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Jewels in the Juniper – Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 10 By Dale Mayer


Jewels in the Juniper
Lovely Lethal Gardens Book 10
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Riches to rags …
Chaos is still present …
Memories are fading …
But not for everyone!

The problem with notoriety is unfair expectations. When Mack’s mother, Millicent Moreau, requests Doreen’s help with a small problem she’s kept hidden for decades, Doreen feels obligated to help. And what harm could it do, after all? Worst-case scenario? It’ll annoy Mack, but that’s something she does on a regular basis anyway.

But when Millicent’s “small problem” turns out to involve a failed marriage, a bag of jewels from a jewelry store that mysteriously burned down decades ago, possible insurance fraud, and maybe even a case of murder, … Doreen will admit that she’s in way over her head.

With her trusty trio of furry and feathered cohorts, she brings an old case into the present—and finds it’s more current than ever …

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If you’ve been following this series you know that Doreen takes care of Mack’s mother Millicent’s garden. It’s Millicent who remembers the jewels she found years ago but no one could find the owner. So instead of Doreen finding the jewels in the juniper, it was Millicent and not recently at all.

Doreen does some research on the bag the jewels were in and visits her Nan for more information. During this process she finds herself thinking about her own jewels. Ones that were gifts from her ex over the course of their marriage. She wasn’t able to take them with her because he kept them locked up. She texts Mack to ask about her rights with them and he adds that to the questions for his brother the lawyer.

A trip to the Chinese restaurant with Thaddeus, Goliath, and Mugs solves her dinner for the night but she wasn’t expecting an angry Mack. He’s obviously spoken with his mother, and some important points were left out.

This is a favorite scene.

Just when she wondered if the Chinese food had to be grown before it was cooked for her, she heard a call from behind them. She turned to see Mr. Wu waving at her. She walked back inside and said, “Is it ready?”

He nodded and smiled, handing her a plastic bag. The smell was especially good. She grinned at him and said, “Thanks.”

“You come again,” he said.

“What if I only have ten dollars?” she asked wryly.

“You come with no money,” he said, “we still feed you.”

Surprised at that and touched, she said, “Thank you. That is very generous.”

He shook his head. “You good people,” he said. “We feed you.” Then he disappeared into the back.

She could see all the slips of orders lined up by a kitchen pass-through window and realized he was in for a very busy Friday night. With the animals in tow again, she headed to the riverside this time and walked down Mission Creek. Then she had to cross over and come up around the corner. She headed up the back path to her property. She sighed happily as she reached home. She put the food on the little table outside on her deck, went into her kitchen to grab a knife and fork and a dinner plate, and poured herself a glass of water. Just as she sat down, she heard a voice call out.

“In the back,” she yelled. Good thing she’d disarmed the security; otherwise no way Mack could come in. She scooped almost half of the Chinese food onto her plate, realizing it really was a huge portion, and she would have enough for tomorrow too. Except, with Mack here now, there was a good chance she wouldn’t get any leftovers. He came storming through, but the fury on his face had her freezing in place.

“What on earth is the matter?” she cried out.

He stopped, took several deep breaths, and pinched the bridge of his nose. “I’m trying to calm down, but—”

“With you, it’s never an easy process,” Doreen said with a smile. “I’d offer you some of my Chinese food, but it’s all I’ve got.”

“And I’ll say, Thank you, and take it,” he said, marching back inside, grabbing a plate and fork.

She watched almost sadly as he scooped the rest of the Chinese food onto his plate. “If I’d known you were coming, I could have ordered twice as much.”

“I’m kind of surprised you had time to pick up Chinese food, since you’ve been so busy getting into my family’s affairs,” he said.

She stared at him in surprise, and then she knew. “Ah,” she said. “I guess you talked to your mother, didn’t you?”

He put down his fork very precisely, then glared at her. “What on earth did you say to her?”

“Nothing, why?”

“Well, she has suddenly decided you’re the answer to everything, and you’ll find out exactly who those jewels belong to.” And then he stopped, leaning forward. “But what the hell are the jewels? Where did they come from, and what’s this got to do with my mother?”

“Didn’t she tell you?” Doreen couldn’t imagine her only telling Mack a little of the story.

Mack shook his head. “Only that she had put you on to your next mystery and that you would solve something that had worried her for a long time.”

“Wow,” Doreen said, sitting back in surprise. “I think she just threw me to the wolves.”

At that, Mack sat back and laughed. “You know what? She just may have done exactly that.”
Dale Mayer. Jewels in the Juniper (Kindle Location 446-473). Valley Publishing.

I love Doreen and Mack’s relationship, the flirting is there but it’s more of a valued friendship. That is until she gives him and his men more work to do. Many of his friends on the force are donating supplies for her deck and the case she’s working on has her gaining plants for her own garden.

Plenty of suspense, a lot of fun with Nan and the animals and another unforgettable ending!

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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.


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Keane – The Mavericks Book 9 By Dale Mayer


What happens when the very men—trained to make the hard decisions—come up against the rules and regulations that hold them back from doing what needs to be done? They either stay and work within the constraints given to them or they walk away. Only now, for a select few, they have another option:

The Mavericks
A covert black ops team that steps up
and breaks all the rules …
but gets the job done.

Welcome to a new military romance series by USA Today best-selling author Dale Mayer. A series where you meet new friends and just might get to meet old ones too in this raw and compelling look at the men who keep us safe every day from the darkness where they operate—and live—in the shadows … until someone special helps them step into the light.

Keane
The Mavericks Book 9
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Heading out on a last-ditch rescue mission to Puget Sound one day after two women go overboard in a sailing accident isn’t exactly what he’d expected …

But Keane is nothing if not adaptable. He can only hope the two women are alive and doing everything they can to stay that way. Hearing from the local coast guard that more may be involved than just a rescue mission, he and his partner load up and head out to search the waters around the smaller islands off the coast. They have the GPS of the missing women’s last-known location, but storms could have sent them anywhere …

Lost, alone—except for her best friend, who’s unconscious with a head wound—Sandrine wakes up in a small shelter to find they are locked in. When the door is finally opened, an armed stranger dressed in fatigues dumps a small amount of food and says they are on their own.

Finding the women was one thing, keeping them safe something else again. More is going on in this small island that any of them were expecting … or had planned for …

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Keane and Lennox are assigned to look for two women, on of whom is a generals daughter. They were reported as going overboard when a squall hit. The major problem is this isn’t the first time people have gone missing in that area and when they were found they were dead. Not from drowning but from a bullet.

It’s a race against the clock as the Keane and Lennox start searching the many small islands in the sound. They searched several of the smaller ones, and found a spot to land and make camp for the night on the biggest of the islands. They start searching again in they morning and that’s when things change up a bit.

This is a favorite scene.

Lennox said, “Let’s give it today, and, if we don’t have any luck, then maybe tomorrow consider the search dog issue.”

“Good enough.” Keane passed that message off to Nico and kept moving.

“I don’t see any footprints,” Lennox noted. “I don’t see much of anything up here.”

“But that heavy rain would have washed so much away.”

“Sadly, that’s very true. And the cliff edges are almost completely impassable,” Lennox nodded, looking around. “I don’t remember this island.”

Keane looked at his partner curiously. “Do you know this area?”

“Part of the family camping trips. But I don’t remember this island.”

“Lots of them are fairly impassable,” Keane said. They kept walking, searching, but found absolutely nothing. They heard only wind and saw the odd bird. As they stood on the edge of what they had deemed the third quadrant, he said, “It feels empty.”

“I know,” Lennox said, “but that doesn’t mean it is.” He lifted his hands, cupping them around his mouth, and screamed, “Hello.” A massive gust of wind seemed to carry his voice forever.

Just when they were about to turn to head in another direction, Keane thought he heard something. He reached out, grabbed Lennox’s shoulder. “Do that again.”

Lennox looked at him, clearly surprised, but he willingly cupped his hands around his mouth and called again. And this time what they heard a response a little clearer. “Is that a person?”

The two men stared at each other and then quickly raced toward the sound. It wasn’t easy to decipher, and neither was it easy to find. They found nothing on this level, so they worked their way toward a lower plateau area.

Keane saw a large grassy spot and was hoping for their sake that the women had made it that far. It took the guys a good hour to make it down to the spot, and, when they arrived, he had Lennox call out again. This time the response was clearer but had an edge to it.

As he came over the top of the grassy area and looked down, he spotted a hollow, where the ocean had carved out a deep, circular area, completely surrounded by sheer cliffs.

Down in the center a woman stood, and, as soon as she saw him, she screamed and waved her arms.

He called out, “We’ll come down.”

