Please welcome Kathleen Rowland, author of heart-stopping action-packed romantic suspense. Meet Finn Donahue, smooth around the edges, and Amy Kintyre who’s crazy enough to think he could be the bad guy.
Finbar Donahue, former Army Ranger, walked on the wild side in Iraq, but now he lives in the shadows. After his evasive partner, Les, was shot in a random drive-by, Finn discovers cash is siphoned monthly. He fights to keep his investment company afloat. When the late partner’s girlfriend, Amy Kintyre, applies for his bookkeeping job, Finn suspects she knows about his company drain and hires her.
Amy needs a nine-to-five with free evenings and weekends to get her fashion design business back on track. She unearths Les’ s secret bank account and alerts Finn. Freezing of the money laundering account sets off havoc within an Irish gang. Amy witnesses a gang fight between a brutal ISIS fundraising organization and the Irish. Desperate to escape a stalker’s crosshairs, she seeks refuge with Finn. As danger heats up, sparks fly hotter.
(Amy found something incriminating before she heads to her interview with Finn)
There she was in Lake Arrowhead heading for her third interview with Finn. Amy doubted he would hire her. Not if he knew what she’d discovered last night. Les or someone close to him had lodged a dirty secret inside her folder for shorts patterns.
Clenching the dratted envelope, she wasn’t the hopeful person she was yesterday when she stumbled through Arrowhead Cafe’s open door. , Her achy toe twinged in pain, minor compared to the growing pulse across her forehead. As she whiffed rich, oily coffee, her stomach protested. She eased her way through bodies. Like everywhere in their lake community on a Friday, the restaurant crawled with out-of-towners.
Finn had chosen a secluded table here, instead of where she’d be working if he hired her. These people were strangers compared to office acquaintances ,whom she knew because of Les, with an urge to snoop. Sinking into the same spot where she’d met Finn’s head accountant on Monday and Wednesday, a burn of anxiety made its way up her esophagus. She glanced at her phone’s home screen. No messages. He was late, and she listened for the rumble of his kickass Harley.
Heard it roar. He hadn’t forgotten their appointment.
A wave swelled through the crowd with heads turning and looking past where she huddled. Amy leaned around a pillar to spot the source of the commotion. Finn, all six-and-a-half feet of him, wore a black, tailor-fitted leather jacket and black-as-death, Kevlar pants. Sexy, yes, but she wasn’t here for a date. If and when the time was right, she’d pick an average-looking guy. Knowing how good looks fizzled made her immune.
With his helmet tucked under an elbow, Finn shifted between onlookers. The patrons tracked his rolling stride toward her.
She pulled back, instinct driving her to shield herself with the wide packet. It slipped from her hands and thumped to the floor. As she seized it, her peripheral vision caught his harsh, chiseled chin.
His intense, blue eyes stripped her of her talent for blending in. Exposed for who she was, guilty by association, he captured her distress. “You’re on the sunny side of prompt.” His ruthless face softened. “In spite of last night,” the tough guy added with more warmth in his tone.
Drat, she wasn’t immune, but she did have common sense. “I’m on time. No matter what.” Desperate for oxygen, she took a deep, slow breath and tried to release the hard grip she had on the thick envelope.
He studied her face. “What’s with the white knuckles?”
The manila envelope throbbed in her hands, begging her to come clean. “We need to talk.”
“Talk?” He chuckled and waved off the idea. His manly cologne drifted her way, but she didn’t allow it to be intoxicating
The waitress, believing he’d signaled her, breezed over. “I know your order from before.” She set down lattes, a few sugar packets, and bagels, free on Fridays.
After handing the waitress a twenty, Finn slid a bite of bagel between his lips and followed it with a sip. He looked the same except for the furrowing of his brow. “When I glanced over your qualifications, I acted on impulse.”
“I acted as my own bookkeeper. Used Excel.”
“Before you became a taxi driver.”
“Well, you used to be an Army Ranger.” She sipped and coughed from the stupid thing she said. As she dug her fingernails into the envelope, packed with incrimination, she leaned toward the grave she was digging. “I found something of Lester’s.”
“I don’t collect keepsakes.” Tapping his steel-toed boot, the big guy eyed her as if he found the Les topic troubling.
Her hands were shaking. Never good at retorts, she came up dry.
He gazed at the earth-toned ceiling. “Okay, fine. Show me in an hour?”
Out of politeness, she finished her latte, purchased and not to be wasted.
In a rush he downed his last drop and withdrew the mug from his lips. “You’ll start this morning?”
It sounded like a question, but she knew it was a command. She threw him a tight smile. “Yes, thank you. I’ll balance-sheet ten clients by end of day.”
“That does it, you’re hired.” He pulled out his cell. “Brooke. Our new bookkeeper is on her way. You know Amy. Get her going on paperwork?” Another command. On the adjacent table, littered with unopened sugar packets, he stuffed two into his pocket.
“Take mine.” She pushed hers toward him.
“You think I’m a sugar junkie?” He smiled. “Need to make a delivery. Someone ran out.” He had the hot-CEO thing going. His lashes lowered, taking on a slumberous expression that set her heart to pounding.
Book Buyers Best finalist Kathleen Rowland is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high-stakes suspense with a sizzling love story sure to melt their hearts. Lily’s Pad and the Intervenus Series: A Brand New Address and Betrayal at Crater’s Edge are sweet. Deadly Alliance and her work-in-progress, Unholy Alliance, are contracted with Tirgearr Publishing and written for adults.
Kathleen used to write computer programs but now writes novels. She grew up in Iowa where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and raced her sailboat on Lake Okoboji. Now she wears flip-flops and sails with her husband, Gerry, on Newport Harbor but wishes there were lightning bugs in California.
Kathleen exists happily with her witty CPA husband, Gerry, in their 70’s poolside retreat in Southern California where she adores time spent with visiting grandchildren, dogs, one bunny, and noisy neighbors. While proud of their five children who’ve flown the coop, she appreciates the luxury of time to write. If you’d enjoy news, sign up for Kathleen’s newsletter at http://www.kathleenrowland.com/.
Connect with her online:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Kathleen-Rowland/e/B007RYMF7S/