Shattered Duty: Deadly Ops Book 3 (A Series of Thrilling, Edge-of-Your-Seat Suspense)

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9781472212290: Shattered Duty: Deadly Ops Book 3 (A Series of Thrilling, Edge-of-Your-Seat Suspense)

A new novel from the author of Bound to Danger who “has the amazing ability of pulling the reader onto the front lines of the action and drama.” (The Reading Café)

When his wife was murdered two years ago, Special Agent Levi Lazaro turned his back on everything he cared about. Ever since, he has thought of nothing but vengeance. Now he's finally uncovered the identities of those who killed his wife—and he's ready to destroy them at any cost. He won’t let anything stand in his way—not even a beautiful NSA agent on a mission of her own.

Special Agent Selene Wolfe prides herself on being the best. Her fearlessness and quick-thinking make her the perfect person to take down a deadly terrorist cell. But she needs Levi’s help, and the moment he shows up, Selene knows her objectivity—and her heart—are in trouble.

As the two strike an uneasy alliance, Levi finds himself tormented by his desire for Selene—a feeling he thought long dead. But when their mission takes an unexpected turn, he finds himself at a crossroads. Can he put aside his need for revenge to save the woman who’s reawakened his soul?

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About the Author:

Katie Reus is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Deadly Ops novels, which include Targeted and Bound to Danger, and the Moon Shifter novels. She has a degree in psychology, and lives near Biloxi, Mississippi, with her husband, who was a Marine scout/sniper and currently works as a police officer and SWAT team sniper.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Prologue

Tango: NATO Phonetic Alphabet representation of the letter T. In military and law enforcement operations, tango often means target/terrorist.

Seven years ago

Levi hated the fucking jungle. Give him the desert or mountains any day of the week over the wet, muddy, dangerous jungle. He eased out onto one of the branches of the tree he was currently hiding in, careful to ensure there weren’t any snakes waiting to strike.

Nature in this Colombian hellhole was just as deadly as the men he was about to kill. Venomous snakes, insects the size of your face, deranged flying termites—which weren’t actually deadly, just annoying as shit—and poisonous tree frogs were the tip of the spear for what he had to look out for. In addition to gun-toting assholes.

The branch was thick, sturdy, and because of Diego Jimenez’s stupidity in not trimming the foliage around his mansion, it was the perfect way to gain entrance into the piece of garbage’s house. Levi had very specific orders and for one of the few times in his career in the Marine Corps, he had authorization to kill on sight. Didn’t have to worry about being fired on first or other rules of engagement. Every single person in this house and on the grounds was the enemy.

Since Levi knew Jimenez was into the skin trade, he didn’t feel an ounce of guilt. Anyone working for the guy should die. No one had a right to own another human being, much less rape and degrade them.

It was close to three in the morning and even though there were guards on the twenty-acre property, Jimenez kept only a total of five outside and right around the exterior of the house. Since the skin trader had a secured wall around his property he thought he was safe. His arrogance would be one of the things that got him killed.

Somehow this guy had pissed off someone in the CIA; it was why Levi was here. All he knew at this point was that Jimenez had taken a teenage girl and was keeping her captive. No details about what she looked like or why she was important. Just that she was an asset to national security and he must retrieve her at all costs, killing whoever got in his way. A teenage girl was important to national security? He wasn’t sure he bought that—more likely she was the daughter of someone important—but he didn’t need a reason to help a female.

Below him one of the guards strolled by with an AK-47 held loosely at his side as he puffed on a cigarette. His laziness was offensive, making Levi want to drop down and kill the guy right now on principle.

Once the man had passed under him and rounded the corner of the home, Levi continued inching his way along the branch until he hovered five feet above a small stone balustrade balcony. After another visual sweep of the surrounding land, he dropped down, his boots making a soft thud barely audible over the sound of monkeys and birds. Still, he crouched low, peering through the opening of the stone columns, waiting to see if he’d been discovered. There was a video camera by the top corner of the French door of the balcony, pointing right at him.

Jimenez had security cameras all over the compound and Levi had avoided most of them. It had been impossible to remain completely invisible though. He wasn’t a ghost. He waited thirty seconds, counting down in anticipation of an alarm sounding.

