She has no memory of their love…
Kidnapped by terrorists and sent into a drug-induced coma, FBI intern Mercedes Kingsley awakes with no memory of her ordeal—or the intimate interlude that left her pregnant. Convinced her child was fathered by her ex-fiancé, Mercy walks away from the only man she has ever loved, determined to make things work with her ex, a man the FBI suspects is implicated in her abduction.
He knows the truth, but no one will listen…
FBI undercover agent Jason Michaels remembers what Mercy can’t and those memories are breaking his heart. Forced to keep his distance from his lover and their unborn child, Jason risks his life to protect Mercy from a cell of international terrorists who have vowed to get the secrets locked in her memory, no matter the cost. Can Jason convince Mercy to trust him until she remembers their past, or will he lose her to a man who will trap her in a nightmare world of darkness from which there is no escape?
TAYLOR JONES SAYS: In Rescued from the Dark by Lynda Kaye Frazier, FBI Counterterrorism Agent, Jason Michaels, is working undercover to take down one of the FBI’s most wanted Irish militant groups. But the deeper he goes, the more he finds that there is a lot more on the line than just some gun shipments and drugs. They want Mercy—his Mercy. They will stop at nothing to get her, and he’s running out of time to save her. Mercy always wanted to be an FBI agent, and she now has an internship with the FBI. But running into Jason was the last thing she expected. And telling her father about her plans is going to be harder then she imagined. Her father wants her to marry Mitch and take over running the family’s international shipping office in Ireland. But how can she do that when she loves Jason? Whenever she looks into his ocean-blue eyes, she can’t deny her feelings for him are still there and as vibrant as they ever were. But to get a chance to work as an agent she must play by the rules…and walk away from the one man who still possesses her heart.
She has no idea how her one small decision will forever change the direction of all of their lives, throwing them inexorably together in a web of deceit where no one is who they seem to be, not even her own father. It’s impossible to know who she can trust. Before she realizes it, the one thing she feared the most is happening all over again. Will Jason be able to save her before it’s too late for them both? Obviously, I really enjoyed the book.
REGAN JONES SAYS: Rescued from the Dark by Lynda Kaye Frazier is an interesting book, full of twists, turns, and unexpected angles. I was intrigued with it right from the get-go. One of the things that impressed me was how the bad guys always seemed to be one step ahead of the good guys, which I imagine is how it is with real-life FBI cases.
I thought Frazier’s characterizations were realistic, her plot believable and intriguing, and her writing well done for a first time author. I especially liked that her heroes were flawed and human and, that while her villains were extra slimy, they believed in what they were doing. That is always a sign of a good villain.
An explosion ricocheted behind Jason Michael’s eyes as the pressure mounted in his head. The rush of panic consumed him. He struggled to move, tried to swallow, but nothing. His throat burned as the flames engulfed his lungs. He needed to breathe but couldn’t. Shit. He strained to make out the muffled voice, but the pounding in his ears erased all hope. His head started to spin and he succumbed to the realization, this was it, the end. He won. The flames dampened and his heartbeat slowed as the drums subsided, then the voice became clear.
“Give it to him now you son of a bitch. What were you thinking? We still need him.”
In a split second, Jason sucked in a breath, causing stabbing pains to shoot through his chest. Every muscle fiber burned as the cold blast of air shot through his lungs releasing the oxygen his body craved. He arched his back, raising his chest up to pull in more air when his head snapped to the side and the crack from his neck echoed in his ears. The pain ripped through his jaw, racing across his cheekbone. Before he could gather his senses, intense burning set his face on fire. What the hell?
The slap against his cheek stung, and his eyes snapped open. He wrenched upright, hitting his head on the roof of the SUV. His gaze darted back and forth looking for something familiar until he locked onto the ice-cold stare of the devil himself, Shaun Flanagan.
Damn, that was close. Jason could not blow his cover, even if it meant he would die as David Logan and not Jason Michaels.
“You’re finally awake, my boy. We almost lost you.” Shaun’s cold, emotionless laugh caused Jason’s blood to boil. “You stopped breathing, I think. It’s hard to tell with this new stuff. I hope you’re not too injured. We’ve got work to do.”
Jason’s vision blurred, but his other senses were sharp. Shaun had known exactly what the drug would do and the burn in Jason’s throat was a harsh reminder. Shaun’s sarcastic tone spoke volumes to him. He was evil and did not play by anyone’s rules but his own. Jason had spent the last two months undercover, playing their games and doing their dirty work to buddy up tight to this family. He’d earned his spot with Thomas Flanagan, but his son Shaun had issues trusting anyone, even his own father.
