Dark Deceptions (A-Tac Series #1)

Dark Deceptions (A-Tac Series #1)

by Dee Davis

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Overview

A-Tac is an elite CIA unit masquerading as faculty at an Ivy League college. Brilliant, badass, and seemingly bulletproof, the members of A-Tac are assigned to the riskiest missions and the most elusive targets.

TORN BETWEEN DUTY AND DESIRE
Covert operations expert Nash Brennon has spent the last eight years trying to forget Annie Gallagher, his former field partner and the only woman he ever loved. Annie betrayed him when he needed her most, then vanished without a trace. Now suddenly she's back in the game - this time as a suspected traitor and threat to national security.
Annie's son has been kidnapped by political terrorists. The price for his life? Assassinate a UN ambassador. When Nash and his group find her, the smoldering passion between Annie and the man she swore she'd never contact again blazes out of control. But can Nash trust her? The stakes couldn't be higher: Their enemy's endgame is personal, and one false move could cost them their lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446542012
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 04/01/2010
Series: A-Tac Series , #1
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 844,829
Product dimensions: 4.22(w) x 6.82(h) x 1.04(d)

About the Author

Dee Davis has a BA in Political Science and History, and a Masters Degree in Public Administration. During a ten-year career in public relations, she spent three years on the public speaking circuit, did television and radio commercials, and lobbied both the Texas State Legislature and the US Congress. She has won the Booksellers Best, Golden Leaf, Texas Gold and Prism awards, and been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award, the Holt and two RT Reviewers Choice Awards. To date, she has sold eighteen books and three novellas.

Dee has lived in Austria and traveled in Europe extensively. And although she now lives in Manhattan, she still calls Texas home.

Read an Excerpt

Dark Deceptions


By Davis, Dee

Forever

Copyright © 2010 Davis, Dee
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446542012

PROLOGUE

Hotel Montague—Paris

So do you think we’re ever going to feel like a normal couple?” Annie asked as they stumbled back into their hotel room, Nash’s hands cupping her breasts, his breath hot against her cheek.

“Trust me, angel, normal is overrated.” He pushed her back against the wall, his thumbs rubbing heated circles through the soft silk of her halter top. “And anyway, I kind of like what we’ve got.”

“Right,” she sighed, shivering as he kissed her neck. “Sex on the run.”

“Well, it’s not like we have a lot of free time.” His mouth slanted over hers, his tongue sending fire lacing through her belly. It was always like this. Combustible. Their desire heightened by the possibility that each time could be the last.

“Maybe we should adjourn to the bedroom?” She nodded toward the doorway of the suite, and then gasped as he pushed her skirt up around her thighs.

“What’s wrong with right here? Right now?” He teased her with his fingers, the friction of satin against skin threatening instant explosion. She lifted her hips, but he pulled back, his slow smile taunting her. “Unless of course you’ve changed your mind?”

“Not on your life.” She reached up to unbutton his shirt, her fingers tracing the scars that laced his chest. Twisted mementos of their life together. “Tell me what you want,” she whispered, her breathing labored.

“You, Annie. All I ever want is you.”

“So take me,” she taunted, anticipation coiling inside her, hot and heavy. Sometimes she thought maybe she wanted something more. Something that resembled normalcy—commitment. But not now. Not in this moment. Right now all she wanted was Nash.

For a moment their passion stretched taut between them; and then, trembling with the sheer power of the feelings he evoked, she arched her back, welcoming his hands and mouth as he crushed her against him. This was what she craved. What she wanted. As long as she had Nash, she could endure anything.

Anything.

“The bed… I can’t… please.” She gasped the words as they stumbled backward, the need so intense now she thought she might die of it.

His dark eyes reflecting her passion, Nash swung her up into his arms and in two strides they were through the door and on the bed, the cool cotton sheets a counterpoint to the heat that pulsed between them.

Annie pressed against him, her eyes riveted for a moment on the mirror across from the bed and the image of their interlocked bodies moving in tandem. Two shattered souls desperately seeking release. She sighed, and then froze as something else in the mirror moved.

A shadow detached itself from the wall, and Annie dug her nails into Nash’s back, instinct and training overriding passion in an instant. Nash’s muscles tightened in response, and moving with a precision gained from years of working together, they sprang apart, a bullet smashing into the headboard between them. Annie rolled to the floor, reaching for the gun she kept strapped to her thigh. In her ardent haste she hadn’t had time to remove her weapon.

But Nash had. He’d thrown his on the table as he’d carried her to bed.

Damn it all to hell.

From her vantage point beside the bed, she couldn’t see Nash or their assailant. Which meant she needed to move. Popping up to fire a round in the direction of the shadow, she rolled out from the bed, diving for cover behind a chair as a bullet shattered a lamp just above her head.

