Designated Target (To Protect and Serve)

Note moyenne 3,86
( 36 avis fournis par Goodreads )
 
9780373278961: Designated Target (To Protect and Serve)

Criminals want her mind... Her protector wants her love. 

Special agent Vincent Fitzgerald's mission is to find missing naval scientist Dr. Skylar Baang. The brilliant Filipino American beauty has been kidnapped for her knowledge and research on top secret projects. But even after Vin rescues her from a dangerous group, he knows they'll be back. 

 

A long-ago promise has kept Skylar committed to her work—love is a distraction she's never allowed herself. Now in the protective custody of a complicated NCIS agent who surprises her at every turn, Skylar wants to stop thinking and start feeling. But as the thugs come after her, she'll need everything she is—and smart, sexy Vin—to stay alive.  

 

Les informations fournies dans la section « Synopsis » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

About the Author :

Karen Anders is a three-time National Readers’ Choice Award finalist and RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice finalist, and has won the prestigious Holt Medallion. Two of her novels made the Waldenbooks bestseller list in 2003. Published since 1997, she currently writes romantic suspense for Harlequin. To contact the author, please write to her in care of Harlequin Books, 233 Broadway Suite 1001, New York, NY 10279, or visit www.karenanders.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. :

Skyl ar Baang didn't know what woke her, pulling her from the heavy weight of an exhausted sleep. A sound?

After a grueling forty-eight-hour marathon on her top secret project, she was slower to react than normal.

Wait. A footstep. That sound didn't belong in the empty silence of her house.

Her gut twisted, her heart surging with the panic-soaked memories of her kidnapping as a small child. Twisted emotions accompanied every heartbeat, every breath, evoking the terror that lived in the deep recesses of her mind, always ready to spring on her.

There were monsters—and they didn't live under the bed.

The sound came again, injecting adrenaline into her system. Her eyes sprang open, her vision focused, and she turned her head toward the door.

Somebody was in her house. How did the intruder get past her formidable security? This couldn't be just any ordinary burglar. She didn't have that many valuables.

That meant they weren't exactly here to rob her. Her head whipped around and focused on her laptop. All her research was in there.

Fully awake, she sprang into action. Jerking open the window, she released her emergency fire ladder and turned to slip down it. She stopped when she saw the black SUVs in front of her house. Were there more assailants down below waiting for her? Staccato thumps of boots on her stairs replaced the stealthy footsteps. Crap! That meant there was more than one somebody out there. What the hell was going on?

She raced to the bedroom door. Her first fumbling try at the lock failed. The metal slipped out of her sweaty, trembling fingers. After a few more tries, she finally succeeded. But locking the door wasn't going to stop them for long.

She wasted no time. She had to hide, and the only place for her to go was the attic. She started for her laptop, but the solid thump against the door sent her scrambling for the closet instead. Inside, she grabbed the pull cord and yanked the stairs down. As she climbed, she folded up the lower section. Once in the attic, she pulled on the stairs and the hinged door slammed as she heard them breach her room.

Crack!

The wooden door smashed into the wall, shaking her hiding spot in the rafters. She could see through a small sliver where the ladder met the ceiling. Sweat trickled in a slow track from her hairline down the side of her temple to her cheek. Every muscle in her body was rigid, including the hand she would have raised to brush at the moisture. Her heart fluttered like a tiny, terrified bird in her chest.

Her very life depended on remaining completely still. As a child, reciting the periodic table in her head had kept her calm.

Hydrogen. Atomic number 1. Lightest element. Most abundant element in the universe and makes up about ninety percent of the universe by weight. Hydrogen as water (H2O) is absolutely essential to life, and it is present in all organic compounds.

Several people clamored out of her room, the sounds of their footsteps moving off into the distance. Had her window ruse worked?

Lithium. Atomic number 3. Group 1 element containing just a single valence electron (1s2 2s1). Group 1 elements are called "alkali metals." Lithium is a solid—

There was an outburst, a curse. Was that... Russian?

The dim memories of another bedroom, another night, and men who'd taken her from her home, speaking a foreign language, filled her mind. Wide-eyed, she backed into the deepest corner in reaction. The wood beneath her creaked. She froze.

Her stomach sank when the doorknob to her closet rattled, then twisted, the squeak screaming along her nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard. Light glowed around the attic opening. Her heart stopped. Her breath stopped.

The unmistakable metallic sound of a cocked automatic weapon made her stomach tighten and her heart surge back into action, thumping against the wall of her chest in an almost painful rhythm.

