USA Today Bestselling Author
She was offered the chance of a lifetime… literally.
Pregnant Jackie Desjardins struck a deal with the man who didn’t have the heart to kill her—he would let her live if she faked her death and never returned. But when the scales of power tip unexpectedly, that deal expires, putting Jackie and her young daughter in the crosshairs of evil.
Former Navy SEAL and HERO Force doctor Ian “Razorback” Rhodes was injured in the line of duty when an oxygen tank he was holding for a patient exploded in a battle zone. Now he must protect Jackie and earn her trust to untangle the web that surrounds her, bringing her back from the land of the dead to defeat the forces that threaten to end her life once and for all.
Jackie Desjardins had been given a reprieve eight years ago, she faked her death, moved to Mexico and had her child. Now with a hurricane bearing down on her resort, Jackie has a feeling of being watched. As the storm draws closer, she is attacked in her home, saved by the former Navy SEAL protecting her all these years. Unfortunately Bill dies of a heart attack after the incident, but not before telling her who to call for reinforcements.
Hero Force operators Ian “Razorback” Rhodes and Sloane Dvorak are assigned to protect Jackie and her daughter Selena. The problem is there is no information on who they are to protect her from. Jackie has been rather closed mouthed about it, and they are going to have to get her to open up if they are to do their job. Of course the weather isn’t co-operating on their journey either causing them to walk the last three or so miles to the resort.
When they arrive they pretty much have to go right to work as Jackie had heard something or someone in the hall to the kitchen.
This is a favorite scene.
“We’re with HERO Force,” called the man through the thick wooden door. “Mac sent us.”
Relief flooded her. She turned off the alarm system and unlocked the door, hitting the switch for the outside light. “You scared m— ” The word died on her tongue as she stared at the man and gasped. One side of his face was nearly normal, with a single wide gash across his cheek, but the other was heavily scarred and disfigured, probably by fire, the warm brown tone of his skin mottled with bits of pink and washed-out red. “I’m sorry,” she stammered. “I didn’t mean… Sorry. How did you get through?”
“We walked the last few miles. I’m Ian Rhodes. This is Sloan Dvorak.”
They were both tall and broad shouldered, though the scarred man was lean and muscular where the other was stocky and solid. Ian and Sloan, she reminded herself. All Ian had done was introduce them, yet she instantly sensed he was formidable. Perhaps it was the steel that seemed to structure his frame, holding his body erect and seemingly ready to attack, or the power barely concealed within his stare. She had offended him, she was sure.
No, Jackie. He probably likes it when women gasp upon seeing his scarred face.
She chastised herself for her stupid thoughts, turning her attention to Sloan. He was softer looking than his partner, or maybe it was just the hint of a smile at the corners of his mouth that made him appear friendlier, more helpful. Kind. Yes, Sloan appeared kind, with sandy-brown hair framing his fair face and just the shadow of a beard. Jackie instantly liked him far better than Ian.
Sloan pointed to her hand. “Can you stop pointing that gun at us, please?”
“What?… Oh.” She looked at the Glock, having completely forgotten it was in her hand, and remembering why she held it. “I heard a noise down the hall.”
The men shared a look, each pulling out his own handgun. Ian brushed past her. “Where was it coming from?”
“Back there. The hallway that leads to the kitchen.”
“Stay here,” said Sloan, following the other man. She nodded, pulling the front door closed and leaning back against it. She was no longer certain of exactly what she’d heard, the noise having been nondescript and possibly even a figment of her imagination. She had nearly convinced herself of this when Ian returned.
“Did you leave your office window open?” he asked.
She frowned. “No.”
“You sure about that? Because it’s open now.”
An icy heat spread from the base of her neck over her shoulder blades, goose bumps covering her arms. “Positive. I made sure everything was locked up.”
Sloan reentered the room. “There’s no one in here, but the alarm system sensor on the office window has been tampered with. Wire’s cut.”
“That can’t be. Bill checked the alarm system after the attack.” Her eyes darted from one man to the other, understanding slowly dawning, dragging fear in its wake. “Someone did it after that.”
Again Ian ignored her. He gestured to Sloan. “Let’s check outside.”
“But what if there’s somebody in here?” she blurted.
