Seasoned SEALs Book 1
USA Today Bestselling Author
Is a bittersweet tragedy
enough to bring exes back together?
Navy Captain Evan Hubbard returns to the West Coast to take command of Group 1 Navy SEALs at Coronado. His mission to clean up the team’s tarnished reputation. When a sex trafficking ring involving SEALs comes to light, Evan must decide who he can trust to help him clean house and restore honor and pride. Before he can get started, an unexpected phone call with his college-age daughter and his ex-wife throws his personal life into chaos.
Genevieve Hubbard has spent the last twenty-one years as a schoolteacher, nine as a single mom after her decision not to follow her husband’s career to the other side of the country. While she never stopped loving her ex-husband, she’s made a life for herself that doesn’t include him.
Their daughter has been keeping secrets—the father’s identity from Genevieve, and her pregnancy from Evan. When tragedy strikes shortly after the baby is born, Evan and Genevieve must work together to do what is best for everyone. Will they find love again, or will they lose everything that is precious to them?
Spring Unveiled is the first book in the Seasoned SEALs Series, featuring characters from Susan Stoker’s SEAL of Protection Series.
Captain Evan Hubbard was surprised how quickly his promotion came through and the swiftness of his transport to San Diego. He’s to take command of SEAL group 1 effective immediately. There’s a lot of cleaning up to do none of which will be pleasant.
Moving back to the west coast brings back a lot of memories. His ex-wife still lives there with his daughter Kylie and he’s hoping to get close to them again.
Genevieve still lives in the house she once shared with Evan. Kylie is now living there full time having returned from college pregnant and scared. Genevieve is driving Kylie to the hospital, when Evan calls his daughter. There’s just one little thing, Kylie never told him she’s pregnant.
This is a favorite scene.
“I’m ready to go,” Kylie announced as she hefted her body into the passenger seat. “The contractions are four minutes apart.”
Holy shit. This was it.
Gen inhaled the cleansing breath and exhaled slowly. “Okay, then, let’s do this.”
As she backed out of the driveway, the car indicated an incoming call. “Dad” appeared on the dashboard screen. It was Kylie’s phone that was ringing.
“Did you call him and tell him you were in labor? Is he getting on a plane to come out here?” Gen didn’t like the way her daughter rolled her lips into a flat line then lifted her shoulders in a slight shrug.
“Well?” She pressed.
The phone rang again.
“Are you going to answer that?”
She heard Kylie gulp before she pressed to answer the call. When her daughter said nothing, Gen decided to take control of the situation.
“Hey, Evan, Kylie and I are in the car on the way to the hospital. Since we don’t know how long this is going to take, you’re welcome to join us there.” She wasn’t going to keep him from meeting his first granddaughter or grandson. Kylie had insisted on not knowing the sex ahead of time so Gen couldn’t even tell him which to expect.
There was a long pause of silence.
“Evan? Did we lose you?” It sounded as though he was in a car. Maybe he was on the way to the airport.
“Won’t that be a bit awkward with the baby’s father there?” His reply baffled her.
“Kylie, did you tell your dad who was the baby’s father?” Gen was instantly hurt that she wouldn’t tell her the father’s name but she’d tell her father. But if he knew, they could contact the father and let him know. Maybe he’d want to be there.
Their daughter sniffed, then broke out in tears. “I didn’t tell him anything.”
“Okay, so your dad doesn’t know who the father is either?” Gen needed to clarify this point.
Kylie shook her head. “No. I mean I didn’t tell him anything.” She wiped her eyes with a paper napkin she found in the center console. Rubbing her belly, she confessed, “He doesn’t know.”
“Oh, Jesus.” Gen stopped behind the cars at the red light. “Are you telling me your dad doesn’t even know you’re pregnant?”
Kylie shook her head and pointed to the dashboard indicating the still-active call. “He does now.”
“Evan, I was just informed that you know nothing about the pending birth of your first grandchild.”
“What-the-fuck?” His voice exploded through every speaker in her car. “Kylie is…my little girl…is pregnant?” He seemed to spit out the last word.
Their daughter arched her back and burst into tears, screaming. “It hurts.”
“Ah-he, ah-who. Breathe through the contraction like they taught you in the class. Concentrate on your breathing, not the pain.” Gen tried to keep her words calm.
“What the hell is happening? Why is she screaming?” Evan’s urgent voice wasn’t helping.
“Kylie is in labor. That’s why we’re headed to the hospital. Contractions hurt.” Like a bitch. But Gen didn’t want to encourage anymore screaming. “That’s the part of our daughter’s birth that you missed.” She was being a bitch and knew it. They’d been out somewhere in the ocean learning to deep dive when she’d gone into labor. Kylie had already been born by the time he got back to shore.
