The Ultimatum

The Guardian

Book 1
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"Enthralling… Readers won't want this adrenaline-rich story to end. " —Booklist (starred review)

Thief. Manipulator. Con artist. Call it what you will—Bianca St. Ives is the best in the business. 

Growing up, Bianca St. Ives knew she was different from all her friends. Instead of playing hopscotch or combing her dolls' hair, she studied martial arts with sensei masters and dismantled explosives with special-ops retirees. Her father prepped her well to carry on the family business. Now a striking beauty with fierce skills, the prodigy has surpassed the master. 

She's known as the Guardian. Running a multinational firm with her father, she makes a living swindling con men out of money they stole—and she's damn good at it. She does things on her own terms. But her latest gig had a little hiccup—if you count two hundred million dollars and top secret government documents going missing as little. Her father also died on the mission. The thing is, the US government doesn't believe he's really dead. They'll stop at nothing to capture Richard St. Ives, a high-value target and someone who has been on most-wanted lists all over the world for over two decades, and they mean to use Bianca as bait. With only a fellow criminal for backup and her life on the line, it's up to Bianca to uncover the terrifying truth behind what really happened…and set it right, before it's too late.

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More by Karen Robards

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Karen Robards once again electrifes the page with hardwired passion and thrilling suspense in this heart-pounding novel.

Suspicion. It burned through every nerve and fiber of Julie Carlson—the heartbreaking, infuriating suspicion that her husband was having an affair. To the rest of the world, Sid Carlson was a wealthy contractor with friends in highly influential places. But to Julie, he was a man who had cheated on their marriage vow—and she knew she had to take desperate measures. Who can she trust? Heartbroken by her husband, Julie turns to a handsome stranger.

Mac McQuarry knew better than to mix women and work: the private detective had tracked enough cheating spouses to know unbridled desire usually has no good end. And he had enough trouble of his own: the disgraced former cop had been bumped way down to his current status after an explosive shakedown of the Charleston police department. But when Julie Carlson hires him, Mac can't resist. Not only is she drop-dead gorgeous, but her husband, a longtime enemy, was a player in Mac's inglorious downfall—and he'd love nothing more than to catch the corrupt jerk with his pants down, so to speak.

But what begins as a run-of-the-mill assignment spiced by a fiery flirtation with beautiful Julie suddenly spirals into a harrowing race for survival. Tracking the Carlsons' car down a lonely road one night, Mac witnesses an incredible hit that targeted Julie—and suddenly Mac and Julie have become the hunted. With the mob and the police in hot pursuit, they can rely only on each other as they crash their way through a maze of buried secrets and deadly deceptions.


14 total

Additional Information

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Published on
Jul 1, 2017
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Fiction / Crime
Fiction / Thrillers / Crime
Fiction / Thrillers / General
Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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In a fast-paced, brilliantly twisted novel of suspense from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jackson, the deadly secrets of a long-ago summer stir to life once more.

It starts as a prank—a way to blow off steam after a long summer at Camp Horseshoe. Among the teen counselors, tensions and hormones are running high. No wonder the others agree when Jo-Beth Chancellor suggests they scare Monica O’Neal a little . . . or a lot. Monica has it coming, and no one will really get hurt. What could go wrong?


Twenty years later, Lucas Dalton, a senior detective with the sheriff’s department, is investigating the discovery of human remains in a cavern at what used to be Camp Horseshoe. Lucas knows the spot well. His father, a preacher, ran the camp, and Lucas worked there that infamous summer when two girls went missing. No one knows what happened to either of them, though with a dangerous convict on the loose, gossip was rife that they may have been kidnapped, or worse.

For Lucas, the case is personal—perhaps too much so. But it’s time to uncover the whole truth at last. That’s why seven former female counselors are coming back to the small Oregon town—among them, Bernadette Alsace, the woman Lucas has never forgotten. Each one knows something about that terrible night. Each promised not to tell. And as they reunite, a new horror unfolds. First come texts containing a personal memento and a simple, terrifying message: YOU WILL PAY. Then, the murders begin.

It started years ago. But it will end here—as a web of lust, greed, and betrayal is untangled to reveal a killer waiting to enact the perfect revenge.



“Jackson generates near-constant suspense, weaving together disparate plot turns, directing a large cast of characters, and playing up movie-star egos and show-biz gossip to give the novel a vintage Hollywood feel.” --Booklist


“Jackson definitely knows how to keep readers riveted.” --Mystery Scene


“Jackson definitely knows how to jangle readers’ nerves…Close to Home is perfect for readers of Joy Fielding or fans of Mary Higgins Clark.” --Booklist


“Absolutely tension filled…Jackson is on top of her game.” --Suspense Magazine


“Lisa Jackson shows yet again why she is one of the best at romantic suspense. A pure nail biter.”  --Harlan Coben, # 1 New York Times bestselling author

“Shiveringly good suspense!” --Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author


“Her latest whodunit hits all the marks, taking readers on a nail-biting roller-coaster ride.” --Library Journal

“A juicy creep-a-thon…builds to a surprising cliffhanger ending.” --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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