Today I'm excited to have material from a new release by romantic suspense author Heide Katros.
"Kiss Me Goodbye" continues the story of Nick and Stephanie which began in "Judas Kiss." For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of reading "Judas Kiss," I'll try to summarize:
The promise is simple. If Nick Andropov is willing to risk his life on a suicide mission to Afghanistan, he'll be guaranteed a new identity and U.S. citizenship. For Stephanie's sake, Nick is willing to do anything. Stephanie has no idea that Nick is training covertly for the impending mission until the morning he gets his marching orders. Shocked by that unexpected news, she is too angry to even kiss him goodbye one last time. While Nick dodges enemy fire along the mountain ranges of Afghanistan, Stephanie fights her own battles at home. She is stalked by someone who seems to know her every move. The moment Stephanie is notified that Nick died in a helicopter crash, the stalker abruptly ceases to harass her. But Stephanie is unwilling to believe that Nick is dead. During his life, he was a master at subterfuge. She begins to investigate his death and stumbles across a horrendous secret. Her discovery will do monumental international harm, and those behind it have no intention of letting Stephanie live to tell about it.
Holding both hands palms up in submission, he shook his head in denial. “Steffi, I am sorry. I know that sounds lame after all we’ve been through together. I love you. I knew it the minute I met you. I really thought I’d have more time to prepare you for this. The suddenness of the orders took me off guard. Please, don’t hate me. Give me some hope to take with me into combat.”
“You are going into combat?” Alarm turned her voice into a squeak.
“Yes, that’s what I’ve trained for these past two months. It would be suicide to venture into enemy territory without being able to defend yourself.” It was a suicide mission, but he couldn’t tell her that.
Enemy territory? It sounded so ominous. “When … when did you prepare for all this?” Pressing a hand to her lips, her eyes widened with dread. “God, where are you going?”
His gaze slid away from hers. “Most times I trained while you were at work, but sometimes I snuck out after you were asleep. It seemed fitting since we’ll be moving mostly during the nights. I learned to get along on little sleep. And I’m sorry I can’t tell you where I’ll be headed. I don’t really know myself yet.”
He dragged her back into his arms, tried to kiss her, but she twisted away and his mouth grazed her jaw line instead. Her rejection hit him with the force of a sledgehammer, but he didn’t let on. Instead, he held her close and rubbed his lips along the side of her face, loving the softness of her skin. “Please, believe me, Steffi. I didn’t mean to deceive you. I meant to tell you sooner, I just couldn’t.” It was the truth. The patriot in him told him he was doing the right thing. The lover wanted to hold on to her forever.