USA Today Bestselling Author
Will they get their second chance at love,
before fate rips it away?
As a child, Kostya (Konstantin) Barona barely escaped Russia with his life when his father was dragged off by the secret police and he watched his mother brutally murdered. Now that he leads a Navy SEAL team, his whole life is based around rescuing those in need.
Lark Sorensen is an investigative journalist. There had never been an injustice that she didn’t want to scrutinize and throw a spotlight on so the world would know about the atrocities going on around them.
Months ago, Kostya and Lark worked together in Afghanistan to help save a mother and her two little girls, and now they’re meeting up again to do the same thing. But the fiery sparks everyone expected to fly seem to have sputtered out. But little do the couple know the passion that lies underneath.
Now as lives are on the line, can these two work together to get everyone out alive? Or will the injustices of the world finally drag them under?
This book opens with a look at Kostya (Konstantin) Barona’s haunting past. It’s not something he thinks about often but is definitely something that has shaped him. Back to the present and we see him with his sister Irina and her children that starts him thinking.
Lark Sorensen is on the phone with her best friend Amy as she parks at the venue for Riya’s award ceremony. After hearing Amy is injured, she almost heads to Baltimore but is talked out of it by Amy promising to sleep. She also tries to reach her informant Candy again before entering, she’s starting to get worried about the lack of contact. You’ll remember Lark Sorensen was the one who refused to leave Afghanistan without Ebrahem’s wife Samira and their daughters Taja, and Nazy. Her mother is now spoiling those children and Samira as well. She finds out just how spoiled when she runs into Kostya before the award ceremony.
There’s an attraction there that can’t be denied, and Kostya does some pretty interesting maneuvering to have dinner with Lark. Unfortunately, before this start to a relationship can get any further, he’s called on a mission.
While Kostya’s away, Lark does more investigating into Candy’s whereabouts and doesn’t like what she finds out. Candy’s in the wind and she needs to find her. She gets her friend Amy to agree to go to the casino where Candy’s sister Dawn works on the weekend. Of course, that’s when Kostya returns wanting another date.
Thinks heat up for them at this point but it also brings up some bad memories for Lark. She is able to get past that and this book starts to smolder with the heat. He also puts his nose into Lark’s investigation and insists on calling in Ryker to join them all at the casino.
This is a favorite scene.
Ryker looked like the cat that caught the canary. Or was it the cat who stole the cream? Whatever the hell it was, Ryker looked pretty damned happy with himself. Amy was scowling at him, and her leg was swinging like a metronome as she sat at the bar facing the grinning sun-streaked blond man.
Lark liked the way that Kostya always shortened his stride so that she could keep up with him as she wore these killer heels. They looked great, but her feet were beginning to hurt.
“I think your friend is kind of pissed,” he whispered out of the side of his mouth.
“Looks that way,” she giggled. “This is kind of fun. I’m still going to use a cantaloupe scoop on Ryker’s balls if he tries anything with her.”
“You’re vicious,” Kostya said as they walked up to the two of them.
“Why is Lark vicious?” Ryker asked.
“Trust me, you don’t want to know,” Kostya answered. “So, what did you find out?”
“Dawn has been a no-show at work since Thursday. She hasn’t called in and her shift manager hasn’t been able to reach her. She’s probably going to get fired.”
“That sounds bad,” Lark said biting her lip.
Kostya stroked his hand down her back, but even that didn’t soothe her. “What else did Andrea say? Or was that all you got?”
“Oh, ye of little faith. I didn’t ply her with two drinks and get just that,” Ryker scoffed.
Amy rolled her eyes.
“Andrea and Dawn don’t travel in the same social circles, so it’s not like they were close. According to Andrea, Dawn was a goody-two-shoes. That was an exact quote,” Ryker grinned. “Anyway, Dawn started asking for a lot of extra shifts about three weeks ago. That’s when Candy went missing, right?”
Lark nodded. “Andrea called a gal by the name of Rhianna to come meet us over at the Belvedere.”
“Where?” Kostya asked.
“That’s a bar at the Gaylord hotel,” Amy explained. “It’s close by.”
