USA Today Bestselling Author
Rory is an animal lover. In his mind, any veterinarian who does as much pro bono work as Louise, the local vet, deserves his help when she gets into trouble…
Louise works long hours at her own veterinarian clinic. When she receives an unexpected delivery one day, complete with a dead deliveryman, a domino-series of events puts her and her clinic full of precious animals in danger.
Rory is the first to volunteer to keep her safe. Professional reasons quickly become personal. Louise is everything he’s ever wanted and never expected to find in a single woman. He’s looking forward to a future together, and the only way to ensure that is to stop whatever’s endangering her and her animals.
Unfortunately, the killer isn’t leaving a witness to his crimes. At first, Rory and the team at Legendary Securities make headway in discovering what’s going on, but the tables turn in an instant and, for the first time since he joined the team, Rory’s vision of a satisfactory resolution–and happily-ever-after–may not be in the cards.
Oh my, Levi and Ice’s crew with puppies!!!! That dang near had me drooling. Okay so I was drooling…but seriously…Rory and the puppy Rose is a match made in Levi’s hell.
Louise is their vet and with the number of puppies she couldn’t feed all of them herself so she dropped them off at Levi’s and the guys are seriously in love with the entire litter. Of course Levi keeps saying no to any of them staying, but you and I know better. To be honest I don’t think they’re ever going to go to Anna and Flynn for adoption.
Louise has another problem and she really doesn’t know how to ask for help. It’s Rory who sees it and calls her on it while they were all at dinner. Her response surprised them all.
This is a favorite scene.
Silence fell in the room as others tuned in. Louise looked around nervously, yet she only saw curiosity and acceptance. She settled into her skin somewhat. She hadn’t planned to talk about this, but, having seen this place, knowing the people, there was just something secure and dependable about them.
“I don’t even know what I need.” She winced because that would only bring on more questions. “It’s probably a matter for the authorities anyway.”
Ice was seated on the other side of the table. She leaned over and asked, “What’s a matter for the authorities?”
“I think somebody is mixing up the wrong drugs for animals.”
Silence returned as everyone stared.
“What do you mean?” Levi asked, his voice stern.
Louise took a deep breath. “I got a shipment of drugs from my usual supplier but with different labels on them. When I asked the driver about it, he couldn’t give me a decent explanation. He hurriedly grabbed the case from my arms and reloaded it on the truck. He apologized, saying it was a wrong shipment. Then he was gone damn fast.”
It was probably a mistake to bring it up, but she couldn’t let it go in her head. At least Levi’s team would let her know if she was making something out of nothing. “The thing is, he left one of the cases behind. I tracked it back to the company and called them. They said they didn’t know anything about it. How it was obviously a mistake. I took a closer look. The medicine looked to be in the company’s packaging. As if somebody had opened the packages, dumped the contents of the bottles, filled them with something else, then resealed them.”
“Is that possible?” Ice asked.
“I never thought about it until I ended up with this case. So I’d have said no before, and now I feel like I need to say … maybe,” she admitted.
“What made you think the wrong drugs were inside the containers?”
Rory’s tone was calm, without making it sound like she was making this up. She appreciated that. As such it was easy to answer. “I used to sell a lot of veterinarian supplies. So I do know the company’s products. Plus I use them for my own work. The one I opened had a different texture to the powder. I checked with the company, and they confirmed they haven’t changed their formula. I don’t know if it was my imagination, but I don’t want to use the drugs, just in case, and now I can’t get it out of my mind.”
“Do you still have them?”
Louise nodded. “Yes.”
Silence once again fell in the big dining room. Even Alfred, who just arrived, froze midstep with a tray of something else delicious looking in his hands.
Louise looked around the room and asked, “Why?”
“Several reasons. First, if something is wrong,” Levi said, “we want to make sure the drugs aren’t administered to animals. What color is the substance inside the bottles?”
“That’s part of the problem. When I looked at it, my mind immediately thought of something else. Because it was white.”
“As in cocaine? Heroin?” Levi leaned forward, studying her face intently.
“I don’t know the difference,” she admitted. “I’m not sure about anything. For all I know, it was my imagination. Like, when you notice someone who looks at you in a shifty way, as if they’re nervous, and they just want to get away. As if they realize they’ve made a mistake, and it’s a big one, and they quickly grab and run?” She shook her head. “The delivery man didn’t waste any time leaving the parking lot.”
“What kind of vehicle was he driving?”
“An old delivery truck. I don’t remember what was printed on the side of the truck, but it was one of the standard brown trucks we see everywhere. I didn’t look that closely,” she admitted. “Why would I? And when? After he took off, I couldn’t see anything on the back panel of the vehicle.”
“So, like a pickup truck, a delivery truck or a big semi-truck?” Rory asked beside her.
“One of those smaller panel delivery trucks. But it wasn’t as big as what I’ve seen before.” She frowned, then she shrugged. “I really don’t have any way to measure it. I just gave it a passing glance.”
“But you couldn’t see the license plate when he took off?” Rory asked.
“I didn’t look. I’m not sure if it was even there. The truck was pretty muddy.”
“Do you have security at the clinic?” Ice asked.
Louise turned to look at her in surprise. “Yes. I do. I haven’t checked the feed to see if the truck shows up there or not.”
“Somebody will go back with you. He can take a look, run through the camera feed and look for any sign of a license plate or what kind of truck it was and possibly catch the driver’s face.”
“As for a description, all I can really say is he was Hispanic-looking and dressed in black jeans and a gray T-shirt. I don’t think he spoke English very well.”
“So, no uniform?”
She stared at Rory in surprise. “Actually no. He didn’t have on a uniform.”
The others nodded.
“You really think they’re smuggling drugs? Why deliver them to a vet clinic then?”
“They could also be making regular deliveries, and the shipments got mixed up.”
They asked her dozens more questions, but she was hard-pressed to answer any of them. Finally she stood and said, “I have to get back. I’ve stayed longer than I intended to.”
Rory glanced over at Levi and raised an eyebrow.
Levi nodded. “Rory will follow you back. Give him access to your security feed, and let’s see if he can find anything.”
She hesitated. “Do you really think it’s something serious?”
He gave her a flat stare. “If it is, and you don’t do something about it, it could be bad.”
“In what way?” she protested. “I didn’t have anything to do with it.”
“No, but that is the second issue we didn’t discuss. If one case of the product was left behind, is that driver or his boss coming back after it? If it’s drugs, like cocaine or heroin, it’ll have a high street value. Whoever is moving these drugs will want them back. They’ll retrieve them no matter what they have to do.”
She could do nothing but stare at him. She hadn’t once considered that.
“In other words,” Rory added quietly, “your life is in danger until this is settled.”
Mayer, Dale. Rory’s Rose: A SEALs of Honor World Novel (Heroes for Hire Book 12). Valley Publishing Ltd. Kindle Locations (177-230). Kindle Edition.
Rory stops a break-in but one of the bad guys gets away, not before killing the two Rory had captured. This only emphasizes the need for better security for Louise’s Clinic. A lot of back and forth regarding cost with Ice and Rory then Louise had me giggling. You know they aren’t going to let friends be in harms way.
Lot’s of tension as the body count rises, animal babies abound and there is definitely a cuteness overload with the puppies.
The relationship between Rory and Louise is a simmer to sizzle that is perfect. These two are definitely meant for each other.
I’m going to start the next book in this series, I am almost caught up.
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.