Into the Whirlwind (Boss Inc #2) by Kat Martin: Blog Tour +Excerpt!
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INTO THE WHIRLWIND
B.O.S.S., Inc. #2
Released May 31st, 2016
A bodyguard, a bounty hunter, a private investigator, no one can handle the heat like the men of BOSS, Inc.
Megan O’Brien is at her wit’s end. Her three-year-old son has been kidnapped. No police, says the ransom demand. Fearing for her son’s life, Meg has no choice but to turn to her former bodyguard, Dirk Reynolds.
Dirk’s never forgiven Meg for the way she left him after their brief affair. But with bounty hunter Luke Brodie on his side, Dirk knows he’s got to help Meg rescue her son.
The few clues they’ve gathered send them spiraling into a murky world of big banking and international crime. Meg may be way out of her depths, but she’s seeing a side of Dirk she never suspected—one no woman could possibly resist.
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Megan O’Brien parked at the end of the gravel driveway and quietly got out of her white BMW X1 compact SUV. Through the trees, she could hear the roar of a chainsaw, hear hammers banging away, see two-by-fours of golden-yellow pine going up to form the sides of the house under construction.
The garage was already finished, undoubtedly full of Dirk’s toys, including a Harley and a custom Dodge Viper. In the summer, he kept a boat docked on the lake below the house.
Though two other men were hard at work, her gaze went straight to Dirk. Hammer in hand, carpenter’s belt dangling low on his waist, he was shirtless, though the January air was chill.
Hard muscle flexed across his back and shoulders as he pounded in a nail with an ease that said how many times he had done it. Long, sinewy muscles outlined by the soft fabric of his jeans stretched and moved as he worked on his house.
Meg’s gaze went over the familiar dragon tattoo that wound over one shoulder and inched up the side of his neck. The colored ink seemed right with the sexy, short-cropped horseshoe mustache that framed his mouth and curved down to his jaw, making him look like the hard, tough man he was.
Even her terrible fear for her son couldn’t block the memories of how it had felt to lie with him. Couldn’t lessen the yearning that burned through her body just at the sight of him.
Meg had met Dirk Reynolds five months before when she had been preparing for the La Belle fashion show tour. Meg, one of their top models, worked for the chain of expensive lingerie stores.
She glanced back at Dirk. He and his friend, Ethan Brodie, did private investigation and personal security for Brodie Operations Security Services, Inc., the company that had been hired to protect the models after one of them was murdered.
Dirk had been her bodyguard, and though every instinct had warned her not to get involved with him, the fierce attraction between them had been impossible to resist.
Once the models returned home, Meg had ended the affair. She and Dirk weren’t right for each other. Dirk lived fast and hard. He rode a motorcycle, drove a car that could go two hundred miles an hour. Dirk Reynolds was wild and fierce, while she was a single mother with a son to raise.
She couldn’t have Dirk Reynolds. She had a responsibility to her little boy. With a failed marriage behind her, she couldn’t risk failing again.
But she had never gotten over Dirk.
Meg steeled herself and headed along the gravel driveway toward the house Dirk was rebuilding after the fire that had nearly killed him five months ago. One thing she knew, Dirk Reynolds was a hard man to kill.
Which was the reason she had swallowed her pride and her heartache and come to him. She needed him, trusted him as she never had any other man. Her little boy’s life de-pended on gaining this man’s help. This man she had loved and rejected.
She stepped out of the foliage-covered driveway into the open area around the house he was rebuilding. She had called his office looking for him. Nick Brodie, one of the other PIs at BOSS Inc., had reluctantly told her where to find him. Maybe it was the tears he heard in her voice when she had said how important it was. That it was a matter of life or death.
With Dirk’s usual keen senses, he turned, alert that some-one was there, though the buzz of the saw had hid the sound of her footsteps.
For several long moments, he just stared, watching as she walked toward him. He was six-two, his body lean and sculpted. Wavy dark brown hair curled at the nape of his neck. She forced herself to keep walking, even as his jaw locked and a fierce scowl darkened his face.
Dirk grabbed a faded blue work shirt and shrugged it on, covering most of his amazing chest. He didn’t bother fastening the buttons, just strode toward her, blocking her view of the house.
He stopped right in front of her. “What are doing here, Meg?”
“I need to talk to you. It’s . . . it’s urgent.”
“You’re trespassing. What do you want?”
She swallowed, fought to stay strong. He didn’t want her there. She had known he wouldn’t. Known he thought of her only with contempt. She wished he would hold her the way he used to when she was afraid. “I . . . I want to hire you.”
The corner of his mouth edged into a ruthless half smile. “What for? Stud service?”
She wanted to cry. She wanted to beg his forgiveness. Tell him she had never forgotten him. That she never would. She knew it wouldn’t matter to Dirk. Not anymore.
All that mattered now was saving her son.
She looked into those hard hazel eyes and for the first time wondered if she’d been wrong to think he would help her. Dear God, what would she do if Dirk refused?
A sob wedged in her throat. She fought desperately to hold on to her courage. “It’s Charlie. He’s been kidnapped. They left a note. It says they’ll . . . they’ll kill him if I go to the police.”
Something shifted in those hard, condemning eyes. For a moment, the old Dirk appeared. Concerned for her, determined to protect her at any cost, even his life.
“I’ll take you down to the office. Ethan’s out of town with Val. I’ll get Nick to work with you. Or Luke. They’ll help you find your boy. They’ll help you get him back.”
They were all private investigators and they were the best. But they weren’t Dirk Reynolds. Meg started shaking her head, couldn’t stop the tears that leaked onto her cheeks. “It has to be you. I know in my heart you can save Charlie. Only you.”
His jaw went iron hard. “Jesus, Meg.”
“Please, Dirk. Please help me.”
“Do you know what you’re asking?”
She knew. There was a time he had loved her. He had begged her to stay with him, give them a chance. Meg had refused.
“He’s just a little boy. I know you can save him. You won’t give up until you do.”
“Jesus.” He raked a hand through his heavy dark hair. She remembered the exact silky feel of the strands between her fingers.
“The note says they want ten million dollars,” she said. “They’ll kill him if they don’t get it.”
He took a deep breath, released it slowly. “How much time did they give you?”
“Ten million. That’s a helluva lot of money.”
“My father can get it.”
His gaze remained on her face. “But you don’t trust him to get your boy back. That’s smart, Meg, because money doesn’t always work.”
She swiped at her tears with the back of her hand. “Will you help me?”
His eyes went dark. “You knew I would when you came here.”
“I prayed you would. I wasn’t sure anymore.”
He gazed over her shoulder through the trees, spotted her small white SUV. “You okay to drive?”
“I’m all right.”
“I’ll follow you back to your house.” His mouth barely curved. “I think I can remember where it is.”
Meg turned away from him. Three days. In three days Charlie would be safely returned. Dirk would go on with his life and she would go on with hers.
The pain didn’t matter. Charlie was all that mattered. Meg had no other choice.
New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. Currently residing in Missoula, Montana with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, Kat has written sixty-five Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels. More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.