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Under The Spell [Incognito Series Book 5] [MultiFormat]
eBook by Karen Wiesner

eBook Category: Suspense/Thriller/Romance EPIC eBook Award Finalist, Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read
eBook Description: Author Karen Wiesner returns with her EPPIE AWARD winning romantic suspense INCOGNITO SERIES with book five, UNDER THE SPELL. Alex Lynch has spent a lifetime working hard toward the goal of owning the Triple Aces Ranch in Fever, Texas. His dream has finally come true when Gina Calhoun--a girl he'd loved all his life, despite her penchant for looking for trouble and his penchant for bailing her out--drops back into his life, seemingly out of nowhere. Network Communications and Systems Analyst Justine Fielding, the former Gina Calhoun, is all grown up, more beautiful than ever ... and even more restless. Little does Alex know that the woman he's falling under the spell of all over again is there on a mission to uncover and stop the dangerous men who killed her father--Alex being her chief suspect. This time, Gina may be the only one who can bail him out of the trouble about to come down on him.

eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, Published: 2007
Fictionwise Release Date: December 2007


10 Reader Ratings:
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"What else can I say about this series that hasn't already been said? I have been lucky enough to have read each book in the series as it's come out and they just keep getting better and better. UNDER THE SPELL is no exception. It is full of the action, adventure and mystery that abound in the Incognito Series. The sexual tension between "Justine" Gina and Alex keeps you eagerly reading as you wait to see how it will finally turn out. This book has a lot of things going on and secondary characters that add to the mystery but the author never loses focus of the main characters. Author Karen Wiesner has a huge hit on her hands with UNDER THE SPELL, and I'm eagerly anticipating book 6, RENEGADE'S ROSE!"--Tammy, Fallen Angel Reviews, 5 Angels and a Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read!

"The Incognito Series has been consistently one of the best thriller sagas on the market today. The fifth book will place newcomers UNDER THE SPELL of author Karen Wiesner (fans already are ensorcelled by this writer). The lead couple makes for a fast-paced plot as each realizes they still love the other, but neither trusts one another or their own heart. The espionage elements are cleverly designed to keep the audience and Gina struggling with the fact that Alex is certainly the traitor. As fans know, set aside the hours--this is a one-sitting espionage romantic thriller."--Harriet Klausner

"Book 5 of the Incognito Series, UNDER THE SPELL is a romance that rises above the Chicago Network's uncompromising rule of no relationships within the organization. Karen Wiesner will surprise fans with this story in the series!"--Pamela Faye, Rolling Seas Reviews

"UNDER THE SPELL is the fifth book of the Incognito Series. Once again Karen Wiesner draws the reader into the story with nonstop excitement and sexual tension. The story itself is super and the characters are electric. While I enjoyed Gina and Alex's story, I was left with an incomplete feeling. I wanted a nice ever after ending, but the Network storyline does not make that possible. The two lovers must steal the time they have together and keep it secret. I hope to read more about Gina and Alex in a future book of the series."--Dawn Myers, Writers Unlimited

"UNDER THE SPELL is Ms. Weisner's fifth book in The Incognito Series. The agents in The Network are forced to give up so much--children, family, and friends--but in spite of their superiors, The Network's hard nose rules, and their own self-restraint, they cannot help but long for a sense of normalcy. It is an intriguing premise that keeps going strong through each book, and UNDER THE SPELL is no exception. An example of how The Network works: because one female agent had an affair with a fellow agent and got pregnant years ago, now all female agents are sterilized? With plenty of chemistry between its hero and heroine, nice dialogue and suspense, I recommend UNDER THE SPELL. Love may not triumph over all, but can it find a small place in the lives of those who are most deserving?"--Nickole Yarbrough, Romance Reviews Today

"After reading this review you might be wondering many things. Who really is the bad guy in this story? Why didn't I talk more about the suspense and action? Mostly because I really fell for the romance of Justine and Alex and that made a bigger impact on me. As for the future of their relationship you might ask, "Can there be a compromise? What does the author come up with this time that satisfies the romantic in all of us? Can Justine possibly hoodwink The Network?" I can tell you that what ends up happening makes me believe in the impossible. Another thing I can say, Karen Wiesner has me Under the Spell, and loving it!!"--Rating, 5 Books Out of Five!, Xeranthemum, The Long And Short Of It Reviews


Prologue

May 6...

"I always intended Gina to have everything I own," Alex heard his employer--and the man he'd considered a father for long years--murmur. "I don't believe she'll be comin' back this way. But it's all hers. Always has been. Always will be."