“That’s what took me so long, so now you can retract those claws of yours, Missy.” Ryker tapped the end of Amy’s nose.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” She sniffed daintily and tossed her hair back over her shoulder.
Lark clapped her hands twice. “Children, keep on topic. What did Rhianna have to say?”
“Rhianna’s a sweetheart, and if she’s a good friend of Dawn’s, I’m betting Dawn is too. She didn’t mention Candy, but she did say that Dawn had family in town. To begin with, Dawn was really excited, but by the third day, she was shaky and asking for the extra shifts. When Rhianna asked what was going on, Dawn asked her if she knew of any places out of state that might pay under the table.”
“Did she?” Kostya asked.
Ryker nodded. He pulled out his phone. “Rhianna knew about a place in Florida that hired girls and they never looked closely at their paperwork and didn’t have any problem paying in cash. This isn’t a place we can just call.”
Lark looked at the establishment that Ryker had up on his phone and winced. She’d been to Florida, and these types of strip joints littered the sides of different interstates. She hated the idea of Candy having to quit her job at the bank and having to start a job as a stripper just because her sleaze of a husband got her mixed up in some shady shit.
“Thanks, Ryker, I really owe you.” She kissed his cheek. “I really owe all of you,” she said as she glanced at Amy and then at Kostya. “I guess I have a plane to Florida to catch.”
She heard Ryker’s laugh and turned away from Kostya to look at him.
“What’s so funny?”
“Look back at my lieutenant,” he said pointing at Kostya.
She turned back to look up at Kostya. He had a fierce look on his face. She frowned. “What’s wrong?”
“I’m going to speak in a calm voice. I will use a respectful vocabulary.”
He was vibrating with some kind of strong emotion, but he couldn’t possibly be mad, because she wasn’t planning on doing anything dangerous. “You’re acting kind of odd, Kostya. But I know you can’t be upset like you were when I confronted Jay Jensen because now I’m just going to find Candy and Dawn.”
She spun around and glared at Ryker when she heard his choked laughter. “Fuck you, Ryker. What is so goddamned funny?”
“Nothing is funny,” Kostya damn near roared. He moved so that he was now between her and Ryker. “If you think I’m letting you go chase after Dawn and Candy down to Florida when they’re both scared enough to drop everything because they think a bogeyman is after them, you’ve got another thing coming.”
“They’re in hiding, it’s fine. I just need Candy to confirm my suspicions that it’s Schroeder who’s behind everything at Sanofi, and then I can start doing all of my due diligence and write my story. When I’m done, the Feds will come in and scoop them all up, and Candy and Dawn can come home. It’s easy.”
“Don’t you think that if Candy is going to this level of trouble to hide herself it should tell you just how bad it is?”
“Yeah, for her. But they don’t know about me,” Lark said reasonably.
“God save me from new recruits and neophytes! You are not going down there alone,” Kostya growled.
“This is my job, Kostya. You just got done telling me how much you admired my abilities.”
“Yeah, I did. Tell me something, Lark— how much money do you think Schroeder is making selling secrets?”
“If he’s doing it right, just the microprocessors and memory chip tech that they delivered to China from Rey-Con had to be in the tens of millions of dollars. And that’s just one of the hundreds of projects that Sanofi engineers are in on.” Lark shrugged.
“People are willing to kill a liquor store owner for fifty bucks,” Amy said. “Seems to me that for tens of millions of dollars, traitors at Sanofi would happily murder you and whoever else got in their way. You don’t need just Kostya, you need his whole damned team to go with you.”
Lark looked from Ryker to Amy and then back to Kostya.
I am so fucked.
Caitlyn O’Leary. Her Selfless Warrior, Omega Sky, Book One (Kindle Locations 2919-2969).
Kostya not only has Ryker helping but also his computer expert Gideon as they head to Florida to find Dawn and Candy.
Kostya and Lark’s relationship continues to build as does the suspense and intrigue surrounding her investigation.
I couldn’t put this book down and I am adding this new series to my TBR pile.
5 Contented Purrs for Caitlyn!
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. email@example.com