This excerpt is a conversation between the hero, Jayson Harmon,
a wounded Special Forces lieutenant, and the deputy director of the Department
of Covert Ops, Dick Coleman. While readers (and almost everyone in the X-OPS Series) knows that
Dick is always up to no good, Jayson, who is in a bad place in his life right
now, sees a different side to him (or at least believes he does). So, when Dick
offers Jayson a way to get back everything he lost when he was wounded in
Afghanistan, he doesnâ€™t realize the deputy director is using him to get what he
wants. While the experimental serum Dick wants him to take could make Jayson
practically superhuman, itâ€™s also beyond dangerous. But Jaysonâ€™s girlfriend,
feline shifter and newest DCO agent, Layla Halliwell, just went
on her first mission and heâ€™s insane with worry. He knows taking the serum is
risky, but sitting at home worrying about Layla is worse. If taking the serum is
the only way he can watch her back, thatâ€™s what heâ€™ll do.
â€śYou canâ€™t just go barging in there. I need to announce you!â€ť
Jayson ignored Dickâ€™s secretary, walking past her and pushing open the deputy
directorâ€™s big oak door. He hated to blow her off like that, but he wasnâ€™t
feeling very polite right now.
â€śWere you serious about what you said?â€ť he demanded as he came to a stop in
front of Dickâ€™s desk.
The deputy director looked up from whatever he was writing on the notepad in
front of him as if just realizing Jayson was there. Right. Like he hadnâ€™t heard
the fuss his secretary had made.
â€śIâ€™m sorry, Mr. Coleman. He just blazed right past me.â€ť The plump, blond woman
gave him a disdainful glare. â€śI tried to stop him, but he wouldnâ€™t listen.â€ť
â€śThatâ€™s okay, Phyllis.â€ť Dick gave her a nod. â€śIâ€™ll take it from here. Close the
door as you leave, please.â€ť
Phyllis gave Jayson another scathing look, then turned and walked out, closing
the door behind her.
â€śWas I serious about what?â€ť Dick asked, a trace of irritation in his voice.
â€śWere you serious when you said that if I take your new drug, and it works,
youâ€™ll pair me up with Layla?â€ť
Dick sat back in his chair, his expression changing to something between curious
and appraising. â€śOnce weâ€™re able to verify the drug has workedâ€” in some kind of
field testâ€” then yes, Iâ€™d be open to pairing you and Layla up as a team.â€ť
â€śThen I want to take the drug,â€ť Jayson said. â€śNow.â€ť
He expected Dick to ask why the sudden rush, but the deputy only regarded him
thoughtfully. â€śAre you sure, Jayson? This isnâ€™t exactly a situation you can back
out of once youâ€™ve started.â€ť
Jayson nodded. â€śIâ€™m sure.â€ť
Dick considered that for a moment, then nodded. â€śLetâ€™s go, then.â€ť
Getting up from his chair, the deputy director headed for the door. Jayson took
a deep breath and followed. He had to move a little faster than he liked to keep
up with Dick, which made his back twinge and tighten up, but the deputy director
didnâ€™t seem to notice, and Jayson refused to show any weakness.
As they left the operations building and walked down the sidewalk to the
facility where the DCO conducted their shifter and hybrid research, Jaysonâ€™s
heart beat faster. He knew this was rash, stupid, and probably insane, but after
everything that had happened last night, he didnâ€™t have a choice. No matter
what, something had to change. And taking Dickâ€™s hybrid serum would definitely
change things, one way or the other.
Last night had been a complete and total disaster. Not only had he been a grade
A asshole, but he was also pretty sure he might have destroyed whatever was left
of his relationship with Layla.
He should never have brought up Dick and that damn hybrid serum. Heâ€™d known
Layla wouldnâ€™t be thrilled with him taking a drug that hadnâ€™t been tested on
humans, but when she immediately assumed that Dick was manipulating him into
taking it, something inside him had snapped.
Heâ€™d wanted to tell her that he was frightened too, but for different reasons.
He was more scared of being a cripple for the rest of his life than he was of
Dickâ€™s hybrid serum. He was terrified of her going after dangerous international
arms dealers without him and scared of her spending more time with another
manâ€”even if it was her DCO partnerâ€”than she did with him. Most of all, he was
afraid of sitting in a chair, watching his lifeâ€” and the woman he lovedâ€” drift
away from him.
But he hadnâ€™t said any of that. Instead, only anger and frustration had come out
of his mouth, and before he knew it, Layla was gone, slamming the door on him
and their relationship. Heâ€™d immediately gone after her, but by the time heâ€™d
gotten to the door, her phone had rung. He couldnâ€™t hear everything she said,
but heâ€™d heard enough to know her mission was a go.
Heâ€™d spent the whole night sitting in his living room berating the hell out of
himself and waiting for the phone to ring. It hadnâ€™t.
It wasnâ€™t until the sun peeked through the windows that morning that everything
became crystal clear to him. One miserable night was all it took to illuminate
very clearly that he was never going to be the kind of man who could sit at home
and wait patiently for his significant other to come back safely. One night of
not knowing and he was ready to explode.
