Keeping secrets is her job. Uncovering the truth is his.
In this creatively reimagined version of her earlier work, The Price of Grace, Diana Muñoz Stewart weave a suspenseful tale of balanced truths...the truth we pay lip service to, and the truth only our heart knows. Follow the romantic suspense as Operative Gracie Parish heats up the pages with Special Agent Leif "Dusty McAllister.
Sample the suspense in the excerpt below, and don't be "reckless." Be sure to enter the drawing for a $20 Amazon Gift Card, too!
Reckless Grace by Diana Muñoz Stewart Publication Date: August 15th, 2023 Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
As a highly trained operative in a family of spies, I learned a a long time ago what happens when you fall in love and reveal your secrets. Devestation. Trusting no one is the only way to survive in this world. So, no matter how charming he is, Special Agent Leif McAllister won’t convince me that he’s left the FBI and wants to join my family’s less than legal operations.
Special Agent is my title and Leif McAllister is technically my name, but “Dusty” is what everyone calls me. Been told I can talk a stone to dust. That kind of verbal fortitude makes my job easier. People trust an open book. Even if it’s filled with lies. Most people, anyway. Gracie Parish, my best way into her family’s illegal activities, just won’t trust me. No problem. I’ll use everything I’ve got–fair, unfair, and so-good-it’s-wrong–to penetrate her defenses, discover the truth, and prove my case. As the red-hot attraction between Dusty and Gracie explodes, Dusty’s investigation ignites a deadly threat and long hidden lies. They’ll have to decide quickly how far they can trust each other, because now it’s not just Gracie’s family secrets in jeopardy. It’s her life.
**This is a creatively reimagined version of an early work The Price of Grace. It is told in first person, present tense with completely new chapters.
I’m trying desperately to work my way out of the hidden compartment under the seat of this car when an alarm sounds in the compound.
Okay, Gracie, don’t panic.
It’s hard not to when the alarm at the sex-trafficker’s home that me and my family of spies are sneaking into is going off and I’m stuck inside this Trojan horse of a car.
My heart speeds up—way up. It’s outpacing a Ducati right now.
Growling under my breath, I work my sweaty numb fingers against the metal escape lever. They’re about as responsive as a fish on the deck of a ship.
Breathing heavily, I push the padding. The seat finally cracks open a little, then stops dead.
The car door creaks open. I freeze. “Let me help you there, Gracie.”
I flinch back, bang my head. Ouch. Someone with a southern accent knows my name? The car shifts as that someone gets inside. He’s big judging by the way the car rocks.
There’s a sudden creak, then the seat is yanked open. I pull my shoulders loose, then sit up, blinking at fresh air and man.
Sunset-brown hair topped by a USA ball cap, a big, easy grin defined by the persistent crease of overused dimples, labor- tanned skin, and the manliest nose I’ve ever seen. A roughly carved block, his nose adds challenge and strength to a too-handsome, sun-rugged portrait.
My heartbeat skitters between dread, alarm, and horrifying and unexpected arousal. My face goes lava-red. USA Ballcap grins at me.
Of course he does. What man wouldn’t when faced with a woman who’s obviously taken with his rugged good looks? The ginger curse. My body paints every emotion upon my skin in red hues. From pleased pink to rust-colored anger to chili-red lust.
As if my reaction has given him a right, his eyes bounce along my body, taking in the red-velvet bra, the matching thong, the ruby piercing snuggled in my bellybutton, and the tattoo along my right side.
Top most embarrassing moment, please take a step down. Guess, it’s not the best time to try and explain my live sex-show cover.
Without taking his amber gaze from me, he gropes and finds his two-way. He lifts it to his mouth, but before he presses the button, says, “Darlin’, don’t be upset by this. I’m on your side. Trust me.”
With that, he clicks the radio on and gives instructions for his men to go out and hunt Justice. He clicks off.
Don’t be upset? Does this idiot realize that’s my sister?
Teeth clenched, I extract my gun from the hidden compartment and point it at him.
A muscle along his thumb twitches, but he keeps his Glock 19 down. He smiles.
Really? Oh, buddy, let’s see how quickly I can wipe that smile off your face.
“No, no,” he says, clearly reading my intent from my furious face. “Don’t shoot. I’m working with Tony. I had to send those men so Walid wouldn’t suspect what’s going down.”
Tony? “My brother never mentioned you, and you just sacrificed my sister so Walid, a sex-
trafficking supervillain, won’t suspect you?”
He shakes his head, smile gone. Smart. “Your sister is good and those guys can’t shoot. No fooling. One of them shot himself in the foot trying to take his gun out two months ago.”
“Gracie?” Justice’s strained voice comes through my headset.
I click my mic with a flick of my jaw. “Go. I’ll catch up. I’m dealing with something.”
He does smile at that. “I’m Agent Leif McAllister. FBI.”
FBI? Nuts and bolts. The email. The email I sent via a secure site to the FBI. The one I’d sent when my son was sick and I’d been helpless to go to him and it’d all seemed Momma’s fault. The stupid email that proves I’m a traitor to the family and the Spy Makers Guild.
I swallow a wave of panic. “FBI? In Mexico?”
“Yeah, well, I’m sort of off-duty right now, since I’m working for your brother. No need for the agent part, actually. Just thought that would make you more comfortable. My friends call me Dusty.”
“Been told I could talk a stone to dust.” He reaches out with his free hand. “I’m going to help you out of here. Okay?”
“You touch me and I will shoot.”
His hand drops. Good. Nothing like setting the boundaries from the get-go.
#1 Amazon bestselling author.
Armed with a razor-sharp wit and a rolled-up MFA in Creative Writing, Diana Muñoz Stewart cartwheel-kicked her way into publishing with her fiery Black Ops Confidential series. Washington Independent Review of Books called the series’ award-winning debut, “original, impressive” a “rollicking good ride” and “high-octane.”
Of her writing Publishers Weekly declared, “Stewart plays adeptly with the reader’s emotions” and noted that in her series, “Stewart’s talent shines.”
Of her unflinching openness in taking on today’s relevant topics, Booklist said, “Munoz-Stewart discusses such sensitive topics as human trafficking, sexual violence, and sexism…while the diverse …Parish family and their mission to protect women everywhere give these topics…hope…”
Kirkus Book Reviews said her romantic suspense series, along with having, “Sizzling physical encounters” also “enables an emphasis on recovery and power.”
Munoz Stewart’s work has been a BookPage Top 15 Romance of 2018, a Night Owl Top Pick, A BookPage Top Pick, and an Amazon Book of the Month. A 2014 Pages From The Heart Winner, 2015 Golden Heart® Finalist, 2016 Daphne du Maurier Finalist, and a 2016 Gateway to the Best Winner, Diana Munoz Stewart is a member of Romance Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime.
Diana lives in an often chaotic and always welcoming home that—depending on the day—can hold husband, kids, extended family, friends, and a canine or two. A believer in the power of words to heal, connect, and distract from chores, Diana blogs regularly on topics near and dear to her heart, including spotlight pieces on strong women from around the world. When not writing, Diana can be found kayaking, doing sprints up her long driveway—harder than it sounds–attempting yoga on her deck, or hiking with the man who’s had her heart since they were teens.
Diana is represented by the wonderful Michelle Grajkowski of Three Seas Literary Agency.