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 four members of one family-owned corporation are kidnapped off the streets in Honolulu, Gavin’s intel says this is a corporate espionage case … but is it?
There’s not much to like about this case. Too many people are involved, … including an old friend of Gavin’s. But, as Gavin digs deeper into the motives of the suspect pool, events get uglier, and bodies start to fall.
Rosalina has no idea how she ended up in this nightmare, but all she cares about is her ailing parents who have been separated from her and her sister. Even when she and her sister are freed, Rosalina finds no sign of their mother or father. Trying to rescue them means deciphering friend from foe …
It comes down to the wire as this close family corporation falls apart, revealing the core of darkness inside, … and leaves Gavin and Rosalina struggling to stay safe as enemies work to take out them both.
As is usual Gavin doesn’t get much time between help with an assignment and getting his own. Lennox is vague as he gives Gavin an envelope with his assignment, and hints at a friend joining him. Shane actually joins him right as he’s settling in on the destroyer that is the first leg of his journey. A business man his wife and their two adult daughters have disappeared. Now Gavin and Shane have to find them and figure who and why. When they arrive in Honolulu they are met by Steve Arbrey, Gavin know him from his service but he is also the older daughter, Melinda’s fiancé.
In an interesting turn of events, Rosalina and Melinda escape and are able to contact Steve through the gracious use of a man’s cell phone. The man and his friend wait with them until Steve arrives with Gavin and Shane. Steve takes Melinda back to the hotel and Rosalina shows Gavin and Shane where they were held before returning to the hotel. Gavin questions her about the family business on the way. Trident was created because Melinda was born without a leg.
Rosalina is much younger and she is considered the product of contraceptive failure, an ‘accident’. Although she works for the company she is all about research and development and has no patience for the politics of the other side of the business. She’s very intense and in some ways naïve in the ways of the world. Gavin finds her intriguing as she insists on helping while Melinda is being pampered by Steve.
Gavin is furious when Shane returns to the hotel room without having questioned Melinda and he leaves to do just that. The results of that conversation leave him both frustrated and suspicious.
They finally get information on vehicles in the area where they picked up the girls and are going to follow where they lead. Of course Rosalina isn’t going to stay behind.
This is a favorite scene.
“Somebody must have seen something,” Gavin said. He shoved the last piece of steak into his mouth and hopped up. “Time to find out exactly who and what.”
She shoveled her food down as fast as she could, hating that such a great meal was not getting treated as such. But she would not be left behind. As they walked toward the door, she grabbed several of the muffins and croissants, put them in a bag before placing them in her purse, and raced after them.
At the door Gavin turned, stopped, and shook his head. “Hell no.”
“Hell yes,” she said. “Nonnegotiable.”
“And what benefit is there,” he said, putting his hands on his hips, “to having you with me?”
“I don’t know,” she said, “but there will be one. I promise.”
He snorted at that. “No, you’ll be in the way.”
“I will not,” she said defiantly.
He glared, but Shane laughed and said, “Come on. Let’s go, or I’m leaving you both. We don’t have time to debate it.” And, by then, she’d locked her door and moved quickly behind them. “Do we tell the others?”
Gavin looked at her and said, “Steve picked us up. In a government vehicle.”
Immediately her lips pinched together. “Do you think he’s involved?”
“I have no idea,” he said. “I sure hope not. I’ve known him for a long time.”
She nodded. “I’ve known him for a couple years at least. He doesn’t seem like the type.”
“No, but you also don’t know who and what might have yanked his chain.”
“I don’t think people yank his chain much,” she said cautiously.
“Really?” he asked. “How do you see the relationship between Steve and Melinda? Because, from what I saw today, he’s a man who’s had his chain yanked pretty damn hard.”
That shut her up. She hated to even think that Steve was involved, but the innuendo in Gavin’s words meant that he also wondered if her sister was involved. Rosalina tried to be dispassionate as she thought about her sister, and Melinda’s potential involvement in something like this. It was just so not her. Her sister wasn’t into this level of drama or pain, but she was very much into glory. So could Melinda have twisted this into something to put her face back on the front page again? “I don’t know why she would have had anything to do with this.”
Shane asked, as they took the elevator down to the lower floor. She glared at him. “If Steve is involved, then I’m automatically thinking that potentially Melinda is too.”
“Oh, interesting that you would bring that up,” Gavin said, “because, yeah, I did wonder.”
“Of course you did,” she said. “I don’t know why you would have even gotten to that though. What does she get out of it?”
“That is my question to you,” he said.
“I can’t see that she gets anything out of it,” she replied. “She’s already high up in the company. She’s already the apple of their eye.”
“Would that have changed?”
