FIRST RISK is turning pages
Sidney Bristol Presents: Twisted Royals, An Origin Story

Hello Dear Readers,

Today is an exciting day for me. It's the kick-off of the Aegis Group Task Force series! I knew when I started the spin-off's that Troy Team's series would be different. I had a larger idea for the team of five guys, but I wasn't really prepared for how this would play out when I plotted the series earlier this year. That said, I'm beyond excited to sink my teeth into this one, and what better way to kick this off than an exclusive serial?

First Risk is a five-part prequel to the Aegis Group Task Force series. If you've been a subscriber for a while, then you know the drill. For the new members, these serials have to be a little edited, which means no cursing and we fade to black. The final file will include everything.

Without further ado, let's get down to business!

  • First Risk, the first chapter!
  • Stolen Risk is out!
  • Make sure to vote in my poll
  • Check out the Spoiler Thread in the Facebook reader group if you have questions.
  • Cover reveal for Dangerously Entwined
  • Did you miss the cover reveal for Traitor Games?
  • What I'm knitting

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A newsletter exclusive serial.

5 years ago. Tuesday. CIA Safe House, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Navy SEAL Tucker Papadopoulos could almost believe himself back home. It wasn’t until he heard the call to prayer or turned his gaze out to the desert beyond the plateau where the heart of Riyadh was built that he was reminded that this wasn’t Kansas anymore and his Toto was trained to sniff out explosives and tear out the throats of would-be attackers.

At least Toto got to relax inside the safe house like a king on his dog bed. The CIA agents had taken a liking to the dog. Considering how tough their last op had been, Tucker was of the mind that Toto deserved some pampering. Too bad it was business as usual for Tucker.

The sliding glass door at the end of the balcony rattled open and a figure swathed in dark fabric stepped out to join him before securing the door.

The hair on the back of his neck rose, his stomach tightened and he had to clench his teeth to keep from looking at her. She hadn’t announced herself and he hadn’t gotten a look at her, but he knew who it was.

Anytime she stepped in a room, he knew she was there.

Hell, he could still remember the first day he’d gotten here. They’d come into the country under the pretense of being a private escort for some oil baron wearing a ten gallon hat. The plan had been simple, their team swap for the SEAL team coming out of the field.

Tucker had almost blown it. He’d locked eyes with the woman sitting behind the wheel of their van and the whole world faded away. If it weren’t for Toto pulling him along, he’d have kept standing in the middle of that parking lot like an idiot.

He’d seen beautiful women before. But she was different, and not because she was a black woman out here where the CIA usually only sent men. He couldn’t put his finger on what it was about her, but she’d had him hooked that day a year ago when he’d first laid eyes on her.

He shifted to lean on the armrest as she drew closer.

Zora Clark moved like a shadow, melting into the darkness as if she were made for this spy stuff. Clearly she should have gone into the CIA instead of the NSA, but she’d never asked his opinion.

She sank down on the sofa, only a foot or so away now.

This was their routine. At some point while he was on watch she’d join him. They’d banter, maybe it bordered on flirting, but nothing more.

“Fancy seeing you here,” he said in a low voice.

She turned her face. There was just enough light to see her smile. “Do you come here often?”

He shrugged and turned his head toward her. “Only to look at something beautiful.”

Her lips curved into a smile, but she didn’t say anything about the skyline or how it was a shame the most beautiful places were often some of the most dangerous. They’d had variants of this conversation for months. Except tonight she didn’t say her line. She just looked at him.

Tucker’s mouth went dry.

Zora curled her left leg under her and twisted toward him. Her knee pressed against his thigh and her fingers brushed his shoulder. It was about the most she’d ever touched him, because Zora was nothing if not the consummate professional. But she’d touched him.

He turned a bit more toward her.

“Do you mean that?” she whispered.

He smelled cinnamon on her breath. Hadn’t someone mentioned something about getting a bottle of fireball whiskey in a care package? Had they done shots after dinner without him?

“Do I mean what?” he asked slowly.

“The beautiful bit?” She propped her chin on her hand.

They’d always spoken in innuendo and double-speak. He was caught off-guard by the directness of her question.

He reached over and placed his hand on her knee. The lose fabric of her flowing skirt was tucked under her calf, allowing him to caress a small strip of skin along her shin. “I don’t say what I don’t mean.”

