Maureen A. Miller
(High-Risk Agenda, #2)
Publication date: April 30th 2021
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
A spill in the rapids hauls two strangers into a harrowing and romantic adventure.
Chuck Borgas is ready to get back in the jungle. A lost city and a team of archeological students are waiting for him in Guatemala. He is waylaid at the airport by a bizarre woman who latches onto him like she’s his long-lost buddy. Smoking hot women don’t usually throw themselves at him. Ever. Finally ditching the stranger, he realizes she has left a bag behind. One glimpse into that sack and Chuck knows he’s stepped into a heap of trouble.
Faith Sanders is part of a small task force returning smuggled artifacts to the Guatemalan government. Her team is ambushed by members of a drug cartel, but she manages to escape. Alone and determined to get the artifacts to their destination, she is forced to improvise as the cartel closes in on her. That improvisation lands her in the arms of a handsome stranger.
Realizing that she has jeopardized the man at the airport, Faith has to decide which is more important…saving his life, or completing her mission.
Slinging his backpack over one shoulder, Chuck passed through customs and headed towards the sliding glass doors to wait for a Chicken Bus to take him across the border. An archeologist’s budget didn’t exactly call for limo service. The crowded, chaotic local transport would have to do.
“There you are!”
Chuck felt a hand slide through his crooked arm. Startled, he looked down at the slim tanned limb before his eyes vaulted up to take in the rest.
A student? He knew everyone on his team. This woman with the tawny lopsided bun was definitely not in his group. She wore a navy blue polo shirt with an insignia he couldn’t quite catch.
“I’ve been waiting for you. Come on, let’s go. We’re going to be late.”
This little pistol of a woman was corralling his six-foot-plus field-rugged frame towards the doorway. Momentary surprise allowed for it, until he snapped to attention and locked his feet.
Unaffected, she beamed up at him. “I missed you too. Your flight was late. I almost got a taxi, but I promised I’d be here when you got off the plane. It’s stifling out today.”
She leaned in, and for an irrational moment he thought this stranger was going to kiss him. Hell, it wasn’t often that beautiful women threw themselves at him.
“Look,” he said. “You’ve made some mistake.”
Her head tipped back and a husky laugh brushed across glossless lips. There was not a shred of makeup on the heart-shaped face that glistened slightly from the heat.
“You’re always so funny. Remember that time with the margaritas? You blew through a straw to make bubbles and ended up splashing the drink all over the guy at the next table.”
There it was. That tiny revelation. Not anything about her story. She was, as his grandmother would say, a real card. Audacious. Flippant. Bubbly. And she was like syrup pouring over his arm.
But there was some serious shit going down in her eyes. Fear. Anxiety. Desperation. Mostly fear. That registered foremost in the shadows of her pupils.
Clearly this was an act. And if it was an act, then the audience had to be nearby. Chuck lifted his eyes over her head and scanned the possibilities.
Was she running from an abusive boyfriend? From the police?
The crowd was thin here. Everyone was congregated down at the baggage claim. A family with two kids in tow scrambled by with their wheelie carts screeching. A taxi driver stepped through the sliding glass doors, sizing them up as prospects. A man was engrossed with the airline schedule monitor, while some people sat on the wooden benches, seemingly preoccupied—none returning his searching gaze.
“Listen ma’am—” God knows what trouble she was into. “I’m in a rush here.”
That much was true. He could see the colorful Chicken Bus waiting out in the parking lot. It was an old school bus modified into a party on wheels, earning its name from the days of transporting live animals along with human passengers. Public transportation with flair.
To his surprise she casually punched his arm and snickered. “You’re a hoot,” she remarked. “Like an owl. Hoot. Hoot. Hoot.”
Okay, where’s the camera? Surely this was some stint for a reality show.
A tug on his arm arrested his attention. Although the woman was oozing mirth, her soulful blue eyes pleaded as they looked up at him. Even as she forced another laugh, one truthful word squeezed across her lips.
In a blink, the glib smile was back, making him wonder if the plea had all been in his mind.
“Will you look at that thing!” She nudged her head at the vibrant bus parked outside. “It looks like a bag of Skittles threw up on it. I can’t even imagine what the inside looks like. Do you really think there will be chickens like in the movies? It’s gonna smell like chicken crap, isn’t it? How long will it take to get there?”
All this time, she was tugging him. Subtle, but forceful enough that if he resisted it would draw attention. He played along. Last thing he needed was to be drawn into someone else’s problems, but the look of desperation in her eyes was enough to propel him through the door with her in tow. At least get her outside. Maybe she could catch an Uber or something.
Evidently, she wanted whoever was watching to think they were together. He got that. He even nodded once or twice in response, but kept scanning the parade of vehicles loitering in front of the airport for the source of her performance.
USA TODAY bestselling author, Maureen A. Miller worked in the software industry for fifteen years. She crawled around plant floors in a hard hat and safety glasses hooking up computers to behemoth manufacturing machines. The job required extensive travel. The best form of escapism during those lengthy airport layovers became writing.
Maureen’s first novel, WIDOW’S TALE, earned her a Golden Heart nomination in Romantic Suspense. After that she became hooked to the genre. In fact, she was so hooked she is the founder of the JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE website.
Recently, Maureen branched out into the Young Adult Science Fiction market with the popular BEYOND Series. To her it was still Romantic Suspense…just on another planet!
Find more about Maureen at http://www.maureenamiller.com