Search & Rescue Book 6
USA Today Bestselling Author
Everything in Marlowe Chapmen’s life is falling into place. Her career as an actress is finally taking off, but there is one thing missing. Ever since Marlowe became an adult, she’s been searching for the man who had saved her life when she’d been ten years old and who had made all this possible by literally killing her past. As she travels from one Navy base to the next, looking for Slade, she hadn’t expected she’d fall in head over heels for another Navy man. Nor could she anticipate that her secret had already been exposed, setting off a chain of events that would not only put her life in danger, but could expose her true identity as the daughter of a Russian terrorist.
Bryce Carson has dedicated his adult life to the Navy and protecting the United States of America, an oath he doesn’t take lightly. When the famous Marlowe breezes into his life, he’s shocked she even gives him a second glance. She teaches him there’s more to life than chasing the adrenaline rush at work and playing video games to relax. But there is one thing Bryce can’t tolerate—or forgive—and that’s deception.
So, when he finds out Marlowe isn’t exactly who she says she is, Bryce has to decide can he forgive the betrayal, because under the circumstances, would he have done the same thing?
Bryce and Lincoln were having a drink after returning from deployment. Princess and Wolfie had returned home after greeting them and Lincoln was going home in a few minutes. That’s when Marlowe and her friend/PR agent Jamie walk in.
Bryce is a big fan of Marlowe and had been a fan for a while, more so since her parts in a couple of Marvel movies, and the trailer for her new movie looked just amazing. He needs a bit of a push from Lincoln to go say hello and Lincoln escorted him over while making it clear he was taken.
It didn’t take long for Jamie to pretty much push Marlowe on Bryce so she could go back to the hotel and call her boyfriend.
This is a favorite scene.
Marlowe dug into her purse and thankfully her hands didn’t shake as she handed her friend her rental keys. However, her insides rattled like an earthquake. It wasn’t like her to let Jamie push her into spending time with a random man, and Jamie had a tendency to try to fix her up left and right.
“Love you, girl.” Jamie gave her a quick hug and kiss, before making a beeline for the door.
His friend, Lincoln, was only a couple steps behind after slapping his buddy on the back.
“Did you really recognize me?” Shit. Why the fuck did she ask that stupid question? If Jamie had heard her, she would have kicked her and then went on to discuss how great she was in every role, including the stupid toilet paper commercial she’d done a few years ago.
“I’m really a fan.” Bryce sat across from her as he waved down the waitress. “Do you like red wine? There is a local cab that is fabulous and getting it by the bottle is reasonable.”
“Sounds perfect,” she said. “Would you mind if I ordered an appetizer? I’m starving.”
“Why don’t we get the special. I could eat more.” “I’m in.”
He placed the order with the waitress while she took the opportunity to study him a little more closely.
He had a small scar above his right eye that etched into his brow. He had another one under his chin and still another one on the side of his neck.
She wondered how many more he had covering his body.
“I take it you live out in LA or something,” he said.
“No. I call Upstate New York home.”
“I love the Adirondacks. When I was a kid, we used to go to Lake George in the summertime. It’s beautiful.”
“I moved there when I was eleven.” She nodded. “It’s hard to let go of the area, even though I’m almost never there lately.”
“Why are you vacationing here if you don’t get to spend much time at home? If you don’t mind me asking.”
“I like to travel and ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had this goal that I wanted to see as much of the country as possible.” She shrugged. “I like beach towns. Lakes. Mountains. Hell, I like it all and I want to see it all.”
The waitress returned with a bottle and two glasses. Marlowe leaned back, took in a deep breath, and waited patiently for the young lady to leave.
“To new friends.” Bryce lifted his glass.
“Cheers.” The rich, smooth flavor coated her throat and warmed her belly, taking the edge off her nerves. She had no idea why she let Jamie leave, other than being in a bar filled with SEALs made her feel like she was closer to the man who gave her a second chance at life. “I can guess you’re in the Navy.” She waved a hand over her hair.
“Thank you for your service.” He blinked. “My pleasure.”
“What do you do, exactly?”
“I’m a SEAL,” he said with a slightly flat tone as he sat up a little taller, as if he were uncomfortable stating his employment status.
“Oh. That’s cool. But dangerous.” She wished she could just come out and ask him if he knew Slade, but then she’d have to come up with a story on how she knew the man, and she’d yet to develop one that made sense.
Besides, Slade had told her that she had to forget about him. That she needed to pretend he never existed. What he’d done had been unprofessional and illegal and he could lose his job if it ever got out. She often wondered if he’d been overly dramatic in order to scare her from ever saying anything about what had happened.