Her muscles trembled, her brain freezing up as everything inside her urged her to run.

But there was nowhere for her to go.

Someone pulled the ladder down, and a fresh injection of adrenaline shot into her system.

Suddenly a shaved head slowly elevated into her line of vision. She pressed her back against a beam, all her muscles tensing until they were sending waves of pain to her brain. The face of a man she didn't recognize. His deep-set black eyes stole her breath, the intent in them sending fear into her blood, prickling her scalp and running like wildfire down her spine. He smiled, but the humor never touched those malevolent eyes. She sucked breath into her lungs to scream, but before she could, a hypodermic sank into her thigh. Her vision immediately blurred, her rapidly beating heart sending the drug even faster through her system. She tried to lash out, but her sluggish arm wouldn't work properly, and he easily blocked her weak attempt to knock him away from her.

He laughed as she plunged into oblivion.

Another sound worked its way into her consciousness. A scraping, tearing sound that replayed over and over until she finally opened her eyes and identified the noise.

Tree branches caught in the wind scraped against the house. Sky didn't have any trees close enough to her home to make that sound, which meant...she was no longer in her own home. Just like before.

She took a moment to get her bearings, her mouth dry and cottony. She had a gag in her mouth. Sodium Pentothal. That was probably what they'd used on her. The effects were quick, fifteen to thirty seconds, but kept a person out for only about ten to fifteen minutes. The room she was in was unfamiliar—a bedroom, judging by the mattress she lay on. She had no idea how long she'd been out. They could have kept injecting her with the drug. She tried to move. Her hands were tied behind her, and her feet were immobilized.

The man who had stabbed her with the needle hadn't bothered to cover his face. That meant he didn't care if she saw it. He was confident that she wouldn't be telling anyone what he looked like.

And if she didn't do something, she would end up a statistic.

Very dead.

Special Agent Vincent "Vin" Fitzgerald eyed his steely opponent. There was a time to give up and a time to dig in and make a stand. This was that time.

Without hesitating, he reached his arm back and threw the dart at the board.

"Ha! A perfect bull's-eye, Vargas. Try and beat that."

Special Agent in Charge Chris Vargas smirked and slid a sidelong glance at his beautiful wife, Sia.

"Wait. Before you throw, let me get some victory beers," Vin said. "I know you'll want to drink to my win." He grinned as he walked away toward the bar in the wake of Chris's laughter. His cell rang, and he reached for it as the bartender caught his eye and Vin raised two fingers.

"Fitzgerald."

"Vinny, it's Lilah."

His sister's voice was subdued and she sounded as if she'd been crying. "What's wrong?"

He grabbed the two opened longneck bottles and pressed the phone between his ear and shoulder, pulling out his wallet and giving the bartender a twenty.

"What is ever right?" She sniffled. "Dad needs you to come home as soon as you can."

"Why?" The volatile mix of anger and frustration made his voice harsher than he'd meant it to be. But this was the same old stuff his dad had been slinging for years. When would he ever understand his son?

"I promised I wouldn't say." When her breath hitched, his heart tightened. "He wants to talk to both of us. I think it's about the company."

"Not this again... Lilah, it's a waste of time."

"Vinny, please don't make me do this alone." He loved his sister and his family; that wasn't in question. What was in question was how many times he would have to hash this over with his father. In the end, he couldn't turn his back on his sister. "When can you come home?"

"I'll have to see."

"Is this your way of putting me off?"

"No, I'll talk to my boss. Don't cry anymore, okay? You're an ugly crier."

"Shut up," she said with a little, watery laugh.

"Oh, Vinny, I miss you. Let me know. Please make it soon."

He went back to the table near the dartboard and set down the drinks.

"Okay, step aside," Chris said. He walked to the board and pulled out the darts, then sauntered back to the place they'd marked in the sand. He raised his arm and...his cell phone rang.

"Ah, an ass-kicking reprieve, Fitzgerald."

"You were the lucky one, boss," Vin said.

"Vargas," he said into the phone's receiver. Vin's instincts went on full alert at the way his boss listened intently, his gray eyes narrowing. "When?"

He looked at his watch as he listened some more.

"We're on it."

Chris hung up and eyed Vin. He knew that look. Vin buttoned the top button of his dress shirt, retying his loose tie and shrugging into his suit coat. Looked as if his long day at the office had just gotten extended.

"Don't worry. I'll take a cab home," Sia said to her husband.

