SEAL Hard – Silver Seals Book 9 by JM Madden


Welcome to Silver SEALs!
The New Wave From The Suspense Sisters!

Retired silver fox US Navy SEAL Commanders who sign on with the Department of Homeland Security to lead missions to protect the homeland.

SEAL Hard
Silver SEALs Book 9
By
JM Madden


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Former Navy SEAL Commander Jack Bishop thought he was done with the government shenanigans that cost him part of his mobility. So when he’s presented with a new case thanks to the Bone Frog division of the Department of Homeland Security, he’s less than enthused, until he learns that Navy SEAL families are in danger. But there’s a more personal connection. Somehow his best-friend’s widow is involved and no matter how hard he has to fight his need for her, he has to be there to help her out. He has no desire to rejoin any part of the government, but there are lives at risk, as well as a personal connection he can’t ignore.

Andrea Winters knows that something hinky is going on in her high traffic coffee shop. As a former Navy SEAL wife, she knows something feels off. She reports her feelings to a man she thinks she can trust, and suddenly she’s running for her life. Is there a conspiracy afoot? Or is she just overreacting to a strange set of circumstances? Things begin to turn around when Jack Bishop returns, looking even more handsome than he did years before. In spite of his scarred, inscrutable exterior, she still sees glimmers of the man she thought at one time would help her rebuild her life after her husband—his best friend— was killed.

Will he help her understand what’s going on now? Or just confuse her further with his hungry looks and even more demanding hands… more importantly, will he stay this time?

They’re in a race against time to save lives, and possibly hearts…

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One of the things I really love about these books is how the Commanders asked to handle things are always doing something really relaxing when they get the call. I almost feel sorry for them.

In this book we meet Andrea Winters, she is the widow of a SEAL who now owns a coffee shop in a college town. When she overhears something ‘hinky’ she does some cleaning up of the tables near the guy and later calls one of the people she knows can take care of the situation.  This doesn’t end well.

Jack is called in when CIA Agent Roger Mann is found in a dumpster behind Andrea’s shop, and there is no sign of her anywhere. It’s Jack who knows where she might go, her husband was his best friend and they were all more like family than just friends. When she calls him from the road, he confirms where she’s headed and rushes to join her.

This is a favorite scene.

Two hours later, she was pacing the mostly dark house but she was feeling better. It was late, but she had no desire to lay down. She didn’t think she could, not until Jack got there. She’d taken the time to jot down notes about what she’d observed at the murder scene. The man on the motorcycle was the same man she’d overheard inside the Daily Grind. She had no idea how Roger had found him but the motorcycle was the same. The man who killed Roger was wearing a helmet but it didn’t have a visor and she’d recognized him immediately.

If they didn’t figure out what the hell was going on, there was a chance she could end up as dead as Roger.

She wasn’t sure what made her turn around, but Jack was suddenly just there, in the living room with her, holding out his strong arms to her. If he’d approached her any other way, she’d have been okay. Instead he came in and disarmed her, offering her comfort she knew she shouldn’t take. But after the past day and night, she couldn’t help but take it. Wrapping her arms around his waist, she turned her head into his heavy chest and sobbed.

Andrea hated feeling weak in that moment. It was everything she’d grown up fighting against and it contradicted everything she’d tried to teach her daughter and the young women that worked for her— Be strong and be able to support yourself without a man in the picture.

She’d been alone for so long though. And this wasn’t something she could deal with on her own.

Jack smelled as good as he always did, like man and the outdoors. For a second she forgot about everything that had happened and just basked in being held in his arms. Yes, she could support herself on her own, but sometimes it was nice have someone else to bear some of the weight.

Jack give her time to cry herself out. He didn’t pull away and he didn’t shift uncomfortably under her tears. His hard arms were locked around her. Andrea couldn’t remember the last time she’d cried so hard. Actually, she could. Jack had held her then as well. It had been when Dorian had been killed.

“You’re always holding me when I cry,” she whispered.

“It’s all good,” he told her roughly.

For moment, she thought he meant something else, something more. No, that wasn’t what he meant. Reluctantly pulling away, Andrea scrubbed her face, wiping away tears. “Sorry, Jack.”

Jack Bishop was a massive figure. Not as tall as Dorian had been, but built almost twice as heavily. He’d retired from the SEALs almost five years ago now, then she thought he’d joined Homeland Security for a couple years, but that had seemed odd to her. Last she’d heard, he’d been retired, moving around here and there. Helping out as a contractor on a few things. Overall, after Dorian died, Jack had gotten away from the Navy. He’d been in the same accident that had killed Dorian. Jack had been left with a mangled lower leg and foot and half a dozen bullet holes in his body, but he’d been there for her when the body of her husband had come home, standing in a cast to hold her, though she should’ve been the one giving him comfort and care. They’d both been grieving.