Nash was cornered between the bed and the wall, the bed giving protection, at least for the moment, but the gunman had the advantage. He stood between them and the door, with a large wardrobe to his left blocking her from taking a clear shot.

“Well, isn’t this a pickle,” their assailant said, his accent a smooth blend of American and French. She should have known. Adrian Benoit. They’d only just been in his apartment. Looked like he was returning the favor.

“Seems we’ve got ourselves a Mexican standoff,” he drawled.

“Except that none of us are Mexican,” Nash quipped. She could see him now reflected in the mirror. And when he smiled, she realized he could see her as well. Which meant he had a plan.

“Doesn’t matter,” Benoit continued. “I’ve clearly got the advantage.”

“So what, you want us to come out with our hands up?” Nash queried, nodding almost imperceptibly toward his gun lying on the table about five feet in front of her.

“It would certainly make things easier. But what I really want are the files you stole from my computer.”

“And then you’ll let us go? Right. And I’ve got some swampland…” Nash’s laugh was harsh as he tipped his head slightly, signaling for her to stand ready. Annie nodded, already shifting her position.

“Well now, there wouldn’t be any fun in letting you live, would there?” Benoit responded, anger clouding his voice.

Annie drew a breath, rolled out from behind the chair, fired once, and then dove for the table, her hand closing around the butt of Nash’s gun. “Two o’clock,” she yelled, as she chunked the weapon overhand toward Nash, still shooting in Benoit’s direction in an attempt to provide some modicum of cover. Her ploy worked, Benoit turning to return fire as Nash emerged from behind the bed in a flying leap, intercepting the gun as it tumbled through the air.

Two seconds later and it was over. Benoit lay dead in a pool of his own blood.

“Are you all right?” Nash asked, pushing to his feet.

“I’m fine,” she said as they met halfway, Nash’s arms closing around her.

“You sure?” He ran his hands down her now trembling body, double-checking to ascertain if she’d told him the truth.

“Really. He didn’t hurt me. You were the one without the gun.”

“Evened the odds.” He shrugged, his voice buoyed by adrenaline, his smile edged with a ruthlessness that had kept him alive more times than she cared to remember. “So where were we?”

“I think that ship has sailed,” she said, her gaze falling on the body.

“I suppose you’re right,” Nash said, brushing a strand of hair from her face. “We’ve got to get out of here before someone starts asking questions. Benoit was using a silencer. But we weren’t.”

“I’ll start wiping things down.” She pulled away and reached for a pair of gloves, falling effortlessly into a pattern they’d perfected over countless operations.

“So what was it you said earlier?” Nash called from across the room where he was packing their gear, his tone teasing, the fact that they’d just survived death—again—already an afterthought. “Something about wondering if we’d ever be a normal couple?”

Despite the gravity of the situation, Annie smiled. She loved this man. With every ounce of her being. And the cold hard truth was that she wouldn’t change a single thing about their life. “I think,” she said, reaching down to retrieve Benoit’s gun, “that I just answered my own question.”



Continues...

