The woman he must now protect looks exactly like the one he once hated.
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An Iranian physics genius in hiding wants to give the west his world-changing theories, but will only give them to Micky Wilde, whose beauty once charmed him. The only problem? Micky is dead. Logan Wilde involved his wife in his grim business and it got her killed. For Logan the guilt runs deep.
Sahara Taylor-Hughes is a San Francisco beachbum with a life and personality a million miles different from Micky’s caustic ways, but she is Micky’s double in appearance. Duped into playing Micky to get the plans, Sahara destroys what little peace Logan has left.
Zaram, a potent renegade terrorist, learns of the plans. He will hold the western world to ransom if he gets them first. Logan must help Sahara beat Zaram, collect the plans and make sure she stays alive, or else lose his mind…and his heart.
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Dead Double was a thrilling read!!
I love when an author can keep you turning the pages furiously and trying to read ahead LOL. Sahara and Logan’s lives are turned upside down when they accidentally bump into each other on the street. Being mistaken as someone else brings her into a world that she knows nothing about, and closer to the man she can’t keep her thoughts away from.
If you love suspenseful, fast paced thrillers with a little romantic twist, than this is the perfect book. I loved it and i highly recommend it!!
Emi Lia – Bitten By Paranormal Romance Reviews
Tracy Cooper-Posey draws the reader into a world of palpable danger and political intrigue. This story takes you across foreign destinations to your own backyard and off to exotic locales again. I loved how abruptly everything seemed to happen; right from the very start the intensity seeps off the pages. One moment the young protagonist is struggling to keep her Surf business afloat and the next she is holding her own with spies, government agents and international villains. Sahara is a fantastic action heroine, outwardly naive but full of inner strength and outer calm. Logan is a compelling leading man; an enigma that Sahara seems to see straight through. His weariness has such a deep tangibility because it is not only evident from his lack of actual sleep but in his very soul. The supporting casts of characters are fantastic and I loved Angel, I did however find that the “bad guy” could have been more prominent as we never really got to know him, only his henchmen and pawns. I found myself wanting to race to the end with the team and I honestly was so interested in the outcome I was tempted to skip to the end but I’m glad I didn’t and that I got to enjoy the journey.
PaulineMichael for Night Owl Reviews
Dead Double is quite a story that takes you to some very exotic places, while still putting the main characters in danger. I am extremely proud of Sahara’s determination to see the mission through, even when she is given the information that can help or hurt the world as a whole. Her strength to go on, even after being injured on the hip, spoke volumes about her willingness to help. One thing was interesting for me is the true villain is never seen, but his flunkies were doing most of his dirty work.
Ms. Cooper-Posey has done it again by creating a wonderful story that could have ended very badly. What she did was give a lot of hope for a better future for most of the characters involved, and I was wondering about Sahara after completing her mission. I was not disappointed! There is one other surprise, and I won’t give it away here. I will say that you will want to rush to the end and it was hard for me not to.
Goddess Minx — Literary Nymphs
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Sahara stepped out from under an awning onto sun-soaked sidewalk and blinked up at the blazing sun. It was going to be a hot day and that felt all wrong. It should be raining, with thick black clouds overhead.
She hugged her arms to herself, cold despite the sunlight. She’d have to cross Noriega soon. She could see her store from here.
Surf Connection was one of a number of small stores lining the block here. Most of them catered to the surfing trade, like hers. Some of them served the local residents or the occasional tourist.
Normally when she saw the palm fronds that lined the awning over her storefront, she felt a swell of pride and comfort. Her apartment was located over the shop, so this was home for her.
She saw the traffic lights at the intersection ahead turn green and oncoming traffic taking off. She wouldn’t make the intersection in time, so she cut through a pair of cars parked along the sidewalk and jogged over to the median strip. She made the wide concrete divider easily and looked to her right to check for breaks in the steady stream of oncoming cars.
That was when a powerful hand yanked on her elbow. “Damn it, Micky, I said wait up!” a strong, low male voice growled.
She was spun around to face the opposite direction. The man with his hand on her arm was taller than her by a good six inches and she wasn’t short.
She looked up, annoyed by the handling but not yet alarmed. She knew a lot of people in this area and any one of them would jump to help her if she called. “Who the hell are you?” she demanded. The snap in her voice surprised even her. Until that moment, she hadn’t realized how raw Howard’s news had chafed her.
The man’s Arctic blue eyes drilled into hers. He was completely unmoved by her coldness. “Quit the act, Micky. I’d know you anywhere, even with that strawberry blonde disguise. Did you really think you’d get away with it?”
