When Badger Horley, a SEAL, and the rest of his eight-man unit hit an antitank landmine on a routine reconnaissance mission, all were badly injured, but one of his men died. Having only joined a year before, he’d been the youngest member of the squad. Mouse left behind unanswered questions about his life…along with seven team members who aim to see that his tragic death is brought home to those responsible.
Badger’s path back to health is a long and difficult one, but revenge drives him out of bed every single day of his life. Someone modified orders the morning of the incident, sending his unit straight over that landmine. At the time the altered route had been given to him, he’d been curious but not unduly concerned. What happened to his squad has brought unwavering clarity: Those last-minute changes and the explosion that shattered his team were deliberate–and he means to catch the perpetrator if it’s the last thing he ever does.
Kat Greenwald watches the man she’s falling in love with fester a little more each time they’re together. Refusing to give himself time to heal, not surprisingly he hasn’t taken to his prosthetic well. As a prosthetic designer, she’s dealt with men and women in endless physical and emotional states. Badger is different. He’s driven, determined and deadly, but she can’t help her feelings despite the negatives. She’s hooked on a man whose sole concern seems to be in getting retribution for the incident that left his team in shards…while all she wants is a future happily-ever-after with him. But when her life explodes, and she’s kidnapped, it’s Badger who steps in to save her…
Still, Kat has a long road ahead of her to convince Badger a life filled with love is always preferable to answers that can only be gained at the risk of dying to get them.
I first discovered Dale Mayer in a wonderful group of authors telling a connected tale in Sleeper Seals. I loved that book so much I had to go find more by her.
Badger is first in the SEALs of Steel Series, and even though it is kind of connected back to the SEALs of Honor Series, I thought I’d start here and then go back. These are going to come fast and furious over the next few months, so here’s my take on Badger.
Kat Greenwald is a prosthetic designer, and she has been working with Badger and his team to get them all functioning as normal as possible. Even though she finds herself falling for him, she fights giving in. Badger is on a quest of sorts, and isn’t listening to the medical professionals around him. This is detrimental to his physical well-being and Kat can’t seem to break down his resistance to the facts.
Badger and his team lost limbs and one lost his live when a landmine blew up their truck two years ago. Now some of his team is doing much better, he however is not doing as well. He keeps pushing too hard, too fast and if he doesn’t start behaving and doing the right thing he could lose his chance at having a prosthetic, forever.
Problem is, something really stinks about what went down that day and finally some things are shaking loose.
After her brother has her kidnapped and wants her dead, Badger decides Kat should accompany him to England. Perhaps not the brightest of moves but it will give them time together and keep Kat mostly out of harms way.
This is a favorite scene as the detective and the guys try to convince her to leave the country and Cade and Erick find out just why Badger is heading to England.
Badger stepped forward and grabbed her by the shoulders, giving her a small shake. “You were kidnapped outside your office, held hostage in your own house. Now shot at. At what point do you not see how serious this is?”
She bowed her head. “Surely I can go somewhere else. I could take my laptop and my work, go to a hotel or something.”
“Or you could go to England,” Cade suggested. “Get out of the country, see some new sights, take your work if you want because I can see that’s something you’ll never really be parted from. And let Badger keep an eye on you.”
She glared at him. “I know you’ll keep an eye on Badger.” She leaned forward until she was glaring at him eye to eye. “You know he’s up to something. You know England is part of his deal. And, if it’s part of his deal, it’s dangerous as hell. Why would I want to go from one danger to another danger?”
Cade opened his mouth to answer, then slammed it shut. He frowned as if considering her words and turned to look at Badger. “Why will you be in England?”
In a low tone Badger said, “I’m meeting somebody who accepted the orders that changed our route that day.”
Instantly the air charged with interest as the men took a moment to digest the information. Erick let out a long, slow whistle.
“Are you serious?” He looked over at Cade. “I think we should all go.”
Kat shook her head. “I think I should stay behind, deal with the insurance company and get my house fixed up,” she said firmly.
The detective stepped back to her. “No. I don’t want you here.”
“Will you give me protection then?” she snapped.
He grinned. “I think these three can protect you just fine.”
She glared at the detective. “What you mean is, if we run into trouble in England, it’s not your headache.”
Badger looked briefly hurt and then considered the options. “At least in England, people will have trouble finding you. Here it’s pretty obvious where you would be.”
She shook her head. “I could hide out in any number of hotels, any number of states, cities, towns. No one will find me.”
“Yes, they will,” the detective said firmly. “I bet these three know exactly how to travel without leaving any tracks unless they want to be found. You, on the other hand, will go to the bank, withdraw a bunch of cash, not take quite enough, so you’ll use your credit card at various stops to order food, pay for a hotel, and that credit card will get traced, and you’ll have people knocking on your door within hours.”
She frowned. “I could take out a larger amount of cash.”
“And how will you get to wherever it is you’re planning on going? These people already have your license plate number. So now you either need to rent a vehicle—you can’t do that without posting a driver’s license—or you’ll have to take a bus or fly, in which case you have to use your credit card to get a flight.”
“If I go to England, my passport will be used to get a flight,” she snapped in frustration. “Look. I don’t have a problem going to England. It’s just a hell of a long way to go for no particular reason. Plus it seems to me that I’m going from the fat into the fire. Because, what you don’t know is, these guys have their own shit to deal with.”
The detective looked at the three men, studying their hard glances and heavy military look, even though it had been two years since they were active. She stared at them too, and her shoulders sagged because she knew exactly what the detective saw. Three very capable men who knew exactly what to do in times of trouble. And they probably had a ton more experience in this kind of shit than even he did.
She raised both hands in agitated surrender. “Okay, fine.”
Mayer, Dale. Badger (SEALs of Steel Series Book 1) (pp. 109-111). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.
Things really heat up in more ways than one in England. I couldn’t put this book down as this weaves into a tale full of intrigue and romance.
5 Contented Purrs for Dale!
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Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).
She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!
To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.