Excerpted from Dark Deceptions by Davis, Dee Copyright © 2010 by Davis, Dee. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Dark Deceptions (A-Tac Series #1) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
wolf-lover More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Read it on 8 hours! Nash Brennon is a covert op specialist. Annie Gallagher was his partner, than on their last mission she disappeared. Nash searched for Annie and concluded that she "ran out" on him. He goes on with his life with a new special group called A-Tac. Annie goes on with her life and her son's in Colorado when her past comes back to haunt her and her son is kidnapped. The situation brings Nash and Annie back together and sparks fly. This book was so full of suspense, I could not put it down. The book takes many twist and turns and has you routing for this couple. I can not wait to read her next two books!
knittingmomof3 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
From my blog...Dark Deceptions by Dee Davis is the first novel in her A-Tac series with the second, Dangerous Desires being released in July and the third, Desperate Deeds being released in August. Dark Deceptions is the beginning of an absolutely brilliant series filled with an excellent cast of characters, just the right mix of villains and enough suspense to keep the reader thoroughly engaged from the beginning to the very end. In Dark Deceptions, the reader meets the A-Tac team, which is the CIA's most elite black-ops group. When not in the field, Nash, Emmett, Jason, Lara, Tyler, Hannah, Drake, and the head of the unit, Avery Solomon, live and teach at Sunderland College in the Aaron Thomas Academic Center, which is funded by the CIA. The team gets intelligence information that a splinter group of Al Qaeda, known as Ashad, is planning an assassination of a top U.S. government official. As more intelligence is gathered, the team learns that former CIA operative, and Nash Brennon's former partner, Annie Gallagher, is the ex-operative who has been hired. Tom Walker from Homeland Security joins A-Tac to help apprehend Annie Gallagher, seeing how he was her and Nash's handler for nine years. The team soon learns Annie is only following instructions in order to save her child. Once this truth is known, more questions are raised than answered. Is Annie to be trusted or has she gone rogue? Will Nash be able to trust her knowing that even after 8 years he cannot reconcile the fact his partner vanished, leaving him to die in Lebanon? Will Annie prove to be an asset or a liability to A-Tac? Dark Deceptions is an intricate tale masterfully constructed with a delightful ensemble of characters and equally unlikable villains, along with an intricate and suspenseful plot carefully woven to engage the reader and keep the reader guessing to the end.
dhaupt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dark DeceptionsDee Davis¿Grand Central Publishing384 pagesWhen you think of operatives working covertly for the CIA and what they do when they¿re not out there saving the free world did you ever in a million years see them as college professors. Well neither did I that is until I read Dee¿s exciting first book in her brand new series about just that. Picture our dangerous world, getting more dangerous by the minute and you have to know that somewhere out there are men and women who fight behind the scenes, take orders that may end their lives and take on the worst of the worst kind of villains and do it knowing that they are ghosts, will never be publicly acknowledged for their brave deeds and have to be content in that fact. See it now, well then you have just glimpsed Dee Davis¿s new world order with Sunderland College and more precise the Aaron Thomas Academic Center think tank created by the CIA at the forefront. Here you will find the men and women of A-Tac a black ops group of patriots who¿s sole reason for being is to see the world a safer place.Eight years ago after a successful partnership in more than one way CIA agents Nash Brennon and Annie Gallagher part ways each one thinking the other was to blame and each one thinking the other one betrayed them. But all of that has to be put aside when it becomes known that Annie is operating again in a terrorist plot against the very government she used to work for. The arrows all point this way, but there¿s doubt in the one mind that used to be able to finish her sentences as well as sleep in her bed, Nash Brennon. Dee Davis gives us a unique look at what goes on behind enemy lines even if those lines are in your backyard. Her story line/plot is a roller coaster, edge of your seat, nail biting ride that will leave your heart beating faster and your pulse racing. She gives us exciting and descriptive dialogue that fits my perception of those individuals and scenes that pop off the pages and into your mind¿s eye. Her characters are so interesting, so complicated and in some instances so tragic and in others so evil, characters that she knows elementally. Her hero Nash and heroine Annie are the couple voted most likely not to succeed, but you want them to with all your heart and as you learn their personal stories you want it even more. Her supporting characters are all equally important to the tale and you find yourself looking forward to the time when their story will be told. Her villains are cruel, vicious people who will make you cringe. Her love story is one that I particularly love, that of ex-lovers reuniting and either finding love again or realizing that love never left. Her love scenes are spicy, visceral and sizzle on the page but are never tawdry or crass.If you look for excitement in a read, you¿ll find it here. If you love the reuniting of old lovers, look no farther. If you love romance on the Sizzle Burner, here it is. If you love series where you re-connect with old friends while making new ones, start at the beginning with this new one.
DarkFaerieTales on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Quick & Dirty: An intense tale with an equal mix of romance, suspense and rapid-fire action.Opening Sentence: ¿So do you think we¿re ever going to feel like a normal couple?