouble our heroine is dealing with. Thankfully her brother has given her Tex’s number with instructions to call him if she needs help.

Waking in the middle of the night to an intruder who attacks her and steals her cellphone, Marisol finds herself in a position where she can’t trust anyone. Least of all the cops who answer the call. She makes the call to Tex and the next thing she knows she has back-up.

Ethan Davenport and his siblings run Counterstrike. An organization designed to help folks in domestic situations. It’s Ethan who show up and runs interference with the police at her apartment, and then takes her to his place where she will be safe until they figure all this out.

This is a favorite scene when she wakes up in Ethan’s guest room.

Ethan had been nice, he’d gotten her away when she needed to go anywhere but where she was at. But she couldn’t let him or anyone else get hurt by Chester and the assholes who did his bidding.

“I should go.” She yanked on the bottom of her scrubs even though everything was hanging where it should. The sooner she got away from Ethan, the better for him. “Thanks for your help.”

He angled away from the entry, as if offering her room to pass. Arms crossed, his full lips thinned into a grim line. “You’re not leaving, Marisol.”

“Mari,” she corrected. “Friends call me Mari, and anyone who stands up against my ex’s asshole friends gets to be mine, whether they want to or not.”

“Well, Mari, I was raised to believe friends didn’t abandon friends having troubles. And you, sweetheart, have a big pile of those slithering all around you like an angry nest of vipers.” He took a couple steps into the room, toward the curtains and pulled them open. Sunlight filtered in from the outside, bathing the area in warm, refreshing rays. “There’s a bathroom behind you. My sister Jen lives next door. She brought over some clothes for you to use, but the pants might be a bit long. She’s taller than you.”

Mari glanced over at the pile of clothes on the edge of a gorgeous cherry wood dresser. Shock coiled through her as June Bug crawled from underneath the bed and wound around her feet. She fell to her knees and hugged her kitty close as moisture burned within her watery gaze.

“I asked Twitch to bring her here, figured she’d be happier with you,” the man commented. “And seeing a friendly face when you’re waking up somewhere strange is always welcome, especially after you’ve had a scare.”

She looked around the immaculate room, then down at her long-haired menace. To say June Bug was a troublemaker was an understatement. “Thank you. I’ll make sure she behaves. I can keep her locked in her carrier.”

“There’s no need. She’s already explored the whole house while you’ve been asleep. She and Chompers have reached a tentative understanding.”

“Chompers?” Ethan whistled, low and long. The click clack of nails across hardwood floors echoed from down the hall. She drew June Bug closer and stood as a massive German Shepherd entered the small bedroom. Tongue lolling to the side, Chompers sat on his ass at Ethan’s feet and stared at Mari and June Bug.

She rubbed June Bug’s head and took a step closer to the gorgeous dog watching her with such curiosity and enthusiasm, his entire body trembled. He whined low but remained in position. Ethan made a gesture and the animal rose, taking a step to close the distance.

And sniffed her outstretched hand. A few ear scratches later and she and Chompers were the best of buds. June Bug, on the other hand, wasn’t a fan. She hissed and growled her mock anger.

“Don’t mind her, she’s always growly at first, then she adapts,” Mari commented. “I foster dogs and kitties waiting for permanent homes quite a bit.” She bit her lip as regret filled her. “Or I used to.”

“We’ll get you back to the life you deserve to have and away from the one you’ve been forced into, Mari. It might take some effort, and fuck knows it won’t be pleasant for you, not by any stretch of the imagination.” Ethan took a couple steps forward, reached out and ran a hand along the side of her face.

The tentative graze of his fingertips sent a shockwave of awareness rippling through her. The gentle glide along the undamaged portion of her face made her heart thud hard in her chest. June Bug began purring in her arms.

“Whoever did this,” he whispered, “will pay tenfold. No one strikes a woman and gets by with it.”

God.

The fierceness and ironclad confidence he exuded tumbled from him in thick, comforting waves. He had no doubt he’d find the bastard who’d hurt her. For the first time since she’d been woken at 3: 04 a.m., she had a firm grip on hope. Determination. Resolve.
Cara Carnes. Protecting Mari (Kindle Locations 229-260). Aces Press, LLC. Kindle Edition.

