Countdown to Zero Hour (Black Ops: Automatik #1)
Carina Press / February 22, 2016 / $3.49 digital
Former Special Forces agent Artem “Art” Diaz is tattooed, muscular and undeniably dangerous. He's also deep undercover, posing as mob muscle for a deadly bratva boss. His mission: gain the Russians' trust. Then lead the strike team that will take them down.
Chef Hayley Baskov knows better than to get involved with someone with such close mafia ties, but the handsome bodyguard who brought her to this sprawling estate full of ruthless mobsters is inexplicably kind. A little flirtation may keep her safe amid the growing menace.
As Art's timetable for action escalates, so do his encounters with Hayley. Stealing what illicit pleasure they can keeps them both sane in the face of evil. But when things get dangerous, Art has to tell her about his assignment, bringing her deeper into the shadowy world of black ops…and putting her life on the line.
Now Art has a new objective: protect Hayley from the men who'd see them both dead.
I cut my reading teeth gnawing on mysteries, suspense and Gothics of various stripes, which has led me over the years to feel quite strongly that romantic suspense is the hardest romance subgenre to pull off. The writer has to figure out a way to blend the romance with mystery and danger while somehow satisfying both camps of readers.