She nodded and called back, “We need help. My friend is injured.”

“Radio the coast guard,” Keane said to Lennox. “We should be able to get her out of here.”

“I’m wondering if I shouldn’t go back to the Zodiac,” Lennox said, studying the lay of the land, as Keane brought out his ropes and grappling hooks.

“That’s not a bad idea,” Keane said. “Leave me the first aid kit, and, if you want, head back, grab the Zodiac and come around to this bay. I’ll make my way down and take a closer look. Then we’ll decide if the water exit is best and easiest.”

With that decision made, he hooked up his ropes, and slowly, while Lennox stood at the top, Keane made his way down the sharp cliff face. When he was almost down, Lennox called out that he was leaving. Keane gave his partner a thumbs-up signal and watched as his friend disappeared from the top of the cliff. Down below, maybe thirty more feet, he could see the woman still standing there, waiting for him to land. “I’m coming,” he said.

“Good,” she said. “I was afraid we’d been deserted again.”

He heard the word again but would clarify that with her later. And it was hardly the time to ask. Some of the rocks were coming loose as he descended. He stared up where he’d come from, and he could see rocks crumbling down over his head. As several bounced off his helmet, he swore, then ducked against the cliff wall.

She cried out and quickly ran, backing away from the rocks.

What was going on up there above him? Unless Lennox’s movement caused rocks to shift, Keane wasn’t too happy about it either.

Keane clung to the cliff and waited until the rocks stopped moving. When it finally appeared to be safer, he let himself swing back out and quickly descended. As he got down within the last ten or fifteen feet, he felt his rope jerking. He looked up to see his rope cut loose. He fell the last few feet, rolling clear of the rocks. As soon as he could, he picked himself up and raced back against the cliff’s edge. He motioned for her to run toward him.

She stared at him in shock but quickly joined him underneath a little dip where the rocks could continue to fall without hitting them. But the rockslide stopped.

“Who the hell is on this island with you?” he asked in a harsh voice. His mind raced with possibilities.

She shook her head. “I don’t know. I don’t know,” she whispered. “A man dropped off a container with a fish and a couple biscuits, but he wouldn’t give us any blankets or towels, and he wouldn’t help us get off the island. He just left us.”

Keane stared at her, shocked at the turn of events, but no doubt she was telling the truth. She had her arms wrapped around her chest and held her shoulder, which even now oozed blood. He leaned over to check it.

“I got hit by some of the falling rocks,” she said and reached up to touch her head.

He checked out both injuries. “At least they’re superficial. What I need to know is whether we’re facing one man or a dozen.”

“I don’t know,” she said, her teeth starting to chatter.

He wrapped his arm around her and tucked her up close. “Look. I’m sorry. I don’t mean to scare you,” he said, “but my rope was cut.” He pointed at the rope that now lay like a coiled snake on the sand amid the rocks beside him.

Her hand clapped over her mouth as she stared at it; and she just burrowed in closer.

He waited for a long moment and then said, “I need you to get ahold of yourself.”

She nodded. “I know. I know,” she said. “It’s been two very long days.”

“Start at the beginning, and tell me what happened,” he said, as he studied the area around him. “Tell me what you’ve seen. Like, where did you see this man?”

“He— well, we were locked inside that little space up there,” she said, pointing. “A two-by-four closes the doors. When I called for help, I heard footsteps, and somebody came and took the bar off, opening those doors. He brought us food, but he didn’t give us any water, and then he left. He walked down to the opening there to the ocean.”

“Did you hear a boat? Did you hear him leave at all?”

She shook her head. “I did see stairs going to a flatter spot up there, but I don’t know where else he could have gone. And he hasn’t come back. I looked all around at the top of this plateau, but I didn’t find anything.”

“Do you need water?” he asked, unclipping a bottle from his belt.

“We collected rainwater,” she said, “but, yes, if you don’t mind.”

He quickly popped the top and gave it to her and watched as she drank thirstily. He waited until she was done and then sagged back in place.

“My friend is hurt,” she said. “She’s got a head injury, and she’s delirious. I don’t know what to do for her.”

“Not a whole lot we can do except get her to medical help,” he said, looking around. “I want to make it to where your friend is, but, if somebody is watching us, we don’t want him to know that we’re alive. Especially me.”

“You’re hoping he’ll think you died in the fall?”

He nodded. “Yes, but I don’t know how long it’ll take for him to come down and check on me.”

“Oh, God. I don’t know,” she said. “We can walk around this corner, but, at one point, it’s exposed. And, if he’s watching us, we can’t stop him from seeing you.”

“So we’ll stand here for a moment and make sure he’s gone,” he said. “He could be on his way down, and, if that’s the case, I’ll have to find a way to capture him before he tries to hurt us again.”

“If it wasn’t for the cut rope,” she said slowly, staring at him, “I wouldn’t think that he was trying to hurt us at all. He did bring us food.”

“I get that,” he said. “Can you tell me what happened? Like, who you are, and why you’re here? Let me start, I’m Keane Lytton and I’m here on behalf of the coast guard.”

She smiled. “My name is Sandrine Coulter,” she said, “and I was out sailing with my friends. My girlfriend, Brenda, is hurt. We were out in her boyfriend’s catamaran. We’ve gone sailing with them several times before but never this long or this far away.”

“And what happened? How did you end up in the water and wind up here?”

“Brenda fell overboard,” Sandrine explained, her voice gritty. “We caught up to her in the water, and I threw her a lifebuoy, but she seemed unable to grab it, so I jumped into the water after her.”

He raised his eyebrows and stared at her. She nodded. “I know, not exactly the smartest thing to do. But I couldn’t do any less.”
Dale Mayer. Keane (Kindle Locations 493-555). Valley Publishing Ltd..

While Keane makes his way down to the woman, Lennox heads back to camp to get their Zodiac. Unfortunately Keane rapidly discovers they aren’t alone here when his rope is cut followed by a rock slide.

At least the women are alive although Brenda has a head injury. There’s nothing to be done about that until they can transport her to medical help.

Lots of action in this one as Keane and an injured Lennox take on the men setting up some kind of communication boosters. They have to wait out the weather for the Coast Guard and it gets pretty dicey. This book doesn’t end with the rescue either, and the attraction between Keane and Sandrine intensifies as the investigation continues.

I couldn’t put this book down, plenty of suspense and intrigue with that simmer to sizzle romance I love.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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.


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North’s Nikki – Heroes for Hire Book 16 by Dale Mayer


North’s Nikki
Heroes for Hire Book 16
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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In what circumstance wouldn’t a knight want to rescue a damsel in distress? A former SEAL working for Legendary Securities, North Dockter has found the very circumstance that challenges even his stalwart, chivalrous ways. Nikki Beckwith is a firecracker who butts heads with him at every turn, refusing to follow orders or listen to his experience unless doing so suits her.

When she discovers someone is smuggling drugs through her company’s warehouse and her life is threatened, Nikki flees to her aging grandfather’s home in England to lay low and regroup. He’s always been there for her, and, if ever she needed a bolthole to make changes in her life, it’s now. Maybe it’s time to return to the States…particularly after meeting North and realizing the attraction between them is more than she believed possible.

But Nikki soon realizes that no place is safe after her grandfather is attacked in his home. Even with her gorgeous guardian angel hovering close by, will she be too late to make all the changes she’s envisioned?

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The prologue of this book had me giggling a bit. Everyone seems to know that if Ice chooses your assignment you’ll find the right person for your happily ever after. Ice says she can’t promise North he’ll meet someone, and he agrees that it’s not something she can promise. We who read this series know better.

Ice informs him he’ll be heading to England in a couple of days. I seems their friend and supporter, Charles Beckwith’s granddaughter Nikki is in trouble. How much and what kind of trouble is unknown at the moment.

North is met at the airport by Anders who flew in from Germany where he had been working on another of Levi’s cases. Fortunately that one was still at the information gathering stage. Charles has sent a car for them and it’s obvious the driver has training, his eyes taking in everything.

Instead of taking them to Charles’ home, the driver makes a stop elsewhere. It seems MI6 has determined that they should be instructed on their behavior, and giving that task to Jonas Halpin. Although it was Badger and his crew that caused issues in England, it seems anyone acquainted with them was going to be talked to and warned against causing trouble. Something both Ander’s and North found interesting, was the fact that neither Charles or Levi gave Jonas any information. Jonas had spoken with both of them and still had no idea why the two of them were in England. I almost felt sorry for Jonas, almost.

