Seducing the Ruthless Rogue by Tammy Jo Burns The Rogue Agents #2
Publication Date: October 19, 2014
Also in this series: Taming the Wicked Wulfe
Genres: Historical, Romance
Synopsis:As Director of The War Office, Stuart McKenzie, has proven himself capable of making difficult decisions in times of crisis and keeping government secrets safe. When he walks in on someone ransacking his study he quickly moves to apprehend them, only to be tossed on his back as the burglar escapes into the night. Cassie’s father has become a pawn in the fight against Napoleon. When the enemy kidnaps him, she will do anything it takes to get him back – including stealing government secrets from Stuart McKenzie, the Director of the War Office. When Cassie is caught, she reluctantly agrees to Mack’s assistance as there is something far more sinister going on. As Mack embarks on his mission, he will find that enemies are often closer than one would think and that sometimes your ally will come in the least likely form. When passion erupts between Mack and Cassie, they find their lives forever altered. But just as they believe their lives to be free of danger, a new threat is lurking about, promising to rip their happiness away from them. Will they be able to trust each other enough to defeat this new threat, or will they be torn apart for all eternity?
May 11, 1812
Stuart McKenzie straightened the cuffs of his superfine and his cravat before he entered the lobby of the House of Commons. He received a note from Prime Minister Percevel to meet him here. Very rarely did he have direct contact with the prime minister, so he was intrigued as to why he was being asked to meet here of all places. Usually he would be summoned to the man’s office.
He entered the lobby of the building to find men milling about. There would be meetings and hearings on different matters being held today. Mack moved to a shadowed corner where he could watch the proceedings. He did not like having his back to people. It was not wise for one in his position. Not after having had several assassination attempts on his life, the most recent having been last year. He had been left bloody and beaten, almost unrecognizable. His convalescence had taken much too long in his humble opinion, and he had been fighting to return to his position much sooner than anyone wanted him to.
The doors opened at the other end of the lobby as Percevel entered with his entourage of people. They crossed the lobby and people could be heard hailing greetings to him. A man dressed in common work clothes and appearing disheveled entered, looking about nervously.
Mack perked up and began to cross the lobby. Something about the man seemed off. He did not look as if he belonged with all these men. All of a sudden, the atmosphere seemed charged with energy.
“Prime Minister,” the man called. Percevel turned, a smile on his face from something one of the other men was telling him, perhaps a joke. A loud pop echoed in the lobby, and Mack had only seconds to react. He jumped towards the man, not even getting out a warning, and then just as quickly fell to the floor. Another pop sounded, and then a flurry of activity broke out.
Mack wheezed and tried to stand, but seemed unable to catch his breath. He lifted his head and watched Percevel’s eyes glass over as blood spread across the man’s chest. Men swarmed Prime Minister Percevel, dragging his inert body out of the lobby. His assassin stood by the door, unmoving, guns still in hand. Two burly security guards moved and quickly grabbed him, keeping him from escaping. Mack’s side ached fiercely. He placed a hand against it and attempted a deep breath. Instead he ended up coughing uncontrollably. He lifted his hand and saw blood smeared on it.
“Help,” he tried to yell, but it came out more of a weak whisper. Mack lifted his head, but the men were blurring. He tried to push himself up, but dizziness washed over him. He squinted his eyes and thought he saw a familiar face. “Gabe!” he called twice before the man in question looked over.
Mack let his head fall back on the marble floor and waited for oblivion to overcome him.
“Mack!” The voice sounded a long way off, and something pushed firmly against his side, making him wince. “I need help over here!”
“Don’t let Grandmother see me like this.”
“Grandmother is the least of your worries, old man.”
Mack smirked followed by a grimace of pain, then the darkness blessedly rolled in on him.