USA Today Bestselling Author
Stronger than he had any right to be after the plane explosion and still angry about it all, Garret’s seriously unimpressed to fly to London to speak with an ex-fiancée who’d screwed him over with his own brother. But she had information on his missing brother, who was a link to the plane crash that sent Garret into the ocean.
Yet Astra, not Amy, waits in London for Garret, to explain the little she knows, hoping he’ll let go of some of his resentment and help her look for her sister, Amy—who disappears just before Garret’s arrival. Some coincidence there. Then her sister hasn’t faced the music for any of her actions in a long time. Today is no different. Too bad Amy and Garret hadn’t broken up much earlier. It might have given Astra a chance with the man she has loved since forever.
Still, if finding Astra’s sister leads Garret to finding his brother, who might be able to give them answers regarding the sabotaged plane, then Astra’s happy to play the game. However, it’s not that easy, as the men who failed to kill the two team members are still looking for their chance to finish the job. And to take out anyone who is close by …
When they land in London, Garret and Kano are not even a little surprised to be met Jonas from MI6. If you’ve read the ‘Heroes for Hire’ series you’ll be aware how much Interpol and MI6 dislike either Levi’s or Bullard’s teams coming to town. It’s quite amusing to see Jonas get flustered with them.
Originally Garret and Kano were supposed to meet with Garret’s ex Amy to get information about his brother Gregg’s disappearance. Jonas, however, informs them that Amy is missing. Her sister Astra made the report and Jonas wants to know what they know. Surprise, they know nothing about Amy’s disappearance but tell Jonas about Garret’s brother. That’s something Jonas didn’t know.
They meet Astra at her hotel, with Jonas trying to get information none of them have. What Astrid does know is in an email from Amy saying she had information that may help find Gregg. Not very helpful at all now that Amy’s missing.
Astra and Garret talk more once Jonas takes his leave.
This is a favorite scene.
Garret didn’t know what to make of Astra at this point. She was so different, and it was hard to see the young girl he recognized from before, yet she came out in little glimpses. He took a deep breath. “Why do I feel like you’re holding something back?”
She hesitated and then nodded. “Part of the reason for Amy moving from Belgium to London was that she’d given your brother an ultimatum.”
“Why?” She sighed, then shrugged. “Amy’s pregnant.”
That news was like a punch to his gut. “Jesus,” he said. “Did my brother know?”
“I don’t know if she told him or not. What I do know is that she wanted a different life, and it was important to her.”
“So it’s my brother’s child?”
“It’s your niece or nephew, yes,” she confirmed.
He stared off in the distance, still getting his mind wrapped around it.
“So, whatever feelings you may still have for her,” she said, “you probably need to walk away from them completely.”
He waved a hand at her. “I walked away a long time ago.”
“But I still get the feeling that you’re emotionally affected.”
“Not by her but by her deception, her affair with my brother,” he said. “However, for my brother, a pregnancy would be a big deal.”
“Any reason why?”
“He’s always said he didn’t plan to be a father,” Garret murmured.
“Plans change when the facts hit the fan,” she said, her voice cool. “I wouldn’t think he’d be somebody to ditch his responsibilities though.”
“Oh, I don’t think he would either,” he said. “I’m not sure that we know what’s going on in their personal life, outside of the fact that a big change is happening.”
“Exactly,” she agreed.
“And, if my brother is missing and if it’s something suspicious, it would make sense that she would reach out to me through my team,” he said.
“Why not the cops?”
“Because of the type of work my brother does, which is very similar to what I do for Bullard— meaning we avoid local law enforcement at all costs and only communicate with the big agencies as a courtesy. Also we heard some suspicion or a theory that he might have had something to do with the plane crash.”
At that, Astra looked at him in shock. “The plane crash you were in?”
He shrugged. “I wouldn’t have thought my brother hated me that much, but honestly I don’t know. Maybe he does.”
“I would say that he did not, but you’re right. We don’t know because we haven’t seen them in years,” she said heavily. “I do talk to Amy at times, but only because she’s called me to complain. And you have to take her words with a grain of salt.”
Garret nearly growled.
Astra nodded. “People change, but I would hope not to that extent.”
“You and me both,” he said, with a hard look.
She nodded and said quietly, “I get that you don’t like hearing about any of this going on between Amy and Gregg, but it’s still totally possible that Gregg had nothing to do with it. I’d like to believe he’s better than that. Especially as I heard he wanted to reconcile with you.”
Garret was still dealing with the shock of thinking of his brother as a father. Gregg was younger, a little wilder, and didn’t have quite the reasoning ability that Garret had. But they’d always been close— until Amy came between them. And, for that, he would always hold Amy off to the side because she’d been the thorn that festered.
Kano, quietly listening from the corner, joined the conversation. “That also explains why she may have disappeared now,” Kano interjected.
“How so?” Garret asked.
“Hormones. Pregnancy sets off a storm of hormones, and she may well be seeing things that aren’t there,” he said, “or interpreting them differently that she would otherwise. Or seeing her life as it is and wanting more. Needing maybe time alone to think.”
Astra winced at that. “I get that whole raging-hormones thing with a pregnancy,” she said, “and I know my sister is on the border of being neurotic in many ways already. But I would hope that she’s erring on the side of safety, for the baby if not for herself.”
Garret agreed. “I would say she’s definitely protecting the safety of the baby, no doubt about it. Probably in a manner that’s way over-the-top, knowing her.” That statement prompted a snicker out of Astra. “Now it’s a matter of figuring out how we find them,” Garret said.
“Well, I’m doing what I can do,” she said. “But I fear I’m in way over my head. My question is, what will you do?”
“Get them back,” Garret said. “Let’s just hope we can do it before something bad happens.”
Dale Mayer. Garret’s Gambit (Kindle Locations 269-308). Valley Publishing.
Of course Astra did leave one little detail out, Amy had been staying in this hotel. They get a bit of a break when a couple of men enter Amy’s room while they are there.
Kingdom Security keeps coming up in this a wild game of hide and seek. Still no sign of Bullard but no one is giving up.
More than a little bit fun of finding out Astrid has always been in love with Garret. Then of course Garret eventually realizes Astrid is really the one for him.
I really can’t wait for the next book in this series!
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.