NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author
Minx Montgomery’s only light in a terrible childhood was her neighbor and best friend, Mouse. When he left Texas at the age of seventeen, she never heard from him again, though she’s never forgotten him either. She moved in with her uncle, went to college and became a counselor. Her supervisor at the clinic sexually harassed her. Reporting him backfired. Demoted, she’s transferred to another branch in the city–to the same district she’d finally managed to escape.
Laszlo Jensen, a former SEAL, has spent the last two years recovering from the damage done when his squad’s truck drove over an antitank landmine. Six other team-mates were also badly hurt, the seventh–Mouse–dead, in what their team leader Badger Horley realized later had to be a trap set to take them out. He and his team-mate Geir are trying to learn more about Mouse’s history. Was the whole squad targeted with that landmine, or just their youngest, newest member? The truth is more disturbing and senseless than they’d anticipated. Who was Mouse really?
Minx may be the only person who knew the boy that later became a dangerous, hunted man…
Author note: For you reading pleasure, this series must be read in order.
One of my favorite things about the books in this series is the journey each of these men have navigated to be where they are now. Each one has survived multiple injuries that let’s just say they are all lucky to be alive.
Laszlo is no different and now he and Geir have traveled to Texas to find the truth of Mouse’s past. They have realized that they really know nothing about him, every story they remember is a different tale. Everything they’ve discovered is pointing to Mouse being the catalyst to their accident and the ‘accidents’ surrounding the people they care about.
Minx watched them carefully as they looked around the neighborhood. This is a favorite scene when they approach her.
The men crossed the road and walked down the block past Mouse’s house again. It was obvious they cared about only one house. They did stop farther down and looked across the street, studying a couple other houses. She let her gaze follow them, drift over to the house they were studying, but she didn’t believe for a moment they cared. They weren’t from this neighborhood. neighborhood. They weren’t from any neighborhood around here, from what she could see. Both were well-dressed, both fit. Cops? She twisted her face up as she thought about it and then discarded the concept. “So not,” she said quietly.
But there was just something about them that had that look of officialness. Maybe undercover detectives? But even that didn’t seem right. They walked down the block, turned around and came back up on the same side they had parked on. Their gaze wandering every once in a while. They pointed at something as if they were out for a casual walk.
She noted old Nanny sitting on her rocker, watching them too. Nanny was in the corner house, and she didn’t miss anything in this neighborhood. She had to be ninety, at least. She also wasn’t the kind to let anybody know nothing. She kept her mouth shut. In fact, it was impossible to get her to say anything. Everyone left her alone.
It was probably why she’d lived so long. The two newcomers passed Nanny’s place, neither appearing to notice her sitting there rocking away. Nor did Nanny call out. She just studied them suspiciously. Kind of like what Minx was doing herself.
They came back toward the truck, passed it, walked to the other end of the block, crossed the street and came back down again. And she knew they were coming to her. She didn’t know how she knew, but years on the streets had fine-tuned her reflexes and intuition. She was one of the few who hadn’t been sexually assaulted during her years growing up here. That was because she was fast with a knife, and she made sure she was nowhere to be found when the creepy-crawlers came hunting.
She stepped into the open, leaned on the fence, her arms crossed. She didn’t know if they’d be able to see who she was as she had seen who they were. She was dressed in jeans with frayed edges and shoes that had seen better days. Her T-shirt was too large and stained. Her hair was in a chestnut-colored messy bun in the back. She deliberately didn’t wear any makeup. That way she fit into the neighborhood, made people a little more apt to answer her questions.
She eyed them with as suspicious a look as was possible. When they approached, she took several steps back. The men slowed their steps and smiled at her. She just glared back.
The one who had been driving stopped and said, “We mean you no harm. We just wanted to ask some questions about your neighbors.” He turned and motioned—as she’d figured—at Mouse’s old house.
She raised an eyebrow. What did they want with Mouse? “Nobody lives there.”
“For how long?”
She shrugged. “The old lady died a while ago.”
“No other family?”
So they were after Mouse. What had he gone and done with himself? She shook her head. “No, no one else there.”
“Where did the rest of the family move to?” the second man asked.
She shifted her gaze to him suspiciously. “No idea.”
They studied her for a long moment and then nodded. “Well, if you see Mouse, tell him some friends are looking for him,” he said.
She snorted. “Mouse hasn’t lived here in well over ten years.”
“We know. But we haven’t seen him in a while and wondered if he had any connection to his hometown anymore.”
“I don’t know what the hell you think you’re up to, but there’s no way in hell Mouse had friends like you.”
The men stared at her. The first one said, “Maybe Mouse has changed.”
She snorted again. “And maybe you’re cops.”
The men shook their heads. “That we’re not. What we really wanted was to find some of Mouse’s family and talk to them.”
She snapped, “If you’re not telling me the truth, then don’t bother spinning me a tale.”
“No, we didn’t tell you the truth before. Although we are Mouse’s friends,” the first man said, his voice hard, and yet there was sadness in it. “Mouse is dead. And we were hoping to be able to tell his family.”
“What?” She stared at them. “I don’t believe you.” She glanced back at the house where Mouse had lived. “His mom passed away months ago, if not longer. She never mentioned it.”
“I’m not sure she knew,” the first man said. He held out a hand. “I’m Laszlo. Mouse was part of my unit in the navy.”
She dropped her hand before shaking his. “Now I know you’re lying. Mouse hated water. He’d never have signed up for the navy.” Then she frowned. “I know it was a dream of his, but it’s not one I thought he’d ever achieve,” she muttered, puzzled. “He really was terrified of water.”
Mayer, Dale. Laszlo (SEALs of Steel Series Book 5) (Kindle Locations 253-293). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.
Many revelations come out as they speak to Minx. She also has some insights that could open things up more.
There is also Laszlo’s attraction to her and her problems become theirs as they realize she’s in danger too.
I love the slow build, the suspense as this puzzle unravels, the way these guys are finding the right person and the sizzle when it all comes together!
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.