by Raven Scott
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Print Copy of HARD AS ICE
HARD AS ICE
Releasing July 28th, 2015
When money is no object, discretion is essential, and time is of the essence, the police are not an option. That’s when the wealthy and powerful call on the men of Fortis—a trio of former government agents with elite military training—not to mention charm and good looks…
Now that Evan DaCosta has recovered from an injury sustained in his work with the CIA, he’s ready to continue his life of adventure, intrigue, and service. That means joining Fortis—and taking on the recovery of precious jewels stolen from a prestigious auction house. The list of suspects is long, but Evan is focused on the possibility of an inside job. Now he’ll have to go undercover and stay close to the gorgeous business manager, Nia James. That won’t be a problem….But if she’s the thief, she just may steal his heart in the process…
A gifted salesperson, Nia worked hard to get where she is today. Now, with her career at stake, she can’t afford to be distracted by a man. Yet when Evan walks into the auction house, all six foot three of solid muscle poured into a tailored suit, Nia can’t help feeling safe, protected—and turned on. The feeling is mutual, and soon, despite their private misgivings, Nia and Evan become intensely entangled. But can their relationship survive their secrets?…
“Mr. DaCosta,” she stated in a sultry voice, her hand extended. “I’m Nia James. I understand that you’d like to hear more about our auction services?”
She looked up to meet his eyes squarely. Hers were a warm brown, with speckles of copper and honey. Evan cleared his throat, matching her firm handshake. Tiny sparks sizzled up his forearm.
“Nice to meet you, Miss James. I was told Worthington would be able to help with an estate auction?”
They were interrupted before she could respond.
“Here you go, Mr. DaCosta,” stated the receptionist as she handed him a chilled bottle of fancy imported
“Thank you. And it’s Evan, please. Mr. DaCosta was my father.”
Emma giggled, flipping back her silky blond hair.
Evan thought he caught Nia roll her eyes, but it was the tiniest movement, and her pleasant, polite smile didn’t waver.
“Thanks, Emma,” added Nia. The young girl nodded and walked away.
“Yes, we handle estate sales,” continued Nia smoothly. “Depending on what items are involved, we
could provide support for an on-site event, as part of a larger auction, or here through our consignment sales. We’ve also done several successful online auctions if that’s something you’re interested in.”
Evan nodded, taking a small sip of his drink.
“I haven’t given it much thought, to be honest. My father died last year, and left me his collection.”
“I’m very sorry to hear that,” she immediately replied. Her eyes softened, causing Evan to pause. He wasn’t expecting authentic empathy. She’s really good.
“Why don’t you come up to my office, and we can go over some of the details?”
He looked at his watch.
“I have a meeting shortly, so I can’t stay now. But I can come by again later today. Is six o’clock too late?”
“I’m afraid it is. We close at five.”
“That’s unfortunate. I have to sort things out as soon as possible. I don’t have much time available over the next few weeks before I head back home to Virginia, and Worthington comes very highly recommended.”
“I’m sure we can arrange something,” Nia offered.
“Good. If you don’t mind meeting after hours, I’m staying at the Harbor Hotel. Why don’t I make us
dinner reservations tonight for six o’clock?”
It wasn’t a question, and he could see that Nia was genuinely surprised.
“Evan, that’s not necessary.”
“Sure it is. If you need to work late to meet me, the least I can do is feed you,” he dismissed her qualms while pulling a business card out of his inside jacket pocket. “My cell phone number is on there, and my assistant’s.”
Evan’s phone rang, interrupting additional protests.
“Sorry, I have to take this. See you at six,” he told her with a nod, then turned to walk briskly across the
gallery floor. “Tony, what do you have?”
“The security guard is on the move,” the agent stated. “He’s on foot, carrying a duffel bag and looks
“Did he make you?” Evan asked. He was now outside and getting into his car.
“Negative. I just arrived when he burst out of the back entrance of his building. Something spooked him
and it wasn’t me. I’d bet my paycheck that he’s skipping town.”
“Follow him,” instructed Evan as he revved the engine. “I’ve got your location and I’m on my way.”
He hung up the phone, then pulled the Bentley smoothly out into traffic, headed toward the Boston neighborhood of Dorchester.
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