Hot SEAL, Midnight Madness – SEALs in Paradise: Holiday Edition Book 9 by Teresa Reasor

Hot SEAL, Midnight Magic
SEALs in Paradise: Holiday Edition Book 9
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Teresa Reasor

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Navy SEAL Gage Fontenot is home for the first time in two years because his grandmother, who raised him, is in the hospital after a brutal assault. He has four weeks to get the lay of the land, find who’s responsible, and guarantee the attacker gets the punishment he deserves. When he’s met at the airport by Mia, the woman he jilted six years ago, his visit becomes much more complicated. Because his reasons for leaving New Orleans all lead back to her.

Psychic Mia Blanchard knows there’s always a price to pay for the best things in life, but she’s shocked by the dramatic change in Gage. Gone is the lighthearted Cajun who played guitar in the New Orleans clubs. What has happened to make him cut himself off from his home and family? She needs to find out, because she can’t move on until she puts their past behind her.

But there is more than their personal history in play. She sees danger ahead for them both. But Gage never believed in her gift in the past. How can she convince him to trust it now?

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Mia Blanchard has visions and this book opens with one that saves her ex’s grandmother. She has no control over them, and sometimes they are the past others the future. The visions can be triggered by touch so she avoids situations requiring it but this one came as a dream or rather a nightmare.

Gage Fontenot was forced to leave town to save his brother Decker from jail and himself from being framed. He worked on an oil rig before joining the Navy and becoming a SEAL. He’s only snuck home to see his grandmother a couple of times and didn’t stay long. This time he’s going to be here a month. His grandmother needs him and his brother Roman can’t do as much as he’d like and Decker isn’t very reliable.

It’s Mia that Roman asks to pick Gage up at the airport. At one point in time Mia and Gage had plans to leave New Orleans and build something together. It took Mia a long time to come to terms with Gage leaving, but she did what she set out to do, go to college and build a successful business.

This is a favorite scene.

His brother Roman concentrated on his family, which was what he should be doing. Decker…Gage was never sure about Decker, other than he’d been a fuckup since he was twelve. And caused Mama and his brothers more trouble than he was worth. Gage tried hard not to harbor any anger or resentment about that, but if he was honest with himself, some still lingered.

His phone rang, and he paused to pull it out and check the screen.

Roman. He hit accept and put the phone to his ear. “Hey, where are you?”

“Sorry I couldn’t leave work to pick you up,” Roman said. “So I sent a friend of Mama’s. I’m giving you the number. Your ride’s parked in short-term parking and wil swing by and pick you up as soon as they get your text.”

A friend of Mama’s could mean anyone. She attracted people to her like ants to a picnic. Her generosity, her kindness, her love, just drew them right in.

He wouldn’t be the only one to feel the loss if she didn’t make it.

He shifted his attention to finding his way through new airport terminal and decided it was like walking through the interior of a spacecraft with its huge support posts, skylights and curved rooflines.

Even the restaurants’ interiors were ultramodern, though when he looked at the daily specials posted, it appeared they still served traditional New Orleans food.

He strode out from beneath the second floor to the north entrance and looked down the curved bank of windows along the length of the structure. It was impressive, but nothing like the old terminal. And where the hell was Louis Armstrong? The statue was nowhere in sight.

Stepping out the front doors onto the sidewalk, he paused beneath the awning that curved along the wall of glass behind him to lower his sea bag to the concrete and lean it against his leg. He pulled out his phone and shot off a brief text. I’m outside the terminal.

The answer was just as brief. Be there ASAP.

Three or four minutes passed before a dark maroon Mitsubishi swung around the curved drive, the sun glancing off the windshield making it impossible to see who was behind the wheel. The car pulled to a stop beside him, and a woman got out and walked around the back of the vehicle. “Hello, Gage.”

Seeing her again landed a solid punch, first to his gut, then higher up. He dredged up a reply from his addled brain. “Thanks for coming to pick me up.”

She hadn’t changed at all. She still looked like a gypsy, with her yard of dark, curly hair falling down her back. Large, black-lashed, pale green eyes and high cheekbones lent drama to a heart-shaped face blessed with a bow-shaped mouth, currently darkened by a shade of lipstick that fell somewhere between red and plum.

She meant trouble with a capital T. She was the reason he left New Orleans and his family behind.

Did she know?

Had her mother told her what her family did to him? Probably not. Camille Blanchard viewed everything under her control as a possession. Even her daughter. If he’d had money, she’d have welcomed him with open arms. Because he didn’t, she wanted his Cajun ass gone before he got her daughter pregnant. Or worse, talked her into marriage.

Which was exactly where they’d been heading.

Mia raised the hatch. He lifted his sea bag, tossed it in, and closed the hatch—and in that split second decided her face wasn’t the only thing that hadn’t changed. She was still slender as a dancer. And dressed for business in a hip-hugging skirt the color of a ripe peach, a colorful silk blouse of muted pastels, and a jacket the exact shade of her skirt. When they were both in the car, she asked, “Do you want to go straight to the hospital? Or do you want to get something to eat first?”

“Hospital. I need to see Mama.” If she died before he got to see her, he’d never forgive himself.

She pulled out into the slow-moving sporadic traffic circling away from the airport. “You need to prepare yourself for how Mama looks.

