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BETRAYAL

Book 2 in the SSU Series

An innocent woman is caught in the crosshairs of an international manhunt. Can she trust the most wanted man on the planet to save her?

Accused of murder and of stealing a microchip containing deadly scientific research, Kai Paterson is hunted by both governments and criminals. Kai didn’t steal the chip, but his only hope of clearing his name lies in finding the chip before the hunters catch him.

Unfortunately, the chip has been implanted in the body of an innocent woman. Kai isn’t the only one who’s tracked the chip to internationally renowned archaeologist Susana Dias. But he’s the only one who will keep her alive.

Susana is on the cusp of making the most significant discovery of her career when she’s betrayed by those closest to her. Forced to abandon her dig in the Amazon jungle, Susana ends up on the run with Kai.

Kai promises to protect her, but will his promise hold up when it comes time to retrieve the microchip? Removing the chip might kill Susana. But Kai witnessed the horrific effects of the research and knows that the data on the chip must be destroyed.

With the other hunters closing in, Kai races to find a solution that will both save Susana and prevent the data from falling into the wrong hands.

Betrayal cover

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Betrayal (The SSU Book 2)

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BETRAYAL

Book 2 in the SSU Series

Betrayal cover

An innocent woman is caught in the crosshairs of an international manhunt. Can she trust the most wanted man on the planet to save her?

Accused of murder and of stealing a microchip containing deadly scientific research, Kai Paterson is hunted by both governments and criminals. Kai didn’t steal the chip, but his only hope of clearing his name lies in finding the chip before the hunters catch him.

Unfortunately, the chip has been implanted in the body of an innocent woman. Kai isn’t the only one who’s tracked the chip to internationally renowned archaeologist Susana Dias. But he’s the only one who will keep her alive.

Susana is on the cusp of making the most significant discovery of her career when she’s betrayed by those closest to her. Forced to abandon her dig in the Amazon jungle, Susana ends up on the run with Kai.

Kai promises to protect her, but will his promise hold up when it comes time to retrieve the microchip? Removing the chip might kill Susana. But Kai witnessed the horrific effects of the research and knows that the data on the chip must be destroyed.

With the other hunters closing in, Kai races to find a solution that will both save Susana and prevent the data from falling into the wrong hands.


BUY IT NOW

BETRAYAL

Book 2 in the SSU Series

An innocent woman is caught in the crosshairs of an international manhunt. Can she trust the most wanted man on the planet to save her?

Accused of murder and of stealing a microchip containing deadly scientific research, Kai Paterson is hunted by both governments and criminals. Kai didn’t steal the chip, but his only hope of clearing his name lies in finding the chip before the hunters catch him.

Unfortunately, the chip has been implanted in the body of an innocent woman. Kai isn’t the only one who’s tracked the chip to internationally renowned archaeologist Susana Dias. But he’s the only one who will keep her alive.

Susana is on the cusp of making the most significant discovery of her career when she’s betrayed by those closest to her. Forced to abandon her dig in the Amazon jungle, Susana ends up on the run with Kai.

Kai promises to protect her, but will his promise hold up when it comes time to retrieve the microchip? Removing the chip might kill Susana. But Kai witnessed the horrific effects of the research and knows that the data on the chip must be destroyed.

With the other hunters closing in, Kai races to find a solution that will both save Susana and prevent the data from falling into the wrong hands.

Betrayal cover

Add this book to your Goodreads shelf:

Betrayal (The SSU Book 2)

BUY IT NOW

EXTRAS

  • EXCERPT
  • PLAYLIST

EXCERPT

Kai Paterson paused at the edge of the warehouse. A wide, exposed strip of dirt stretched between him and the safety of the trees along the riverbank. He checked behind him for signs of pursuit, then quieted his breath and listened.

The night contained only the sound of the river softly slapping against the hull of the boat waiting for him in the shallows and the occasional cry of a nocturnal animal. Reassured that it was safe to proceed, Kai sprinted across the dirt and into the protective darkness of the stand of trees. Then he flashed a signal with the red LED light on his flashlight and waited for the proper response from the pilot.

It didn’t take long. A couple of minutes later, the boat slipped into view.

Kai picked his way carefully along the slippery surface of a thick root that jutted into the river. Then he leapt lightly onto the deck of the boat.

“Any trouble?” he asked the pilot in Portuguese.

“No.” The man handed Kai a pair of night vision binoculars.

As the boat pulled away from shore, Kai removed the backpack that contained his personal supplies, then scanned the land with the glasses. No sign of human activity. Good.

He might actually pull this off.

After all he’d lost, after two years on the run only to end up nearly dying in another crime lord’s dungeon, it was about time luck came his way.

Seeing no pursuers, he stowed his pack in the cabin next to his weapons and ammunition, which the pilot had retrieved earlier. Then he returned to the railing, checking for any late arrivals intending to stop their departure.

At least, that’s what he told himself. The truth was that he didn’t want to think about where they were heading.

I shouldn’t be here.

He shoved the fear back. Where else could he be? Dr. Nevsky’s damn microchip had destroyed his life. He couldn’t let any governmental agents, criminals, or terrorists get their hands on the data on the chip.

The boat pulled away from the shore and soon reached the center of the river. Refusing to be a coward, Kai strode to the bow. Moonlight rippled across the river. Underneath the boat’s odor of fish and diesel fumes he caught the jungle’s signature stench of rotten vegetation and sweet flowers. The trees loomed on either side of the river. Little more than an impenetrable darkness at this time of night, Kai nevertheless felt the jungle’s violence calling to him.

