Dark Alliance by Anne Patrick Now Available
Babysitting a beautiful princess sounds like an easy job for former CIA agent Alex Girard, but when an assassin puts his sights on her he knows keeping her alive may be the toughest assignment of his life. Just as disturbing is the growing attraction he has for the future queen.
Available in Print or eBook from Wings ePress
Here's a short excerpt:
Alex watched the woman exit the motel room. She was much taller than he expected, at least 5’8. Her light auburn hair was bound in a ponytail, which stuck out the back of a New York Yankee’s baseball cap. Faded blue jeans formed well to her shapely hips and legs underneath a baggy Yankee’s sweatshirt. “She’s a beauty,” he commented as he turned to the man in the passenger seat.
“Yeah she is, and she can be quite a hand full. So don’t underestimate her.”
“Sounds intriguing, this might not be as boring as I thought.”
“Your job is to keep an eye on her, that’s it… Do you understand?”
Alex nodded, then shifted his eyes back to the woman as she paused to talk with a maid. “Is she really a princess?”
“Not only is she a princess, she’s King Edward’s only child.”
“You mean that’s Princess Tara?”
“The one and only.”
She wore dark sunglasses, but he was still surprised he hadn’t recognized the Crown Princess of Gautier from the supermarket tabloids, where she often appeared. The small European island was almost mystical in its history, and like most royalty, Princess Tara, was highly sought after to help sell their magazines, fetching handsome rewards to the photographers lucky enough to catch her off guard. There was hardly a week went by her lovely face didn’t grace one of their covers.
“Since when are you interested in the comings and goings of royalty?”
“Since she hired me last year to find her brother.”
“It’s been over fifteen years since Prince James was kidnapped. If her own government couldn’t find him, what makes her think we can?”
“Because we have better connections than they do.”
“Do I need to remind you I was terminated by the CIA eight months ago?”
“You’ve still got friends and so do I.”
Alex grinned. He’d known Scott Humphreys long enough to know when he wasn’t being completely honest. “Why do I get the feeling there’s more you’re not telling me?”
“The two of you have a mutual acquaintance. Diablo Lazario.”
Alex stiffened at the name, as if an old wound had been ripped wide open. “What’s he got to do with this?”
“Nothing, I hope. But according to the official investigation by the Gautiern government, he was one of the main suspects in her brother’s disappearance.”
“How can that be, if he was killed in ’83?”
“Like you said, a body was never found.”
“So you think her brother’s abduction was politically motivated?”
He nodded. “Giving me all the more reason to believe her life is in danger.”
“You do realize if this gets out of hand, there could be international ramifications?”
“That’s why she’s keeping a low profile outside her royal duties. Anything happens to her and the future of her country could be in jeopardy.”
Alex watched the princess stroll to the curb, wait until the taxi driver came around and opened the door for her, then with a generous smile slide into the back seat.
“She has a charity benefit tonight but I’ve got to meet a contact in Jersey so I need you to stay with her. She’s to meet me at Paddy’s Bar & Grill to go over the details. I’ll try and make it back before our flight to Richmond.”
“Why are we going to Richmond?”
“Lazario has a son living here in the states. His last known address is in Richmond.”
The hairs on the back of Alex’s neck stood on end. What was he getting himself into? True he needed the money, he hadn’t worked in eight months and his savings were almost gone. But babysitting some spoiled princess was the last assignment he needed.
“She isn’t much for surprises so it might be better if you didn’t mention my not making it to the benefit until you reach Crown Center. I’ll have a tux waiting for you inside.”
“Does she even know you’ve hired me as her bodyguard?”
“I don’t want to frighten her. Besides, she hates bodyguards.”
Great! “What am I suppose to tell her?”
“I’m sure you’ll think of something.”