She was beaten and strangled, and her face is still very swollen and bruised.”

“Roman told me.” But Gage was almost more worried about something Roman hadn’t said.

“She wasn’t… They didn’t…”

“No, she wasn’t raped.”

He unclenched his hands, which had automatically balled into fists.

At least Mama was spared that. But knowing didn’t make him feel any better. “How did you get involved in this?”

“I found her.”

Jesus! “How?”

She was silent for a long moment. “It’s going to sound crazy, but I woke in the middle of the night after a terrible dream with an overwhelming need to check on Mama. So I drove to her house. The front door was nearly closed, but not completely shut. When I knocked, it swung open. I went in, turning on lights and calling her name. I found her in her bed, and at first I thought… But then she… sucked in a breath and I knew she was still alive. I called an ambulance and the police.”

“You took a dangerous chance, going into the house without backup.”

“I didn’t sense anyone there. Not even Mama.”

Angered by her reckless behavior, he said, “If the attacker had still been in there, you could have been killed, Mia.”

She continued to focus on the traffic and her voice never changed tone. “She might have died if I hadn’t found her and called as quickly as I did, Gage.”

He fisted his hands against his knee-jerk reply to her calm verbal slap. He hadn’t been with her fifteen minutes, and he was attacking her…for saving Mama’s life.

In fact, it was she who probably deserved to be attacking him.

After all, he walked away from her after delivering the harshest of goodbyes, leaving her high and dry to pick up the pieces. He was surprised she was even speaking to him.

He hadn’t really been given a choice. Her showing up so unexpectedly had triggered his guilt. And the festering rage toward her brother and mother he couldn’t shake. Didn’t want to.

The two of them cost him everything. And he would never forgive them for it.

He needed to calm the fuck down and use his brain instead of lashing out at Mia. Her indirect link to what had happened wasn’t grounds for his attitude. Even though he’d been forced away from his family, and his life had evolved in different directions than he intended, there was no way he could change anything now.

Being a SEAL had definitely been a different direction, and he was on a good course with his career. His teammates were like family. And he loved what he did. He rubbed his hand over the thick scruff on his jaw. He glanced at her. He had to concentrate on the here and now and forget the past. “I appreciate what you did for her that night.”

“I care about her. She and my grandmother have become good friends, and I go by twice a week to check on her.”

This awkward tension between them knotted his shoulders and he looked away. “She’s never mentioned that to me.” The moment he said it, he realized it sounded like an accusation.

Mia bit her lip and remained silent. She turned off of I-10 toward the hospital, pulled up to the front entrance of the hospital, and told him which tower and floor Mama was on. “Why don’t I drop your bag at Mama’s? I doubt the hospital staff will allow you on the floor with it.” “I didn’t mean that how it sounded, Mia.”

“Yes, you did.” Her glare was hot with temper, her winglike brows drawn tight with it. “You were the one who broke things off and walked away six years ago, Gage. If guilt is what’s driving this, that’s on you.” Her tone turned cutting. “I don’t deserve your hostility, and I won’t put up with it.”

She revved the Mitsubishi’s engine. “You’ll have to catch an Uber or a cab to get to Mama’s after you’ve finished visiting. I’ve already been away from my business long enough.” She picked up a key from the cup holder in the console and held it out it to him.

He clenched the key in his fist, oddly relieved because she dressed him down. Up until this point, her nonconfrontational behavior made him wonder if she’d lost her spirit. “You could come in with me.”

“No, I’ll visit later.”

Her tone said after you’re gone.

“You’re not family,” he said. “ICU won’t allow you to visit.”

“You were gone, Gage. Your brother Roman is married and has family to take care of, and Decker—is Decker. You didn’t just leave me. You left Mama, too. As far as the staff here is concerned, I’m part of her family. I’ll come any time I please to visit her. Now get out. I’m ready to leave.”

He laid his hand on her arm for a moment because he just had to touch her.

Mia bit her lip and looked away.

“Thanks for everything you did for Mama, and thanks for the ride.” He got out of the car and shut the door. With eyes straight ahead, she pulled away from the curb and circled away from the hospital.
Teresa Reasor. Hot SEAL, Midnight Magic (Kindle Locations 119-172). Kindle Edition.

It seems fate is going to throw Mia and Gage together.

Mia gets a threatening package, followed by a vision at her mother’s dinner party. The person her mother was looking to set her up with is bad news indeed.

Gage senses he’s being followed, and Mia has a vision involving him. Her friend Jules a detective will be instrumental in solving all the incidents both past and present.

There’s plenty of ups and downs, some twists, topped off with romance and sizzling heat.

5 Contented Purrs for Teresa!

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Coming Soon!

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Teresa J. Reasor

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Teresa Reasor was born in Southeastern Kentucky, but grew up a Marine Corps brat. The love of reading instilled in her in Kindergarten at Parris Island, South Carolina made books her friends during the many transfers her father’s military career entailed. The transition from reader to writer came easily and she was a closet novelist for many years until 2007 when her first book was published.

After twenty-one years as an Art Teacher and ten years as a part time College Instructor, she’s now retired and living her dream as a full time Writer.

Her body of work includes both full-length novels and shorter pieces in many different genres, Military Romantic Suspense, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, and Children’s Books.

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