She stared at him, now honestly lost for words. He had black hair, which looked like it might have once been cut neatly but needed a trim now. A lock hung over his forehead, shading the astonishing blue eyes, which were glaring at her impatiently, and there was a fine, faded scar under his right eye, shaped like an elongated check mark.
“You’re kidding me,” she said at last. “This close up and I still look like your friend?”
He blinked and let go of her elbow. Took a step back away from her. “You’re not Micky.”
Sahara wasn’t sure if he was asking a question or stating the fact but didn’t care much, either. “Bravo, Sherlock.”
He was wearing a soft, ancient white cotton shirt and faded jeans. She watched him push his hands into the pockets of the jeans, making his shoulders bunch inside the shirt, round and hard.
He’d tucked his hands away the same way she had, when she had been trying to hide her reaction to Howard’s bad news only a few moments before.
The parallel told her that this man was not as cool as she had thought and Sahara’s irritation was instantly gone. She held out a hand to him. “Hey, I’m sorry,” she said softly, feeling like the world’s biggest heel. “I didn’t mean to upset you.”
“I’m not upset.”
He’s lying. She knew it as surely as she knew the rips and tides of Ocean Beach. “She was…important to you, your friend Micky?”
This time, the emotion in his eyes was unmistakable. Pure rage. “I hated her,” he said simply.
“She left you,” Sahara guessed.
He took another step back away from her and gave a smile that had no humor in it. “She died.”
Sahara bit back the automatic “I’m sorry” that tried to emerge. She knew the man in front of her wouldn’t appreciate it. But now she was finally able to understand why he had grabbed her arm in the first place. “You thought she had faked her death and was living here on Ocean Beach?”
“She wanted to live in San Francisco so bad…” He looked up at the sky and gave a wretched laugh, like this was a cosmic joke. “Sorry I grabbed your arm.” He was backing away now and she knew he was going to turn around and leave.
She held out her hand again. “Don’t go. My store is just over there—let me buy you a cold drink, something to help you—” She chose her phrase carefully. “Back to normal,” she finished.
He glanced at the row of shop fronts. “Which one?” he asked, with barely a glimmer of curiosity.
“Surf Connection. The one with the palm leaves, there.”
He looked and his eyes narrowed. “Surfing store?”
“Everything but the surfboards. They’re sold next door. If you’re interested, I know the owners. I’ll make sure they do a good deal for you.”
He smiled and the tiny laugh lines around the corners of his remarkable eyes deepened. She guessed that the smile was a rare thing for him—at least lately. Was that this mysterious Micky’s fault? “I don’t surf,” he said. “But thanks.” Another step backward. He’d be gone in a few seconds.
“Whatever she did, let it go,” Sahara said quickly.
He paused. Studied her. “Move on and enjoy life, huh? Is that part of your surfers’ creed?”
“It’s common sense,” she said tartly. “You’re hanging on to it. Even I can see that. You keep hanging on to it and it’ll kill you.”
An expression crossed his face too swiftly for her to analyze but she glimpsed a hint of regret and wry amusement. “You’re more right than you know,” he said, his voice very low. It seemed to curl right through her, to stroke her heart and make it pound.
She swallowed on a throat gone dry. All the words she might have spoken jammed up in a painful lump.
He pointed to the sidewalk on the other side of Noriega. “Traffic’s clear,” he said.
She nodded and stepped over to the other edge of the traffic island.
His hand on her arm this time was gentle.
She looked up one last time at the blue eyes staring into hers.
“Thanks,” he said softly.
“You’re welcome,” she murmured and crossed the road, digging into her pocket for her keys.
* * * * *
Business was brisk, which thrilled Sahara. She hadn’t had a Saturday like this one for a long time. The traffic and the sales made Howard’s forecast of doom hard to believe. As the day progressed, as she scurried to help people wandering around her store and as the man with the blue eyes stole more and more of her idle moments, Howard’s prediction slipped further from her mind.
The best part of the brisk trade was that a lot of her customers were old friends—the old friends who Howard had dismissed as freeloaders. She was very glad to see them, especially so early in the summer season. The Ocean Beach classic wasn’t until late August. She had thought that most of her friends were still down in Mexico or over in Hawaii, competing there.
The best surprise of all was around three p.m. when she had one of her busiest rushes. Sahara slipped a sarong into a plastic bag for her customer—this one a stranger—and came back around the counter to look after the lady with the pitch black hair who she could see just over the top of the incense stand, looking at all the herbal soaps in the corner by the candles. When she got around the stand, Sahara came to a halt, her jaw dropping.