Jason’s anger burned inside of him, but he couldn’t afford to make mistakes, not now. He was too close. It’s time to step it up, but first the drugs had to stop. He rubbed his aching jaw with one hand, clenching his other into a fist to hide his visible shaking. He had to get control of this game before he lost everything.
He inhaled a ragged breath, blew out a muffled groan to suppress the raging inferno inside him, then slumped down across the back of the seat, landing on his side. The coolness from the leather relieved some of the throbbing on his cheek.
“Give me a minute man, my head’s spinning.” He took a deep breath and held it, trying to suppress the pounding in his brain then blew it out with no relief. “What’s with the drugs, Shaun? I thought we were past all that?”
Jason peered up at the bucket seats, focusing on Shaun’s movement. The tension ignited sparks within the SUV as Shaun turned sideways and leaned his elbow on the console, glaring at Dex, his partner.
“Cut back on the dosage next time. He’s useless if we can’t wake him. We wouldn’t want to disappoint dear old dad. David is his pet right now.” Jason froze as Shaun glared back at him. “Aren’t you, David?”
Jason tightened every muscle, as Shaun leaned against the back of the seat, then he opened and closed his fists to release some tension when Shaun rotated back towards Dex. Shaun’s arm flew up from the console and his hand grabbed the back of Dex’s neck, jerking him closer, causing Jason to jump. He strained to hear over the drumming in his ears, but Shaun’s rigid back and harsh tone told him it wasn’t a pleasant conversation.
Shaun shoved Dex against the door panel and his head bounced off the window. Dex spun around and Jason grabbed the edge of the seat. His fingers cramped as his nails bit into the leather. The seat hid Dex’s face but the rage from Shaun’s gaze made Jason’s skin crawl.
“Get out now, Dex,” Shaun shouted.
The deafening silence broke as Dex jerked the door handle back, cracking the metal from the force. He shoved the door open and blew out a harsh breath as he jumped out.
Jason needed a plan. He had to get this job finished with his life intact. He pulled his arm out from under him and reached for the door handle to pull himself up when Shaun turned back.
Jason froze. Shaun’s cold stare sent a chill down his spine. He watched as Shaun’s expression hardened with deep-set lines and narrowed eyes.
“Ok, David, let’s go. We’ve got work to do.” His acid tone was proof his anger still flared. Shaun was always the cool one no matter what. Something had him spooked.
Jason gripped the edge of the seat and pushed himself up. He leaned back, waiting for his head to stop spinning. God that was close. He would have to watch himself. He couldn’t afford to cross Shaun, not today.
“Okay, give me a minute. You know what those drugs do to me. I’ll fall flat on my face if I move too fast. “
Jason glanced over at Shaun. The Flanagan family was part of an Irish militant group. They’re one of the biggest arms dealers the FBI was currently tracking, and Jason needed to find the evidence to shut them down. First thing he had to do was to get closer to Shaun, and fast. Their big shipment was due soon and he was running out of time.
“What can I do to prove you can trust me?”
Jason’s gripped the seat belt when he met Shaun’s stare. Neither Shaun nor Dex was big enough to intimidate, both being of medium build and height. However, with Dex’s dark hair and matching complexion, and Shaun’s chalky white skin and red hair, they were like the night and day of evil. When together they were a dangerous pair.
“You have been pretty dependable, my boy.” Shaun’s scornful laugh cut through Jason like an ice pick. “We’ll work on this trust issue later, but for now get out. You have boxes to load, and fast.” Jason followed Shaun’s movements as he pushed the door open and stepped out.
“David, do you need Dex to help you, or are you capable of moving on your own?” Shaun leaned over the driver’s seat and grabbed the file that fell between the console and the seat.
Jason stiffened his back and waited. Shaun’s deep throaty laugh set off a scalding fury inside him that he fought to control. Arrogant bastard.
Jason inched across the cold leather seat. His shaking hand grabbed the cold metal handle and pushed the door open, but something under the driver’s seat caught his eye. It was a newspaper clipping. It must have fallen out of Shaun’s file. If it was important to Shaun, it was important to him. He was reaching for his jacket when Dex grabbed the back of his shirt and jerked him out of the truck. He lost his footing, slipping on the concrete. Gravel bit into his hands as he tried to break his fall.