Zora turned her head and blew out a shuddering breath.

If this night had happened a year ago, it would be different. He wouldn’t know her, could chalk it up to the heat of the moment. Only, he’d had months to study her. To leave this door open. He’d learned her enough to know that Zora did nothing without careful consideration.

He eased his fingers down her shin to her ankle and back.

She didn’t look at him, didn’t say anything or stop him.

“I’ve debated the merits of this moment with myself a hundred times,” she said still staring at the skyline.

“Oh?” He turned toward her fully now, invested in this revelation.

When she didn’t continue he laid his left palm on her calf and stretched his right arm along the back of the sofa tucked away in this corner of the balcony.

At long last she turned her head and met his gaze. He wished there was light, something to allow him to see her face better.

“When you think about this moment, what happens?” he asked.

“You kiss me.”

“Do I?”

She lifted a shoulder. “You asked.”

God, he wanted to kiss her, to slip past that polished exterior and taste the woman no one else got to see.

Tucker leaned in closer. “And how about now? Is that what you want me to do?”

“In my little fantasy you don’t ask permission.”

Gauntlet thrown.

Zora Clark wished she was that girl. The one who could, and would, throw caution to the wind. Every time she and Tucker had this pre-scripted conversation she had other lines she wanted to say, things she couldn’t get out.

The tiniest sip of whiskey couldn’t be blamed for this moment. No, for her this was a year in the making.

She’d wanted Tucker since the moment he’d told his commanding officer no.

At a glance, Tucker was a stereotype. The country boy, bit of a redneck, who’d joined the Navy SEALs because he couldn’t help but be the best at what he did. But the day he said no?

That was the day he’d proven there was more under the sand and scruff. He didn’t just take orders, he considered them. He figured out a better way. And that intelligence? That awareness that what they did had consequences that reached past this op? That was sexy.

Even now when they were almost nose to nose and she’d practically written him an invitation he didn’t pounce. No, he looked at her and she knew he was considering every angle.

“Why now?” he asked.

She licked her lips. “Because I’m leaving in a few weeks. Because…”

Her insides knotted up.

Could she have imagined the flirting? Was it in her head? What if he wasn’t interested in her?

His hand slid from the back of the sofa to her shoulder, his fingers caressing the base of her neck.

Tucker wasn’t her usual type. She’d always gone for the bookish boys, intellectuals. But Tucker had proven that intelligence didn’t come in one form. He was smart, rugged, dangerous. And she was utterly clumsy when it came to throwing herself at a man.

“I’m going to miss these evening chats.” His thumb swiped up the side of her neck to her jaw.

Her insides wobbled. “Me, too.”

“Maybe we can work something out?” He leaned in a tiny bit more. “They make these neat things called phones. Heard of them?”

Despite the tension she chuckled, and that was when he moved.

Tucker’s mouth pressed against hers. She sucked in a breath and reached for him, gripping his shoulder as if she could keep him close. His lips were firm as they moved against hers, teasing, tasting. She lifted her other hand to his face, eager to touch him at last.

Zora ran her fingers over his scruff. It was softer than she’d expected.

He shifted then, letting go of her. She cupped the back of his head, not ready for the kiss to end. His mouth curved into a smile then lazily suckled her lower lip between his. He sucked on it, creating a pulsing deep in her belly.

Tucker slid off the sofa and knelt in front of her, the kiss never breaking.


Oh, now she understood.

He grasped her hips and pulled her to the edge of the cushion, their bodies pressed together while the balcony wall hid them from view and the shadows concealed them.

For this moment, it was just them and she could taste the passion she’d been nursing. Though she wished she could lose herself in this completely, she could feel the tools of Tucker’s trade clipped to his jacket, concealed underneath his clothes.

They would never be normal people. And Tucker understood that about her when all the other men in her life hadn’t.

His hands cupped her ass, squeezing and pulling her closer, rocking against her. She groaned her approval.

What she wouldn’t give for a private bedroom and an hour alone with him. They were already tempting fate making out like this in the open. Still, she could imagine what it would be like to be bold, to flaunt the social rules of the country.

Being with Tucker just might be worth it.

The ring of her phone startled her out of her lust fueled thoughts. The light was most jarring of all.

Both Zora and Tucker turned their faces, breathing heavily, and stared at the number on the screen.

