Updated: Feb 24
Welcome back to the weekly sneak peek at Book 3 of the Cardinal Series.
If you're reading this, you've stumbled your way after the trail of breadcrumbs, starving for another sneak peek at the upcoming book, Cardinal of Hope.
I just got my book back from my first editor today. I'm halfway finished combing through the edits, and the second editor I have said that it'll only take her a week to finish her edits. So...that means that the third book WILL be released mid-March! I'll be updating the official date on Amazon soon!
So, without further ado, here's the promised sneak peek from the soon-to-be-released book 3 of the Cardinal series by me, Mia Smantz. If you haven't ordered your copy of Cardinal of Hope, make sure to do so today!
Cardinal of Hope by Mia Smantz
“Johnson,” Yolo called, not letting go of my hand once I was standing.
“What?” he asked, still beating himself up over something but sounding somewhat calmer.
“I want to lead this session,” she said.
He approached, avoiding my gaze. “You’ve never taught a defense class before.”
“Non, but I have lots of experience fighting as Callie’s size, would you agree? And I have an idea to help her. We’ve tried it your way for an hour already with no progress. Let me try it for the last hour. It’ll only be this once. What harm can it be?”
Brock ran his hands through his inky black hair, making it stick up in odd places. He let out a deep breath before conceding, “Fine, but only if it’s okay with Callie.”
“It’s fine,” I said, wondering what Yolo thought she could do to help.
“Okay...Callie, who do you think is the scariest guy in the room?”
I had to make a concentrated effort not to look over to the side of the room. I cleared my throat. “No one. They wouldn’t hurt me.”
Yolo rolled her eyes. “Mon Dieu, Callie, you won’t hurt anyone’s feelings. They’re all Delta. Of course they won’t hurt you! I’m just asking you which one you think is the scariest person in this room. You met them months ago. One of them must stand out as being terrifying when you first saw them.”
Still, I didn’t look over to the side of the room, but I distinctly remembered the first time I’d met them. I remembered the blinding panic, even at just hearing his voice, thinking he was in Ivanov’s back pocket because of his nationality. Then I saw what he looked like.
“Aleks,” I whispered, not looking up.
“Better,” she said to me before calling Aleks up to the mat. “You will spar with Johnson,” she told him.
“What? Why?” Brock questioned, sounding curious and not all that scared. He had a right to be confident. He was only slightly smaller than Aleks, maybe three inches shorter than the Russian giant. Brock also had more black belts than team members. Still, Aleks had to have fifty pounds of muscle on him.
I bit my lip.
“Just trust me,” Yolo said, putting a stop to his line of questioning.
Brock nodded and stepped out into the middle of the mat with Aleks. Brock, despite his size, moved sprightly on his bare feet while Aleks’s large boots made ominous squishing noises as they crushed the mats with each step.
“What are the rules?” Brock asked, his eyes assessing Aleks. “I want to make sure there’s no dirty fighting.”
Aleks threw his head back and laughed. “Ah, you amuse me, Boulder. You think I cheat?”
Yolo had kept me close to her, our hands still awkwardly clasped. She let a small smile grace her face and held up our entwined grip. “Pretend you are fighting for Callie’s hand in marriage.”
The humor slipped from Aleks’s face.
Aleks vs. Brock
Who do you think will win?