Cat's Claw [MultiFormat]
Click on image to enlarge.
eBook by Natalie Damschroder
eBook Category: Romance/Suspense/Thriller
eBook Description: Former NSA agent Cat Montgomery is hired to find a thief inside Cybertion Technologies, but finds her main suspect--Matthew Anderson, the head of security and international cooperation--to be irresistibly dangerous. When Cat is hired to test Cybertion's security at headquarters in Washington, DC, she finds evidence of an inside job. Matthew, with access to every target, is Cat's number one suspect, despite the boss's support of him. Her investigation thwarted at every turn, Cat blames the escalating tension between her and Matthew on suspicion and proximity. It takes her a lot longer than Matthew to figure out she is attracted to him, but when it hits her, it hits big. Intimacy issues may keep them apart--but so may the enemy's determination to bring her down along with the company...
eBook Publisher: Amber Quill Press, Published: 2006
Fictionwise Release Date: April 2006
15 Reader Ratings:
"Cat's Claw delivers with its robust cast of characters and engaging plot. Cat is a dynamic woman confident in her abilities and sexuality. It was fun to see how others reacted to her. Yet, within her confident persona lurks a woman with the same need for love and companionship as everyone else. Readers will come to appreciate her commitment, humor, and love of life. Matthew is an excellent complement for Cat. His sensitivity and unwillingness to settle for less than everything will endear him to readers. As these two work together, readers are never sure exactly where the plot will go; there are twists and turns to keep readers guessing as they slowly dwindle down the list of suspects. Even as readers start to have an inkling of who is behind the antics, the author ensures that they can't piece all the clues together until the very end. The ending has it all: romance, drama, and friendship. This book more than lives up to the quality writing readers have come to expect from Ms. Damschroder."--Amanda, Fallen Angel Reviews
Cat Montgomery may have left her job with the National Security Agency a few years ago, but she hadn't been off the street, no matter how soft her best friend said she'd gotten. She took great pleasure in showing Roxie exactly how much she hadn't forgotten when they got mugged–kind of–in Foggy Bottom.
The mugger had barely touched Cat's back with the point of his knife when he found himself flat on the ground, a spike heel at his throat.
"That was pretty fast," Roxie said. "Maybe I was wrong about you."
Cat shrugged, pressing her foot down just a little harder when the scrawny guy started to squirm. "I heard him coming three blocks away. Not much of a test."
"Grrch," said the mugger.
"You gonna call the cops?" Roxie asked.
Cat glanced at her watch. "I only have ten minutes until my meeting with that new client." She bent and grabbed the mugger by the collar of his sweatshirt and dragged him to his feet. Well, almost to his feet. They dangled a little. He was really scrawny.
"Next time, idiot, pick someone a little more vulnerable. Actually," she corrected, "don't pick anyone. I find out someone got mugged by someone looking like you, I'll find your skinny ass and proceed to kick it for you. Again. You got it?"
He apparently got it, judging by the vigorous bobbing of his head. Cat held him a second. She knew she'd be sorry to let him go, but she didn't have much choice. Timing was everything for this appointment. So she dropped him. He bounced, then took off the way he'd come. Without his knife.
Cat toed it into the air and Roxie caught it, snapping it shut. "Thanks."
"You owe me one. I'll see you tonight, then?"
Roxie grinned. "I'm looking forward to it."
Cat rolled her eyes and waved as they went in separate directions. They'd been invited to their former boss' retirement party, even though neither of them had been part of the agency for four years. It was sure to be a big roast, one Roxie would eagerly lead. Cat didn't have much patience for this kind of thing, but Roxie was making her go.
In the meantime, she had business to attend to. Her new client, Cybertion Technologies, was a small international corporation with headquarters in an old office building near the capital. She'd used various methods to scope out the place and now, on a Saturday, she was ready to use what she'd learned.
She swept by the front door and turned down the alley next to the building. The "back" entrance, which was really on the side, had a bad lock. She hiked up the skirt of her suit, lifted her leg, and kicked the door in the right spot. It popped open.
Smiling smugly, she entered the stairwell and secured the door behind her. Don't get cocky, she told herself, pausing. She bent and shook out her long blond hair, then tossed it back so it would look half-wild. Then she adjusted the front of her scarlet suit jacket, pushing her breasts up until they practically spilled out. All she needed now was her travel mug, which she pulled from her attaché, and she was ready.
God, she loved her job.
Smiling seductively, she pushed through the door from the stairwell into the rear of the main lobby. The weekend receptionist/security guard heard her heels tapping and whirled, his eyebrows up, his mouth half open. His chin dropped the rest of the way when he registered her appearance, and he didn't move.
Cat leaned her forearms on the reception counter. "Be a love, and fill this up for me before I hit the road?"
"Uh, sure. Ah, how–? Where?" He glanced at the silent elevators, then the front door, which she obviously hadn't come through.
"I had a meeting with Hack."
The guy, only about twenty-two, frowned. "I didn't think he was working today."
"Oh, it wasn't that kind of a meeting." She ran her tongue over her top lip, and the poor guy tripped and fell into his chair. She looked at her watch. Falling behind. "Coffee?"
"Oh, uh, yeah! Be right back!"
He scrambled out from behind the counter and half-ran, half-stumbled, to the break room on the far side of the lobby. Cat turned and walked silently to the elevator, which opened accommodatingly when she pressed the button. She was on her way up before the guard knew she had moved.
Copyright © 2005 by Natalie Damschroder.