Desire is the most dangerous sensation of all.

With tensions between the Federation and Imperial ‘Verses rising, one woman may hold the key to victory. The dangerous mission to smuggle her out of Imperial Territory falls to Daniel Haws and his team, the ultra secret Phantom Corps. This elite squad of the Federation Military is the only one trusted and skilled enough to remove her from under the watchful eye of her father, the Supreme Commander of the Imperial ‘Verses.

Carina is used to wearing a mask. Her father and his men think her little more than a pretty prize to be won by a man more ruthless than the rest. When he announces his intention to marry her to one of his henchmen, a man known for his cruelty, Carina knows she has to move as soon as possible to get out. But getting secret information to the Federation has served her well for years and she appeals to them for help.

She expected rescue from a man who’d been her enemy. But she wasn’t prepared for just how intense her attraction to Daniel Haws would be. Born as adversaries into different ranks, and on the run for their lives, they now need each other to survive–by holding on to the only thing they have in common: a growing desire that is dangerous, irresistible, and insatiable…

Copyright 2010, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group
Releasing July 6, 2010

After her escape from the dinner, Carina escorted her mother to her rooms, and they’d shared a cup of tea. Esta would be called to attend to Ciro when he finished with the reception, so they’d stolen those moments to try to decompress and pretend not to be concerned that the Federation hadn’t shown up yet. The walk back to her own rooms was quiet. Carina ignored her guards the best she could and went directly inside, locking the door behind her.

Now finally alone, she brushed her hair and readied to sleep.

She’d dismissed her attendants as she’d left for the reception, so there was no one else to worry about just then. Which was good since she had plenty to worry over as it was.

The evening had left her unsettled, impatient. Time was running out! Hartley had managed to fondle her breast at one point, squeezing so hard he’d caused her pain. At the sound of distress, he merely smiled and stepped back, licking his lips and nearly sending her meal bolting from her belly. Thinking back, she should have thrown it up all over him. But knowing him, he’d have enjoyed it.

Alone in the pale light, she realized no matter how crafty and brave she thought she might be, this was beyond her, and it could very well be her undoing.

It would do no good to pace anymore. She needed some rest, or she wouldn’t be able to keep up the mask with her father. After a quick sleeping draught, she turned out the lamps and climbed into her bed. Sleep came quickly but was fraught with ugly thoughts and dreams of disappearing.

Jolting her from a nightmare, a hand touched her and then pressed against her lips. She came fully awake, thrashing until a voice whispered to her.

“Be still. Terra roses await you.”

At the sound of the code words her mother had told her to expect, Carina obeyed.

“Be still a moment until your eyes adjust.”

Despite the curt nature of his order, she knew he was right. Slowly, her eyes adjusted to the dim light and she saw who’d spoken.

Sharp green eyes took her in and she nearly recoiled. Him? Mortimer whatever his name was? That silly fop? They wouldn’t get five steps down the hall!

When he spoke again, she began to realize her error. “We must move fast. Do you have a bag of any kind?”

This man was not the same. His voice was different. Clipped. Hard.

He had none of that softness she’d witnessed earlier that evening.

No, the man in her room had perceptive eyes. His movements as he checked the room were predatory. Gone were the outlandishly silly clothes, the gaudy jewels on his fingers. In that man’s stead was one wearing dark clothing clinging to a body she was quite sure would be as magnificent without them as inside them.

This man was not Mortimer at all, and she realized this man would get her free. Hope surged through her veins.

Her dry mouth searched for words, stumbled and found her voice.

“I . . . yes. My mother told me to. It’s here.”

He looked her up and down and shook his head. “Princess, we cannot run very fast with you in that frilly gown. Do you have pants or boots? Those slippers will be a disaster.” The disdain was clear and she felt anger rising within, hot and mighty.

She wasn’t proud that her whispered reply was less than polite. “I was sleeping. I don’t sleep in pants. It’s not as if I knew you’d finally arrive today.”

His mouth may have curved into a slight smile, but she wasn’t sure if it was hope or an illusion. “Whatever you say. Sorry my schedule wasn’t fast enough for you. Let’s move. Get your ass dressed. We have little time. Do you have the information?” He turned his back as she got up. At least he had some manners.

She pushed past where he stood, taking up all the air in the room in a most disconcerting way. “My clothes are inside the passageway. The information is inside me, chipped. You can’t get it without me, so don’t get any ideas. How did you get in here?”

“The passageway. Clever. Your mother assured us your father and his people do not know of it. I hope for all our sakes she’s right. Go on in and change. I’m going to do a few things.”

She tried not to fl ounce off, but she probably did, and that only frustrated her more. Just as she reached the crawl space, he spoke again.

“By the way, princess, if I wanted you dead, you’d be dead. I’m not a villain; I’m your only hope of survival. Don’t forget that.” He turned his back on her and began to fuss with the bedding.

One comment to “Excerpt: PHANTOM CORPS: INSATIABLE”

  1. Christine
    May 6th, 2010 at 6:49 pm · Link

    Wow what a way to make an escape. I can’t wait. Only a little more time