“I don’t know what you mean.” She was led to a small car and given the back seat. She took it eagerly, happy to be in the background and to watch everything going on. When Gavin failed to explain, she asked him, “What do you mean by that?”
Gavin drove, but he looked at her in the rearview mirror. “Do you think there was a falling-out between your parents and your sister? Was there any reason for them to be changing Melinda’s role within the company? Were they setting up a trust or something similar, and potentially she would not be getting as much as she thought she should?”
“I don’t know why,” she said in bewilderment. “And, if something like that were going on, I don’t know anything about it.”
“Are you privy to family discussions of that nature?”
“Only if they involve me,” she said. “Just because I’m not the favorite doesn’t mean that I’m despised or hated or not wanted.”
At the men’s silence, she hoped they at least understood the point she was trying to make.
“But maybe there was some recognition of an imbalance in the relationship,” Shane said slowly, as he twisted around to look at her. “What are the chances that your sister wouldn’t have liked that?”
“Hell no, she wouldn’t have liked it,” Rosalina said. “But that doesn’t mean she would do something this serious about it.”
“What would it take for your sister to do something serious?”
“Something like kidnap my parents?” she cried out in horror. “I can’t imagine.”
“Well, spend the next few minutes while we drive,” Gavin invited, “and just think about it. What would be a worst-case scenario that would cause your sister to do something so drastic?”
Rosalina sat back, hating to even contemplate it. But, of course, the answer was obvious— if her parents were cutting her off. If they kicked her out of the company, and she was demoted out of the family for whatever reason. But Rosalina couldn’t imagine that ever happening.
“I know what you’re trying to say,” she said, “but I just can’t see how something like this would even be possible.”
“Well, you haven’t told us what we’re talking about yet,” Gavin said. “So what are you saying?”
“I can’t imagine,” she said, “that she would ever get kicked out of the family or the company.”
“Interesting, but is that really what it would take?”
“Absolutely,” she said, “that is what it would take.”
“Okay, something to understand then.”
“No,” she said, “not at all. There’s nothing to understand because that scenario would never happen.”
They just nodded silently, sharing a quick look.
She couldn’t stop shaking her head. “I don’t think you understand what I’m trying to say.”
“Maybe not,” Gavin said, “but potentially something is there.”
She shook her head harder. “What’s her relationship like with her children?”
“She loves them,” Rosalina said, glad that she could at least reinforce that relationship. “She’s a good mom.”
“Okay,” he said. “So she’s a devoted mother.”
“Good,” Shane said. “What about as a wife?”
“No,” she said, “not so much there. But I don’t know all the details. I don’t have the kind of relationship with her that we would talk about something like that.”
“Right,” he said, “but every detail, no matter how small, is important.”
“I wish you would look at other suspects though.”
“But your sister makes such a good one,” Gavin said drily. “She’s so positive and so helpful and so worried about your parents.”
She winced. “When you talked to her, she was really bad, wasn’t she?”
“Yes, she was. Actually she gave me a much deeper insight into what your life would have been like in the family.”
“You only saw her in this mood,” she said. “You haven’t seen her when she’s all sweet and sunshine.”
“I can’t even fathom that side of her. If so, she’s very much a split personality, isn’t she?”
“Not clinically though,” she said. “I hate to say it, but there is a bit of a manipulative person inside.”
Gavin snorted, and she sank back, realizing that he already understood her sister a whole lot more than most people ever did. She wondered at that. It wasn’t just that her sister managed to keep the ugliness inside; her parents knew of this but never saw it. They had only ever seen the bright sunshiny child who they loved and raised. They were doting parents, receiving all that sweet sunshine that Melinda had to give.
And Rosalina understood that, since she had been deemed the interloper, she hadn’t seen the same sweetness from Melinda that her parents had seen. So it made for a very confusing childhood as Rosalina tried to figure out what was wrong with her. And no way to get an answer now or back then. When she realized the men were exchanging hard glances, yet nobody was talking, she leaned forward and whispered, “What’s the matter?” Shane, his voice intentionally against her ear, whispered, “Looks like we’re being followed.”
Before she could turn and look, he anticipated the move and grabbed her face. “Don’t turn around. Listen. Stay crouched down a bit, just in case.”
“Just in case, what?” she asked.
And, in that moment, the window behind her shattered.
Dale Mayer. Gavin (Kindle Locations 949-1020). Valley Publishing Ltd.
Things start heating up quickly from the moment they are being followed to the end of the book. Each page offers more clues as to what’s going on and when everything comes to a head it’s truly mind-blowing.
I love the way the relationship between Gavin and Rosalina slowly gathers steam. These two are so very perfect for each other.
I can’t wait to read Shane’s story!
5 Contented Purrs for Dale!
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!
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.