The wall of blue Mari has continually run up against, will now have a battle. Not only is Counterstrike involved but also the Arsenal. With Tex and the Quillery Edge gathering and evaluating information, plus Tex doesn’t wait as requested and calls Dax, which starts the Texas Ranger’s investigation into her ex-husband.

Mari has plenty of backup even as her ex Chester tries to implicate her in all sorts of things. I loved the inclusion of all the folks from the Arsenal series it’s a favorite of mine. Of course Tex and Dax from Susan Stoker’s series are awesome too, I love those guys!

A page turning read, with drama, suspense, romance, laughter and plenty of heat in the bedroom.

I hope Cara writes more in Susan Stoker’s Operation Alpha world, I truly enjoyed her take on everyone.

5 Contented Purrs for Cara!

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Cara Carnes

Born in small-town Texas, Cara Carnes was a princess, a pirate, fashion model, actress, rock star and Jon Bon Jovi’s wife all before the age of 13. In reality, her fascination for enthralling worlds took seed somewhere amidst a somewhat dull day job and a wonderful life filled with family and friends. When she’s not cemented to her chair, Cara loves traveling, photography and reading.


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Do Not Miss This Book!!! Blood Vows – The Arsenal Book 3 by Cara Carnes



Blood Vows
The Arsenal Book 3
By
Cara Carnes

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He’s sworn to find his son.

Dallas Mason did whatever was necessary to survive his stint in black ops. While in the Collective, there was no line he wouldn’t cross, and no mission he wouldn’t take. He bedded the enemy to secure his freedom and return to his brothers and build a new life, where the lines between right and wrong are sometimes blurred, but never erased. Now he and everyone at The Arsenal has one mission: find his son. His family and team will stop at nothing to achieve the goal—including sidelining Dallas from the hunt.

She’s sworn to find her father’s killer.

Kamren Garrett learned to rely on no one long ago. Surrounded by enemies, and surviving in hostile territory is nothing new for her. She can outshoot, outhunt, and out track anyone. She doesn’t need a Mason dictating what she can and can’t do to uncover the secrets of her father’s death. Dallas thinks she’s the problem. She doesn’t have time to handle him. She’s close to identifying her quarry. Unfortunately, she discovers she’s over her head and in need of help and she turns to the last person she ever wanted to ask—Dallas Mason.

Forced to take a step back from his true objective, Dallas sets his sights on fixing the problems threatening his son’s future home. Teamed with Kamren, he’ll uncover more than they expected. Failure isn’t an option when it comes to blood vows.

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If you haven’t read the other books in this series I suggest you do that before reading this one. While it’s not necessary it will make far more sense if you do.

Kamren Garett is looking for her father’s killer, unfortunately her sister Rachelle has been bad mouthing her all over the place, calling her crazy and starting rumors she’s on drugs. Rachelle and her brother Cliff have been at the Arsenal since Riley convinced everyone something bad was going on in Marville. The Mason’s have their back even against their sibling.

The ‘Marville Dogs’ want her to stop her snooping around. After a confrontation with Dallas Mason at the Sip and Spin, a bar where her best friend Dani works. She leaves town. When she returns all is not well and she makes the decision to ask the Arsenal for help.

This is a favorite scene of her eventful journey up the road.

It’d been two weeks since her face off with Dallas Mason. He’d made assumptions she hadn’t corrected. Why bother? He was right. Rachelle was better off away from her and the troubles she’d stirred.

The troubles slamming her off the highway.

It’d been a mistake going to the Sip and Spin. Coming to The Arsenal.

The truck lurched forward against a grind of bumper-on-bumper contact. Her teeth rattled, her body slammed against the seat belt. She gunned the truck and powered on. Her pulse quickened, but a calm settled over her—a steady, rumbling awareness of everything around her. She scanned the area ahead.

Lights.

The Arsenal?

Maybe.

The vehicle slammed into her truck’s side. Metal crunched, but Kamren swerved into the impact and gunned the accelerator. Close. So close.

Break away. Prepare a response.