He glanced up from sweeping the horse barn after the morning muck of the stalls. Reggie Calhoun stood near his beloved saddle, which was displayed front and center on an inner wall. With one gloved hand, he lovingly touched the fanatically maintained, custom-tooled leather. He traced the spade patch on the side of it, then patted it protectively. The saddles on either side of Reggie's also had the Triple Aces Ranch logo on a patch.

Considerable time had passed since it'd been the Triple Aces'--Reggie, Alex's father Avery, and Dennis Omrinski--riding pasture. More often than not of late, Reggie seemed to have his mind on his old pals. Old pals and the daughter who'd selfishly run away and brought ruin to her own father. Alex could guess what the man was thinking:

Ruined a helluva lot more'n that. Not that I'm gonna dwell on it for even one more second than I have all these years.

Reggie lifted haunted eyes. "I still have a safe box in Gina's name. I want ya to have the key, Alex."

The older man held it out to him. Alex wanted to refuse it, but the look in Reggie's eyes prevented him. Alex took the key and stuffed it into his pocket without looking at it. Later, he'd put that key somewhere he wouldn't ever have to think about it again.

"But if she don't come back ... if she's really died ... you're the son I never had, Alex. All this--everything I got--is yours, just like I always intended."

How long had it been since Reggie started acting so strange? Alex couldn't say for sure. All the skittish, fearful looks back over his shoulder. Insisting little Gavin and the women shouldn't be outside so close to dark. Paranoia about being followed, claiming he'd seen someone--or the ghost of someone--he'd once trusted. Today, if possible, the old man seemed even farther from reach.

"I'm gonna run into Lubbock for supplies," Alex said, ignoring the awareness that Reggie wanted to talk. They'd been over the past so many times. They'd both lost. They'd lost nearly everything that mattered to them. Only this ranch remained. And that was one thing Alex had no intention of ever losing. One way or another, he'd keep what rightfully belonged to him. Or would one day, with Reggie's own blessing.

Alex cast another reluctant gaze over his shoulder at Reggie. "I might be a little late," he offered, replacing feed tubs and buckets in each stall. He swallowed the internal reminder that rose inside him. Supplies weren't all he had to do in Lubbock. But Reggie didn't need to know that. Alex shoved away the guilt. "Anything you need?"

Reggie didn't answer. He'd taken out his wallet and stood staring down at it. Alex didn't have to see it to know he was looking at the picture of his late wife and daughter.

"I feel lost, confused. Used to be I'd look at these faces, and I'd know what mattered. Everything came back into perspective. Now..."

Even while Alex wondered what on God's green earth the man was talking about, a part of him understood. When he felt lost and confused, he returned to the place where his father had been taken from him. At those times nothing made sense, but going there always put what mattered back into perspective.

"You need to stop talkin' like this, Reggie."

"Like what?" Reggie murmured, his gaze fixed on the picture in his wallet.

"Like you're gonna die. Like you got nothin' left to hold on to. This ranch ... well, hell, it belongs to you. To me. To the boys."

Reggie glanced up, and Alex knew what he wanted to hear. Reluctantly, he added, "It belongs to Gina, if she ever comes back."

When the old man nodded in fierce satisfaction, Alex saw a glitter in his eyes. "I'm not sure how long I can hold it together, Alex. That's the thing. I fired Carianne ... she betrayed me. Everyone I once thought of as a friend's betrayed me. This ranch only brings me pain now. I've lost nearly everyone I love here. My trust's been shattered. I'm heartsick, Alex. I'll give ya whatever you need to buy your own spread, but ... Triple Aces--"

Alex tensed. He didn't know why Reggie had fired his old friend Dennis' wife from her position as cook and housekeeper. He didn't know why, but he had no doubt what Reggie would say next. This time, he refused to hear it.

"Don't talk about sellin' Triple Aces again, Reggie," Alex said, his tone hard and unyielding as stone. "You and I both know that ain't the way."

No way I'd allow it. It'd be over my dead body, old man. Or yours.

Reggie looked at him helplessly. Not responding, Alex turned on his heel and stalked out to his pickup. Almost without thinking about it, he drove to the west pasture, where he'd set up a memorial in the exact place his father's torn, bloody shirt had been found seven years ago. The thought of losing this ranch made him nearly insane. He wouldn't allow it. No one, not even spoiled little Gina--if she ever returned--could take it away from him.

Sharp pain suddenly penetrated the red heat in his brain. He glanced down to see that he'd cut his hand on the rock at the top of the memorial. Making his silent vow to protect what he had to, any way he had to, he spread his blood over the stone.

* * * *

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