USA Today Bestselling Author
Staying away was harder than he thought …
Recovering from an accident was hell on anyone, but, for a stubborn guy like Carter, it was worse. No way would he be a burden. So he stayed away from Montana, where his best friend lived … and his best friend’s sister.
Until Geir and Cade ask Carter to check up on a dog delivered to a small town close by, but the dog never arrived. Considering this was one of the missing War Dogs that Titanium Corp was handling, Carter was happy to assist. Maybe even relieved as it gave him a reason to go where he’d been afraid to go before.
Walking into her partner’s office to find his dead body on the floor had sent Hailey down a nightmarish path that never seemed to end. Then it had started with Carter’s arrival. What else should she expect from the man who she’d always loved and who had rejected her time and time again. She’d hoped the attraction to him would have lessened by now, but it was even worse.
As the body count mounts, and the town takes sides, Hailey realizes that Carter was always the one to back her up, even when it meant he could die in this fight that’s gone to hell. Particularly when Carter finds the missing K9 dog, and his current owner is on the wrong side of the war …
Only Carter doesn’t care, knowing he’d always stand on the side of right, but maybe—if he was lucky this time—he wouldn’t be standing alone …
Carter accepts the task of finding the K9 Matzuka knowing he should have visited his best friend Gordon in Montana sooner. All is well between them but there is still quite a bit of animosity between Gordon’s sister Hailey and Carter. They’ve been like oil and water for years and this visit doesn’t appear to be any different.
Now the adopting family of the war dog said he never arrived but as Carter follows the trail that doesn’t seem to be true. The contact isn’t very forthcoming, but the person assigned to pick up the dog is withholding information.
Hailey is another matter, she was blindsided when she saw Carter, her brother didn’t say anything about him coming for a visit.
Hailey got up the next morning, made coffee, and ate a quick bite. Realizing she was already late after her crappy night, she headed out to her vehicle. It was a business day, and that was just life. If she could, she would come home early today. However, did she really want to do that? With Carter here? Last night she had finished dinner and disappeared, leaving the men to themselves. She had disgraced herself right off the bat when Carter first arrived. She felt uncomfortable, especially around him, so she aimed for an easy getaway this morning. She took an apple as her lunch, then stepped out on the front porch.
And came face-to-face with Carter.
He looked at her in surprise. “Leaving so early?” Carter asked.
“I forget that,” he said. “I get the days mixed up.”
She relented and answered, “Easy to do if you’re not working nine-to-five anymore.”
“Life in the military was never nine-to-five,” he said with a smile. “But since the accident … Well, it’s easy to let the days roll into themselves.”
“What were you doing in New Mexico?”
“Helping out Titanium Corp— the company that sent me here looking for the dog.”
She remembered hearing about it and wondered why a company would send him this far away for something like that. “It sounds like they must care a lot about the dog,” she said. That couldn’t be a bad thing.
“They do,” he said. “And, while I was there, I was helping renovate homes for veterans, doing everything from carpentry work to electrical work. You know? The usual handyman stuff.”
“In other words, all the same stuff you used to do around here.”
“Maybe. I was thinking about setting up a construction company, but I’m not sure it’s what I want to do. At least not as my new career.”
“Right. Then there’s the cash issue. Always handy to have and the worst thing to be without.”
He smiled at that. “Are you still okay at your company?”
“Yes,” she said as she walked down the steps. “Have a good day.”
That was enough conversation for the time being. Carter stared at her as she walked past, and she stared back. Then, she focused on reaching her truck, turning on the engine, leaving without looking back. As she drove, she thought about yesterday, and how today went better. Considering …
Yesterday she had been shocked to see him and thus wasn’t herself. Well, if she were being honest, something about work concerned her too. So she was already out of sorts before his arrival. She believed somebody was embezzling from the company, and she had no clue how to find the culprit. She was in the finance business and handled multiple accounts, along with her two partners. And at least one of those accounts was in question. So, she didn’t believe one of her partners was doing something fishy, but that one account was just fishy, and she’d failed to notice it sooner.
Which was even more concerning. She’d been a full partner for over a year now, after serving as a junior partner the three years prior.
Then the other day she had come across some paperwork left in the copier. It had been a double set of books, from the looks of it— as if somebody had already seen the original ledger and was making another ledger and was making another one. She fiercely hoped she was wrong, and one of the other partners was already investigating the problem. She loved her job and didn’t want anything to go wrong. She had had enough go bad in her life that she didn’t need things at work to be screwed up too. Besides, she’d sunk everything she had into this company, her time, her specific finance knowledge, her money. That nest egg had been for her own home on the ranch. But she saw greater potential to invest her money this way.
She couldn’t afford to have anything go wrong.
Dale Mayer. Carter (Kindle Locations 304-308). Valley Publishing Ltd..
Unfortunately everything is about to go haywire as Hailey discovers one of her partners dead in his office. That’s just the beginning.
As the story unfolds, more death and more intrigue surrounds Hailey’s business. The Longfellow name keeps popping up and not in a good way.
The way Carter finds and retrieves Matzuka is priceless and this town is truly sitting on a powder keg.
Plenty of suspense, corruption, family drama and the beginnings of one renewed and one new romance.
I can’t wait for the next book in this series, the lead-in was perfect!
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.