Alliances are forming. The resistance is growing. Everything is about to change.
With her memory still fragmented, Ava returns to the International Sensory Assassin Network (ISAN) to find the twin sister she never knew she had.
But as Ava hunts for information, she finds herself tangled in a web of yet more lies and conspiracy. The Helix serum may not be required to access her superpowers, and the number of male assassins—previously considered too volatile to tolerate Helix—is growing in every territory.
The more Ava uncovers, the more of a threat she becomes to ISAN. Her only salvation may be to join the rebels—if she isn’t killed first.
An icy gust slapped my face, pushing back my hair. My wig was lost to the relentless wind that almost flipped me over. The tight fabric whooshed, and I dove like a missile.
The ground blurred as I homed in on my target. When the guards noticed me, they shot over their shoulders, bullets ripping through the air. They missed. Their bodies twisted awkwardly in the gusts and spoiled their aim.
Palmer landed, and then his guards.
One of Palmer’s bodyguards continued to shoot at me. I’d had enough. Releasing my special armlet—another of Kendrick’s gadgets—I chucked it at the firing guard. It opened in the air to three feet of rope and coiled around his body like a snake. He dropped, unmoving, just when my feet touched the ground.
“Something is coming.” Tamara thumped beside me.
With no time to respond, I moved cautiously forward. Palmer gawked and staggered back when he realized I landed, untouched by bullets. My feet slid across the gravel until the wings on my back sprang back inside, and then I shot at Palmer’s men with my Taser, my team beside me.
That fool. Where does he think he’s going?
Palmer sprinted to the other end of the roof and traversed to the next building, his men following suit.
One by one, his men fell, zapped by our weapons.
“Hurry.” Brooke waved a hand. “We need to get him before he gets to that door.”
But I couldn’t. A savage wind slapped me fiercely, as if someone had switched on a giant fan. Where had it come from?
International Bestselling, Award-Winning Author Mary Ting writes soulful, spellbinding stories that excite the imagination and captivate readers all over the world. Her books run a wide range of genres and her storytelling talents have won her a devoted legion of fans and garnered critical praise.
Becoming an author happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she had in high school. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, Mary retired from teaching after twenty years. She also had the privilege of touring with the Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book: No Bullies Allowed.
Mary resides in Southern California with her husband, two children, and two little dogs, Mochi and Mocha. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry.
These men are dark, bold, and brave. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees…
Famed and brilliant, Lady Alexandra Lane has always known how to look out for to herself. But nobody would ever expect that she has darkness in her past—one that she pays a blackmailer to keep buried. Now, with her family nearing bankruptcy, Alexandra strikes upon a solution: Get married to one of the empire’s most wealthy eligible bachelors. Even if he does have the reputation of a devil.
LOVE TAKES NO PRISONERS
Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is seeking revenge and the first step is securing a bride. Winning a lady’s hand is not so easy, however, for a man known as the Terror of Torcliff. Then, Alexandra enters his life like a bolt of lightning. When she proposes marriage, Piers knows that, like him, trouble haunts her footsteps. But her gentleness, sharp wit, independent nature, and incredible beauty awakens every fierce desire within him. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe in his arms.
Maynemouth, Devonshire, 1890
Ten years later
Accept the invitation to Castle Redmayne.
I’m in danger. I need you.—Frank
Alexandra Lane had spent the entire train ride from London to Devonshire meticulously pondering those fourteen words for two separate reasons.
The first, she had been unable to stop fretting for Francesca, who tended to give more than the appropriate amount of context. The terse, vague note Alexandra now held was more of a warning than the message contained therein.
The second, she could no longer afford a first-class, private railcar, and had, for the last several tense hours, been forced to share her vestibule face-to-face with a rough-featured, stocky man with shoulders made for labor.
26 kerrigan byrne
He’d attempted polite conversation at first, which she’d rebuffed with equal civility by feigning interest in her correspondence. By now, however, they were both painfully aware she needn’t take four stops to read two letters.
It was terribly rude, she knew. Her carpetbag remained clutched in her fist the entire time, except when her hand would wander into its depths to palm the tiny pistol she always carried. The sounds of the other passengers in adjoining vestibules didn’t make her feel safer, per se.
But she knew they would hear her scream, and that provided some relief.
For a woman who’d spent a great deal of the last ten years in the company of men, she’d thought these painful moments would have relented by now.