Tucker spoke first. “That’s—”

“The emergency line.” She snatched the phone up and jabbed the screen. “Hello?”

A man spoke in rapid Arabic over the sound of horns honking.

“They took my family,” the man said.

“They? They who?” Zora stared into Tucker’s face. This close he had to hear some of the conversation. “Ahmad?”

“Yes. It’s me.”


Tucker rocked back on his heels, giving her space.

Zora didn’t move. She couldn’t lose the signal and service was spotty inside. She waved Tucker toward the door.

If Ahmad was in trouble, if he was calling Americans for help then…

She didn’t want to consider what that meant.

“I’ll call you back,” Ahmad said.

“No, don’t—”

He ended the call.

Zora shot to her feet and rushed for the sliding glass door.

The man she’d known only as Ahmad had another, longer name, but Ahmad was the only one that mattered in the beginning. She’d come to Saudi Arabia to meet him and cultivate him as an asset.

If she’d known then what she knew now about the man, someone much higher up in the food chain would have taken over.

Ahmad landed on Zora’s radar when she identified him as the person providing illegal, uncensored internet access to people in Riyadh and beyond. That alone had been enough of a reason to support him, off the books of course. But then Zora had figured out who Ahmad really was.

In his day job, Ahmad ran one of the divisions of the Saudi intelligence agency. He was playing both sides in a deadly game, and if he got caught so did Zora.

to be continued...

Jamie Silva helps lead a specialized team that works to tackle the difficult jobs. The ones the government can't be party to. When his team is recruited to join an off-the-books task force he knows the stakes are higher than ever before. He just didn't think the job would include seducing the CEO of a major tech company, or that he'd want her up against a wall, in bed or anywhere else.

Tabby Grissler is tired of waiting for Mr. Right, at least until tall, dark and handsome sits next to her at a charity event. He ticks all her boxes, except he's lying to her. Confronted with the reality that her dream guy is a government spy merely marks the beginning. Someone has stolen her tech with the intent to create a global blackout and in order to stop them, she'll have to work with Jamie. But she doesn't have to trust him.

Thrown together, Tabby and Jamie must put aside their differences and ignore their chemistry if they're going to get to the bottom of the international theft. But each clue leads them further down the rabbit hole and time is running out.

Help me pick my Christmas novella!

This year I intend to write two Christmas novellas. One will be an Aegis Group: Body of Danger novella. The other? I'm stumped. So I'm taking this opportunity to ask YOU which series would you like to see a holiday novella in?

[Vote in the poll!]

This poll will remain open through the summer.

I've joined forces with some other authors who write a similar heat level to my books to start a Facebook social group. We talk books, TV, hobbies, etc. Whatever we want. Come hang out with us!


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For those who have read Dangerously Involved...

If you have read Dangerously Involved and know the big spoiler, you might also want more information. Since I've been a little complicated in how that information gets doled out, I created a spoiler thread in my reader group to help readers identify the order in which the story line progresses.

[Head over to the Reader Lounge today]

Releasing August 13th

Did you miss Entangled Publishing's cover reveal of the last Tarnished Heroes book? Releases July 22nd.

The latest installment in the Tarnished Heroes Series from the New York Times Bestselling Author Sidney Bristol.

Noah White has done a lot of bad things for the CIA, but this time they've crossed the line. He knows the kill order he's been given is a set-up and the intended target is another covert agent. They’ve finally found a line Noah won’t cross. Not with her.

Lillian Matthews is living in the crosshairs and she knows it. While her friends are spread out over the globe gathering intelligence on a rogue covert agency, it's her job to keep them all connected. Only now she's the target. And her unlikely ally is the last man she'd expect.

Lillian will have to make the biggest sacrifice of her life, because Noah will stop at nothing to protect her.

What I'm knitting!

I'm back to work on my colorwork sweater!

I finished my purple cardigan just in time for my retreat...and then gave it to a dear friend who loved it more than I did. Silly me didn't snap a picture, so I need to get one.

As always, I am rolling full steam ahead! Here's a list and a few links to upcoming titles you guys can look forward to.

Traitor Games (Tarnished Heroes 3) - July 22nd

Dangerously Entwined (Aegis Group Lepta Team 5) - August 13th

Party Out of Bounds (Love Barn 3) - September TBA


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