Tiffany dropped the soap she was looking at back onto the stack and brushed her hands carefully. “Soaps now, Sahara? Where’s it going to end?”
Sahara clutched her chest, her heart hammering. “Tiff, you’re early. Honey, I’m so pleased to see you!”
Tiffany broke into a huge big smile then and held out her arms. “Surprise!”
They hugged hard, holding onto each other and enjoying the moment. The last time Sahara had seen Tiffany was nearly a year ago, for Tiffany was a world class surfer and followed the global schedule of competitions. When she was in California over summer, she helped Sahara out in the store. It was a custom going back eight years now.
Sahara stepped back and tugged down her tee shirt, looking at her best friend. Tiffany stood and let herself be examined. She was a tall girl, with the athletic build that came from days spent in the water. She wore a denim skirt made out of old jeans and a surfer’s tee shirt that declared seven days without waves makes one week, with the second “e” in “week” crossed out and replaced with an “a”.
She was lightly suntanned and radiated good health. Her hair was as black as velvet and curled around her nape.
“You’ve changed your hair…again.”
Tiffany touched it self-consciously. “The salt water just kills it,” she said, “but I do like it this color.”
Sahara caught a glimpse of glittering metal at Tiffany’s knuckle. She reached for her left hand, her breath catching.
“No…really…Tyler finally managed to propose to you? Oh, this is fabulous!”
Tiffany laughed. “I proposed to him, if you want the truth of it. I finally got sick of waiting. Oh, Sahara, it’s so good to be back!” and she gave her another hug.
“So why are you back so early, Tiff? Really? You should be competing in Hawaii around now. Are you injured?”
Tiffany laughed, shaking her head and Sahara felt her stomach drop. Just a little. She tried to tell herself she was way too sensitive right now. It had been a day of high emotion. “What is it?” she asked Tiffany. “You’re holding out on me.”
Tiffany’s smile faded. “Jesus, how do you do that? It’s like you can read minds.”
“Why, what is it?” Sahara studied her friend’s face, the way her gaze kept cutting away. The ring. The air of contentedness. “You’re not staying to help me out this summer, are you?” she said, her heart starting to thunder.
Tiffany tried to smile. Her lips quivered. Then she grimaced. “Jeez, I’m sorry, Sahara. I just can’t. I had to talk and rearrange like crazy just to get here to tell you. The whole summer here…I just can’t, Sah. I just…can’t.” She took a deep breath, let it out. Then just stood there with a miserable look on her face.
Sahara found herself reaching for Tiffany’s arm. “Hey, it’s okay,” she lied, wanting to wipe away the desolation in her friend’s expression. “You really flew all the way here just to tell me?”
Tiffany bit her bottom lip. “I figured I owed you that much. I wasn’t going to do it by phone, that’s for sure.” As she spoke, big tears glistened and grew in her eyes, trembled on her lower lashes. One dropped to her shirt and gave the “i” in ‘’without” a second dot.
“Well, that’s just fine then,” Sahara declared and took a breath. “Dinner tonight then. We’ll catch up all in one evening.”
Tiffany grimaced again. “I can’t,” she said softly. “I’m on a plane to Britain this afternoon.”
Sahara couldn’t do anything else after that except stand and stare at her. “Oh,” she said helplessly. It sounded dumb even to her and she tried again. “I see.” That was even worse. But all she could think about was Howard’s black forecast. Six months. Six months. It wasn’t until this moment that Sahara realized how much she had been counting on Tiffany’s presence over the summer to help bail her out of trouble. And to thumb her nose at Howard’s prediction.
She could feel her chest constricting, aching with a clamping pain that stole her breath.
Tiffany bit her lip again. “Hon, don’t look like that. I tried, honestly I did. But Billabong want me in a whole series of contests and public appearances, right across August. And Australia in November. It’s an awesome deal, S’ara. And they want Tyler too. We couldn’t…we couldn’t turn it down.”
“Of course you couldn’t,” Sahara said stiffly. “I wouldn’t, if it was me.” She tried to breathe and was finally able to draw in fresh air. “Well…can you stay for lunch? Tea? Something?”
“Anything,” Tiffany said instantly. “Even that disgusting Caro thing you drink instead of coffee, as long as it only takes—” She glanced at the battered waterproof diver’s watch on her wrist. “Eighty minutes.”
