by Bethany-Kris Guzzi Legacy, #3
Publication Date: September 2, 2019
Genres: Adult, STANDALONE, Romantic Suspense, Organized Crime. Erotic Romance
Cover Reveal Credits: Lee Ching @Under Cover Designs
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A made man versus the cartel …
The job was simple—a contract from a powerful crime family to retrieve Valeria Lòpez. A woman believed to have been forcibly taken by one of the major cartels in Mexico. Easy enough, right?
Christopher Guzzi thought so, but the details made it difficult. He didn’t expect to trick his way into the path of the cartel leader only to develop feelings for the woman he was meant to recover. That leader’s wife. Every step he takes is risky, and one wrong move could leave them both dead. Too bad that’s not enough to keep him away from Valeria as he tries to find a way to free her.
Hope is a dangerous thing. Love is even worse.
Here, everybody plays dirty. No one can be trusted. So, how do they get out alive?
Note: Chris is book 3 in The Guzzi Legacy. It is a standalone novel.
EXCLUSIVE REVEAL EXCERPT
“Sorry to keep you waiting,” Gian said, giving Chris a wave to enter the office first, “shall we get started?”
Dare picked up the remote on his desk and pointed it at the screen once Chris and his father entered the office. The picture changed when he pressed a button, showcasing Andino in a tux, a woman in a white wedding dress, and a little girl between them being held by a black-haired, beautiful woman with a wide smile.
And God, yeah, beautiful didn’t do the woman justice. Her joyful smile brightened her delicate features, and her black hair had a glossy sheen under the sunlight. Tall, and curvy, the lavender dress she had picked for the day hugged her body and showed off all kinds of leg.
With only a picture, Chris thought whoever had taken it had captured the woman’s beauty, her confidence, and her womanly appeal all at the same time.
Quite a feat.
“Valeria Lòpez,” Cree said when Dare stayed quiet. “Formerly Gomez, but she changed it after a forced marriage to Jorge Lòpez at fifteen when the cartel killed her mother down in Mexico, it became a means to blackmail her father. Or, those are the details we have.”
“That’s all we had,” Andino muttered.
“Right,” Dare said, nodding at Andino, “and so this is what we’re working on. Somehow, around sixteen from what we understand, Valeria was pregnant, and ran away from her husband, and the cartel. She found her way to the States, and we don’t know how. What we do know is her daughter was born in the States, and at some point, she met Haven Murphy.”
“Marcello, now,” Andino added under his breath.
That name rang a bell.
Chris looked to Andino. “Your new wife?”
Andino nodded. “The two happened to be roommates for quite a while before I came along, Valeria worked for Haven, and one night she came home … seemed like Val up and left and so did—”
Dare pressed a button, and the screen changed to a single picture of the little girl Valeria had been holding in the wedding picture. “Her daughter, Maria. Who is six. We cannot find anything for this little girl anywhere at the moment. No school records in Mexico, nothing for a doctor, and … yeah.”
Chris let out a heavy breath as he took in the black-haired, brown-eyed child. She looked all of maybe five on the screen if that. Cute, with a wide, toothy smile, and her arms high in the air as her yellow summer dress spun around her legs.
“Jorge Lòpez is her father,” Dare said, “but what’s important is … Valeria ran from the cartel, we’re aware she was forced into marriage, and at some point, they took her again. We have every reason to believe she is back with the cartel.”
“Might she want to be there?” Chris asked.
“Possibly,” the man returned, “but you must figure that out when you get inside, won’t you?”
Gian hummed under his breath beside his son. “And that’s why you want me here, isn’t it? Being the boss of the Guzzis, I’m not affiliated to the Marcellos on paper as a business partner, they wouldn’t expect me to go there for her, and I could use my status and territory as a transaction for them, correct?”
“They wouldn’t suspect something’s up, no.”
Chris looked to the two Marcello men as this was their job. They had come here with it, and they wanted to retrieve the woman. “Why is she important? A cartel wife … that’s playing with fire. I’m familiar with details about the Lòpez cartel. Jorge, he’s the oldest son, and has taken over more now that his father took a step back years ago. And you want to … what, take his wife and child from him?”
Andino arched a brow, replying, “I respect the hesitance, but the woman never asked for the life they gave her. From what my wife explained, and I understood, Val stayed on the run and had been for years, which meant she had to be running from something.”
“Or someone,” Chris finished.
“Jorge, likely,” Andino agreed. “Val and Haven … she needs to know if Val is where she wants to be, is safe, and happy. And if she is, fine, we leave it alone. But if she isn’t, and if she needs help, that’s what you’re here to do.”
Chris cleared his throat and nodded once. “All right.”
Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother to four young sons, one cat, and two dogs. A small town in Eastern Canada where she was born and raised is where she has always called home. With her boys under her feet, snuggling cat, barking dogs, and a hubby calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time.
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