Nikki Beckwith works for a small but profitable import/export company that is currently dissolving all contracts to close it’s doors. The owner has cancer that hasn’t responded to treatments. He has no heirs and couldn’t find a buyer. The event that sent Nikki running to her grandfather was being threatened by two men. All having to do with what both her and her bosses assistant believed was a clerical error. Unfortunately that order that appeared to be double what was expected, was exactly that.

North and Anders start the initial rundown on the business that shares the warehouse space, then decide they need to take a look at the order in question. Of course Nikki has no intention of staying behind.

This is a favorite scene as they approach the parking lot near the warehouse.

She was grateful for the darkness inside the vehicle to hide the rioting color heating up and washing over her face. She sighed. “That’s all right. I’m talking to myself.”

Anders chuckled in the back seat. “Glad you do it too. We’re well-known for it.”

Startled, she glanced at him in the rearview mirror. “Really?”

“I think everybody does it to a certain extent,” he said, “although I would really like to know the other half of the argument you were having with yourself.”

“That’s the thing about conversations with yourself. You don’t have to share them,” she said, effectively trying to buck him out of her head.

But Anders was persistent. “Well now, I’ll just have to make some wild guesses about it then.”

A little desperately she said, “Please don’t.” She watched as North lifted his hand in some kind of a movement, like a silent signal, which had Anders subsiding in the back seat. She wondered about the dynamics between the two of them. They obviously were good friends and knew each other very well. But had North suggested that Anders stop teasing her? If so, she owed North one. And, if he got them safely through tonight, she would owe him another big one too.

If he solved this nightmare she’d gotten herself into, the chances of repaying any of that were pretty slim. And how could she possibly leave her granddad for the US, given his health and temperament? Not that she saw him all that often even while living in the same proximity. Then the little devilish imp on her shoulder said, And how many times can you fly back and forth in a year? Probably more times than you came to visit him while you lived here.

And she was ashamed to admit there was some truth to that, but she and her granddad did talk all the time.

The imp responded with You could do that from the US too. Sometimes you have to follow your heart, and you’ve been wanting to go back for a long time now.

She had thought, at times, she’d go to New York, but she had overcome the luster of that landing spot for a while. She just didn’t have any better place to go. She thought maybe Kansas or even Maryland, although she didn’t know anybody in either spot. Her brother was in California and that appealed to just be close to him. There were just so many options available to her that she didn’t know where she would like to end up.

Beside her, North asked, “Where’s the parking lot?”

With a jolt she brought herself back to reality. She was driving toward the warehouse where she’d been threatened once already, in the dark with two men who had no problem with breaking in if she didn’t let them in. She pointed up ahead. “It’s right there.” She pulled in, drove to the far back and shut off the lights as she maneuvered into a parking spot.

“Are you sure we can’t get you to stay here?” North asked, still not moving from the vehicle.

She shook her head. “No, you need me.”

“Exactly why do we need you?” he asked.

“Because you won’t know which is our stuff and which is the other people’s stuff.”

“I’m sure it’ll be delineated somehow,” he said, “otherwise all the employees would be just as confused.”

She pulled the keys from the ignition, adding them to her purse. She turned a bit to better face North as they continued this conversation in the car. “We could have asked Stan. He’s our warehouse manager. But it’s Friday night, and he’s off for the weekend. Normally he checks the manifests, sends the paperwork my way, then arranges delivery to the customers.”

“So who checked off this excess shipment? And, if it was Stan, why wasn’t he alerted to it?”

“That’s a good question. I did ask him, but he had to take off right away. He told me that he’d get back to me. I never really got a chance to ask him again. But I presume because the Only the Best company always orders thirty cases, they assumed it was a second thirty this time. I just figured someone messed up somewhere.”

“Obviously somebody did,” North said. “The question is who and on which side.”

“I want to know what’s inside those boxes,” she said in a hard voice. “I want to confirm that whatever is being imported and exported is completely legal.”

“Do these come in trucks across the channel, or are they shipped over some other way?”

“Trucks. And we do a ton of paperwork to get it all to happen free and clear. This Brexit stuff will be a nightmare of paperwork for us. So, at the moment, it’s all still operating the same way. If England does eventually leave the EU, I’m sure the paperwork will be completely messed up for a while. But our company won’t be in business by then.” She stared at North. “How long will we wait here? This isn’t what we came for.”

He looked at her and smiled, his white teeth flashing in the darkness. In a gentle voice he said, “We’re waiting for Anders to get back and to tell us the coast is clear.”

Startled, she turned to look behind her into the back seat, but it was empty. She twisted to look at North again. “I didn’t even hear him leave.” North nodded. “Anders is like that. He’s very good at his job. And so am I.”

She sagged back into the driver’s seat, wondering when Anders could possibly have exited the vehicle without her knowing. “The interior light didn’t turn on.”

“No, it didn’t,” he said. “I disabled it while you were driving.”

She shot him another look. “I didn’t see you do that either,” she said quietly.

He held up a small machine in his hand. “With these new vehicles it’s more computer codes than anything overtly physical. I’ll fix it once we’re out of here. But, if we had opened the door, somebody would have noticed the light when we arrived.”

“We’re still blocks away,” she protested. “Otherwise what was the point of stopping here?”

“We were likely already being watched when we turned the corner back there, as it is a straight shot from there to the warehouse. So, as long as we’re just sitting here, people are likely to think we came here to hang out together.”

She gave a violent head shake. “No way we would use this as a necking point if you were a local. This is not a good area of town.”

“You mean, to cuddle?” He pivoted, snagged her in his arms and half dragged her until she was sitting in his lap. “That’s an excellent idea.”

She gasped and tried to wiggle away.

He whispered, “Don’t. We are being watched. You need to know that.” She didn’t need to know it would either be Anders or MI6.

She sagged against North, wrapped her arms around his chest and asked, “Are you sure?”

“Very sure,” he said. And he kissed her.
Mayer, Dale. North’s Nikki: A SEALs of Honor World Novel (Heroes for Hire Book 15) (pp. 49-53). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.>

What they find in the warehouse is more than just the crates. Three men were there also. It wasn’t hard to guess they were there to move the merchandise.

I really love the way North and Anders handle evidence and what information they pass to MI6 through Jonas. They need to know exactly how deep and dangerous this trouble is. So they keep a sample of what they find for themselves.

North and Nikki’s attraction takes off after their visit to the warehouse, leading her to think returning to the US is something she could do. I definitely got a kick out of the way Charles and Nikki both handle Jonas.

I find I love Charles’ home, there’s far more than meets the eye as the danger escalates to his home.

This is a page-turning read with action and suspense, lots of interesting décor, and that simmer to sizzle romance I love.

I also loved the lead in to the next book Ander’s Angel, that is next on my TBR pile.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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.


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Troy – SEALs of Honor Book 24 By Dale Mayer


Troy
SEALs of Honor Book 24
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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When a friend of Tesla’s sends out an SOS on the lowdown on an oil rig in trouble, Troy has a good idea what he’s getting into. As far as he is concerned, the maximum danger, the potential for betrayal, and the chances of not coming home sounded like the right kind of job for him.

After all, he lived alone. So going into these situations with no family to worry about him made him the ideal candidate—until he meets someone at the oil rig who suddenly makes him see his future in a different life.

Berkley knew something dangerous was going on. No way this oil rig hadn’t been sabotaged. She’d requested to remain with the skeleton crew until her help arrived. And was surprised at the size of the team that showed up to assist her.

Who knew it would take all of them to get to the bottom of this mess and to keep them alive, as human nature and Mother Nature combined to take them all out.

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Mason’s SEALs frequently get interesting assignments but this one truly grabbed me as unique. An oil rig off the Alaskan coast is in trouble, suspected sabotage, and the programmer who sent the SOS is a friend of Tesla. Did I mention rough seas and a storm heading their way?

A six man team, two covert, Dane and France, two as crew, Axel and Troy with Mason and Nelson as representatives of corporate head out joined but an actual corporate rep. What they find on arrival is not at all expected.

Berkley needs to let the team know there are cameras watching their every move so she plans a way to corner them.

This is a favorite scene.

As they stood here, looking at the crossroads of the hallways, wondering which direction to go, Troy heard a sound to the left. He turned to see a tall, lean brunette with her hair stuck in a clip at the top of her head, motioning at him. He walked toward her quietly, Axel pushing him faster. She motioned inside a room and disappeared ahead of them. As soon as they stepped inside, she shut the door behind him.

“Berkley?”

She smiled up at Axel. “Hey, am I ever glad to see you.”

He reached out and gave her a gentle hug, which she seemed more than happy to accept.

