Friday Sampler: Special Agent Kandice by Mimi Barbour
June 17, 2016
In our mission to connect readers, writers, and books, Caleb and Linda Pirtle is showcasing some of the best authors in the marketplace today. Friday’s Sampler features an excerpt from Special Agent Kandice, romantic suspense by Mimi Barbour.
As one reviewer said: This story has intrigue, suspense, insane criminals, violence, humor and romance
Special Agent indeed, Kandice Warner is everyone’s best friend. Talk about a Barbie doll! This female might have the same pretty-girl looks but even though she has a tender heart, she also has the resilience needed for a very successful FBI Hostage Negotiator.
Feelings of inadequacy constantly force her to prove that she’s tough, and she demonstrates her courage when dealing with a murderous bank robber, a desperate jumper, being stalked, kidnapped and beaten.
But her tender heart can get her in trouble and she needs to grow a thicker skin. Almost impossible when her obstinate new boss, for reasons of his own, interferes in everything she does.
Assistant Director of the Criminal Investigative Division in Washington, Dan Black is as hard as they come. With the grit of a street youth stiffening his resolve, he’s worked his way up through the ranks, his personal space shields as strong as ever.
Until he sees the sweetest things on two legs! A girl from his past. The one he’s never been able to forget. Working undercover in the Seattle bureau, he tries to protect his childhood fantasy but she refuses to stay put or take orders.
Faced with a woman like that, what’s a mere man to do?
She set down the tray and poured him a glass half full of whiskey. When she took it to him, she purposely held out the drink and walked past his stretched arm to give him a hug. “Come.” She took his free hand. “Sit down beside me. You talk. I’ll listen. It’ll be fine.”
He followed her to the couch and tried to sit at one end alone, only she’d have none of that nonsense. “No! We’re snuggling.”
“Snuggling? Okay, fine. Show me.” His laugh rang with relief and turned her insides to mush.
What in the world did this successful man have on his conscience? Worry suddenly seeped in and she pushed it away. Dan had a good soul. She had no doubt. Years ago, hadn’t he stepped in and saved her from a bad experience? And that had happened when he was only a boy.
Protecting someone weaker had come naturally. Strong, with a hardened core from having to do a difficult job—not easy and not possible for someone weak—he was a man to admire. Not fear.
Taking the initiative, she leaned over and kissed him. Softly, with affection, showing him he was safe. “Now, tell me.”
And so he did. Words poured from behind a tough shell that had kept him silent forever.
“The day I didn’t show up, my stepdad had done a number on me. I knew you’d be frightened by my face. I couldn’t do that to you, give you nightmares. So instead I visited your dad and shocked the hell out of him. I let him believe I’d taken the beating on the bus and that scared the shit out of him. But he took me seriously about you never riding alone. He promised he’d make sure you were safe.”
“You’re hedging. Why wouldn’t you be riding the bus after you healed?”
“Because I had to leave.” Dan sighed and gulped the whiskey. Leaning forward, he unwound his arm from behind her and used both hands to grip the glass. “My old man was a big guy, a lot stronger than me, and I’d always taken the beatings without even trying to fight back. But that morning, he lost it completely. He would have killed me. I knew if I didn’t do something, he wouldn’t stop. I had no choice but to protect myself, and I did.”
Her heart faltered. “You killed him?”
He turned her way, his narrow-eyed gaze searching. “You’re asking. Why?”
“You said he was a big guy.”