Midnight Promises

Midnight Promises

by Lisa Marie Rice

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In their race for the truth, love must prove more powerful than America’s worst enemy…

When a gorgeous, bleeding woman on the run falls into the arms of Sean “Metal” O’Brien, the former SEAL medic knows just what he can do. Heal her. Tend to her. Keep her safe.

What he can’t seem to do is keep his guard up. Something about the haunted, hunted beauty knocks down all his defenses.

Felicity Ward is no stranger to secrets. Raised in the Witness Protection Program, her whole childhood was a lie. But she couldn’t have known that her family’s secrets—secrets she didn’t even know she was keeping—could spark a nuclear war.

And nothing could have prepared her for the tough, sexy warrior who first saves her life and then vows to protect it, no matter what.

This book is approximately 75,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Originally published in 2015

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781488052156
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication date: 02/11/2019
Series: Men of Midnight Series , #2
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 21,287
File size: 496 KB

About the Author

Lisa Marie Rice lives with her Prince in an Enchanted Kingdom far, far away, where she pens thrilling novels of love and danger. Her books are known for their intense love stories. Her men are brave, smart and built. And boy do they love their women! One interesting fact about her life: that bright blue line she can see from her terrace is the Ionian Sea, exactly where Pythagorus taught math in a Greek temple that still stands. Connect with Lisa Marie at www.lisamariericebooks.com. 

Read an Excerpt

Portland International Airport
Feb 20

Safe. The word kept rolling around in Felicity Ward's head. Safe. Safe. Safe. The word seemed odd when she repeated it over and over. Like a sound with no meaning. Like the word itself, really. Safe didn't exist. It never had for her.

But her friend Lauren had used it so often lately. And it sounded as if, after being abducted by a crazy guy for money and saved by her lover, a former Navy SEAL—well, it sounded like Lauren was more or less as safe as you could be in this dangerous world.

Felicity Ward, aka Alina Darin, aka Katrin Valk knew all about the world being dangerous. Her father, Nikolai Darin, a world-famous Soviet nuclear physicist, had defected to the United States before she was born. He'd defected the night he'd won the Nobel Prize for Physics and the CIA had orchestrated a fake car crash. He'd planned it under the nose of the KGB. If the KGB had suspected his defection, they'd have sent a wet team.

Ironically, her parents really had died in a car crash, only it was nineteen years later in America.

Which just went to show that though most dangers came from other human beings, there were also natural dangers such as accidents and fire and snowstorms. Like the one raging now.

The sky outside the enormous airport skylights was unnaturally dark and snow flurries swirled against the hundred-foot-high windowpanes.

She needed to get to the taxicab stand fast. Her flight from Burlingham, Vermont via Chicago and Denver had been one of the last to land. If the snowstorm continued like this the roads would close down. She didn't want to be stuck overnight in this airport, however pretty it was.

But it was hard to move fast when she was so distracted.

Felicity spent most of her time—well, all of her time—indoors in her apartment. The colors and sounds and smells of the airport nearly overwhelmed her. Shop after shop after shop of bright things—clothes and shoes and electronics and makeup. Felicity never went to shopping malls. She ordered everything online, and this was so distracting and enticing. So much to see.

And the people! When was the last time she'd been in a space with so many people? They were fascinating. You could make up stories about them forever. That was one of the things she did for a living—inventing online and paper personas for people on the run. The crowd milling around the airport wasn't on the run but you could read their stories in their faces, in their bodies.

That man there, in the expensive rumpled suit, frowning and checking his wrist watch for the third time in a minute. Maybe he'd just gotten off a flight from Hong Kong and was waiting for his driver to take him to the meeting he was late for.

And that woman over there in a luxury store, fingering a beautiful cashmere shawl. She had a very sad look on her face. Was she expecting someone who wasn't coming?

But that girl emerging from the exit area Felicity had just come from—she had someone waiting. Tall and lanky with a huge grin on his face and a bouquet of wilted daisies in his big hand.


She felt like a puppy that had been let out in the garden after a winter indoors. All these colors and shapes and sounds…

And purses! She walked by an upscale purse shop that made her think wryly of her own beige five-year-old canvas bag. For this trip she'd just put documents and keys and lipstick and flash drives in her laptop backpack, not even bothering with her canvas bag. Why didn't she buy herself new purses? Just look at them in the window!