Troy was struck by the moment, wondering, and then realized that it wasn’t anything. But because Berkley was a close friend of Tesla’s, she likely knew all of them. Except for him. “And I’m Troy,” he said quietly. “I think we’ve met, but it’s been a while.”

She smiled. “Well, we’ve been at the same parties,” she said, “but I don’t think we met.”

“I’m sorry then,” he said in surprise. “But, if it was at Mason’s, sometimes it can get to be quite a crush.”

“It was, indeed, at Mason’s,” she said, chuckling. “So listen. Things here are ugly.”

“Can you tell us what happened?” Axel said.

“First off, you have to understand that you were picked up on cameras,” she said. “That’s the only reason I know you are here. Jonesy has been monitoring the cameras on the rig and caught sight of you. He got pretty agitated and upset about it.”

“Why?”

“New crew,” she said. “Everybody is on edge. Nobody knows what the deal is, what happened, whether it was sabotage or not. Although they’re not talking either.”

“And yet you seem to think it was sabotage?”

“Definitely it was,” she said. She pulled something from her pocket and held it out to Axel.

He looked at it and frowned. “Part of a C-4 package,” he said, and his gaze hardened as he looked at her. “Where did you find it?”

“Heading to the number one drill that blew up,” she said. “It was tucked at the bottom of the ramp.”

“Nobody else saw it?”

“I don’t think so,” she said. “There was so much chaos, and everybody was racing back and forth. Only later, when I went to take a quiet look, did I see it jammed down on the corner.”

“But how did it get there?”

Berkley shrugged.

Troy studied the paper inside and out. “But any sign of C-4 on a rig like this, especially in one of those drill locations—”

“Exactly,” she said. “And maybe they do keep it around. I don’t know. But there was no need for it to be an open package at the site where we had an explosion.”

“Anything else?” Axel asked, tucking the piece into his pocket.

“I saw in my data,” she said, “that a hacker’s been going through some of the emails. I’m running scans right now to see what files he’s been after. So far it seems innocuous, which makes me very worried.”

“Wondering if it’s a cover for a Trojan or something more devious?”

“Yes,” she said. “I’m not the only one working on electronics here. We have a programmer, Bruce, who’s been tracking the electronics controlling the pumps and doing analyses on those. And then we have Jonesy, who’s not necessarily a programmer, but he’s been doing a lot of the same work I was doing, prior to me arriving. So he’s kind of stuck himself to me as my friend, but I think he’s sticking close to see what I know.”

“In order to take your job? Or to see what you might find and whether or not he’s in trouble?”

“No real way to know,” she said. “There are six crewmen total, plus Daniel, the foreman, and Denny, who does the cooking, and I’m the ninth on the rig.”

“I’m surprised you were allowed to stay.”

“I’m the one who needed to stay,” she said. “I definitely found hacking throughout the system.”

“What could a hacker do on a rig like this?” Troy asked, puzzled.

“Cause the chaos he already did,” she said.

“And yet C-4 could easily have caused the chaos anyway.”

“Exactly,” she said. “So, no, I don’t have any answers. What I do know is that somebody has been into the computer files, and somebody blew up one of the drills on this rig.”

“Okay, do you have any suspects?” Axel asked.

“There’s one guy. I call him Idiot but not to his face. His name is Phil. He’s one of the guys here who gives me a lot of trouble,” she said.

“What kind of trouble?” Axel asked.

She took a deep breath. “He’s, … well, he’s the female-beating kind,” she said, “but he’s also one of those power-mad people, who thinks that nobody else can do a job but him. He feels that my job is useless, and, since I’ve been here and haven’t found anything regarding the explosion, I should just take myself off the rig.”

“Outside of personal feelings,” Troy interrupted, “does he have access to do any of the hacking stuff?”

“Anybody with a laptop could gain access,” she said mildly. She glared at him. “And it’s not personal. This guy is one freaky dude.”

“Big, mean, tough?”

“Slimy, skinny, sleazy. But something’s dead in his gaze.”

At that, Troy stopped and slowly nodded. “I’ve known guys like that,” he said quietly.

“I don’t want to know any more,” she said. “Honestly, the worst thought in my mind is that they’re all part of it somehow.”

Troy let out a slow whistle. “That would be a pretty major conspiracy theory.”

“Maybe,” she said, “and I get that it’s probably not fair to everybody here, but Chucky and Winslow are both oddballs. They’ve been working the rigs for fifty years, I swear to God. Probably only forty, I guess. But, listening to them, it’s been at least seventy.”

Axel cracked a grin at that. “And we all know guys like that too,” he said, “but what benefit does anybody get out of blowing up the rig?”

She took a deep breath. “The company was bringing in a new management control team. They would get rid of a lot of people here who were troublemakers.”

“What kind of troublemakers?”

She winced.

“Come on. Fess up. Let’s hear it all,” Troy said impatiently.

She glared at him. “You forget,” she said, “that I’m an outsider. I’m not one of the crew and a part of things.”

“And you’re female,” he said.

She gave a clipped nod. “Exactly. Three other women were on board, but they’re all gone now.”

“Why did they leave?”

Her glare upped in wattage. “Sexual harassment and— well— rape.” Her words landed into a heavy silence in the small room.
Dale Mayer. Troy (Kindle Locations 340-397). Valley Publishing.

So many things are going on, with the storm complicating things left and right. The discovery of bodies just adds to the suspense and intrigue surrounding the problems on the rig.

I couldn’t put this book down, I was drawn into the story right from the beginning. So many horrible revelations about life on this particular rig, and the things that come out implicate many.

In spite of this or perhaps because of it, Troy and Berkley flirt and he becomes her protector as things get crazier. A simmer to sizzle romance in all the chaos and deceit.

I truly can’t wait to see what sort of mission will grab hold of me in the next book.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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.


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Liam’s Lily – Heroes for Hire Book 15 by Dale Mayer


Liam’s Lily
Heroes For Hire Book 15
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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When former Navy SEAL Liam O’Brian joins Legendary Securities, he looks forward to being shipped somewhere exciting for his first mission with Levi and his crew. Instead, he learns exotic and enormous aren’t exactly synonymous when he stumbles upon the oversized pachyderms inhabiting his new backyard. Still, conflicts are universal and Liam’s troubles are only just beginning once he finds himself falling for a woman deeply rooted in her family’s livelihood and problems.

Go-getter Lilianna Howell is a biologist who believes all problems can be reduced to minor ones if only they’re nipped in the bud early enough. When her dad can no longer deal with the loss of his son and his detachment threatens the elephant reserve, Lilianna steps into a much larger role, handling the marketing and fundraising. Being close to her sister and her husband–once Lilianna’s fiancé–forces her to struggle with distrust from that past experience and a growing attachment to a man who appears in her life like a dream come true.

Mammoth issues escalate as Liam and Lilianna team up to save the gentle giants, their newfound love… and their own lives.

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As this book opens Brandon and Kasha arrive and get to say hello to Liam before they ship out again with Rory. Liam and Nelson however are heading to an animal reserve in Texas. Levi has gotten involved at the request of Gunner, who was contacted by one of the daughters of the owner.

There’s a lot involved here and the only one who isn’t pleased about their appearance is Brianna. Lilianna is the one who called Gunner and her sister doesn’t want them there at all.

It seems at least part of the key is Lilianna’s father, Jim Howell, and the condition he’s in since his son died in a fire. The visit they make suddenly becomes extended, with Gunner providing a new specialist and lawyer to Lilianna. It seems the family lawyer has been in the process of doing the paperwork required for Brianna to have general power of attorney. Lilianna just has POA over her father’s medical care.

Now as much as these events get interesting right from the start it’s the events of the next morning that will have you turning the pages faster. With the discontinuing her father’s medications he wakes far more lucid than he’s been in months.

This is a favorite scene.

Just then they heard a series of enduring sniffles and light snorts coming from the bed. Lilianna hopped to her feet and rushed to her father. Liam joined her at the end of the bed.

There was a little more color in her father’s face, a little more life to his movements. Her father rolled to his back and opened his eyes. He gave a sigh as if not happy with what he saw.

“Father?”

Jim turned to look at her. He smiled. “Brianna.”

She stepped forward and, with a misty smile, said, “No, Dad, it’s Lilianna.”

He frowned, searched her gaze, then lay back down on the bed, reaching up to rub his face. “I never could tell you apart.” He looked over at Lilianna, his eyebrows raised.

She shrugged. “You used to be pretty good at it, Dad. You always said there was such a fundamental difference between us that it was pretty easy to tell us apart.”

He frowned at her. “That was before,” he said briskly. “I don’t think it was recent.”

She didn’t argue with him, just patted his hand. “How was your night?”

