What really appealed to me about John Corey when he first walked into my previous book, Fatal Flaw, as a minor character, was his laid-back sense of humour. As the story progressed he revealed other attributes that caught my attention. Although following the letter of the law in his work with The Agency, he was willing to stretch the boundaries so the hero could rescue the heroine and her son. In his own story in Grievous Harm, he surprised me by the depth of his emotions and why there had been no serious woman in his life since the tragic death of his girlfriend years before.
John has the kind of brooding sexiness that Kate Maclaren fights against, but when he sacrifices all he believes in to help her search for her missing niece she realises he’s a man worthy of love. What they endure in that search convinces John that there can never be a future for them. It takes a lot of courage to keep going in spite of being so emotionally traumatised, but he is willing give everything to help Kate – his job, his life, his heart.
This excerpt comes from just after they’ve found Kate’s niece, then discover she has been taken somewhere else:
Kate could swear she felt the air whoosh past her ears as she staggered back against the Rav4. The sensation passed, leaving horror and anger. ‘He’s got her.’ She barely recognised the hoarse voice as her own.
‘And the other girl who was dressed in a white robe. She wasn’t there either.’
‘Where? Where did he take them? An hour, you said, which means he drove for thirty minutes, dumped them, and drove straight back. Or else he didn’t drive that far because he…he…’ The image in her imagination seared into her with horrible clarity, and her control finally broke, great gulping sobs shaking her body as tears streamed down her cheeks.
It took a moment for her to realise that strong arms were easing her away from the vehicle and wrapping around her. John didn’t speak, just held her until the storm of emotion lessened. ‘I’m sorry,’ she whispered.
‘Don’t be.’ His voice was gruff. ‘Sometimes men wish they could have an outlet for their feelings like that.’
Kate allowed herself to take comfort from his embrace, to feel his strength and allow it to soak into her. After a moment she became aware that it felt good, far too good, to have him hold her. Her face was pressed into his shoulder and she could smell the dirt where he’d lain, the musty green of plants deprived of rain, and above these the distinctly masculine smell that was him and him alone. And she trembled with her need for him. A need that seemed to echo in the way his body moulded against hers, seeking, wanting.
She could feel the hunger spark between them, the deep fiery kind of hunger that consumed as it burned. And it scared her to the depths of her soul. She pushed away from him as though that fire had already singed, but even as she turned away so she couldn’t see his face and read a reflection of her unmasked emotions in his eyes, she knew it was too late. She wanted him. She would always want him.
When a child is in danger, every second counts.
In Sydney, Australia, The Loving Hand church understands how children can be a commodity more precious than gold.
When Kate Maclaren flies in from Los Angeles, desperate to find her missing niece, she opens a door into this world, and uncovers a network of corruption that stretches across the country.
Agent John Corey, torn by long-buried guilt, and harbouring secrets he must not reveal, joins forces with Kate to expose the sinister cult before more children disappear. He will risk everything, even defying orders, to help Kate uncover the truth and keep her safe.
But when their journey into Australia’s Outback reveals the psychopath at the centre of the network, it is Kate who discovers she will do anything for the people she loves.
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