Friday, March 15, 2013

Kat Attalla Excerpt Week ~ Codename: Romeo

Victoria Jansen, card carrying MENSA member, can write a book about Quantum Physics—but get her around a handsome man and Charlie Chaplin looks graceful compared to her. She’s determined to break out of her shell, though, and she’s going to start with the sexy plumber in her basement.

Erik Sanders doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that Victoria is trouble. The physicist has the mind of a computer and the body of a centerfold model—too bad she’s also the prime suspect in his industrial espionage case. Working undercover as a plumber will get him the evidence he needs to close this case.

Once he realizes his prime suspect is an innocent pawn, he must protect her until the real criminals are brought to justice. And as her bodyguard, Erik finds himself guarding her body more closely than he should. Suddenly scientific principals like chemistry and forces of nature are taking on a whole new meaning.


Lovely Butterfly of Cocktail Reviews gave it 5 Flutes. "A heart-warming, exciting, and at times funny tale of love and thrills."

Kim N. of Fallen Angel Reviews gave it 5 Angels. "Ms. Attalla writes in such a way that the characters are real. They blend with each other so naturally that their relationship is innate. Erik and Victoria complete each other. I look forward to reading more books by Ms. Attalla."


Chapter One

Erik Sanders tucked his ponytail under a baseball cap and leaned against the tile wall. The building shook, and the air rumbled as another 767 took off overhead. Travelers crowded the terminal, but only one interested him.
His vantage point afforded him a clear view of all the exits in the baggage claim area. Shortly after Flight 516 landed, the passengers advanced down the concourse and lined up around the baggage carousel. He waited. Patience was his strong suit. That and a gut instinct he relied on more than his partner. He rubbed his hand along his side, where scar tissue marred the flesh. Although the wound had healed, it still twinged with pain during cold weather. His captain ribbed him that he’d gotten old. Erik knew better. He’d gotten careless. He’d ignored the first rule of survival: trust no one, no matter how innocent she appears. Like the Belladonna flower, something beautiful could also be deadly.
As the horde of sun-tanned people circled around, he carefully scanned the mob. Anyone could easily disappear into the crowd. He wished he had a picture, but Becker never used the same courier twice. The surveillance photos from the Cancun airport didn’t help. Erik had to rely on the description called in by a colleague.
Tall, slender, with shoulder-length brown hair.
That could describe half the women returning from Mexico on this cold, November night. A few of them would regret wearing shorts, he thought with a grin.
He remained alert, his gaze sweeping the area before finally resting on one specific passenger. Her face wasn’t particularly striking; although, he supposed she would be attractive if she removed her wire-rimmed glasses. While the first wave of travelers grabbed their bags, she waited off to the side. Dressed conservatively in a knee length, floral print dress and a nondescript blue blazer, he might have missed her if not for the red Anthurium pinned to her jacket lapel. The flower, just unusual enough to stand out, was the signal to Becker.
A well-dressed man at the opposite end of the baggage area began to make his way towards her. Erik drummed his fingers against the wall. Inhaling deeply, he willed his body to remain calm. He waited for the couple to make an exchange before moving in for the arrest. His muscles tensed; the adrenaline rose with his anticipation. Six months of investigating this scumbag would finally pay off. Just a few more steps.
Ten feet away from the woman, Becker stopped, made a sharp about-face, and strode out an exit door. Shit. What happened?
His partner, Agent Daniels, joined him. “What do we do?”
“Nothing for now.” What choice did they have? They couldn’t arrest the man for visiting an airport. Unless they nabbed Becker with the disc in his possession, they didn’t have a case.
“Should we pick up the woman? She might be able to give us something on him.”
Erik’s gaze rested on the lady in question. Full red lips curved downward in an expression of displeasure as she glanced around the baggage area. Did she realize her contact left the terminal?
“If he suspected a set up that would only tip him off. You know how he works. She probably doesn’t even know what he looks like. That’s how he’s escaped arrest for so long. Eventually he’ll go after his disc. All we have to do is keep an eye on her until he shows up again.”
She bent over to lift a suitcase off the carousel. Nice ass, he thought, and one he wouldn’t mind having a piece of in different circumstances. The rest of her body wasn’t bad either. Delicate shoulders, a narrow waist … and those legs. Long, shapely legs that could wrap around a man and draw him in. He loosened his collar. Now, why hadn’t she come off the plane in a pair of short-shorts? The temperature rose despite the cold drafts running through the Vermont airport.
Get a grip, man. She’s involved herself in corporate spying.
Industrial espionage proved a lucrative business in a world of high-tech economies. Why spend millions on Research and Development when greedy or disgruntled employees gave it up for a fraction of the cost?
He returned his attention to the suspect in question. In her modest outfit, she looked more like a librarian than a courier, but he’d learned the hard way that the more beautiful the rose, the sharper the thorn. He could take her in for questioning now. No doubt she would spill her guts to save her rather delectable rear-end. That wouldn’t get them Becker.
“Keep an eye on her. I’ll check in with headquarters and see how they want to proceed.”

Copyright (C) 2012 Kat Attalla

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