Romantic SuspenseDate Published: 3/15/13
When lives are on the line, sometimes the wrong thing is the right thing to do.Born into a Chicago cop family, Angela DeLuca gets her rush from saving lives while her brothers get theirs from catching the bad guys. A tough beauty with a heart perhaps too big, she champions the underdog because, as the youngest of six siblings, she often felt like one.
ICE Special Agent Troy Deavers became a cop to prove he wasn’t like his father—a southern politician who brought his family down with greed and corruption. He doesn’t suffer victims well. At first intrigued by Angela’s passion, he soon fears that the fire in Angela’s heart will be her undoing.
What happens when Troy falls in love with the lovely but infuriating Angela, the Chicago paramedic who insists on protecting a young witness and her unborn baby—a witness who could break his case wide open?
You met the DeLuca family in heartbeats, now come to know them even better in ICE blue.
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Excerpt 1: ICE blue by Susan Rae
A rush of adrenalin shot through Angela as she approached the accordioned car where a cop stood, adamantly motioning her over.
“What’ve we got?” she asked the officer. Another man, not a cop or rescue personnel, she presumed, as he wore no uniform jacket—hell, he wasn’t wearing a jacket at all—stood beside the officer, his back to her. His head and arms disappeared into the opening where the driver’s window should be. Blood, bright red and vibrant against the white snow, trickled from beneath the door at the man’s feet…
She touched the shoulder of the man leaning through the window.
“Hey, it’s okay, we’ll take it from here.”
The guy didn’t seem to hear her. More rescue vehicles were arriving on scene, sirens blaring.
She called more loudly. “Hey, I said we’ve got it!”
Finally he turned and gave her a quick assessment. She could swear she saw a touch of amusement in those blue-green eyes he flashed at her.
“Listen, lady, if I ease up on this,” he said smoothly, “this guy’ll bleed out.” Turning his back to her, he said to the driver, “Hang in there, buddy. I’ve got you covered…
Angela squeezed her arm in beside the man-in-the-window’s shoulder and pressed her fingers against the driver’s throat. He was tachy. His skin cold and clammy.
Withdrawing her hand, she bent, unzipped her jump bag, and grabbed a handful of trauma dressings. “Listen, thanks for your help,” she said firmly to the man beside her, “but, we’ve got it now.” She ripped a couple of gauze packs open with her teeth and added, “You’d better get into a warm car yourself or we’ll be treating you next.” The guy’s wavy, mid-length hair and cotton-shirted shoulders were quickly becoming coated with snow. It was clear he wasn’t from around here given his lack of outerwear.
He cocked his head toward her again and this time there was no mistaking that amused look. Angela shot him her most official glare. Her hands, loaded with supplies, were poised, ready to do battle just as soon as he got the hell out of her way.
His eyes narrowed ever so slightly on her. He glanced back into the car to where Josie was squeezing in through the passenger window and settled his gaze once more on Angela. “If you’re sure you’re ready?”
Shit! Was this guy for real? “Out of my way!” she ordered.
“Fine, he’s all yours.”
Before she was barely aware of it, he had backed out of the window and was holding his bloodied hands up into the air.
With an irritated shake of her head, she shoved past him, head and hands diving through the open window. With the pressure released, blood soaked more quickly through the jacket. She eased the jacket aside to expose the gash and slammed the gauze dressing against the pulsing artery. In the slight gap that remained of the front passenger compartment, Josie ripped I.V. packages open and readied a needle to pump the guy with fluids.
The driver started to shake, shock taking hold.
“Hold on there, buddy,” she called to him, but he drifted into unconscious; his eyes rolled back in his head. The sweet smell of warm blood against the crisp frigid air burned Angela’s nostrils. She felt a chill snake up her own spine. She and Josie were locked in a battle against time and the cold—they had to keep this guy alive until Rescue could get him out of here.
Glancing out the window, she noted that Mr. Helpful was gone. Thank God!
“Where the hell are those Jaws?” she yelled at the officer.
It’d been a long night. She’d already lost one patient on her watch; she’d be damned if she’d lose another.
Copyright © 2013 by Susan Rae
Excerpt 2: ICE blue by Susan Rae
Morning light peeked around the edges of her window blinds when next she opened her eyes. With a start, she realized she must have drifted off to sleep again. Glancing at her bedside clock, she feared the worst—the sun didn’t rise in mid-January in Chicago until almost eight.
The digital clock glared seven forty-five.
She’d planned to be at the clinic by seven to make sure everything was set for the first patients. She must have turned off the alarm in her sleep. It was crazy how the tone alarm at the station could have her jumping out of bed, but at home she slept right through her own alarm. The puppy was yelping again, quite frantically this time.
“Okay, little pup!” she called as she stumbled out of bed. “Hold on. I’m coming!” But as she took a step toward the doorway, she stubbed her toe on one of the boots she’d kicked off the night before.
“Damn,” she swore. Tell yourself again what a great idea accepting the puppy was.
In the kitchen, the puppy’s frenzied state had him scratching at his grate. “Shush,” she scolded him. “Settle down or you’ll wake the neighbors, if there could possibly be any still asleep.”
Bending to open his crate, she reached in to grab him, but he scooted past her, making a beeline for the back door of the condo. She hurried after him. Why on Earth he chose the back door when so far they’d only used the front door for his little trips outside was beyond her. There was no grass out back, just an asphalt courtyard which led to the new garages the rehab outfit had built for the condo owners.
