USA Today Bestselling Author
Welcome to Logan’s Light, book 6 in Heroes for Hire, reconnecting readers with the unforgettable men from SEALs of Honor in a new series of action-packed, page turning romantic suspense that fans have come to expect from USA TODAY Bestselling author Dale Mayer.
Logan heads to Boston on an intel mission. His investigation plunges him and his partner into the deep dark world of human trafficking.
The last thing Alina remembers is having coffee at the cafe in the hospital where she works. She awakes tied up in a strange apartment. Her world as she knew it gone…possibly forever.
Now they’re on the run together. Time is against them. There’s a quota to be made, and the traffickers aren’t going to let Alina go if they can help it.
Unfortunately, she’s not the only victim. The hunt is on…for the traffickers and their other victims…before it’s too late.
I’m trying to catch up on this series, and I have bought the available bundles, I just keep getting waylaid by the new books. I am going to really make the effort now to finish this whole series.
Levi and Ice are pulled into a possible trafficking case by Jackson, his friend the detective who was assigned to the case was pulled supposedly for budgetary reasons. The detective thinks there’s something very wrong going on but can’t find the proof.
Logan and Harrison set out to Boston armed with four addresses of suspected Human Traffickers. At the first one they check they find a woman but no suspect. Alina had been taken as she was leaving work by a man who was stalking her.
This is a favorite scene.
The first man shot her a hard glance and asked, “How do you know we broke in?”
She was about to answer, but her hands were freed then, and her arms fell to the bed. She cried out as pain screamed up them to her shoulders. The man grabbed her arms and gave them a good shake before massaging them.
“Take it easy,” he said. “If your arms have been like this for a long time, it’ll hurt like crazy to move them.”
She gasped, unable to stop the tears in her eyes. “You’re not kidding. I’ve been like this since this morning when he left. But he’s kept me tied up off and on for two days now.”
“Any idea where he’s gone?”
“To meet his friends. The ones he keeps threatening me with.”
The second man at her feet finally released her legs. He worked the bottom of her calves and the soles of her feet and ankles, massaging them as he slowly moved her legs up and down, bending her knees.
The pain coursing through her made it impossible to speak. When she could, she said, “Colin told me he knew men who would buy women like me.”
“Like you?” the man nearest her asked.
She shot him a confused look. “I presumed he meant any women that crossed him because I wasn’t giving him what he wanted.”
The man stopped and stared down at her. “Did he rape you?”
She shook her head. “I’ve been out of it most of the time. I don’t think so, but he gave me an ultimatum. He said if I didn’t agree to submit, he’d sell me to these men.”
“Still rape. No matter which way you cut it.” He bent down and picked her up in his arms, carrying her out to the living room. “And he likely planned to sell you regardless. He would get something for himself and terrorize you even more.”
She didn’t know if she should clutch him or try to run away. Once he placed her in a chair, she realized how rubbery her legs were, as well as her arms.
He continued massaging her legs and feet, getting the blood moving once again.
She gave him a wobbly smile and said, “Thank you.” She glanced at the door. “We really need to get the hell out of here.”
“Tell us more about Colin,” the first man said. “We can’t let him do this again.”
She shook her head, as if clearing it. “I’m a nurse. He said he worked part-time as an orderly. He kept asking me out, and I refused. After that it was just a nightmare, as if I was already his girlfriend and just being difficult. He kept stalking me. He finally caught me in the cafeteria, and I sat and had coffee with him.”
“Did you call the police, report the stalking?” the second man asked.
She nodded and wrapped her arms around her shoulders. “I was hoping he’d stop then. But I don’t remember anything after having coffee.” She stared at the strangers. “Who the hell are you guys anyway? Not that I’m not grateful. I really want to get out of here.” She glanced around, not even giving them a chance to answer and asked, “Is my purse here?”
“I’ll look,” the second man said.
The first man stopped massaging and gently put her foot on the floor.
“Thank you. I’m Alina Chambers,” she whispered. “Who are you?”
“I’m Logan, and my buddy is Harrison. We work for a Texas private security company.” He gave her a lopsided grin. “You’re lucky we showed up to check out this apartment for a potential problem.”
She stared at him blankly. “I’m sure this makes sense to you, but it doesn’t to me.” She pushed her hands down on the chair and struggled to her feet. “I have to leave before he gets back. Where are my shoes and purse? I can call the cops, but I’m afraid he’ll get bail and be out on the streets after me in no time.”
She took a couple steps and had to hang on to the wall for support. “How can I be so weak?”
