by J.L. Lora
Publication Date: March 6, 2017
Genres: Adult, Romantic Suspense, Cartel, Organized Crime
Determined to avoid the violence that claimed her family and friends, Carissa Elliott flees her hometown with a dangerous plan. She has proof that Calum DeMateo killed her father—now she just has to catch him. To do so, she’ll have to transform herself from small-town ingénue to New York crime boss.
When her path crosses with Alec McLean, the sexy stranger with whom she once shared a steamy nightclub kiss, things take an unexpected turn. Alec heads his family’s criminal organization, the kind of made man Carissa should want nothing to do with. But he also has a plan to take down Calum, and the flames that flicker between them are irresistible.
Will their vengeful quests jeopardize their chance at lasting love?
Alec looked somewhere over her shoulder, the flirting gone. Carissa didn’t get to fully inhale before he pushed her down behind the chaise lounge. She landed on her knees. Shock seized her heart, and she could do nothing but gasp before stuttering, “W-what the fuck are—”
A long, loud burst stopped her. Tufts of white foam exploded from the sofas in front them. Glass
rained down from the lights hanging above. A knot rose high in Carissa’s chest, lodging itself in her throat.
Without a doubt, a machine gun was going off.
People scrambled for cover in all directions and bodies hit the floor. The screams of the club-goers mixed with the music created a bizarre, hair-raising beat that spurred Carissa’s pulse. “Are they shooting at me or you?” she shouted over the racket of the weapon.
Alec reached beneath the hem of his pants and pulled a Glock 9mm out of a holster. “Me.”
He was a made man. It was in the familiar way he held the gun, the quick and thorough way his eyes darted everywhere at once, over the glass dance floor to the bar and the ceiling.
Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Another criminal.
Carissa reached down and pulled off her shoes, hooking the straps on her fingers.
Alec finally looked at her with a Tuesday-at-the-office, nothing out of the ordinary, expression, his gaze drifting to the shoes for a blink and then back at her face. “We’re getting out of here, Elvira. Just follow my lead.”
Ice flashed through her veins. “Again, it’s Carissa. Tell me what you have in mind.”
“When he finishes the round after this one, I’m going to fire at the disco ball to distract him. When I tell you to go, run past the bar as fast as you can. Keep your head down. Stay left and run to the exit. I’ll be right behind you.”
She looked around for the little door she saw earlier while trying to escape the rum-breathed guy.
She scanned past the bar area to the empty DJ booth still playing, the white laptop shot sideways, hanging by the cord. “The door by the DJ booth is closer.”
Alec frowned, looking at the closed door she pointed out. “We don’t know if that door’s unlocked.
Let’s just get the hell out.”
“Wait.” She hiked up her dress and nodded.
He spared her legs one last look, waited for the gunfire to cease, and pointed toward the hanging
lights. He pulled the trigger, shattering the disco ball. Millions of shards and sparks rained over the venue. Carissa took off, adrenaline surging through her veins. She ran past the people coming at her, even though the raining glass pricked her skin—getting out was her single-minded goal.
A movement, a glint of metal to her right, caught her eye. Everything around her slowed to a near standstill. She turned just in time to see Alec lift his gun and land a shot in the forehead of an armed guy.
She kept running and turned her eyes back to the exit.
Outside at last, the silence was deafening, and her breath rushed out in violent wheezes. The humid air stuck to her sweaty skin. There was no one outside, but more shots rang out. She scouted the area, frantically snapping her head left and right. The sound of footsteps grew louder. She scrambled toward nearby bushes and threw herself flat on the ground.
Alec ran outside. Relief coursed through her spine, and Carissa almost called out to him.
“Alec!” yelled a different voice.
He pointed his gun in the direction of the sound. Four men ran toward him. Carissa recognized the first as his brother Noah.
Alec released an audible breath and turned back to scan the area.
His spiky hair flattened by sweat, Noah looked light years away from the carefree Romeo the girls had met earlier that night. His hand rested on Alec’s arm. “You OK?”
Alec didn’t answer but turned to the other men. “How the fuck did this happen?” He screamed the words like a drill sergeant. “Where the fuck were you?”
He stood close to one of them, toe grazing toe, until the man said, “The shooter came out of nowhere.
It’s like he was waiting. I’m sorry, Alec. We took Noah and the other two girls out of the club. They went to catch a cab. We came looking for you.”
Alec looked at the man who spoke; his hand around the gun shook. “My little brother and I almost died because of your incompetence. And you’re sorry?”
Carissa pressed her fist to her lips. He was going to shoot them. She knew it. The seconds ticked by, and she wanted to cover her eyes. She didn’t want to watch.
Instead, Alec stormed toward an SUV, telling his brother, “Send someone to look for the girl I was with tonight. Her name is Carissa. She was with your girl.”
Blood barreled through her bloodstream, and her pulse exploded. He hadn’t forgotten about her. He had every intention of finding her. She wouldn’t let that happen. These men were made, organized. She was running from one mobster already, no way in hell was she about to tangle with another.
ABOUT J.L. LORA
J. L. Lora was born in Dominican Republic and came to the United States just at the age of 13. Her goal in life was always to be a writer. As a child, she told stories to her family and friends and wrote fiction about historic figures. Today, her stories explore the dark side of good characters, people living in the gray areas of life and how they cope with the cards life has dealt them. She loves strong heroines and their equally powerful love interests. She currently lives in Maryland while pursuing her dream of writing compelling, sexy, can’t-put-down stories about empowered, badass alpha heroines and take-your-breath-away alpha heroes.