She snagged the cell and hit the call button.

Come on. Come on. Come on.

Answer. Answer. Answer.

“Arsenal.” The gruff response was huskier than she expected, as if half-asleep.

She grunted as the vehicle slammed into her backside once more. Tires spun as she battled with the steering wheel. Damn it. They’d screwed up the alignment somehow.

“Who is this?” The voice—sharper, more determined—drew her attention. Adrenaline surged, fueling her thoughts.

“Kamren Garrett. Someone’s after me. I’m close, but not going to make it. I’ll draw their fire, but keep Rachelle safe. Don’t let anyone outside Resino County get my backpack.”

She doubted any of it made sense, but she had no time to repeat or play twenty questions. She angled the vehicle off the road and barreled out the passenger door as it lurched to a stop. Right hand on her rifle, left hand on her backpack, she did an awkward, curled roll into the overgrown grass in the bar ditch.

Headlights danced and bobbed as her two opponents pulled over. Voices fractured the otherwise silent night. Gasoline filled her nostrils. The fuel tank was damaged from the impact earlier. Good. Her pulse quickened as a plan formed in her mind.

She belly-crawled deeper into the grass toward the massive fence line denoting Mason land. She waited until the voices were nearer the vehicle she’d escaped.

Deep breath in. Pained breath out. She rolled into position. Up on her knees.

Aim.

Fire.

Flames shot upward from the pooled gasoline she’d ignited. Fiery rage chewed a line along the asphalt until it swallowed the truck she’d been in. Angry voices rose on the other side of the inferno. She settled deeper against the ground and waited more heartbeats than she expected.

The concussive boom rattled the ground. Flames shot out and chewed up the dry grass nearby. Shouts rose above the frenzied, fiery dance. Shadows sprinted and darted near the flame’s brightness.

Aim.

Fire.

Fire.

Her ears rang. She squeezed her eyes shut a moment, willing her mind to focus beyond the shots, the flames. Voices. She needed more voices. Voices translated to targets. Targets were good. Targets kept her breathing.

The backpack.

She sat her ass on the backpack and raised her rifle as more shadows appeared beyond the flames. Headlights. A stream of headlights and raised voices. Gunfire.

She crawled deeper into the bar ditch, sliding the backpack through the grimy mud. Cow manure filled her nostrils. She crawled along the fence line, away from the fiery inferno she’d created. A beam of light fractured the night, spewing down on her.

She rolled.

Aim.

Fire.

“Stand down, Quillery. I have eyes on her.” The order was deep enough to break through the ringing in her ears, but barely.

Her breath quickened as she did another roll. Positioned atop her backpack, she aimed. The light returned, brighter and aimed at her eyes. She squinted.

Pain swept up her arm as a massive weight settled atop her. She bucked and kicked. Right hand grasped on her weapon, she fisted her left hand.

Aim.

Punch.

The figure looming above her grunted. A firm hand settled atop her right hand and pushed hard until she slammed backward on the ground. Shock detonated as she was summarily flipped onto her belly. Both hands were yanked behind her back and up until pain radiated from her shoulders.

“Stand down,” the voice growled.

She squirmed and bucked to no avail. The heavy weight pinned her firmly as her hands were secured behind her back. She stared at the lights of The Arsenal.

So close.

She swallowed the regret and hoped they’d keep Rachelle safe. Kamren grunted when she was turned over and hauled onto her knees. Knees firmly on her backpack. She glared up at her captor. Breath swooshed from her lungs as the annoying beam of light circling overhead spotlighted unruly dark hair and a muscular torso. The business end of a Sig Sauer aimed at her head demanded her attention for a few heartbeats.

Then her gaze continued its sweep. Thick thighs. Lean hips.

“Situation secured; notify local fire department.” The man eased his stance slightly. He glanced over his shoulder as another figure headed their direction.

Tension coiled in her muscles.

Pick your battles, girl. Sometimes you have to lose a battle to win the war.

Anger kept her silent. Head down, she focused on the threads of sound breaking through the ringing in her ears. It was like she was sitting at the end of a tunnel.