She stopped and all but pressed her nose against the shop window. Such pretty pastel colors—had pastels just come in or had they been in for years and she hadn't noticed? Soft leather, exquisitely fashioned details, shiny brass studs. She sidestepped and stood in front of the open door. A shop assistant in the back who'd been putting away a stack of scarves in every color of the rainbow looked up and smiled. Felicity made an I'm just looking gesture and the shop assistant nodded.

She pulled in a deep, delighted breath and smelled leather and newness and style, if style had a smell. Portland was bound to have purse shops. Oh man, she was going to hit every single one and spend some money. It wasn't as if she didn't have any. She had plenty of money, she just never spent it.

Maybe Lauren would go shopping with her. That would be…fun. Shopping with a girlfriend. Something she'd never done before. Her parents had discouraged friendships throughout her school years. At MIT her friends had mostly been men and they barely washed, let alone shopped.

So many things she'd never done. Why hadn't she done them? That was about to change, big-time.

This crazy trip to Portland was sort of a test. A test to see if she could live a normal life. Go out like other people did. Take trips, go to the movies instead of watching Netflix on her seventy-eight-inch curved screen. Go shopping in RealSpace, eat out instead of ordering in. Everyone else did, why shouldn't she?

So this was going to be her new life. Maybe. With luck.

Traveling to see friends, because when you went out you made friends. That was the way it worked, right?

Right next door to the purse shop was a cosmetics shop and heavenly smells came from it. Perfumes and lotions and lipsticks and creams. Another deep breath to pull it all in, then on to the next shop.

Shoes! Oh yes! Just look at those soft ankle boots, a fabulous shade of purple, she'd have to pull up the Pan-tone scale to discover the exact name, but it was gorgeous. Would it hurt to walk in for a few minutes? A glance out the windows told her that the weather—

"Don't move," a voice said. Low, male, vicious. A hard thump on the back made her stagger. One big strong hand held her shoulder, another pushed something sharp against her side, at the edge of her laptop backpack straps. "Don't turn around, don't fucking breathe," the voice said. "You feel this?"

This was a knife, sharp-pointed. It had cut through her coat and sweater and the point was pressed against her skin. Any move she made would result in the knife slashing her side.

"Yes." Felicity tried to keep her voice even. She scanned the hall but there was no help coming. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people, hurrying this way and that and not one paying her the slightest bit of attention. What would they see, anyway? A woman with a man at her back. He could be her husband, her boyfriend, her brother. "I feel it."

"Good. Now, this is how it's going to work. We're going to take the escalators down to the street level. Then head outside. You're going to walk in a straight line the fifty meters to the escalators and be very quiet. You are not going to attract anyone's attention because by the time you have caught someone's attention, I'll have sliced you open. Do you understand me?"

She nodded.

"Say it!"

"I understand."

He spoke English well with a slight British accent and something underneath that. An accent very similar to her mother's only better English than her mother had ever learned. Russian? Ukrainian? And he calculated in meters. Lots of people did, though, including the million and a half members of the US military plus the eight hundred thousand in the reserves. But what did she know? Linguistics weren't her forte. Computers were.

Computers had saved her life, were her life. Maybe…

Another hard thump from behind to propel her forward, the man's hand painfully gripping her shoulder. Felicity started walking as slowly as she dared.

Because in here, in the bustle of the crowd, there was safety in numbers. Once they had gone down to street level and exited the airport, once he'd herded her away from the crowd, any hope of rescue would be gone. Though it was only midafternoon, the sky was dark. The weather outside would make everybody walk around in a little cocoon of self-preservation, eyes slitted against the snow, watching their feet, not noticing anyone else.

If she could make an escape it would have to be here, inside. Outside the doors of the airport, she'd be lost. Whatever this man wanted from her, he'd get. Whatever this was, it might end with her body dumped by the side of the road.

She slowed down slightly, head bowed, dejection in every line of her body. She watched people moving, some fast, some slow, and calculated trajectories. A watch-and-sunglasses kiosk with standalone revolving displays was coming up on her right hand side.

Felicity lunged and a line of fire sliced down her side. She was cut, maybe badly, but she was free of the heavy hand on her shoulder, of the knife held in the man's other hand. However badly she was hurt, she'd be in worse shape if he caught her again.

He wanted quiet, he wanted to grab her without any fuss, so he wouldn't shout out.

