Rhonda Lee Carver
Reese Shane’s life was changed forever when she suffered a traumatic head injury while on duty in Iraq. Three years later, she’s left with epileptic seizures along with a service dog that alerts her to oncoming seizures.
Army Ranger Seth Knight, also known as Dark Knight, isn’t a stranger to danger or trauma. A bomb explosion during a covert mission left him scarred physically and, more importantly, emotionally. With no interest in his family’s fortunes and glamorous social revelries, he has secluded himself on the large property his father left him in the Tennessee hills. He likes being alone, but when a fiery spirit shows up on his doorstep, his peace and quiet gets a makeover.
Reese’s work helping injured veterans is jeopardized when Angelina Knight passes away. She had promised to financially back Reese’s project. Now Reese must turn to plan B: Seth Knight. She’s heard the rumors of the recluse in the mountains and isn’t sure how she’ll convince the angry soldier why he should open his secret haven to veterans when he wants nothing to do with her, or her dreams.
Little does she know, but will find out, that the “Dark Knight” has many layers, and badass isn’t the only one.
Seth thinks he’s agreeing to help Reese, but soon he’ll find out that she is the one saving him…
Seth is haunted by survivors guilt and like many veterans nightmares. He’s locked himself away from everyone, living on the property he and his father had once planned to renovate. His late sister Angelina had updated his cabin there with many modern conveniences making his seclusion far more comfortable than it would have been otherwise.
A veteran with issues not only from PTSD but from her injuries as well, Reese had proposed a project to Angelina not long before she passed away. Without knowing if she had spoken to her brother, Reese started trying to contact Seth. Not receiving a reply she goes all in to confront him.
Now of course Seth makes her work for his commitment but he also has conditions of his own.
This is a favorite scene.
“Angelina had been after me for a long time to do something with this place.”
“And it’s very odd that you haven’t. Maybe you’ve been waiting for something special to come along?” When one brow shot up, she swallowed hard understanding what her words insinuated, which was far from what she intended. Sure, he was attractive in a brute sort of way, but she wasn’t looking to get to know him better unless it came with an attached business deal.
“Do you plan to lead this adventure yourself?” “I thought the two of us would steer the helm. It’s a big project and Angelina had said that you were great with business.”
“Has my late sister given away all my secrets?”
She sighed. Should she be honest? She had a feeling if she wasn’t, he’d see straight through her, and she couldn’t risk coming off as not being transparent. Not when she was asking him to dump a lot of money for the project. “She did say that your heart was broken.”
He dropped his hands into his lap, his shoulders widened as he shook his head and dropped his feet to the floor. “I can’t just give you an answer on this, Ms. Shane—”
“Okay, Reese. I need time. I have to think about it, run it by my brothers.”
“Oh, I didn’t know they shared in ownership here.”
“They don’t, but we watch each other’s backs, and as good at business as I am, they’re even better. If I agree to this, there must be a safety net so neither one of lose big here, as anyone can in a business deal. There are aspects I need to understand completely before I invest the money. I’d also need a contract drawn up with a stipulation that no matter what happens, whether the business fails, or a personal falling out, that Landing Knight cannot be touched.”
He held up a hand. “I’m not saying you would.” He shifted forward. “And you would be considered an employee.”
She blinked. “The project is my idea.”
“Are you investing any money?”
Her shoulders slumped. “No, I’m not.”
“There are rewards to this. You will be on the payroll.”
A small part of her wanted to roll her eyes at his condition, but the other part of her, the one that liked to eat and have shelter, knew this wasn’t something she could turn down. The bigger factor was that he was putting up all the financial backing and he had the business shrewdness that she did not. “Fine.”
“Also, if I agree, and I did say ‘if’, you would need to stay here. The brains of the project must be available. Luckily, the guest cabin is livable.”
“You’re wanting me to stay here? To rent a cabin?”
One corner of his mouth lifted. “No, I want you to live in the cabin as a fringe benefit.”
Again, she was up against the wall. Without the capability of driving or owning a car, she was sort of stuck. “Okay, but you haven’t waited for me to tell you how much.”
He smiled and, yes, just as she’d earlier thought, it was quite amazing. It certainly warmed up his otherwise harsh expression. He became an entirely different man when he talked business. “You see, I can about guess what you’d be asking, but I have my own number in mind, maybe a little more than you would ask. You see, did you figure in a salary for yourself, Ms…Reese?”
She clasped her hands together. “No, I did not. That would be considered a luxury that I didn’t think I could afford.”
“First lesson in business, everyone’s time is worth money. Sell yourself short and everyone else will too.”
She nodded. “Okay.”
“Did you stay in a local hotel last night? Do we need to pick up any of your belongings?”
“I-I’m afraid everything I own is with me. I flew in this morning from Chicago.”
“Just as I thought.” He stood, and she had the urgency to follow, so she did. “The cabin where you’ll be staying is nothing luxurious, but it’s decent. You can stay there. If I agree to go further with this project, it’ll be yours.”
Reese chewed on her bottom lip. “Are you sure?”
“About the cabin?” She nodded. “Yes, I’m sure. Is there a problem?”
“No, not at all.”
“I wouldn’t think so considering you came prepared.” He looked at the suitcase.
“Since I don’t have a car, I’m afraid I have to carry everything with me.”
“Do you have someone who is expecting you to return?”
“No. Those who matter and would be worried, I’ve told them where I am. The list isn’t long.” She cleared her throat, not sure if that answered his question.
“Then I’ll drive you over.” He whistled through his teeth and Spike shot up from the rug, shook out his body, and rushed to the door.
She followed Seth to the red, beat up truck, watched him pull down the tailgate, and he commanded Spike to climb in. Once Seth was behind the steering wheel, the cab seemed a lot smaller. Although Abby sat between him and Reese, she caught a scent of his Irish Spring soap. She liked it. Probably a little too much.
Carver, Rhonda Lee. The Darkest Knight (The KNIGHT Brothers Book 3) (Kindle Locations 501-554). Kindle Edition.
As they get the project rolling, the sexual tension rises.
A story of starting a wonderful project, a friendship and a relationship. All while healing battered souls.
Reese and her service dog won my heart from the start. The battles she fights not only for herself, but her Step for Light Project will win you over too.
I really loved the way this story comes together with plenty of hotness, and a few sniffles.
5 Contented Purrs for Rhonda!
Click for Buy Links
Rhonda Lee Carver is a published book writer with a collection of print and eBooks under her wing. She is also a freelance editor. Her first book was published with Wild Rose Press in 2010.
She writes everything from contemporary to steamy to paranormal to suspense…you name it, she’s written it. Her specialty is writing men who love to get their hands dirty—hardworking, blue collar, heroes in everyday life.
When Rhonda isn’t crafting edge-of-your-seat, sizzling novels, you’ll find her with her children and husband watching soccer, watching a breathtaking movie, traveling to exotic places (with Bora Bora on her bucket list), doing (or trying) yoga, saving cats and dogs, and finding new ways to keep life interesting.
Rhonda thrives on making her readers happy. She believes life can be a challenge, but reading is a place where fantasy comes to life. Her motto: “Everyone deserves romance—one page at a time.“