by: Gwen Hernandez
Series: Men of Steele
Genre: Military Romance
Release Date: February 14, 2017
Publisher: Gwen Hernandez
SHE’S RUNNING FOR HER LIFE
Framed for espionage, reformed hacker Valerie Sanchez has no choice but to run. Worse, when the proof of her innocence is destroyed, things turn deadly. Can she trust the sexy terrorist hunter who mysteriously turns up to protect her, or is he the real threat?
HE’S HOT ON HER TRAIL
Former Marine sniper Scott Kramer’s job was supposed to be easy. Follow the hot computer geek who stole plans for classified weapons until she meets her buyer, then let law enforcement take over. But when Valerie becomes an assassin's target, Scott's gut says she’s innocent. Now, he must risk his life—and his heart—to keep her safe.
Hi Scott. Please introduce yourself.
My name is Scott Kramer. I was a scout sniper in the Marine Corps, and now I'm a security specialist at Steele Security in northern Virginia. I evaluate corporate safeguards and make recommendations for improvements, provide personal protection for executives, and perform penetration testing (attempting to get through a company’s defenses). That last one is a lot like what Valerie does, but she sneaks into their computer systems.
Why did you join the Marines?
Ah, well… You may have noticed I’m not exactly a big guy. Not like the other guys at Steele. I was a scrawny kid who got picked on a lot, even by my dick of a dad. But no one messes with a Marine, right? I was an aimless eighteen-year-old who wanted to escape my life in Montana and show everyone how tough I was. Turns out, I loved the Corps. If I hadn’t been injured, I’d probably still be active duty. But then I wouldn’t have met Valerie, so no regrets.
Okay, I can take a hint. Let’s talk about Valerie Sanchez. What was your first impression of her?
Initially, all I saw was a geeky woman with a long ponytail and baggy clothes, who hardly said a word. But then I watched her talk her way past a security guard, and she was incredible. It wasn’t just her curves in that dress, either. There was something about her confidence and her smile that was fucking magnetic. She has this inner fire—which probably sounds stupid and sappy—but I think that's what attracted me more than anything. That and how goddamned smart she is.
How did you become part of Steele Security, especially since the other specialists are all former Air Force pararescuemen (aka PJs)?
I never thought I’d work with a bunch of zoomies, but these guys are tough as shit. I met Kurt Steele at a job fair for veterans. I wanted to do something where my skills would be useful and I wouldn't be stuck behind a desk. He seemed like a good guy, and he was willing to take a chance on me. I never expected to find the brotherhood I have there.
What do you like to do on your day off?
On a perfect day, I’d get up before dawn and set up my camera and tripod in a spot that intrigues me. Maybe the National Mall, or Great Falls Park, or the Manassas Battlefield. I can wait hours for the perfect shot. It’s the photographer’s version of fishing, I guess. Then again, nowadays, I’d rather be doing anything with my sexy hacker, indoors or out.
What's something about you that would surprise people?
I don’t have any tattoos. Not sure if that’s what you were after, but let’s just say it surprised Valerie when she was finally in a position to, uh, verify.
Tuesday, 7:15 a.m.
HOLY SHIT, SHE DID IT. Scott Kramer was parked across the street from the Janus Aerospace satellite office in Chantilly that Valerie had entered ten minutes earlier with a handful of baby shower balloons and a cake box. He sat in the SUV he’d been using to surveil her for the last few days and tracked her progress as she left the building, now empty-handed.
The poor guard hadn’t stood a chance against her decked out as a full-throttle hottie in that body-hugging red dress and heels. Scott had about swallowed his tongue when she removed her jacket. Through his zoom lens she appeared close enough to touch, and God did he want to get his hands on her smooth skin and glossy brown hair.
Not that he ever would.
Instead he snapped photos. With the wind whipping her dark hair around her face, the self-satisfied smile on her lips, her shapely legs displayed to perfection, she turned more than a few heads on the way to her car. It’d be a shame to waste the chance to capture the moment, even if she’d never have a clue.
Even if she might be a traitor.
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Gwen writes romantic suspense and books on Scrivener and other tools for writers. Formerly a manufacturing engineer, programmer, and business school instructor, she lives in an empty nest in northern California with her retired Air Force hero and a lazy golden retriever.
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