“Damn it, Dex. I was getting out, but I need my coat.”
Jason’s face burned with rage and his hands stung as he pushed off the concrete to stand. He needed that paper more then he needed his coat.
A chill ran through him as he slid across the seat, grabbed his coat, and the paper along with it. He maneuvered his arm into the sleeve while concealing the clipping in his clenched fist. Cramming his hand into his blue jean’s pocket, he stashed the article and stood up straight.
“Ok, I’m ready. Let’s go.”
He followed Shaun and Dex past the back of the SUV when the faint sting, from under his watch, jolted him out of his fog. Great, they want me to report in now. They’ll have to wait. He couldn’t afford to take any chances.
Their footsteps echoed throughout the cold terminal as they crossed to the stack of boxes beside an empty truck. The airport was just a no-name tower with no ID at all. This won’t help. The pain from his watch radiated up his arm. Damn it.
Conner English, the tech geek on the team, loved his toys and this watch was the latest. Ron Daily, the head of the FBI Counterterrorism Division, knew it would be the safest way to contact him. Except now was not a good time. There was no phone and no way to find one, not with Shaun here.
Jason inched closer to the boxes trying to listen for any information from their mumbled conversation. As he crept closer, Shaun snapped his head up. The ice-cold stare sent a shiver down Jason’s spine. This man bled evil.
“Okay, my boy, you want trust? Here it is. We’re going to pick up the rest of the supplies, and I want the truck loaded by the time we return. Think you can do that?”
Shaun’s sarcastic tone gave Jason an eerie chill. His instincts were never wrong and today they were working overtime. He had to make this performance good.
“You know I can, with time to spare. I’ll have the truck ready to go when you get back. Don’t worry, you won’t be disappointed.”
Jason’s eyes met Shaun’s hostile glare. He stayed focused on his every move as Shaun shook his head and walked away. Jason had just squatted down for the first box when Shaun cleared his throat. Jason froze. He cocked his head to the side and peered up. Shaun stared at him as Dex pulled the left side of his jacket open, running his hand across the handle of his gun holstered up against his side.
Jason stood up and inched backwards. His heart raced and sweat trickled down his back as he came to an abrupt stop against the rear of the truck. He reached behind him for anything to use in his defense. He was not dying today.
“Don’t make me regret my decision, David,” Shaun warned. “There will be consequences, and you will not like them. Today was just a taste of what you can expect if you ever cross me.”
Tension ripped through the hanger like an electric current. Jason gripped the edge of the truck bed until the black SUV drove off. Damn Irishman has no clue of what’s coming next. Jason’s heart rate slowed and he took a deep breath as a smile spread across his face. The next move will be mine asshole!
He scanned the area for the other men and found them making repairs to the other truck. Good, this would buy him some time. He began loading the boxes, which were lighter than normal. Too small for the guns, too light for ammo. What’s he into now?
Jason started inspecting and photographing the boxes. He needed all the information he could get. Conner is a genius. His watch was like a boy scout’s pocketknife. Everything an agent needed in a small package. It made him feel like James Bond. Jason enjoyed a quiet laugh until he remembered the paper. He crammed his hand into his pocket, pulled it out, and methodically un-folded it.
As the newspaper clipping flattened out, he fell against the edge of the truck to brace himself and stared at the picture in horror. It was Mercy, his Mercy. The article was from her kidnapping ten years ago. What’s Shaun’s interest with her? His jaw tightened against the strain of controlling his anger. If he touches her…Jason shoved the paper into his back pocket and gathered his stuff. He had to get this information to Ron.
Jason felt the sting once again and now it was constant. Shit, so much for gaining Shaun’s trust. It didn’t make sense to pull him, especially now. He needed to find out why Shaun was interested in Mercy. But first, he had to figure out how to leave without blowing his cover. He looked around—three people in the tower, two at the gate, and two in the hanger. He’d had better odds but this was doable.
He pushed a little white pill to the edge of the thin watchband and pulled it out. It was overkill for this situation but his only option right now. No one would doubt he was deathly ill after he took this. Now to find something to eat and get this party started.
He scanned the area and spotted the key players in his plan, Darrell and Hank—dumb and dumber. They would work out just fine.
“Hey, do you guys have anything to eat? I need to take something for this killer headache and I can’t do it on an empty stomach. After effects of Dex’s cocktail, every time I bend over my head feels like it’s going to explode.”
