NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Autumn winds and rain
have returned to Crimson Point.
It’s November in the Pacific Northwest and Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Beckett and the Crimson Point gang are looking forward to celebrating the holiday together. This year they all have more to be thankful for than ever…but that also means they have even more to lose.
But this year
a different kind of storm is looming.
Recent problems at work have left Beckett and crew scrambling to get projects completed. It’s all hands on deck, and just as the end is finally within sight, a deadly threat emerges from the shadows. When things take a lethal turn, the Crimson Point team must once again come together to save one of its own, and hunt down the vengeful killer before he can strike again.
This novella is a final wrap-up of the Crimson Point Series and is not intended to be read as a stand-alone.
This book is a wrap-up to the series. If you haven’t read them all yet…STOP…Go and read them first.
This book takes place two years after the last one and it begins with Beckett and Aiden ‘Mac’ texting about an employee they had to let go.
Troy reminded them in some was of Carter and they were doing their best not to have history repeat itself.
Everyone is gathering at Beckett and Sierra’s home for dinner. Jace, Molly with their daughter Savannah, Noah and Poppy have already arrived when Aiden, Tiana and Ella arrive. Ella is such a big help with Savannah, I love the way she’s grown. She the one to spring a surprise on they others, her mom Tiana is pregnant. So much love and laughter comes through the pages here.
Ella gets permission to take Walter for a short walk in his stroller even though it’s dark, although her mom watches from the driveway. Armed with a flashlight she walks up the lane, I love the way she talks to him like he’s a person, but it’s once again Walter who’s warning growl alerts her to danger. In the distance she sees a man with a rifle and immediately turns them around and runs back to the house. This is where I say Damn it not again.
This is a favorite scene as the guys go into protective mode.
At the sudden commotion coming from the front porch, Beckett shot up from his chair and rushed for the door with Aidan. Tiana was on the porch with a protective arm around Ella, hugging her close as she herded her daughter toward them.
“What’s wrong?” Mac demanded behind him, holding the screen door open for them.
“I saw a man with a gun,” Ella blurted, rushing for the door, eyes wide.
Beckett and Mac shared a look, then Mac caught her and picked her up, holding her close as he took her inside. “Where?” Chairs scraped behind them as the other two men both stood and came over.
“At the top of the lane. He was at the edge of the forest. When he saw me he went back into the trees.”
A wave of protectiveness rushed through Beckett. They’d all been through enough shit. If this was another threat, he was ending it before it started. “What sort of a gun, Ella?” he asked, grabbing his jacket at the door. Noah was beside him, still in his sheriff’s uniform.
“A long one. A rifle.”
“Stay with your mom and the other lasses while we check it out,” Mac said, placing Ella on the couch in front of the fireplace. Tiana slid Ella onto her lap while Sierra, Poppy, Molly and Savannah clustered around them.
Beckett retrieved his pistol and was the first through the door with Mac, Weaver and Noah right behind him. Walter was at the foot of the porch stairs still in his stroller. Beckett lifted him out and handed him to Mac. “Bring him with us. If someone’s in the woods, he’ll be able to smell them.”
Together they headed to the end of the driveway and paused to look around. There was no one standing at the top of the lane. Walking up it would make them perfect targets because of the streetlights. “We’ll cut across into the woods here and move south.”
“Could be an out-of-town hunter who got lost,” Noah said, sidearm in hand as they crossed the lane and headed for the trees, his tone doubtful.
“Yeah, right.” He and Noah had been best friends since they were kids. They’d grown up together here in Crimson Point, knew every inch of the town by heart, including this stretch of forest.
Beckett’s senses were on high alert as they entered the forest. Dim streams of light from the streetlamp filtered through the trees.
“You had any trouble lately that I should know about?” Noah whispered.
“Few staff issues,” Beckett whispered back, already compiling a mental list of anyone who might want to threaten him. Three people immediately came to mind. All employees he’d been forced to let go recently, and one of whom he’d had a run-in with where the guy had been pissed off and threatening to sue.
Mac put Walter down at the edge of the forest. The old dog immediately began sniffling and snuffling around on the damp, leaf-strewn ground.
Beckett let him wander, keeping an eye on him as he slowly moved through the shadows ahead. “Fan out, and stay behind me,” he whispered to the others, immediately slipping back into the role of team leader that he’d held during the last ten years of his SF career. “Weaver, on my right,” he said to Jase, who had been one of his A-Team soldiers.
He hugged the edge of the forest as they moved southward, staying just deep enough inside the trees that the light coming from the lane didn’t cast them in silhouette to anyone who might be hiding in here.
Beckett headed up the hill toward the top of the lane, where Ella had last seen the suspect. The others moved silently through the woods behind him, scanning the underbrush. Walter was busy exploring but hadn’t given any alerts or done anything to indicate he’d picked up an interesting scent.
Beckett held his weapon at the ready and focused on the area to his left as he neared the top of the lane. There was just enough illumination filtering down from the half-moon for him to identify Weaver about ten yards behind him on the right.
Beckett signaled for his former soldier to cover him, then crept back toward the lane. He was about to be backlit by the streetlamp but he needed to find where the guy with the weapon had been, and what direction he was heading. While the others watched his back, he stepped out of the shadows and into the light, searching the strip of earth that bordered the pavement.
A few yards from the crest of the hill, he saw the prints. Large boots, size eleven or twelve. Beckett crouched to examine them more closely, the streetlamp at the top of the hill giving him plenty of light. The prints near the edge of the pavement pointed toward the lane. They were deeper at the toe than the heel.
Their mystery visitor had been trying to be stealthy, placing his weight on the balls of his feet and rocking backward, rather than heel first. Ella must have surprised him and made him dart back into the woods.
Moving a little farther south, he found another set of tracks leading back into the forest. Beckett’s spine tingled. This didn’t feel random. Whoever it was had scouted the area before using the woods as cover to reach his target, then slipped back into the trees.
Only Beckett’s, and Tiana and Mac’s houses were down this way. As far as targets went, Beckett’s gut said this had to be about him. If he was right, then the stalker must have been trying to cross the lane and circle around to the back of Beckett’s house, using the darkness as cover.
Cold settled deep in his gut. Had Ella not scared the guy off, things might have taken a far more dangerous turn tonight.
Cross, Kaylea. Broken Bonds (Crimson Point Series Book 5) (Kindle Locations 212-257). Kaylea Cross Inc.. Kindle Edition.
This is only the beginning and I love the way Kaylea gives us incite into the bad guy and his motives without giving away who he is.
I love the interactions between all these friends and their children and pets. While I’m sorry the series has ended it is truly one of my favorites from this author.
A shopping trip, mudslides and more make this a page-turning read with laughter, many tears, sizzling heat and so much more!
5 Contented Purrs for Kaylea!
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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kaylea Cross writes edge-of-your-seat military romantic suspense. Her work has won many awards and has been nominated for both the Daphne du Maurier and the National Readers’ Choice Awards. A Registered Massage Therapist by trade, Kaylea is also an avid gardener, artist, Civil War buff, Special Ops aficionado, belly dance enthusiast and former nationally-carded softball pitcher. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and family.