At only age twenty-two, she’s the best Probie the
Agency has ever had—until her past catches up with her, leaving her devastated
and broken. Without hope.
one knows what they’re made of until they’re broken. At the tender age of
twenty-two, Hope Ali has finally joined the organization of her dreams, the
Agency, an elite group of attorneys who go undercover to right wrongs the law
can’t. The requirements are stringent, the training exhausting.
asylum in the United States when she was sixteen, Hope and her father, Sheikh
Harun Ali, settled in a quiet Wisconsin town, hiding from those who had placed
a price on their heads. Still, she excelled, finishing her university and law
school education by the time she was twenty-one.
breezing through the Agency training program, Hope appears to be
indestructible—until she is assigned a simple task during the rescue of an
author among the disappeared in the UAE. The task? To distract the woman’s
captors until she can be spirited out of the country.
member of MISix has other plans. In an attempt to disrupt the Agency’s mission,
she tips off one of Hope’s enemies, alerting them to her location. Hope manages
to lead the author’s captors on a merry dance, freeing others to rescue her,
until she is unexpectedly confronted with a violent angry mob intent on harm.
She is left bloody
and broken. No one knows whether Hope’s body or her mind will heal. Suddenly
Hope is no longer just her name. It is also the one thing she must embrace to
find her new normal.
stared at the pit full of ice, then gazed at Dianna. “You want me to do what?”
“This is your new obstacle course. It’s called The Ballbuster. Obviously, the other one wasn’t challenging enough
for you, so I thought we’d try something else.” She smirked. “What’s the
matter, not up to it, Probie?”
Hope scowled. “I
thought you were my friend.”
“When you’re on
Agency grounds, I’m your trainer and mentor first. You know that, Hope. My job
is to make sure that when in the field, you can overcome every obstacle.
Failure isn’t an option. Failure could mean death.”
“Don’t you think I know that? God, everyone seems duty-bound to remind me of
that every damn day. I’m not a child. I know my limits. I know my weaknesses.
You don’t have to bludgeon me over the head with a cudgel.”
expression hardened. “Here’s the thing, Hope. The second you begin to believe
that you can overcome every obstacle put in front of you is the day you should
quit. Confidence is one thing. Feeling that you’re omniscient is another. Out
in the field, fear is what drives you, and it could very well be what saves
you. I don’t need you taking stupid chances because you think you’re Wonder
Woman, able to thwart every threat. I need you to calmly assess each
situation and rationally weigh the risks. You need to know when to walk away.
Just as you need to know when a risk is worth taking. You have no real
superpowers, woman. And you need to remember that. That’s why you’re on
probation until we’re confident you can survive, Probie.
“This job isn’t
about physical skill. It’s about being able to clearly, quickly, and competently
analyze the risks. What I see right now is a young woman without fear, willing
to take on any roadblock. I need you to recognize your limits and work around
them. There is no shame in admitting defeat. And there most definitely is no
shame in asking for help. That’s why each obstacle has a kill bell. Hit that
and the exercise stops.”
“And then what,”
Hope muttered. “I get kicked out?”
“No, then we step
in and help. This Agency leaves no man or woman behind, Hope. They proved that
to me when I was sent to Bolivia. The minute I sent out the Bat Signal, they
began putting together a team to extract me. They saved my life.”