Now he finally realized why none of the relationships heâ€™d tried to have while
he was in Special Forces had survived a single deployment. Some people simply
couldnâ€™t deal with the stress of knowing the person they cared about was in
danger on the other side of the world. Last night, heâ€™d figured out he was one
of those people. If Layla was going to be out there, he had to find a way to be
with her. If that meant taking Dickâ€™s serum, then so be it. Because living like
this wasnâ€™t even an option.
He was so lost in thought that he didnâ€™t realize theyâ€™d reached the lab until
the familiar medicinal stench smacked him back into awareness. Thatâ€™s when he
saw the DCOâ€™s resident hybrid expert, Dr. Zarina Sokolov, standing there with a
guarded expression on her face.
â€śIs there something I can help you with?â€ť Zarina asked Dick in a Russian accent
that could be icy cold when she wantedâ€” like now.
Dick didnâ€™t seem to notice that the temperature in the room had dropped a few
degrees. â€śI need you to get Jayson ready for the hybrid serum protocol.â€ť
Zarina lifted a brow. â€śI wasnâ€™t aware the DCOâ€™s hybrid serum protocol was ready
Dick smiled. â€śI guess no one told you, then. There have been a few breakthroughs
in the past couple weeks. Iâ€™d appreciate it if you got Jayson ready. Iâ€™d like to
start as soon as the doctors arrive with the serum.â€ť
Zarinaâ€™s blue eyes darted to Jayson, then back to Dick. â€śAnd the serum is safe?â€ť
â€śIâ€™d never let any of our people take a drug that wasnâ€™t completely safe,â€ť Dick
said. â€śNow, if thatâ€™s all, I need to make a phone call.â€ť
Dick gave Jayson a nod, then walked out of the lab, leaving him alone with the
â€śJayson, this is insane. You shouldnâ€™t be agreeing to this. Youâ€™ve seen what
this serum can do to people.â€ť she said.
Jayson had to admit, he was a little concerned that the one person who probably
knew more about hybrids than anyone in the world wasnâ€™t involved in the
development of this latest serumâ€” concerned, but not enough to make him
reconsider his decision.
â€śI know what the risks are,â€ť he said. â€śIâ€™m willing to accept them.â€ť
What do you think, would you take a chance to save a loved one? Leave your
answer below, one reader will get a copy of HER ROGUE ALPHA
HE'LL DO ANYTHING FOR HER
Former Special Forces Lieutenant Jayson Harmon can't believe that his war scars
don't matter to beautiful feline shifter Layla Halliwell. Why would she saddle
herself with a broken man?
But Layla knows that Jayson is a hero to the core, and that only she can heal
his wounded soul. So when Jayson is deployed on another deadly mission, no way
is Layla staying behind...
[Sourcebooks Casablanca, On Sale: September 6,
2016, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781492625896 / ]
Paige Tyler is a New York Times and USA
Today bestselling author of sexy, romantic fiction. Paige writes books
about hunky alpha males and the kick-butt heroines they fall in love with. She
lives with her very own military hero (a.k.a. her husband) and their adorable
dog on the beautiful Florida coast. Visit www.paigetylertheauthor.com.
Fortune favors the brave, so yes, I'd take a chance! (Lisa L. 9:55pm September 7, 2016)
I would not take an experimental serum. I'm not that brave. (Tanja Dancy 1:59am September 8, 2016)
To save a loved one??? Yes I would...I'd do anything for my family. Love the cover and can't wait to read this book!!! (Bonnie Capuano 7:31am September 8, 2016)
I wouldn't take the serum, if there was not much known of its affects. What if the side effects were crippling or turned me into a monster? And then a loved one felt the need to save me, even though there would be consequences for him? (G. Bisbjerg 11:35am September 8, 2016)
Oh boy... I am not sure... it would depend on the moment. (Colleen Conklin 12:41pm September 8, 2016)
There is no question about it. I would always take the chance to save a loved one. For there are few and far between. (Keala Richardson 1:56pm September 8, 2016)
A lot of factors need to looked at. If I trusted all of the people involved, my gut feeling, how new the drug was, & if they have done ANY experimenting with it on anything at all. I might consider it. (S W 4:16pm September 8, 2016)
I would save them know matter what. I would do anything to save my mother!!! (Jennifer Beck 10:50am September 9, 2016)
I would. I don't think I could live with myself if I didn't try. (Diane Sallans 11:34am September 9, 2016)
Yes. I get all Momma Bear when my loved ones are in danger ;-) Thanks for the giveaway! (Lenna Hendershott 1:25pm September 9, 2016)
Of courser I would. I would nbot hesitate to come to their aid (Joy Isley 4:45pm September 9, 2016)
It would depend on the specific circumstances. In this case, I don't think I'd do it. (Janie McGaugh 1:20am September 10, 2016)
I would do a lot to help someone I loved, but it would depend on the circumstances and possible repercussions of that help. (Eva Millien 10:34am September 10, 2016)
i would do anything for my mom and dad would be alive (Ann Unger 12:01pm September 12, 2016)
Yes! I would take any chance to save my husband, daughter, son & his wife..not to mention my brothers!! (Sharon Shearouse 12:55pm September 12, 2016)
Yes, I would take the chance to save a loved one. Probably even a stranger depending on the circumstances. (Robin Tindle 12:28pm September 14, 2016)
Of course! Though it will depend on some factors. (Ela Raymundo 1:32am September 16, 2016)
Yes I would do everything I could to save a loved one. (Bonnie H 10:18pm September 21, 2016)