Seasoned SEALs Book 2
USA Today Bestselling Author
Sometimes life just throws two people together.
Commander Mike Gallagher was not looking for wife number three. In his mid-forties, he’d given up on love. But life kept him running into Special Agent in Charge Kameron “Kam” Hood of Homeland Security Investigations for Human Trafficking. She was one of the most prickly women he’d ever met and they had taken an instant dislike to each other.
Kam Hood was new to San Diego when she had lucked into a tip that led her team to make the biggest human trafficking bust on the West Coast. She was too busy establishing herself in her new job to think about men…except Mike Gallagher. She enjoyed throwing him around in her Brazilian jujitsu class and making him submit to her.
When Kam’s life is threatened, Mike steps in to keep her safe.
But can he keep his heart safe?
With the success of the bust of the human trafficking ring involving some SEALs and many more, the tedious task of talking to the girls involved has begun.
When the Special Agent in Charge Kameron ‘Kam’ Hood calls Commander Mike Gallagher she doesn’t identify herself she just announces she needs Dylan Chaney immediately. This leads to an amusing spiel from the Commander followed by the introduction she should have led with but not the reason behind it.
One of the girls, refuses to speak to anyone but ‘her boyfriend’ Dylan. Accompanied by the Commander and also Captain Evan Hubbard, Dylan goes to Homeland Security’s Headquarters. Brought to the interrogation rooms by Kam, Dylan recognizes the girl as Tala, the girl he spoke with undercover, there was nothing untoward sexual or otherwise between them. He did promise he’d get her home though.
The information Dylan gets out of her also tells of another location where her friend is being held. Now they have to figure out where that one is. Tala won’t go home without her friend.
In another line of priorities, is a change in fighting techniques. SEALs need to be on top of every manner of fighting in order to remain at the top of the food chain. Things get interesting here as Commanders are sent to various martial arts studios to find one that will be advantageous for the SEALs to learn.
This is where Mike is going to get a surprise, he’s taking a Brazilian jujitsu class. The instructor is none other than Kameron Hood.
This is a favorite scene.
A few men with an obvious law enforcement swagger headed to the establishment. Like him, they were wearing shorts and T-shirts, so he quickly followed them in.
The reception area was extremely crowded as mothers pressed against windows on the right watching elementary-age children swing nunchucks. Some of the kids were very good. They had obviously been taking lessons for years. He would have loved to be involved in something like this at their age.
Unfortunately, his single mother could barely afford to feed him and his two brothers. He had to be happy with school sports. Recreational leagues were even out of their price range. When other kids were playing Little League baseball all summer, he was mowing neighborhood lawns while his brothers weeded landscaping to earn a few bucks.
After working in the sun all day, they would ride their bikes down to the lake and jump into the cool refreshing water. He’d learned to swim in that spring-fed lake. His mother saved enough money to put all three boys in the class taught annually by the Red Cross. She was adamant that they learned to swim well. How could she have known where that skill would take him?
Thanks, Mom. His eyes moved heavenward. She had tried so hard to give them a good base for their lives… before she was suddenly taken from them.
When his eyes dropped down, yells and thumps from the class on his right caught his attention. A dozen men who looked like they spent a great deal of time at a gym, sparred in headgear against the man in the middle of the circle, tapping in and out. The two wearing all black loose-fitting gi-style clothes, obviously the instructors, took on challenger after challenger. They were fast, never repeating the same combination of kicks. They could all easily be mixed martial arts competitors.
At the far end of the lobby, several women browsed through the small store while others sat on benches taking their shoes off and chatting.
He could no longer hear grunts and groans from the adult class as they went through several stretches in what Mike thought of as cool-down exercises. The kids, on the other hand, invaded the small lobby, quickly finding their parents who shuffled them out the door.
A man dressed in black with the school emblem embroidered on the right side of his chest emerged from the store. “The Brazilian jujitsu class will be taught in Gym A. Tonight, kickboxing will be in Gym B. Please enter the gym now so classes can get started on time.”
The large room reeked of sweaty men. That was nothing new for Mike. Navy SEALs were pushed to their physical limits every day. It was actually kind of comforting in its familiarity. But when several women entered, light fragrances intertwined with the dirty jock smell, disturbing his chill.
Mike took off his shoes and set them along the side wall with the others then sauntered his way in to find a spot in the middle of the floor. As he glanced at the two instructors, he realized how slight the one was, yet they had both been throwing around huge men easily weighing fifty to a hundred pounds more.
