What happens when the very men—trained to make the hard decisions—come up against the rules and regulations that hold them back from doing what needs to be done? They either stay and work within the constraints given to them or they walk away. Only now, for a select few, they have another option:
A covert black ops team that steps up
and breaks all the rules …
but gets the job done.
USA Today Bestselling Author
Killian is called up to retrieve a woman who’s been kidnapped, then escaped, only to be captured again.
With a sketchy SOS coming in, he’s tracking her from Vancouver to Alaska, where the intel finally stops.
The apple of her father’s eye, Stacey was a late gift in his life. But when it counted, he wasn’t there for her, leaving her alone and unprotected. On the run from her abusive ex, she’s kidnapped by a seasoned negotiator, who can see she’s in trouble. Only he plans to auction her off to the highest bidder.
With several threads running together on this mission, Killian must find the predator in the middle. It’s find him, take him out, or Stacey will never be safe again.
As Killian sets off on his own mission with little time off, I wonder if I like the way they find themselves attracted to their mission goal more than the way they get their partner for the mission.
In this case it’s definitely a toss up. Hatch surprises Killian in his hotel room, which could have gone sideways but didn’t. Of course Jerricho is his handler on this one providing the intel they’ll need to accomplish their goal.
The town of Whitehorse has a strange atmosphere to Killian, it’s relatively early yet the streets are deserted. He’s taking a walk to familiarize himself with the route to the ransom dropsite. Hatch is out their too but Killian has that strange sensation of being followed.
Stacey Edgewater had escaped her kidnappers only to be kidnapped again. She was seen crawling out of a car on a ferry and became the prey to another lowlife. She’s figured out that the husband she left hired the first two but she hasn’t figured out the one that have her now. Now she’s informed she’s being sold but not like she figured, apparently two people want her and this kidnapper wants the money from both. He’s got money from one and he’s now about to collect from the other. Boy is he in for a surprise.
Even injured Stacey manages to get away, fortunately Killian is able to find her and help her stay hidden until they can both get away.
Then the fun begins.
“Great,” she said. “So now even my body is trying to hold me captive.”
“But this time, it’s for your own good,” he said. At the bathroom door, he looked at her and said, “Will you be okay?”
“I’ll be okay,” she said and shut the door firmly in his face.
Hatch looked at him and said, “Better watch it.”
“No, that’s everybody else, not me,” he said, with a shrug. “I’ve never been the one who would get picked in a basketball game and certainly not have the popular girl.”
“Maybe not,” he said. “But you’ve got to admit, she’s an interesting character.”
“Very,” he said. “Cute too.”
From the other side of the bathroom door, she yelled, “I’m right here, you know. I might be injured, but I’m not deaf.”
“That’s fine,” he said. “It’s not like I’ll lie about it. You are cute.”
She snorted. “Like hell. I’m cranky. I’m miserable. I look like shit, and I don’t like being lied to.”
“I’m not lying,” he said.
The door opened suddenly, and she glared at him. “No way anybody can look at this face right now and say I’m cute.”
He leaned forward and said, “You’re cute.”
She glared at him and pugnaciously stuck her chin out and said, “Am not.”
At that, Hatch burst out laughing. “Oh, man,” he said, “I wish I had this on tape.”
On cue, both of them turned to glare at him as one.
At that, Killian asked, “Why? So you could send it to the rest of our team?”
“I should,” he said. “Or maybe just to her father.”
“Don’t do that,” she said. “He’s been bugging me to get into a permanent relationship ever since I filed for divorce.”
“Well, you probably figured that wouldn’t be a good idea, considering how you feel about your husband.”
“But my father loved my husband,” she said. “That’s why I had to bring him proof of what an asshat Max really is.”
Still smirking, Hatch turned and buried his face in his dinner.
Killian looked back at her and said, “Honestly, nothing in that bruising and puffiness hides your beauty.”
She shook her head and said, “You’re being ridiculous.” But her voice sounded more pleased than anything.
He smiled and asked, “Are you done in here? Can I help you back to your couch?”
“Since I’m up and all, I was hoping that maybe I could go to a bed?”
“Absolutely you can,” he said. “Pajamas are in that bag, if you want.”
She looked at him and said, “How about a nightie instead?”
