Excerpt from SUNDOWN published by arrangement with Revell. Copyright © 2022 by Susan May Warren
Maybe it was instinct, maybe he spotted something - a glimmer out on the water - maybe it was simply years of training but as she opened her mouth, every muscle tightened.
He launched himself at her, pushing her down and covering her body with his just as the glass wall shattered over them.
The glass pelleted them, but he was already scooping her up and pulling her behind the sofa with him.
Bullets chewed up her furniture, as a semiautomatic peppered the boat.
“Get behind the island!” He practically pushed her along the wood floor.
Her island, too, was taking damage. And he, without a weapon.
She had curled into a ball behind the island, but a stray bullet could find her spine, her head. He put an arm around her and pulled her hard against himself, shielding her. “Just stay down while I think!”
“We need to get off the boat!”
Yes. Given. “You got a car?”
“Yes. In the garage across the street.”
“In the car. The garage is locked.”
The shots had decimated the furniture, her walls, chipping away the island.
Sirens sounded in the background.
But they couldn’t stay here, couldn’t be taken into police protection, not without knowing how far and deep this went.
Colt hit his feet, pulled her up in front of him. “Run!”
Good girl, she took off down the hallway, toward the back of the boat. But with his sudden dark luck, someone would be waiting for them at the door, so he urged her up the stairs.
“Get to the deck!”
“What?” She scampered up the back stairs.
He hit the second story, and yes, spotted a man on the dock, stalking toward their boat.
“Only one way off this, honey,” he said as he pushed her to the top deck. The shooting had stopped. Out in the cool, black water, the shooter lay in wait. But it was night and -
He turned and shucked off her bathrobe.
He’d seen pajama bottoms and blew out a gust of quick relief at her being fully dressed. Flimsy, but at least she wasn’t a beacon of white anymore.
He took her hand. “Hold onto me and don’t let go.”
“What?” Her eyes widened. “Colt.”
“Let me worry for you.” Then he took off, pulling her after him, all the way to the edge of the deck. Shots chipped at their footsteps. He lifted her over the railing. Joined her.
“I got ya,” he said, and then he jumped, taking her with him. The water sucked them down, cold, shocking, but not as frigid as an Alaskan lake. He surfaced, kicking hard, still holding her hand.
“Please tell me you can swim,” he said, spitting out water, pulling her toward his moored boat.
“Now you ask me,” she said. She let him go, pulling hard through the water.
They reached the rental boat, and he climbed up on the ski deck. Shots hit the boat, ripped the fabric off the seats.
Aw, there went his security deposit.
“Stay down. Hold onto the deck. When I tell you, roll onto it, then slide into the boat.”
“No. I’ll get the lines.”
He frowned, but she’d already jumped onto the back, reaching for the back mooring line.
Oh boy. But he rolled into the belly of the boat, crawled to the front, unhooked the line, then launched into the captain’s seat. “C’mon, Tae!”
He reached for the ignition, cast a glance behind him.
She was scrambling over the padded back.
He turned over the motor just as he spotted a man running down the dock.
Please let this thing be fast.
He rammed down the throttle and the boat nearly leaped from the water, the momentum propelling him back against the seat.
A glance at Tae said she, too, had slammed into her seat.
Shots sounded, but they vanished into the night.
She nodded, her eyes big, her hair glistening, shivering a little in her damp pajamas.
“Missed me, didn’t ya?”
She shook her head. But she smiled.
No way was he letting her out of his sight.
Sky King Ranch #3
Former Delta Operative Colt Kingston knows when someone is lying. He may not know the truth, but he sure doesn't trust Tae, the woman who is caring for his ailing father at Sky King Ranch. Behind those beautiful blue eyes, he can tell there is a troubled--and smart--woman.
A few of her stories prove true--he's found the crashed plane and the dead body inside. Still, her story of survival seems too incredible to believe . . . until the thugs she claims to be hunting her show up and threaten Sky King Ranch. Now Tae must disappear, along with her secrets.
But Colt's not about to let her go it alone. And when they discover that her secrets include the antidote to a plague that threatens the world, it'll take all three Kingston brothers to save the country they've vowed to protect.
Susan May Warren brings her Sky King Ranch series to a climactic close with this high-stakes race against the clock.
Romance Suspense [Revell, On Sale: November 1, 2022, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780800739843 / eISBN: 9781493438839]
Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling author of more than 85 novels with more than 1 million books sold, including the Global Search and Rescue and the Montana Rescue series, as well as Sunrise and Sunburst. Winner of a RITA Award and multiple Christy and Carol Awards, as well as the HOLT Medallion and numerous Readers' Choice Awards, Susan makes her home in Minnesota.
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