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Definitely NOT a book to miss. Oh, and by the way, it's as sexy as all get out along with being a mature, grown-up romance... with a bit of heartbreak here and there.

Kathy K for Reviews at Ebook Addict
Special Agents for the Department of Diplomatic Security, Taylor MacAllister and Will Brandt have been partners forever and lovers for three months, but their new relationship is threatened when Will is offered a plum two-year assignment in Paris. It’s a bad time to find themselves in the middle of the New Mexico wilderness responsible for the health and welfare of a suspected terrorist.


(Included in the print collection Armed and Dangerous)

“Is there any chance she didn’t come this way?” They had been searching the tree-covered hills for half an hour with no sign of Hedwig anywhere. Now it was mostly a series of rocky downhill slopes. Where the ground wasn’t rock, it was covered in golden wheat. Or something that looked like wheat but was more likely weeds. There were a few scraggly pine trees and a lot of juniper and cactus. The air was sharp and clear as a crystal bell, and every clack of rock on rock seemed to carry for miles.

“This is the closest thing to a trail.”

Which wasn’t saying much.

Taylor paused to look over his shoulder—which was when he felt the ground give way.

For a confused instant, he thought he’d misstepped, that he was falling down the hillside, and then he realized that he was falling into the hillside. The ground caved in around him, dirt and rock crumbling down on him as he sank.

He seemed to hang, suspended, clawing the thick, moist dark, trying to climb back up to air and light, squinching his eyelids, spitting out soil, breathing out against the smothering shower of debris. It felt for a moment like he might fight gravity.

Then he plummeted. He landed in soft earth, though hard enough to knock the wind out of him.

He could hear Will yelling. It sounded like a long way away.

Taylor blinked a couple of times and began to rapidly take stock. Fingers, toes, hands, feet, arms, legs…everything seemed to be working. He gingerly lifted his head. A cone of light spilled down from the hole in the ceiling above his head.

A good twenty feet above his head.

“Taylor? Can you hear me? Are you okay? Can you hear me?”

Will’s head appeared in the opening above.


“Jesus Christ. You scared the shit out of me, MacAllister.”

You and me both. But Taylor refrained from saying it. Will sounded about as rattled as Taylor’d ever heard him.

“Can you move? Are you injured?”

Taylor slowly picked himself up. “I’m okay.”

“Are you sure?”

“Uh, I think so.” He moved into the shaft of sunlight, brushing the grit and pine needles from his clothes and hands. “Yeah, I’m fine.”

“Do you see a way to climb up?”

Taylor looked around. He was forced to reluctantly admit, “No.”

Will swore.

“Tell me about it. Why does this stuff always happen to me?” He thought of all the movies he’d seen where caves were filled with snakes or skeletons or bears. Occasionally treasure, true, but usually snakes, skeletons, and bears. With his luck? At the very least, giant spiders.

It occurred to Taylor that Will had been silent for a couple of minutes. He looked up. Will was still there, looking down at him. Taylor began to see Will’s predicament.

“See, if you’d gone for help when I asked…”

“Not funny,” Will said tersely.

“All right, all right.” He felt around in his pockets. He was going to have bruises all over his body from falling on the junk he carried. He pulled out his pencil flashlight and shone it slowly around the walls of his prison. Rock…earth…jutting roots…a darker shadow…

He went to examine it.

“What are you doing?” Will called.

“Hang on.”

That darker shadow turned out to be a slit in the wall. Taylor shone his light into it. He could feel cool air pushing against his skin.

He moved back into the ring of light. Was it fading? He couldn’t tell.

“There’s some kind of an opening in the wall. Maybe a tunnel.”

Will was shaking his head. “No. Not a good idea.”

“Really? What’s your plan?”

Silence. Poor Will. Taylor sympathized. Will didn’t like not being in control, and this situation was definitely out of control.

“Listen. Try and find the girl. I’ll see if I can find another way out of here.”

“You listen. Some of these New Mexico caves are huge. Miles long. You can’t tell how big yours might be from the chamber you’re standing in. And there isn’t going to be any light. You won’t be able to see a foot in front of you.”

“I’ll be able to see exactly a foot in front of me.” Taylor held up his pencil flashlight.


“We don’t have a lot of time here, Brandt. Our friends in the hearse could be closing in on Hedwig right now. You need to go.”

“Do you have a way to mark your trail?”

Taylor held on to his patience with an effort. “I could take a leaf from Riley’s book, but no. Short answer? No.”

Will raked a nervous hand through his hair. “I don’t like this.”

“I’m not loving it either. Would you just go hurry up and find Hedwig? She’s probably giving birth under a tree right now.”

Will swore. “All right. But…watch yourself. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”

“You mean besides falling into an underground cave?”

“Besides that.” Will stood up. “I’ll be back.” He disappeared from the opening.

“So you keep telling me,” Taylor muttered.