USA Today Bestselling Author
CAN HE GET THEM TO SAFETY IN TIME?
Navy SEAL, Cullen Lyons, knew the moment he saw Dr. Carys Adams treating her patients in an African war zone that she was stubborn, selfless and extraordinary. Ignoring the danger surrounding her, she concentrated on keeping the young mother and newborn alive. Now it was Cullen’s job to evade the brutal rebel forces who had targeted Carys and the young family and get them to safety.
HOW WILL THEY SURVIVE?
Carys knows that a three day journey to Khartoum could kill her patients, but staying in hiding would sign their death warrant. She had never met a man like Cullen Lyons, every instinct told her that she could trust him, that she had finally found someone she could lean on, but what if she was wrong? Was he really the hero he seemed to be?
We first met Carys in ‘Her Steadfast Hero’, the first book in the Black Dawn Series. After that ordeal she stopped deploying with Doctors without Borders.
When Abdalla Hamdok the new Prime Minister asked if she would come and consult with Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors she weighed all the pros and cons but finally agreed. Now she was once again in the thick of things.
Called out to attend a woman in labor she takes Faizah, one of the nurses with her to watch over the woman’s other children while she helped the mother.
Necessity called for a C-Section to save both the child and mother under very primitive conditions, and a cursory check of the children showed abuse to the point one child could have internal bleeding.
Not having a vehicle had Carys is despairing over how to get the child treatment while the mother recovers enough to travel. It then that Navy SEALs show up looking for her.
Cullen Lyons and Raiden Sato need evaluate the situation and evacuate them. This means splitting up and Raiden taking Faizah and the children to the hospital in Khartoum and returning for them.
I really love Cullen’s interaction with the new baby as he encourages Carys to get some sleep. Although as her patient is waking up, she is in the midst of a nightmare where she is back in Santa Flores.
This is a favorite scene.
She struggled as she felt a hand over her mouth. She scrabbled away from the strong grip, digging her nails into the thick wrist above the hand that covered her mouth.
“Carys,” wake up. It was a commanding voice. She recognized it… barely. She was still lost in her dreams and having trouble separating the dreamworld from reality. She blinked fast, and finally, Cullen came into view. He was holding a baby.
The baby was crying, and she could hear another voice crying out weakly.
“Carys, are you with me now?” His voice was now full of empathy and caring. She couldn’t stand that. If he was too nice to her, she’d shatter.
She pulled at his wrist and nodded. Cullen let go.
“I need to go to Shada, are you good with him?” He nodded again, obviously not wanting to do or say anything that might upset her fragile composure.
She pulled herself up off the lumpy makeshift bed and went in to see how Shada was doing. When she went behind the curtain, she found the woman half on, half off the bed. “Where are my children?” Carys gave a wan grin. God please the woman, she was trying to be demanding and Carys was so proud of her show of strength even though she had to be weak as a kitten. But she needed to get her back into the bed so she didn’t rip her stitches.
“They’re getting help. Your daughter Farida needed medical care in Khartoum, she and your other daughters went with Faizah to get some. Your new baby is here. You still need a day or two to rest before we can take you into Khartoum to be with the rest of your family.”
“No! My husband is there, he will find me and kill me.” She grabbed at the sweat-stained sheet. Carys made a note to switch out the sheet with the other one she had drying on the line. “Give me my baby. You must get my other children. We will go to Egypt. My mother’s uncle lives in Cairo.”
“Does he know you?” Carys asked calmly as she helped Shada back into the bed.
“No, but he will do the right thing.” It broke Carys’ heart to see the look of frantic hope on Shada’s face. The woman knew as well as Carys did how many refugees ended up stranded in refugee camps when they sought asylum in other countries. Carys had worked in too many of them— even this life here, that Shada had, was better.
“Right now, you need to focus on getting well,” she said to the weak woman. “Let me bring in your son.”
“My baby is a boy?” she asked in awe.
“He’s a healthy, beautiful boy,” Carys confirmed. She stroked her fingers down Shada’s wrist, subtly checking the IV insertion point, then she placed her fingers on her wrist and looked at her watch so that she could take her pulse.
