Search and Rescue Book 5
USA Today Bestselling Author
Navy SEAL Lincoln Thomas loved only one woman and he’d walked away from her almost five years ago when he realized he’d never fit into her world and she’d never accept he couldn’t turn his back on his country. Never in a million years did he expect to see her standing on his front doorstep on a stormy night, totally drenched, and in a wedding dress, covered in blood.
Naomi “Princess” Grant, daughter of Edward Grant, one of the biggest real-estate moguls in the world has never had to worry about anything a day in her life, hence, the name Princess. However, her life isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Five years ago, her forced to break up with the only man she would ever love and pushed her into a relationship that met the needs of the family business. And now, on the eve of her wedding, her father, and her betrothed are murdered, and she’s the one holding the smoking gun.
As this book opens, it’s Naomi ‘Princess’ Grant’s wedding day, she’s facing off with her father having acknowledged see doesn’t love her fiancé Sean and can’t marry him. Her father a manipulating real estate mogul brushes her off saying she just has cold feet and leaves to assist his mother with something in the reception hall. She goes to Sean’s suite to tell him her decision and is please to know he’s come to the same conclusion. Then everything goes to hell.
Lincoln Thomas is very much aware of what day it is when his roommate and fellow SEAL, Bryce tries to convince him to go out. Using the one card he has in his arsenal Naomi, he convinced Lincoln to go. However, they get quite the surprise when he opens the door.
Naomi ‘Princess’ stood there drenched.
This is a favorite scene.
“Fine. Let’s go.” He chugged his drink. He’d heard enough and it was high time he admitted that his good buddy had his back. He’d spent the last few years of his life pining for a woman who, when things got real tough, turned to the solace that only her daddy’s money could provide, and not the comfort of the man she supposedly loved.
And the father of the child they’d both lost.
“Are you fucking kidding me right now?” Bryce jumped to his feet like a little boy who was just told he could have a second piece of cake. “You better not be joking, dude. Because that shit ain’t funny.”
“I know better than to pull your leg when it comes to Princess and my moods.” Lincoln shook his head. The effects of the one alcoholic beverage he’d chugged made him slightly dizzy. He stood in the front hallway and snagged his raincoat. “Besides, I know you’re right. I’ve got to put the past where it belongs and the best day to do that on is her fucking wedding day. So, let’s go celebrate that I’m finally willing to get over her.” He yanked open the front door and gasped. “Holy fuck, Princess, what the hell are you doing here? More importantly, is that your blood?”
She shook her head. Water dripped from her thick, clumpy eyelashes.
He curled his fingers around her cool biceps and helped her to the foyer. “Bryce, get some towels.” Lincoln stared at Princess in her drenched white wedding dress speckled with blood. Her hair stuck to the sides of her face and her makeup ran down her face like chalk colors on the pavement washing away in the rain.
“Wait. What?” She blinked, brushing her wet hair from her face. “Bryce Carson? You two know each other?”
“We’re on the same SEAL team,” Bryce said. “And that happened about three months after you took off in the middle—”
“Not the time or place,” Lincoln said, taking the towels Bryce handed him while ignoring the arched brow. He wrapped the larger one around her body. “How did you know where I lived?”
“I called Caroline Steele.”
“I hope she’s the only one you called,” Bryce said, pointing to the television. “Did you know you’re wanted for both your fiancé’s murder as well as your father’s along with Sean’s dad?”
“I’m what?” She dropped the towel and shoved Lincoln aside. She stood dripping wet in the middle of the family room. “Turn it up.”
Lincoln inched closer, taking the terrycloth material and wrapping it around a shivering Princess. He honestly never thought he’d lay eyes on her again. His heart beat faster than normal and he couldn’t slow it down. Not even with all his training.
“This is all bullshit,” she said.
He focused on the words coming from the reporter on the screen.
“Naomi Princess Grant is wanted as a person of interest for the murders of her father, her fiancé, and her fiancé’s father. It’s possible that she may be injured as well. Please, if anyone has seen her or knows of her whereabouts, please call the Metropolitan Police Department at the number on your screen.”
