The Hott Touch
Everyone adores Ex-SEAL Maverick Hott, especially the ladies. That’s the way it’s always been. But he keeps things casual, so no one captures his heart. And no one gets hurt.
Most of all, him.
Then, there’s beautiful Carly Stone. His bestie since they were kids. The girl who breathed life back into him when tragedy struck. The same one who runs him ragged on the racquetball court and sees into his soul with those piercing hazel eyes.
Yeah, that best friend.
Now, after almost dying during a hostage rescue mission, the fearless and cocky CEO of ThunderStrike has a brand new set of priorities…starting with her.
But he stumbles upon her secret, which has him questioning how well he really knows her, and compels him to risk everything for love…even though she’s determined to keep him rooted squarely in the friend zone.
When a powerful senator calls in a favor and Maverick refuses, the ruthless politico exacts his revenge. So Maverick turns to the person he trusts most.
Carly’s investigative skills are an asset. Her assets, a major distraction. And while posing as husband and wife, their chemistry is downright lethal.
Together, they’re unstoppable…until Carly gets caught in the crosshairs, and the most important mission of Maverick’s life is saving hers.
What readers are saying...
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "A 10-star read, compelling and absorbing from the minute you read that very first page, right through to the intriguing, suspenseful end! The characters are a force to be reckoned with! I smiled, I wept for the beautiful Harvard 6, brothers, friends, wives and lovers! This book is a superb read by the inimitable Stoni Alexander the best of the very best in this genre, she delivers the most exquisite goods every time!" ~Anne, BookBub reviewer
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "Stoni Alexander’s Touch series has been one of my favorites for suspense, story lines, great characters, swoon worthy heroes, a little kink and men who know how to love their women." ~llily, Amazon Reviewer
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "I absolutely loved this book. The Hott Touch was everything you could ask for. Ash and Carly were great characters. Their spark as best friends finally blazed out of control exposing their sizzling chemistry. The storyline was intriguing and the suspense added to it. I couldn’t put this book down until I finished it at 3:00am. The next day I started on book 1 in the Touch Series." ~Jinger, Amazon reviewer
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "This series continues to get better and "The Hott Touch" kept me on the edge of my seat, turning pages as fast as I could because I had to know what was going to happen!! I loved the sizzling chemistry and toe-curling romance between Maverick and Carly. If you enjoy well-crafted suspenseful and sexy romance, don't miss this can't-put-down book. Ms. Alexander never disappoints!" ~Pamela, Amazon reviewer
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "Whew. The Hott Touch...yes it definitely is HoTT with two Ts! I’ve read this entire series and I think this one may be my favorite. They’re really all so good! It’s like trying to pick your favorite child, you can’t. The somewhat slow burn in this book was killing me! In a good way. Ashton and Carly burn up the pages before they even really get together. I felt their chemistry through the pages! This book is action packed from the very first paragraph. So many twists and unexpected turns. There’s kink, there’s suspense, there’s sadness and two best friends who can no longer fight their feelings for one another.There is so much going on in this book, but the author weaves all of these pieces together to create the perfect story. I am a big fan of Stoni Alexander and can’t wait for more!" ~Taylor, Amazon reviewer
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "Stoni is a literary genius. She kept me on a roller coaster of emotions from chapter 1. The suspense alone kept me glued, throw in the erotic scenes... And she left me wanting to read the whole series again. I highly recommend." ~Megan, Amazon Reviewer
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "This is my first book by this author and I loved every word of it. I certainly will be reading more of her books. This story was jam packed from beginning to end and I loved Ashton and Carly. The suspense, intrigue and the plot of the story was extremely well written and flowed beautifully. It was clear that a lot of research was carried out that made this book a winner. I am so looking forward to the next book." ~Caroline, Amazon reviewer
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ "OMG. This book was way better than five stars. Intense storyline, fun characters, action packed plot. I read it cover to cover because I couldn’t put it down." ~Lisa, Amazon reviewer
Chapter 1— Thuderstrike's Hostage Rescue Mission
Ashton “Maverick” Hott lived for the challenge of turning the impossible into possible. As CEO of ThunderStrike, he understood that every mission came with risk, but this one had him on full tilt and high alert.
Leading his team into enemy territory, locating the American hostages, and getting everyone out alive was an arduous undertaking. But Maverick ran toward danger. He lived to rescue and protect.
His strong sense of responsibility extended to the employees working alongside him at his paramilitary security firm. Their lives were just as important as the prisoners they rescued. Every mission demanded the same outcome. They all went in together and they all got out together.
There was never any other option.
Zero three hundred meant black skies and quiet streets. Maverick and his elite team had studied the maps and completed the drills. They were prepared, and they were ready.
