USA Today Bestselling Author
Combining a trip to see his grandparents with hunting down a K9 dog sounds like a good excuse at the time to Greyson. Somehow the K9 had been accidentally flow halfway around the world in the wrong direction and then lost. Finding the dog wasn’t easy, but Greyson follows the trail of destruction the same as the K9 does … and finds the female shepherd protecting a mother and child … So not what he expected.
Jessica didn’t understand why the dog was always around, but the dog was plain scary. Although not as much as everything else going on in her life right now. Most things she blames on her ex-husband, but was he this mean? With her toddler son to protect, she knows she can’t make a mistake that will bring them harm.
As the events escalate, it doesn’t take long to decide who was on her side and who … wasn’t.
Greyson is starting to think about the future, he is thinking he might like to open an animal rescue but they don’t make much money if any. As he’s thinking about all of that Geir comes over to talk to him. They get on the subject of dogs and the next K9 case comes up. Apparently the dog was supposed to go to Denver but somehow ended up in Hawaii. A rescue their was to house the dog until return shipping could be worked out. Somehow the dog was taken from there and no one knows how it happened.
This gives Greyson the perfect opportunity to visit his grandparents while he tries to locate Kona. Let me say right now that I fell in love with Greyson’s grandparents. His grandfather picked him up at the airport and then they stopped at the rescue so Greyson could get a feel for where the dog was kept. In the process his grandfather falls in love with a Bassett hound named Leo. His grandmother’s reaction to the new family member was just priceless.
It comes to light that there was a fender bender on the road by the rescue around the time Kona went missing. Now Greyson is following pieces of fur to see where she went. He manages to find a spot where she laid down and saw a truck with a bashed in fender leave the house across from that spot. He adds the license plate to his list of things to investigate, sending it off to Badger along with some questions about Kona. A trip to the police station is less than fruitful and once again he talks to the woman at the rescue, this time about the accident. Fortunately he does get a good lead on someone who saw it.
Jessica is one of the people involved with the accident by the rescue. A single mother, she has problems of her own. Most recent is her ex-husband’s sudden desire to get custody of her son Danny. To top that off, she feels like she’s being followed and getting annoying phone calls with no one there. Her mother is also less than supportive, constantly telling her if she hadn’t gotten divorced she wouldn’t have these problems and she should go back to her ex-husband. The man had been abusive, there was no way she was going back to him and no way was she letting him get visitation or custody of Danny.
From the witness to the accident, Greyson is able to track down Jessica. She gives him valuable information about the dog getting into her neighbor’s trash. Trash that usually contains half eaten pizza. They talk a bit and he lets her know he’ll be checking out the alleyway and she lets him check her backyard. He finds more of Kona’s fur and later has just a bit of time with her before the neighbor scares her off.
What happens as it’s getting dark is sort of a turning point, both for Kona and Jessica.
This is a favorite scene.
He’d left his vehicle parked down at the other end of the block, just walking gently up and down the alleyway. He would whistle for the dog every once in a while. As he was coming back, and the darkness had settled, when he had crossed Jessica’s backyard again, Greyson heard a rustling in the trees.
Immediately he stepped up and looked over the gate, expecting to find the dog. Instead he watched a man skulking up the trees. He studied the stranger, dressed all in black with a balaclava over his head. Definitely not good news. Especially in the hot and humid evenings of Hawaii.
He reached over the gate and unlatched it, gently pushing it open. Just as he did so, Jessica opened the back door and stepped out. She was singing a lullaby to her son, walking the patio, completely unaware of the stranger sliding up to the side of the house. From where Greyson stood, he could see just the outline of the man against the patio.
He quickly clicked the gate closed and slid up the side of the fence. He didn’t want to scare away the intruder; Greyson wanted to capture him. Otherwise this would never end. If she had a stalker, the only way to stop it was to nab him.
As he watched, she paced along, quietly singing and walking her son in her arms. Obviously Danny didn’t want to go to sleep tonight. As she went closer to where the intruder was, Greyson’s heart bounced into his throat. He wanted to race around to the front and grab the guy, but that wouldn’t work. Her intruder could have taken Jessica and Danny hostage by then.
As she strolled back over to Greyson’s side again, he gave a small wave, but she didn’t see him. As she turned and headed back toward the other side of the veranda, the stranger came around the corner and grabbed her. She screamed, but what happened next was the complete opposite of what Greyson thought would happen.