“Did he give you any drugs?” Logan asked at her side, putting an arm around her shoulders to support her. He helped her to the front door and pointed to a set of women’s boots on the floor. “Those yours?”
“Yes,” she cried gratefully. He bent down and lifted first one foot and then the other. Using his back for support, she stepped into her boots.
She felt better already. What was it about having boots that gave her a little more security and self-confidence?
“Logan?” Harrison’s voice came from the other room. “You need to see what I found.”
Logan straightened and patted her on the shoulder. “Stay here at the door. Let me see what he discovered.”
She leaned against the wall next to the front door, wondering if she could go outside. Surely it was a whole lot safer than being inside. But she really wanted her purse. She waited a long moment, then struggled toward where the men had disappeared. She found them in the kitchen.
At her arrival, Logan turned and asked, “Are any of these yours?” On the table was an assortment of purses.
Shocked, she could feel herself swaying. She clung to the counter as she studied the neat rows and counted fifteen of them. Her bones turned to rubber, and all the heat drained from her body. She whispered, “How many women has he done this to?” She took a deep breath and nodded to the purse on the far end. Even her joy at seeing it didn’t begin to wipe out the enormity of what they’d found. “The burgundy leather one at the far end looks like mine.”
Logan picked it up, opened it and gave it to her. “Your wallet is still in there.”
“Where did you find these?” she cried out, going through her wallet and purse in relief.
Harrison pointed to cupboard above the fridge. “They were up there in a box.”
Leaning against the kitchen counter, she quickly went through hers. “My apartment and car keys, wallet, money, and even credit cards are all still in here.” She reached up a hand to wipe her forehead. “That’s a relief. What do we do about all those?” She pointed to the remaining ones. “If a woman has gone missing for every purse here …”
The two men exchanged hard glances. “We have to call the police,” she said reluctantly. “He has to be stopped.”
Logan glanced at her and asked, “Do you live in Boston?”
Her eyes grew wild. “Boston? I’m in Boston?” She shook her head. “No, I live in Somerville and work at the university hospital there.”
“That’s, what? A half hour from here?”
She gave a quick nod, then covered her mouth with her hands.
Logan lifted her arm.
She glanced down to see the swelling at the top of her arm. “So he did drug me.” She watched his face as he nodded.
“Looks like it. And it doesn’t look like your system appreciated it either.” He glanced at Harrison. “She needs a hospital.”
“And we should contact Levi.”
“Who’s Levi?” Alina asked, now suspicious about any newcomers in her life. “Our boss,” Logan told her.
“They were right about the trafficking trafficking ring,” Harrison said.
“Crap,” Alina said. “I thought he was just using that as a threat.”
Logan pointed at the line of purses. “I highly doubt this is a purse-snatching problem.”
She started to shake, and then tears sprang to her eyes. She turned and leaned on the counter, feeling her breath whooshing out of her body. “Oh, my God! How close did I come to ending up like these poor women?”
“Damn close I’d say.” Logan stayed at her side, gently rubbing her shoulders and back. He turned to Harrison. “Want to call Levi from the other room?” He turned to her, bending down to study her face.
She gave him a wan smile and said, “I’m okay. Honest, I’ll be fine.”
He nodded. “You are now. Do you have any idea how long ago Colin left and when he’s supposed to be back?”
“He said a couple hours.” She closed her eyes, trying to think. Time seemed so unreal. “I’m not sure how long ago that was. I was lying there, figuring out how to get free. This is the first time he’s ever left me alone.”
“You sure he didn’t touch you?”
She stared at him with tears growing in her eyes. “How am I supposed to know? If he drugged me, how would I even…” And she started to cry.
He turned her into his arms and held her close. “Take it easy. You’ve been through a huge ordeal, but you’re safe now.”
She shook her head, her tears dripping onto his shirt, and mumbled, “How can you say that? We’re still in this place where I was held captive. You haven’t caught the bad guy yet. And I highly doubt you’ll do so now. But I can’t let him go free.”
Mayer, Dale. Heroes for Hire: Books 4-6 (pp. 419-424). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.
With the discovery of purses, the guys are ordered to wait and apprehend Colin,the man who kidnapped Alina. This proves to be informative but not enough.
As they track down leads, Logan keeps Alina close. She’s been through a lot and even her apartment really isn’t safe anymore.
I love the way this story develops with plenty of suspense and leads from interesting places.
Of course there’s the blossoming relationship between Logan and Alina with the hope she’ll decide to move to Texas.
I’m going to start the next group of three books now.
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.