He looked around, but a confused look was in his eyes. “Fine.” He half sat up on the bed. “Why are you here?”

“You don’t remember us coming last night?” she asked softly.

Her father frowned. He looked from her to Liam, and his frown deepened. “Who are you?”

“A friend of Gunner’s,” Liam said gently but fast enough that he cut off Lilianna’s answer.

Jim’s face eased back. He nodded. “Good man.”

Lilianna was overjoyed her father was talking. He was closer to what he’d been months ago.

There was still some confusion, but he was throwing it off rather well. He sat up, tossed back the bedcover and said, “You shouldn’t be here this early. I’m not even dressed.”

“For the last few weeks, maybe longer, Dad, they haven’t bothered dressing you at all.”

He sat and stared at her. “Who is they?”

She sent a worried glance to Liam, and he put an arm around her shoulders.

“You’re still in the same assisted-care home,” Lilianna said quietly. It broke her heart to see the fear and confusion in the man’s eyes as he glanced around.

“How long have I been like this?” he asked. He reached out a hand, but it was trembling.

Liam stepped forward. “Quite a while. You had an argument with a nurse several months back. After that they gave you medication to calm you down and make you easier to get along with.”

He closed his eyes and sat there for a long moment.

Liam asked, his voice low, “Do you want to walk to the bathroom yourself or do you want a hand?”

Lilianna’s father’s eyes opened up. There was still confusion and a lack of trust. But they settled on Liam. “How do you know Gunner?”

“I work for Levi. Logan works with me.”

Her father’s shoulders sagged. He reached up a hand; Liam gently pulled him to his feet and supported him as he walked over to the bathroom. He went into the bathroom and shut the door.

Liam turned to look at Lilianna, seeing the dismay on her face. “You should be happy. He appears to be throwing off the drugs faster than we expected.”

She stared at Liam. “If he’s like this now, would he have been like this the last four months?”

He shrugged. “I don’t know for sure, but I’d say yes.”

She clapped a hand over her mouth. “The difference is night and day. He’s a very willful man. That’s why it was so damn hard to see him go down the way he did. Yet I understood. We lost Keith too,” she said tearfully. “But it was so hard to watch Dad give up like that.”

“I wonder how much he gave up on his own and how much other people helped him,” Liam said in a dark tone.

She cast him a sideways glance. “I don’t like what you’re implying.”

“You haven’t liked anything I’ve had to say in the last twenty-four hours. That doesn’t mean I’m wrong to say it.”

She winced. “No, you’re right. I do need to hear it, and we do need to get to the bottom of this. But, so far, all you’ve said is that my brother-in-law went into my cabin and searched it. Well, potentially my brother-in-law. There are other men on the place.”

“Exactly.”

She pulled the hair tie from her hair, letting waves of long dark hair hang down; then she ran her fingers through it as she sat down on the edge of her father’s bed. “I need a shower, a change of clothes and some answers,” she said determinedly. She glanced out the window. “Where is North?”

“Standing watch at the cabin still.”

“Why bother now?” she asked. “Somebody has already been there. Surely not more than one person would search it.”

“I can’t be sure of that. Would anybody else know you weren’t there? Could your sister have told someone else?”

She shrugged. “My sister could’ve told someone, and, of course, anybody who works here in the home could have seen both of us here.”

He nodded. “I talked to Katie. She said that generally this place has no problems. It’s considered to have a very high quality of care.”

Lilianna nodded. “Which is why I trusted them with my father,” she said sadly. “Maybe I shouldn’t have.”

“Let’s just say, it’s a good thing that we’re doing what we’re doing now.”
Mayer, Dale. Liam’s Lily: A SEALs of Honor World Novel (Heroes for Hire Book 14) (pp. 95-99). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

As more people show up in her father’s room Lilianna and Liam begin facing the challenges of the day. Lawyers, Specialists and Gunner get more involved and a visit from Brianna is just what you’d expect.

I couldn’t put this book down as this all unfolds and the attraction Liam and Lilianna have for each other cumulates to something more.

Complete with a bit of a conversation that North has with Ice as the lead in to the next book, North’s Nikki.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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.


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Stroke of Death -Psychic Visions Book 17 by Dale Mayer


Stroke of Death
Psychic Visions Book 17
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Cayce’s art is well-known and respected among her peers, and, as such, has spawned forgers, copycats … and enemies. But when her favorite model and best friend is murdered—the masterpiece painted on her skin cut off her body—Cayce knows she’s up against a collector of a very different sort.

Detective Richard Henderson doesn’t know much about art, but he knows what he likes. Of all the art mixed up in this case, it is the artist, Cayce, who fascinates him the most. While he understands her work contains an element of something extraordinary, he just doesn’t know what that is exactly or how she embodies it in her creative works of art.

But, when other models show up dead, with more souvenirs taken from their bodies, both the artist and the detective realize much more is involved in this than just Cayce’s art … It’s all about Cayce’s soul.

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Cayce is an artist with a unique gift, she does mural size masterpieces and incorporates models into the scene. The models disappear into it until the moment they are to move away. Cayce’s gift is more than this though, she calls upon positive energy when she paints using it to create with the perfect colors and blending.

As this book opens the client has insisted on a new model, Naomi exudes negativity and Cayce is having trouble getting around that but she manages, and reaches a point for a break for both herself and the model.

It’s then a visitor enters the area, something that Cayce hates since it interferes with the energy and this stranger has a darkness about him. The news he brings devastates Cayce, Elena her bestfriend and favorite model has been murdered and besides her life the killer took something else. That something is not only part of Elena but of Cayce as well.

Detective Richard Henderson is assigned to the case and with so few clues he turns to the artist as he talks to other friends of Elena.

This is a favorite scene.

Cayce had been working three hours already. She had this massive, expansive wall— twenty by sixty feet. It wasn’t that she particularly liked this size, but it was something she was certainly capable of doing. She put the roller back down and relaxed her shoulders, rotating them and her neck to ease up the tension. She had a base color on the back wall, and she had the sky with the clouds working in. She was doing the foreground in this one, and that was tougher— a fantasy forest winter design.

“That’s quite a job,” a man said behind her.

Cayce stiffened, then turned to look at Detective Richard Henderson. “Are you back to bug me some more?”

“Do I bug you?”

She narrowed her gaze at him. “What do you want?”

“I have a few more questions,” he said. He looked at the many trays of paint all around her. “Good Lord,” he said. “Are you really doing this whole wall?”

She shrugged her shoulders several times, again feeling her muscles cramp. “Yes, and I have to do the background first, before I start doing any of the fine detail.”

“And how long does something like this stay up?”

“Weeks, months sometimes,” she said. She walked to where she’d placed her coffee, realizing it was lukewarm at best right now. She took a big slug, nearly spitting it out. “Back to the questions, Detective,” she said pointedly.

She was caught by the way the light played along his cheekbones. Just the way he stood there. She moved a little to the left, so she could take a look at him from a different angle. Her mind immediately filled in all the details of this man and realized he had unforgettable features. But, of course, that sent her mind spinning, only to wonder what the rest of him looked like. Just from a model’s perspective, she assured herself.

He frowned at her. “What are you looking at?”

“Your cheekbones,” she said bluntly. His eyebrows shot up, and she grinned. “I am an artist.”

He shrugged uncomfortably and said, “Well, I won’t be part of your installations anytime soon.”

She nodded, smiled, and said, “That’s fine too, considering you weren’t invited anyway. So, questions?”

He glared at her. “Joe Johnson.”

“Good model,” she said instantly. “I really like him.”

“Personally?”

“No,” she said. “Not personally. But he’s a very good model. He could hold the position and stand for a long time, but he wasn’t cut out for the actual cutthroat part of the business.”

“Isn’t that a little hard to believe?”

“Every business is cutthroat, if somebody stands to gain a ton of money,” she said. “There are always markers that define success, fame, or wealth. But knowing that your face will be on every magazine is a thrill for a lot of people.”

“True,” he said, “and Joe wasn’t cut out for it?”

“No, not at all,” she said. “But that didn’t stop him from being damn good at what he did.”

“Would you use him again, if you had a chance?”

“I don’t body-paint men very often,” she said, “but, yes, I would.”

“And did Elena have anything to do with him?”

“You’d have to ask him,” she said. Cayce hated talking about her friends, particularly the ones who were no longer here to answer any questions.

“We have to pry into Elena’s life,” he said gently. “Somebody took it from her. No way I’ll let that happen to anybody else.”

Her eyes widened as she thought about that. She took several steps forward, her voice dropping as she whispered, “Do you think other models are in danger?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “You tell me. Was this dedicated just to her, or is there something about her that somebody wanted?”

