What happens when the very men—trained to make the hard decisions—come up against the rules and regulations that hold them back from doing what needs to be done? They either stay and work within the constraints given to them or they walk away. Only now, for a select few, they have another option:
A covert black ops team that steps up
and breaks all the rules …
but gets the job done.
Welcome to a new military romance series by USA Today best-selling author Dale Mayer. A series where you meet new friends and just might get to meet old ones too in this raw and compelling look at the men who keep us safe every day from the darkness where they operate—and live—in the shadows … until someone special helps them step into the light.
USA Today Bestselling Author
When his call came,
the mission was the opposite of what he expected…
Returning to his hometown of London, UK, was a happy surprise, until he realized what—and who—was involved. Out of his comfort zone when dealing with women sold into sexual slavery or even “collected,” regardless Miles was determined to dig in deep, when he realized he knew the latest kidnapped victim. A woman who’d touched him years earlier. To think she might be suffering at the hands of a deranged serial kidnapper or, worse, could be sold in some human trafficking ring…
Vanessa, tied up and blindfolded, has no idea why she’d been kidnapped. She does her best to obey her captor, even as she plots her escape. Her hope is that she’s been reported missing and that the cops are looking for her. … They are, but so is someone else…
Keeping Vanessa safe at his side, Miles is taxed to the limit to unravel and to capture a serial killer who’s lain undetected for decades, disguised as a serial kidnapper…
Miles is pleased to find his mission would take him to London. However, this mission is not quite what he expected and a bit out of his comfort zone. The missing woman was very familiar to him as well. While he’d never met her he’d been drawn to the images of her for years, falling just a bit in love with her.
Mile’s friend Nico is his partner on this case that both MI6 and Scotland Yard were interested in. It was Nico who has discovered a pattern that spans seventeen years of missing red haired women. Worse they think the man responsible may be military.
When we first see Vanessa she is bound and sensory deprived by a blindfold and something covering her ears. She knows she’s been drugged from the fogginess she feels. All she can remember is being on her way to a photo shoot that was within walking distance of her flat. What she does know is she has to figure out someway to escape her situation even if someone is looking for her.
Vanessa does manage to outsmart her kidnapper and her getaway wasn’t easy or without injury.
This is a favorite scene.
Miles’s phone rang as they raced toward their interview. He answered it and said, “Yeah, what’s up?”
“Disturbance at,” and he was given an intersection, which Miles immediately punched into the car’s GPS, and then Nico pulled the vehicle into a U-turn in the middle of the street with screeching tires all around them. The caller continued, “A woman just escaped, saying she’d been kidnapped. She’s hurt, but she got herself out. An ambulance is at the scene right now, and we think it’s her.”
“Vanessa,” the voice said. “You need to get there fast. A crowd has gathered, and it’s chaos.”
“We’re on the way,” Miles said. “Be there in five.”
“Faster than that,” Nico said.
Miles put down his phone and looked at Nico. “Well, remember what I said about how Vanessa needs to be aware and paying attention and to stand on her own two feet? It looks like she did this rescue job all on her own,” he said with a proud smile.
Nico nodded and returned his smile, then called the police station, canceling their two interviews and asking for a plainclothes detective to follow both interviewees until further notice and hung up.
As they reached the scene, the ambulance pulled away.
Nico asked Miles, “Do you want to follow her to the hospital or get details from the scene?”
“I want both,” he said. “Drop me off here, and you go after the ambulance.” Then he quickly approached a few people and asked them for details. The gist of it was, she’d climbed out a window, dropped onto a mattress on the ground and then got hit by a car but got back up again. As she was leaving, her captor came after her. Miles didn’t hear anything new or different as the cops took official statements. On that note, Miles headed toward the hospital on foot, taking another fifteen minutes to get there.
As he walked in through the front doors, he texted Nico and asked where he was.
The answer came back immediately.
Miles joined him there and asked, “Any idea how badly hurt she is?”
“Not so bad that she has to stay much longer than maybe overnight, yet not so good that she can be alone,” Nico said quietly. “The blow from the vehicle hit her pretty severely. She’s got abrasions and bruising all along her lower abdomen. She’s badly bruised her ribs but they aren’t broken. And her ankle? We don’t know if it’s broken or just sprained at this point in time.”
“From the jump out of the window?”
“It’s possible. Or from the car hitting her? I don’t think anybody really knows yet. She’s unconscious.”
“That’s not good,” Miles said. “Head injury?”
“They don’t know. None of the bystanders could say, and, when the emergency personnel arrived on scene, Vanessa came around, but she couldn’t say either. She passed out almost immediately as soon as they started working on her.”
“Which means it’s likely a concussion,” Miles said with a nod. “Can I see her?”
“She’s already in a private hospital room, probably awaiting tests or the results. They’re not letting anybody in right at the moment,” Nico said, pointing at her room.
Miles snorted at that and, when he stepped inside, found one nurse at Vanessa’s side.
“Only family is allowed here,” the nurse said.
He walked straight to Vanessa on the hospital bed and picked up her hand, then immediately held it against his cheek. “And fiancés,” he whispered. God, he hated to see the flaxen look to her skin. Her expression was not a calm stillness but instead an almost stirred sense of being in a panic mode underneath. He cupped her cheek and whispered, “It’s okay now. You’ll be just fine.” He leaned over and kissed her gently, brushing the hair off her freckles, knowing this was real, not some act.
Then he turned to the nurse, glared and barked, “How bad is it?”
She smiled at him. “Not so bad. She’ll survive. She took quite a blow.”
“She’s incredibly resilient,” he said, squeezing Vanessa’s fingers lightly. He glanced at her ankle and frowned. He could see the swelling already evident. “I don’t like to look of that,” he muttered. The alignment was good, but it was pretty well black and blue already.
“No, but considering some of her other injuries,” the nurse said, “the ankle will heal fast enough.”
“Do we have X-rays back yet?”
“No, not yet,” she said. “We just got her back from X-ray though, so at least she can rest undisturbed for now. We’re waiting on the results.”
He pulled up a chair and sat, then dropped his forehead to her arm and held his position while the nurse left. At that point, he lifted his head and stared at the beautiful woman on the bed, then whispered, “That was an incredibly brave and very risky thing you just did. And I’m so grateful you did it.” He knew she would be as well, if and when she ever woke up, but, at the moment, she was struggling. She was unconscious and showing no signs of coming back. Or, at least, he didn’t think so.
But then she opened her eyes, looked at him and asked, “Who the hell are you?”
He grinned at her and whispered, “For now I’m your fiancé.”
She shook her head, her eyes diamond hard. “I don’t have one,” she said. “And I’ve had enough of strange men determining who and what I am in life to them.”
He nodded and whispered, “Special Ops. Came here to rescue you, only to find out you had rescued yourself.”
Hearing that, her demeanor changed a bit. That or it could be the meds she was on too.
“No,” she said, struggling, her eyes closing on her. “He said he’d come after me. I’m not out of danger.” She gripped his hand hard. “Please don’t let him get me again.”
Then her eyes closed, and she was out cold once more.
Dale Mayer. Miles (Kindle Locations 678-725). Valley Publishing Ltd..
Miles meets Vanessa at the hospital, proclaiming himself to be her fiancé to be able to sit with her. When Vanessa regains consciousness Miles lets her know she is safe and he will keep her that way. It’s not until later, when she’s more coherent, that they realize she has seen her kidnapper and is still in danger.
This is a fast-paced, nail-biting tale full of intrigue, suspense and a simmer to sizzle romance.
I can’t wait to read the next book in this series!
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.