Alas, she’d become a mistress of manipulating a situation so, even if she had to endure the company of men without a female companion, there would be more than one man. In the circles she tended to frequent, people behaved when in company.
It had worked thus far.
Alexandra braced herself against the slowing of the train, breathing a silent prayer of relief that they’d finally arrived. She’d been terrified that if she’d glanced up once, she’d be forced into conversation with her unwanted companion.
Rain wept against the coach window, and the shadows of the tears painted macabre little serpents on the conflicting documents in her hands. One, a wedding invitation. The other, Francesca’s alarming note.
A month past, she’d have wagered her entire inheritance against Francesca Cavendish’s being the first of the Red Rogues to capitulate to the bonds of matrimony.
A month past, she’d assumed she’d had an inheritance to wager.
HOW TO LOVE A DUKE IN TEN DAYS 27
Their little society had seemed destined to live up to the promise they’d once made as young, disenchanted girls to never marry.
Until the invitation to an engagement masquerade— given by the Duke of Redmayne—had arrived the same day of her friend’s cryptic and startling note.
The invitation had been equally as ambiguous, stating that the future duchess of Redmayne would be unveiled, as it were, at the ball. Included in Alexandra’s particular envelope was a request for her to attend as a bridesmaid.
The subsequent plea for help from Francesca—Frank—had arrived in a tiny envelope with the Red Rogue seal they’d commissioned some years prior.
Alexandra hadn’t even known Francesca had returned from her romps about the Continent. Last she’d heard, the countess had been in Morocco, doing reconnaissance of some sort. Nothing in her letters had mentioned a suitor. Not a serious one, in any case. Certainly not a duke.
Francesca had a talent for mischief and a tendency to interpret danger as mere adventure.
So, what could possibly frighten her fearless friend?
Marriage, obviously, Alexandra thought with a smirk.
Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, USA Today bestseller Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast. Her Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.
Diana woke screaming, covered in blood, and found him laying dead by her side.
Her pink nightie was soaked through, sticky, and the room reeked of rust. Frozen in terror she stared at two wounds in the back of his head, each pouring blood. Her head pounded, and her vision was blurry. Was this even real? The warm, sap-substance all over her told her it was. The night before was a giant blank zone in her head, except for the gun. Had she fired it? She vaguely remembered the boom, how it shook in her hand, and acrid smell of gunpowder. A hangover from hell gripped her like a wicked vice, pressing the back of her neck and squeezing painfully.
She tried to get up, tried to run, but her legs dumped her by the side of the bed instead. The blood curdling scream she expelled scared even her. Did that come from her?
Scrambling in the dark for her cell phone on the nightstand, she finally grasped it and pulled it to the floor with her. Dialing 911, she barely waited for an answer before she screamed into the phone, “I’ve killed him! I’ve killed him!”
“Wake up, Diana!”
“No, no, no,” Diana murmured to the phantom telling her wake up, as she thrashed to and fro in the bed. He grasped her waist, pulling her toward him, and hissed in her ear again. “Wake up, please, baby, wake up!”
Diana’s eyes flew open and she lay stiff in his arms.
“George!” She screamed.
Her hands were curled by her sides and her legs straight out, and she couldn’t move. Her chest heaved, and she felt strangled all over again, just like every time he’d wrapped his hands right around her neck. As The remnants of that night slowly subsided, she sunk back into the mattress, this soft, deep one, and realized she wasn’t home.
Nor was it George beside her.
“Diana,” Justin’s voice pled with her again, “Di, please talk to me. You had a nightmare.”
Squeezing her eyes shut, she liked her lips and tried to control her breathing, counting to eight, holding for four, then exhaling for eight more, just like her therapist had taught her. Justin ran his hands down her arms, her waist, her thighs, and it calmed her.
For the first time, her breathing slowed, and she came back to reality much faster.
She finally turned on her side and looked at him, searching his face. “Justin,” she whispered.
Rebekah Dodson is a prolific author of over 30 romance, fantasy, and science fiction novels. Her works include the series Postcards from Paris, #1 bestselling Curse of Lanval series, Life After Us series, and several stand alone novels and short stories. She has been writing her whole life, with her first published work of historical fiction with 4H Clubs of America at the age of 12, and poetry at the age of 16 with the National Poetry Society. With an extensive academic background including education, history, psychology and English, she currently works as a college professor by day and a writer by night.