The Cinderella Mission. Catherine Mann

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Название The Cinderella Mission
Автор произведения Catherine Mann
Жанр Зарубежные любовные романы
Серия
Издательство Зарубежные любовные романы
Год выпуска 0
isbn 9781472078131



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      One agent is already missing, and now the U.S. government’s most confidential secret is in danger of falling into a power-hungry dictator’s hands.

      The top-secret agents of ARIES are the world’s only hope.

      Agent Ethan Williams: Haunted by childhood memories of his parents’ deaths, this millionaire playboy is deadly serious about protecting those close to him. And these days that means his alluring new partner, Kelly Taylor—a woman he can’t keep close enough….

      Agent Kelly Taylor: She may look innocent, but this young linguist is no stranger to danger—or desire. She’s always wanted to be an operative, and she’s finally gotten her chance. But posing undercover as Ethan’s lover has awakened another longing….

      Samuel Hatch: A lifetime in the CIA has shown him secrets the rest of the world would never imagine. And as director of the top-secret ARIES agency, it’s up to him to make sure those secrets stay safe. His agents are the best of the best, and he’s not going to lose one now….

      Dr. Alex Morrow: Hatch’s most covert operative is missing somewhere in war-torn Europe. Morrow’s last message mentioned mythical jewels with devastating powers, but the transmission was unclear. If ARIES can’t locate the good doctor soon, the world may pay the price….

      Dear Reader,

      This month we have something really special on tap for you. The Cinderella Mission, by Catherine Mann, is the first of three FAMILY SECRETS titles, all of them prequels to our upcoming anthology Broken Silence and then a twelve book stand-alone FAMILY SECRETS continuity. These books are cutting edge, combining dark doings, mysterious experiments and overwhelming passion into a mix you won’t be able to resist. Next month, the story continues with Linda Castillo’s The Phoenix Encounter.

      Of course, this being Intimate Moments, the excitement doesn’t stop there. Award winner Justine Davis offers up another of her REDSTONE, INCORPORATED tales, One of These Nights. A scientist who’s as handsome as he is brilliant finds himself glad to welcome his sexy bodyguard—and looking forward to exploring just what her job description means. Wilder Days (leading to wilder nights?) is the newest from reader favorite Linda Winstead Jones. It will have you turning the pages so fast, you’ll lose track of time. Ingrid Weaver begins a new military miniseries, EAGLE SQUADRON, with Eye of the Beholder. There will be at least two follow-ups, so keep your eyes open so you don’t miss them. Evelyn Vaughn, whose miniseries THE CIRCLE was a standout in our former Shadows line, makes her Intimate Moments debut with Buried Secrets, a paranormal tale that’s as passionate as it is spooky. And Aussie writer Melissa James is back with Who Do You Trust? This is a deeply emotional “friends become lovers” reunion romance, one that will captivate you from start to finish.

      Enjoy! And come back next month for more of the best and most exciting romance around—right here in Silhouette Intimate Moments.

      Leslie J. Wainger

      Executive Senior Editor

      The Cinderella Mission

      Catherine Mann

      

www.millsandboon.co.uk

      To Joanne Rock, a fabulous critique partner and an awesome friend. Thank you for the tireless reads, endless support and countless bags of shared Jelly Bellies!

      CATHERINE MANN

      began her career writing romance at twelve and recently uncovered that first effort while cleaning out her grandmother’s garage. After working for a small-town newspaper, teaching at the university level and serving as a theater school director, she has returned to her original dream of writing romance. Now an award-winning author, Catherine is especially pleased to add a nomination for the prestigious Maggie to her contest credits. Following her air force aviator husband around the United States with four children and a beagle in tow gives Catherine a wealth of experience from which to draw her plots. Catherine invites you to learn more about her work by visiting her Web site: http://catherinemann.com.

      Contents

      Prologue

      Chapter 1

      Chapter 2

      Chapter 3

      Chapter 4

      Chapter 5

      Chapter 6

      Chapter 7

      Chapter 8

      Chapter 9

      Chapter 10

      Chapter 11

      Chapter 12

      Chapter 13

      Chapter 14

      Chapter 15

      Chapter 16

      Epilogue

      Prologue

      Dr. Alex Morrow was dead.

      Samuel Hatch feared it all the way to his sixty-year-old, ulcer-riddled gut.

      The aging operative bolted back breakfast in his office—two antacids with cold coffee. His job as the Director of ARIES came with countless rewards and endless holes in his stomach. Since Hatch had created the top-secret section of the CIA, ARIES had become his family, his agents the children he and Rita had never been able to conceive.

      Now he suspected he’d lost one.

      Restrained tension hummed through him, stringing him as taut as the twine he worked to twist around the wilting plant behind his desk. He aimed the sunlamp with meticulous care, grounding himself in the ritual while he plotted how best to utilize his unlimited resources.

      One day’s silence he could accept, especially given the unstable climate in European Holzberg and neighboring Rebelia. But three days and Alex’s tracking device inactive…

      Every inch of Hatch’s raw stomach burned after ten years of worrying about his pseudo offspring. Yet their mission was too important to abandon. ARIES operatives embraced assignments no sane CIA agent would touch.

      Their country owed these silent knights countless debts that could never be acknowledged.

      Hatch anchored the stake on a struggling strawberry plant he’d grafted from home. He mentally sifted through Alex’s final transmissions like the soil through his fingers as he looked for the proper texture to bear fruit. Heaven help them all if Alex fell into DeBruzkya’s hands. The crazed Rebelian dictator under investigation was a sick bastard.

      Heaven help Alex.

      His fingers twitched, snapping a limp stem off the plant. He wouldn’t let even one of his operatives, especially this one, go down without unleashing the full arsenal at his disposal. Hatch clutched the crumpled leaves in his fist and turned back to the conference area of his office.

      And what a mighty arsenal it was, compliments of the government’s blank check.

      Large flat-screen monitors lined one wall, glowing with everything from CNN to satellite uplink status. Computers hummed from his desk, as well as along the conference table where laptops perched in front of eight seats. Electronic cryptology equipment for encoding and decoding transmissions littered the workspace.

      In the midst of it all, he relied on an old-fashioned map of the world with pins marking locations of his operatives. The cover of each agent’s private-sector identity offered the freedom to travel anywhere undetected. Already, he’d alerted European operatives to begin searching, but without a narrowed field, there was only