USA Today Bestselling Author
Navy SEAL Lieutenant Max Hogan has watched as every single one of his men has paired off. He is beginning to wonder if there is something more to life than just mission after mission.
He is surprised the moment he’s asked to attend the reading of a will and even more surprised when he discovers who has passed away. He was sad this woman he’d had a brief relationship with was dead, but he hadn’t seen her for five years, so why in the world would he be sitting in her lawyer’s office?
Ten minutes later Max is staring at the man, uncomprehending. The lawyer’s words don’t make any sense. His lips continue to move, but all Max keeps hearing is that first sentence.
“Megan wanted you to have custody of your son if anything ever happened to her.”
He has a son?
Once centered around endless missions and keeping his men safe, Max’s life is about to change in ways he never expected. Can he rise to this unexpected challenge, and will he have to do it alone? Or will his son’s guardian turn out to be his closest ally—and more?
When Max Hogan gets the notification to contact a Chicago lawyer about the will of one Meghan Todd,he’s puzzled. He doesn’t recall the name at all so he puts Kane on it to find out what he can about the woman. His team is called up on a mission, so he doesn’t get the chance to respond to the lawyer.
Even before they go wheels up things get complicated. Kostya Barona, the lieutenant of Omega Sky is waiting in his office. He apparently has information vital to this extraction. While this mission goes pretty smoothly in spite of including the Nuri family along with Lark Sorenson, it’s Lark who will become important later on. I’m also pretty sure Kostya and Lark are going to be a thing.
Returning home, Max finally contacts the lawyer and travels to Chicago. There he gets the official word that Zephyr, the child Meghan gave birth to is his. Although a DNA test would also be done to confirm it.
There’s also the child’s current guardian, Hannah. She’s devastated that Zephyr will be leaving Chicago to live in Virginia with his father.
Max isn’t leaving right away there are many things to settle, including the way he’s attracted to Hannah.
This is a favorite scene.
She looked up at him from under her lashes. She spoke quietly. “We’ve been in limbo, waiting for the test. At least I have.”
She wasn’t making any sense. They’d both known he was Zephyr’s father. But he waited so that she could say what she needed to, in her own time. She pushed her chair back from her desk and clutched the arms, her knuckles turning white.
What in the hell?
Her eyes started to well up with tears. He turned and locked the door as she gulped in a silent sob. He was at her side in a flash.
Her head dropped and her hands lost their grip. Tears streaked down her face and before she had a chance to slide out of her chair he caught her. She was biting her lip so hard he thought she would break the skin. He knew it was to stifle her sob.
“Hannah,” he whispered. He turned them so that he was sitting in the chair and she was in his lap. He cuddled her close and she clung to his neck, her silent shudders were heartbreaking.
How could they have not talked about this? How could he have not realized that she’d been living on a knife’s edge?
“Hannah, you’re not losing him,” he whispered harshly. She wasn’t hearing him. Her grief was absolute.
Max pulled her arms away from his neck, trying to tilt her face up so she could look at him, but her eyes were shut tight.
“Look at me, Hannah.”
Her head shook so wildly, her hair came out of her ponytail.
“Hannah!” He gripped her chin, forcing it up. “Look at me. You’re not losing him. I promise you. He needs you. You’re not losing him.”
She tried to pull away from his hold and turn to the door. “He’ll wake up soon,” she gasped. “He can’t see me like this. He’ll get upset.” Hannah’s voice sounded like she’d swallowed broken glass.
“Hannah, did you hear me? You’re not going to lose him.”
She started to struggle. “I need to clean up.”
“Everything’s going to be fine,” Max said soothingly.
Hannah shoved at him violently. “How! How can it be fine?” she shrieked softly. “How can it ever be fine again?” She stumbled off the chair and shoved the heels of her hands into her eyes. He would have pulled her into his embrace, but she lurched across the room and sagged against the door.
“Oh God, I’m so sorry Max,” she whimpered. He stalked her carefully as she tried valiantly to pull herself together.
How had he fucked up so badly? How?
“Zephyr needs you. I know that. How could you ever think that I would pull the two of you apart?”
She was mere inches away from him and he once again pulled her into his arms. He breathed a sigh of relief as she fell against his chest, but she was still softly keening in pain. She hadn’t heard him.
He bent his knees and cupped her cheeks, willing her to open her eyes.
“Hannah,” he kissed her forehead. “Look at me.” He pressed a kiss to her temple. “Please, Baby, look at me.”
Her eyes fluttered open.
“I was going to talk to you about this. I swear to God, I was going to talk to you about this. I got so excited about being able to tell him about being his dad, I didn’t think about how we would work things out.”
“Talk about what?” the words tumbled out of her mouth.
“Right now it’s important for him to stay here. He has you, he has your parents, he has this house. I’ve talked to my commander. I’m taking emergency family leave. We’re going to figure this out.”
“But eventually you have to go home to Virginia,” she whimpered.
“Zephyr is my priority. He’s our priority. I’m staying.”
She threw her arms around his neck. “Oh my God, Max. Do you mean it?” Her beautiful green eyes beamed up at him.
Her eyes shimmered, her lips were wet with her tears.
“Yes,” he said hoarsely.
“Max,” his name was a mere whisper, and he was lost.
He bent his head and brushed his lips against hers, testing, tasting.
Caitlyn O’Leary. Her Righteous Protector: Night Storm, Book Eight (Kindle Locations 1598-1632).
With the DNA test done confirming that Max is Zephyr father, there is still much to be done. There’s another problem that Max doesn’t know about.
Meghan’s parents have hired a lawyer and are contesting the guardianship to get custody of Zephyr.
I love this book and the way Max works his way into Zephyr’s life, firmly but gently. I also love the way his relationship with Hannah grows in a simmer to sizzle.
I can’t wait to see who’s next to tumble into love in this series.
5 Contented Purrs For Caitlyn!
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Caitlyn O’Leary is an avid reader, and considers herself a fan first and an author second. She reads a wide variety of genres, but finds herself going back to happily-ever-afters. Getting a chance to write, after years in corporate America is a dream come true. She hopes that her stories provide the kind of entertainment and escape that she has found from some of her favorite authors.
Her Series Include:
It’s a bit Paranormal, a bit Sci-Fi and 100% Action/Adventure. The characters have special abilities, that make them targets.
This is focused on a group of Navy Seals. What makes them special is their bond to one another, and the women they come to love.
This is the series that started her career, it is a Menage Series that takes place in Fate Harbor Washington. It focuses on a tight knit community who live and love and care for one another.
She loves to hear from her readers. firstname.lastname@example.org