Ian was already heading for the door, but he stopped and turned back to face her. “It’s clear. We checked. Stay put.”
She nodded, sinking down onto a wooden bench in the foyer. The man who’d attacked her had barely been dead twenty-four hours, but someone else was already on her trail. She brought a trembling hand to her mouth, her fingers lightly skimming her bottom lip.
The men returned a few minutes later.
“Tracks in the sand leading to and from your office window. Did you make them?” asked Sloan.
She shook her head, feeling faint as the remaining blood drained from her head. “No.”
“Looks like we got here just in time,” said Ian. “We’re going to search the rest of the grounds. Lock this door.”
She sat for what could have been an hour, but she wasn’t sure. Her sense of time was off, the events of the last day circling through her mind like a hamster on a wheel. The intruder in her house. The attack. Bill killing her attacker. Bill’s heart attack and death. Her heaving a dead man off a cliff into the ocean.
A tear slipped down her cheek and she left it there. She was grateful the SEALs were here, that the men had arrived to protect her and Selena. She just didn’t know what would happen next. Kill another man, toss another body? Or pack up a few things and run for their lives? How could she possibly pick the right course of action when she didn’t know what had changed, putting her in danger once more?
This time when the bell rang, she was not surprised. She let the men inside. “Coast is clear, as far as we can tell,” said Ian. “We used night vision goggles with thermal imaging. Nothing.” He unstrapped his pack from his back and set it heavily on the floor. “How about you bring us up to speed on what’s been going on here?”
She told them about the intruder and subsequent attack, wondering just how much of the truth she should share with these men. Bill trusted Mac O’Brady, but these men were strangers. She opted to keep her attacker’s demise to herself, at least for the time being, instead telling the SEALs Bill chased the man away.
“Looks like he isn’t giving up so easily,” said Sloan. “Don’t worry. We’re here now, and we’ll protect you.” He turned to Ian. “You got first watch, man? I’m starving.”
Ian nodded. “Sure.” He eyed Jackie. “Sloan’s an eating machine. A bottomless freaking pit.”
“I can make you something,” she offered, coming to a stand. “You, too, Mr. Rhodes.” She forced a smile to her face, attempting to make up for her initial reaction to his appearance.
“I’m not hungry.”
His tone implied he’d rather starve than eat her cooking, and she frowned. She didn’t know how long the men were going to be here, but that time would have been easier for all of them if she and Ian Rhodes had gotten off on the right foot. He went back outside.
“Razorback’s like that with everyone,” said Sloan. “Don’t let it get to you.”
“Yeah.” He gave her a conspiratorial grin. “Suits him, don’t you think? Like an old boar living alone in the forest.”
“Maybe he’ll warm up to me as I get to know him.”
Sloan shook his head with a chuckle. “I wouldn’t count on that. But you go ahead and try if it will make you feel better.” He rubbed his hands together and grinned. “Now, what do you have to eat?”
Gamet, Amy. Resisting his Target (Shattered SEALs Book 2) Kindle Locations (331-384). Kindle Edition.
Frustrated by Jackie’s refusal to open up, Sloan and Ian search her room while she was in town with Selena and her neighbor. What they find is the answer they were looking for, more important this wasn’t something that was going to go away easily.
Now Jackie has some decisions to make as Ian finds her packing up to run. Things ramp up from here, especially when they figure out who’s after her. They call for reinforcements but the weather is going to be a factor. There is even a bit of push back between Mac and Cowboy the owner of Hero Forces, as the guys face the mercenary crew sent to take out Jackie and Selena.
Getting her back into the US was going to be difficult and the attraction between Ian and Jackie continues to build from a simmer to sizzling heat.
Fast-paced with plenty of action and excitement as the clock runs down for Jackie and Selena to be truly free from harm.
I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.
5 Contented Purrs for Amy!
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Amy Gamet is a USA Today bestselling author who lives in upstate New York with her husband, children, too many pets and the occasional litter of foster animals. She likes to swim in the sunshine, make jewelry, and lobbies professionally for household remodeling projects. She owns an unusual number of brightly colored T-shirts and black yoga pants, and her children always ask who’s coming to visit when she runs the vacuum cleaner.