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Hypnotized [Incognito Series Book 10] [MultiFormat]
eBook by Karen Wiesner

eBook Category: Romance/Suspense/Thriller
eBook Description: Dr. Sherry Mansfield is a talented hypnotist who possesses the ability to use the power of suggestion in an eerie, supernatural way. When she sends the Network a message through a suicide bomber that she wants to escape her abusive husband--the leader of a small terrorist group--they offer her a deal: They'll rescue her from her husband if she'll use her special skill for them in the pursuit of justice. The Network also fears that a rival terrorist faction will target Dr. Mansfield, wanting to use her unusual gift for evil the same way her husband's group does. Network operatives--and former secret lovers--Noah Harlow and Rhiannon Murray must rescue Dr. Mansfield to keep the world at large from falling into jeopardy.

eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, Published: 2010
Fictionwise Release Date: February 2010


5 Reader Ratings:
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"After being captured, tortured and finally rescued four years ago, Rhiannon Murray decided she wanted more out of life and love than what her team leader Noah Harlow could give. Having read a few of the Incognito Series by Mrs. Wiesner, I applaud her ability to keep up the suspense all the way through book ten. Noah and Rhiannon's story doesn't disappoint with non stop tension, steamy love scenes and subplots that make you say, "What? No way!" An absolute pleasure to read, I hope HYPNOTIZED won't be the last of this series."_Brynna Curry for You Gotta Read Reviews You Gotta Read (highest rating)!

"Emotional investment and sympathy for the heroine grips and twists your heart as early as the opening scene in HYPNOTIZED, the tenth book in the Incognito Series by Karen Wiesner. Intermixed with a tale of suspense and intrigue is the very personable story of Rhiannon. She had a life-changing event that turned her beliefs upside down and sideways. True to the strength of character that Ms. Wiesner imbues her female agents with, Rhiannon is another woman who gets the job done while hiding the torment inside of her. HYPNOTIZED kept me riveted, emotionally invested and entertained all the while expecting and getting a well-rounded, expertly told tale. It's adventure from the comfort of your couch."_Xeranthemum for Long And Short Reviews 5 Books!

"Karen Wiesner is a master at combining espionage and romance. Her stories in this series are part thriller and strong on the romance. The plot moves along at a swift pace. The suspense quickly builds to the climatic ending. Fans of romance, suspense, mystery and spies will enjoy this series."_Readers Favorite Reviews 5 Stars!

"HYPNOTIZED by Karen Wiesner is the tenth book in the Incognito Series. I have read each and every book, and I have to tell you that they are all fantastic. They can be read as stand-alone titles, but why would you want to when you would miss out on so much? If you have never read one of the Incognito Series books, then I highly recommend that you read them, but start with the first book, NO ORDINARY LOVE. I promise that you will not be disappointed!"_Melissa for Dark Diva Reviews 4 1/2 Delightful Divas!

"Rhiannon is a woman with a tortured past, one that predates even her work within the Network. Noah had a loveless childhood with parents who did not coddle him, but did not show any affection either, which led him on a path similar to how he was raised.The twists and turns of this suspenseful novel grip the reader and will keep anyone guessing. The storyline kept me coming back for more and the action-packed ending was very fulfilling and definitely left me with a smile on my face."_Danielle for Coffee Time Romance & More 4 Cups

"The sizzling sexual tension between operatives Rhiannon and Noah keeps the pressure up for the entire book, with a surprising sting at the end. The plot winds around and around with relationship ups and downs between the two main characters and the people they work with. Nice descriptions, good character building and great pace."_Sally Vanessa Hearne for Between the Lines Reviews

"The latest Incognito romantic suspense is a terrific, action-packed thriller starring two super protagonists. The irony of the assignment enhances the fast-paced plot as Rhiannon does the undercover masquerade job because she is a strong, dedicated individual; her preference [for a partner] would be anyone but the man she loves. Ironically, Noah, the brute, wants her but his values make it impossible for him to go after her as he feels that it is inappropriate for a superior officer to make love with a subordinate even if he cherishes her above his own life. All this passion is inside a strong rescue mission as Karen Wiesner provides her tenth Incognito winner."_Genre Go Round Reviews


Prologue

"Your boyfriend refused to break," the lead guard informed her.

