Illicit Intent by Debbie Baldwin
Calliope Garland’s newsdesk assignment was fairly straightforward—dig up the dirt on the sketchy CEO of a Wall Street hedge fund. But when the man is murdered and valuable data destroyed, a simple investigation turns deadly. Calliope is unwittingly in possession of vital financial information and a priceless work of art; either of which may get her killed. With an ever-growing list of people who want to harm her, Calliope must set aside her reservations and turn to the one man she knows can trust.
Miller “Tox” Buchanan is a study in contradictions: kind but lethal, passionate but distant, self-possessed yet hesitant. He knows he should keep his distance, but when Calliope is hurled into danger, Tox will stop at nothing to protect her.
…Her first instinct wasn’t to dial 911 but rather to call a certain Navy SEAL. She forced down the antiquated damsel in distress fantasy floating around in her head and rationalized the police would surely ask questions she was unwilling or unable to answer. She brought up her contacts. At the bottom, she touched the entry labeled, Tox, and the call rang through. A grizzly bear answered.
“This better be good.”
“I need your help…”
Be advised: this story contains scenes of violence equivalent to an R-rated movie and explicit sexual situations.
False Front by Debbie Baldwin
Back at her desk, Emma flipped through article after article on Nathan. He had so much media exposure, it was staggering; he deliberately wanted to put him- self in the spotlight, which was not like the boy she remembered.
These articles painted a picture of a man she didn’t know and didn’t particularly care for. He was on the cover of Rolling Stone after Knightsgrove-Bishop funded a huge multi-use stadium in Dubai. In the photo, Selena Gomez was shining his shoes, and Taylor Swift was filing his nails as he sat reclined in a spa chair; both women wore white lab coats with neon lingerie peeking through. New York Magazine did a feature on his arrest record: two counts of public indecency, one count of assault, one count of public intoxication.
And of course, there were the women. There were stories of kink, infidelity, broken hearts, and public catfights. Models swore they were engaged to him, a movie star left her husband for him, a royal had claimed to be pregnant by him. All the stories were sourced through the women; Nathan had never once commented. On any of them.
Coming a close second to his sexcapades, were his adrenaline rushes. He rode mountain bikes in Chang Mai, parachuted in Odessa, did a survival hike in Afghanistan, climbed K2, raced camels. His extracurriculars read like a rich playboy bucket list. As she scrolled down the posts, the man painted on the page felt wrong. Was this vapid, live-for-the-moment, roué what Nathan Bishop had become? Why? The thought made her feel … empty.
Debbie Baldwin is a successful print media and television writer. She is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Virginia School of Law.
Debbie and her husband live in Saint Louis, Missouri with their puggle, Pebbles. They have three children in college. False Front is her first novel.