“What the hell was this?” The second voice rose in frustration. “We’ve got head shots over there, clean kills.”

“It looks like our girl here’s good with a rifle,” the first shadow commented. He shoved his weapon into a holster. “Quillery, raise the light a few feet so we can see better. You’re blinding us.”

Kamren peered upward as the light rose. A drone? Her stomach did an awkward somersault as she studied the figures a bit closer in the new light. Relief swarmed her insides like bees high on honey.

Masons.

She recognized the distinctive dark hair and gorgeous bodies. Was one of them Dallas? She couldn’t tell with the low light and blurry vision.

Her head hurt. Bad. Though they all looked alike in the darkness, she knew there’d be differences in the light of day. For now, it didn’t matter.

Don’t be stupid. Dallas made it clear your troubles weren’t theirs. Keep quiet and get gone. You never should’ve come out here.

He’d offered help, too. She forced a deep breath and focused on the present.

“Sheriff’s on his way,” a third man said. He halted, looking down at her. “I’m Marshall Mason. This is my ranch you’re trying to burn up. What happened here?”
Carnes, Cara. Blood Vows (The Arsenal Book 3) (Kindle Locations 428-485). Heartscape Publishing. Kindle Edition.

That’s just the beginning of things blowing up, literally and figuratively.There’s a lot going on in this book with Dallas looking for his son, a set of twins missing and the mystery that is Kamren and her backpack.

In spite of all that Dallas finds himself attracted to Kamren. These two are more than explosive as Kamren wins over the Masons and the Arsenal crew. I love all the characters and this book has more than one twist.

This is a very powerful read, it’s emotional and hits on some very sensitive issues that are handled extremely well. All blended with humor and family.

All I can say is, don’t miss this book!

5 Contented Purrs for Cara!

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Cara Carnes
Born in small-town Texas, Cara Carnes was a princess, a pirate, fashion model, actress, rock star and Jon Bon Jovi’s wife all before the age of 13. In reality, her fascination for enthralling worlds took seed somewhere amidst a somewhat dull day job and a wonderful life filled with family and friends. When she’s not cemented to her chair, Cara loves traveling, photography and reading.

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Must Read! Sight Lines – The Arsenal Book 2 by Cara Carnes


Sight Lines
The Arsenal Book 2
By
Cara Carnes

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They took her best friend.

Now she’s taking them down.

Viviana “Quillery” Chambers has one mission: find the people behind Hive’s betrayal and take them down. She and her best friend are the most sought after back office operatives around. She’ll stop at nothing to keep her new team and family at The Arsenal safe. But someone’s put a six million dollar hit on her and ghosts from the past have returned. She’s facing her toughest challenge ever. Now she has a mysterious assassin shadowing her every move. He’s vowed to keep her safe, but she’s part of the Quillery Edge.

They never quit. They never surrender. They never let anyone stand between them and their quarry.

He had one rule: Don’t mess with his family.

Judson Jensen’s lived a solitary life taking down targets no one else dared touch. The bastards he’s wasted twenty years working for took his brother. The choice was supposed to be simple—neutralize the Quillery Edge or your brother dies. Unfortunately for them he had another choice—take them down. All he needs is to earn the brilliant, fiercely sassy Viviana’s trust and keep her alive.

The two must work together to do the impossible: take Judson’s employer down.

This isn’t business…it’s personal.

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The Quillery (Vi) Edge (Mary) has gone through a lot now someone has put out a contract on them. The payout 2 Million for them dead with a bonus of an additional 6 Million if they get HERA, the computer defense system they developed, as well.

Judson is livid when he’s offered the contract, his family owes Quillery Edge big time. No matter that he works as an assassin for the Collective, those two women were off limits. Now he has to convince them that he is on their side and keep anyone from collecting on the contract.

This is a favorite scene when Jud shows up at the Arsenal.

Dallas was unlike Dylan in many ways. Though he was younger, he had a darker edge to him, one she and Mary had analyzed the whys of ad nauseam. He wore the requisite dark Mason hair longer than his brothers. It hid his upper ears. The eyes set Dallas apart, a lush blue instead of green.

