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

Hello Dear Readers,

It's part two of the FIRST RISK serial! If you missed the first part, you can read it by going here. This edition is a little short. The fault is mine. Next week we'll get caught up. Happy reading!

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Wednesday. Diplomatic Quarter Parks, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Tucker had been on edge since the moment Zora crawled off his lap, and it wasn’t due to the case of blue balls he’d endured. Everything about that phone call, the decisions made after, all of it leading up to this point had a bad feeling weighing his gut down.

Something was in motion, something that wasn’t entirely good, and there was no stopping it. The only thing Tucker could do was stick close to Zora and pray he could protect her.

“Mic on?” Tucker asked the tech while staring across the van at Zora doing the same kind of test.

“Loud and clear. You’re good to go,” the man said.

“Fantastic,” Tucker muttered.

The CIA agent over this operation grabbed Tucker’s arm. He turned his head and stared at the man. Tucker wasn’t a big fan of the guy. He didn’t see people, only resources, and that didn’t sit well with Tucker.

“Hey?” The agent pitched his voice low. “We need this asset. If you can say or do anything to keep him calm, do it. He is your priority, understand?”

Tucker stared back at the man. Yeah, Tucker understood what the agent was saying. The asset was more important than Zora. Well, not in Tucker’s book. His job was to bring everyone home safe.

“You’re both good to go,” the other tech announced.

Zora settled the long, draping head cover over herself until all he could see were her eyes. Tucker didn’t care for the garments, but he couldn’t deny that the voluminous fabric allowed her to conceal far more than his business casual clothing did.

“Come on, we aren’t going to make it in time,” she said.

“Let’s go.” Tucker opened the van and got out, glancing up and down the street.

He offered Zora a hand out of the vehicle. She had a bit of trouble with the long skirts, but once on the sidewalk she straightened and smoothed her clothes. There was a nervous energy coming off her that only increased his sense of dread.

Today was not going to be a good day.

If it weren’t for the mention of the phone call last night, he’d have wondered if their kisses were a dream.

Two weeks until she was moved out of here. It wasn’t a lot of time to figure out what they had, if anything.

Tucker mentally shut the door on those thoughts as they rounded the corner and headed for the parks that had once made up the area relegated for diplomats. These days anyone could live in the buildings and apartments originally created for dignitaries since most of those had moved to embassies. The parks and gardens remained though, and were almost always busy with people out enjoying the day, families out and about, and the occasional tourist.

He matched pace with Zora and wished that there weren’t people listening to them right now.

There were things he wanted to say, but no time to say them.

Zora reached over, her fingers brushing his. “That’s him.”

“Which one?” Tucker glanced over the men strolling under the trees in pairs or on their own.

“White shirt?”

“We see him,” the agent back in the van said through the headset.

The man in question stood at a reflection pool gazing into the water as if he didn’t have a care in the world. He wasn’t the man Tucker would have picked to be worried about his life or that of his kidnapped family. He was utterly at peace. Or at least appeared to be.

“Come on,” Zora whispered.

Tucker changed course. Together they passed through manicured hedges and into the inner ring of the walkway.

The man in the white shirt glanced up and over his shoulder, directly at them, as if he’d known they were there.

“It’s him,” Zora said for those listening. Louder, she spoke in Arabic, leaving English behind.

“Incoming,” the agent said before his voice was drowned out.

Tires screeched.

Tucker whirled to face the threat.

Three SUVs now lined the north side of the park.

The CIA van was at the north-east corner.

“Come on. Go.” Tucker grabbed Zora’s wrist then planted his hand against the target’s shoulder and pushed them both into action.

Fear tinged the other man’s eyes.

Zora took off, the man following her leaving Tucker to bring up the rear as men wearing uniforms bellowed at them to stop.

This was bad.

They sprinted across grass and tore through a hedge. Other pedestrians scattered.

Any moment now someone was going to fire a gun. The Kevlar vest Zora and Tucker wore under their clothes would only protect them so much. But if those men captured them, there was no telling what might happen.

Heads could literally roll.

“Go, go, go,” he yelled when the asset slowed at the curb.

“Head east,” the agent bellowed in Tucker’s ear.

“Here.” Zora pulled a handgun from under her clothing and thrust it into Tucker’s hands.

They had to make a decision.

“You two, go,” Tucker ordered.

“What?” Zora stared at him with wide eyes.

“Go.” He shoved her around the corner.

For one moment he allowed himself to stare after her, comforted in the knowledge that she would be safe. Then, he turned to meet his fate head on.

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.

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Retired Marine Grant Anderson is used to tough situations. He's never shied away from putting in hard work. Perhaps he should have known a secret romance with his fellow team leader, Melody Nguyen, would be his toughest job of all.

Melody has had it with alpha men and secrets. After a year-long romance that went nowhere, she ended it and is determined to make the most of her career.

When an old enemy attacks, Melody and Grant will have to put aside their differences to save the team. But that's easier said than done when their lives and their hearts are on the line.

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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