“It depends if they were trying to kill her for revenge,” she said, “or if it was because of the masterpiece.”

“Why do you keep calling it a masterpiece?”

“Not because I’m an egotist,” she snapped, “but because it was a copy of a masterpiece that she was in.”

He stopped, stared, and said, “Really?”

She nodded. “A van Gogh.”

“Oh, God,” he said. “That adds a whole new layer of shit to the case.”

She nodded slowly.

“We have to get to the bottom of this and fast. Do you have any other masterpieces coming up?”

She stared at him in horror; then she nodded slowly. “Tomorrow night,” she said. “I’m doing one tomorrow night.”

He waved at the wall behind her. “This one?”

She shook her head immediately. “No. I’m doing one at the big art museum,” she said. “It’s different. We’re bringing in the canvases that will be the backdrop, and then the models in the front. So, I’m doing them in pieces.”

“Not that I even begin to understand that,” he said, “but I’ll have some added security on the place.”

“You can do that,” she said, “but will you look after my model too? I don’t want her to turn out to be a second masterpiece for some creep collector who’s found something new to collect.”
Dale Mayer. Stroke of Death (Kindle Locations 554-597). Valley Publishing.

One of the things I love about these books is we get a look at the bad guy, not the name but insight into the twisted reasoning.

As more bodies turn up so does Sebastian, I love the way he just pops into the fray. This case has intertwined with one Sebastian is working on so the stakes are even higher. Richard has to embrace his talents as does Cayce as this nail-biting story continues.

Plenty of suspense, intrigue and a simmer to sizzle romance.

I had started this series in the middle and I am now going back to the beginning. I really need to know more about the characters that show up to help in every book.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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.


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Nico – The Mavericks Book 8 By Dale Mayer


What happens when the very men—trained to make the hard decisions—come up against the rules and regulations that hold them back from doing what needs to be done? They either stay and work within the constraints given to them or they walk away. Only now, for a select few, they have another option:

The Mavericks
A covert black ops team that steps up
and breaks all the rules …
but gets the job done.

Welcome to a new military romance series by USA Today best-selling author Dale Mayer. A series where you meet new friends and just might get to meet old ones too in this raw and compelling look at the men who keep us safe every day from the darkness where they operate—and live—in the shadows … until someone special helps them step into the light.

Nico
The Mavericks Book 8
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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With barely enough time to recover from helping out Miles in London, Nico is off to Australia … and a secret mission involving a US covert operative …

When an American undercover operative’s sister goes missing in Australia, Nico has to find out if this is connected to the operative or to the sister’s own activist background. Apparently she made enemies easily.

Charlotte hadn’t wanted to make this trip in the first place, preferring to communicate her polarizing messages through writing her books now. But, bowing under pressure, she finally arrives in Australia, only to be attacked within minutes of reaching her hotel room for the night. After her rescue, she’s forced to dig deep into her family and public life to find the mastermind kidnapper and to stay safe as the bodies pile up.

Nothing makes sense in this twisted mission, but Nico is determined to keep Charlotte safe, even as things take a more personal turn …

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As seems to be usual, Nico gets called for a job not long after the last one was completed. Charlotte Ankerby, an anthropologist and an activist for indigenous people around the world, has gone missing. In Australia to give the keynote speech at a rally she’s disappeared without a trace. The problem is they don’t know if it’s because of her undercover brother, or her own activities.

Nico’s partner is Keane, and they begin with investigating the hotel. Something tells them she isn’t far, they just have to figure out where. They figure laundry was the way and decide to question the folks down there.

This is a favorite scene.

Charlotte had been moved from the truck to another laundry cart. Like, what the hell was with that? She was being pushed even now down a hallway. She had no idea why all kinds of discussions were going on in front of her, but one of those was about a helicopter. She wondered exactly who and what was going by helicopter because, if it was her, that wasn’t good news. That would mean she had pissed off somebody really big. She groaned silently.

She wanted the companies to do more, and she wanted the governments to do more. But what she really wanted most was for the world to wake up and to pay attention. To everything— the people, the animals, the climate, and the planet. But, of course, everybody was addicted to their instant conveniences and were happy to stick their heads in the sand about any future generations’ problems and make it a not me problem. She shifted uneasily in the bottom of the bag only to have the top of her head smacked, hard. “Don’t move.”

She took several deep calming breaths. She was covered with laundry and hadn’t really thought anybody would notice, but maybe it made the bag itself move. She stuck a finger along the edge and waggled it. Could somebody else see it? But she did not want the man pushing her to know.

Using her feet, she set up a slight rhythm on the end of the laundry cart. At least the guy pushing her wouldn’t see that. And, with the swaying as they moved forward, it should cover her movements. So far, she hadn’t even heard anybody in the hallway. How did that work? Sure, it was probably late at night again, at least by her estimation, but she was losing track of time. They’ve given her several bathroom breaks, but somebody stood guard each time, watching her.

The first time it made her feel really icky. The second time had been a matter of urgency and she’d been just too damn grateful that she hadn’t worried as much about them watching her. She had muttered Pervert as he walked past though and had been cuffed on the side of the head for that comment. Still, it hadn’t beaten her spirits down too badly.

As long as they were on the move, surely somebody, anybody might see them by chance. The cart jolted as it took a sudden turn. She listened intently, and, sure enough, she heard footsteps up ahead. She didn’t know if it was just one person or not. She also didn’t know if that person would help her or if it was somebody meeting this guy.

“Hey, you still on duty?”

“Last load,” said the guy pushing her cart.

“Man, it’s late for you.”

“I know, right? But the place is a nuthouse.”

“If only I had a share of the money that this hotel was pulling in,” the new guy said enviously. His footsteps continued to walk on past ever-so-slightly.

She again used her foot to make it look like something moved inside the cart, but he hadn’t even seemed to notice. She sank back, feeling hot tears in her eyes. Something in that new voice had her desperate to try to jump out though. But then, if it got her killed, what good would that do? And then suddenly she heard the voice call out, “Hey, by the way, where are you taking that laundry hamper to?”

“It’s going up to the penthouse. Why?” asked the guy pushing her. She could hear the tension running through his voice like a coiled wire stretched too tight.

“I didn’t think that was part of your job.”

“What the hell do you know about my job?” the guy said defensively.

“Well, for one, the penthouse doesn’t get laundry carts like that,” the guy said in a dry tone. “And, for another, you’re well past your shift.”

“I’m not. I still have ten minutes left.”

“Yeah, well, let me see what’s inside your laundry cart.”

“What the hell do you care, man?”

“I care,” he said, “so just shut it and let me see.”

“It’s fucking laundry. But sure, if you’re into laundry, go for it. Here. Come on over and take a look.”

If the guy bent over, she knew what would happen. Her kidnapper would hit this poor person if she didn’t do something. She struggled to move underneath the laundry, but it seemed to be at the same time that they were lifting up laundry above her. She screamed behind her gag, a sound that she swore was yelling at top decibels but came out as a muted moan.

And then she heard the new guy say, “Hey, what the hell is this?”

Her kidnapper said, “You fucking asshole, get out of my business.”

She heard a blow hit. She tried to sit up and push off all the laundry that had been put on top of her. She felt some of it giving way. She reached for the edge of the hamper and tried to stand, sending the rest of the laundry all over the floor. She fell over the side of the hamper to the floor, completely caught up in the laundry.

As the two men fought, she scrambled to stand, when suddenly somebody picked her up and threw her over his shoulder, and she was carried down the hallway. She tried to scream and wiggle free but then she was in an elevator. She moaned and fought, her body struggling hard as she tried to head-bang him away.

Then she was set on her feet, and the binding around her mouth was ripped free, and a voice asked, “Are you Charlotte?”

She nodded, staring in the dimly lit elevator to see who it was. She felt a little reassured that the doors to the elevator remained open.

“You’re safe now,” he said.

She stared up, her gaze widening. “Who are you?” she whispered.

“My name is Nico. My partner’s attacking your kidnapper right now.”

She shook her head and frantically said, “He’s only one of four. You have to help him.”

“Help my buddy? No, somebody needs to help your kidnapper,” he said. Just then another man came into the elevator, pushing the laundry cart.

As she stared down, her kidnapper was facing up, but he was unconscious. “Is he dead?” she whispered.

The new arrival just grinned and shook his head, pushing a button on the elevator to close the doors and to get it moving now.

As she stood here, shivering and trembling at the sudden change of her circumstances, she said, “If you don’t clean up all that laundry out there, somebody’ll notice.”

“Yeah. They’ll notice and blame him.”

