USA Today Bestselling Author
He must protect
the woman who betrayed him…
Sloan Dvorak came home from basic training to find his girlfriend married to another man. He went on to become a Navy SEAL and did his best to forget her, proudly serving his country until he lost his arm in Kandahar. Now he’s a member of HERO Force New York, wondering if one arm is enough to truly fight for anyone.
Joanne Regan had been separated from her husband for a year when he died in a brutal homicide. But before they could lower his body into the ground, the mob demands she pay up on her husband’s debt—millions of dollars she doesn’t know anything about. Now she’s on the run, desperate for help with no one to turn to—a sympathy card from Sloan’s mother guiding her like a beacon in the night.
Joanne shows up on Sloan’s doorstep with her three kids, looking for his mother with the mob hot on her tail. Sloan is thrown into a dangerous spiral, drawing him closer and closer to the one woman he desperately needs to avoid, determined to save her and the children from a danger unlike any he’s ever known.
Joanne and her husband David had been separated for a while now. She never expected and didn’t want him to die. Now she’s alone in a way she didn’t expect. Her children are all handling their grief differently, April the oldest is more withdrawn and clinging to social media for comfort. Fiona and Lucas were clinging to her more and the funeral was anything but comforting. Her husband’s mistress was there with her husband. She wondered if he knew about the affair, he was one of David’s biggest clients. What she didn’t expect was the threat he made as she was leaving the cemetery. According to Richard Bannon, David had a lot of his money and he wants it back. Even as Joanne protests she knows nothing of David’s business since they separated, the man threatens her children and gives a deadline to return it.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, when the reach their home it’s been ransacked, obviously someone had been looking for the missing money. All Joanne knows is she has to protect her children. A sympathy card from Evelyn Nowak gave her comfort than none other had. It was also the one place she would always feel safe.
We see Sloan in his family home holding a poker game with his friends and coworkers from Hero Force. I have to say the snacks he serves are very much out of the ordinary, filet mignon and brie to me are serious hors d’oeuvres not poker fare. It’s as this game breaks up that Sloan tells Mac he’s thinking of quitting, that he can’t do what he needs to do to protect people with only one arm. Then from that moment to the next his world turns upside down as there’s a knock on the door and Sloan is faced with his old girlfriend. The girl who broke his heart now a woman looking for his mom.
Jo needs money and to hide away with her children somewhere where Richard Bannon can’t find her. She should have known it wouldn’t be that easy.
Now Sloan knows somethings not right and when he gets the answer he calls in HERO force to help.
This is a favorite scene.
Sloan winked at the teller, a sixty-year-old woman who used to serve him lunch in the school cafeteria. “Twenties will be fine, thanks, Mrs. Martin.”
“I don’t have that much in my drawer. I’ll be back in a jiffy.”
Ten thousand dollars in twenty-dollar bills was sure to be a little cumbersome to deal with, but he suspected Jo would prefer the smaller bills. She’d only asked for a few thousand, but he wanted to make sure she had enough, and suspected if he pressed her she would clam up. Talking to her today was like walking barefoot over bird spikes. Her defenses had always run high, and her behavior this morning was no exception.
The teller returned and counted out bills. After this was over and Joanne was on her way, maybe he’d take a vacation. Let his toes sink into the sand someplace warm and forget all about Joanne Buckley and whatever the hell she was hiding.
Like you’ll be able to do that.
The thought brought him up short. Of course he’d be able to forget her. He’d been over her for longer than they’d been together, and nothing was going to change that. Besides, clearly she was knee deep in some kind of mess and wouldn’t even tell him what was going on. If he had half a brain in his head, he’d let her go just like she wanted. He sucked his cheeks in.
“Here you go,” said the teller, returning with a bound stack of bills. “Want me to count it out for you?”
“No, thanks, I trust you.” He took the stack in his hand. Ten thousand dollars. A simple stack of bills. This was all she wanted from him. He turned on his heel.
What was the alternative? He couldn’t force her to let him in. She was a grown woman who got to call the shots in her own life, and if that put his back up, it said more about him being a nosey bastard than anything about Joanne. Yes. He should definitely let her get back in that Porsche of hers and drive away.
That car was easily worth well over a hundred grand. Anyone with a car like that shouldn’t need to borrow a few thousand dollars, much less drive all the way from Chicago to New York to do it. And it was just days after her husband died, for Christ’s sake. She should be in mourning, not desperate for cash and anxious as a bird flying over the ocean.
He rounded the service desk, nodding at a neighbor, more convinced with every step there was more to Jo’s situation than met the eye. What kind of person would he be if he just let her walk out the door, ignoring his sense that something was terribly wrong? Lucas had said they couldn’t go home. What did Sloan need? A personal invitation to intervene?
He could convince her to stay with him for a while, at least a few days. See if he could get her to open up, even if that meant walking on ice that had barely frozen over. He’d cared for her once. The least he could do was be a true friend to her now, or at least try.
He pushed out of the bank and got into his car.
Jo was frantic. “We have to get back. We shouldn’t have left April and Lucas alone.”
“What’s going on?” He drove out of the parking lot. “Did something happen?”
“Please, just hurry.”
“Damn it, Joanne! What the hell is going on?” He swerved through traffic and ran a light as it turned red, his tires fighting for traction on the snow-covered road. “Are you in trouble? Is someone trying to hurt you?”
“I thought I could just get away, that we could start over somewhere new and he wouldn’t find us.”
“David owed someone millions of dollars and if I don’t give it back to him within a week…” She looked over her shoulder at Fiona. When she spoke again, it was a whisper. “He’s going to kill one of the children. He said if I went to the police, he’d kill them all.”
“Jesus, Joanne, why didn’t you tell me?”
“I’m telling you now. He was at the bank.”
“The man! Richard Bannon. I think he’s a mobster. I’m not honestly sure.”
Sloan twisted in his seat. “Just now?” “I don’t know how he found us. I didn’t think we were followed. I was careful.” She let out a single panicked sob. “He said I shouldn’t have left the other two home alone.”
“Goddamn it.” He drove even faster, passing a minivan over a double yellow line. “They must have put some kind of GPS tracker on your car.”
“I didn’t intend to bring you into this. I thought with some money I could hide and keep us safe.”
“We need HERO Force.”
“I can’t afford—”
“I’ve got it.” He punched in Mac’s number on speed dial. When the old man answered, he barked, “Mac, we’ve got a problem. I need backup at my house, pronto. As many men as you can spare.”
Gamet, Amy. Holding his Hostage (Shattered SEALs Book 3) Kindle Locations.(608-641). Kindle Edition.
HERO Force steps in and starts following the clues, what they find is not what Jo had assumed. Her daughter April causes more than a couple of issues and Sloan is ever so patient.
An RV trip, some interesting interactions, a lot of suspense, plenty of action and the realization that their love never died. Make this book a page turning read. I can’t wait to see what’s next 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.