The Second Lie (The Immortal Vikings #2)
by Anna Richland
A woman desperate to achieve her dreams.
To reassure wealthy clients, Christina Alvarez Mancini invented a jet-setting British owner for her Napa Valley wine collection service. Success has brought her close to buying her own winery, when irregularities at a London wine auction threaten her business.
A man in love with a good plan.
Stig, an immortal Viking thief, knows he’s found the perfect role. The California woman who created his character won’t discover what he’s up to in England until after he’s pocketed the money he needs. Then Christina walks into the auction preview, ready to ruin his plans, and he knows his boredom has ended.
Secrets that turn deadly.
By the end of the night, these two rivals must cooperate to escape kidnappers, British authorities, media and a pair of mysterious watchers. That’s when a game Stig’s played for a thousand years puts Christina’s life at risk.
Can two people whose identities are based on lies trust each other enough to survive?
Read an excerpt:
Christina discovers that escaping a locked-down London hospital isn’t difficult, with Stig as a partner.
Rushing darkness disoriented her until she didn’t know if her eyes were open or closed. He squeezed her tightly enough to push the air out of her lungs until she gasped a wordless sound, but it was drowned by the clang of sheet metal as Stig bonked the walls of the chute, slowing then speeding in uneven bursts, but never letting her body scrape the side.
Then they hit. Not nearly as hard as she’d expected, and she managed not to bite through her tongue. He was underneath her in the pile of big blue bags. His arms unwrapped from her chest before she thought to push him away, and she sucked in the first good breath of her entire life, it seemed. The deepest, certainly. Overhead, the ceiling had yellow tube lighting hanging between beams. Beautiful lights. Visible and stationary.
She was still catching her breath when Stig started laughing his ass off.
“What’s so funny?” Her jeans and coveralls had wedged so high up her butt she suspected the waist snap was higher than the hooks on her bra.
“That was every boy’s fantasy.”
She rolled across the squishy bags of hospital laundry while yanking to loosen the bottom of her suit.
“Garbage crusher scene.”
She kicked free of a drawstring that had wrapped around her boot as securely as a garbage monster. The container they’d landed in was much bigger than a rolling cart, more like a full-sized garbage container, and deep enough that even standing on the laundry bags the metal rim came to above her waist.
“You can be the princess.” He caught his breath and held his hands over his head like a diver, then he wiggled under two bags. She felt his hand tugging her calf.
“Got your reference the first time.” She shot her foot behind her and planted the sole of her boot on his chest. He oofed from her push-off as she raised herself to the lip of the laundry receptacle. Elbows locked, the edge positioned perfectly across her upper thighs as if prepared to cast on a bar, she looked over her shoulder. He hadn’t moved from his sprawl, arms and legs splayed on the sacks of laundry like a kid in snow. His mussed blond hair and grin made him look younger and more accessible than the man she’d sparred with at the auction preview. “Hate to break it to you, but you’re no Luke Skywalker.”
He sat up, arms spread and mouth open in mock outrage. “Luke? Who wants to be that tosser?” One hand reached higher, as if elevating an imaginary trophy. “What about the universe’s master smuggler and hero to all who tread the wrong side of the law?”
“Sorry, but your chest hair’s not manly enough to be a Wookiee.” She swung her left leg up, pressed the ball of her foot on the container’s edge, and then swung both legs across and let go to complete her vault to the ground.
“Play princess with yourself,” she called to the man still in the container. “I’m out of here.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Anna lives with her quietly funny Canadian husband and two less quiet children in a century-old house in Seattle. The perpetual drizzle is a good excuse to drink more coffee. She’s a former US Army officer who now writes The Immortal Vikings series from Carina Press and also the author of His Road Home, a novella which Publishers Weekly called “Tantalizing … a raw, emotional story” and the website SmartB*tchesTrashyBooks gave an A rating.
She donates a portion of her book proceeds to two charities: the Fisher House Foundation, which provides housing for families of wounded soldiers in the US and Great Britain, and Doctors Without Borders, which delivers emergency medical care in more than sixty crisis zones world-wide.
To sign up for Anna's newsletter, find out more about her books, and read longer excerpts, please visit her website at www.annarichland.com, her Facebook page at AnnaRichlandAuthor, or her Goodreads page at http://www.goodreads.com/Anna_Richland.
Anna will be awarding a set of En Route notecards, gorgeously illustrated by Kate Pocrass (because falling in love with an Immortal Viking is a wild journey!) to a randomly drawn winner (INTERNATIONAL) via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host. Follow the tour for more chances to win!