USA Today Bestselling Author
Brandon, the newest member of Levi’s team at Legendary Securities, heads to Africa. Bullard purchased a new holding there, but, shortly after arriving, went missing.
Kasha has worked for Bullard for five years. She’s familiar with most of those who work for Legendary as well. Brandon proves his worth almost immediately, planning her boss’s rescue and staying right by her side in the days that follow while they determine what imbroglio Bullard’s stepped into. Accident or a deal gone horribly wrong, it seems Bullard was running guns and now his newest holding is under attack.
Their emotions, heightened by danger, run hot as Brandon positions himself instinctively at Kasha’s side–which is exactly where he hopes to be permanently if they can just find a way out of this rapidly escalating mess.
Brandon had only been at Legendary Security for two days when the call came in that Bullard was missing. A group of them had gone to check out their latest acquisition but Bullard stayed behind wanting to check out a couple more things before returning. When the plane arrived to take him home there was no sign of him anywhere.
Kasha is the one who called, and while not pleased with their time frame knew that was the best they could do. Merk and Stone would travel from their location in Europe, Brandon and Harrison would leave ASAP from Texas.
On arrival they meet Kasha and have a quick meal before taking off again for Bullard’s new property. The place looks like a medieval castle, with stone walls surrounding the huge building complete with parapets surrounding the rooftop walkways. Kasha confidently leads them through the security and once the command center is up she runs a scan of the property which shows heat signals. Although they are too small to be Bullard they couldn’t dismiss them. Merk and Brandon check them out with Kasha following their every move. They find a couple of interesting things, including the cook Bullard hired from the village. However still no sign of Bullard.
With the initial search of the five floors of the house done they move to the garage to discover the truck that came with the property gone. Fortunately all the vehicles have GPS locators on them.
Leaving Stone with Kasha and the cook, the guys leave hoping to find Bullard.
This is a favorite scene.
Brandon didn’t argue. He hit Reverse, backed down the large ramp and turned around.
He could see Stone and Kasha arguing in his rearview mirror. Given the circumstances, he fully agreed with Stone staying back. The last sight he saw was Stone crossing his arms over his chest and just staring at Kasha.
Brandon chuckled. “I don’t think she liked that much.”
“It doesn’t matter if she liked it or not,” Merk said. “There’s no way we come here to rescue Bullard and get Kasha kidnapped or killed in the process.”
“Keep in mind we don’t know how many men we’ll be up against in the village,” Harrison commented.
“And keep in mind Kasha has weapons training. Bullard trained her himself,” Merk said. “He wanted to ensure she could handle herself when he was away. I know he was contemplating basing her here, but she didn’t want to come this far out.”
“I heard she was looking to head back to the US again,” Harrison said.
“Have you guys worked with her before?” Brandon asked.
“A couple times. She’s good people.” Merk held up a cell phone. “The GPS is showing the tracker on the missing vehicle.”
“Good. What a world we live in where everything can be reduced to a screenshot on a phone held in our hands.”
“It could be that Bullard was taken and even killed for the vehicle. In this area, that relic of a pickup still runs and is worth gold to them, whether they keep it or intend to sell it,” Harrison noted. “Whoever has the truck may not want to give it up either.”
“I don’t give a shit what they would like,” Brandon said quietly. “That vehicle comes back with us. That’s the only evidence we have that Bullard was here. We can’t take a chance of losing that too.”
“What if Bullard sold it to them?” Harrison asked.
“Then they can take it up with him when he’s back on his feet. In the meantime, we treat them all as if they are against him,” Merk said.
“Well then, we’d better find him. No way will I face his team or ours and tell them we failed,” Brandon added.
Just before they entered town, Brandon could see buildings lining either side of the road. Businesses of some sort. Houses seemed to sit behind the business row but not many. A rise was off to the left. He drove the vehicle to the top, and they hopped out and walked over to the edge to look down on the village. With little to impede their view, it was easy to see Bullard’s vehicle, parked between two houses off the main road. They snuck down the hill on foot and around the back of the houses, then took another couple minutes to work their way around to where the vehicle was.
Brandon had the spare keys in his pocket. What they really wanted was to know what happened to the driver. Merk gave a signal that he was going on ahead with Harrison giving him backup. Brandon snuck around to come up behind the vehicle. He was at the passenger side as he caught sight of a clipboard on the front seat. It had Bull emblazoned on the front. Such a Bullard attitude. Brandon checked underneath and in the back but couldn’t see anything suspicious or noteworthy.
A small adobe hovel was on the right. Crossing over, Brandon sent a short Morse code message via his comm before he slipped inside to find it empty and cold. Nobody had used this place for days if not weeks. Creeping back outside, he crossed to the building on the other side and found the same thing. All the buildings at this end of the village appeared to be deserted. They were in rough condition, but it was interesting that the truck was here. Was the whole village involved or just one or two bad apples? The latter was more likely.
Back outside the other two waited for him. He walked up, motioning to both houses and whispered, “Both clear.”
They nodded, and the three spread out, sticking close, and went on a house-by-house search. Harrison served as a lookout to the rear, while Brandon went inside each one, leaving Merk as the scout going ahead to the next target. There was no sign of anybody for several more houses, but, as they came closer to the main part of town, they could hear English-speaking voices.
“We can’t just keep him here.”
“I say, kill him.”
“You know that’ll just bring more problems down on our heads,” another man snapped. “The others don’t deserve that.”
“It’s Bullard. If we don’t kill him, this won’t end here and now.”
Mayer, Dale. Brandon’s Bliss: A SEALs of Honor World Novel (Heroes for Hire Book 13) (pp. 23-26). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.
Most frustrating is the protocols Bullard has put in place. They can’t call the plane back early and Bullard’s unconscious. They team find many more interesting things as they search through the house. Something big is going to go down and with no other recourse they call Levi.
Throughout all of this the attraction and respect between Kasha and Brandon grows. It’s Kasha who will have to make the decision of whether to stay with Bullard in Africa or go home to the States and take a chance on a relationship.
Plenty of action in this one, surprises abound with that simmer to sizzle romance I love.
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.