ABOUT THE BOOK
Be swept away by the stirring romance and unforgettable adventure of Alaina Claiborne, MK McClintock's first award-winning British Agent novel.
How far would you go to avenge your family and save the one you love?
In nineteenth-century England, Alaina Claiborne had a loving family, a cherished friend, and idyllic life. Then tragedy strikes and her world is forever changed. Searching for those responsible is her only focus . . . until she meets Tristan.
Tristan Sheffield, a man of many talents, seeks out those who don't want to be found. His past is filled with secrets and deeds he would rather leave deeply buried. However, when his life unexpectedly entwines with Alaina's, he soon discovers they share more than a mutual desire to catch a murderer.
On their hunt for a man driven by greed, Tristan and Alaina find that love is the greatest weapon against evil, and they'll stop at nothing to survive.
If you love romance, adventure, and mystery, then you'll fall in love with the British Agents in Victorian England.
A NOTE FROM MK
This book was, to say the least, a journey. What began as a story I started more than ten years prior to publication, ended with a love for characters to whom I wasn't willing to say goodbye. Alaina is as I believe heroines should be—strong, resilient, and ladylike. Of course she has a few flaws, but who doesn't. Tristan is a gentleman hero, but he's not concerned about doing what others expect, and I love him for that. I hope you enjoy Alaina and Tristan's journey of romance and mystery. Why did I make a duke a British Agent when they had no occupation in the standard sense? It’s quite simple. Because I saw a man who although trapped by his station in life, wanted to be known as someone and something else . . . and so he was.
Be well, be kind, and enjoy!
from Chapter Three
British Agent Safe House, Scottish Highlands
TRISTAN STARED AT the stains covering his hands. He couldn't tell where the dirt ended and the blood began. From across the room, he watched as Devon took his turn at the washstand. Charles sat on a stool nearby, his blood-stained shirt partially unbuttoned, revealing his bandaged chest.
Devon Clayton and Charles Blackwood had been with him on every mission since they joined the agency after they had all finished their studies at Oxford. For three years, they worked side by side, mission after mission, with the highest success rate in the agency. The youngest, brightest, and best trained, they were called on by Britain because they succeeded where others had failed. However, they had not expected this.
Tristan had killed men before—it came with the work—but he had always believed those killings had been justified. At the tavern, they had done everything possible with their combined knowledge to save the woman and child who had unknowingly fallen victim to their hunt. Their target—the woman's husband—had used her as a shield. Another man had used the child. They had never fired on a woman or child and had momentarily backed down—a mistake which cost too many lives, including two of their own.
Tristan replayed everything from the moment they had reached the tavern, attempting, in vain, to see any other way for a different outcome. There had been five agents and six men expected to be at the location. Their source had been mistaken or had betrayed them. There were eight men and the woman and child, sitting down to supper. Tristan and his agents did all they could to make the arrests without injury, but the men had refused to go peacefully.
He saw again the woman's husband throw her into the middle of the ruckus as he attempted to escape out the back door. Charles shot the man. The other, who had used the child as a shield, had held a knife to the boy's throat. As he tried to make his exit, the knife slipped.
Tristan remembered every man and every move. He had seen two of his agents go down, each taking a culprit with him. One had escaped, but he couldn't recall how. They might be the best at what they did, but they had made a deadly mistake. Tristan once again studied his partners and friends. Neither would forget what happened either. The woman and child's screams promised to haunt them all for years to come.
Tristan cleaned his hands, watching the blood darken the water. Some of it left a temporary stain on his hands, but a more permanent one stained his mind.
He nodded to his friends and they all left the room. They were due to return to England, and there were bodies to collect before they left.
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Excerpted from Alaina Claiborne by MK McClintock. Copyright © MK McClintock. Published by Trappers Peak Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the author or publisher.