Sahara bit back her response. Her whole summer had just been evaporated down to eighty cramped minutes. Suddenly, the flood of customers seemed like the worst sort of cruel joke. If the trade kept up, she wouldn’t even be able to have a good conversation with her dearest friend in the world.
She beckoned. “Come on. Caro it is.”
Tiffany sighed theatrically and dragged her feet behind Sahara as they moved around the racks and display cases to the glass counter, her flip-flops slapping loudly against the painted concrete floor.
Sahara tried to shrug off the touch of resentment building in her. It wasn’t Tiffany’s fault. But when the cowbell over the front door clanged unmusically as another customer entered, the resentment built even more.
* * * * *
Logan climbed up into the trailer, feeling it dip a little under his weight. The movement would alert everyone inside but if they hadn’t already known he was approaching the van, then they weren’t worth their salaries.
Elias looked up as Logan closed the door behind him. The craggy black face creased into the familiar furrows of disapproval. “Jeans?” Elias said. “I said buy some new clothes. As in, clothes. Real garments.”
“You said to blend in with the locals. So I blended in.” Logan shrugged and rested his shoulder against the bank of communications equipment next to the door. The walk back up Noriega to Golden Gate Park and almost the full length of the park itself, to the northern location where Elias had moved the van, had released enough endorphins to lift away the immediate sleepiness but the long-term weariness from too little sleep was a low-grade ache in his bones.
“Last I heard, downtown San Francisco was still wearing suits.”
“I didn’t go downtown.”
“Ocean Beach, right?” asked Nelson Ortega, as he stepped around Elias.
“Did you have a tail on me, after all?” Logan asked sharply, looking at Elias. They’d had this discussion about inappropriate and unannounced tailing of their own staff many times before. Logan braced himself, quite ready to have the discussion again and at the top of his voice if necessary.
“Not you,” Nelson shot back, waving a fistful of black and white photos. “On Seoc.”
“When Seoc and I were finished, I headed one hundred and eighty degrees away from him. Complete opposite direction. What the hell was he doing in Sunset?”
Nelson lifted the photos again. “He tailed you there.”
Logan felt his gut tighten. “What?”
“He tailed you,” Nelson repeated cheerfully. “Must’ve wanted to make sure you were alone like you said.” He started spreading the photos out across the tiny Formica table top. “I’m surprised you didn’t notice the tail. That’s not like you.”
Logan felt an ice hand clamp around his chest. His heart creaked under the impact. “I wasn’t looking for a tail. Seoc doesn’t usually have that much imagination. Anyway, he’s a neutral courier.” He spoke absently, running through his mind what he’d done since leaving the park, that Seoc might have witnessed.
He realized that Nelson looking at him expectedly. “What’d he see in Ocean Beach?” His lips felt rubbery, disjointed.
Nelson finished spreading the photos on the table and stepped back, his arms crossed, a proud grin on his face. Photography was a new interest for him and like everything else electronic that he’d turned a hand to over the years, he had taught himself and had quickly become an expert.
Logan leaned over the table, his heart thundering. And there she was, his hand on her arm, staring up at him with her back to the camera. The strawberry blonde hair looked almost pure blonde in the black and white shot and Logan realized once again why she had caught his eye as she’d jogged across the street. The grunge look was deceptive but her height and shape, the way she moved, the way her hair had swung around her shoulders…it had all been freakishly like Micky. Seeing her hair as pure blonde confirmed it. He hadn’t been losing his mind. He’d had good reason to think it was Micky.
He had been so sure of it, so caught up in the angry astonishment roiling through him that it had taken thirty seconds for him to see past his memories and actually look at her. One proper look, with the scales gone and he’d been able to see it wasn’t Micky.
Besides, in the later years Micky had never shown such tact and kindness, even to strangers. That alone would have confirmed it wasn’t her.
Let me buy you a cold drink, something to help you. Her voice had been melodious, like Micky’s but full of warmth and caring.
Elias’ finger pointed to the same photo but two inches to the left. It was Seoc, standing on the other side of the street in the shade of one of the big fixed awnings over the stores. He was watching her speak to Logan. From that angle Seoc would have had no trouble seeing her face at all.
Sick pressure roiled in his chest and gut. “Seoc watched it all?”
“Yeah. Nice redhead,” Nelson murmured, sliding the photo aside, moving onto the next one.
“She’s strawberry blonde,” Logan muttered, already pushing his way to the door. He grabbed his jacket from the hook next to it as he went out. The weight of the gun in the pocket reassured him.
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