Nothing.

Somehow, he was still undetected. He and the rest of his six-man team waiting in the jungle had been told that he’d have twenty minutes where the video feeds would fail. Until now he hadn’t been positive it was true, but there was no way he’d have made it this far without those things being disabled.

It was go time.

Turning toward the doors, he quickly jimmied the lock and slipped inside. Again, no alarm, as promised. He’d also been given instructions and a crude map for how to rescue the principal. The French doors were the entry point in what appeared to be an unused guest room. He wouldn’t be going out this way though. Hell, no. He’d be going right out the front gate.

Normally he had his M-4 carbine rifle for any mission, but not this one. It was too bulky for the close quarters and likely hand-to-hand combat he’d be facing. He was coming in with his silenced MP5 submachine gun, a KA-BAR knife for up close kills, grenades in case he had a hot exit, and enough Semtex to blow this place to the ground.

This job was too last minute and they didn’t have enough intel. Less than twenty-four hours ago he’d been at Camp Pendleton, debriefing his commander on his most recent mission and dreaming about a cold beer when two men in black suits—like a fucking cliché—walked in and ordered him out. Barely a half hour later he was gearing up again and headed out on an unmarked cargo plane to a vague destination with a team of guys just as in the dark as he was about the mission.

His commander had demanded he be on point for this since he had more experience and more kills. Now he was about to put his skills to good use.

Scanning the plush room, he made his way to the far door. First, he placed a small brick of explosive under one of the dressers, pushing it up against a wall. It was undetectable to the eye in case anyone peeked in the room in the next few minutes. Once it was in place, he paused at the door and listened intently before slowly pulling it open.

One of his sidearms drawn, he swept out into the hall. Empty. His rubber-soled boots were silent as he hurried down the hall, mindful of the damn video cameras.

Even though they were turned off, their presence made him feel like he had a bull’s-eye on his forehead. At the designated door he found the keypad entry system just as he’d been told. Levi typed in the code he’d memorized, wincing at the soft beeps each press of a button made. The door opened with a barely discernible click. The CIA must have a seriously deep mole in Jimenez’s organization for this kind of intel.

His boots were silent as he descended the flight of stairs. According to his information there might or might not be a guard waiting. He slung his MP5 over his shoulder, then pulled out his KA-BAR as he reached the bottom stair.

The stairs opened up into another hallway with three doors. A guard was leaning against the wall next to the middle door—where Levi needed entrance—looking at his cell phone. Probably texting.

Without pause Levi hauled back and threw the blade at the man. It hit its mark, sinking into his throat.

Eyes wide, the guard’s phone fell from his fingers, clattering against the wooden floor as he reached up for his neck, making choking sounds. Before the man’s knees had even hit the ground, Levi had closed the distance between them. He withdrew the blade, then cut the man’s throat. Quick and efficient. Unfortunately there was a shitload of blood.

Shoving the body to the side, he easily picked the lock. Adrenaline pumping, he withdrew one of his backup pistols. The back of his neck was tingling, his gut telling him the shit was about to hit the fan.

His instinct was never wrong.

Pushing out a slow breath, he eased the door open, weapon at the ready.

There was only one piece of furniture in the small room: a twin bed. A slim, hooded female was lying on her side on it. Her arms were bound in front of her with flex cuffs and she wore thin shorts and a tank top. Her breathing kicked up the slightest notch when he stepped into the room, so he knew she wasn’t asleep, but she also wasn’t calling attention to herself. Smart. She was tall and thin but he couldn’t tell if she was the teenager or not. She was a little more developed than he expected a teenager to be. Still, even if she wasn’t part of the mission he wasn’t leaving any woman here like this. He didn’t have the operational latitude to make that kind of decision but if the CIA didn’t like it, they could suck his dick. No one was getting left behind tonight and if he had to improvise, so be it.

“Scorpion?” he whispered, the only code word he had to give her.

At that she jolted upright. “Yes.” Her voice was raspy beneath the hood, as if she hadn’t used it lately.