"No, you take the car. I'll catch a ride with Fitzgerald. Sorry to cut our night short, my love. I'll check in with you later."

"I'm just disappointed I didn't get to see Vin trump you at darts."

Chris laughed and kissed her on her upturned, laughing mouth. "Kiss the baby good-night for me."

"What's up?" Vin asked a few minutes later as his boss rattled off an address in a posh Washington, D.C., suburb.

"There's been a break-in at the home of one of the navy's brightest research scientists. A neighbor reported dark SUVs at her house and heard some commotion. The door was left wide open, and it looks like the woman was taken."

"Who's the researcher?"

"Dr. Skylar Baang," Chris said.

"Baang? She's one of the premier talents working for the navy."

"I'm always impressed, Vin, with how much you know."

Vin pulled up to the curb. Bathed in the blue lights from the flashing cruisers, an old lady dressed in a pink fuzzy robe stood on the porch with one of the D.C. cops, her hands in constant motion around her face, her long, gray hair in a braid down her back.

Pulling up to Dr. Baang's house, they got out of the car, and Vin said, "Chris, after this case, I need to talk to you about some personal time. I've got to go back home."

"Sure. Let's see what we have here, and we can work it out."

"Thanks."

As Vin and his boss approached, two more cars screeched to the curb. Amber Dalton, a tall, athletic blonde, emerged from the first car and met the second agent, Beau Jerrott, who ran his hands through his black, mussed hair and over his dark stubble.

He cut in front of her. "Hey, whatever happened to beauty before age?" Amber said.

"It's trumped by a full-fledged agent before a probie."

"I was a lieutenant in the JAG Corps before I ever started here."

"But here you're a probie."

Her eyes narrowed. "Did you have a hot date?"

"That's none of your business."

"I bet you used your sexy Cajun accent on her. Chère, you and me, kiss kiss." She screwed up her face and made smacking noises with her lips.

"Both of you knock it off," Chris said.

"I'll be an agent in two months," she hissed.

"Still a probie," Beau said before they were both cut off by their boss's stern look.

As they approached Dr. Baang's front porch, the cop stepped aside, and the old woman turned to them, her face still white. Her creased eyes held the worry of a neighbor who was close to the victim. Before his boss could ask any questions, Vin said, "Officer Cranston, what are you doing forcing this lovely lady to stand out here in the middle of the night? You must be chilled to the bone, Mrs...."

"Ms. Childers and, yes, I am."

She relaxed as he'd expected. A comfortable witness gave information faster than a panicked one. Time was of the essence. He took her frail hand and led her into the house. She settled on the sofa. "Amber, can you get her a glass of water?" Amber nodded and went off into the kitchen. He turned back to the witness. "Can you tell us what you saw?"

With a grateful half smile, Ms. Childers said, "Four men, dressed in black and carrying what looked like—" she gulped, and her hand fluttered to her chest "—automatic weapons. One of them had poor Dr. Baang over his shoulder. I could tell because she has this unmistakable long, black hair and she's such a slender woman. Not more than five-four and she can't weigh more than a hundred and ten pounds."

Amber came back from the kitchen and handed Ms. Childers a glass of water. She took a long drink. "They put her into one of the two vehicles in front of her house and drove off."

"What were you doing up so late?"

"Couldn't sleep. I was doing needlepoint by the window, and I saw them come out of the house."

"So, you didn't see them go in?"

"No. They must have entered from the back. But I did notice the SUVs' sleek, dark color with tinted windows. They looked new. I thought maybe Dr. Baang had company. She works for the government, you know."

"The navy, actually. Did you get a license-plate number on either vehicle?"

"No. I had my reading glasses on to see with close-up work. By the time I got them off, they were gone."

"Thank you, Ms. Childers. The officer will escort you back home."

"That was smooth, Fitzgerald," Beau said. "She was on the verge of panic. I saw it, too."

"Back to the Yard," Chris, their boss, ordered. "Time is ticking."

Les informations fournies dans la section « A propos du livre » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

Meilleurs résultats de recherche sur AbeBooks

1.

