USA Today Bestselling Author
Tomas is excited about this new direction in his life. Working for Levi allows him to use his vast array of skills in new and varied ways. He doesn’t expect to be sent undercover in a supremacy group, loaded with weapons. Yet what he finds is much more complicated than that.
Amber had joined the group to help get her friend away from the members, only to find out her friend is dead, and no one will talk about it. The group is in the middle of a coup from within, as the leader barely maintains control. It’s a dangerous place to be, but she is not leaving without answers. Needing help, she contacts an old friend. Tomas isn’t what she expects.
Tomas has been on Levi’s hiring list for a long time, at first it wasn’t possible because of Tomas’s injuries, now he’s healed and Levi has need of him. With Kai pregnant and now in charge of their Arsenal they are down an operative and there’s a mission pending that Tomas is uniquely qualified for. A militia type group is in the area and a friend is on the inside who wants to get out.
Amber is stuck, she won’t leave without her friend Peaches but needs help. She also wants to get all the women out they don’t have a good life there. She’s friend with Saul’s wife and with Levi’s help they’ve planned out this op carefully.
Tomas’s brother had been part of a similar group and died when thing went bad. He knows how thing work and hopefully between him and Dezi they can get the evidence to shut them down.
Amber’s impatient but knows they have to be careful. Too many lives are on the line here. Her friend Annette had paid the ultimate price and she doesn’t know why or how she died.
Tomas and Dezi show up and Amber plays like Tomas is the boyfriend she’s been talking about to keep the men away. Dezi has already been in as a member from another band and Tomas is going in as his friend and Amber’s boyfriend. They arrived at dinner time the evening after the meet.
Brutus who has interest in Amber wasn’t at dinner but hears about it afterwards and pays them a visit.
This is a favorite scene.
Amber barged up to the front door, now open, and plastered a smile on her face when she saw Brutus, clearly angry and red in the face. “Hey, Brutus. What’s the matter?”
“He’s the matter,” Brutus snapped, looking at Tomas. “What the hell happened?”
She looked at him in surprise. “What?” she asked, with what sounded like genuine shock. At least she hoped it sounded genuine. “What are you talking about? You know how long I’ve been waiting to see him. Why are you even bothering us right now?” she asked, stepping closer to Tomas.
Brutus looked at her in disgust. “I figured you were just lying.”
“Lying about what?” she asked, staring at him in shock. “About his existence?”
“Yeah,” Brutus said. “And I didn’t know until just now. I had dinner at my place tonight, so I didn’t meet your mystery man.”
“Believe me. They were all bugging me about Tomas. I’m sorry if his appearance was a surprise,” she noted. “Obviously it was a surprise for me too and a welcome one at that,” she said, with a smile. “I’ve been waiting for him for months.”
“I just didn’t believe that boyfriend line,” Brutus repeated, growing impatient.
Amber tried to calm her nerves. “Let me introduce you two now.” She then quickly made the introductions.
Tomas nodded and reached out to shake his hand. Brutus looked at him in disgust. “Office type, huh?”
“Definitely not the office type. And, hey, sorry to arrive unannounced.”
“Yeah, sure you are,” he said, with a hard look at Tomas. Then, without another word, he turned and walked away.
She wasn’t even sure what to say about that, but, as soon as she shut the door, she turned to Tomas.
“Now that’s not normal,” she murmured. “In fact, this makes me even more worried.”
“He obviously thinks that you should be his,” Tomas stated.
“I never gave him any reason to think I would be in favor of that. In fact, he’s not been one of the grabby ones,” she muttered in a low voice. “He’s always given me the creeps because I never really knew where he stood on that issue. Honestly, I thought he might be gay, which, in this group, is not something he’d want outed. But he’s the one who took me to town. So maybe that was part of his motivation.”
“Understood, but, judging by the way he looked at you just now, he considered you his,” Tomas murmured. “So that’ll be a problem.”
“I don’t want it to be a problem,” she muttered. “I don’t want any of this to be a problem. I’ll try again to calm him down. We sure don’t need his ugly self on our asses all the time.”