“Why don’t we take a look,” he said. “And then we can figure out what else you might still need.”
“I don’t need anything,” she said. “I’m just really tired, and, with my leg injury, I don’t want to put on pants.”
“Wait here.” He brought the bag to her, and together they sorted through three sets of clothes, an oversize T-shirt, and weird shorts. He held them up and shrugged and said, “I honestly don’t know about these.”
She smiled and said, “Sleeper shorts. They’re perfect.” She grabbed the bag of clothes and shut the bathroom door in his face again.
“I could help you, you know?” he said through the door.
“Thanks anyway. I’ll be just fine.”
He waited, a big grin on his face, until he saw Hatch staring at him, with a smirk on his. Immediately Killian dropped the smile and said, “Don’t even go there.”
“Oh, I’ve already gone there,” he said. “Gone there and back a few times.”
“I wouldn’t think about it at all. You don’t know anything.”
“Nope, I don’t,” he said. “But, at the same time, I’m pretty happy with what I see.”
Killian groaned and said, “Just forget it.” When she opened the door, he looked at her and said, “Okay, I can see how that works.”
She smiled. “This should be good, for nighttime anyway.”
“Okay, so let’s get you to the bed, so I can dress the wound.”
She winced. “Is that really necessary?” He nodded. “Absolutely. We should have done it earlier, but the doc wanted it to dry and breathe a bit. Now that it’s dry, and you’re more or less as numb as you’ll be, we’ll bandage it up. That way, when you roll over in the night, you won’t catch those stitches in the bedding or the mattress and shriek from the pain.”
“That sounds horrible already,” she said, staring at him.
“Exactly, so let’s get you to the bed.” She hobbled to the bed, taking her time, and he let her. After her kidnapping ordeal, it was important for her to feel as independent as possible, and, when she finally got to the edge of the bed, she sank down heavily. “Okay, now I don’t feel so good,” she murmured.
“A little too much independence?”
“I don’t know, maybe just a little too much everything,” she said. She slowly flopped onto her back and lifted both legs onto the bed, until she was stretched out.
“You should’ve let me take the bedding off first.” She groaned and then sat back up and slid off the bed. He pulled the bedding back, and she laid back down again. He brought over the bag of medical supplies that the doctor had left him and quickly put on clean gauze and wrapped the large wound, covering all the stitches on her leg. “Maybe that’ll help,” he said, as he flipped a sheet over the top of her.
“Well, at least that’s not hurting anyway,” she said. Rolling over onto her good leg, she pulled the pillow underneath her head, yawned, and said, “I think I’m ready to sleep.”
“You need your pain pills and an antibiotic yet,” he said. “Let me get some water.” He stepped into the bathroom, filled a glass of water, and came out with the pain pill bottle and shook out two, then added the antibiotic. He handed them to her, as she shifted up onto her elbow, popped them into her mouth, and drank down the glass of water.
“That’s it, for me,” she said, pulling the sheet up a little higher.
“Do you want a blanket too?”
She shook her head. “Not at this point,” she said. “I’ll try it with just the sheet. It’s pretty warm in here.”
“It’ll get colder,” he said. “But that’s up to you.”
“Maybe in a bit,” she said. “If I can fall asleep like this, it’s all good.” With that, she drifted off.
He cleaned up his mess and put the trash in the bathroom garbage, then walked back to the little kitchenette area, where he wasn’t surprised to see Hatch still eating. “Still hungry?”
“A lot of work done today, and I haven’t had a ton of food.”
“Now you sound like her,” he said.
“It is what it is.”
“So you say,” he said. “We need to stand watch tonight.”
“Agreed. Way too much we don’t know yet,” Hatch said. “I’m still eating. You go crash.”
“Absolutely,” he said.
With that, Killian dropped onto the second bed, and closed his eyes. “Wake me if there’s anything.”
Dale Mayer. Killian (Kindle Locations 757-819). Valley Publishing Ltd..
Not only do they have to find and put an end to the kidnappings, the whole thing escalates with the knowledge that she took something from her husband when she left. Something he’ll do anything to get back.
I couldn’t put this book down, there’s a lot of crazy involved before things get solved and of course Killian and Stacey are in denial of the attraction, well mostly.
I can’t wait to read 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.