I’ve been a James Bond fan ever since I saw Diamonds Are Forever years ago. Yes, some of the movies are highly problematic on several levels, but I can’t help loving the combination of dashing spies, sexy adventure, and Britishness.
It was only a matter of time until I tried to write my own spy book, which is what you’re getting with Andrew and Lavinia’s story in The Allure of Attraction.
When veteran spy Captain Andrew Colter is forced to recruit his ex-fiancé for one last job, he knows it’s not going to be easy. What he doesn’t count on is Lavinia’s enthusiasm for the job.
She was lying to him. Each simple lift of her shoulder and casual comment was designed to distract him, but he’d been in this game for far too long.
“If there’s something that will compromise your ability to complete this mission, I need to know about it,” he said.
“All you need to concern yourself with is making sure that I still have a reputation to rely on when you leave Edinburgh,” she said.
Her words hung in the air, the implicit trust in them weighing him down. She was putting her life and her livelihood into his hands, trusting him when everything between them was broken. In a strange, twisted way, he felt honored in that.
“I would never knowingly put you or your business in harm’s way. You have my promise on that,” he said.
Her gaze fell to her lap, where her hands were clasped so tightly that her knuckles were white. “I do hope your promises hold more water than mine did,” she said.
He started, surprised that she would’ve mentioned their broken engagement, and a little thread of doubt began to worm its way into the certainties he’d held for more than ten years. Did she regret the decisions she’d made? Did she ever wonder what their lives would’ve been like if she’d refused the first man who’d come along and asked her to marry him?
Lavinia leaned across the gap between their benches, and he couldn’t help but mirror her, drawn in by his desire to know more.
“I have one very important question to ask you, Andrew.”
His eyes locked on the sensual rounding of her lips again. They were teasing him, lush, pink, and beautiful and more kissable than he wished he knew. He couldn’t help but lean a little loser.
“What is it?” he asked.
“Do I get a pistol?”
He jerked back. “What?”
She rolled her eyes. “A pistol. A mechanized weapon that fires lead projectiles at one’s enemies in order to injure or kill them.”
“I’m well aware of what a pistol is and its purpose.”
“Or perhaps a knife. I’m sure I could think of all sorts of ways to modify a gown so that it could be hidden. There’d be no need to go reaching down and hitching up my skirts to get at a stiletto secreted in my garter.”
“No stilettos,” he nearly hissed. No garters either. Bloody hell.
“You’re quite right. They’d be far too large. What I need is a knife with a blade that folds into its handle. Far more compact. What are those called?”
“A switchblade,” he said automatically, before realizing he was only throwing fuel on the fire. “Which you will not under any circumstances be carrying or using.”
“Why not?” she asked. “If I’m to be a spy—”
“You’re not a spy.”
“I am absolutely a spy. Spy.” She jabbed a finger at her chest, depressing the taut fabric across her breasts and inadvertently making the swell of them more prominent as though she was actually trying to kill him. Then she pointed at him. “Spymaster.”
“The spymaster is a man I sincerely hope you never meet. I’m the handler. You are an asset.”
Her face scrunched up in distaste. “An asset? That sounds so . . . uninspired.”
“It’s what you are. And there is no need for an asset who is doing clandestine work to carry a weapon.”
“Is this because I’m a woman?” she asked, her back clearly up.
“No, it’s because if I give you a pistol, you’re likely to shoot Wark the moment he annoys you.”
“I will concede that you have a point.”
Preorder The Allure of Attraction and start reading it as soon as it releases on June 25th!