Thursday, August 6, 2015
Hard As Ice (Fortis #1) by Raven Scott
A covert ops specialist, a cyber-surveillance expert, and an unmatched international security and recovery pro. These are the men of Fortis. When money is no object, discretion is essential, and the police are not an option, the wealthy and powerful call on this trio of former government agents with elite military training—not to mention charm and good looks…
Former CIA agent Evan DaCosta is ready to continue his life of adventure, intrigue, and service. That means joining Fortis—and taking on the recovery of precious jewels stolen from a prestigious auction house. The list of suspects is long, but Evan is focused on the possibility of an inside job. Now he’ll have to go undercover and stay close to the gorgeous business manager, Nia James.
A gifted salesperson, Nia worked hard to get where she is today. Now, with her career at stake, a target on her back, and Evan watching her every move, she’s feeling the pressure and the heat. As Nia and Evan become intensely entangled, can they survive the secrets and threats standing in their way or will they run out of time?
Evan hung up and checked the time again. With one more hard glance at the subject, he checked the clip of
his Glock and slid it smoothly in the small belt holster secured against the right side of his back. He added his suit jacket before leaving the hotel room.
In the lobby, the concierge gave him a friendly nod.
“How are you doing, Mr. DaCosta?” asked the middle-aged man, well dressed in a tailored suit.
“I’m good, Carlos. How are you?” Evan replied smoothly.
“Very good, sir. Shall I get your car for you?”
Carlos waived at one of the valet attendants to request Evan’s car to be brought around.
Worthington was an easy enough walk into the center of downtown, but Evan’s cover required the image of wealth and prestige, and that didn’t include a brisk walk in balmy May weather. His leased car, a sleek black Bentley, was brought to the front door within a few moments, and Evan smoothly made his way through
the streets of Boston.
The Worthington Gallery and Auction House was a small chain owned by Edward Worthington. It had expanded from a single storefront operation based in Connecticut into a national player in the world of arts, jewelry, and estate auctioning over the last twenty years. They now had five locations across the country, a solid reputation, record sales, and plans to expand into Europe. All of that was now in jeopardy. Two nights ago, their Boston office was robbed in a meticulously executed jewelry heist. The thieves managed to enter the warehouse undetected and break into a digital safe, all while bypassing the state-of-the art surveillance and security system.
The stolen jewelry included a white diamond necklace with a rare 13.16 carat pear-shaped red diamond in the center, known as the Crimson Amazon. The piece was scheduled to be exhibited around the world prior to the auction at the end of August. According to appraisals and expert opinion, that necklace alone should fetch over twenty-five million dollars. Along with a broader collection of rare and high-end jewelry pieces, the summer event was now anticipated to be one of the highest-value auctions in years, certainly the biggest in Worthington’s history. It would put the company solidly on the map as a major North American player.
Within twelve hours of discovering the robbery, Edward Worthington hired Fortis. Evan and his team of highly trained protection and asset recovery specialists now had under six weeks to find the thieves and recover the jewels intact. As with most of Fortis’s assignments, confidentiality and discretion were critical. If Worthington’s clients or anyone in the industry discovered this massive breach in security, the auction house would be ruined. Which meant police involvement was not the preferred option at this stage. Fortis had the skills and resources in security, surveillance, investigations, and threat neutralization to quickly and stealthily deliver services to their high-end clients, all without the bureaucratic restrictions of law enforcement.
About the Author
RAVEN SCOTT is married with two daughters and two dogs, living in the beautiful city of Burlington, Ontario, in the greater Toronto area. She discovered her love of fiction at an early age, devouring hundreds of books over the years. She reads everything from historical and contemporary romance to mystery, sci-fi and suspense. By the time Raven finished University, she had her own stories brewing in her imagination. Writing became a satisfying hobby, then a fulfilling career. When Raven isn't reading or writing, you can find her outside with her family. Find out more at www.ravenscottbooks.com, or visit her on Facebook and Twitter @ravenscottbooks.