Bold Tricks

By: Karina Halle

Acknowledgements


Typing “The End” on Bold Tricks was a surreal experience for me. It was the first series I’ve written to be completed in its entirety and by the time the epilogue came rolling around, I was a complete and utter mess. I’ve loved these characters like no other and to say goodbye … well, that was extremely hard. So, I have to thank Ellie, Camden and Javier (and Gus!) for being so complicated and fun to work with. I know, these people are creations from the dark recesses of my head, but honestly, I feel like they’re out there somewhere, living their lives. I hope I did your stories justice – you certainly made 2013 such a wonderful rush and you changed my life in a big way.

Scott MacKenzie, your unfailing support and belief in me is the reason I could even complete these books to begin with. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you.

Brucey Poo … You’re one tough puppy. Thank you for somewhat understanding when mommy had to go write and didn’t have time to play with you. Your ability to lie on the couch for hours has been very helpful. Also, big thanks to Dana Hicks!

My family – Tuuli, Sven, Kris … Thank you. You’ve all helped in your own ways, my mother especially for taking care of the dog and the house when I was too busy under deadline to even bathe myself. Though, next time, please leave less notes. And to the MacKenzies, particularly Wendy and Jill for your tireless purchasing of my books, thank you for being awesome!

Kelly St-Laurent – Your help in brainstorming for Bold Tricks gave me the right framework to lay down the beams. Thank you for believing in me.

My beta readers – Megan “Po Po” Simpson, Nina “Cries for Camden” Decker, Laura “Soulless” Moore, Claire “Mrs. Gus” Contreras, Kayla “Team Jumper” Veres, Lucia “Javi Hater” Valov íková, Barbie “Art Vandelay” Bohrman, Chelsea “Not married to Kirk” Cameron, Kara “Partner-in-Crime” Malinczak, Emily “Skulls” Franke, Amanda “Vegas Princess” Polito, Robin “Ticket Ripper” Prete, Shawna “Boom” Vitale, Jamie “Pusher” Sager Hall, Boobie Snickle Tush, Kirsten “Camden Lover” Papi, Brenna “Team Psycho” Weidner, Fluffy Dippen Face, Stephanie Sandra “Happy Valentine’s Day” Brown, Megan “Take No Prisoner” Ward O’Connell.

So many authors to thank, all for their support and belief in my work: S.L. Jennings, Madeline Sheehan, M.J. Abraham, Courtney Cole, K.T. Grant, E.L. Montes, Gail McHugh, C.C. Brown, J.A. Huss, J.D. Salsbury, Ashley Wilcox, Joanna Wylde, Janine Olsson, Kenya Wright, R.L. Griffin, S.L. Scott, K.A. Tucker, Jenn Cooksey, Carey Heywood, Jesse Lane, Misty Provencher, Rachel “Team Camden” Wade, Lori Otto, Melissa Brown, Kimberly Stedronsky, Venessa Kimble, Ella Fox, L.H. Cosway, Rebecca Espinoza, Stephanie Lawton, Trevi Truitt, Elle Chardou, Jasinda Wilder, Michelle Valentine and many, many others.

Bloggers make the writing world go round – Maryse’s Book Blog, Autumn Review, Reading in Winter, Ginger Reads, Book Hookers, Angie’s Dreamy Reads, Aestas, Natasha Book Junkie, My Secret Romance, The Demon Librarian, True Story Book Blog, Books Babes and Cheap Cabernet, Flirt and Dirty Girls, Under the Covers, Group Therapy Book Club, The Romance Cover, Xpresso Reads, The Book Bellas, The Reading Vixens, Hook Me Up Book Blog, A Love Affair with Books, the list goes on …

Then there’s the team at Grand Central Publishing/Forever Romance – my lovely editor Latoya Smith, the enthusiastic Julie Paulauski for all her PR work, plus everyone else who has come on board TAT train. And of course, my favorite Naj Qamber for her wonderful covers.

Can’t go without showing my gratitude to my superhero agent Scott Waxman and his team at Waxman Leavell, plus Samantha Howard and Mary Cummings. Farley Chase and Kate Abnerstein, you also rock my socks.

Last but not least, the readers, the fans and everyone in Halle’s Harlots. I would not be HERE writing this right now if it weren’t for YOU. Love you all long time.





Prologue


The girl woke up screaming.

The pain that had engulfed her the night before hadn’t subsided while she lay unconscious, lulled to sleep by the drugs the doctors had given her. The pain wrapped around her legs, defying the morphine that seeped through her young veins.

She tried to sit up in her hospital bed and look around the dark room. There was no one there, not even her parents. She started to shake and cry, not understanding what had happened to her, not able to deal with the agony that had taken over.

She was alone and forever damaged.

Finally one of the night-shift nurses appeared at the door and came running over to her.

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