Nausea churned in his belly. Dark memories threatened to swamp him.

His fingers tightened on the wooden railing.

A fish broke the surface of the river, then quickly disappeared into the murky depths. Yeah, wasn’t that a metaphor for his life these days? Barely able to take a clean breath before he waded back into the muck.

Kai shivered. The horrors he’d seen in Nevsky’s lab still gave him nightmares. Men so insane, so focused on the kill order given by their handlers, that they attacked their teammates with teeth and nails and fists, fighting like animals to the death. Then biting and mauling their opponent’s corpse until the ground gleamed red.

He shook his head, but it was too late. The memories segued into coroner’s photos showing his mother lying in a pool of blood. Showing his fourteen-year-old sister, Isabel, with her throat gaping open from a knife wound, her hand reaching toward her dead twin brother.

Kai clenched his fists and jerked his mind away from those pictures. He would not think about their deaths. Not here in the jungle, where his control was so thin. Where the sights, sounds and scents threatened to send him back to the moment in an Indonesian jungle where he’d taken the life of the fifth of the six assassins who’d killed his family.

God, if he’d only known what price he’d pay for going undercover at Nevsky’s lab. And now Rafe, his brother-in-law and fellow SSU agent, was missing after investigating a lab they suspected of restarting part of Nevsky’s experiments.

Rafe would be better off dead than a test subject.

Kai closed his eyes and tried to breathe past the lump of rage and grief in his throat. He attempted to quiet his mind, but instead he saw blood dripping off his hands onto the jungle floor while the body of the assassin twitched out its final seconds of life.

To his horror, even though he stood on the deck of a boat months after the kill, Kai felt an echo of the hot, primitive satisfaction that had surged through him as he’d stared down at the body. He remembered throwing his head back and letting loose an inhuman cry of triumph that scared birds into flight and scattered a colony of monkeys.

His heart pounded in remembered exhilaration.

Shit, shit, shit.

Kai opened his eyes and shook his head. The act of vengeance had stripped him down to his very core. Revealed that underneath his civilized, intellectual veneer lay the primitive urge to protect and avenge his loved ones, even if it meant killing in a manner that horrified his rational, law-abiding side.

He didn’t want to be that man who so easily resorted to violence. He was a scientist turned spy. Not an assassin. He preferred to solve problems based on his ability to reason. 

Yet if anyone tried to hurt his sister—the only survivor of the attack—he wouldn’t hesitate to kill again.

To keep his mind off the past, Kai raised the glasses to his eyes again and ran a quick scan. On the chance someone had seen them leave, Kai had told the pilot to head downriver from the archaeological dig of Susana Dias. They would switch over to a less traveled branch of the river before setting course for the dig.

An image of the supermodel turned archaeologist flashed into his mind. The half-American, half-Brazilian beauty had graced the cover of every fashion and gossip magazine during Kai’s high school and college years. He still remembered how the hint of laughter in her large brown eyes made her seem approachable. As if she saw the world as a giant party and had been inviting him to join her.

The irony of the cruel, amoral Dr. Nevsky fathering sexy, vibrant Susana Dias didn’t escape him. No one had known he even had a daughter. The media coverage about Susana claimed her father was dead, and nothing in Nevsky’s background check had indicated he’d had a child. 

Then a recent series of events had uncovered a story so unbelievable, Kai figured it had to be true. Leading him, and every other agent hunting the chip, to the Amazon Jungle and Susana Dias.

With a sigh, he lowered the glasses and moved to the back of the boat to run another scan. 

Christ. Even knowing the lengths to which Dr. Nevsky went to keep his data secure, Kai still couldn’t believe the man had taken the microchip containing his project data and implanted it in Susana’s abdomen during a supposed appendectomy. She probably didn’t even know Nevsky was her father. 

Susana had become a well-respected archaeologist after leaving modeling. As far as Kai could tell, she was innocent in all of this. Unfortunately, innocent or not, he was about to bring her world crashing down. He’d do whatever necessary to get her to the SSU so the chip could be surgically removed. With any luck, that would only take a few days. Then Susana could return to work.

And Kai would destroy the chip, no matter what his boss Ryker might say about the data having potentially beneficial applications. The chip’s very existence brought ruin and death. It had to be taken out of the equation before more innocent people died.

Kai stared at the moonlit lines of the boat’s wake and focused on emptying his mind. For a peaceful moment he found the still, quiet place inside himself he’d once been able to access so easily. His muscles relaxed.

Yeah, he could do this.

He inhaled deeply, but the stench of decaying flesh from the riverbank sent him into a coughing fit.

Just like that, chaos tumbled back into his mind. Ah, hell. 

No! He gritted his teeth. He wasn’t going to give in. He could do this.

Think only of the mission. Find Susana Dias. Destroy the microchip. Finally end the cycle of pain and death.

Become the man he’d used to be.

Piece of cake. Right?


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don't miss any of the books in THE SURGICAL STRIKE UNIT (SSU) SERIES

Vengeance cover
Betrayal cover
Retribution cover
Payback cover
Aftermath cover
Undercover

don't miss any of the books in THE SURGICAL STRIKE UNIT (SSU) SERIES

Vengeance cover
Betrayal cover
Retribution cover
Payback cover
Aftermath cover
Undercover

WATCH THE SSU SERIES BOOK TRAILER