Saturday, April 8, 2017

Dead Men Don't By Pepper O'Neal - Sexy, Suspenseful, Stupendous!

8:10 p.m., the Sydarian Embassy, Washington, DC: 
“Did you get the package?” The words, calm and quiet, displayed none of the seething tension Ambassador Jamar Farahani held inside. He hated working with scum like this--dirty, violent. Uneducated. But that was the only kind of man who would undertake this type of job.
“Yeah, we got her,” replied the rough voice on the other end of the line. 
“When are you coming to pick her up?”
“Tomorrow. Maybe. It depends on the weather. Right now, they will not let any planes take off from the airport. Not even private jets.” Jamar’s hand tightened on the phone as he watched the snowstorm outside his windows. “There is supposed to be a break in the morning. So hopefully, I can get out then.”
“If that’s the best you can do, I’ll just have to sit on her for a while. But get here as soon as you can. My guys are getting restless.” 
“Just make sure nothing happens to her, Johnson.” Jamar’s voice turned cold and hard. “If she is raped, beaten, or even scratched, you and your men will not get paid. Understand?” 
“Yeah, yeah. I’ll make sure nothing happens. But the sooner she’s out of here, the better. She’s such a looker, it’s hard to control my men.”
“If she was not ‘such a looker,’ she would not be worth as much money, and you would not be getting paid your over-inflated fee.” Jamar turned away from the windows. And the storm. Damn it! The goal had been within his reach, then this happened. “Tell your men I will examine the package thoroughly when I get there. If there is a mark on her, they will not only lose the money, they will not live long enough to regret it.” He paused to let that sink in. “I hope I have made myself clear.” 
“Yeah, I got it.” Johnson’s voice had risen nearly an octave. “Nobody’ll touch her.” 
“See that they do not.” Jamar disconnected, fighting the urge to throw the phone against the wall. If Johnson’s men did what kidnappers of young women normally did, the buyer would not pay full price.

Dead Men Don't

By Pepper O'Neal

In an interview with the author, she explained that this novel had started out as a thriller, but the publisher had suggested that it be spicier... This is one reader who agrees with the publisher! This is sexy suspense between the two main characters that will keep everybody enjoying how their relationship evolves...

Even if the two of them are constantly in the midst of keeping the other safe!

Andi had been on her father's estate, heading for a meeting with Donald, her latest, when it happened. She knew the man approaching her looked like a thug, but she didn't notice the other two coming from a different direction. Before she knew what was happening, she had been drugged. Even then she didn't go easily, screaming, kicking and more until the drug took effect.

It was 4 AM in the morning when Levi was called in...not even 24 hours had gone by, but Andi was already in a mountain cabin, worrying what they would do to her... then hearing what the men were saying!

She’d stopped struggling, defeated by the emotional and physical pain. The ropes were too tight, freedom impossible. What did they want with her? She shuddered as thoughts of what men usually wanted from women flashed through her mind. No. Oh, God, no. Panic flared up again, and she fought the ropes until she lay curled into a ball, sobbing and exhausted...
From what she’d overheard the men in the next room say, someone close to her had arranged her kidnapping. Her father? Donald? Could it really be true? But who else could have given the kidnappers her picture, her schedule, and the best time to ambush her? Not many people had known exactly where she’d be and when. Jonas McKenzie, head of the crime family her father belonged tomight send someone to help. The rumors in the Family said he didn’t allow innocent people to be hurt. Then again, he might not even know she’d been abducted. If her father had tipped off the kidnappers, he wouldn’t have called Jonas for help.

Trust him? Could she? In addition to
 being sexy and fascinating, he was
 also gorgeous--just under six feet tall,
 with dark hair, a roguishly handsome
 face, dreamy blue eyes, and a hard,
 strong body. It was all she could
 do not to drool. His British accent and
 rakish grin made him almost irresistible,
 as did the way he called her “luv.”
He was practically a legend in the
 Family. And he had a reputation for
 being kind to women. Or was it all
 an act? Rumors said he didn’t kill
 people, either, although the way he’d
 explained killing those six men
 earlier made sense.
But could she trust him?
She didn’t know but sensed he was
 waiting for an answer.
“I’m having some issues with trust
 right now,” she said finally. “And
 listening to those guys talk about how
 someone in the Family gave them
 everything they needed to grab me
 doesn’t help.”
I thought it was an interesting twist to have a crime family, whose leader demanded that no innocent people be harmed, actually be the driver behind finding the kidnapped daughter. It was Jonas, not the girl's father, that had contacted Levi to track her down...

Actually, it was the FBI who had notified Jonas! But the key issue was that the rescue was to be done unofficially! Of course, that meant that if Levi was discovered, there would be no support to back him up...

And he did rescue her--the first time!

Readers quickly learn how feisty Andi is when she refuses to be rescued, not knowing who the man was who was there to do it! Then when he identified himself, she didn't believe him, because he had a reputation that he never hurt anybody, but she knew that he had just killed all of her kidnappers!

He was willing to carry her out of there, but she finally relented and went...But the men, and specifically the man who was willing to pay $25M for her, was not willing to give up that easily... She was taken again!

Rescued...and taken again...

About that time, everybody realized that there had to be a leak in Jonas' camp, so he started looking at his own people. Because by that time, Andi had been taken out of the country, and Levi would need help...

In the meantime, Andi and Levi had "discovered" each other and Andi had rented a cabin far away and started training Andi to be able to take care of herself, even while telling her that he would always come to get her...

After she’d seen the bedroom, they brought her to what they called “the common room” and left. The harem’s common room was the most bizarre place she could imagine. Nothing Levi told her had prepared her for this. Oriental rugs covered the tile floors. Beautiful tapestries and sheets of colored chiffon hung from the walls. Above her head was a domed ceiling with three large skylights. The room looked like a Moroccan brothel, or at least what she imagined one would look like.
The fifteen other girls in the room, sitting on the floor or on cushions that looked like bean bag chairs, just stared at her. They were all dressed in exotic costumes that looked like they were made for belly dancers. Andi sighed. She had to get out of this place. Maybe she should just leave tonight. Then she looked more closely at the other girls. Only one of them looked Middle Eastern. The rest were Caucasian, probably American or English--light complexioned with blonde, light brown, or red hair and were her age or younger. They were all lovely. Most wore a look of fear, while a few of them had the vacant look of numbness and defeat. Andi’s heart went out to them and she sighed again. These girls needed her help.
“You will sign the papers of marriage 
so that I have the legal right to keep you.
 Then you will pleasure any man I
 present you to, without complaint
 and without question,
 starting with me tonight.”
 Andi cringed, hating the thought of him, 
or any man but Levi, touching her.
 “I’m an American citizen, you know. 
I do have rights.” “You have rights
 in your own country. But in this country,
 women have no rights. The only way
 to survive is to do as you are told.”

I've added a few more excerpts that extends into the later part of the book. Human trafficking is very real...and girls (and boys) from all over the world are being taken! Please be aware of this and help in any way you can!

Kudos to Pepper O'Neal for moving right to the heart of the matter for her novel! She's done a fantastic job of the "mechanics" of these activities! This is an important book spotlighting the most dangerous criminal activity that exists!

Highly recommended!


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