“My baby is having a baby?” Incredulity laced his quiet voice.
“Yes.” Gen didn’t know who to be angrier with, her daughter or her ex-husband. She thought he and Kylie talked regularly, like every week or two. “Obviously, you haven’t kept up with her in months.”
But he’d seen her at Thanksgiving, although she hadn’t been very pregnant at the time and probably wasn’t showing much. She could have easily hidden it by wearing a long sweater, especially since Virginia would feel chilly compared to Southern California. Gen had noticed that her daughter had put on a little weight at Christmas time, but it wasn’t until Kylie announced she was not going back to college that she realized why.
“I have.” His voice was very defensive. “We talked just a few weeks ago and she didn’t say anything about a baby.”
“I’m sorry, Dad.” Kylie blew her nose. “I knew you’d be disappointed in me and I didn’t want to tell you.”
“And you thought he’d never find out?” Gen accused. “You know better than to keep anything from your father…or me.”
“Ky, you know I love you no matter what.” He exhaled a long breath. “Vivi, what hospital are you taking her to?”
She couldn’t speak.
It was as though he’d punched her heart.
He’d called her Vivi. She hadn’t been called that name in years. The last time she’d heard it, the last time he’d set it, he’d begged her not to file divorce papers. Oh, Vivi, don’t do this to us.
All she could manage to do was stare straight ahead and mindlessly drive toward the hospital over on the mainland.
Kylie’s huge round eyes stared at her, frightened, as though she’d threatened to leave. “Mom’s a little busy driving right now. We’re headed to the Navy Medical Center in San Diego. I’m still on Tricare, your medical insurance. As long as I go to the base hospital, they’ll pay for everything.”
“That’s good, Ky. Good thinking. Where are you?” Evan’s voice was so controlled it was comforting.
Gen got her act together. “We’re about to cross the bridge.” She needed to cut her ex-husband a break.
This was all new to him. “Evan, I know I’ve had a lot longer to deal with this situation but it’s happening now.” It was a good thing Gen was used to driving in heavy traffic and knew the way to the hospital as she changed lanes on the bridge. “I don’t know if you want to fly all the way out—”
“Vivi, I’m less than ten minutes behind you.”
“You’re here?” Her daughter’s wide eyes were proof that she didn’t know, either. “How long have you been here?”
Evan chuckled. “About four hours. That’s why I was calling Kylie. I wanted to tell her the good news. I’m going to be the commanding officer of Group One. I’m here to stay for at least the next three years. Hopefully more.”
And the hits just keep on coming. “What happened to Captain Desmond?” Not that Gen, or anyone she knew, would miss the man. He was a terrible person and a terrible commander, in her opinion.
“We can talk about that later.”
That was code for either her situation or his was not operationally secure. She had a plain old cell phone through a national carrier. He probably had an encrypted phone that shot directly to a protected military satellite before it bounced down to earth.
“I’ll meet you at the hospital. I need to cancel my plans with Vice Admiral Lister.” He hung up without saying goodbye. Typical Evan.
Cooper, KaLyn; Alpha, Operation. Spring UnVeiled (Special Forces: Operation Alpha) (Seasoned Seals Book 1) (Kindle Locations 360-411). Aces Press, LLC. Kindle Edition.
Evan meets them at the hospital and helps smooth things over since everyone perked up when he walked in. Kylie hits them with a bit of a bombshell when she lets them know she’s planning on adoption. She does concede to wait twenty-four hours before finalizing anything. Both Evan and Gen are more than willing to help raise the grandchild. Then the unthinkable happens.
This is where I start crying and don’t stop for a while. Kylie’s death devastates her parents, but there’s a child who needs love and care.
Evan and Gen immediately start things in motion to get custody of their grandchild. No way would they let Ian go to a foster home. Even on bereavement leave, Evan starts things in motion to clean up his SEALs.
I found it interesting when Evan discovers who the father of his grandchild is. The circumstances of Dylan’s break up with Kylie not an uncommon thought for a SEAL.
There is so much that happens in this book, from Baby Ian, to identifying SEALs involved in shady business, to Evan and Gen falling in love again.
I really can’t wait for the next book in this series, I hope the wait is not too long.
5 Contented Purrs for KaLyn!
KaLyn Cooper’s romances blend fact and fiction with blazing heat and heart-pounding suspense.
Twenty-two years as a military wife has shown KaLyn the world, and thirty years in PR taught her that fact can be stranger than fiction. She leaves it up to the reader to separate truth from imagination.
She, her husband, and Little Bear (Alaskan Malamute) live in Tennessee on a micro-plantation filled with gardens, cattle, and quail. When she’s not writing, she’s at the shooting range or on the river.