Attorney and political heavyweight Tobias Faraday is the Ice King, a man alone in the eye of a deadly storm. And in the wake of his sister’s torture, he’s out for blood.

The key to Tobias’s revenge is the disavowed British spy he’s kept imprisoned for weeks. Chandler McCallister can get him behind enemy lines in Russia, but the clever double-agent has a demand of her own before she puts her life on the line in the name of redemption.

Posing as Chandler’s boyfriend at an aristocratic wedding in the English countryside won’t kill Tobias. Not in theory.

As the threat of Moscow looms larger and the enemy reveals himself to be crueler than any human can imagine, Tobias reluctantly partners with his prisoner to derail the immediate threat—to their families, to Faraday Industries, and to their lives. What he finds in the process is a feverish, relentless need already melting the ice from his veins.

“Gritty, intense and filled to the brim with suspense and intrigue, this romantic suspense series has me hooked.”Fiction Vixen

Excerpt

Tobias Faraday first realized he wasn’t like his siblings when he was seven years old.

Already light-years ahead of where other kids his age were academically, his parents had opted to bring private tutors into the Faraday family compound, situated on several acres of wooded land outside of Boston. The purpose of the tutors was twofold: not only would they challenge Tobias’s mind in ways traditional classrooms could not, but there would be no risk of him accidentally telling another child what, precisely, his father did for a living.

The thing was, Tobias had never been tempted to share. Even at seven, he’d known that Frank Faraday’s life’s work wasn’t something one boasted about on the playground. His older brother, Casey, at the advanced age of nine-almost-ten, had loved talking to his classmates about their dad, the soldier. Their dad, the inventor. Their dad, the businessman.

But that’s not who the Faraday patriarch was, and Tobias knew it. He never spoke to anyone about Frank. In fact, he never spoke to anyone, period, for those first seven years—not unless that person’s last name matched his own. When he’d been placed in the neighborhood preschool, his muteness was something his parents assumed he would grow out of; he was excellent with his letters and numbers, and by the time kindergarten rolled around, Tobias was reading like a champ. It’s just that the public school teachers weren’t seeing much evidence of said champ-like behavior. Frank and Sofia knew their second child carried the seeds of genius, which is why they eventually took him out of the classroom, hoping that private tutors would not only nurture his intelligence, but cure his silence. Eventually, those tutors had succeeded, but it had taken time. Significant, painstaking time.

His first-grade teacher had been so relieved to see him shifted permanently into home schooling. More than once, he had overheard Mrs. Randall murmuring to her cohort that tiny Tobias Faraday, well…he might not be all there.

The adult version of the silent little boy sometimes wondered if perhaps Mrs. Randall—and the child psychologists and speech pathologists his parents had also consulted in those early years—had been correct. If there was, indeed, something wrong with him, a wrongness that differentiated him today from Casey, Gillian, Beth and Adam. It was a niggling worry inside him, staring across the abyss of his soul into the darkened pit below, where a fierce predator lurked and paced and waited for the signal to attack. To defend. He—

“Earth to Faraday.”

His cousin’s voice broke him out of his musings. “Present and accounted for,” he enunciated carefully, raising a brow at the young woman walking next to him down the hallway that had, at one point, been part of London’s sprawling Underground. Tobias had won the secret property years ago in a poker game and spent significant family resources turning this closed-off section of the city’s mass transit system into a hidden bunker with all the twenty-first century luxuries and technologies a Faraday could ask for. “Something wrong, Freya?”

Freya Quinn, an intelligence analyst for Britain’s MI6, made a face and reached up to tighten her auburn ponytail. “Not wrong. Just wondering when you’re going to read me into your plan.”

“What plan?” Tobias kept his tone mild, his expression bland.

“The plan for her.”

Of course. Her. For weeks, too many of his thoughts had revolved around her. She remained a difficult person to ignore, but whether she intended to be a pain in his ass or not, he couldn’t rid his ears of her ringing echo, and that included the days in which they didn’t interact. “I’ll read you in when all the details are official.”

“Official.” Freya stopped walking, her hand hovering over his arm but not touching. Never touching. Tobias didn’t exactly give off a warm and fuzzy vibe, even with family. “You don’t fool me, you control freak. Official or not, every detail of what you plan for her is already set in stone. There won’t be a single deviation from the moment you say ‘go.’ So why not tell me what happens once you let her leave that prison cell?”

That prison cell being their final destination, at the end of this hallway. A large steel door had been fitted into the curved brick archway of the original subway tunnel, a handprint and retina scanner mounted on the wall to its right. Fluted-glass sconces with bronze accents flanked either side of the door, the mesh of old world and new seamless.

Behind the electronically monitored triple-locked system sat a woman he couldn’t shake. When he closed his eyes at night, hers was the face he pictured. When he woke in the morning, she was his first thought. How to bend her. How to break her.

How to get his vengeance against the monsters who had tortured his beloved sister. “Who says I’m going to let her out of here? Maybe I’ve decided to keep her as a pet.” He feigned a thoughtful mien. “I’ve always thought I might be a cat person, at heart.”

For a long moment, Freya stared at him, the deep green of her eyes gleaming in the hallway’s ambient lighting. “You’re a cold one, Tobias Faraday.” The cadence of Northern Ireland that Tobias knew she had fought so hard to suppress leaked through as she spoke. “I hope we’re never on opposite sides of a battlefield.”

“We won’t be, Freya. We’re family.” And it was the truth. Family—even the Quinns, who were cousins by marriage, not blood—was never the enemy. “But I will tell you one thing, how’s that?”

Scowling, the redheaded analyst marched away from him, down the hall toward the door. “You’re placating me.”

“Does that mean you don’t want me to tell you?”

“Tell me or I’ll sic Keir on you.”

Tobias felt his lips curve. “Your brother doesn’t scare me.” Whereas Keir Quinn usually scared just about everyone else he’d ever met, his appearance startlingly thug-like. “I need to get to Moscow. She—” he stared at the cell “—is my ticket in.”

2015 © by Edie Harris

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