As the stranger reached for her, a black streak came ripping through the trees at the far end and leaped onto the veranda, going right for him as he grabbed Jessica and Danny.
Greyson heard the dog growling and then the man screaming when Kona latched on to the man’s wrist, using her military training she had learned. Greyson arrived next on the veranda, grabbing Danny and Jessica. She was frozen from the first attack and stunned by the actions of the dog and now Greyson’s presence. She stared up at him, shocked.
“It’s okay,” he murmured. “Let me handle this.” Danny started to cry just then. Greyson motioned to her. “Take him up to bed,” he said. “Let me deal with the dog and the intruder.”
“Who is he?”
He shook his head, his gaze on the dog and the stranger. “Go,” he ordered. “I’ll figure it out.”
When he heard the glass door close behind him, he walked up as the stranger desperately tried to kick Kona to get away.
Greyson walked over and gave the guy a hard clip to the jaw. The man collapsed on the ground. Then Greyson stepped over the intruder and crouched closer to the dog, saying, “Kona, release.” His tone was hard and left absolutely no leeway for the dog to argue. But the dog growled and glared at him. “You’re right,” Greyson said. “He was attacking that woman and the baby. And I know what you were trying to do. That’s why you’ve been hanging around the neighborhood, isn’t it, girl?”
Kona’s ears lifted and tweaked at the sound of his voice. But she didn’t let go of the intruder.
He said, “Look,” and he lifted the man’s head by the hair, letting it drop with a heavy thud to the veranda floor. “He’s down and out— it’s okay. Kona, release.” She relaxed ever-so-slightly. Instead of growling at Greyson, she just looked puzzled. “Let him go,” he ordered.
This time she released her grip on the man’s arm. Greyson quickly rolled the stranger over, pinned his hands behind his back, kicked off the man’s shoes and grabbed both socks, tied them together, which he then wrapped around the intruder’s wrists, holding the intruder in place. When he looked at the dog, Kona was lying down, whining. He reached out a hand for her to sniff, then gently scratched the top of her head and down around her ears. “That’s a good girl,” he said. “That’s a very good girl.”
Her tail started to wag like crazy.
He looked up at the glass doors to see Jessica standing there, her hand over her mouth. He motioned at her to come outside.
She opened the door slowly. “Is it safe?”
“Yes,” he said. “I don’t know who your intruder is,” he said, “but Kona was trying to save you and the baby.”
She looked at him and at the dog and said, “Seriously?”
“Yes. I think that’s why she’s been hanging around here,” he said. “If you think about it, she’s been guarding you, just watching. This is quite likely the man who hit your car that day.”
He pulled out his cell phone, and, turning on the flashlight, Greyson rolled over the stranger and pulled the balaclava off his face. She gasped. “Oh, my God, it’s him.”
“I think Kona knew that this guy has been hanging around your place,” he said. “She’s a hero, and she worked hard to save you tonight.”
Before he could react or could warn her that it might not be safe, she bent down into a crouch, threw her arms around Kona, and buried her face into the dog’s rough.
Greyson could hear her whispers.
“Thank you so much, Kona. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Kona’s tail went crazy, and she rolled over, still in Jessica’s arms.
Laughing, he said, “Kona, you don’t look all that fierce now.” He reached over and scratched her gently on the neck and chest. He gave her a good belly rub too. “I think those crazy hard days are over now, girl.”
“Absolutely they are,” Jessica said. “I don’t have any dog food though, but I’m sure I’ve got something in the house.”
“What you need to do,” he said, “is go call the cops.”
“What about Kona?” she asked. “We don’t want the dog to be picked up.”
“Do you have any rope?” he asked. “I’ll make a lead and put it on her.”
“I might have something in the garage,” she said.
“First the cops,” he said firmly. “Then go to the garage and see if we’ve got something I can use to restrain her.”
“Do you think she’s still dangerous?”
“No, but, if she’s the model of a well-behaved dog on a rope,” he said, “the police won’t have any argument with me keeping her.”
Dale Mayer. Greyson (Kindle Locations 924-975). Valley Publishing Ltd.
Things get even more interesting when the stalker/attacker gets away leaving two police officers unconscious.
With Greyson and Kona on the job, to track the guy, they make a startling discovery.
Plenty of action and suspense plus an attraction that grows exponentially as Greyson and Jessica spend time together.
I really 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.