The eighth book in Julie Ann Walker’s sexy Black Knights Inc. romantic suspense series, Too Hard to Handle hits shelves this week! We’ve got not only a pulse-pounding excerpt from the book, but there’s a giveaway too! Be sure to enter for your chance to win a signed set of the entire Black Knights Inc. series! Now on to the action!
“The Man” is back
Dan “The Man” Currington is back in fighting form with a mission that takes him four thousand miles south of BKI headquarters, high in the Andes Mountains of Peru. He’s hot on the trail of a rogue CIA agent selling classified government secrets to the highest bidder, when Penni DePaul arrives on the scene. Suddenly the stakes are higher, and keeping Penni safe becomes Dan’s number one priority.
And this time she’s ready
A lot has changed since former Secret Service Agent Penni DePaul last saw Dan. Now a civilian, she’s excited about what the future might hold. But before she can grab onto that future with both hands, she has to tie up some loose ends-namely, Dan Currington, the man she just can’t forget. And a secret that’s going to change both their lives-if they can stay alive, that is.
“Hang on, Penni! I’m coming!”
Hang on? Forget about it. In what world was she the damsel in distress who waited to be rescued by the white knight…er…in this case, the Black Knight?
Channeling all her fear and adrenaline, and ignoring the way her brain was buzzing from lack of oxygen—blue really wasn’t her color—she dug her nails into Kozlov’s forearm and tried to yank it down at the same time she brought her knee up. Hard. Aiming for his wedding tackle with enough force to ensure he wouldn’t be procreating any time soon.
Unfortunately he was prepared for the move. He swiveled his hips at the last second and her knee missed its intended target, slamming ineffectually into his muscled thigh. “Mmph,” he grunted on impact as “Uhhhh!” she struggled to breath.
This can’t be happening! Oh sweet Christ, I have to—
Desperate, she dropped a hand from his forearm to instinctively reach for her service weapon. She hesitated only a fraction of a second when she remembered she wasn’t wearing her shoulder holster. But that fraction was enough. She was able to get a grip on the butt of Dan’s little Bersa Thunder, but Kozlov was right there with her, wrapping his thick fingers around her wrist and slamming her hand against the wall the instant she pulled the weapon free. Pain exploded up her forearm as white lights burst in front of her eyes. The Bersa fell to the cobblestones with an echoing clink and a clatter.
“Suka!” Kozlov hissed. His hot breath washed over her face, thick with the smell of high-dollar whiskey and cigarettes. And when his lips curled back in a snarl, they revealed tobacco-stained teeth.
Penni didn’t speak Russian, but judging from his tone and expression, she was pretty sure he’d just called her something that would translate into “bitch.”
Must breathe. Must breathe. Must… Oh, thank God!
“Let the woman go,” Dan commanded, having materialized out of the darkness like an avenging angel. He pressed the scary end of his Ruger tight against Kozlov’s temple and snaked an arm around the Russian’s throat. She squeezed her eyes shut as relief rushed through her so quickly she felt dizzy. Or maybe that was the lack of O2.
And, yes. Okay. So turns out she was the damsel in distress who needed a Black Knight to rescue her. Maybe she’d feel bad about that later. For now, all she felt was gratitude.
“I said let the woman go, asshole,” Dan demanded. “Or instead of putting a bullet in your brain, I’ll be tempted to reach down your throat to pull your backbone out through your mouth.”
Whoa. And she thought Kozlov was scary? Penni opened her eyes to find Dan’s concerned gaze searching her face. She nodded jerkily, letting him know she was okay. You know, if she could…Just. Breathe.
“No problem.” Kozlov lifted his hands in the air, his Russian accent rolling the R.
The instant his forearm disappeared from her neck, Penni filled her hungry lungs with bright, glorious air. She didn’t even care that its biting cold flayed her tender throat on the way down. Okay. Okay. It’s okay. The mantra circled around in her head a couple of times.
“Now, nice and easy,” Dan growled. Normally she found that animal-like snarl sexy as hell, but she had to admit, it could be damned unnerving too. “I want you to ease that big piece out from under your coat. And before you think of trying anything, you should know I’m a total cliché. I got a hair trigger and twitchy finger.”
“No problem,” Kozlov said again.When the big Russian reached inside his jacket, Penni bent to retrieve the Bersa. Her wobbly knees betrayed her at the last second and she muttered a foul word, catching herself with a hand pressed against the coffee shop’s back wall.
“Penni?” Dan asked urgently.
“I’m fine,” she assured him again.
She’d just wrapped her fingers around the Bersa’s polymer grip when Kozlov took advantage of Dan’s momentary distraction to slam an elbow into his face. Thunk! The obscene sound of bone hitting bone echoed dully down the dark street.
Enter for your chance to win a signed set of Julie Ann Walker’s Black Knights Inc. series today!
Julie Ann Walker is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling Author of the Black Knights Inc. romantic suspense series. She is prone to spouting movie quotes and song lyrics. She’ll never say no to sharing a glass of wine or going for a long walk. She prefers impromptu travel over the scheduled kind, and she takes her coffee with milk. You can find her on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission. For more information, please visit www.julieannwalker.com or follow her on Facebook and/or Twitter @JAWalkerAuthor.