When the smaller of the two removed the headgear, Mike gasped.
Kam Hood slid off the rubber band holding her hair and massaged her scalp before she scraped her hair up into a high bun. She wiped the sweat from her face and neck with a black terrycloth towel before grabbing a light purple water bottle.
Mike almost laughed. It looked so feminine and incongruous with the kickass woman holding it. Wouldn’t that be great if she were staying for the Brazilian jujitsu class? He glanced to his side and saw there was room for her next to him.
When the tall man with broad shoulders and ponytail grabbed his gear and started to leave, Mike scanned the lobby for the instructor.
“Everybody, find a place on the floor where you have room to move. We’ll begin with warm-ups before we pair off and practice the basic moves and counter moves.” Kam stood at the front of the class facing the two dozen students, who were an interesting mix, from petite women to the large men he’d followed into the facility. From the tiny bit of conversation he caught, many were in law enforcement.
Mike knew the moment she saw him. Their gazes held a bit too long before she gave him what he thought was a small smile. It could also have been a devilish grin. He certainly didn’t know her well enough to tell.
Ten minutes later, though, he was positive.
“Comman—” she stopped mid-word and corrected herself. “Mr. Mike Gallagher, would you be my partner tonight?”
He couldn’t say no. Instead, he gave her one of his most panty-dropping smiles as he made his way to the front of the classroom. Although he was used to balls-to-the-wall hand-to-hand with his SEALs, he’d go easy on her.
For the next forty minutes, he was her test dummy. She had taken him down from a standing position to the ground so many times, in different ways, he’d forgotten the count. The fascinating part was, she always ended up on top. He wondered if that was her preferred sexual position, but since she was wired with a microphone, he didn’t dare ask. What he disliked most was that she had forced him to submit by tapping out every time.
When the class was over, Mike was sure he’d never spent so much time on his ass in the arms of a woman without getting laid.
As soon as the microphone was shut off, she asked, “What the hell you doing here?”
After the torture she’d just put him through, he decided to play with her. “Why, Kam, fancy meeting you here. How have you been?”
She glared at him.
He smiled. “How’s the investigation going?”
Her gaze swept the room as a few of the women approached her. “We’re not done with this conversation, Commander Mike Gallagher.” She glanced at the approaching women. “I want to know why you’re here.”
“Are you free after this class?” he whispered.
“Yes.” Then she looked shocked as though she hadn’t meant to say that out loud.
“Good. When you’re done here, there’s a nice little Italian restaurant around the corner. I’m starved and I’m sure you’ve burned enough calories to eat, too. I’ll wait for you over here.” Without letting her disagree, he walked away and took an inordinate amount of time putting on his shoes. After the last woman left, Mike waited for her at the only door.
“I don’t date my students,” she announced as she stepped into the lobby.
“Good thing I’m not one of your students, and this is not a date.” He grinned, enjoying the light banter. “Think of it as a business meeting with food involved.”
She stopped on the sidewalk a few feet from the door. “Did someone find out more information that you need to pass along to me?”
“No.” Then he thought better about that answer. “Not that I’ve been told. But when it comes to this case, we are all mushrooms.”
Kam’s laugh was light and feminine, catching him completely off-guard.
“I haven’t heard that saying in years.” She smiled as though lost in a memory. “My dad used to—” She flicked her hand as though to brush away the thought.
He heard her inhale deeply and groan. “Donatello’s smells delicious. The only reason I’m going with you is because I do need to eat. I also need to go grocery shopping because I don’t have hardly anything in my refrigerator.”
Mike didn’t care why she was going with him, just that she was. He’d been impressed with the class and even though he’d ended up on his ass all too often, the fact she could put him there was reason enough to talk to her.
KaLyn Cooper. Summer Heatwave (Special Forces: Operation Alpha): Seasoned SEAL Series, 2 (Kindle Locations 637-696). Aces Press, LLC.
An interesting friendship develops between Kam and Mike as not only the investigation heats up again but also she begins the the paperwork and an example of the new training.
I love that Rocco, Gumby, Ace, Bubba, Rex, and Phantom are the first so we’ll be seeing more of them and boy I laughed at Phantom, almost as hard as I did Mike.
Lots of suspense, intrigue, some action and let’s just say Mike and Kam are explosive together. I think my kindle’s still intact…
5 Contented Purrs for KaLyn!
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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.