“I’ve never seen one of those,” Vi commented.

“Probably because it’s my and Jesse’s favorite.” He looked down at the chips and motioned.

“Sea salt and vinegar, please.”

“Where you headed?”

“Up front. Someone has the nerve to show up and ask to see me,” she grumbled. “It’s almost nine in the evening. This isn’t a freaking twenty-four hotel. And now I’m schlepping my tired ass to reception rather than waiting on the call saying the NYPD has Adil Al-Abadi in custody.”

She blew stray hairs out of her face and noted the surprised expression on his face. “Interesting, I got a call from the guards saying someone was on their way who used my name. I’ll carry the chips, escort you up there.”

“I’m good.”

“Yeah, but you’ll be better if you let me walk you up there,” he replied. “It’s been a rough day on us all.”

Vi learned to pick her battles a long time ago. Sometimes you just had to let a bad ass be a bad ass, even if it was unnecessary.

“Fine,” she added into the silence as she flip-flopped through the cafeteria and out the door. Down the walk toward the main visitor area in the other building. “We need golf carts.”

“I’ll mention it to Nolan,” he commented dryly.

Vi was serious about the golf carts, but didn’t figure operatives thought much about having something with an engine cart them between buildings. By the time they entered the visitor’s building and spilled into the lobby, she’d worked up a full head of steam. She didn’t appreciate appreciate her name being bandied about without permission. The nerve.

Dallas tightened beside her. He settled the chips atop her sandwich. “Stay here. Call Marshall and Nolan.”

What?

She tracked his progression across the lobby. The scent of freshly installed carpet filled her nostrils. Pale beige melded with soft blues along the walls. The massive man looming just inside the door commanded her attention. Riley was right. He was nuclear.

Thick waves of light brown hair tumbled around a strong jawline that hadn’t seen a razor in a couple days. He exuded control. His gaze trekked the room like a hunter seeking prey. Her pulse quickened when he pinned her with a look. His eyes flared. Lips set in a grim expression, his attention settled on Dallas, who stepped into the man’s personal space.

Vi set her food down and snagged the reception phone.

“Yeah, what’s wrong now, Riley? I know it’s boring, but it’s your shift.” Marshall’s exhausted voice filled the line.

“Dallas and I are up here. He’s in some guy’s face. Not sure who, but it’s intense and he said to call you and Nolan.”

“Fuck.” The line went dead.

Vi powered forward, closing the distance between her and Dallas, who was pointing at the man.

“You have a hell of a lot of nerve showing up here.” Dallas clenched his teeth.

“Not here for you, man. Used your name at the gate, though.” The man shrugged off any apology.

He didn’t strike Vi as the sort who apologized for anything. She swallowed as his gaze settled on her again.

“Viviana,” he greeted. “I’m sorry for the late arrival. It took longer than I expected.”

“Erm, I don’t know you,” she responded.

His attention swept behind her a brief second, but returned. He offered a smile. “I’m Jud. Or, The Judge.”

“The Judge, as in ‘go after the Quillery Edge and I’ll go after you’. That Judge?” She air quoted the message and studied his face, his bone structure. A lot of operatives were masters at disguise, but there was only so much they could do to hide bone structure. Still nothing memorable. “I’ve never met you.”

“What’s this about?” Dallas asked.

The security panel on the wall chimed as the door coming from the rear hallway opened. Reinforcements had arrived. She kept her gaze locked with the stranger’s as he smirked and crossed his arms in front of his body.

“There’s a hit on Viviana and Mary,” Jud replied. “A two-million-dollar one with a four-million-dollar rider that guarantees anyone with half a shot will come after them. I’m here to make sure they don’t succeed.”
Carnes, Cara. Sight Lines (The Arsenal Book 2) (Kindle Locations 465-505). Heartscape Publishing, LLC. Kindle Edition.

From here this book takes on a rapid fire momentum that will have you turning page after page as time slips by you.

Non-stop strategizing, and action both in the field and behind the scenes, as Jud comes to the realization that Vi is the one for him.

Family drama and more top off the beginning of a very hot and sexy relationship.

There’s plenty of laughs, some tears and downright sizzle.