If he had help—if there were other men around as backup—she was in trouble. There was no way of knowing. She could only implement the crazy plan that had blossomed between the shoe store and the watch kiosk.

The line of fire, as if someone had pressed a hot piece of steel down her side, turned to pain. Hot, searing pain that made her gasp.

Passing the watch-and-sunglasses kiosk she shoved really hard at the two displays, happy they tumbled, scattering watches and sunglasses everywhere.

Felicity didn't dare look around to see where he was. All she could do was run. She took off, dragging her carry-on and realized instantly it would slow her down in the crowd. She abandoned it. She had the only thing she really needed in her backpack—her specially designed laptop, worth over fifty thousand dollars and now worth her life. She barreled forward, pushing and tripping people, leaving as much confusion behind as possible.

Ten feet away was a pillar. Scrambling behind it, she looked back. It was a risk, but she had to know what the situation was like behind her and she had to know what her assailant looked like.

She'd left chaos in her wake, colorful watches and sunglasses littering the floor, several women kneeling on the floor, a couple of college-age students picking up watches with a smile, a couple of crying kids and…there he was! Medium height, dirty blond hair barely visible beneath a wide-brimmed hat, well built, well dressed, cold flat eyes. And—yes—he was holding something in his right hand that was dripping blood. Her blood. He put the knife away almost immediately.

She was dripping too. She put a hand to her side and it came away wet and red. It was a serious wound. It was fiercely painful and impeded movement. She had to do something quick. Another slash like that and she wouldn't survive this.

Well, she'd lived with danger close all her life and was built for this. A fully formed plan had consolidated in her mind and it gave her strength. Ducking and weaving, using every inch of cover available, she headed straight for the bathrooms on the other side of the huge concourse.

Something on the floor caught her eye. She looked down and froze. Bright red drops. A blood trail, a huge arrow that would lead him straight to her once order was established. Whoever this man was, he would be more than capable of following a blood trail.

A couple passed by with a baby in a stroller, both parents burdened with huge amounts of kid paraphernalia, including a blue baby blanket. And—aha!—a dirty baseball cap. She grabbed the cap and the blanket, pressing the blanket to her side under the coat. She ran to the bathroom, checking to see that she didn't leave bloody footprints.

A small atrium before the doors of the women's rest-room gave her a moment's shelter. She stopped, panting, and peeked around the corner, grimacing with pain. She swayed and propped herself up using a knuckle, since her palms were slick with blood.

The man was in profile, scanning straight ahead. The god of nerds was smiling on her because a huge knot of people, most of them young like her, moved across the concourse, perpendicular to the flow of people. Her attacker moved forward as though he'd been sprung out of a cage. The knot of people was exactly the kind of crowd she'd try to hide in and like a bloodhound scenting prey, he shot across the floor, head swiveling to catch a glimpse of her.

But she was behind him now, ducking into the ladies' room, which was—thank God!—empty. In the handicapped stall, she locked the door and sat cross-legged on the toilet lid, pulling out her cell phone and her laptop. She took the battery out of her cell, so she couldn't be tracked and opened her laptop. It was very special and could run for two hundred hours without recharging. A prototype, given to her by China's top hacker while he'd been a Black Hat. It turned on immediately. Her fingers flew over the keyboard. The laptop was very fast and powerful and had a lot of programs it shouldn't have. With the help of one she accessed the airport's security system and initiated a bomb alert. A siren sounded immediately.

Then she hacked into the airport loudspeaker system, overrode the regular announcements and used an app she'd designed to disguise her voice. It turned her natural soprano into a male basso profundo that sounded like God Himself.

"Attention, attention, we have just received a bomb alert. We ask all passengers and personnel to please make for the exits in an orderly fashion. You may use the stairs and the escalators but not the elevators. Attention, attention—"

She put the announcement on a loop.

As if on cue, sounds of screams came from the concourse outside the toilets, the flooring shivering with the vibrations of thousands of feet running.

The laptop screen went out of focus for an instant and Felicity grabbed the stability bar for the handicapped, grateful that she'd chosen this stall. She held it, white-knuckled, until her head cleared. Almost afraid, she glanced down at her side and saw that the blanket she'd wrapped around herself was soaked with blood. Soon she was going to faint and then she'd really be prey. Her attacker wouldn't find her outside and would come back inside and check the place thoroughly. If he found her unconscious on the floor of the bathroom stall, she was done for.