He warned her that she had to remember that her old self had never existed and that the new identity he and his friends had given her was the only person she’d ever been. For weeks, Slade quizzed her on her past until even she’d begun to believe the lies.
“It can be.”
“You don’t like talking about your job, do you.” She didn’t pose that as a question.
“Sorry. It’s not that, it’s just there are a lot of aspects of my career I can’t discuss, and then there are those that just want to…” He laughed, shaking his head. “I bet you get the same thing. People wanting a piece of you because you’re famous.”
She waggled her finger. “I’m not famous yet. But you’re right. As much as it’s nice to be seen, like with you tonight, there are times it feels icky and people can be weird about it.”
“Especially men, I’m sure.”
“I knew this special forces guy once a long time ago,” she said, staring into her glass. “He was friends with my folks.” She wasn’t the best liar in the world, but she told herself all she was doing was acting. Playing a character and that she was good at it. “He grunted more than he talked half the time, but I remember once being out at a restaurant with him. I wasn’t more than eleven and women just flocked to him like hot fudge on a sundae.”
“It’s not so much that as much as it’s what happens after the relationship gets real.”
“What do you mean?”
“My job is hard and it requires me to be gone for long periods. Even worse, there are times when I think I’m going to be home for a long stretch and I get a phone call in the middle of the night telling me to pack my bags and I won’t know for how long. It takes a special kind of woman, or man for that matter, to deal with someone in my job.”
“I can respect that, but your buddy found someone.”
Bryce laughed. “Yeah. My ex-girlfriend.”
“Sort of. He’s married to a girl that was my high school sweetheart. We broke up years before they met and they are perfect for each other.” He took a long sip of his wine while one of the staff placed a large tray of food in front of them with a couple of plates. “I have a lot of friends who are married and it works well, and others who’ve gotten divorced. It’s not an easy life, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love what I do and I get to see the world from a completely different perspective than most.”
She snagged an onion ring and plopped it into her mouth. Closing her eyes, she enjoyed the fried flavor. “Making movies looks so glamorous on the outside, but half of it is done on a set, inside, with people yelling at you, staring at you, and sometimes you end up doing the same scene fifty times in one day.”
“I can’t tell you how many times we sit around waiting for something to happen. I swear, that’s ninety percent of my job and the toughest part sometimes,” he said.
“I can imagine.”
He smiled as he nibbled on one of the sliders. He had an easygoing personality that she admired. It was as if they were old friends catching up. It wasn’t very often she made that kind of connection.
And so quickly.
“So, can I ask what your next big role is going to be?”
“I don’t know,” she admitted. “Since I’ve finished shooting Rushing Wind, I have to film two more of the Marvels because of my contracts, but in the meantime, I’m on the hunt. However, I think some are waiting to see the reviews of this latest film.”
“Are the Marvel movies expanding your character?”
“I have more lines and scenes, but not much more.” She pushed her plate to the side, tossing her napkin on top. “Anyway, Jamie and I are here to go over a couple of scripts that were sent to my agent and pick a couple to audition for, though I’m finally in a position where it’s less of an audition and more of me saying I’ll take the role if you still want me. But I have to make up my mind this week with a couple of them, one way or the other.”
“That’s really cool.”
He topped off their glasses and leaned back. “Do you have free time to do some sightseeing? I’d love to show you— and your friend— around.”
“If you haven’t noticed, she’ll do whatever it takes to pawn me off on you,” she said with a laugh.
Bryce leaned forward. His smoldering grayish-green eyes that reminded her of the Caribbean sparkled. “I wouldn’t mind that.”
“To be honest, neither would I.”
Jen Talty. Protecting Marlowe (Special Forces: Operation Alpha): search and rescue, Book 6 (Kindle Locations 203-270). Aces Press, LLC.
Now the reason Marlowe was visiting different towns where their are Navy bases is because a SEAL named Slade saved her life many years ago. She would love to see him again and thank him for all he did for her.
A couple of SEALs in the bar recognized her, but didn’t let on. Keanu, Bryce’s boss was there with Wolf. They were both part of the mission that led to them doing something just a bit underhanded to save Marlowe from a worse fate.
With Marlowe getting threating texts on top of a strange note before she came to Virginia, Bryce calls Keanu. Neither one of them thought this was anything other than the normal type stalker. That is until Wolf and Slade get involved.
Lots of twists and turns as Bryce and Marlowe begin a relationship. Plenty of suspense and a few surprises as the bad guy turns up the heat.
I just realized I haven’t read all of the books in this series in the Operation Alpha crossovers. I really need to catch up before Jen releases another one!!
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.