There was a metallic collar around her neck, holding the hood in place. “I’m going to cut your hands free, so don’t move,” he whispered, moving to kneel in front of her. “Is the collar rigged?”

“No, but it’s impossible to take it off without tools. I can see well enough anyway. We need to leave,” she whispered as he sliced through the cuffs, her body shaking with tension.

“Do I need to carry you or can you really see with that thing?” It was a mesh material that looked breathable, just uncomfortable.

“I can see your face paint,” she said, standing. She reached out and touched his paint-covered cheek. She still sounded hoarse. He wondered if her throat had been injured but didn’t ask. First he needed to get her to safety.

He was surprised she’d touched him, but didn’t pull away. Poor kid, he hated imagining what she must have been through. He tapped his earpiece. “Scorpion acquired. Everyone in position?”

Once he received affirmations from the team, he pulled out another small explosive and placed it in a corner of the room. Then he nodded toward the door. “Your guard is dead. I’m going to carry you over him so you don’t step in blood.” There weren’t any shoes or clothes in the room, so she’d be leaving like this. “Whatever I say, you do it. Don’t question me and we’ll get out of here alive. Understood?”

“Yes. Can I have one of your guns?”

She surprised him again by the question but considering how scared she had to be, he figured she wanted a way to protect herself. “You won’t need it.” Without waiting for a response, he lifted her into his arms and hurried toward the door. He hadn’t heard anything, but he scanned the hallway before stepping over the body and back toward the stairs. At the foot of the stairs he placed her on her feet and glanced at his watch even though his internal clock told him how much time had passed since his infiltration. Keeping his voice low, he said, “We’ve got eleven minutes to get to the garage unseen. After that, we’re going to come under heavy fire, but that’s okay because we’ve got backup. You’re going to stay down and out of range. No matter what happens, you keep your head down. If something happens to me, my team will get you out of here.”

She nodded, the hood moving oddly over her face. “I promise. . . . Thank you.”

That was all the affirmation he needed. Moving swiftly, they ascended the stairs. The upper hallway was still empty. He was glad because he didn’t want to have to kill someone in front of the girl. She was likely already traumatized enough.

Two doors down on the right side he stopped. There was another keypad. As he typed in the code, he felt her tentative hand at his back.

When he turned, she leaned in close. “There will be at least two guards in the garage.” Her voice was barely above a whisper.

He held a finger to his lips.

She nodded and wrapped her arms around herself, clearly nervous, but at least she was keeping it together. He didn’t have time for a hysterical principal. It would fuck up the entire op. When they reached the end of the stairs he glanced over his shoulder just to make sure she was still with him. Beyond the stairwell he could hear male voices. Multiple. More than two.

Shit.

He peered around the corner before quickly ducking back. There were four men, all clustered together as they joked about tag-teaming some woman. His mother had been born in the United States but her parents had emigrated from Spain and she’d taught him what she considered pure Spanish. But he understood these fuckers perfectly well even with some of the different pronunciations. Oh yeah, these guys were going to die tonight. Levi took out another explosive and placed it on one of the stairs.

He motioned for the girl to stay put, then handed her his KA-BAR. Under normal circumstances he’d never give up a weapon, but he wanted her to have a way to defend herself. When she just nodded and clutched the knife tightly in her grip, he readied his MP5.

Envisioning the scene, he knew he’d have one chance to take these guys out in a single sweep. Their close proximity gave him a huge advantage. Finger on the trigger, he stepped from his position and opened fire.

Only one of the men managed to reach for his weapon before they all hit the ground, covered in blood, dead or dying. The MP5 was truly a masterpiece of weaponry. Unlike other submachine guns with silencers this beauty used standard ammo and was one of the most accurate of its kind. And he loved it. He tapped his earpiece as he peered back around the corner of the stairwell. As he waved at the girl to move, he said, “Exiting now. Watch for movement.”

“We’ve got eyes on the gate.”

While the girl stepped cautiously into the four-car garage, he quickly scanned for some sort of key holder. A pegged board or—

“They’re in the vehicles,” she said, reading his mind, still clutching his knife like her life depended on it. Not that he blamed her. What he wouldn’t give to kill Jimenez himself.

