Date Published: February 2, 2015
Finbar Donahue, former Army Ranger, walked on the wild side in Iraq, but now he lives in the shadows. After his evasive partner, Les, was shot in a random drive-by, Finn discovers cash is siphoned monthly. He fights to keep his investment company afloat. When the late partner’s girlfriend, Amy Kintyre, applies for his bookkeeping job, Finn suspects she knows about his company drain and hires her.
Amy needs a nine-to-five with free evenings and weekends to get her fashion design business back on track. She unearths Les’ s secret bank account and alerts Finn. Freezing of the money laundering account sets off havoc within an Irish gang. Amy witnesses a gang fight between a brutal ISIS fundraising organization and the Irish. Desperate to escape a stalker’s crosshairs, she seeks refuge with Finn. As danger heats up, sparks fly hotter.
Les is alive. After cheating the Irish mob, he became their target. Mistaken identity took the life of his disabled twin brother. Now Les makes another deal—trading Amy and stolen drugs for their forgiveness. Stakes are high as Finn tracks assassins across the San Bernardino Mountains. If he gets her back, can he trust her?
The front door opened. “Sorry, we’re closed.” Holding a broom, Burlie swept behind the bar.
Finn stepped closer. Drunken merrymakers, they were not. His heart hammered like it was stuck in overdrive.
“We offer protection.” Speaking with a Spanish accent, the shortest of the trio dressed like the others, donned the ISIS-style full face black mask.
“I have protection.” Burlie’s big mouth nailed his coffin.
“I just paid the Irish.” Panic burrowed into Burlie’s high-pitched cry. He thrashed his arms as he tried to pull his hand back.
“Us you pay”. His utterance with the object in the first position identified him as an Arab speaker. Light glinted off shiny metal. The thug pulled a combat knife, grabbed Burlie’s arms, spun him, put the blade to his neck. Finn dialed 911 and then shouted, “Finn Donahue here. Gang trouble. Burlie’s Jazz Club,” To grab their attention even more, he heaved in a breath and released a long whistle. His distraction worked.
Burlie broke from the hold, and Finn thanked God for the curious.
“Where are you?” Heavy boots pounded toward him.
Finn’s phone vibrated, but he killed the call and darted into the first door he saw, the one with the frosted pink window. He spotted Amy at the sink and pointed his index finger up.
He took off his coat and wrapped it around his fist. After rapping on the glass, he wound up and threw a hard punch through the window. Glass splintered as he connected with the thug’s nose. Prepared to jump aside, he opened the door.
Amy followed and jumped over the guy spread on the floor, holding a hand over his bleeding nose.
He struggled to stand. Finn patted him down, took his gun, and pointed it at him. After the guy stood, Finn walked him to a chair. “Don’t move.”
“I’ll phone the police.” A high-pitched squeal came from the back of her throat. “Never mind. Police are here.”
From the street, the blue light of a cop car radiated across the club’s interior like a strobe. Uniforms burst through the door.
The first officer made radio contact with homicide, and the second, much younger, rushed to the nearest thug and pulled out flex-cuffs.
“Stand over there, Amy.” Finn motioned toward a corner.
She rolled her eyes and dashed toward Burlie who wrestled with the Arab and tried to keep him from moving toward the young rookie. Amy pulled an item from her purse. A Swiss army knife? Out came a miniature cork screw.
The rookie cop turned the Arab around to be handcuffed and leaned him against a wall. The thug used the hard surface as leverage to throw himself against him.
Finn saw it coming. A switchblade.
Book Buyers Best finalist Kathleen Rowland is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high-stakes suspense with a sizzling love story sure to melt their hearts. Kathleen used to write computer programs but now writes novels. She grew up in Iowa where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and raced her sailboat on Lake Okoboji. Now she wears flip-flops and sails with her husband, Gerry, on Newport Harbor but wishes there were lightning bugs in California.
Kathleen exists happily with her witty CPA husband, Gerry, in their 70’s poolside retreat in Southern California where she adores time spent with visiting grandchildren, dogs, one bunny, and noisy neighbors. While proud of their five children who’ve flown the coop, she appreciates the luxury of time to write while listening to demanding character voices in her head.
Please visit at www.kathleenrowland.com