Rhiannon Murray didn't react, even in an attempt to lift her head or open her heavily swollen, bruised eyes. "He told us to go ahead and finish you off--the better to keep your organization's precious secrets."

Stay intact. Maintain the brick wall that won't allow them to get past my defenses or break through. Because Noah won't break...not even for me.

The guard lifted her head from her chest. In agony, she opened her eyes to mere slits to see him standing close enough for her to attack. She didn't have the energy. Days had bled into each other until she no longer knew how long she'd been their prisoner.

She and Noah had been taken captive on their mission to find the Remote Command Center--RCC--where nuclear weapon suitcases were being mass-produced by a notorious terrorist group. The hours that followed had seemed endless as they'd been beaten and used against each other under the assumption that they were lovers. Their interrogators couldn't have known how right they were. But neither she nor Noah had given anything up.

Though she was aware that she and Noah had been moved from one location to another frequently since then, the two of them had been kept separated. They'd tortured her endlessly, each session worse than the one before, but she'd betrayed nothing. Nevertheless, she no longer knew how much more she could take. Her training had taught her that sometime around the third or fourth day, she would no longer feel anything except the desire to make the pain stop. She would be vulnerable if she didn't resist and fight. Better to die a warrior than a traitor. But she didn't want to give up hope that the covert organization she worked for, the Network, would consider her valuable enough to extract. Just hold on a little longer...

Unfortunately, all she could think about now was Noah. Was he still alive? Would she ever see him again? If only she'd realized that the last time they'd been in each other's arms was their last time ever. What would I have said to him? Could I have told him he's the only man I've ever loved, the only one I've ever really wanted to love me?

She knew the answers to her questions. Their lives belonged to the Network. That meant they kept their hearts out of their relationships. The friends I have, I've kept them at arms' length, the way I have most of my life. And Noah...Noah, I simply don't know how he feels and so I haven't given myself to him the way I've wanted to. Rhiannon stifled a groan, unwilling to provide her captor the slightest satisfaction.

If he told the guards to let me die, did he do it because he believes we'll both be rescued? Or because he truly doesn't care whether I live or die?

The fact that she couldn't answer this particular concern brought a spasm of horror to the surface. Before she knew it, tears had filled her eyes--and this pig guard was seeing her vulnerability.

"He told us you mean nothing to him, chica, that he was more valuable to your organization than you are, that they will leave you to die here."

Remember your training: Your captor will do and say anything to break you. Anything. They'll get inside your head, your heart, your weaknesses. Be a brick wall...

"He cares nothing for you, fool. Did he tell you he loved you while you were alone in the dark, in each other's arms? Did he make you believe you were all that mattered to him?" The guard shook his head, and Rhiannon understood that he'd gotten to the heart of her, where she didn't want him to be.

Noah never spoke of his feelings. They took what they could get from each other. Yet he mattered to her, more than she'd ever allowed herself to admit to him or to herself.

The guard leaned forward a fraction. "Why do you care what happens to him or his precious organization? Have your revenge, chica. Get your satisfaction now by telling us what we want to know. We will take revenge for you. We will crush them all in your defense. Don't you deserve that for how worthless you are to them after all your loyal service?"

Another guard entered the room and went to the leader. He spoke quietly to him, then the leader turned back to her. "Your boyfriend, chica, he has been rescued by your organization. But here you are, still in our grasp. Do you think they will send anyone for you? They are not here. We are fully intact. Curse them and die while you can!"

She felt him lift her head again, and she opened her eyes to him for an instant. Then she deliberately closed them and worked herself out of his grasp.

He swore violently at her continued unwillingness to break. "Cut her down. Put her in the ground. We move out in a few minutes."

Two of the guards grasped her tied legs--a lesson they'd learned early--while another reached up, grasped her wrists, and cut through the thick rope that held her hands over her head. He left her wrists bound. The leader's words came back to her--"Cut her down. Put her in the ground..."--when the three guards carried her backwards. Without ceremony, they dropped her. Rhiannon felt herself falling into darkness. When she landed, it was on hard-packed earth quite a few feet from the surface. An instant later, she heard a noise like a machine, a bulldozer. Then dirt fell on her, heavy and thick. They're burying me. Alive.

