Before Nightfall by Kat Martin - Cover Art

Before Nightfall – Now Available!

Kat Martin is back with another thrilling Maximum Security novella filled with danger, suspense and one smoldering road trip to the mountains of Mexico!


When her best friend’s son is kidnapped, private detective Lissa Blayne drops everything to focus on the missing boy. Julie and Lissa have been close for years, so when Julie’s friend Colt Wheeler joins the investigation, Lissa bristles at the former ranger’s take-charge attitude. Lissa doesn’t need a man calling the shots, even if there is something about Colt’s protective side that has her tough exterior melting away. As Lissa and Colt take their search on the road, the tension between them slowly morphs into trust and understanding—and they’ll need both in order to outsmart the dangerous abductor they’re tracking. The only thing hotter than their attraction is the heat of the Mexican sun, but this road trip is no vacation…

Excerpt From Before Nightfall

“Lissa?  Lissa, it-it’s Julie.  I’m really sorry to bother you, but Raymond…Ray’s in town.  I haven’t seen him in years and now he’s here.  He’s on his way over–right now!  I’m scared, Liss.  He says he wants to see his kids.  I don’t know what to do.”

The phone tightened in her hand as Lissa Blayne, a private detective at the Dallas branch of Maximum Security, rose behind her desk.

“I’m on my way,” she said.  “Just hang on until I get there.  Where are the kids?”

“They’re still in school.  They’ll be home any minute.”

“Okay, just try to stay calm and I’ll be there as fast as I can.”

Julie Douglas was Lissa’s best friend, had been since their freshman year at Pleasant View High School.  They were an odd match, Julie born into an upper middle class family, while Lissa lived with a single mom barely been able to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.

Then Julie’s family had moved to Houston in her senior year and the two of them had lost touch.  They didn’t see each other until Julie moved back to Dallas three years ago, where their friendship resumed as if they’d never been apart.

Lissa thought of Julie’s frantic phone call.  They had talked about her friend’s disastrous first marriage and her abusive husband, Ray Spearman.  He’d been gone from her life for eight years.  A month ago Julie had started receiving text messages, then a phone call demanding to see the children he had abandoned.

Julie believed he was dangerous.

Lissa believed in being prepared.

Excerpt 2 From Before Nightfall

Julie smiled.  “We’d love for you to join us, wouldn’t we, Colt?  I’m making spaghetti.  Come over a little early and we’ll have a glass of wine.”

“You should definitely join us,” Colt said, just to watch Lissa’s temper flare.  “Three can be even more fun than two.”

Lissa’s dark eyes narrowed.  There was a hint of gold around the rims that glittered with angry heat.  He’d like to turn that heat in a different direction.

“Okay, you’ve convinced me,” Lissa said, clearly determined to protect her friend.  “I’ll be here a little before seven.”

Colt almost smiled.  His stop in Dallas was going to be a lot more interesting than he had anticipated.  Lissa Blayne was all fiery temper and cool disdain.  She heated his blood in a way no woman had in a very long time.

And from the look in those hot brown eyes, Colt figured Lissa felt at least some of the attraction he felt for her.  Not that she wasn’t fighting it.

Tonight he’d make sure Lissa knew he wasn’t interested in more than friendship with Julie and never has been.  Nor did Julie have that sort of interest in him.

First he had to deal with Spearman, make sure he was out of Julie and the kids’ life for good.  Then he could focus on Lissa.  His body stirred and his groin tightened just thinking about her.

He hoped Lissa came up with Spearman’s location so he could make the problem end.

Seven o’clock couldn’t come too soon.

Excerpt 3 From Before Nightfall

Colt looked down at Julie, who sat next to him on the sofa, fighting to hold back tears.  He cupped her face in his palms, forcing her to look at him.  “I’m going after Tim.  I’ll bring him home.  I won’t come back without him.  I promise you, Julie.”

He let her go, and she took a shaky breath.  “What about the police?”

“I’ll call them,” Lissa said, bring Colt’s attention back to her.  “I’ve got friends in the department.  They’ll get things rolling, put out a BOLO and an Amber Alert.  They’ll stop him at the border if he gets that far.”

“My stuff is still in the car,” Colt said.  “I’m ready to leave right now.  I’ll stay in touch, let you know what’s happening.”  He kept his gaze on Julie.  “You can count on me to take care of this.”

Julie managed a shaky nod.

Colt turned to Lissa.  “Stay on your friend, Tabby.  Anything she gives you, I need to know.”

A hard smile curved those pretty pink lips.  “That shouldn’t be tough to do–since we’ll both be in the same car.  The only question is–are we taking yours or mine?”

Colt shook his head.  “You’ll just be in the way.”

Lissa actually laughed.  “That’s not true, and unless you’re a fool–which I don’t believe you are–you know it.    I’m armed.  My car’s parked out front.  I keep a go-bag in the trunk.  My passport’s in it.  I’m ready whenever you are.”

Amusement filtered through him.  She was a trained police officer, and clearly intelligent.  She’d be an asset not a liability.  And she knew it.

“If you’re sure that’s the way you want it,” he said.  “I’m driving.”


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Book Details

  • File Size: 2004 KB
  • Publisher: HQN Books (July 1, 2020)
  • Publication Date: July 1, 2020
  • Sold by: Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B085QKB7SP
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled 
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled 

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