When I graduated from the London School Economics I never thought I’d be using my degree to spy on an international arms dealer. But when the CIA recruited me I realized here was a dangerous man who needed to be stopped. The most effective way to do so would be to shut off his money supply. That would be my job. Return to London, put myself in a position to have access to his accounts, gather all the information, pass it along to my case handler and then get the hell out of town.
But t he best-laid plans often run into a roadblock. Before I could complete the final steps of my assignment, I’d been unmasked and Stefan Maes was after me with blood in his eye. The only solution was to make the person I was disappear, and become someone new—Marissa Hayes.
I was lucky. My boss had a great relationship with Avery March, owner of an exclusive security agency in a tiny town on Florida’s west coast. You’d think a big city would be the place to hide myself. But people like Maes have contacts in large cities all over the world. And, that’s the first place they look, figuring their quarry wants to be cloaked with a crowd. Who would think to look in tiny Arrowhead Bay?
Then came the process of turning myself into Marissa Hayes. The exterior comes first—new hair color, new hairstyle, new type and style of makeup, entire new wardrobe of clothing. And they must all be completed together, so that an entirely new personality emerges. Doing it in stages leaves you open to someone questioning the transformation process. But showing up in a new place with your entire exterior changed? That works because it presents your visually with that transformation complete.
But it doesn’t stop there. You have to learn to walk different, to move differently. Even to sit in a chair differently. If someone should stumble upon you by accident, you don’t want anything that hints at your old persona to give you away. This can take hours of practice. You have no idea how hard it is to make a new walk look natural.
Other things you’d never think of: watch different television programs, read different books, watch different movies. If you are addicted to reading historical romances and favor particular authors, if a person hunting you sees you at a coffee shop reading from your tablet, starts up a conversation and discovers you reading a favorite of your alter ego, that’s going to lead to questions and digging. Find a different line of work. I went from CIA covert agent to running an art gallery.
And finally, don’t visit places you loved in your other life. That’s the first place someone will look for you.
It’s not an easy transformation, and you must be on your guard at all times to maintain your new identity. You never know who might pop up in the strangest places. I thought I was safe forever in insignificant Arrowhead Bay. Then one day…
Oops! You’ll have to read the book to find out what happened.
Someone to watch over her . . .
Her life in beautiful Arrowhead Bay seems like paradise. But for former CIA operative Marissa Hayes, it’s a deep cover she’s forced to live under after daring to take down a powerful enemy with strong terrorist ties. Out of necessity, she keeps her emotions as guarded as her life, even as she finds herself drawn to Justin Kelly, the most arousing man she’s ever met. But when Marissa must find a new place to hide, the able-bodied Vigilance agent is the first man she turns to . . .
Justin can’t get close to Marissa, if he hopes to keep her alive. Which only makes sharing a villa with her at a remote island resort all the more challenging. The passion rising between them is exquisite—and excruciating. Even more so when terrorists infiltrate the island, putting Marissa in the crosshairs. Now Justin will do anything to protect the woman he cares about more deeply than he dares to admit. . . .
“Desiree Holt is the queen of sizzling romantic suspense!” —Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author of the Lucy Kincaid series
“Sexy, intelligent, pulse-pounding!”—USA Today bestselling author Debra Webb on Deadly Business