Stranger, speak softly...
Biotech tycoon Noah Gallagher has a deadly secret: his clandestine training as a super-soldier gives him abilities that go far beyond human. Yet he's very much a man. When Caro Bishop shows up at his Seattle headquarters with a dangerous secret agenda, his ordered life is thrown into chaos. Caro is a woman like no other—and her luminously sensual beauty cloaks a mystery he must solve.
Caro's lying low, evading a false charge of murder. She means to clear her name, and she'll do whatever it takes to survive—but seducing a man like Noah is more than she bargained for. His amber eyes have the strangest glow when he looks at her—she could swear he sees the secrets of her heart. The desire smoldering in Noah's eyes awakens her own secret hunger, but Caro has to resist his magnetic pull. Anyone close to her becomes a target. The only right thing to do is run, far and fast, but Caro can't outrun Noah's ferocious intensity—or deny the searing passion that explodes between them.
Nothing else matters—until a vicious enemy bent on the ultimate revenge puts his murderous plan into play. Noah and Caro must battle for their lives...and their love...
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Welcome to the secret and dangerous world of The Obsidian Files!
I’ve always loved stories about people forced to widen the idea of what it means to be a human being, as well as stories about what it would be like to be superhuman. Now that the technology to augment, enhance, even design human beings is becoming an accepted reality, it fascinates me even more.
My hero, charismatic biotech tycoon Noah Gallagher, has a deadly secret—he’s more than human. As a teenager, he was swept up into the Obsidian program, a plan to create super-soldiers using gene splicing and nanotech. Noah led the other modified kids in a desperate rebellion. They barely escaped with their lives and went deep underground.
Now, years later, Noah’s crew now hides in plain sight, careful to mask their uncanny abilities. All except for breakaway element Mark Olund, a psychopath who uses his abilities to enrich himself. Mark is a threat Noah’s group, so when Mark’s mistress, Caro Bishop, suddenly shows up near Noah’s Seattle headquarters working as a bellydancer, Noah’s sister decides that they need a closer look at her. Preferably one using Noah’s enhanced eyes.
But no one could have imagined the effect that Caro would have on him . . .
Someone just cut the lights. What the hell?
Noah Gallagher put down his pen and looked around, startled, as drums began to throb from the Angel Enterprises penthouse conference room’s hidden sound system.
The door to the conference room opened to a shimmery jingling sound, then a flash of fluttering purple. Everyone at the table was staring and murmuring.
Oh, Christ. Not possible. He rose to his feet, but the bellydancer was already halfway through the door, hands weaving in a hypnotic pattern. Wide, light-catching green eyes laughed at him brazenly as she shimmied straight toward him, leading with one pulsing hip.
Her eyes caught him . . . and held him.
The world narrowed down. Whatever he was going to say or do just stopped. Words were gone. Air was gone. Air didn’t matter. Nothing moved while she moved.
She had commandeered all movement with that smile. Those eyes.
He was sitting again, with no memory of doing so. His mind had gone blank.
Noah and his crew have been genetically altered and nanotech modified, with implants and neural programming, all for the purpose of creating fearless and ferocious supersoldiers. Noah fought hard to stay on top of himself and his incredible abilities, but something about Caro moves him so deeply, it compromises his hard-won self-control.
A spotlight from somewhere gilded the dancer’s body. He was enthralled by silver anklets that jingled over her small, bare feet. Gilded toenails. Shapely legs flashed between purple veils that floated from a low slung, glittering belt. The belt and top were heavy with swags of shining chains and dangling beadwork.
High, full breasts quivered, lovingly presented in the spangle-studded velvet bra. She arched back, swishing her thick fall of of glossy black hair around. Had to be fake hair, falling to well below her ass. It brushed the curve of her hips. Fanned out as she twirled.
He wanted to rip away all the scraps of filmy cloth and bling. See her bare-assed. Bare-breasted.
The deep curve of her waist was perfectly shaped for his fingers to grip. The curves and hollows of her belly and her hips looked so soft. Touchable.
His hands shook with the urge to reach, stroke. Seize.
The rush of erotic images ramped up his advanced visual processor into screaming overdrive. Even using custom designed shield specs, his AVP combat program was off and running, scrolling a thick column of data analysis past his inner eye.
The light level in this room could zap him right into a stress flashback if he didn’t protect his eyes. Plus, the dark shield strength contact lenses hid the animal flash of amber luminosity caused by his visual implants. Outsiders couldn’t be allowed to see that.
He wanted to throw everyone else out and lock the door. He wanted to gulp in the whole data flow. It was being filtered out in real time and lost forever, and it drove him . . . fucking . . . nuts.
One of Noah’s abilities is that he can see a person’s “energy signature.” His visual implants and augmented visual processing allow him to see colors and shades and subtleties that no one else can. He also has learned to interpret them. So by reading a person’s energy signature, he can sometimes also read their minds.
The dancer’s arms lifted, swayed. Her skin looked fine-grained, dewy and smooth. He inhaled her scent as she spun closer. Fresh, sweet, hot. Sun on the flowers. Rain on the grass.
Since what happened at Midlands, his senses were sharper than normal by orders of magnitude. He was reading her energy signature, right through the shield lenses. A cloud of brilliant moving colors surrounded her.
He felt hot, red. No control over his face. He was stuck here, nailed to the floor while everyone watched him watch her until the uncontrollable sensations subsided. Along with his colossal hard-on.
He had not felt this helpless since Midlands.
Her luminous green eyes met his and then flicked away, but the electric buzz of that split instant of intimacy jolted him to depths he’d never felt before.
He knew he’d never seen this woman before, and yet he recognized her.
Noah feels torn apart by feelings he has never experienced and has no tools to deal with. But in spite of the danger, in spite of his doubts, he has never wanted anything as badly as he wants to get closer to Caro—no matter the cost . . .
I hope you enjoy the mysterious and exciting new world of the Obsidian Files as much as I loved creating it! There is still so much yet to discover, so happy reading!
Shannon McKenna is the NYT and USA Today bestselling author of fifteen action packed, turbocharged romantic thrillers, among which are the stories of the wildly popular McCloud series. She’s also the author of the upcoming OBSIDIAN series, the first of which, RIGHT THROUGH ME, comes out in July of 2016. She loves tough and heroic alpha males, heroines with the brains and guts to match them, villains who challenge them to their utmost, adventure, scorching sensuality, and most of all, the redemptive power of true love.
Since she was small she has loved abandoning herself to the magic of a good book, and her fond childhood fantasy was that writing would be just like that, but with the added benefit of being able to take credit for the story at the end. The alchemy of writing turned out to be messier than she'd ever dreamed, but what the hell, she loves it anyway, and hopes that readers enjoy the results of her alchemical experiments. She loves to hear from her readers.