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Release Week Blast! SLATER’S REVENGE by Claudia Shelton (Shades of Leverage #1)

About the Book:

Former vice cop Mackenzie Baudin is at the top of criminal organization Coercion Ten’s hit list. If they get hold of her, she’ll be leveraged against her uncle, director of OPAQUE’s special ops force. She’s now saddled with agent-protector Josh Slater. He might be hotter than ever, but she’ll never forgive him for walking out on her ten years ago. Unfortunately her penthouse, which is now his domain, is way too small for the both of them.

No one else knows better than OPAQUE agent Josh Slater how to thwart Coercion Ten. After all these years, he’s closing in on the crime boss who bought his father for a bank account, but, that entails returning to his hometown to protect his boss’s niece. The only woman he ever loved. Sexy, gorgeous Macki, who he was forced to leave behind. And he can never tell her why.

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Another lull in the conversation. Silence that played in sharp contrast to the sharp beat on the street. (His boss) Drake was usually on and off the phone in a flash. Why was he dragging out the call? Macki…that’s why. Drake had been responsible for her welfare for so long, he didn’t know how to stop.

“Anything else?” Josh asked.

“No, just… Keep your eyes out for her.”

“Don’t worry, I got this. No sign of her yet.”

Drake sighed heavily. “Stay sharp. You may not recognize her in that lady-of-the-evening outfit and spikey white wig.” The call ended.

Josh stopped cold in his steps. Stared at the crowd gathered at the far side of the intersection. The crowd parted just enough that he glimpsed what looked like yellow crime scene tape. EMTs. Cops. Detectives. Pink? Pink? He searched for any signs of pink, but the gawkers were packed so close together, he couldn’t see past the perimeter.

Cold fear flashed through his body as the scene shot to his brain. Accident? Crime? Macki? Damn-it-to-hell, please don’t let it be Macki. Not my Macki.

His insides pulsed with adrenalin as he slammed the phone in his pocket and headed toward the crowd. He wanted to run, to yell her name, but he had to keep his cover. His only sure ally in Riverfalls was his cover.

She’d promised to stay in the car. To wait for him. He’d trusted her word. Should have known she wouldn’t follow his instructions.

“Get out of my way.” Pushing through the congregating people, he struggled to get to the front of the line. People stepped aside and when they didn’t, he elbowed them out of his path. All he cared about was getting to the edge of the crime scene tape.

A whisper of jasmine and vanilla triggered his senses, pulling him to another time and place.

Macki? He stopped. Turned to his left, scanning the people close by. She wasn’t there.  Had he only imagined the fragrance from years ago? Completely lost his mind before he even laid eyes on her? Not likely. He was a stronger man than that. Inhaling through his nose, he homed in on the scent’s origin.

Close…she was close…closer than—

“Excuse me.” A woman in pink, with spiky blond hair, seemed to deliberately shoulder bump his arm as she brushed past and kept on walking.

His gaze gave her a quick up and down as recognition shot to his gut and grabbed hold like a vise, twisting and turning ’til his brain caught up with his body. His head zeroed in on the tight little skirt being worked with a boatload of finesse.

He’d found Macki. And, from the view of her backside as she pushed through the crowd, his Macki had grown up, and then some. He silently groaned. All signs pointed to the fact, his assignment had just got harder. Harder than hell.

Bracing against the side of the tub, he eased his gun from the back of his jeans and laid it on the floor beside him as he sat down. Something about the ease with which he did it seemed as natural to him as breathing.

He leaned back against the towel cabinet and closed his eyes, sighing long and easy as if he were a man home from a long day at work. “This is nice.”


About Claudia Shelton:

Award-winning romance author Claudia Shelton could write her name before she started grade school. Now, she writes about alpha heroes and the women strong enough to love them. And, most times, there’s a splash of suspense, intrigue or adventure, woven in to the story.

From watching movies and reading books through the years, the idea of sexy heroes, sassy women, and happily-ever-after became the forefront of her writing. Plus, in her world, the “good” guys always win.

On a personal note, Claudia’s main priority is spending time with family, friends and her two sweet, conniving rescue dogs. She loves music and art, wind and water, hot chocolate and bracelets. And, don’t even get her started on shoes or earrings.

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