If you love romantic suspense or if you’re a Criminal Minds junkie, you have got to get your hands on Toni Anderson’s Cold Justice series! Both incredibly sexy and suspenseful, this series is a must-read. And did you know they’re available to listen to on audiobook?
About COLD LIGHT OF DAY
Winner 2015 Readers’ Choice Heart of Excellence for Romantic Suspense, and the Book Buyers Best Award.
Physicist Scarlett Stone is the daughter of the man considered to be the most notorious Russian agent in FBI history. With her father dying in prison she’s determined to prove he’s innocent, but time is running out. Using a false identity, she gains access to the Russian ambassador’s Christmas party, searching for evidence of a set-up.
Former Navy SEAL, now FBI Special Agent, Matt Lazlo, is instantly attracted to Scarlett but life is too complicated to pursue a politician’s daughter. When he discovers she lied to him about her identity, he hunts her down with the ruthless efficiency he usually reserves for serial killers.
Not only does Scarlett’s scheme fail, it puts her in the sights of powerful people who reward unwanted curiosity with brutality. The FBI-and Matt-aren’t thrilled with her, either. But as agents involved in her father’s investigation start dying, and the attempts to stop Scarlett intensify, Matt and his colleagues begin to wonder. Could they have a traitor in their midst?
As Scarlett and Matt dig for the truth they begin to fall passionately for one another. But the real spy isn’t about to let anyone uncover their secrets, and resolves to remain firmly in the shadows-and for that to happen, Matt and Scarlett have to die.
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Read an excerpt from the first chapter of COLD LIGHT OF DAY:
“I feel sick,” Scarlett Stone warned in a sharp undertone to her lifelong best friend, Angelina LeMay.
“They don’t know who you are,” Angel responded with a pat on her arm. “Relax and enjoy yourself for a change. I can’t believe you actually came with me, but I love you for it.”
Her friend wouldn’t be quite so understanding if she knew what Scarlett had hidden in her panties. She took a gulp of champagne. This was a stupid idea. Who did she think she was-James Bond?
The thought shot fear through her bloodstream. Too close to home. Too real.
But this wasn’t spying on State secrets. She was investigating an old crime, looking for the truth before it was too late. No one would help her. God knew, she’d begged every one of them over the years and they’d all refused. Now it was up to her.
The reception room where the Russian Ambassador to the United States was hosting his annual Christmas party looked like the inside of a palace, with fantastically high ceilings, icy white walls inlaid with gold detail, and two huge chandeliers shining like a galaxy of tiny stars. A grand piano off to one side was being played quietly in the background. The subtle scents of pine mingled with perfume and the spice of mulled wine-the effect cloying, yet oddly nostalgic. The place was crowded. The sense of opulence and history, staggering.
Until 1994, the ambassador’s residence had been the Russian Embassy and reeked of a rich clandestine history of secret power struggles. Fitting under the circumstances. Her father had told her the KGB used to operate out of two trailers in the back yard, in the shadow of the huge Washington Post building. She didn’t know where the KGB’s modern-day equivalent, the SVR, was secreted and she hoped she never found out.
Angel’s parents-her father was Congressman Adam LeMay-had received an invitation to tonight’s Christmas party but hadn’t wanted to attend. Angel had begged Scarlett to take the place of her sister who was hiking in the Mojave Desert. Considering the new ambassador was Andrei Anatoly Dorokhov, Scarlett hadn’t been able to refuse, no matter how dangerous and desperate her plan might be. She had no choice.
She took another drink. She needed a little Dutch courage, maybe even a sedative.
“Scar, don’t look now,” Angel’s voice dropped to low and breathless, “but I think my future husband just walked in the door.”
Angel LeMay fell in lust on a regular basis.
“I hope you’ll be very happy together,” Scarlett said without turning.
“Navy dinner dress blues and a gold cummerbund.” Her friend fanned herself with her free hand. “I am in love.”
“I thought you were only getting married for money?” Scarlett teased.
Angel flashed her dimples. “I’ll make an exception for a war hero, and anyway, he might be loaded.”