He led them due north. They hugged the buildings, avoided lights. Every crew member was committed, smarter than hell, and driven to succeed. They also entered each mission knowing it might be their last.
The deserted warehouse was located on the outskirts of some shithole town in the middle of fucking nowhere, Middle East.
Twelve American physicians had been working there, offering free medical care to the residents, when a terror cell raided the camp, killing most of the locals. The doctors were taken hostage. That’s when Maverick got the call.
He located the door in the building’s southwest corner. Though Maverick had no expectation the heavy metal fire door would be unlocked, he tried it.
He acknowledged his four-man team before aiming his Glock. “Breach,” he said into his comm.
He fired his weapon, the silencer helping to mute the sound. The deadbolt snapped free. He shoved open the door and entered, weapon drawn, his teammates close on his heels.
They’d be flying blind without their night-vision goggles. The five men entered a dark, windowless room, trash strewn throughout, several metal chairs tossed in the far corner. No hostages, no guards.
Two hand signals, and they filed toward the far door. Despite their gear and weapons, they made no sound, like big cats on the prowl for their next meal. If his sources were accurate, that door would be unlocked. Maverick waited until everyone had moved into position, submachine guns at the ready.
Through the door, they hoofed it down two flights of stairs and through a second door at the end of the dark corridor. As they charged forward, Maverick maintained control of his breathing. Slow inhale, hold two beats, and exhale.
Powered by adrenaline, he was keenly aware of his surroundings. The smallest sound magnified in his ears. Every odor, no matter how faint, penetrated his nostrils. His eyes were trained on his next target, yet his peripheral vision guarded against a surprise attack.
A creak in the rickety floorboards. He raised his right hand and they halted.
Dreaded, fucking footsteps.
A man appeared dressed in military fatigues and pointing an Uzi. ThunderStrike’s second-in-command, Marshall “Gunner” Young, fired a single shot and the man dropped.
“Move.” Despite the surprise, Maverick kept his voice low and even-keeled. Gunner stayed as lookout while Maverick led the remaining three forward. According to the intel they’d received, the twelve American hostages were on the other side of this door.
He turned the handle, eased it open.
Seven men. Five women. All sitting or lying on a filthy cement floor. A small lamp in the corner cast eerie shadows on the wall. Despite knowing the truth, he searched their faces for her. Always seeking. Never finding.
He approached and flipped up his night goggles. “We’ve come to bring you home.”
Another muted gunshot from the corridor. “We gotta go,” Gunner said through the comm.
Maverick and his team hurried the group onto their feet. The hostages were in bad shape, but he had to move them out. One of the men couldn’t stand, so Maverick hoisted him over his shoulder. The injured doctor groaned.
Per protocol, he led them in, but he was last man out. His team ushered the group down the hall toward a stairway.
Gunner fired another shot.
“Penelope, talk to me,” Maverick said. “We’re sixty seconds to rooftop.”
Maverick waited, but his lead helicopter pilot didn’t respond. They hustled up three flights of stairs and exited through a doorway onto the rooftop. Breathing hard, Maverick propped the American against the cement wall.
Between the weight of the man and the flak jacket, sweat soaked Maverick’s back. He searched the dark sky. The helos should be here.
“Penelope, I need your location.”
“Twenty seconds,” she replied. The edginess in her voice didn’t bode well.
The fire door burst open and four terrorists started spraying the rooftop with bullets. Maverick’s team released a torrent of gunfire and the enemy dropped.
“We have to land on the north side of the building,” Penelope said into Maverick’s earpiece.
Maverick shouldered his submachine gun and retrieved the injured hostage. “Follow me. Gunner, take the rear.”
As they charged across the roof, the Black Hawks touched down. Maverick placed the injured man inside, then helped two women. Three ThunderStrike crew guided six of the hostages to the second craft, then jumped in behind them.
After assisting the remaining three Americans, Maverick did a quick head count. They were one shy. The other chopper lifted off and he surveyed the area. Gunner lay writhing on the ground. Maverick sprinted back, hoisted the two hundred and fifty pound man into his arms, and bolted back toward the helicopter. “Talk to me.”
“Where are you hit?”
He laid Gunner into the belly of the craft.
As he was about to hop in, a barrage of gunfire exploded behind him. Searing pain shot through him. He tried climbing in, but collapsed on the ground.
“I’m hit,” Maverick said. “Penelope, go.”
“Gunner.” Penelope’s smooth voice rolled through the comm. “Make it happen.”
Gunner grunted. “I can’t move—”
“Two seconds, Gunner.” Penelope sounded far, far away, like she’d already left him to die in enemy territory.
An arm reached out…as everything faded to black.