The Phoenix Encounter. Linda Castillo

The Phoenix Encounter - Linda  Castillo

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      One agent is already missing, and now the U.S. government’s most confidential secret is in danger of falling into a power-hungry dictator’s hands.

      The top-secret agents of ARIES are the world’s only hope.

      Agent Robert Davidson: He’s never let anything distract him from a mission, but finding Lily Scott—the woman he loved and thought he had lost—still alive has shaken him to the core. He wants the truth—and her—and is determined to have both.

      Lily Scott: She’d never thought she would see Robert again or feel that familiar surge of desire. But now he’s here, asking questions about her life and her son that she isn’t prepared to answer.

      Samuel Hatch: Though pleased to be getting closer to finding his missing operative, the astute ARIES director is troubled by the ominous undertakings of the Rebelian government. If only he could reach Morrow and learn the meaning of the doctor’s last message…

      General Bruno DeBruzkya: The power-hungry dictator isn’t only interested in possessing rare jewels. He wants Lily Scott and her son in his clutches—dead or alive.

      Dear Reader,

      “In like a lion, out like a lamb.” That’s what they say about March, right? Well, there are no meek and mild lambs among this month’s Intimate Moments heroines, that’s for sure! In Saving Dr. Ryan, Karen Templeton begins a new miniseries, THE MEN OF MAYES COUNTY, while telling the story of a roadside delivery—yes, the baby kind—that leads to an improbable romance. Maddie Kincaid starts out looking like the one who needs saving, but it’s really Dr. Ryan Logan who’s in need of rescue.

      We continue our trio of FAMILY SECRETS prequels with The Phoenix Encounter by Linda Castillo. Follow the secret-agent hero deep under cover—and watch as he rediscovers a love he’d thought was dead. But where do they go from there? Nina Bruhns tells a story of repentance, forgiveness and passion in Sins of the Father, while Eileen Wilks offers up tangled family ties and a seemingly insoluble dilemma in Midnight Choices. For Wendy Rosnau’s heroine, there’s only One Way Out as she chooses between being her lover’s mistress—or his wife. Finally, Jenna Mills’ heroine becomes The Perfect Target. She meets the seemingly perfect man, then has to decide whether he represents safety—or danger.

      The excitement never flags—and there will be more next month, too. So don’t miss a single Silhouette Intimate Moments title, because this is the line where you’ll find the best and most exciting romance reading around.


      Leslie J. Wainger

      Executive Senior Editor

      The Phoenix Encounter

      Linda Castillo

      This book is dedicated to my husband, Ernest, for his never-ending love and support. To my agent, Jennifer Jackson—you’re the best in the business. To my editor, Kim Nadelson—for thinking of me and always having the best ideas. To the team of talented editors at Silhouette who worked so tirelessly on this immense project—you guys are a true class act. And to my sisters in crime—Cathy, Jenna and Vickie—thanks for always being there.


      grew up in a small farming community in western Ohio. She knew from a very early age that she wanted to be a writer—and penned her first novel at the age of thirteen during one of those long Ohio winters. Her dream of becoming a published author came true the day Silhouette called and told her they wanted to buy one of her books.

      Romance is at the heart of all her stories. She loves the idea of two fallible people falling in love amid danger and against their better judgment—or so they think. She enjoys watching them struggle through their problems, realize their weaknesses and strengths along the way and, ultimately, fall head over heels in love.

      She is the winner of numerous writing awards, including the prestigious Maggie Award for Excellence. In 1999, she was a triple Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist and took first place in the romantic suspense division. In 2001, she was an RWA RITA® Award finalist with her first Silhouette release, Remember the Night.

      Linda spins her tales of love and intrigue from her home in Dallas, Texas, where she lives with her husband and three lovable dogs. Check out her Web site at Or you can contact her at P.O. Box 670501, Dallas, Texas 75367-0501.



      Chapter 1

      Chapter 2

      Chapter 3

      Chapter 4

      Chapter 5

      Chapter 6

      Chapter 7

      Chapter 8

      Chapter 9

      Chapter 10

      Chapter 11

      Chapter 12

      Chapter 13

      Chapter 14

      Chapter 15

      Chapter 16




      Luminescent green cruise missiles streamed like bottle rockets across a violent night sky. Dual neon rainbows arced gracefully, their high-pitched whistles piercing the silence like a widow’s keening. The distant explosions made the earth tremble, a frightened giant huddling against the impending pain.

      Dr. Robert Davidson marveled at the eerie beauty as he ducked into a narrow alley between two crumbling buildings and took his usual shortcut toward the pub. He knew better than to travel in the open when the soldiers were in town. He might have come here as part of a government team to document humanitarian conditions, but that wouldn’t stop some trigger-happy young fool from putting a bullet between his shoulder blades. General Bruno DeBruzkya’s soldiers were equal opportunity killers.

      Robert had had his fill of war. He’d seen too much of it in the ten months he’d been in the war-torn country of Rebelia. Horrors he wouldn’t soon forget. Horrors that would revisit him in his sleep for a very long time to come. He’d done what he could to ease the pain and suffering of the innocents caught in the crossfire, but time had run out. After months of unrest, civil war had finally erupted. Just that morning DeBruzkya had ordered all Americans out of the country—or suffer the consequences.

      Robert didn’t have to be told twice.

      But it wasn’t the war raging all around that claimed his thoughts as he passed by the deserted marketplace and jay-walked toward the old church across the street. His harried pace had absolutely nothing to do with the dangers of traveling at night in an area teeming with hostile soldiers, small-weapons fire, and the occasional blast of a mortar round. Robert had to reach Lily. Had to convince her to leave with him. To get on that last plane out.

      Before it was too late.

      He knew her well enough to expect an argument. American journalist Lily Scott was not the kind of woman to duck and run when the going got tough. She thrived on hardship; she was at her best when the chips were down and the odds were stacked against her. Give her a cause, and she would fight to the end.


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