She used to work for the US government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was part of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.
Now she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. Something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.
When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking on one last job. To her horror, the information she acquires makes her situation more dangerous.
Preparing for the toughest fight of her life, she finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. With her choices dwindling, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.
Excerpt taken from the book cover.
Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking
A man gets “roofied” by a woman who is kidnapping him. She injects him with sedative a few times to make him compliant or sleepy, then injects him with a stimulant to wake him when needed. More drugs in a syringe are used to cause him immense pain that has him writhing and screaming immediately.
A woman creates and takes a drug that is similar to adrenaline. It helps block pain and contains opiates. She uses this a few times throughout the book and gives it to others also.
A man buys wine for a dinner he makes and goes to give some to a woman but she declines. He has a small amount.
A small group of teenage boys walk into a gas station smelling of beer and marijuana. They look at the liquor. A woman bumps into one of them and he smells of whiskey. She preps a syringe to inject him so she can escape. The boy has both hands on her upper arms. A man comes in with a gun in his pants and scares them off.
A woman wishes she were a smoker after an intense situation. She wants the calm it can provide.
Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty
After kidnapping a man, a woman undresses him looking for a tracker. She admires his muscles. She fumbles with his pants because he is on his stomach. She then takes off his underwear and throws all of his clothes behind a log on the side of the road. Later in the story she needs to place a catheter. He is restrained to a table naked.
A man admits to seeing a hooker in the past.
A man puts both hands on the counter, pinning a woman between them. He then leans in for a kiss. He later takes her cheeks and kisses her gently. She wraps her arms around him and pulls him closer. He picks her up and sits her on the counter while they keep kissing. She wraps her legs around him and runs her fingers through his hair. He kisses her throat, head, temples, nose, cheek, ear. They kiss multiple times like this throughout the book.
A man and woman climb into bed together, not to be intimate but to be close to each other. The woman does wonder if they’ll be able to get to be that intimate someday. Later in the book they lie down in the back of a large car together to sleep. They snuggle in close to each other and very passionately kiss, her needing to be closer and closer to him. He rolls on top of her and groans and accidentally rips her shirt. Later, she needs to run out of the car quickly and is worried about being seen in only a bra. They kiss again, her wanting to sit in his lap but instead settles for running her fingers through his hair. He holds her face and kisses her neck and eyelids. He says sex is not his endgame.
There is another instance where they sleep in the same bed together and snuggle and touch each other and kiss. She says it was inevitable that they couldn’t stay apart any longer. She is referring to them having sex but it is so very vague most readers probably wouldn’t catch it. She thinks of sex as, “a single event that had a defined end, an effort at physical gratification that sometimes satisfied and sometimes did not.” It implies, very vaguely, that they have sex again. It refers to them not wasting any time they have together.
A woman remembers her first boyfriend who took her to prom, he “tried to slip (her) the tongue” in the back of the limo but was so nervous he threw up instead.
A man wraps his hand around a woman’s thigh while he drives.
A man states his ex-wife had multiple affairs before they divorced. He divorced her when he learned she was pregnant with another man’s child.
A woman wears a very short kimono. Two men watch her walk up some stairs. She is said to be a hooker. One man sleeps in the same room as her. Sex is implied.
A woman lays her torso on a marble counter while talking to a man. She rolls along it and most likely gives him a view beneath her kimono.
A man and woman sleep in the same bed together. When the man wakes he kisses her neck. They start undressing each other, the woman wanting to feel his skin against hers. The woman suggests a bath together.
A man jokes and asks how many virgins were sacrificed to make a woman look a different way with makeup and a wig. A woman (prostitute) responds that virgins aren’t useful for anything.
A woman kisses a man long and hard, so much so that people around them start looking away.
Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood
A woman steals books from a library.
A woman realizes she’s comfortable with killing, she finds it satisfying. She even admits to herself she’s bloodthirsty.
A woman sets up a dummy body in a bed then sleeps in the bathtub with a gun and a gas mask on her face. She has chemical booby traps set about the apartment. She sets the booby traps multiple times throughout the book.
There was a “killing gas” sent through the vents of a lab that killed one man and meant to kill a woman also. He screamed as he died, warning her. The woman had three more attempts on her life from three different men, one with a gun, a knife and a crowbar. She killed them all with her chemical booby traps.
A woman pretends she is the victim of an abusive boyfriend.
A woman has a fake crown on her teeth with a poison similar to cyanide in it. It is her last resort if she is caught by her enemies. Her jewelry is deadly also, with barbs in rings for a weapon, earrings hold a poisonous substance, her necklace could be used to garrote a person, and her bag handles can also be used. She hides syringes of poison in her belt, scalpel blades in her pockets, shoe blades, pepper spray and another spray more debilitating, a perfume bottle that releases gas and many more.
A man’s parents were killed by a drunk driver. He had a brother thrown in prison for drug charges only 5 months after their deaths. He married, then soon divorced when his wife was pregnant with another man’s child. During this time, the brother in prison dies in a prison fight.
A woman makes money by illegally helping people administer drugs not approved by the FDA, or she removes bullets when the victim doesn’t want the police involved. A man she tried to save had a bullet to his left ventricle but he died.
A woman gives a man a shot of something to make his inhibitions go down and she is able to kidnap him. She takes him to a makeshift facility where she has made a padded room, restraints on a metal table, multiple plans for chemically coercing him and it’s in the middle of nowhere. She places a catheter in him then puts puppy training pads on the floor because she plans on him vomiting and bleeding. When he is awake, she threatens him with her tools, showing him bolt cutters and a welding torch. Using a syringe, she injects lactic acid into multiple parts of his body and it causes extreme pain immediately, causing him to scream and writhe.
