USA Today Bestselling Author
Stumbling over a dead body is one hell of a way to start a vacation…
While growing up, Hawk was always the wild card, the one who couldn’t sit still or find a place to belong. Becoming a SEAL gave him a niche and a purpose in the world like no other. Nevertheless, the wild man remains under the surface, waiting for the match to his flame. Ending up back home for a few days’ R&R, Hawk notices a new, darker element has moved in next door–and, at least in part, it appears to involve a freckle-faced redhead from his past, the girl he never forgot.
Mia remembers her best friend’s brother from her childhood only too well. What girl in her right mind could forget Hawk? As a boy, he’d been 24-7 fireworks, lighting up her life. Every encounter with him took her breath away and made her heart beat too fast. But Hawk, the man, home for a holiday, is harder, dangerous–and impossibly sexier than he’d been when she was just a star-struck kid longing to catch his eye.
Even as Mia is swept off her feet by her teenage-crush-turned-grownup-acute feelings for him, the town is hit by unprecedented violence…and Mia’s smack-dab in the middle of the explosion.
When Hawk goes on R&R he heads home. He wants to visit with his sister and catch up. Life has other plans though. The town is in chaos when he arrives, so he stops at the General Store and finds who he believes is the owner shot. The response from the Sheriff is less than promising and he reaches out to his sister to find the man’s daughter, Mia.
Mia is a search and rescue professional. When Hawk arrives in town she is deep in the caves with two experienced spelunkers. She is only vaguely aware of the drama now centered in town now that a cache of weapons and ammunition has been found in the caves. When she gets the messages about her father being dead she rushes to his store. It’s then she discovers it’s her uncle. Rushing home to check on her father she finds herself and her father in a most precarious situation.
This is a favorite scene when Hawk shows up.
Mia sat huddled against the wall. She wished she could see them clearly enough to memorize their faces, like she’d committed their names to memory. They knew where she was, and it wasn’t like she had a way to escape, but damn it, she wanted one. There was too much firepower here to fight off on her own. She glanced around. There were a few cracks in the shed where daylight snuck in, but they were between the metal strips. Her father had been lamenting the need to fix the storehouse for years, but it was backed against the cliff so even if she could get out, she couldn’t get anywhere.
A small scratching sound came from directly behind, then something poked her. She twisted to see a hand come through the back wall. A large male hand. She grabbed it and squeezed. He squeezed back then tried to pull back but she couldn’t let him. She didn’t want to be alone. But he couldn’t help her if she didn’t let him go.
Biting her lip, she let go.
“Faster, we’re wasting time, move it.” The men jumped to it, loading up crates and boxes faster. Her heart pounded as she heard noises behind her. Could the men hear? But they were making so much noise themselves as they loaded up she could only hope they couldn’t. And she had no idea how she could get out behind the damn shed if Hawk did get that hole open enough. She had no doubt that was who was here. It had to be Hawk. No one else would be foolish enough. Heart pounding, she silently urged him on. She kept twisting to see his progress behind her then to the men’s progress in front of her. When she got a hard jab to her back, she spun and saw a corner of the metal sheeting lifted barely high enough for her head to go through. She wasn’t going to get out there.
“Now,” came the hoarse whisper. Shaking her head but already trying to get through, she realized he was standing over top and lifting the edge of the sheeting up barely enough for her to wiggle under. Her shoulders were a tight squeeze, and with the rocks right there, she had no space to move. Who’d have thought her morning squirming through cave tunnels would hold her in good stead. She managed a little further then strong arms grabbed her under her arms and yanked her free. She scrambled to her feet and whispered, “My father.”
Damn. Hawk peeked under the sheet metal flap. He wasn’t going to be able to save Gordon. But he had to try. They had seconds before the men would be coming for Mia. But Gordon was his friend. If there was anything he could do… Hawk quickly shoved Mia to the side and crawled in. Gordon’s arm was only a couple of feet away, but he wasn’t a small man. Hawk grabbed the arm and tugged the big man toward him. It was slow going, but he was gaining traction. Finally, he could grab under the back arm pit and he struggled backwards. Not being able to stand up, he couldn’t get any leverage to pull.
Up ahead he could hear the men were laughing and joking. “Okay, that’s the last box. Now the girl and get out of here.”
“Wait, these damn boxes are going to shift. We can’t have that. Come on. We have to spread them out. We’ll need to repack when the bombs are loaded.”
Hawk froze. Bombs?
He gathered his strength and dragged Gordon the last bit to the hole that was too damn small.
Mia jumped forward and pulled the metal sheeting back.
“I told you to run,” he whispered.
“Not without you and my father.”
He shook his head and dragged Gordon through the damn hole. “We’re killing him, moving him like this.”
“He has a chance this way. He has no chance against a bullet.”
He couldn’t argue that. Finally like a dam suddenly coming unstuck, Gordon slid through. Hawk grabbed his lax body and threw him over his shoulder. Mia bolted ahead of him toward the front.
“Psst,” Hawk whispered and ran up the hill behind the shed. The men would be less likely to chase them if it was hard work. He checked to make sure Mia was following. She was now running behind him. He motioned for her to go ahead.
“We need to go up about five hundred yards then down to the road and come around. My Jeep is hidden in the trees.”
Relief blasted across her face and she moved off in the direction he pointed.
Mayer, Dale. SEALs of Honor: Books 1-3 (pp. 249-252). Valley Publishing. Kindle Edition.
This book dives into the action fast and furiously, with Hawk having to start things on his own. The team follows quickly and the implications of the weapon cache go much further than just this small town.
Mia is strong and feisty, giving Hawk a run for his money even as their attraction grows hotter.
I couldn’t stop reading and Dale is definitely rough on her heroines, good thing they are as strong as the SEALs that win their hearts.
5 Contented Purrs for Dale!
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!
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.