Seduction and Sapphires
Mackenzie Security Series Book 1
This novel contains witty banter, high-octane fight scenes, adult language, and sex. Lots of sex.
Cade MacKenzie is prepared to give his life to destroy the cartel that killed his lover, but the only way to draw them out is to present them with the perfect bait. Bayleigh Scott has no idea who her new neighbor is, only that she's drawn to him in ways she can't explain. Once she discovers the real reason he relentlessly pursued her, it's too late, because she's already been drawn into a deadly game of desire, deception and revenge.
"Hot. Thrilling. Enthralling. You HAVE to read this series... Steamy romantic suspense at its best"
— New York Times bestselling author Jasinda Wilder
What readers are saying:
"This series is like potato chips. You can't eat just one."
"Liliana Hart is the queen of hot romantic suspense. She writes women you want to become and men you want to meet."
"Readers of Lora Leigh, Linda Howard, and Sylvia Day will LOVE this series!"
Miami, Two Years Ago
Cade MacKenzie knew fear.
It pressed against his chest and squeezed at his heart every time his lover screamed in pain. She stared at him out of wild eyes that had melted like dark chocolate when she’d climaxed in his arms only a few hours before. She’d been soft and pliant against him, his name a chant on her lips, as he buried himself inside her.
But now those eyes were full of terror, the bruise on the side of her face already discolored and her lips swollen and bleeding where Miguel del Fuego had taken his fist to her—a man who never showed remorse or guilt over terrorizing women or children. Carmen had been caught giving the location for del Fuego’s next drug shipment to the DEA, and there were no second chances with the cartel leader. Not even for his own daughter.
Cade and Carmen had been dragged from bed in the middle of the night, both of them naked, the evidence of their passion still evident on their damp skin. They’d been blindfolded and beaten, and Cade knew without a shadow of a doubt that it was no one’s fault but his own. He’d been so wrapped up in the woman, so desperate to be inside her, that he hadn’t swept his room for bugs. He hadn’t found one in over two years. Miguel had begun to trust him, to groom him to take over the cartel. But Cade had let his guard down and taken that trust for granted, and now they would both pay the price.
Cade knew the warehouse they’d been taken to well—the large wooden crates stacked against the walls, the oil-stained concrete, the black panel vans parked in the center of the space. He’d spent the afternoon there himself, making sure everything was in place for the shipment of Miguel’s new date rape drug to come into the US from Colombia. Its street name was Rabbit, and it was particularly dangerous because it could be administered through the skin. One touch of the powder against a hand or the back of the neck, and the person it had been given to wouldn’t care where, who or how many they were fucking. Man or woman. Even as their minds screamed no, their bodies would betray them and beg yes. If it was injected into the bloodstream, the subject would literally fuck themselves to death.
There had been too many deaths over the last several years because of the drug, and Cade had been selected to infiltrate del Fuego’s cartel and take them down once and for all.
The warehouse was bugged and his team was aware of the shipment coming in. It would be unloaded at the docks and brought to the warehouse for safekeeping until it could be distributed to del Fuego’s suppliers. But the shipment wasn’t supposed to happen for another four hours, and Cade knew there was a chance he and Carmen could be shit out of luck as far as having anyone in place for a rescue.
Cade’s own wounds were severe and made it difficult to stay conscious. The gunshot wound to his shoulder bled freely—too freely—and he had at least three cracked ribs. But with every blow he received, he kept his eyes steady on Carmen’s, hoping his courage would be her strength. He was proud of her. She didn’t beg for mercy as she was beaten. She stared at her father with all the hatred and loathing she’d always felt for him. She’d spent twenty-two years being his prisoner, and she’d known it was only a matter of time before she became his guinea pig for the drug he was so proud of.
When Cade had gone undercover in del Fuego’s cartel two years before, he’d had every intention of seducing Carmen into giving him the information the DEA needed to shut down the cartel. He’d had no problems lying to her, or spinning a future together he had no plans of delivering. But Carmen had surprised him. Her sweet, shy smiles, and her need for love had broken through every plan he’d made. The last thing he’d expected was to fall in love with her.
“I’m disappointed in you, Carmen,” Miguel said, caressing the side of her swollen face with his pistol. “You’ve been telling my secrets to this gringo. To the American authorities. Your loyalty should always be to your family. Isn’t that right, Carmen?”
Cade jerked against his captor’s arms as Miguel struck Carmen again, and he fought to stay conscious as fingers dug into the wound at his shoulder.
“Stop it, Papa,” Carmen cried, crawling toward Cade. “They’re hurting him. Please don’t hurt him.”
“Would you have me spare this man, Carmen? A man I trusted. One I hoped would take over my business one day and give me strong grandchildren to see my legacy continue?”
“Yes. Please, Papa,” she begged.
“Would you die for him, Carmen?”
“No!” Cade shouted. “This is between you and me Miguel. Carmen’s loyalties are divided. Let her go.”
Cade fought again to break free of the hold they had on him, knowing what was coming, desperate to stop it. Two men weren’t enough to hold him down, and two more came from somewhere, getting in punches to his cracked ribs to slow him down. He strained against their hold, sweat and blood running into his eyes, but he couldn’t get to her.
“Answer me, Carmen. Is this traitor’s life worth your own? Do you love him that much?”
“Yes,” she whimpered, her hand reaching out to Cade as she crawled closer, her arm wrapped around her middle.
God, where was his team? They should know something was wrong. Know he needed them. Cade used the last of his strength to work his arm free and hold his hand out to Carmen, praying for a miracle. He needed to touch her, to hold her. She placed her smaller hand in his, her slim fingers bloody and broken, and Cade looked up at Miguel, ready to do whatever it took to save her. To bargain his soul if the monster in front of him would take it.
But when he met Miguel’s eyes, they were mocking and full of hatred. A hatred that had no possibility of being extinguished.
“Ah, young love,” Miguel said, his smile becoming crueler. “This is on your head, Cade MacKenzie.”
Cade threw his body toward Carmen, but he was too late. The shot from Miguel’s gun echoed in his ears along with his screams, and Carmen’s hand went limp in his, her blood splattered across his face and chest. Blood he knew he’d never be clean of.
Chaos reigned around them as the warehouse went black and the shouts of soldiers and agents swarming through the building started to penetrate the haze of shock and anger. He kept waiting for Miguel to finish what he’d started and put a bullet through his brain, but it never happened. Those that held him captive ran for cover, so only he and Carmen lay in the middle of the warehouse floor, flashes of gunfire and smoke building around them.
He pulled himself closer to her body and gathered her in his arms, his mind numb with grief, and he snarled as hands tried to jerk him away from what was his.
“Dammit, Cade, look at me.”
The voice in his ear was familiar, and he didn’t fight as night vision goggles were placed over his eyes. His brother, Shane, came into focus.
“I can’t—,” he tried to say, holding Carmen closer.
“We’ll get her out, Cade. We’ll do right by her,” his other brother, Declan, said, taking her from his arms into his own. “But we need to get you out right now. The del Fuego cartel will be gunning for you.”
Cade nodded and let his brothers lead him out of hell, but he heard the voice that called to him over the chaos.
“You’ll never be safe, Cade MacKenzie,” Miguel screamed. “You’ll never know peace as long as I’m still breathing. I’ll take everything and more that you’ve taken from me.”
Cade couldn’t imagine what more the man could hope to take from him. His future had been the dead woman in his brother’s arms.