Nodding, Levi pointed at the biggest SUV. As she hurried toward the passenger side he placed Semtex under the other three vehicles: two cars that cost more than he made in a year and a custom-made ATV.

Moments later he was in the driver’s seat, his adrenaline flashing through him like lightning even though he was rock steady. He wanted to order her into the back, but didn’t bother. They wouldn’t be in the SUV very long. Just as she’d said, the key was in the visor.

“Moving out now,” he said as he started the engine. As it flared to life he pressed the garage door opener, barely waiting until it had cleared the SUV before reversing.

As he tore into the driveway he was surprised they weren’t fired on. But as he whipped around in a one-eighty, he heard shouts then pings against the SUV. Like rain on a tin roof, it splattered over them, but he’d already known the SUV was bulletproof.

“Blow it now,” he ordered as he raced down the long driveway. “And get down,” he said to the girl.

She immediately complied, ducking in her seat.

Less than fifty yards in front of them a giant explosion rent the air, orange flames lighting up the night sky as the heavy gate blew off its hinges, carving them a direct path to freedom.

“Tangos are down, you have a clean exit,” Ortiz, one of his teammates, said. “We’ll cover you. Get Scorpion to safety.”

Levi pulled out a detonator and pressed the button. A multitude of explosions rocked behind them as they flew through the gate.

“Holy crap,” she murmured, sitting up and turning around in her seat. “Do you think Jimenez is dead?” she asked, the hope lacing her voice clawing at him.

What kind of fucker kidnapped a teenager and assaulted her? Unfortunately there were too many men in the world like that and not enough bullets. “If he’s not now he will be in the next ten minutes. Trust me.” An airstrike would be called in as soon as he and the rest of the team were cleared.

A glance in the rearview mirror told him they weren’t being followed as they sped down the quiet road in the jungle. Jimenez’s place was out in the middle o...

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Book Description Headline Publishing Group, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Danger. Thrills. Action. Suspense. No holds barred in New York Times bestseller Katie Reus s Deadly Ops series. Fans of Karen Rose, Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner and Julie Garwood - be prepared for Deadly Ops. Fast-paced romantic suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat Cynthia EdenSpecial Agent Levi Lazaro lives for revenge. Ever since his wife s murder, he s done nothing but search relentlessly for her killers. Now that he s identified them, he s prepared to eliminate them, no matter the cost. National Security Agent Selene Wolfe prides herself on being the best. Fearless and quick-thinking, the dangerous mission of infiltrating a terrorist cell was made for her. Brought together on the covert operation, the two agents strike an uneasy alliance. Levi is motivated by a personal vendetta, Selene is hiding the truth of her past, and they re battling their powerful attraction to one another. But as their assignment takes a fatal turn, their secrets and the threat of the enemy could destroy any chance of a future together.Got a taste for danger? For more heartstopping action don t miss the other Deadly Ops novels: Targeted, Bound to Danger, Chasing Danger, Edge Of Danger and A Covert Affair. Bookseller Inventory # AA69781472212290

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Book Description Headline Publishing Group, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Danger. Thrills. Action. Suspense. No holds barred in New York Times bestseller Katie Reus s Deadly Ops series. Fans of Karen Rose, Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner and Julie Garwood - be prepared for Deadly Ops. Fast-paced romantic suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat Cynthia EdenSpecial Agent Levi Lazaro lives for revenge. Ever since his wife s murder, he s done nothing but search relentlessly for her killers. Now that he s identified them, he s prepared to eliminate them, no matter the cost. National Security Agent Selene Wolfe prides herself on being the best. Fearless and quick-thinking, the dangerous mission of infiltrating a terrorist cell was made for her. Brought together on the covert operation, the two agents strike an uneasy alliance. Levi is motivated by a personal vendetta, Selene is hiding the truth of her past, and they re battling their powerful attraction to one another. But as their assignment takes a fatal turn, their secrets and the threat of the enemy could destroy any chance of a future together.Got a taste for danger? For more heartstopping action don t miss the other Deadly Ops novels: Targeted, Bound to Danger, Chasing Danger, Edge Of Danger and A Covert Affair. Bookseller Inventory # AA69781472212290

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