I do recommend you read the first book, Jagged Edge before this one. You will definitely get more out of it that way, the buy link is below.

I can’t wait for the next book in this series, a little bird told me it’s Dallas’ story!

5 Contented Purrs for Cara!

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Cara Carnes
Born in small-town Texas, Cara Carnes was a princess, a pirate, fashion model, actress, rock star and Jon Bon Jovi’s wife all before the age of 13. In reality, her fascination for enthralling worlds took seed somewhere amidst a somewhat dull day job and a wonderful life filled with family and friends. When she’s not cemented to her chair, Cara loves traveling, photography and reading.

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A New Series From Cara Carnes: Jagged Edge – The Arsenal – Book 1


Jagged Edge
The Arsenal Book 1
By
Cara Carnes

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Mary “The Edge” Reynolds is the most sought-after back office operative around-the creative genius pulling the ultimate bad-asses out of impossible situations. She’s never failed on a mission, and she’s not about to fail on the most important mission ever-keeping her newly designed security system safe. Relying on others isn’t in her nature, but the newly formed Arsenal is her only hope for escape when she’s kidnapped.

She is the Edge.

The Edge never breaks.

Never quits.

Dylan Mason and his brothers have put everything on the line to form The Arsenal. When the paramilitary arena is rocked by Edge’s capture, he’ll do whatever it takes to get the fearless operative back, but his wary heart isn’t ready to handle the vulnerable woman buried beneath the hardened shell. Getting her back was simple. Keeping her and her “security system” HERA out of enemy hands is another story.

Together they must hunt down the faction behind her capture and subsequent torture to keep HERA from becoming an unstoppable terroristic threat. What they uncover could destroy them both.

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When I read a book I can ‘see’ the scenes in my head, and this is a very intense book. I feel this needs a warning since I believe some scenes could cause triggers in individuals with PTSD.

Mary Reynolds is ‘The Edge’. Working for the Hive she is the person in the background that gets teams out of fubar situations in one piece. Now she is facing the one mission she cannot fail, keeping ‘HERA’ her security system safe, and keeping herself alive.

Kidnapped and tortured, her mantra:
Someone will come. Stay strong. Stay quiet. Stay focused. Survive.
Carnes, Cara. Jagged Edge (The Arsenal Book 1) (Kindle Locations 79-80). Rebel Edit. Kindle Edition.

But ‘The Edge’ has to relax and be just Mary in order to continue being the asset she is.

Dylan Mason and his brothers formed the Arsenal, former military they undertake missions others won’t or can’t working in all the gray areas. They’ve also established The Warrior’s Path Project to help soldiers returning home to transition back to civilian life.

An anonymous call led them to Edge and her rescue. Now they needed to figure out who was responsible and make them pay.

Mary wasn’t alone in the creation of HERA, Vi, her bestfriend and her main partner worked beside her at the Hive. Rhea and Bree contributed power and weaponry respectively, although their identities have been kept under wraps to keep them safe. Then there is Addy, the sister of the deceased head of the Hive. This is one of my favorite scenes when this crew of women come to get their Edge.

Dylan entered a war zone, Logan and Mark hot on his heels.  Gage Sanderson and all five of his brothers knelt, hands behind their heads with the business end of weapons trained at their heads. It was who held the guns that made him laugh.

“Jesus, y’all were taken down by GI Jane wannabes.”

A blonde with red, wire-rimmed glasses glanced up from a laptop. She looked over at the redhead, the only trained one among the four females, and motioned her head toward him, eyes wide and expressive.

“Bree, point your gun at the new Rambos. Pull the trigger if they twitch,” the redhead ordered.

Bree was a busty blonde dressed in head-to-toe black with huge lines of face paint beneath expressive blue eyes, which gleamed with excitement. “Seriously? I can shoot?”

Dylan would be worried, but she was holding a tranquilizer gun of some sort. Drones flitted about in the air. One shot past his head and darted down the hall. He glared at Mark. “Go shoot it down.”

“Stay where you are, or I shoot,” the redhead threatened. “I’m coming off a seriously messed up op with no rack time. Try me.”