Before she could process it, her arms were separated from her bindings. She groaned as Nico dropped her arms gently to her side. She shuddered with pain, but her rescuer rubbed the top of each of her arms all the way down to her hands. She looked to see the knife he’d used to separate the duct tape. She whispered, “Thank you. I thought my arms had died.”

“No problem. It’s always rough at first, when trying to get the blood flowing again,” he said, a note of apology in his voice. “Take the rest of the bindings off while I cut your feet apart.” He quickly separated the tape at her ankles and ripped it off. She’d been wearing slip-on sandals and Capri jeans, so the duct tape had left a raw red band on her skin. But she barely felt it with all the blood rushing to her extremities. Just being upright made her a bit dizzy. She huddled against the corner as she slowly tried to get the rest of duct tape off her wrists.

When he straightened and looked at her, he said, “I’m sorry. It’ll hurt, but it’s much better this way.” And he grabbed one hand, then he grabbed her wrist, and he just ripped. She cried out in pain, but he did it again. She stared up at him, her eyes wounded and her mouth open, knowing that the odd keening sound was coming from her, but she was unable to stop it.

Immediately he pulled her into his arms and just held her close. “It’s okay. You’re safe now.”

She collapsed against him, tears pouring down her cheeks. “Why did they choose me?” she whispered. “Why me?”

“We’re trying to figure that out,” he said. “Maybe when he wakes up, he’ll have a few answers for us.”

“Aren’t you taking him to the police?”

“Nah,” the second guy said. “Don’t really feel like helping the police out on this one.”

She stared up at him, a little nervous and confused. “Are you not the police?”

The man shook his head. “No,” he said, “but you’re safe with us.”

She bit her bottom lip. “Am I though? I’m not exactly sure about that.”

“Well, you’re no longer tied up, and we’ve taken out your kidnapper, so maybe you could rethink that.”

She blinked slightly, trying to figure out just what had happened. “If you’re not the police,” she said, her voice gaining in strength, “who are you?”

“We’re military, Special Ops,” the first guy said. “US Navy. And we came here to collect you.”

She stared at him. “Okay,” she said slowly. “But you’re a long way from home.”

“That’s quite true,” he said, handing her a burner phone. “Should we get separated, use only this phone to communicate with only me. My number’s the only one in the Contacts list.”

She numbly stuck the phone in her jeans pocket, frowning.

Just then the elevator came to a stop, and one guy backed out, pulling his laundry cart with her kidnapper still in it. The other one grabbed her arm, following his partner, and said, “Come on. Let’s go.”
Dale Mayer. Nico (Kindle Locations 561-635). Valley Publishing Ltd..

This is only the beginning as they end up with far more questions than answers. Even once they get Charlotte home, there’s much to figure out.

Lot’s of suspense and intrigue, a family reunion and a simmer to sizzle romance that I love so much!

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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.


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Amazon Author Page

Brandon’s Bliss – Heroes for Hire Book 14 By Dale Mayer


Brandon’s Bliss
Heroes for Hire Book 14
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Brandon, the newest member of Levi’s team at Legendary Securities, heads to Africa. Bullard purchased a new holding there, but, shortly after arriving, went missing.

Kasha has worked for Bullard for five years. She’s familiar with most of those who work for Legendary as well. Brandon proves his worth almost immediately, planning her boss’s rescue and staying right by her side in the days that follow while they determine what imbroglio Bullard’s stepped into. Accident or a deal gone horribly wrong, it seems Bullard was running guns and now his newest holding is under attack.

Their emotions, heightened by danger, run hot as Brandon positions himself instinctively at Kasha’s side–which is exactly where he hopes to be permanently if they can just find a way out of this rapidly escalating mess.

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Brandon had only been at Legendary Security for two days when the call came in that Bullard was missing. A group of them had gone to check out their latest acquisition but Bullard stayed behind wanting to check out a couple more things before returning. When the plane arrived to take him home there was no sign of him anywhere.

Kasha is the one who called, and while not pleased with their time frame knew that was the best they could do. Merk and Stone would travel from their location in Europe, Brandon and Harrison would leave ASAP from Texas.

On arrival they meet Kasha and have a quick meal before taking off again for Bullard’s new property. The place looks like a medieval castle, with stone walls surrounding the huge building complete with parapets surrounding the rooftop walkways. Kasha confidently leads them through the security and once the command center is up she runs a scan of the property which shows heat signals. Although they are too small to be Bullard they couldn’t dismiss them. Merk and Brandon check them out with Kasha following their every move. They find a couple of interesting things, including the cook Bullard hired from the village. However still no sign of Bullard.

With the initial search of the five floors of the house done they move to the garage to discover the truck that came with the property gone. Fortunately all the vehicles have GPS locators on them.

Leaving Stone with Kasha and the cook, the guys leave hoping to find Bullard.

This is a favorite scene.

Brandon didn’t argue. He hit Reverse, backed down the large ramp and turned around.

He could see Stone and Kasha arguing in his rearview mirror. Given the circumstances, he fully agreed with Stone staying back. The last sight he saw was Stone crossing his arms over his chest and just staring at Kasha.

Brandon chuckled. “I don’t think she liked that much.”

“It doesn’t matter if she liked it or not,” Merk said. “There’s no way we come here to rescue Bullard and get Kasha kidnapped or killed in the process.”

“Keep in mind we don’t know how many men we’ll be up against in the village,” Harrison commented.

“And keep in mind Kasha has weapons training. Bullard trained her himself,” Merk said. “He wanted to ensure she could handle herself when he was away. I know he was contemplating basing her here, but she didn’t want to come this far out.”

“I heard she was looking to head back to the US again,” Harrison said.

“Have you guys worked with her before?” Brandon asked.

“A couple times. She’s good people.” Merk held up a cell phone. “The GPS is showing the tracker on the missing vehicle.”

“Good. What a world we live in where everything can be reduced to a screenshot on a phone held in our hands.”

“It could be that Bullard was taken and even killed for the vehicle. In this area, that relic of a pickup still runs and is worth gold to them, whether they keep it or intend to sell it,” Harrison noted. “Whoever has the truck may not want to give it up either.”

“I don’t give a shit what they would like,” Brandon said quietly. “That vehicle comes back with us. That’s the only evidence we have that Bullard was here. We can’t take a chance of losing that too.”

“What if Bullard sold it to them?” Harrison asked.

“Then they can take it up with him when he’s back on his feet. In the meantime, we treat them all as if they are against him,” Merk said.

“Well then, we’d better find him. No way will I face his team or ours and tell them we failed,” Brandon added.

Just before they entered town, Brandon could see buildings lining either side of the road. Businesses of some sort. Houses seemed to sit behind the business row but not many. A rise was off to the left. He drove the vehicle to the top, and they hopped out and walked over to the edge to look down on the village. With little to impede their view, it was easy to see Bullard’s vehicle, parked between two houses off the main road. They snuck down the hill on foot and around the back of the houses, then took another couple minutes to work their way around to where the vehicle was.

Brandon had the spare keys in his pocket. What they really wanted was to know what happened to the driver. Merk gave a signal that he was going on ahead with Harrison giving him backup. Brandon snuck around to come up behind the vehicle. He was at the passenger side as he caught sight of a clipboard on the front seat. It had Bull emblazoned on the front. Such a Bullard attitude. Brandon checked underneath and in the back but couldn’t see anything suspicious or noteworthy.

A small adobe hovel was on the right. Crossing over, Brandon sent a short Morse code message via his comm before he slipped inside to find it empty and cold. Nobody had used this place for days if not weeks. Creeping back outside, he crossed to the building on the other side and found the same thing. All the buildings at this end of the village appeared to be deserted. They were in rough condition, but it was interesting that the truck was here. Was the whole village involved or just one or two bad apples? The latter was more likely.

Back outside the other two waited for him. He walked up, motioning to both houses and whispered, “Both clear.”

They nodded, and the three spread out, sticking close, and went on a house-by-house search. Harrison served as a lookout to the rear, while Brandon went inside each one, leaving Merk as the scout going ahead to the next target. There was no sign of anybody for several more houses, but, as they came closer to the main part of town, they could hear English-speaking voices.

“We can’t just keep him here.”

“I say, kill him.”

“You know that’ll just bring more problems down on our heads,” another man snapped. “The others don’t deserve that.”

“It’s Bullard. If we don’t kill him, this won’t end here and now.”
Mayer, Dale. Brandon’s Bliss: A SEALs of Honor World Novel (Heroes for Hire Book 13) (pp. 23-26). Valley Publishing Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

Most frustrating is the protocols Bullard has put in place. They can’t call the plane back early and Bullard’s unconscious. They team find many more interesting things as they search through the house. Something big is going to go down and with no other recourse they call Levi.

