USA Today Bestselling Author
In a dangerous profession where it’s kill or be killed, Mason undertakes the dirty jobs others would rather not do–and invariably don’t possess the skills he does to get done right. While on an assignment, he’s single-minded in his dedication and focus. When he’s not, this warrior plays as hard as he fights. The last thing he anticipates is meeting the one woman he wants but can’t have…and equally can’t forget.
Tesla, a software designer, lost her brother in combat. Getting close to another man enlisted in the military is something she refuses to do. In her quest to save other United States soldiers from her sibling’s tragic fate, she’s created a computer program capable of saving lives. When other countries find out about the program, her good intentions are met with hostility and greed. They won’t stop until they get their hands on it, and damn anyone who gets in the way. Realizing she’s in danger, Tesla turns to Mason, the only man who might be able to save her–the very one she doesn’t dare fall in love with…
Let me say this, I know of several authors who like to torment their heroines, but this book takes that torment to a new extreme.
Tesla is developing new software for detecting IEDs, something she started because her father and brother were a SEALs and continued because that’s how her brother died.
This books opens with Tesla captive, having been taking as she was traveling to Coronado to present her software. Mason’s team is tasked with capturing the traitor who took her and the rescue.
With inner strength that has Mason and the team admiring her, they find she is the sister of a fallen SEAL. They all knew Harry even though he wasn’t on their team.
This is a favorite scene as the initial rescue goes fubar.
She sat back, not surprised. Then all SEALs had a camaraderie that was second to none. She might have gotten to know some of them if she’d lived closer to Harry. Had these ones been at his funeral? They might have been. She’d been so blind to everything but her grief. Now that she understood, she could see the resemblance in their faces. The same hard, dangerous look to them. Harry had sent her dozens of photos of men. Some here and many others. “I have a photo of you all. And more. From Harry.”
They looked at her, gazes narrow, considering. She didn’t know if they were worried about the type of photo she had. “He kept it with him all the time. You’re all on a large boat, grinning.”
“Ship,” one of the darker haired men said in a pained voice. “It’s called a ship.”
She chuckled. “I know that. It used to bug Harry too. That’s why I still say it.”
The men’s eyes widened in shock then the air warmed up noticeably as they laughed.
Harry had loved her teasing. It was one of the things she missed most. Teasing him and knowing it was part of the relationship. Part of the joy between them. They’d been so different. So much the same. God she missed him.
As she struggled to pull her painful memories back to the present, there was a flash of light and a huge explosion. A high pitch mechanical scream ripped through the helicopter. It listed sideways. She shrieked.
Mason grabbed her and held her close. Several of the men raced to the front of the injured machine.
She didn’t have time to think what anyone was doing. Mason had his hand wrapped around her wrist like a vice on a board. But he was dragging her to the back, then he slammed something large and heavy against her chest.
“Hold this,” he shouted at her.
Her arms closed instinctively around the harness. Before she could understand, he spun her around against his chest. “Now if we get separated, pull this.” And he stuck a cord in between her frozen fingers. “Ready?”
She stared panicked into his gaze. “For what,” she screamed over the noise. “Are we going down?”
“Yes, the easy way.” He dragged her to the side, the wind gusting into the helicopter. “We’re going to jump. Hang on to me.” He reached down and clipped their chest straps together. Outside the ground fell away to a valley way down there. Oh hell no.
“No. No.” She shook her head. “No, it’s not possible.”
“Three, two, one…”
And he jumped, dragging her out of the machine.
Cold wind pricked her face, head and hands, but it was her endless scream that killed her throat. He finally grabbed her head by the hair and tugged it backwards. He lowered his head and sealed her mouth with a kiss.
She clung to him, her hands clutching his chest straps as her mouth soaked up his comfort. Whimpers escaped out of her throat.
It took her a long moment to realize her legs were wrapped around him, and she was kissing him back as much as he was kissing her.
If she had to be thrown out of a helicopter then it was a hell of a way to go.
She shuddered by the time he finally lifted his head.
“Better?” he asked, humor in his voice.
She heard it – barely. There was just enough volume in his voice to hear him over the wind streaming past her head. “As far as I can be…” she snapped. “Considering someone just threw me out of a helicopter.”
“Would you prefer to have stayed inside?” he said against her ear. He moved his head to the side. And a whole different vista opened up. The other men in parachutes floated around them, apparently all safe. Thank heavens. Just then a huge blast split the skies behind them. A cry escaped as she watched pieces of the helicopter fly through the sky.
That was the first she realized only one big white parachute floated above their heads. She’d had no idea. Somehow she’d seen enough to know Mason would take care of her regardless of the danger to himself. Clipped together, their parachute was carrying twice the weight. So not good. Thankfully she was a lightweight. Still, she had one on her back so maybe that was a precaution only. “Here we come,” he warned. “We’re going to come down hard and roll.”
She had no chance to decipher what he was saying as the ground came up awfully fast. She screamed as they approached. A hard jolt, a series of tumbling rolls and he was on his feet, again stabilizing her as she struggled to sort out vertical from horizontal.
“Is it over?” she asked, hating the shakiness in her voice, clinging to him, desperate to have the world steady.
“It is.” He was busy unclipping, unhooking and undoing straps and clasps until they were separated. And the parachute harnesses were on the ground. He quickly spun around and rolled up the parachute as it slowly floated to the ground behind them. The sky was black. Their new world a myriad of shadows. She crouched down wondering what the hell they were going to do from here? The cold was seeping through her. That wind on the way down had been biting. With no coat, she was damn near numb. She was dressed in only lightweight jeans, a t-shirt, with a light sweater over top.
Riding double, they’d landed ahead of the other men. She watched as the big white balloons floated down around them, the moonlight easily helping her to spot them. They were all several hundred yards away though. As if timed, they landed one by one and winked out of her sight. How could they find each other in this darkness?
The answer was so obvious she almost laughed. They were SEALs. They could do this blindfolded.
Mayer, Dale. SEALs of Honor: Books 1-3 (pp. 23-26). Valley Publishing. Kindle Edition.
This becomes even more intense than it already was. Tesla still has to make a presentation and then do the demonstration before the government commits to purchasing her software. Some one else wants it, and she’s just as determined they won’t get it.
Nail biting tension, edge of your seat action, simmer to sizzle heat, with some laughs thrown in for stress relief.
Don’t miss this page turner!
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.