Yep, she was definitely the only threat in the room. Dylan studied his brothers, noted their drooping eyes and barely upright stances.

“They’re drugged,” Logan growled. “What’d you use?”

The blonde looked up. Eyes wider than saucers stared at them a moment. “Logan? What are you doing here? Don’t tell me you’re a part of this.”

“Is this the hot doc who Mary helped rescue, the one you said was trying to get in her pants?” The brunette at the end looked back and forth between Logan and the blonde. “Wow, he’s hot.”

“Rhea, not now,” gritted the redhead.

“Oh, Addy, you’re never any fun. Seriously. Vi has this under control.”

“Quillery didn’t just go ten rounds with six black ops soldiers before that shit in the drones kicked in.” Addy motioned at Dylan with her gun. “Come closer, hands behind your back. This’ll be over quick as long as you all cooperate.”

“Huh.” Vi tapped at the keyboard with one hand. “That’s odd.”

“What? Are there more men in the back?” Addy asked as she looked over at the busty blonde. “Bree, refill the drones with the knockout juice.”

“On it.” Bree looked pointedly at Dylan. “But I can still shoot fast, so don’t get any ideas.”

Quillery set the laptop on the reception desk and charged toward his brothers. Dylan tensed, ready to strike, but she bonked Cord aside the head before anyone could react.

Dallas snickered. Nolan outright laughed.

“What the hell was that for?” Cord demanded with an expression he’d used many times with their little sister when she got violent—which was fairly often since she had six overprotective big brothers.

“Where the hell did you get your hacker training? From a Cracker Jack box?” Quillery’s voice rose, shrill and shaky with anger. “You could’ve gotten everyone killed!”

“What the hell?” Cord repeated.

“What was the message you buried in my feed?” Quillery’s voice softened, a velvety seduction more like the tone she used with operatives.

“We have Edge. Come to Texas.”

Dylan cursed. Marshall growled. Nolan and Dallas laughed. Jesse knocked Cord aside the head.

“What the hell?” he sputtered. “You got the message.”

“Oh, yeah. We got the message, idiot,” Addy retorted. “Take a look around. Do you have any idea what Quillery could’ve put in those drones? They’ve only been used on two ops before this, and both times everyone was carried out in body bags.”

“Never, ever, ever, ever send vague codes through a hack. Brevity is good, but only if it has detail.” Quillery got closer, leaning in until her face was up against Cord’s. “Edge secured in Texas. That was what you should’ve said.”

“Shorter, assures safety and our position in the situation,” Dylan explained.

“Shit,” Cord groaned.

“Does this mean I can’t shoot the thingie?” Bree asked.

“Well, this is all shades of awkward,” Addy commented as she secured her weapon and looked around. “Addy Rugers. Nice to meet you all.”

“Mark, check the perimeter. Verify everyone’s okay,” Dylan ordered.

“We didn’t hurt anyone,” Quillery commented. “Much.”

Addy unshouldered a backpack and handed it to Mark. “Their weapons and coms.”

The man grunted and headed out, a glower on his face. No one liked to be bested, especially by a kick ass female soldier. Addy Rugers was as trained as her legendary older brother had been, or so he’d heard.
Carnes, Cara. Jagged Edge (The Arsenal Book 1) (Kindle Locations 396-434). Rebel Edit. Kindle Edition.

From here an alliance of sorts is formed and the developing relationship between Dylan and Mary becomes progressively hotter.

Lots of twists and turns and OMG moments. Have some tissues and plenty to drink handy. Start this book early so you get some sleep, you won’t be able to stop reading.

I also found myself speculating on who the next book will be about. I have my theories and I’m sure you’ll develop yours.

5 Contented Purrs for Cara!

about-the-author-fall-cornucopia

  Cara Carnes
Born in small-town Texas, Cara Carnes was a princess, a pirate, fashion model, actress, rock star and Jon Bon Jovi’s wife all before the age of 13. In reality, her fascination for enthralling worlds took seed somewhere amidst a somewhat dull day job and a wonderful life filled with family and friends. When she’s not cemented to her chair, Cara loves traveling, photography and reading.

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