“When can I hold my son?”
“In just a moment,” Carys assured her. She loved the look of love and wonder on Shada’s face. She tugged the stethoscope from around her neck and listened to her heart and lungs.
“Now can you get my baby?” Shada pleaded.
Carys took off the blood pressure monitoring cuff. She was disturbed by how low her BP was. It was not good at all, and it wasn’t because of the painkillers. “Shada, I’m going to need to press on your abdomen again, okay?”
Shada looked at her with trepidation. Finally, she nodded. Carys pushed firmly, doing what she needed to do to help the woman’s uterus contract. Shada was crying by the time she was finished.
“All done. Now I can bring him in for a visit.”
“Thank you, Doctor.”
“Wait!” Shada held out her hand. She reluctantly pulled down the sheet. Then she also unbuttoned the nightshirt that Faizah had dressed her in. “I don’t think my milk has come in.” Her expression was anguished.
“Ah, Honey. It’s all right. Sometimes it takes a while. I’ve already been feeding him formula, he’s doing fine. Trust me, everything will be fine. Let me go get your son.”
Carys went around the blanket and almost ran right into Cullen. After her nightmare, it was disconcerting to have to look upwards into the face of such a large man. Normally she would be a little bit fearful. But really, how could she be when confronted with a man who was humming a lullaby to a tiny baby?
“I heard,” he whispered. “Here you go,” he deftly placed the little boy into Carys’ arms. “Is she good to feed him? A bottle I mean. I warmed up some boiled water, mixed in the formula and then let it cool.”
Carys shook her head and smiled. She was impressed. “You did? Yes, she’s fine.”
He went and plucked the bottle off the rickety table. “Here you go.”
“Thanks,” she grabbed the glass bottle from him and ducked behind the blanket to where Shada was in bed waiting for her son. When she handed the newborn to his mother and saw the two of them together, tears welled up. She was stunned. That wasn’t like her. Normally she kept it together far better than this. If she didn’t, she wouldn’t be able to cope with some of the things she had been forced to see over the seven years she’d been with Doctors Without Borders, but that dream had really messed with her head.
“Thank you, Doctor. You saved us.”
“You did all the work,” Carys said as she watched the beautiful sight of Shada feeding her child.
“I have decided on a name. I shall call him Adam.”
Carys sucked in another shaky breath.
Again, with the tears?
“I am honored.” Shada continued to stroke her baby’s hands as she nestled him next to her. He’d scored a nine on his Apgar test and had all indications of being a big and sturdy little boy if he got enough food. Now she watched as Shada started to whisper things into her son’s ear. Carys could hear the promises she was making. She wanted a better life for her son, one without pain.
She couldn’t handle it for another second, she fled out into the main area and once again ran straight into Cullen.
Caitlyn O’Leary. Her Tempting Protector, Night Storm, Book Two: ARC – Advanced Reader Copy – Not For Sale Or Distriburtion (Kindle Locations 958-962).
Things are rapidly changing in Khartoum and it becomes apparent they would have to find a way to travel on their own.
This is an action-packed, emotional, and at times romantic journey through rough and dangerous territory as Cullen and Carys work to keep both mother and child safe.
I can’t wait to see who finds love in the next book!
5 Contented Purrs for Caitlyn!
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!
Caitlyn O’Leary is an avid reader, and considers herself a fan first and an author second. She reads a wide variety of genres, but finds herself going back to happily-ever-afters. Getting a chance to write, after years in corporate America is a dream come true. She hopes that her stories provide the kind of entertainment and escape that she has found from some of her favorite authors.
Her Series Include:
It’s a bit Paranormal, a bit Sci-Fi and 100% Action/Adventure. The characters have special abilities, that make them targets.
This is focused on a group of Navy Seals. What makes them special is their bond to one another, and the women they come to love.
This is the series that started her career, it is a Menage Series that takes place in Fate Harbor Washington. It focuses on a tight knit community who live and love and care for one another.
She loves to hear from her readers. firstname.lastname@example.org