USA Today Bestselling Author
When a yacht crashes into a tanker out in the ocean, it seems to be an unfortunate accident. Yet a gunman is spotted on the yacht just before the crash. What adds to the problem is that the yacht is owned by a US governor out on a holiday with his wife and daughter—and that no bodies were found at the crash site.
Gizella wakes up from the pirate attack on the yacht to find her father injured and her mother in equally bad shape. They are prisoners with no escape in sight. What was supposed to be a trip of joy and hope has ended in devastation. Even worse, an argument is brewing between her kidnappers, with her as the prize.
Baylor manages to whisk her away in the middle of the night, but she’s not out of danger yet. And if he can’t find the kidnappers, maybe never …
I always get a kick out of Mason and his uncanny senses, but with this one the coincidences are rampant. Especially as Mason is challenged by Baylor. They couldn’t know their next mission would be someone Baylor had met before.
It’s Baylor who finds the notebook with the surprising sketch of one of the attackers and a the notation Help Baylor. I think I might have giggled at that. Since Baylor does remember when he met Gizella and also that she never called, but then neither did he.
This is a favorite scene.
“Something else is going on here. I just don’t know what. And I don’t like anything that doesn’t follow normal logic,” she said.
“Wouldn’t the military come after us?” Gizella asked her dad.
“Absolutely, and I’m wondering if that’s why the kidnappers are doing all these evasive tactics, in order to avoid getting caught.”
“Well, of course they’ll do something to evade their own capture,” she said, “but surely the US can find their way through all those little tricks, can’t they?”
“Well, we’ll have to believe that they can,” he said. Then he looked at his daughter with a smile. “Just look at you, Gizella. It’s so good to have you here with us.” Then he stopped, closing his eyes and shaking his head, as if wondering at his words. “Man,” he said, “I’m so sorry I said that.”
“It’s all right, Dad,” she said, recognizing the politician smarminess and the words that fell glibly off his lips but didn’t reflect the inner person. “I know you would rather I was somewhere else just now.”
“I really would,” he said. “This could get rough.”
She wanted to point out that, if that were so, it would contradict what he had just been saying, but there was no point in mentioning that because he didn’t know what would happen any more than the rest of them did. All she could do was hope that somebody was coming for them. “It should be Navy SEALs,” she said suddenly.
“And they will be called,” he said. “But?”
“No buts,” she said, nodding slowly. “I did know one,” she mentioned. “His name was Baylor. I met him at a port one day.” Her mother looked at her askance. Gizella just smiled and laughed. “Nothing happened,” she said. “He was just a really nice guy, and we enjoyed the evening together.”
“Well, maybe it’ll be him,” her mother said.
“Not likely,” her father answered. “There are thousands of Navy SEALs.”
“I only know that much from the guys in the group he was hanging out with. They were all SEALs, and somebody was blabbing about it, even though the others were trying to shut him down.”
“Yeah, they don’t tend to advertise the fact.”
“No, I don’t imagine they do,” she said, remembering the guy with a laugh. “I haven’t thought of him in years. It was in Coronado. Remember when I went down there with Julie, one of my college friends?”
“Of course Julie took you down there,” her mother said in exasperation. “That’s such a Julie place.”
“Julie did like to have a lot of fun,” Gizella admitted. “But she was harmless in her fun, and she never did heavy drugs or got all crazy. She did like her guys though.” But that was hardly a crime in this day and age.
Just then came a shout from up above. Men came scrambling down; two of them with guns stood at each side of the door, guarding them.
She looked at her parents. “Well, this sounds like progress,” she said.
“How do you figure that?” her dad asked.
“Anything that hurts them,” she said, “is bound to be good for us.”
He looked at her, then smiled and said, “You’re right. This could be a good development.”
“Or it could be the end,” her mom said fearfully.
“Not likely,” he said, in a reassuring tone of voice. “Just give it a few minutes.” At that, they all settled back again and waited.
Gizella studied the two gunmen, committing their faces to memory. Then she smiled and said, “Did the Navy SEALs get here?”
One of their guards looked at her in surprise, then shook his head and said, “No, of course not. They don’t care.”
“Don’t care or don’t know?”
“Either way,” he said, “they’re not coming after you.”
“Why not?” she asked.
“Because nobody knows where you are,” he said, with a bright smile. But no maliciousness was behind it.
She nodded. “You mean, you hope they don’t know where we are.”
At that, shots rang out on board, and then it went silent. The guard stared fearfully up above.
She whispered, “You should go find out what’s going on, before you get pinned down here, and they sink us.” He looked at her in surprise, but she saw his fear growing in his expression. She nodded encouragingly. “Go check it out at least.”
Casually he rounded the corner of the doorway, and just then a shot rang out. She watched in horror as the back of his head exploded, and he collapsed. Soon enough, two men hopped down, both of them with face masks, dressed in black, their weapons at the ready. They completely searched the area before coming back to them. One of them looked at her and frowned. “Gizella?”
She nodded, then quickly stood.
“Seriously, it’s you, isn’t it?”
She looked at his profile and said, “Hey, Baylor. Am I ever glad to see you!”
“Glad to see me?” he said in a dry low whisper. “You never called.”
She gave him a wry smile. “Believe me, I regret that right now.” It would be him standing right here in front of her. She sagged a bit and said, “My parents need help.”
“No problem,” he said. “I’ve got somebody here who’ll give you a hand. Just hang on a minute. We’ve still got to make sure the boat is secured.”
She turned to her father. “Looks like the SEALs came after all.”
He stared at her in shock, then looked after the man who just disappeared and asked, “Seriously? You know him?”
“How can you tell?” her mother asked. “You can’t see anything for all the gear they’re wearing.”
“I just can,” she said, without saying anything further, because how did you explain about how that profile, that stance, that tilt of his shoulders was so recognizable? It was more than just her artistic nature at work. She’d been so damn attracted to him back then. He’d been pushing for more, but she hadn’t been ready. Afterward she had been afraid he’d gone on a mission, and she had no clue what had happened after that.
Dale Mayer. Baylor (Kindle Locations 439-489). Valley Publishing.
Things get really crazy during this rescue as her father is shot. Now with her father in the hospital her mother at his side, Baylor is assigned to keep Gizella safe.
I loved the interactions between him and Gizella, and truly began to wonder if they would actually get together. Hudson, the other bachelor on this team is one of the first to notice the chemistry between them.
This one will keep you on your toes as the Team looks for the kidnappers and the reason behind it all. I truly didn’t see any of this stuff coming.
Action, suspense, interesting revelations and that simmer to sizzle relationship Dale does so well.
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.