One last thing to do.

Like all large airports, the Portland airport had an ambulance service on duty 24/7 in case of an airplane crash. Though the letters danced on the screen, she found the emergency service and directed the ambulances to come around to the front of the street level.

Someone would have ordered them out anyway, eventually, but she needed an ambulance now.

Hitching her laptop backpack higher up on her shoulders, she planted a bloody hand against the pristine white walls of the stall, realizing that she was leaving DNA and fingerprints. She should go into the outer room, grab some towels, soak them with water and soap, and wipe it down.

But really, she'd need bleach. And she didn't have the strength anyway. Pressing the last dry part of the baby blanket against her side, she put on the baseball cap, tucking her hair in to hide the color, and walked out into utter chaos.

Good. Chaos was good.

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Midnight Promises 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
J: Ok, I did try one more by this author. I guess our stills just don't match. There is way too much focus on the romance. The suspence and action seems to take a back seat. From the overview this could have been a really good story but I found myself skipping over page after page of redundant "romance" trying to get back to the plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its almost like this is a different author in her last few books. Absolutely no connection or interaction between the hero or herione....yuck.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love Lisa Marie Rice books! Another great read. You can't put her books down. She writes such strong characters, adds in suspense and sexy romance. Thank you Lisa!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It seems miss Rice hasn't listened to the reviews from last time. I have loved her books in the past but if her writing style continues i will no longer purchase her books. The people in the book dont talk to each other they talk to themselves! They repeat the same things over and over to themselves. Very annoying and makes for a very boring book can only be be thankful its very short.
UnderJen More than 1 year ago
Good God!.. I think I have fallen in love with a new series. Action, mystery, romance, bad guys and a super smart heroine. .. Score! Highly recommend!
My_Peace More than 1 year ago
In Midnight Promises (Midnight #5) by Lisa Marie Rice, the secrets in Felicity's family run deep.  Having spent her life in the witness protection program, Felicity is independent, works freelance, keeps to herself and is pretty socially isolated by choice.  Someone knows Felicity's secrets though...and they want to know more, stopping at nothing to get the answers they are sure Felicity has.  Felicity is very smart and ready for almost anything.  Except for an attempted abduction attempt as she is on her way to pay a surprise first visit to her cyber friend Lauren.  The abduction attempt leaves Felicity badly injured, but she keeps her wits about her, very aware that whoever attacked her could still be lurking.  She barely manages to make it to her friend Lauren's house before she collapses... Right into the arms of Sean, former Navy SEAL medic known as Metal.  From the moment he sees and touches Felicity, even not knowing what is going on, he feels for her and knows he will do whatever it takes to keep her safe.  But will it be enough?  As they, along with a host of necessary secondary characters try to keep Felicity safe while figuring out who is after her and why, Felicity and Metal find an unexpected relationship between them growing, and the heat reaching boiling point.  Will they find answers before it is too late to have any kind of future together? I absolutely loved Midnight Promises!  Lisa Marie Rice pulled me in from the first page and kept my attention to the very last word of Midnight Promises.  My favorite part of the book is the relationship between Metal and Felicity.  Although it is fast, it is so natural, like they were just meant for each other.  There was no relationship angst, no thoughts of why they shouldn't be involved...they just accepted their feelings and went with it!  I love characters that are strong enough to do this.  I like that they both have had bad things happen to them in the past but they don't let it cloud their future.  We see their relationship developing at the same time that Lisa Marie Rice is treating us to the action, danger and mystery of a great romantic suspense.  She weaves it all together so it blends well, and the flow is fantastic. There are secondary characters you will recognize from previous Midnight books in Midnight Promises, but they are very much part of the present story so I believe Midnight Promises can be read alone.  I have read some but not all of the Midnight series and had no difficulty or confusion.  This is very much Metal and Felicity's story. I liked the political aspects that Lisa Marie Rice writes about, and for me this gave the story a strong sense of realism and believability.  She kept me on the edge of my seat with a powerful plot. Lisa Marie Rice made me genuinely feel for the Felicity and Metal, her descriptions of them and their actions really brought them to life for me and made them very unforgettable.   I'd highly recommend Midnight Promises to any romantic suspense reader, you won't be able to put it down!
lrhubble More than 1 year ago
