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 suspectsshe 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.
Chapter One from Deadly Alliance
“You know I love your sportswear designs, right?”
“I’m glad you do.” Amy Kintyre sat opposite a buyer, none other than Kira Radner, at a coffee shop in Lake Arrowhead, California. This sudden opportunity to re-launch her sportswear designs gave rise to the jitters, and Amy clutched her hands under the table.
Kira pressed her face forward, Amy’s sketches drawn on figures in action poses. With the portfolio spread between them, she flipped it sideways to examine the fabric swatches stapled along the sidebar. Their earthy tones blended with the marred wooden table.
Amy stilled the chatty urge.
“You know your presentation is in two weeks.” Kira was giving her the green light with Recreational Sportswear, Incorporated.
“I appreciate this, Kira.” To get her business back on track, she needed blocks of time to sew mockups. Amy inhaled the spicy aroma of the raw cedar wood. The under-construction décor of wide, timber planks on the walls made her think of her new self. Crazy how thirty felt like seventeen when embracing life and freeing her artistic side.
“Then I beg you,” Kira said, “please, please, please have yourproduct samples ready. Deadline is the first Monday of November.”
“Got it.” Fear over the tight time frame tasted sour in her throat, but this break called like no other.
Kira leaned forward. “Impressive functionality with the shorts. Who would have thought this pocket holds a Swiss Army Knife!” The buyer’s fingertips traced the pick-stitch hem, made with thread matching the fabric, appearing invisible. “Nice detail.”
Amy’s only mock-up kept their face-to-face meeting running like the hum of the fluorescent lights above.
“Oooo,” Kira said and raised both her eyebrows. “Classic nostalgia with a twist. A pocket knife for hikers!”
“Useful, I think.” The bright light flickered over associates who’d worked together in the past, but Amy didn’t share the difficulty of making the deadline. Her breathing shortened, and panic carved a hole in her chest.
“Gotta bounce,” Kira said. “Get to work.”
“I will.” She pulled out a notebook and jotted down a to-do list ending with the file with various size patterns. After a half-hour of regrouping and rethinking, she stopped tapping her pen. Kira Radner took a chance on her, but to turn this chance into a reality, she needed evenings and weekends to make the deadline.
Last Sunday while pouring over Craigslist classifieds, she’d zeroed in on Finbar Donahue’s bookkeeping ad. After her inquiry, his head accountant sent her a message. She still favored the toe she stubbed after her in-box pinged.
Thanks to what happened, the call from Kira, she needed Finn’s job. Her mind raced to her third interview for his nine-to-five. Tomorrow morning, if all went well, she’d land the regular-hours job, tailor made for her time frame. She ran a hand through her hair, picturing the arrogant know-it-all with a never-ending string of women hanging on his arm.
Handsome wasn’t the word to describe Finn, her late, ex-boyfriend’s partner. She’d been around Finbar Donahue enough to know he looked at his world as if he were the Almighty himself. The former Army Ranger made her way too nervous. She tensed up to such an extent, her voice broke.
Romance wasn’t part of this equation. Her dream to launch herself, stitch by stitch, came down to landing the job. On a mission, her goal wassimple. She closed her eyes and prayed tomorrow she’d nail it.
* * *
How about romantic travel to Lake Arrowhead, California, where Deadly Alliance takes place? Fall colors mix with evergreens around this pristine mountain lake. Bring a picnic basket and rent a pontoon!
Book Buyers Best finalist Kathleen Rowland is devoted to givin
g her readers fast-paced, high-stakes suspense with a sizzling love story sure to melt their hearts. Lily’s Pad
and the Intervenus Series: A Brand New Address
and Betrayal at Crater’s Edge
are sweet. Deadly Alliance
and her work-in-progress, Unholy Alliance
, are contracted with Tirgearr Publishing and written for adults.
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. If you’d enjoy news, sign up for Kathleen’s newsletter at http://www.kathleenrowland.com/