A woman is grabbed and shoved back enough that she hits her head as she falls. She is face-down on the floor and someone grabs her wrists and pulls her arms up, pinning her. To stop her from moving he smacks her in the back of the head with something hard and she hits the floor and cuts her lip. She hopes he slits her throat, she thinks that will be less painful. She uses her boot barb and wrist knife to get at him. She is thrown to the ground and breaks her nose. The man she is fighting is carrying an assault rifle, an HDS, and a Sig Sauer. At one point, he takes the Sig, puts it under her chin and knocks her against the wall. He also has a very large dog that obeys his every command and is highly intimidating. He puts his gun at the nape of her neck. He manhandles her to get her to go places he wants her to, and ties her up. He then knocks her onto the ground and rights her again. He backhands her. A chemical is released in the air and the man and his dog go down. The woman ties him up. She finds a tracker in one man’s upper thigh and cuts it out. He has injuries from thrashing against his restraints. A man backhands another man.
A man has multiple guns and rifles stashed in a secret barn. He takes another man and a woman shooting behind the barn.
A man trains his dogs to protect people. This can entail knocking a person down and biting their neck among other things.
Someone shoots a gun through a screen door. The people inside grab their own guns. A woman sees blood and brain splatter on the wall and knows one of her friends was killed. They are shot at again when crawling out, trying to escape. The woman tears up when she worries about multiple dogs getting shot. Many dogs were released to get the shooter. The woman hears yelling, shooting then screaming. They make it to a stash of guns and ammo and load up.
One car deliberately runs into another car. The dogs in their car go flying, getting injured. The other car rolls. The passengers are very injured, very bloody. One has his neck bent unnaturally, another was alive and the woman shoves a gun in his face. When he goes for his gun, she shoots him in the shoulder. He screams, then she shoots him through his hand. One of the dogs then attacks his shoulder. When he gives her the info she needs she shoots him twice in the head. She comes across a dog that is bloody but alive. She throws a canister of gas in the house to clear the first floor. She then comes across two men who opened the door on her chemical booby trap and are passed out from the gas. She zip ties their hands and feet. She is attacked by one man but her gas-filled earrings break and burn his eyes and throat. She shoots his thigh. She shoots the other man twice in the head. One tries to escape and she clubs him on the back of the head with bolt cutters. He passes out. She puts a bullet in his kneecap then ties him up again. Trying to get information, the woman places bolt cutters on the man’s finger. She cuts. He gasps and pants but doesn’t scream. He admits he went to another address first and killed an elderly couple but that it only cost him two bullets. He finds a blade but she shoots while he goes for her. She felt her own blood and the man’s but kept shooting till she was out of bullets. A man shoots another man when he was trying to run away. They torch the house and the bodies to get rid of fingerprints and any more evidence. They need to stitch up a few cuts and do the same for a dog. There are multiple wounds like this throughout the book.
A man and woman steal a car but leave their car in return.
A man pulls a gun on a couple in bed. He’s aiming at the woman, so the man in bed gets in front of the gun and pulls his own gun on the other man.
A man has a second secret hideout for a place to stash guns, ammo, explosives, knives, clothes and necessities. A woman finds chemicals and replenishes her stash. The man asks her if she can use her chemicals on someone to help steal some supplies from a truck. He ends up borrowing her chemicals and uses them on a driver of a hospital supply truck. The man was unconscious for about two hours. They steal multiple items to aid them if they get shot.
A man says I love you to his girlfriend on the phone and his brother gets grossed out and threatens him with a knife. He’s somewhat kidding, somewhat not.
A woman returns back to the place she’s staying and her roommate is sharpening his machete, then a large knife.
A man and woman casually debate about killing a VP candidate who is possibly dirty and someone they’re looking for. They plan on her creating a chemical poison (he requests it be very painful) and for him to implement it. They choose to poison one man’s smoking patches, and another man’s orange juice. It will cause them to have a heart attack and die, or something similar, which is what they’re going for. They need something that will look like natural causes. This poison was created because sometimes her department needed to dispose of a subject after interrogation but needed it to look natural.
A woman discovers someone is on to them when one man in her group goes missing. She is worried he is being tortured. She ends up poisoning a man’s adult daughter and child and taking the 3 year old. Both are asleep. It will appear like the woman has had a seizure. She gives the child a shot of something to keep her asleep.
When she finds the man who is missing, he is strapped to an interrogation table, naked, sweaty and bloody. He has burn lines down his chest. He’s been cut along his ribs and then something like acid was poured on them. The bottoms of his feet are blistered and white from acid. He has a toe missing. To silence the tortured man, another man stabs a finger in one of the wounds. She then puts a chemical into his IV line and he starts screaming. The man is acting, playing along so she can help him escape. She injects a man standing nearby with something that makes him convulse and scream. He is going to painfully die. Many shots are fired. When the woman gets a look, all she sees is blood all over multiple men and the walls. One man uses a chemical from a ring she had made that injected two men with something lethal. The man she knows is shot right through the heart. She assumes he is dead. Blood is oozing everywhere. She can smell death and blood around her and another man is on his way to dying. During their escape, a man shoots a guard twice in the head.
The nicotine patches end up killing the man they were going for. He dies of an aneurysm. The orange juice was never poisoned for the other man.
A man says he was too stressed out to enjoy killing the man that had been hunting him.
Potentially Intense Themes
A woman lives her life on the run with multiple alias’. Because of her life on the run, she contemplates “not having to open her eyes again,” and the darkness and freedom that go with it.
There is a biological threat.
A superflu virus is created, and it is very deadly. A group of people worry it will be released in America.
A woman is known for being able to get information out of people without physically marking them, but severely torturing them.