Angel might be her best friend, but it didn’t mean Scarlett was blind to her flaws. Her parents indulged her every whim. She “worked” on Capitol Hill in her father’s office, doing God only knew what-answering the mail if tonight was any indication. Scarlett figured brain atrophy explained most of Angel’s poor choice in men. Not that hers was much better. Lab rats and academics were the only guys she dated, and “dated” was an optimistic term. “Grabbed coffee with between experiments” was probably more accurate.
Over Angel’s shoulder, Scarlett watched another guy wearing a black tux making his way toward them. His intense coal-eyed gaze never left her friend’s butt. Angel was wearing a little black dress, with the emphasis on “little.” Few men could resist and fewer tried. He looked up and caught Scarlett watching him. A dimple appeared in one cheek and ebony eyes twinkled. No remorse that she’d caught him ogling her friend’s ass. Just that sense of entitlement that if he wanted to stare, no one was going to stop him. Confident and powerful. Somewhere in his late twenties, early thirties, the man had player written all over his handsome face.
He walked up and introduced himself. “Welcome to the home of the Russian Ambassador to the United States. May I say it is a pleasure to welcome such beautiful young ladies. My name is Sergio Raminski, the ambassador’s personal assistant.” His Ws sounded vaguely V-like, but apart from that his accent was perfect.
He looked more like a bodyguard than any personal assistant she’d ever seen, but maybe she was paranoid. Actually there was no maybe about it. A shiver of unease hummed over Scarlett’s skin. If ever there was a candidate for foreign intelligence agent, Raminski was it.
According to her dad, a portion of the embassy staff here were actually agents for the Kremlin, the same way some of the Americans in Moscow did more than stamp passports. Angel introduced herself and then introduced Scarlett as her sister, Sarah. Scarlett’s nerdy appearance had been overhauled by a pro, something Angel had been doing at every opportunity since kindergarten. She and Sarah looked vaguely alike now that Angel had plastered her with makeup and pulled back her hair. Scarlett had borrowed a strapless, silver gown that shimmered in the candlelight. The skirt had a net petticoat and double layers of gathered silk which flounced around her knees. Four-inch heels meant she was almost chin-level to most of the guys in the room.
Sergio bowed first over Angel’s hand, then Scarlett’s. When she tried to let go, he surprised her by holding tight for a moment, making her pulse skip a beat, though not in a good way. A blush heated her cheeks and she pulled firmly away.
“Your father was unable to attend?” Sergio asked.
Scarlett’s mouth gaped.
Angel stepped in. “After the Vice President’s funeral today he felt a little unwell. He sends his apologies.”
Scarlett swallowed the knot that had formed in her throat. Her father was the real reason she was here.
“Nothing serious, I hope?” Black eyes were alight with interest.
Insider knowledge is always of interest to Russian officials no matter how seemingly mundane-her father’s warnings flashed through her mind.
“Just something he ate at lunch.” Angel smiled. She was a pro at lying and manipulation to get what she wanted. From the hard light in his eyes, Scarlett bet money Raminski was better.
“You were lucky you did not all succumb to the sickness.” Raminski cranked up the warmth of his smile. “I would have missed out on the best part of the evening-meeting two such lovely, young ladies.”
It wasn’t only Raminski’s cheesy lines that made her queasy. She was about to do something that could get her arrested. The idea made her stomach cramp. Once in a lifetime opportunity, she reminded herself. And once in a lifetime might be an overstatement. Fate. Serendipity. Seize the moment. What is the worst that can happen?
They could lock her up and throw away the key.
She swallowed more champagne.
About Toni Anderson
New York Times and USA Today international bestselling author, Toni Anderson, writes dark, gritty Romantic Suspense novels that have hit #1 in Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, the Top 10 in Amazon and Kobo stores, and the Top 50 in iBooks. Her novels have won many awards. A former Marine Biologist from Britain, she inexplicably ended up in the geographical center of North America, about as far from the ocean as it is possible to get. She now lives in the Canadian prairies with her Irish husband and two children and spends most of her time complaining about the weather.
Toni has no explanation for her oft-times dark imagination, and only hopes the romance makes up for it. She’s addicted to reading, dogs, tea, and chocolate.
If you want to know when Toni’s next book will be out, visit her website (http://www.toniandersonauthor.com) and sign up for her newsletter. If you want to read other fascinating stories about life in a city that, during winter, is sometimes colder than Mars, friend her on Facebook: (https://www.facebook.com/toniannanderson).