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A Bodyguard of Lies by Donna Del Oro

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  • The Jake Bernstein FBI Series, Volume 1

    FBI analyst Jake Bernstein is recruited to go undercover and investigate an American grandmother wanted for war crimes during WWII but currently on a tour of England and Ireland with her granddaughter. Jake joins them and runs into complications when his growing attraction to the woman's granddaughter challenges his obligation to remain emotionally detached. As the investigation intensifies, a neo-Nazi group tries to prevent him from learning the truth and Jake struggles to stay alive long enough to either prove the woman's guilt or exonerate her.

    Despite Meg Larsen's mounting passion for the stranger who has joined their tour, she suspects he's not who he claims to be. When she realizes her grandmother, the woman who raised her, is the target of the man's investigation, her first instinct is to protect her. Eventually, however, Meg must face the possibility of her grandmother's lifetime of lies while forced to trust a man who has become both their nemesis and bodyguard.

    Rating: Sensual
    Page Count: 450
    Word Count: 112600
    978-1-5092-0849-4 Paperback
    978-1-5092-0850-0 Digital

    Excerpt

    “Here it is,” Clare murmured, “the War Office letter.” Her gaze drifted from Horst’s face to the cabin floor. She picked up a large barrette that had flown from the girl’s hair during the attack. That and the book of poetry were covered with her blood. Silently, she wiped them both with her skirt before stuffing the book into the satchel and fastening the barrette to her hair, matching the Irish girl’s simple hairstyle. Silently, Clare slipped out of her wool skirt and sweater.

    “Hurry now, schnell,” Horst whispered, switching to German as he undressed the Irish girl’s body. No blood stained her clothes, the towel having absorbed it all.

    Already in her slip, Clare pulled on Mary’s wool skirt, sweater, and coat. She grabbed the scarf hanging on the side of the bunk and wrapped it around her neck. Then came the long strap of Mary’s satchel. Mustn’t lose that. The passport, Mary’s papers, letters with her signature, the book of poetry that she’d been seen poring over at the ferry terminal—all were vital. During their short time together, Clare had studied the Irish girl’s mannerisms, her soft voice, the slight burr in her English. Still, Clare wished there’d been more time.

    “Leave your fake documents on the table in case the ferry doesn’t sink,” barked Horst. Clearly rattled by what he had to do next and its greater risk, he added, “They must think Katy O’Donnell died in the explosion. Give me ten minutes. And don’t forget. The first explosion, you go outside. Find the lifeboats and the crew members in charge of them. Stay with them.”

    As though they hadn’t rehearsed this a hundred times, Clare nodded dutifully. Their gazes locked together for a moment but they didn’t kiss. No time. Horst squeezed her arm.

    “You shall be fine, Clare. You’re a born mimic. A superb actress. That’s why we recruited you. You have my name and address in Rosslare. Write to me once you’re settled in London. If I move before then, I shall contact you.”

    She nodded, her mouth trembling a little. “Until we meet again, mein schatz,” she said in German.

    Then he was gone. Gone into the bowels of the ferry.

    Clare stared at the closed door for minutes, refusing to glance at Mary’s body. What was one life compared to many? It had to be this way. After tonight’s horrors, Clare would go to the War Office in London and save lives. German lives.

    The satchel’s strap bit into her shoulder. For a moment, she stood there, absorbing the alien scent and texture of the girl’s wool clothes. She wondered if she’d ever think or feel like Mary. Could this impersonation actually succeed or would she find herself hanging from the end of a rope in a month’s time?

    Reality stabbed her. This wasn’t theater. This was life…or death.

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A Bodyguard of Lies

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