Gunner by Heather Slade Excerpt


K19 Security Solutions, #2

Heather Slade

Release Date: Sept. 17, 2018

K19 Security Specialist Gunner Godet is so deep undercover that nobody on his team knows where he is or what he’s signed up for. And now that he’s vowed to help a sexy and mysterious woman from the dirtiest Russian organization in all of Eastern Europe, his only chance at survival lies in her hands—and arms. Luckily, Gunner refuses to give his heart to a woman ever again. Otherwise, he’d be in more danger than he ever imagined.

Zaryana “Raketa” Ivashov wants out—out of the game. But pulling out of this “political party” means defecting and trusting an enemy. As Gunner and Raketa journey for safety, their attraction grows stronger, their passion undeniable. But can two sworn enemies find happiness in a world of danger and betrayal?


Sex under the waterfall on his island had to have been the single-most sexy, exhilarating, erotic thing Gunner had ever done. As he led Raketa through the trees, the thought had occurred to him, until he realized he hadn’t brought any condoms with him. That she had was practically like…winning a million bucks.

She was quiet on the walk back to the house, but he hadn’t felt as though things were awkward between them. The silence felt natural.

“Hungry?” he asked when they walked inside.

Raketa had been looking out the window but turned to look at him and shrugged. “Are you?”

“You don’t eat enough.”

She chuckled, sort of. “That would’ve been the appropriate answer if I’d asked why you asked if I’m hungry.”

Gunner smiled. “No, Rocket Girl, I’m not hungry.”

She smiled too. “Why did you say I don’t eat enough?”

Gunner moved closer and put his hands on her waist. “Because I can feel your bones.”

The pained look flashed on her face.

“What did I say?”

“Food wasn’t always…plentiful.”

Gunner nodded. “If I asked you to tell me about your life would you think it’s because I’m interested or because I’m trying to get information?”

Raketa sat down at the kitchen table. “It isn’t a very interesting story.”

Gunner pulled another of the other chairs closer to her. “Everything about you is interesting to me.”

“I doubt there’s anything I could tell you that you don’t already know.”

She was right, at least after she’d turned eighteen. Prior to that, there was nothing. If he asked about that, though, it would be solely to get information.

“I may know the facts, but I know nothing about what you were like, how you felt, what your life was actually like.”

“I told you—boring.”

Gunner nodded. “I’ll tell you about my life, then.”

Raketa folded her arms when Gunner leaned back in his chair. What was she afraid he would tell her? Something made her take a step back, close herself off to him.

“I have one sibling, a sister. She picked out your clothes, by the way.”

She raised an eyebrow.

“She owns a clothing store,” he explained.

“Thank you.”

He nodded. “Her name is Odette.”

“Interesting name.”

“Both my parents are French, although my dad was born in the States.”

“Is Gunner a French name?”

He laughed. “No, my father was a military man. I’m surprised you don’t know that.”

“Oliver Marchand Godet. Retired four-star general. Deceased at the age of sixty-two,” she murmured.

She rattled off the basic statistics of his father’s life with no emotion, just like he would’ve in a briefing. His dad was so much more than her words.

“He was the best man I ever knew.”

“Tell me about him,” she said, uncrossing her arms and resting them on the table.

Gunner told her about the first time his father brought him to the island along with several other stories about growing up with the man who was known as “Devil Dog.”

“He wasn’t around a lot, but he always made up for it when he was on leave.”

“And your mother?”

“Salt of the earth, as you’d expect any son to say, but in this case, it’s true. Nothing phases the woman, or if it does, I’ve never seen her show it.”

“You’re like her.”

Gunner laughed. “I would’ve expected you to say I’m her polar opposite.”

Raketa tilted her head.

“Most would say everything phases me.”

“I don’t agree. You’re very, what is the expression? Even keeled?”

“If you think so, you don’t know me very well.”

Gunner saw the flash of hurt in her eyes that she quickly masked.

“I was joking,” he said, taking her hand in his. “You’ve seen sides of me very few have.”

“No one…” She shook her head.

Gunner leaned forward and brushed her lips with his. “I’ll finish your sentence for you. There’s no one I wanted to share my house with more than you.”

She scrunched her eyes.

“It’s true, Rocket Girl. I like having you here.”

“I like being here,” she whispered.



My books are filled with things that bring me joy: music, wine, skiing, families, artists, and cowboys. Not always in that order. I’m an Amazon best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak, teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur. I grew up an east coast girl, and then spent half my life on the west coast. Now my husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.

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