¿The Review:Nash Brennon leads an elite black-ops team known as American Tactical Intelligence Command (A-Tac). The team is comprised of the best covert agents in the business. They operate under cloak and dagger at an Ivy League university, waiting for the next high-level assignment to show up on their radar. The team is pulled in to stop an assassination attempt on the U. N. Ambassador and unfortunately for Nash, the assassin is someone he knows. Annie Gallagher is an ex-CIA operative with a long history with Nash. Former lovers and partners, their relationship ended on an explosive note when Anne left Nash twisting in the wind mid-op. Anne has surfaced eight years later, blackmailed into assassinating the U.N. Ambassador. Despite Annie¿s betrayal, Nash is reluctant to believe that Annie would commit treason. When Annie¿s son is kidnapped, she will stop at nothing to get her son back.Dark Deceptions is a perfect blend of action, romance, suspense, and danger that will keep readers captivated. Ms. Davis does a wonderful job of keeping the danger intense and weaves an intricate web of betrayal, espionage, and political intrigue. I especially appreciate strong female characters. It was great reading about kick-butt female operatives that had no problem going toe-to-toe with men twice their size. Annie is no mere damsel in distress, proving herself just as capable as Nash. Annie had her flaws, but overall I found her to be a very believable character. Nash on the other hand was a bit disappointing at times. I expected him to be more Alpha, but he is surprisingly agreeable. Nash is more of the cool, calm and collected variety. After certain events unfold and new things are brought to light, Nash¿s acceptance was immediate. This was a bit predictable, but not enough to detract from my enjoyment of the story. Annie and Nash have an undeniable chemistry, but they oftentimes couldn¿t see past their disagreements. It¿s an understatement to say that their relationship suffered from lack of communication and trust, which is odd given the business they¿re in. Great secondary characters and complex villains make Dark Deceptions a thrilling read.Overall, Dark Deceptions is worth reading. Ms. Davis delivers a fast-paced, action-packed thrill-ride that will leave your pulse-pounding and your heart skipping a beat. Full of suspense, twists and turns, Dark Deceptions is a strong addition to the genre.A-Tac Series1. Dark Deceptions2. Dangerous Desires (07/2010)3. Desperate Deeds (08/2010)Notable Scene:As if he¿d heard her, Drake bent down, and Annie closed an eye as she gently squeezed the trigger, the motion at once intimate and deadly, everything coming back to her with one fluid motion. She was a trained killer and nothing-not her life in Creede, not her absence from the Company, not even her love for her son-could change that fact.Using the scope, she ascertained that the man was indeed down. Nash and Drake had already pulled his body deeper into the shadows. She struggled for breath, the past and present coming together in nightmarish fashion. Angrily, she pushed away her rioting emotions. There was no time for introspection. Her son¿s life and quite possibly Nash and Drake¿s depended on her ability to keep a cool head.FTC Advisory: Hachette Book Group provided me with a copy of Dark Deceptions . No goody bags, sponsorships, ¿material connections,¿ or bribes were exchanged for my review. In addition, I don¿t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.
DunnFunKat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First book in a series about a CIA unit that masquerades as faculty at an Ivy League college which I thought was interesting. This is about a former CIA operative that has gotten out of the business and now lives in Colorado raising her son. Political terrorists kidnap her son which due to several demands of the kidnappers puts Annie back in contact with her former teammates who no longer trust her. Of course, she had a personal relationship with one of them and that brings conflict as they try to trust each other again. Good story.
DragonLibrary8 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My thoughts: I started this book 3 times - I kept it as my purse book forever (which explains why I had to keep starting it). I got to page 12 each time and then...back in my bag to wait for another chance. So finally I took it out of my bag and brought it boating with me one day! Amazing! When I took the time to sit down with this book - it was a fast, gripping read! I was so impressed. Now that I sat down with it - I read it in one day!!! So... The characters are great, I want to meet each one of them! The story rolls right along, holding you in your chair the whole time. I found myself on an emotional roller coaster with Annie as we tried to save her son's life and keep her life from falling apart on so many levels! The relationship with Nash is heartbreaking and hopeful. As always, I am looking for "the ending" I have pictured in my mind for the whole story and in this book I was thrilled to see it come through! Lots of twists and turns, intrigue and betrayal from fronts you would never expect. If you like mystery/espionage you should check this one out! I plan to get Dangerous Desires and Desperate Deeds too!
Melvin53 More than 1 year ago
I loved the whole A-Tac Series. I love being able to finish one and got right to the next one. Very good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Dee's books. The A-Tas series is my favorite though. I love ghe way her stories center around the government and the different letters of the government. This was an exciting read suspense, heartache and confusing feelings which makes for a good read for me.
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
Nash and Annie have a history - some good and some bad.  But they both tend to to dwell on the bad for the most part so they go their separate ways.  Many years later Nash finds himself on a manhunt - for Annie - who is suspected of planning an assassination on a high ranking official.  But more is at stake than he realizes- Annie's son is being held hostage and will only be released once the deed is done. Nash and Annie need to figure out if they can trust each other and let the past go to save Annie's son.  They both make so many mistakes along the way I began to give up on ever having them get together (this is a romance, we knew it had to happen somehow).  Maybe it's the black ops sub-genre, but there was just way too much doubt and what-if scenarios tossed back and forth for me.
bhm More than 1 year ago
I stumbled upon this writer looking for an exciting read. She did not disappoint. Fast paced secret government organization, A-TAC, posing as professors at a college in New York, going after a terrorist group called The Consortium. I enjoy reading books in a series where the same characters are used, just highlighting a member in each book. I have gone through the first five books with Nash, Drake, Tyler, Tuckerk, Hannah & Harrison, and now I'm reading Simon's story. Guaranteed good read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While the book is good, for me it wasn't great. The technical jargon and procedure stuff was good, but not fitting for a romance novel in my opinion. The HEA happens finally, but it was long in getting there.
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AMBokor More than 1 year ago
I loved this series, i read the frist two while on a long drive. They made time fly.
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jenDE More than 1 year ago
I'm giving this book at least 1 star because I finished it, but I thought about not. This was the first bbok I've read by Dee Davis and I won't be rusing to try another one. I like the "special ops" romantic suspese style but I've read a lot by other authors that I liked better. Such as the KGI series by Maya Banks, the Ice series by Anne Stuart and The Delta Force series by Shannon Butcher.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago