An escape plan foiled….
A determined woman….
One last tiny sliver of hope….
Jack will find me.
The Fed wants answers. And Caroline is determined not to provide them. They pull out all the stops, testing her sanity, testing her strength, testing her humanity.
Jack will find me.
Subject to cruel and merciless treatment at the hands of a government she once trusted, Caroline clings to her sole lifeline, her only chance at maintaining her tenuous hold on reality: her memories of her husband, Jack, her children, Marguerite and Sophie, and the friends who mean the world to her.
Jack will find me.
But what happens when hope starts to fade? How long until her interrogators cross over into the unspeakable sadism she fears ? How long before she finally breaks apart?
Part Two of a Six Part Saga. Conscience (approximately 115,000 words) is not a standalone and must be read after the first book in the Bellator Saga, Dissident. All books in the series end in a cliffhanger. For readers 18+. This book contains adult situations including graphic violence, explicit (consensual) sex and light BDSM, psychological and physical trauma, and an oftentimes raw, dark, and gritty plot.
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She once was important. Now she’s considered dangerous.
In a new America where almost no one can be trusted, Caroline lies unconscious in a government hospital as others decide her fate. She is a political dissident, wanted for questioning by a brutal regime that has come to power in a shockingly easy way. As she recovers from her injuries, all she has are her memories. And once she wakes up, they may not matter anymore.
Dissident is a blend of romantic suspense, contemporary romance, political thriller, and speculative fiction. Told mostly in flashback, it details the budding romantic relationship between our heroine, Caroline, and Jack, the silver fox playboy who tries to win her heart.
Part One of a Six Part Series. Each part is a full length novel between 60,000-120,000 words and ends in a cliffhanger. For readers 18+. This saga contains adult situations, including non-gratuitous violence, explicit (consensual) sex, psychological and physical trauma, and an oftentimes dark and gritty plot (particularly in part two).
Jack stood up and took her hand. “Are you going to dance with me, or what?”
Caroline got to her feet. “Of course.”
He led her toward the center of the room. It was a giant suite with a decent amount of furniture, but had a clear space suitable for dancing.
“Close your eyes,” he said. “That’s an order from your husband.”
She laughed and shut her eyes. “Yes, sir.”
“I like the sound of that,” Jack whispered, his demeanor changing. He leaned in to nip at her neck. “I want you to say it more often. But I’m not ready to capitalize on it just yet.”
Filthy, dirty man. But he was right. It wasn’t time to be naughty. Not with serious dancing business to be had.
He broke their connection for the briefest of moments, and the room soon filled with music. Caroline recognized it immediately. One of her guilty pleasures. She had many: Jack Jones’ “Wives and Lovers,” “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” from The Sound of Music, “Hello” by Lionel Richie (her favorite stalker song), and the selection currently playing, “Someone to Watch Over Me.” She smiled as Jack came over to take her in his arms.
“I know you prefer Ella Fitzgerald’s version of this song the best.” He started to guide her across the floor. “You can open your eyes now.”
She was quite content to keep them shut and lean in, but opened them anyway to find him smiling at her.
“Do you know how happy you make me?” he asked.
Caroline kissed him lightly. “I have a vague idea. How does it feel being married?”
“The first few hours have gone exceedingly well,” Jack said. “I love you, Mrs. McIntyre.”
“And I love you.” She kissed him again. “This lost lamb is completely yours.” She rested her chin on his shoulder as their dancing slowed. “Did you reapply your cologne?”
“I put the bottle next to the iPod. I know it’s one of the fastest ways to get into your pants.”
“You don’t need cologne for that. Although it helps.”
Jack let go of her hand and stopped moving, gently stroking her face. “I will always take care of you,” he said. “Always. Even when you don’t want me to.”
Caroline had done a good job of avoiding too many tears during the day, but she was exhausted. She wasn’t sure how much longer she could control her emotions. “I know.” She swallowed hard. “You saved me, Jack. Me and the girls. I don’t know where we’d be without you.”
“You saved me too.” He kissed her forehead. “Let’s call it a draw.”
She swayed back into him, listening to the song. “I know you’ll watch over me. My shepherd.”
Jack wrapped his arms around her again. “You’re a sucker for these old standards, aren’t you?”
Caroline laughed through her now unavoidable tears. “Don’t tell anyone.”
He brushed the tears away. “Every day I thank God he brought you to me. Every. Day.”
“I’ll always be good,” she whispered. “Just for you.”
Jack chuckled. “You take these lyrics too seriously, sweetheart. You’re getting all sappy on me.”
“I can’t help it.”
“I know you’ll be good,” he said quietly. “Because it’s who you are. I know how precious a gift that is. And I will always protect you, because I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
“You saved all the good lines for tonight, I see.” Caroline kissed his fingers, just above his wedding ring. “My romantic husband.”
“I like the sound of that. Caroline Gerard’s husband.”
“Now who’s being the sap?”
“I’ve got plenty more where that came from,” he said, kissing her neck.
The song was almost over. “Is this the only dance I get?” Caroline asked.
Jack pulled her toward the bedroom. “More later, I promise. Right now, let’s engage in some traditional wedding night revelry.”
“Opening our gifts and passing out in exhaustion?”
He picked her up and set her down on the bed. “Try again.”