An Excellent Book Contemporary Romance Portland, Oregon Sean “Metal” O’Brien is a former Navy SEAL medic that knows exactly what to do with a gorgeous, bleeding woman that is on the run who falls into his arms. Keep her safe while tending to her and healing her. The one thing he seems unable to do is keep his guard up around her. With her haunted, hunted beauty she knocks down all of his defenses. Facility Ward knows all about secrets. She was raised in the Witness Protection program and her whole childhood has been one huge lie. What she never imagined that was that her family’s secrets could spark a nuclear war. Secrets she never knew she was keeping. Even with the life she has led nothing prepared her for the sexy, tough warrior that has saved her life and has now vowed to protect that life no matter what the cost. This is a story that starts out fast and never stops. The action and romance are non-stop and makes for a book that is hard to put down. The characters are complex and fascinating and they move the plot of the book along very well. It also gives a little glimpse into a history that is long gone. The story will also have readers wanting to read more from this author. The secondary characters prove to add a lot to the story line while not detracting in the least. Readers will want more from this world as they will hate to leave it once the story is over. Received a review copy
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
Felicity Ward has been running all her life. Her scientist parents were Russian defectors. Suddenly she's targeted by enemies that will stop at nothing to learn her father's secrets. Will her wits and computer skills save her life? When she meets Sean "Metal" O'Brien, she's in bad shape with a knife wound. He's a former Seal medic. Metal is her savior. He promises that he and his friends will track down her attacker. I loved the characters. Felicity is a worthy heroine. She is brave and has skills that she used to save herself. Metal may look threatening but he has a tender heart. He's a gentle giant. I fell in love with him. He cares for Felicity and will protect her with his life. Can he save her from himself? She's an innocent about love and passion. This story is a roller coaster ride filled with danger. I was hooked from the first page. I enjoyed seeing some characters from previous Midnight series books. They're a nice addition. Portland in winter added atmosphere and increased the feeling of isolation and danger. Lisa Marie Rice has outdone herself. The ending of Midnight Promises took my breath away. I can't wait for the release of Midnight Vengeance.
yasmine32068 More than 1 year ago
From cover to cover this book is packed with nonstop action and romance! 
aimz1972 More than 1 year ago
Loved Midnight Promises. I think this may be my favorite in the Midnight series! Felicity and Metal (Sean) the main characters in this book were so real. I love her excitability at seeing the shops in the airport...that is until all goes wrong and she is almost kidnapped. This story involves a former colonel of the KGB finding out one of his scientists defected all those years ago instead dying in a car crash just after receiving the Nobel Prize. Flash forward to today and you meet Felicity who grew up in hiding an being taught you are never safe. She is extremely smart and quick to think on her feet when she is grabbed. Although injured, she manages to get to the only person she knows in Portland, and that is when she literally falls into Metal's arms. Not wanting to give anything away, just know that this book is another amazing example of Lisa Marie Rice's hot alpha men! I recommend this book (series) to anyone who loves hot men, suspense and romance... <3 <3 <3
taximom2 More than 1 year ago
Sometimes you just know. This story opens with the prologue from a KGB kidnapper’s point of view. I knew this would be an interesting read, since the backstory was established and the suspense was the driving force. Sometimes it only takes a paragraph or two to know you want to find out more - so you read the story as fast as you can, and then you read it again. This is that story! The character development in Midnight Promises is very well done. Felicity is introduced as the daughter of Russian defectors, on her way to visit a friend across the country. She is smart and resourceful. Metal (Sean) is a former SEAL, a big guy who works for a security firm. You just know they will work their way toward being together. Their story is not rushed or forced – it is a melding of two halves despite their circumstances. This was my first experience reading Lisa Marie Rice’s work, but it won’t be my last. Sometimes you just know. I received a free copy of this book. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Courageous is the only way I can describe Felicity. Quick witted in the face of terror, she escapes, wounded and alone. Or is she? A must read!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was surprised I did not like this more. I have read a lot of Ms. Rice's books, but I felt like the descripions just went on and on and on. I liked the story line, but it seemed like there were pages of description, for example, of the heroine being carried from the bedroom to the kitchen and back. The characters thought the same things over and over again. Felt like filler to turn a novella into a full book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All of Lisa Marie Rice's books in the Midnight Men and Midnight Series are fabulous. I cannot wait until the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ran to sadile res one as fast as she could