“Maybe not, but you’ve stepped into something that’s ugly regardless.”
“What you’re saying is that I stepped into something that’s uglier than I had any idea of before,” she corrected. “I don’t think that Annette and the guy Peaches was with are the only two people these guys have killed.”
“Probably not,” Tomas agreed. “Once they get a taste for that kind of thing, it’s pretty hard for them to stop.”
She nodded slowly. “At the same time, it’s just pretty unnerving.”
He smiled, then wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “Hold on tight,” he said. “The ride could get a little rough, but we’ll make it to the other side, okay?”
She looked over at him, smiled. “I wish I knew that for sure.”
He nodded. “You came here for a reason, so, if you want me to get you out now,” he stated, “I’ll get you out. Just say the word. I have no idea what excuse I’ll give them, but I’ll come up with something.”
She immediately shook her head. “No, we can’t leave Peaches behind. That woman’s been through enough.”
“You want to elaborate?”
“No, I don’t,” she replied. “I just know that her husband was very abusive, and everybody here knows it. She’s pretty damn sure that, if she hooks up with any of these men, it will be more of the same, and that’s the last thing she wants.”
“When you’ve already experienced being a punching bag, you don’t want to go back for round two,” he murmured.
“Exactly,” she agreed, looking at him in surprise. “You do understand.”
“Of course I do,” he stated, looking at her. “I’ve never quite understood why women stay in the first place, but I know that they do. Maybe getting her out of here will her set up with enough of a life that she can live in peace beyond this.”
“That’s my hope,” she agreed quietly. “But I know she’s also terrified. I don’t think she sleeps at night.”
“Anybody bothering her?” “No, that’s outside the code,” she replied. “I mean, if she were to complain, then I’m sure somebody would step in and say something.”
“Maybe, but who would she complain to?”
“That’s part of the problem,” she murmured. “Mary is always watching, but I’m not sure exactly what side Mary is on anymore.”
“I think Mary will be on Mary’s side, and, if she’s partnered with the big boss, then you can bet that she’s providing information to him constantly, letting him know exactly how things are down here,” he murmured. “It’s just interesting that he keeps himself apart. And, like I said earlier, I just think that’s part of the mystery. The mystique that is required to keep people believing in him and this place.”
“So how would you do it?”
“Stay out of sight, have my various spies watch for any dissent in the group, and, when there’s a problem, come down on them, raise complete hell. Then clean it up, lay down the law, and fade back into the shadows.”
She smiled. “Exactly. You know how they think.”
“Oh, I do,” he agreed. “The question is whether Baxter himself understands just how badly things will go to hell down here.”
“I think he’s also getting older, and he may be unwell. I don’t know if …” She hesitated. “I would say cranky, but I don’t know. I think he’s not … I mean, I don’t know if he’s as bad as the rest of them.” She fumbled on the last sentence, lost in her racing thoughts.
“He might be the one making the rules,” Tomas noted calmly. “He could be the one who’s running it all from the shadows, and maybe there is a chance that he gave the order to kill Peaches’s husband. He might even have pulled the trigger himself,” Tomas added, looking at her calmly. “You cannot trust anybody in a scenario like this.”
“Got it,” she replied, then relaxed ever-so-slightly. “You know what? I’m really glad you’re here.”
Dale Mayer. Tomas’s Trials (Kindle Locations 558-611). Valley Publishing Ltd..
Things start heating up shortly, with links to Amber’s friend Peaches. Peaches is being coerced to marry another member of this cult and she wants no part of it. This results in a scenario where Tomas takes her off the compound for medical care, only to get himself banned.
Escalating quickly, Dezi, Tomas and Saul go in to get Amber out, the problem is a visit from Mary has her sneaking out of her basement apartment.
Somehow, they have to bring this place down and keep the innocent save in the process.
I couldn’t put this book down, there is something going on within each page.
5 Contented Purrs for Dale!
Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!
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.