We’re celebrating the release of The Sinner’s Bargain by Claire Contreras! We have an excerpt and some teasers to entice you, so be sure to let us know what you think!
Cover Design: Najla Qamber
Being pulled in different directions, Amara must choose what she wants to believe and whom she’ll trust.
“It’ll be a long flight, so try to get comfortable,” he said.
She turned to look at him, her eyes growing with her response, “How am I supposed to get comfortable?” her look said. She wasn’t sure if he would hear her if she spoke so she hoped the look was enough for him to understand. Her jaw tightened when his hand brushed against her face as he tapped the button beside her ear that she could press to speak.
“How long is the flight?” she asked.
He gave her a small smile. “Shorter than a commercial flight would have been.”
Amara breathed out, annoyed at his evasive response. “What do you think your boss wants to talk to me about?”
“I guess we’ll find out together.”
Her eyes flashed back to his icy blue gaze. “You really don’t know?”
“They don’t tell me everything.”
“That makes two of us,” she responded, facing forward again. She rolled her eyes when she heard him chuckle.
“Have you found anything on Colin?”
Amara tensed at that. “Why are you so interested in Colin? He’s just a regular guy. He’s not like you; he’s not involved in weird shit that gets people killed.”
“Maybe so, but it’s always good to have something that somebody wants just in case,” he said with a shrug. Philip reached under his seat and took a green apple out of his bag, offering it to Amara first, which she thought was ironic in a laughable way and annoying at the same time. She merely shook her head.
“You mean for blackmail? That’s why you always want to find out information on people. You might as well just say ‘get my information on this person so I can use it as blackmail.’”
“That’s not really how it works,” he said, taking a bite of the apple. The sound of his chewing was unwelcome in her ear. “I file information, and if later on I need to use it for something, I do. I have what Colin wants most right in front of me, and he knows it. He snuck past me once, but that was only because he had help, and I think Samuel and I have reached a mutual agreement that he fucked up in the matter.”
She looked at him again, but this time he didn’t meet her eyes, he kept his eyes forward, ignoring her. Amara didn’t notice when the helicopter began to leave the ground and was surprised when the voices in her ears told her they were on their way to the capitol. As she turned away from Philip to look out the window she wondered, if anything happened to her, would it all be over? Would the sultan’s people go after her mother, or was Amara the goal? She wasn’t a prize —wasn’t special—she was just a girl in her early twenties who was trying to do the right thing. She wasn’t sure what that was anymore.
“If I hadn’t been stupid enough to take the hit for my dad’s problems, would I still be here?” Her voice was small, the thought escaping her lips before she thought about speaking it.
“Your dad was only the beginning. You made it easier for us to get to you, but no, Amara, the reason for you being here is not that. We would have had to go after you sooner or later. If they had reached you first, you would be dead.” Amara looked at him, begging him to continue. “They would have used you to get what they wanted, and then they would have killed you.”
“Isn’t that what those men will do now, if they find me?”
Philip’s silence answered her.