Cade Terence, a former SEAL, has spent the last two years physically recovering when his unit’s truck drove over an antitank landmine. Six other team-mates were also badly hurt, the seventh dead, in what their team leader Badger Horley realized later had to be a trap set to take them out. The father of Laszlo, a member of his unit, was in a hit-and-run. Investigating this accident leads Cade and other members of the team on a trail with very definite connections to the original incident that nearly got him and the entire squad killed.
Faith Halladay is a commercial airline pilot. When her best friend Elizabeth is in a serious accident that leaves her in a coma and threatens to steal her life, she rushes to Norway to sit vigil at her bedside. There, she meets Cade, who asks all sorts of questions about the accident that she can’t answer. The attitude Elizabeth’s family displays when they lose hope that their daughter will survive stuns Faith, leading to a heated confrontation.
Cade’s endless questions now have her asking her own. She reconnects with him only to discover that her relationship with Cade has put her in a killer’s sights, and the nightmare that’s become his world is now her own.
Cade and Talon share a cab from the airport with Faith. She’s a pilot who just missed grabbing the cab with her crew. There is really nothing more than a shared ride and some curiosity.
Badger has more issues and Kat declares he can’t be on point for now. Much to his dismay, Erick becomes the main contact, so he’s there for Honey as she supports Kat.
As Cade, Talon and Lazlo start putting together the facts about accidents that have taken family from them, it becomes obvious there is some kind of connection to the mission that almost took all their lives. With Lazlo’s father injured but still alive they head to Norway to investigate further.
In a twist of fate, Elizabeth, Faith’s best friend is in a coma after a car accident, also in Norway. It’s at the hospital they meet again.
This is a favorite scene.
Then the nurses came around, asking Faith to leave because they had dressings to change. Outside the room Faith walked up and down the hall for a long time. She didn’t know what to do with herself. She didn’t have a place to stay, and she couldn’t even think about leaving Elizabeth. There was no sign of Mary. Faith sat down in one of the chairs in the hallway and scrubbed her face. She needed food. Coffee would be good. Through her fatigue she heard voices.
She looked up at the sound of someone speaking English. And her jaw dropped. The two men she had shared the cab with in her hometown were talking to a doctor. Their conversation was low and urgent. A third man joined them, speaking Norwegian. Finally the doctor walked away, leaving the three men talking together. They were obviously friends.
Given this moment to observe them unaware, she smiled. The one guy was just as she had remembered him gloved hand. She hadn’t thought anything about it before, when she had first met him, but now she watched his movements closer. She frowned. That may be a prosthetic hand. She wondered what kind of an accident he had been in to lose his left hand. Her heart immediately went out to him. Maybe it was this hospital environment that had her emotions so raw and easily displayed, but she wouldn’t even be here if not for Elizabeth. Faith was sure Elizabeth wouldn’t choose to be here either, given that choice.
Curious and wondering about the synchronicity that would have two people from Santa Fe, New Mexico, halfway around the world in the same hospital, she approached and said, “Hi. You guys remember me?”
Two of the men turned to look at her with blank faces, but the one man’s face lit up with recognition. “You’re the pilot.”
She reached out and shook his hand. “I’m Faith Halladay.”
“Cade Terence,” he said by way of introduction. He motioned to the two men beside him. “Talon was in the cab with us that day we first met. And this is Laszlo. A friend of ours.”
“Are you Norwegian?” she asked Laszlo, wondering at the single black glove he wore on his left hand.
He nodded. “My father and brother live here.”
“But not you?”
He shrugged. “I was in the US for over a decade. Now I’m not exactly sure where I live.”
That surprised her. But she understood in a way. “That makes sense. I’ve been a pilot long enough that sometimes I’m not sure what country I belong in anymore.”
The men nodded in agreement. “That happens when you travel a lot.”
“Or when life throws you a curve ball, and everything changes,” Talon said.
Cade looked at her. “It doesn’t look like you’re here for a very nice reason either.”
She smiled. “Is that a polite way of saying that I look like crap?”
He shrugged. “You could never look like crap, but it’s obvious you’re tired and under an emotional strain.”
She reached out and gripped his fingers. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to put you on the spot. The truth is, I flew over because my best friend was in a car accident. She’s not expected to make it, and I wanted to get here before she passed.”
At the sadness in her voice Cade squeezed her fingers back. “I’m so sorry.”
“At least she made it through the night so I could be by her side.” Faith tried for a brighter smile. “And every day is a chance for her to fight for the next day.” She turned to see Elizabeth’s room was still full of doctors and nurses. “They kicked me out. That’s when I realized I didn’t have a place to go. After landing, I came straight here. I haven’t taken a break for coffee or food.” She shook her head. “Talk about throwing me a curve ball.” She glanced at Laszlo. “I don’t suppose you’d take a walk through the cafeteria with me, so I can get a meal?”
He chuckled. “Most people here speak some English. But we should probably grab something to eat too.” He glanced at the other two men with an eyebrow raised. They all nodded.
Mayer, Dale. Cade (SEALs of Steel Series Book 3) (pp. 21-24). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.
More and more facts come to light and they find Faith has seen the illusive person of interest and actually gets on his radar. Not a good thing.
Fast paced suspense and a slow but steady romantic build make this a favorite. I can’t wait for the next book in this series.
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.