Thursday, June 10, 2021



                                           Agent Zero by Janet Walden-West

He owns the spotlight, she lives in the shadows.

VEE: My only purpose? Keep lethal cryptids in check, and our Company existence secret.
Sometimes a girl needs a night of karaoke and tequila though. Instead, after a vicious new cryptid species crashes the party, I end up saving and carting home a way arrogant, way hot chef. With Bruce Kantor now a temporary roommate it seems like the perfect time to indulge my forbidden civilian fascination—especially the friends-with-benefits part. But the feelings he ignites threaten my oath and mission.

BRUCE: Damn right I’m the bad boy of the culinary world.
I live for the limelight, and the legions of #BruceTheBastard fans love my temper as much as my food. After stomping out of one high-profile gig, all I’m looking for are directions to my next. What I get is a giant Komodo Dragon-wannabe, and Vee Ramirez, the most infuriatingly irresistible woman to ever hit my radar.

Even if we survive the relentless monster on my trail, our future is toast unless I can convince Vee there’s more to life than the Company.


Janet Walden-West lives in the Southeast with a pack of show dogs, a couple of kids, and a husband who didn’t read the fine print. A member of the East Tennessee Creative Writers Alliance, she is also a founding member of The Million Words craft blog. She pens inclusive Contemporary Romance and Urban Fantasy. As a two-time Pitch Wars alum turned Pitch Wars 2019 Mentor, Sherrilyn Kenyon scholarship recipient, and Golden Heart® finalist, she believes in paying it forward by supporting burgeoning Southern writers. She is represented by Eva Scalzo of Speilburg Literary Agency.

Find more about her at or on social media.


Chapter Two

 “I’m not drunk, damn it.”

I steered us down the street. “You argue a lot.”

“The fuck I do.”

My laugh popped out. So much for not antagonizing him. We garnered a sympathetic eye roll from a couple crossing the road, probably assuming we were another couple out for some fun, and now I was stuck hauling my inebriated partner home.

He was leaning hard by the time we entered the garage. At least when I hit the fob, headlights blinked on the first level and only feet away.

I tapped the unlock button then maneuvered my load into the passenger seat, hand on top of his head to protect his skull.

“In you go. What are the odds you can tell me where you’re staying?” I asked as I buckled him in.

He flicked a wobbly finger at the dash. “GPS. House rental.”

“You seriously need GPS while sober in order to find your place?”

He shrugged, sliding lower in the seat. “Why bother learning? I’ll be leaving again anyway.”

I pulled up directions and enjoyed the novelty of being in a car instead of the SUV or Liv’s jacked up truck. The GPS took us a few miles out, into an area of gated communities and exclusive views. I wasn’t especially familiar with this section since it wasn’t a cryptid hotspot, thus we only patrolled it sporadically.

“Last house.”

I glanced over, surprised my passenger wasn’t passed out. He’d sunk down in the comfy seat, his head turned to watch me. The streetlights here were bright enough to see his hair was brown, not the dark blond it had appeared in the bar.

I drove to the end of the small enclave, pulling into a short driveway with a two-story glass and steel house. “Garage?”

When I didn’t get a reply, I checked in. His eyes were finally closed. I played with compartments and

screens on the dash until the garage door rose, lights coming on as we entered and the door silently lowering.

I let myself back into the house, gun out, did a fast sweep of the house, then repeated it on the deck circling the west side. Using the rail as a boost, I pulled myself to the roof, the memory of the creature shimmying up walls fresh. All I got for my effort was a great view, desert on one side, city on the other, a patchwork of light and neon under the stars.

The guy was still out when I opened the car, a dead weight as I finally managed to get him out. “We should discuss the merits of single-story homes and gym memberships, mister,” I muttered, hefting him up one slow step at a time on the free-floating staircase. Which wasn’t really fair. The chest against me was solid, a muscled arm draped over my shoulders.

But our night out, the first in weeks thanks to what felt like non-stop mission call-outs, was shot.

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