“Settle down, little pup!” she scolded. She really should come up with a name for him, she couldn’t call him little pup forever. She caught up with him at the door and scooped him up, but not before noticing the little puddle he’d left on the wooden floorboards in his excitement to get out.
“Seriously? Could you give me a break here?”
She tried to be mad at him, but when he looked at her with those soulful little black eyes, she just couldn’t. Pulling him up against her, she rubbed his fur against her cheek and smiled.
“You’re going to be the death of me yet,” she said, not unkindly. She turned to grab a paper towel from the kitchen, but the puppy still wouldn’t settle in her arms. He kept turning his head to yap at the door. “Shush,” she admonished him again.
At last he quieted. It was then that she heard it—the tiniest little mewing coming from the other side of the door.
“What in the world...? Is that what has you so excited?”
Turning once more to the door, she placed a hand over the puppy’s muzzle and listened more closely. Sure enough, the mewing came again.
She slid a couple of slats of the blinds aside, squinting at the beam of sunlight that streamed in from where it peeked over the low buildings behind hers, and scanned the rear area. Her gaze moved over the back porch, to the stair area, and then below it to the asphalt pavement of the courtyard below. Nothing moved.
The mewing stopped and then started up again. Angela frowned. The raspy mewing sounded suspiciously like a cat.
“Great.” She sighed. “Just what I need, a cat to go along with the dog!”
Tucking the puppy under one arm, she unlocked the door, opened it a crack, and looked down.
A cardboard box lay against the threshold. The muffled mewing came from inside it. She opened the door more fully, ignoring the cold blast of air that slammed against her skin, and knelt to explore the box.
“Well, little pup, what do we have here, do you think?”
Now that she’d discovered the box, he’d settled down and seemed just as curious as she to find out what lay inside. Carefully, she lifted the flaps, expecting at any moment for the cat to jump out at her.
But what lay inside barely moved, except for the tiny mouth in the small round face where it once more emitted the most pitiful gaspy mewing sound.
Angela’s heart rate jumped several beats. Grasping the puppy tighter, she stared into the box and emitted her own startled cry.
Copyright © 2013 by Susan Rae
Excerpt 3: ICE blue by Susan Rae
She’d finished her glass and set it down on the table.
“No, thank you. It’s getting late and I have to be up early. I’m taking on an extra shift tomorrow.” She slid her chair back. He stood too and came around the table to help her.
“I’ll drive you home. Then I’ll grab a cab and come back and retrieve my own car.”
“Really, that’s not necessary.”
“But, given the wine we drank…as a matter of fact, maybe we both should take a cab.”
She tested her bearings as she rose. She knew her limits and she was definitely not drunk. If she was, she wouldn’t think twice about calling a cab. She’d seen far too often the results of drinking and driving.
“Trust me, I’m fine.” She met his gaze straight on.
“All right,” he said at last, “but I’m taking a rain check.”
Her pulse throbbed in her neck at the look in his eyes. It was a challenge. Where did they go from here?
He retrieved her coat from the back of her chair and she tried to lighten the mood again. “Dinner was delicious. Maybe you should reconsider your line of work.”
“Maybe I should.” Then he was helping her slip into her coat. He turned her toward him, pulled the lapels closed to protect her from the cold, but his hands did not drop. Instead, he looked down at her and once again they were face to face. Angela swallowed hard. Her senses filled with the sweet scent of the wine still on his breath. It mingled enticingly with his aftershave.
“By the way, did I forget to tell you what a knockout you are in that dress?”
“Yes, I believe you did,” she replied, although she’d seen it reflected in his eyes.
He was so close now. His hands moved up to the collar of her coat, nestled it against her cheeks. “Angela DeLuca, you turn my head.”
Angela tried to ignore the sudden dizziness that assailed her. Perhaps she did, indeed, have too much wine. Her eyes closed as his lips came down to claim hers. Gentle and hard. Soft and moist. Needy and demanding.
It had been a while since she’d been kissed like this, and it felt good. But as the sensations continued to wash over her, sending a warmth tingling throughout her body, she realized she’d never really been kissed quite like this before. Troy’s kiss was tender and demanding and delicious all at once. She felt like the ice wine they’d just drunk, her juices warming to full life after being frozen in time. And she wanted more. She reached up, slipped her hands around his neck, and opened her lips to his. As his tongue moved within her, her breath caught in her throat and the sweet sensations magnified tenfold.
He ended the kiss first. Pulling back he held his forehead against hers for a moment and then lifted his head to gaze into her eyes. His eyes burned with smoky intensity and she knew without a doubt that he was as shaken by the kiss as she was. That knowledge sent her heart beating even faster.
“Rain check,” he said at last, his voice a hoarse whisper.
Despite the alarm bells that rang in her head, Angela nodded.
Without another word, he walked her to the door.
Copyright © 2013 by Susan Rae
I really enjoyed this novel. I got hooked from the very beginning. Romantic suspense definitely describes this novel. I never knew what was going to happen next whether it be with Angela and Troy's love life or their actual lives. I was hooked from the very beginning especially when Angela finds the baby on her doorstep. I mean, where did this baby come from? Troy and Angela have to team up to in order to figure out the mystery behind the baby and all of the immigrant's issues that have been happening in their city even if they are placing themselves in danger.
I really enjoyed this novel and I would recommend it to everyone.