USA Today Bestselling Author
As his career path led him into more and more danger, Calum made a decision to keep his family safe, even if it meant he would be alone in the world. But when his wife and son are kidnapped and dumped almost into his very own secret headquarters, Calum knows his safeguards haven’t been enough.
Mariana didn’t like Calum’s decision from years ago but finally understood after her and her son are rescued from kidnappers, and she saw the dangerous level of his work. However, having him once again in her life, their family whole again, she’s not willing to let him go. Not this time. If the danger would continue, … surely they were safer at his side.
Calum’s abilities at an all-time low, his friends and fellow teammates injured and struggling, Calum knows he must be there for the team. Yet protecting his family comes first. But, if they don’t get to the bottom of the chaos that’s his current life, … no one is safe.
Calum is still recovering from the initial attack that took out all of Terk’s team. At the end of the last book the guys who are more recovered rescued Calum’s wife Mariana and his son from the hands of kidnappers. Mariana was supposed to be safe, far removed from what Calum does for a living. Unfortunately, he has been proven wrong in the worst way.
Terk asks Mariana to try to remember anything about her kidnappers or what they might have said. Calum is with him and Mariana remembers someone saying Rulrul won’t like this, and someone else spoke with a man named Sean who seems to know Calum and about his family.
Calum knows a Sean Calvert, a man who has always blamed his shortcomings on him. It feels well worth it to track him down, if only to ask some questions.
There’s also some interesting things about Mariana. It seems she has a connection to Calum that no one realized. I really got a kick out of her talking about it with Terk.
There’s so much happening here and when they find the dead body of Sean’s brother David, locating Sean’s sister is next. That doesn’t go so well, but they get a bit of a warning thanks to Mariana.
This is a favorite scene.
Mariana woke up with a start and sat upright. Thankfully Little Calum wasn’t still in her arms. Sometime, while sleeping, he’d shifted over. She hopped to her feet, checked that he was fine, and bolted from the room. She raced down the hall toward the main working quarters. A meeting was in session, but Terk immediately stood at her approach.
“What’s the matter?” he asked, as she took several deep breaths, trying to calm her racing heart.
“Is he okay?” she cried out. “Is he?” Terk looked at her. “As far as I know, yes. What are you getting?”
She kept shaking her head. “He’s in danger. I know it. I am telling you, Terk. Cal’s definitely in danger.”
“I get that,” Terk noted. “Sometimes they’re in danger a lot.” His voice was calming but alert, as a word of warning.
“No! Not like this. Not like this. … Not like this.” She couldn’t get the words out. “Somebody … It’s a trap. Somebody is trying to kill him.” The others stared at her, while Terk, instead of arguing, got a really odd look on his face and froze.
She walked around him in a big circle. Then she looked over at the audience around the control room. “Does anybody have any contact with Cal?”
“I’ll reach out to Damon right now.” Tasha sent out a text. “They’re waiting for Sean to show up,” she shared a moment later. “So far no sign of him.”
“Warn them,” Mariana snapped. “Warn them it’s a trap. More than one’s coming.”
Tasha studied her, even as she dialed. As soon as Damon answered the phone, Tasha explained what Mariana was getting for a message.
“That would fit.” And he hung up.
“They are duly warned,” she stated, looking over at Mariana. “Damon confirmed how that would fit, and then he hung up. But at least they’re warned.”
Mariana nodded, her hands shaky.
Sophia immediately stood, then walked over and grabbed her hands. “You’ve done the best you can. Now trust them. Now you need to be strong. Let me get you some coffee.” Quickly she raced over to the coffeepot, brought back a full cup, and handed it over. “Try to calm down.”
“How do you guys do this?” Mariana asked, whispering.
“We do what we can do,” Tasha murmured. “We help where we can help, and, when we can’t help, we step back and let them do what they do. Our guys are real pros.”
Mariana smiled at that. “Thank you, I needed that reminder.”
“Good. You’re not the only one who started getting some connection with these guys, but ours is obviously not as defined as the connection you have with Cal. We would like ours to be that way though, stronger.”
Tasha nodded. “I don’t know what changed,” she noted. “It happened when Damon was in the coma. Before that, I always felt a little bit of a connection. I could kind of check in mentally and see that he was fine, and that was good enough for the longest time. But then, when he was not fine”— she paused—“ when he was in the coma, I utilized that time to constantly check in because I was so worried about him.” She sighed, showing her palms.
“How can you not be worried about them?” Mariana rambled, in shock now, and everyone just let her be. “I was always waiting for the day he’d come back and say he was retired and good to go. I knew that he was getting out of the industry because I’d heard this was all being shut down, so I was expecting to hear from him.”
Mariana shook her head. “The days went by, and I didn’t hear anything at all. Then, when Terk told me what had happened, I just went to pieces. And— somewhere along the line, in the midst of one of those long lonely nights— while I was silently searching and crying out for him, I connected. And ever since then, I just, well, … I haven’t let go,” she admitted. “Cal probably won’t like it, but I just … I can’t let go.”
“I’m not saying that’s right or wrong,” Sophia noted, “but maybe relax a bit, so it’s not quite so intense as it may seem to him. These guys all appear to have a problem when women are possessive.”
“It’s not coming from a possessive place at all,” she explained. “It’s intuitive. It’s just a very close connection. I don’t want to let it go because, well, it just feels right.”
“Then don’t,” Tasha stated, as she walked closer. “If it feels right, just go with it. So much of what Terk teaches is intuition and learning to understand and to honor the feelings that you have. So don’t let go, stick close, and maybe we can use your ability to help us.”
“It’s not really an ability,” Mariana argued. “It’s just …” She didn’t know what to say. Finally she shrugged. “Honestly, I would just call it love.”
Tasha gave her the most beautiful smile she’d ever seen. “There is no such thing as just love. It’s a huge gift, Mariana.”
“And whether he understands it or not,” Terk pitched in, “the point right now is that it’s giving you a connection to him that you didn’t have otherwise, which could be very valuable in terms of keeping him safe while we get through this.”
Dale Mayer. Calum’s Contact (Kindle Locations 1368-1409). Valley Publishing Ltd.
Of course, nothing goes easily and there’s also Mariana’s determination not to be separated from Calum again.
I love the interactions of the team with little Calum, and the love between Mariana and Calum is so very strong.
There’s plenty of twists in this one and action as well. Not to mention a bit of sizzle.
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.