Special Forces & Brotherhood Protectors Book 8
USA Today Bestselling Author
He has dirt on his hands…
For years, Lieutenant Ned “Wraith” Wagner had been on the trail of a series of highly placed, dangerous assets. He’d used everyone and everything at his disposal to weed out the problems. It had cost him—relationships, trust, agents, and good friends. He now has a chance at the grail, an archive file containing everything he needs to finally dismantle the network he’s waged war against. One problem, he needs the right operative and his options are limited, and he’s on the clock.
She’s compromised, blacklisted, and burned…
Hollis “Holiday” Dagr retired at gunpoint two years earlier. It was either retire and disappear, or Leavenworth. She took the hint and vanished. The absolute last person she wants to see is the Wraith who burned her. The last thing she wants to hear is he needs her help. Then he dangles the one thing guaranteed to motivate her—exoneration. Fine, she’ll do the job, but he’s going with her. He always planned on seeing her again and making it right. Now he just has to survive her long enough to make up for hijacking her life.
If you’ve read the other books in this series, you’ll realize that each of them contained a piece to a much larger puzzle.
In this one Lt. Ned ‘Wraith’ Wagner is going to make amends to everyone he’s caused hurt. At least he hopes to. Even Tex was skeptical when he asked where he could find Holiday. She is the only one who can help him close this out and take down all the top people. Although just approaching her could very well kill him.
Run or face jail was the ultimate Ned gave Hollis “Holiday” Dagr. She ran and is now hiding out in paradise her getaway orchestrated by Tex guaranteed she’d be safe. In spite of the warm weather, the ocean and a beautiful house on the island, Hollis is getting bored. She exercises regularly to keep in shape and as she returns from a run there is the telltale signs someone is in her home.
This is a favorite scene.
The curtains were open on the second floor.
She never opened those curtains, unless she was reading in her room. Boredom fled as apprehension slithered into her veins. Years of training kept her from reacting. Instead, she tugged off her white hat and freed her hair as though just relaxing after she returned. The oversized hat hid her hand as she passed the outdoor grill on her way to the French doors leading inside.
The gun she had secured to the back slipped out easily and into her hand. The wash of cool air over her sun-warmed skin pebbled her skin. No one waited for her just inside. Bare feet meant she wouldn’t make a sound as she crossed the tile to the hallway. But she didn’t want her intruder to realize she knew he or they were there.
Pulling the door closed with a distinct thump, she padded to the sink and turned on the water. Obviously, anyone would want a drink after a long walk. Her throat was dry.
The coffee pot had been half-full when she left.
It was empty.
A mug she hadn’t used had been rinsed out and placed on the drying rack. Shutting the water off, she listened. Houses had their own soundtracks. The hum of the electronics filtered through the air, the vague whoosh of water refilling the automatic icemaker, the clatter of ice falling into the bucket. Even the wind whistling past a corner of the covered porch all set against the backdrop of the waves in the distance. When the air conditioner kicked on or off, there was always a thump in the attic. The wind-up of the condenser added to white noise. Little sounds that melded seamlessly into the background. Unless everything was too quiet.
She picked apart each sound, then dismissed it as she made her way to the hall separating the kitchen and dining area from the living room. No one waited. She didn’t allow for many blind spots in the house. The living room was sunken, requiring a person to descend three steps to enter it, which gave her an overview.
Whomever had let themselves in, they hadn’t damaged the locks on the front door. All of them were engaged. The backdoors she’d left unlocked because no one came out here.
Rookie mistake. She’d grown complacent in her boredom.
It wouldn’t happen again.
The curtains had been open to her room, so she made her way up the stairs. The doors to the two other bedrooms stood wide open. One was her de facto office, and it— like the master suite— faced the ocean.
The barest squeak of a chair and the hush of paper turning told her where they were.
She continued into her bedroom as if still unaware without slowing. After tossing the hat on the bed and letting the sarong drift to the floor, she slid into her bathroom and turned on the shower. The lights she left off, because there was plenty of natural light. Then she dumped the extra bikini hanging in the bathroom like she’d stripped before she stepped behind the curtain and waited.
Not even sixty seconds passed before a shadow darkened the doorway. Another step, and the intruder entered.
Now standing just inside the bathroom, he cleared his throat. “Hollis?”
She aimed center mass and fired three times. Every bullet hit square against him, and he slammed backwards against the door and then dropped with a pained groan.
Shutting off the water, she pulled the curtain back and stepped out with her gun still trained on the downed man. He let out another grunt as she shoved him over with her foot.
Recognition surged through her as he opened his eyes and gave her a weak smile. “Hey, beautiful…” He wheezed the words. “Miss me?”
One sharp kick of her foot knocked his head back against the doorjamb, and he slumped, unconscious.
Lieutenant Ned Wagner.
The son of a bitch who set her up.
No blood leaked from his wounds. There hadn’t been the telltale meaty thud of bullets striking flesh either.
Relieved, she blew out a breath. Scowling, because of the relief, she swore and squatted down to pull his gaudy Hawaiian shirt open. The fact he was dressed like some hideous tourist spoke volumes for why the man as tightly pressed as his uniforms was in her house years after he burned her.
It would serve him right if she put a bullet in his head.
Still, the fact he wore a bulletproof vest told her he’d either expected the reception or he, himself, was on the run.
Well, wouldn’t that be some gorgeous karmic irony? Couldn’t happen to a better asshole.
Heather Long. Hijacking Holiday (Kindle Locations 174-212). Kindle Edition.
Ned was the last person she expected to see, but she really isn’t all that surprised.
As Ned convinces her he needs her help he also promises her exoneration from the crimes she unwittingly committed for him.
Fast-paced, with plenty of action, a second chance romance, Sizzle and so much more.
5 Contented Purrs for Heather!
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USA Today bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas in the summertime.
From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories–her characters drive the books.
When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.