Jack looked good now though, broad and strong, his rough face tanned. It was obvious he was outside a lot. His iron gray hair was short, but still looked thick. His face was the same, lean and scarred, hard silver eyes unfathomable. Years ago on a mission to Kuwait Jack had been attacked by a terrorist with a machete. The terrorist had gotten a lucky swipe in before Dorian had taken him out. The cut had started on his forehead and gone straight down over Jack’s right eye and cheek, then the back swipe of the machete had left a line along the left side of his face and taken the pinky and ring finger of his left hand, as well as a corner of his palm when he held his hand up to protect himself. It was a miracle that he hadn’t lost more and his eyes hadn’t been damaged. It had taken over a hundred stitches to pull Jack’s face back together, and another fifty for his hand and other fingers. Then, because he’d been so far from real medical care, he’d gotten an infection the antibiotics hadn’t been able to kick for a long time.

The facial scars had never bothered Andrea, but she knew they had changed Jack. Before that attack he’d been quiet and reserved, but after that his personality had taken on a dangerous edge. His tolerance was shorter and it was almost like he shut people down before they had a chance to reject him. It had broken Andrea’s heart at the time because Jack was already stone hard, but after the accident, there was very little give to him at all. For the most part, women avoided him, although there were a few that had pushed his boundaries. He’d been married once, but it had been a corrosive relationship that hadn’t lasted. Dorian had said he’d had hookups, but no actual close relationships, and that included the marriage.

It made her sad because as tough as Jack appeared to be he had a soft heart.

“We need to talk,” he told her, nudging her toward the couch.

Andrea sat down on the soft cushions, for the first time feeling some of the tension leave her body. The past fourteen hours had been crazy.

“Why don’t you start at the beginning,” Jack prompted her, settling down beside her, his big body dwarfing hers.

Andrea related everything that had happened, all of her suspicions and the whispers she thought she’d heard. Jack didn’t say anything, he just let her talk herself out. When she reached the part about getting into the beach house, she allowed her voice to trail away.

“What do you think,” she asked finally.

Jack leaned back against the couch, folding his hands over his lean belly. “I think you did everything exactly right,” he told her, eyes direct, mouth an unforgiving line. “It’s not unusual to have terrorist cells working independently across the country. And it’s as you suspected, they come in to use the free WiFi, just like everybody else. I’m not sure what Roger Mann had a chance to implement before he was killed but I assume he was coming to talk to you about what he had done, and figured out. Obviously, he got close.”

Andrea nodded. “That’s what I thought, too. I’m heartsick I dragged him into this.”

Jack gave a hard shrug. “It’s a part of the game,” he said simply. “It’ll always be us against them and people will fall. It’s just nice when they screw up sometimes,” he said pointedly giving her a look.

Andrea gave him a bit of a smile, but it was hard to be lighthearted when a man had just been killed. “So, what do we do?”

“Well,” Jack said, “first thing I’m going to do is call Si and see if he’s learned anything.” He reached down beside the couch and lifted up a bag she recognized. ”I grabbed a few things from your apartment I thought you might need.”

Andrea sighed as he handed the bag over, loving that he’d brought her a piece of home. This was why she knew what a good heart he had. In the midst of a crisis he worried about her having her things.

“And here’s your cell phone.”

Andrea swiped through the security and into her messages. Luke was freaking out but promised to keep things running until she notified him otherwise. Her son had texted her a silly meme. And she had three text messages from unknown numbers.

One was from Mann.

Andrea, I know it’s late but I need to come by and have you identify a picture. I think I know who your hat guy is.

The next two texts sent chills through her and she began to shake. They had come in within the past two hours, since she’d been running. And the address said it was from Roger’s phone!

ANDREA, such a pretty name. Sorry I left a mess in your back alley. But then, that’s what you get for spying on me. Doesn’t matter, you have stopped nothing.

Wordlessly, she handed the phone to Jack. His mouth tightened and his silver eyes flashed with anger.

“Everything will be okay,” he told her firmly, but she wasn’t sure she believed him.

A hard hand gripped her chin and he forced her head up. She met his eyes. “I’m not blowing smoke up your ass, Andrea. Yes, we’re in the shit now, but I will protect you.”

Andrea nodded, tears filling her eyes again. She was so emotionally overwrought. When Jack dragged her into his arms again she didn’t protest like she knew she should. He just felt so good…
J.M. Madden. SEAL Hard (Kindle Locations 410-475).

Things heat up almost right away in the form of an attack at the beach house. More information from the captured attackers and a quick move to another location. With the help of another Bone Frog, they start piecing together what the possible plan could be. It’s devastating.

As they face the almost impossible, Andrea comes to the realization that she wants a relationship with Jack. Jack is more than a little reluctant but time will tell.

Scary, emotional, heartrending, with hold your breath action, tears and a simmer to sizzle romance. Do not miss this book!

5 Contented Purrs for JM!

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J.M. Madden

J.M. Madden writes compelling romances between ‘combat modified’ military men and the women who love them. J.M. Madden loves any and all good love stories, most particularly her own. She has two beautiful children and a husband who always keeps her on her toes.

J.M. was a Deputy Sheriff in Ohio for nine years, until hubby moved the clan to Kentucky. When not chasing the family around, she’s at the computer, reading and writing, perfecting her craft. She occasionally takes breaks to feed her animal horde and is trying to control her office-supply addiction, but both tasks are uphill battles. Happily, she is writing full-time and always has several projects in the works.

She also dearly loves to hear from readers! So, drop her a line. She’ll respond.


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