“What the fuck happened? And don’t leave out a single detail or start with the damned tears.” Bryce clicked off the TV and set the remote down. “I’m so glad my parents didn’t go to that shitshow of a wedding.”
“It’s good to see you too, Bryce.” She swiped at her face. “And thanks for your condolences. Especially for my father. A man you once used to go fishing with every weekend.” If looks could kill, Bryce would be dead, times ten.
“I’m sorry about your dad,” Bryce said. “I really am. But excuse me if I’m not thrilled you just put me and Lincoln in a really shitty spot.”
“I didn’t know you were going to be here, and my father said I should come to Lincoln. That he was the only one who could help me.”
“So, your father has no problem making me a criminal,” Lincoln said behind gritted teeth. He knew the moment the words dribbled off his tongue like thick tar he shouldn’t have said them, but the damage was done.
She cupped her cheeks and started sobbing. “He was alive when I left him. I heard people coming. I called for help. I didn’t think he’d die.”
Lincoln looped his arms around her and pulled her close. “Shhhh. It’s going to be okay.” Besides being shocked her father would want her anywhere near him after he tried to get in contact with her shortly after she took off four and a half years ago and the choice words Edward had, he was a little dumbfounded by the events of the evening. Her father hadn’t trusted him back then, so why would he believe that he could protect Princess now? “Why don’t we start by getting you out of these wet clothes.”
“Before you do that, we need to know what car she brought to our doorstep and if we are going to have the Feds knocking down our door any minute.” Bryce stood in the foyer with his hands on his hips and a scowl on his face.
She buried her head in Lincoln’s neck. She sniffled. “Sean’s car.”
“I’ll go pull it in the garage until we can figure out what to do,” Bryce said. “I can’t believe I’m doing this. For her.” He shook his head. “And here I thought I was the spoiled one who used people and then walked away after creating a massive mess.” Bryce disappeared into the garage, but not without slamming the door shut first.
Lincoln nodded. “We’re lucky he’s not turning you in right now.” “Should I be saying the same about you?” She took a step back. “I almost didn’t come, but I couldn’t think of anyone else who might be able to help me figure out what the hell just happened because I’ve been going over it in my head the entire drive down and I can’t make sense of it.”
“First things first. You need to get out of this bloody wedding gown. I’ve got some sweats that will work up in my room. From there, we’ll get some food in you and we’ll sit and talk this through. Sound good?” He lifted her chin with his thumb and forefinger, catching her gaze. Her big chocolate eyes tore into his heart. He’d never stopped loving her and standing in the middle of his family room with her in his arms, he realized he wasn’t sure he could ever stop. He leaned in and brushed his lips over her mouth. A slight spark tickled his skin, reminding him of the flame that burned deep in his soul. “I’m going to take care of this. Of you.”
“I don’t deserve your help after everything I did to you.”
“No. You don’t. But we’ll talk about that much later.” Actually, he planned on sooner, but no point in upsetting her any more than necessary.
She had enough on her plate.
Jen Talty. Protecting Princess (Special Forces: Operation Alpha): search and rescue book 5 (Kindle Locations 229-281). Aces Press, LLC.
Along with the mystery of who killed her father, Sean and his father. Princess and Lincoln have to address the things that broke them apart.
Caroline, Wolf and more work to find the answers to the murders.
There are many twists and turns with plenty of suspense and intrigue plus the simmer to sizzle rebuild of Princess and Lincoln’s relationship.
5 Contented Purrs for Jen!
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Welcome to my World! I’m a USA Today Bestseller of Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance, and Paranormal Romance.
I first started writing while carting my kids to one hockey rink after the other, averaging 170 games per year between 3 kids in 2 countries and 5 states. My first book, IN TWO WEEKS was originally published in 2007. In 2010 I helped form a publishing company (Cool Gus Publishing) with NY Times Bestselling Author Bob Mayer where I ran the technical side of the business through 2016.
I’m currently enjoying the next phase of my life…the empty NESTER! My husband and I spend our winters in Jupiter, Florida and our summers in Rochester, NY. We have three amazing children who have all gone off to carve out their places in the world, while I continue to craft stories that I hope will make you readers feel good and put a smile on your face.