The men shared a laugh at Dex’s expense and handed Jason some peanut butter crackers and a bottle of water. He inhaled the crackers, drank the water, and slipped the little pill in his mouth. Man this was going to hurt, but it would get him home and still secure his options here.
His side cramped and his head pounded with every step he took—the first effects of the “escape gene,” as Ron liked to call it. Jason bent forward, grabbed his stomach, and took some slow deep breaths. It was a sure bet to get a quick trip to the hospital. Once you started spewing your guts everywhere even the bad guys panicked a little because the contents looked like blood.
The pain radiated through his stomach. Okay, here we go.
“Darrell!” Jason yelled. “What did you put in the crackers? Damn, I’m going to be—”
Jason lost everything right in the middle of the hanger. The red stained bile splattered out towards Darrel’s feet, the color more intense against the concrete floor. Jason dropped to his knees. The pain from the impact shot up through his legs, and he lost it one more time. Okay, twice. That should do it. Let’s hope those crackers weren’t enough for a third. His knees still throbbed, but the cramping eased up and the drums in his head quieted to a dull roar. The effects of the pill were short lived, but intense.
Jason bent his head slightly to the side and peered up. Darrel was on the phone, no doubt with Shaun. By the sound of the conversation the plan had worked. They were taking him home.
Jason needed to make this good, keep his options open. He grabbed Darrel’s jacket to pull himself up.
“Darrel, help me. I have to get these boxes loaded before the boss gets back.”
Darrel shoved him back and he slumped over, grabbing his stomach while stifling a laugh.
“Shaun told me to get you out of here,” Darrell said.
Jason cringed when Darrell’s sweaty palms rubbed against his neck as the man grabbed the back of his jacket and jerked him up.
“Take me home? I’m bleeding all over the place, man. I need a doctor,” Jason complained as Darrel looked at the pool of fake blood, then back at him.
“I have my orders and they’re to take you home. You can call your own ambulance if you wake up.”
“What do you mean if I—” The needle stung as it entered his arm and Jason fell forward. The crack from his knees hitting the concrete floor added to the pain already swamping his body. Damn, they still throbbed from the last time. “What the fuck did you do that for?” He cringed as they threw him into the back of the truck. The putrid smell of rubber engulfed him as they tossed the tarp over him. Once the truck cleared the gate, he started to relax. Now it was time to put David Logan to bed and become Jason Michaels again. He reached inside his pocket and the paper burned against his skin. What does Shaun want with Mercy? He had to keep her safe. He felt the effects of the drugs taking over.
As he drifted off, he closed his eyes and she was there. Her hand reached up to touch him and stopped. The hesitation in her movement mirrored the confusion in her clouded eyes. He gently kissed away the one lone tear she allowed to fall.
Her taste lingered on his lips and made his mouth water for more. He lowered his head and feathered a light kiss across her full lips. His hands clenched tightly to the door jam, reigning in his need to touch her, giving her time to say no. A vibration crossed his lips as a shudder passed through her, and he pulled back. Resting his forehead against hers, he listened to their harsh, uneven breathing.
“What do you want, Mercy?”
“I want you, Jason. I need you. Please help me.”
His senses roused from the strain in her voice. He leaned in closer, and she backed up, disappearing into the shadows. He ran forward, stumbled, grabbing blindly for anything to break his fall. His head smashed against the floor with a force that vibrated down his spine.
“Stop, please, Mercy, I’m begging you.”
His stomach knotted and he felt the acid rise in his throat as he pulled his legs forward, digging them into the carpet, trying to crawl towards the voice. He pushed up off the floor and tried to stand but his knees buckled and he fell back. The wind swept from his lungs on impact, leaving him breathless. He felt the burn as he fought for air and sprang forward. His eyes snapped open and focused on the figure lurking in the shadows. Shit, Darrell.
“I’ve never heard you beg for mercy before, David. Shaun will really like this. He told me to stay until you woke up. Now you’re up, I’m leaving.”
Jason was confused for a split second and then it all came back to him. His rumpled bed that he never made, black nightstand with coffee cups staining the top, and his dresser with the small TV on top. He was in his room. It had been a dream, just a damn dream. He dropped back on the carpet and stared at the ceiling, feeling the vibration from Darrell’s footsteps as he walked to the door.
“Hey, David, Shaun said to get your shit together. He’ll be back to get you in a couple days.”
The slamming of the door made Jason jump. He slid his hand into his pocket and pulled out the article. Time to call Ron. He needed to know immediately that they had their sights on more than guns.