Karen Anders
Edité par Harlequin, Canada (2014)
ISBN 10 : 0373278969 ISBN 13 : 9780373278961
Neuf(s) Paperback Quantité : 1
Vendeur
The Book Depository US
(London, Royaume-Uni)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre Harlequin, Canada, 2014. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Criminals want her mind. Her protector wants her love. Special agent Vincent Fitzgerald s mission is to find missing naval scientist Dr. Skylar Baang. The brilliant Filipino American beauty has been kidnapped for her knowledge and research on top secret projects. But even after Vin rescues her from a dangerous group, he knows they ll be back. A long-ago promise has kept Skylar committed to her work--love is a distraction she s never allowed herself. Now in the protective custody of a complicated NCIS agent who surprises her at every turn, Skylar wants to stop thinking and start feeling. But as the thugs come after her, she ll need everything she is--and smart, sexy Vin--to stay alive. N° de réf. du libraire BRD9780373278961

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 4,11
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : EUR 1,31
De Royaume-Uni vers France
Destinations, frais et délais

2.

Karen Anders
Edité par Harlequin, Canada (2014)
ISBN 10 : 0373278969 ISBN 13 : 9780373278961
Neuf(s) Paperback Quantité : 1
Vendeur
The Book Depository
(London, Royaume-Uni)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre Harlequin, Canada, 2014. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Criminals want her mind. Her protector wants her love. Special agent Vincent Fitzgerald s mission is to find missing naval scientist Dr. Skylar Baang. The brilliant Filipino American beauty has been kidnapped for her knowledge and research on top secret projects. But even after Vin rescues her from a dangerous group, he knows they ll be back. A long-ago promise has kept Skylar committed to her work--love is a distraction she s never allowed herself. Now in the protective custody of a complicated NCIS agent who surprises her at every turn, Skylar wants to stop thinking and start feeling. But as the thugs come after her, she ll need everything she is--and smart, sexy Vin--to stay alive. N° de réf. du libraire BRD9780373278961

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 9,57
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : EUR 1,32
De Royaume-Uni vers France
Destinations, frais et délais

3.

Anders, Karen
ISBN 10 : 0373278969 ISBN 13 : 9780373278961
Neuf(s) Mass Market Paperback Quantité : 1
Vendeur
stressfreebooks
(Bay City, MI, Etats-Unis)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre Mass Market Paperback. État : New. Brand new copy. Ships fast secure, expedited available!. N° de réf. du libraire 3UBCFO000A00

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 2,36
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : EUR 21,28
De Etats-Unis vers France
Destinations, frais et délais

4.

Karen Anders
Edité par Harlequin (2014)
ISBN 10 : 0373278969 ISBN 13 : 9780373278961
Neuf(s) Mass Market Paperback Quantité : 1
Vendeur
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, Etats-Unis)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre Harlequin, 2014. Mass Market Paperback. État : New. book. N° de réf. du libraire M0373278969

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 17,51
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : EUR 10,22
De Etats-Unis vers France
Destinations, frais et délais

5.

Karen Anders
ISBN 10 : 0373278969 ISBN 13 : 9780373278961
Neuf(s) Quantité : 1
Vendeur
Castle Rock
(Pittsford, NY, Etats-Unis)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre État : Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. N° de réf. du libraire 97803732789611.0

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 7,67
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : EUR 21,29
De Etats-Unis vers France
Destinations, frais et délais

6.

Karen Anders
Edité par Harlequin (2014)
ISBN 10 : 0373278969 ISBN 13 : 9780373278961
Neuf(s) Mass Market Paperback Quantité : 1
Vendeur
Dionysos Books
(Arabi, LA, Etats-Unis)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre Harlequin, 2014. Mass Market Paperback. État : New. New item. May have light shelf wear. N° de réf. du libraire BK0113823

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 3,98
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : EUR 29,81
De Etats-Unis vers France
Destinations, frais et délais

7.

Anders, Karen
Edité par Harlequin (2014)
ISBN 10 : 0373278969 ISBN 13 : 9780373278961
Neuf(s) Mass Market Paperback Quantité : 2
Vendeur
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, Etats-Unis)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre Harlequin, 2014. Mass Market Paperback. État : New. Never used!. N° de réf. du libraire P110373278969

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 25,29
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : EUR 17,03
De Etats-Unis vers France
Destinations, frais et délais

8.

Karen Anders
ISBN 10 : 0373278969 ISBN 13 : 9780373278961
Neuf(s) Quantité : 1
Vendeur
Grandisbooks
(Neptune, NJ, Etats-Unis)
Evaluation vendeur
[?]

Description du livre État : New. New and unused. 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. N° de réf. du libraire 3148QS000KY8

Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur | Poser une question au libraire

Acheter neuf
EUR 2,68
Autre devise

Ajouter au panier

Frais de port : EUR 55,36
De Etats-Unis vers France
Destinations, frais et délais