BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

EXCERPT: Cold Cruel Kiss by Toni Anderson


Today we are celebrating the release of the newest romantic suspense title from New York Times Bestselling Author Toni Anderson by participating in the blog tour! COLD CRUEL KISS is a Cold Justice Crossfire novel and it is available now. Add it to Goodreads and join Toni's FB group for exclusive updates.

Check out my review of "Cold Cruel Kiss" here.


Find Toni online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter | Instagram | Goodreads


Lucy Aston, former cheerleader and sorority girl, who'd captained both the debate and softball teams in high school, stood unmoving and completely unnoticed against the back wall of a ballroom as a glittering array of glamorous men and women drank, ate, and generally celebrated the holiday.
Lucy was not one of those people.
She was working.
It was late afternoon, hot in Buenos Aires. Thankfully, the AC blasted away inside, and Lucy positioned herself beneath one of the vents, grateful for the cool draft.
Two sets of garden doors opened onto an incredible old-stone patio with a magnificent fountain as the main focus of attention. Brilliant jacaranda trees with their unique mauve blossoms provided a stunning backdrop.
Everyone who was anyone in this town was in attendance today, including the Argentine president. Christmas Eve was a massive party in this country, and fireworks had been going off all day.
Rather than pretty sparkles, Lucy was wearing a boring pant suit, the jacket two sizes too large. No one paid any attention to the mouse Lucy had transformed herself into over the past ten months. It wasn't simply the drabness of her dyed, mid-brown hair which hung frizzily around her face from an unflattering center part. Nor the insipid paleness of her skin, nor the thick-framed glasses that hid her eyes. No, it was her lackluster demeanor. Her obedient compliance. The body language that clearly stated she was part of the furniture, not part of the festivities.
It had been a huge adjustment for Lucy to not only be ignored, but to be completely unseen. She didn't mind the shadows anymore. In fact, she preferred them.
The ambassador's husband raised his face to the ceiling and gave a belly-laugh at something the French ambassador's wife said. The latter was wearing a sheer black and white polka dot number that was a lot more revealing than it appeared at first glance. The woman was witty and spoke with constantly moving hands. She was so animated, it was a wonder she didn't spill her champagne.
The ambassador looked over at her husband, and Lucy noticed a crinkle of the woman's brow. Catherine Dickerson didn't like loud but there was no way she'd chastise her husband. She didn't pull rank on the domestic front. Lucy liked that about the woman.
Lucy's direct superior and the ambassador's long time Personal Assistant, Miranda Foster, stood close to the ambassador, attentive to her boss's immediate needs. The senior agent from the US Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) flanked the other side of the doorway from Lucy, along with a few other security guys who were all hyper-focused on the officials they were tasked with protecting.
The ambassador was always adamant that she couldn't do her job with a bodyguard hovering over her shoulder. DSS didn't like it, but they'd learned if they wanted to keep the peace, they had to give Catherine Dickerson some space.
Chandeliers glittered in the bright afternoon sunshine. Guests sipped expensive bubbly and snacked on caviar. The noise level was growing exponentially with the level of alcohol consumption.
Lucy would rather eat a burger than fish eggs, but her stomach growled regardless. She'd covered for Miranda during the ambassador's luncheon with her British, French, German, and Spanish counterparts, and it had been a long time since breakfast.
Lucy pushed hunger out of her mind and instead admired the frescos on the far walls. This former palace now belonged to a Russian billionaire who'd made his fortune after the collapse of the former Soviet Union. Being here made her skin crawl.
A flurry of movement in the corner of her eye caused her to glance left. Sure enough, the seemingly friendly and effusive Boris Yahontov had finally arrived with his family at his own party and was keen to make an entrance. He greeted a couple of friends near the doorway and began making his way around her side of the room, probably toward the Argentine president who held court near a dessert table that was complete with a melted chocolate waterfall.
Lucy tried to sink into the wall as Yahontov drew closer, but his gaze fell on her as he neared her position. So much for blending. She bowed her head and stared at the gleaming hardwood floor, praying he walked on by.
Yahontov straightened a chair at a nearby table, and she flicked a glance in his direction. A mistake. It gave him an opening.
"You look familiar..." His accent had only a thin edge of Russian to it. He'd lived in the west for many years, assimilating. A smile was fixed on his lips as he stared at her. "Now where have I seen you before?"
She stared down at the carpet. "You must have mistaken me for someone else, sir."
The man stepped closer and leaned toward to her ear. Alcohol-saturated breath brushed her cheek, although he didn't appear drunk.
"You were prettier in the photographs."
Ice-cold dread washed through her, but she knew better than to show weakness to a predator. She looked at him blankly. "I'm sorry, sir. I really think you have me confused with someone else."
"Of course. My mistake." He laughed and threw up his hands in a jovial manner, but his eyes were appraising as they locked onto her for another long moment.
Her knees wanted to sag, but she didn't let them.
Yahontov finally passed on by, leaving only the smell of vodka behind him. His hulking bodyguard followed like a giant shadow in his wake.Acid coated her throat, and Lucy swallowed repeatedly to get rid of the need to gag. 

Copyright 2021 Toni Anderson Inc.


***************

When the daughter of the US Ambassador to Argentina is kidnapped in broad daylight on Christmas Eve, the FBI sends one of its best negotiators to investigate. 

Supervisory Special Agent Max Hawthorne arrives at an embassy thrown into chaos as US and local law enforcement hustle to track the young woman. Is this a simple kidnap for ransom, or part of a political agenda? Could it be something more sinister? 

Lucy Aston has something to hide. Preferring to stay in the shadows, the lowly, fashion-challenged office assistant resents being assigned to help Max. But Max can’t resist a puzzle…he’s starting to suspect Lucy Aston is not what she seems. 

When rumors emerge of a suspected Russian spy operating out of the embassy, Lucy’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble. As she and Max race to rescue the ambassador’s daughter, Lucy has to do whatever it takes to keep her cover from being blown—even if that means betraying the man she’s falling for.


Series: Crossfire #4; Cold Justice #14
Publisher: Toni Anderson Inc.
Release Date: Jan. 28th, 2021
Formats: ebook, audio, paperback
Buying Links: Amazon* | Apple Books* | Barnes & Noble | Google Books | Kobo | * associate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links. 


About Toni ~ 

Toni Anderson writes award-winning, bestselling, FBI Romantic Thrillers. She is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, RITA® finalist, science nerd, professional tourist, dog lover, gardener, mom. Anderson's books have won the Readers' Choice Award, Aspen Gold, National Excellence in Romance Fiction, Book Buyers' Best.

Originally from a small town in Shropshire, England, Toni studied Marine Biology at University of Liverpool (B.Sc.) and University of St. Andrews (Ph.D.) with the intention she'd never be far from the ocean. Well, that plan backfired and she ended up in the Canadian prairies with her biology professor husband, two kids, a rescue dog, and a laid-back leopard gecko.

Toni started writing while pregnant with her first child and never stopped. Her greatest achievements are mastering the Tokyo subway, climbing Ben Lomond, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, and surviving fifteen Winnipeg winters (fingers crossed). She loves to travel for research purposes and was lucky enough to visit the Strategic Information and Operations Center inside FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. in 2016. She also got to shove another (police) car off the road during pursuit training at the Writer’s Police Academy. Basically she has way too much fun!

Find Toni online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter | Instagram | Goodreads | BookBub 

2 comments:

  1. I have a few of Toni Anderson's books on my Kindle. They really look like good reads.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think they are great reads. I hope you'll enjoy them.

      Delete

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