By Tim Smith
For this month’s promo, I’d like to highlight another good book you probably haven’t read. “Catch and Release” is book 5 in my popular Nick Seven spy thriller series. I did a couple of different things with this one. All of the other installments take place primarily in the Florida Keys. I moved this one to Virginia Beach under the guise of Nick and Felicia taking a long trip on Nick’s cabin cruiser, up the eastern seaboard for a change of scenery.
The biggest change I made was taking the story focus off of Nick. The other stories involved something from his checkered past coming back to cause problems, with Felicia helping him with the crisis du jour. I decided that after four installments, it was time for Felicia to have her own adventure. This time, it’s something from her past career as a CIA spook that rises from the ashes, something she needs to resolve. In the previous installments, she has been a very strong supporting character, vital to the plots. This time out, Nick is relegated to helping her, like she has helped him previously.
“Former CIA spies Nick Seven and Felicia Hagens decided to take a break from the Florida Keys to enjoy the white sands and cool waters of Virginia Beach. Their relaxation comes to an abrupt halt when Felicia recognizes the notorious Russian criminal named Festov. But Felicia killed Festov six years earlier in Amsterdam—or so she thought. This unexpected appearance reveals a terrifying conspiracy with global implications. Is it really Festov or someone made up to look like him? Can Felicia and Nick stop Festov and his partners before they hatch their deadly plan?”
This story gave me the opportunity to explore Felicia’s character and history more thoroughly. She has a full, rich background, and I felt it was time to highlight it. I have always made her as tough and resourceful as Nick, but this caper delved deeper into her personality and mindset. It reveals more about her childhood on Barbados, including a few personal experiences that shaped her adult personality. The story also strengthens the relationship she has with Nick.
Felicia sat on the beach with Nick, her knees pulled near her torso and her arms resting on them while she stared at the night sky over the ocean. A few birds did a call-and-response with each other in the distance, countering the sounds of others occupying the beach. Sure is peaceful out here. She glanced over at Nick, who had stretched out on the blanket and crossed his feet at the ankles.
“What made you think of doin’ this?” she asked.
“You did, when you told me how much fun you used to have on the beach back home.”
She leaned over and kissed him. “You’re sweet.”
He sat up, retrieved two Piña Colada wine coolers from the ice bucket then handed one to her. She took a swallow and resumed looking at the horizon. The evening breeze had cooled the sultry temps of daytime, making it tolerable. She pointed at a small flashing light high in the sky.
“What do you think?” she asked. “Star or satellite?”
“The romantic in me wants to say star.” He placed his hand on her cheek to turn her face toward his. “Our very own star, just looking over us.”
Felicia pushed him onto his back and kissed him. She peered into his eyes and ran her fingers along his brow and cheek. “You aren’t really such a hard-ass as you like people to think. Did you know that?”
Nick played with a strand of her hair. “Don’t let it get around.”
“Afraid someone might find out what a pushover you really are?”
“Yeah, that’s me. Carbon steel on the outside, cotton candy inside.”
Felicia glanced at three young women who had staked their claim a dozen yards away, trying to be articulate between sips of wine and puffs on the joint they passed around. The rancid-sweet smell of Colombian gold drifted through the air. The longer the women toked, the more heated their discussion became. From what Felicia could hear, it was a spirited debate on the pros and cons of anal sex. The pros argued that it was great as long as you used enough lube, while the one con held firm that afterwards she couldn’t sit comfortably for a week. This was followed by more toking and uncontrolled giggling.
“Interesting debate,” Nick commented.
“The things people argue about when they’re stoned.”
“What’s a beach party like back home?”
Felicia took a drink before answering. “Everybody brought somethin’ homemade and we’d have a big bonfire with a pot of crabs cookin’.” She grinned at the memory. “My uncle would get juiced and pour in a bottle of homemade rum for flavoring.”
“Did it help?”
“Not really, but the crabs enjoyed it.”
Nick laughed. “Guess that took the sting out of being boiled alive. What else happened?”
“After ev’ryone got their fill of crabs and fried plantains, and they passed around the jugs of wine, somebody would play music and people danced.” She leaned in close and lowered her voice. “Don’t tell anyone, but some of us would sneak off to go skinny dippin’.”
“So that’s where you learned not to wear clothes at the beach.”
She squeezed his knee. “Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.”
This story has an intriguing plotline with more than a few twists and turns, including an eye-popping surprise ending. There’s fast-paced action, humor, atmosphere, romance and erotic encounters between two very likable, sexy characters. What more could you ask for? You can find it at the link below. Happy reading!