NY Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal
Dispatched to the Dominican Republic to rescue a kidnapped child, former Navy SEAL Archer “Arrow” Kane makes a startling discovery: another hostage—Morgan Byrd, a very beautiful and very well-known missing person who disappeared off the streets of Atlanta a year ago. She’s brave, resilient, and unbroken. All Arrow wants to know is why she ended up in a shack in Santo Domingo. All he feels is the desire to protect.
Morgan is done being the victim and is determined to find out who hates her so much that they want her gone—but not dead. Until then, she has Arrow, an alpha stranger who’s offering a warm and safe place to hide. But as the passion between them flares, so does the fear that whoever took Morgan will do anything to get her back. For Arrow, protecting this woman with a mysterious enemy is the most dangerous mission of his life. And it’s worth every beat of his heart.
I’ve decided that Susan Stoker’s mind is a very scary place. I don’t know how she consistently comes up with new and harrowing ideas but they are excellent.
I have been waiting for this book since the tease at the end of Defending Chloe. The accidental discovery of someone who has been missing for a year while rescuing a child taken by her father was surprising to say the least.
Archer and his team have paperwork for the child to return to the states but not for Morgan. Having them split up to avoid detection had me biting my nails even as I could smell the garbage and see the abandoned rundown building they hid in.
Keeping Morgan safe while also gaining information was a challenge Archer accepted without question.
This is a favorite scene.
It took another twenty minutes for Arrow to put everything in place, but when he was finished, he felt satisfied that he’d done what he could to give him and Morgan a window of opportunity to get the hell out of this part of the city undetected.
Crouching down between two buildings, Arrow waited for the first detonator to go off.
When it did, he was pleased to see the two men lurking nearby take off running toward the sound.
As he made his way back toward Morgan, he heard the other explosions he’d set. They went off right on time, hopefully leading the assholes away from his and Morgan’s escape route.
The second he entered the alley where he’d left Morgan, he could feel his body relaxing. He could see the mound of trash looked exactly as he’d left it earlier. Crouching, he whispered, “Morgan? It’s me, Arrow. It’s time to go.”
He brushed off the fish heads and bones and picked up the box he’d put around her head. She peered up at him, her pupils huge in her face and the dark alley.
“Come on, beautiful. Time to go.”
She awkwardly scooted out from under the debris, and when he brushed his fingers against hers, she grabbed hold of his hand as if she’d never let go.
Just then, a louder boom sounded to the west. That was the last explosion he’d rigged, and hopefully the one that would take all attention off where they might be as the thugs tried to figure out what was going on. Arrow had chosen the placements for the explosions carefully. He wasn’t opposed to killing, if it had to be done, but there was no way he was going to hurt someone indiscriminately. He’d used a bit of C-4 next to abandoned buildings, making sure there weren’t any squatters inside, and had used a timer to set them.
They should hopefully bring the police and fire department, and draw the attention of anyone looking for Morgan.
“I take it that’s your handiwork?” Morgan asked.
He could hear the fright, and relief, in her words. He’d been gone longer than he’d planned, but it had been necessary. He’d had to set the small flashbangs and explosions a bit farther out than he’d initially assumed.
“Don’t know what you’re talking about, beautiful. I was just out for a nightly stroll.”
Her teeth flashed white when she smiled.
“Come on. Stay right by me and don’t talk. I’m pretty sure we should be in the clear, but I’m not going to take any chances.”
Morgan nodded and took a deep breath. She looked down at their clasped hands, then he felt her fingers loosening. He was about to protest, but she moved her hand to his waistband once more. Even through his shirt he could feel that her fingers were cool against him. He reached down and moved her hand so it was at the small of his back.
“Hang on, beautiful. There’s a bubble bath calling your name.”
Then, without another word, he set off out of the alley toward the east and safety.
Stoker, Susan. Defending Morgan (Mountain Mercenaries Book 3) (pp. 40-42). Kindle Edition.
For Morgan the return to the US did not ensure her safety. Whoever arranged for her to be taken and kept out of sight in the Caribbean was still out there and the possible suspects were many.
Plenty of hold your breath action, family drama, and romance as the Mountain Mercenaries do what they do best. Protect and find answers.
The twists and turns in this book had me on the edge of my seat with every turn of the page. Morgan and Arrow have a chemistry that will not be ignored and when the whole truth comes out, just wow.
I can’t wait to read Harlow and Black’s book, the tease has me wanting it now.
5 Contented Purrs for Susan!
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!
Susan Stoker is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her series include Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes, SEAL of Protection, Delta Force Heroes, and Mountain Mercenaries. Married to a retired Army noncommissioned officer, Stoker has lived all over the country—from Missouri and California to Colorado and Texas—and currently lives under the big skies of Tennessee. A true believer in happily ever after, Stoker enjoys writing novels in which romance turns to love. To learn more about the author and her work, visit her website, or find her on Facebook. Links below.