Even with her hands and legs tied, she fought, trying to push her way up through the mounds of dirt falling into the hole on top of her. But it was coming in too fast and heavy, pinning her.

The guard had said, "Put her in the ground. We move out in a few minutes." I'm completely alone. I'll die here. "Do you think they will send anyone for you?" Noah has already been extracted, but they won't come for me. I'm not worth the risk.

There was no air, no way to breathe in anything but the compressed dirt. Even if Noah knows I'm still lost, he won't come for me. He never loved me, only the Network...

Without air, she gave herself up to the thought and the blackness...

* * * *

"Rhiannon..."

She drew agonizing breath.

"Rhiannon, are you intact?"

On instinct, she moved her hand in the required signal to tell the operative that her captors hadn't broken her. The Network's secrets were intact.

When she became fully conscious again, she gasped for breath, clawing her way desperately.

"Rhiannon," a soft voice called and gentle hands held her firmly.

Opening her eyes, she blinked in shock at the bright lights she saw over her. She struggled to make her eyes squint against them, and a figure formed, a familiar face. "Celine," she coughed out, her throat tormented and hoarse. Her doctor, Celine Savage, stood over her, her expression even more tender than usual.

"You're all right, sweetie. You're back here in the compound. It's over. We have you."

"Buried...alive."

"I know. But the team that extracted you said you weren't there long."

"I...died."

"You're alive, sweetie. I promise you." Celine brushed back her hair. "You must have been terrified. But you didn't break."

"Noah?"

"He was extracted as well. He's fine."

"First."

"What?"

"He was extracted first. He was...more valuable."

Celine shook her head, her long, angel-blond hair swaying gently. "It was a matter of timing, Rhiannon."

"Did he...come after me?"

"He couldn't. He was tortured, too. He wasn't in any shape, honey. I'm sure if he had been, he would have come after you. He's your team leader."

Yes, Noah was her team leader, the more valuable of the two of them. If he'd come after her, he would have done so because he didn't leave anyone on his team behind, ever. He doesn't love me. He never did. These past ten years...

Rhiannon suddenly realized how little she knew of Noah Harlow. They'd never talked about their lives before the Network, outside the organization. The few times she'd asked him, he'd said that his life belonged to the Network. Nothing else mattered. They made love, they spent free time together when they could escape detection, took downtime together. But they'd never spoken of love or even caring for each other. He had needs. I fulfill them. His heart belongs to another, just like all the other men who've used me. Only Noah's loyalty is to the Network.

"I was scared, Rhi," Celine said softly, and Rhiannon looked up at her in surprise. "I know you don't want anyone to get too close, but I don't want to lose your friendship. I thought I'd lost you and then I wished..."

Rhiannon had spent years believing the rhetoric Noah spouted at every opportunity. If you open up and leave yourself vulnerable, you give your enemies a place to strike. Even within the Network, any hint of weakness could be exploited. The only way to survive was behind fortified walls. Nothing got out, no one got in.

"Are we friends, Celine?" Rhiannon asked a woman who was unlike anyone else inside this place. Celine wasn't a warrior. She wasn't an unfeeling machine. She was delicate and emotional. She's my friend.

"Yes. I'm your friend, Rhi. I've always wanted to be. You're...you're different."

Rhiannon saw tears form in Celine's eyes. I almost died. And I would have died with no one caring one way or another, except Celine--and I've never even given her much reason to care about me. I would have given my life for loyalty to an organization that sees me as valuable only when I'm performing my duty. Even then, I'm not as valuable as some.

In sitting up, Rhiannon felt every bruise, every lash. Ignoring them, she leaned forward and clasped Celine's hands. "We're friends, Celine. We have each other. Thank you for caring about me."

I'll ask for a transfer from Beta Team as soon as I get out of Medical. I'll tell Noah that it--whatever we've been doing together in the shadows--is over. I'll start my life, such as it is, all over again. Without the illusions I've been foolishly harboring.


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