Throughout all of this the attraction and respect between Kasha and Brandon grows. It’s Kasha who will have to make the decision of whether to stay with Bullard in Africa or go home to the States and take a chance on a relationship.

Plenty of action in this one, surprises abound with that simmer to sizzle romance I love.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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.


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Weston – K9 Files Book 8 by Dale Mayer


Weston
K9 Files Book 8
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Weston was at an impasse in his life, after hearing about his unknown daughter, who’d already been adopted by another family. Only the father had since passed away… So … accepting the mission to track down the missing, blind-in-one-eye, limping war dog named Shambhala—in Alaska—was exactly where he needed to be to sort out this other issue in his life. Finding the dog turned out to be easier than Weston had expected, but sorting out how and why this dog’s owner’s had been murdered was something else again.

Now a widower, Danielle knew her daughter also needed a father, so she’d contacted Weston, not sure if he even knew of the baby’s existence. When he said he was on the way, she was concerned at what she’d started and that emotion then turned to terror when Sari’s birth mother showed up at Danielle’s doorstep, looking for her daughter again.

Things turn ugly when Weston’s war dog investigation impacts his daughter’s life and her new mother. He must do something, or everything he’s finally found will be lost.


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Weston is a bit restless and the work he’s been doing is okay but he kind of wants more of a challenge. He’s heard about the guys doing some sort of job with dogs and then they don’t come back. He wants in. it just so happens Badger has a dog in Alaska to be checked on. Shambhalla really needs a nice, calm, and loving home. She is blind in one eye and missing a leg.

There’s another reason Weston wants to go home to Alaska, it’s something he’s been putting off for a while.
Apparently he has a daughter, the result of a one night stand. He found out about her from the woman after the child had been adopted. Daniela Rogers the adoptive mother has contacted him. Her husband died and she would like Weston to be part of his daughter’s life if he could see his way clear to that relationship.

Weston didn’t tell Daniela he was coming, yet she was at the airport to pick him up. She also knows he’s here to find a dog, how she knows about that proves to be interesting. Her motivation for picking him up at the airport was simple, to make sure he meets his daughter Sari.

While that meeting was interesting, the real fun was once he finds Shambhala. His daughter has a thing for dogs and it’s cute as can be.

This is a favorite scene with Sari and Shambhala.

“So is this a good thing or a bad thing?” Daniela asked with a laugh, as she joined Weston farther away from the dog.

“It looks like her focus is on Sari,” he said quietly. “I don’t know what would happen if somebody came up and disturbed them.”

“And I don’t want to find out.”

He smiled. “How long do you want to leave Sari out here?”

“I hate to take her away,” she admitted. “She doesn’t have a lot of playmates around her. Plus I think she just adopted Shambhala.”

“That may be,” he said, “but that doesn’t necessarily mean tit’s the right decision to keep the dog. If we even were to get that cleared.”

Daniela walked toward her daughter. “Come on, Sari. Do you want to play in the sandbox?”

Sari turned to look at her and asked, “Doggy come?”

Daniela hesitated.

Weston asked, “Where’s the sandbox?”

“At the park around the corner. It’s got a pretty decent-size sandbox.”

“Why don’t we all go,” he said. “It will give me a chance to see what Shambhala’s training is like.”

“That’s a good idea.” Daniela smiled down at Sari.

“Yes. We’ll take Shambhala to the park.”

Sari squeezed Shambhala and scrambled to her feet, toddling unsteadily toward her mother.

“Doggy, come,” she ordered in a strict tone, directed at the dog. It was so funny to see her voice change as she tried to be an adult, as she tried to mimic Weston’s command.

Weston walked closer to Sari, crouched and said, “When you want the doggy to do something, you look at her in her good eye, reach out with your arm and make this motion, and then you give her the order to come.”

Sari stared at him with her huge eyes, looked back at Shambhala and moved her hand the way she was supposed to and said, “Doggy, come.”

Shambhala looked at Weston and looked at the little girl. then, with her tongue lolling to the side, she hopped to her feet and went over to Sari. As she arrived she gave Sari another lick on the face.

Sari laughed, hanging on to the dog for support, as they walked back toward the stairs. Daniela watched closely completely flabbergasted that the dog would follow the little girl’s commands, but Shambhala seemed to realize she was needed for steadiness. As they went up the steps, she took them at the exact same pace as Sari.

“She’s so good with Sari,” she said in wonder.

“I see that. So let’s take this chance to put Shambhala through her paces, see what else she might know.” With the leash once again attached to her collar, Shambhala hesitated at the door. But when she saw everybody else was getting boots on and walking out the door along with her, she seemed to be totally okay.

“Did you see that? I’m not sure she would be happy to leave without you,” he murmured.

“I don’t think it’s without me/em>,” Daniela said. “It’s without Sari.”

“True enough.”

As they wandered down the lane toward the park, Sari was busy stomping in recent puddles and then picking up rocks, trying to hand them to Shambhala, who would sniff then and keep walking. Weston kept an eye on Shambhala, who appeared to be keeping an eye on Sari.

“For whatever reason,” he said, “she’s in protective mode over Sari.”

“I won’t argue against it,” Daniela said. “I just don’t know how to turn it on and off.”

“There may be no Off button in this case because I don’t think she’s doing this by command. I think she’s doing this because she wants to.”

“Meaning that she cares about Sari?”

“She definitely cares about Sari. A strong bond exists already between them>’

At that, Daniela shook her head. “I don’t know that I’m ready for the commitment to keep a dog, any dog really,” she said. “And I can’t even imagine trying to feed her.”

“Not a discussion for today, that’s for sure.”

“Well, if it doesn’t fit in today, she challenged, “when does it? Because, as far as I know, you’re leaving tomorrow.” She watched him carefully as he hesitated, then looked at her and smiled.

“how would you feel about a houseguest for a week or two?”
Dale Mayer. Weston (Kindle Locations 1155-1191). Valley Publishing Ltd..

The homesteaders Grant and Ginger, who adopted Shambhala died in a landslide. Now Weston wants to make sure there’s no connection to the dog that would come back at Daniela and Sari. Even as he starts investigating a bit more, Daniela gets an email with a threatening tone from Angel, Sari’s birth mother. Weston isn’t going to let Angel hurt Sari, but he still has to sort out his own feelings.

So much to love in this book not the least of which is Shambhala and Sari and their attachment to Weston. There is intrigue and suspense and a bit of action as Daniela and Weston’s relationship begins to simmer until it’s full blown sizzle.

I really can’t wait to read the next book in this series!

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

Click the Cover for Buy Links and More!

Coming Soon!

Dale Mayer

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.

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Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

Rory’s Rose – Heroes For Hire Book 13 by Dale Mayer


Rory’s Rose
Heroes For Hire Book 13
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Dale Mayer

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Rory is an animal lover. In his mind, any veterinarian who does as much pro bono work as Louise, the local vet, deserves his help when she gets into trouble…

Louise works long hours at her own veterinarian clinic. When she receives an unexpected delivery one day, complete with a dead deliveryman, a domino-series of events puts her and her clinic full of precious animals in danger.

Rory is the first to volunteer to keep her safe. Professional reasons quickly become personal. Louise is everything he’s ever wanted and never expected to find in a single woman. He’s looking forward to a future together, and the only way to ensure that is to stop whatever’s endangering her and her animals.

Unfortunately, the killer isn’t leaving a witness to his crimes. At first, Rory and the team at Legendary Securities make headway in discovering what’s going on, but the tables turn in an instant and, for the first time since he joined the team, Rory’s vision of a satisfactory resolution–and happily-ever-after–may not be in the cards.

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Oh my, Levi and Ice’s crew with puppies!!!! That dang near had me drooling. Okay so I was drooling…but seriously…Rory and the puppy Rose is a match made in Levi’s hell.

Louise is their vet and with the number of puppies she couldn’t feed all of them herself so she dropped them off at Levi’s and the guys are seriously in love with the entire litter. Of course Levi keeps saying no to any of them staying, but you and I know better. To be honest I don’t think they’re ever going to go to Anna and Flynn for adoption.

Louise has another problem and she really doesn’t know how to ask for help. It’s Rory who sees it and calls her on it while they were all at dinner. Her response surprised them all.

This is a favorite scene.

Silence fell in the room as others tuned in. Louise looked around nervously, yet she only saw curiosity and acceptance. She settled into her skin somewhat. She hadn’t planned to talk about this, but, having seen this place, knowing the people, there was just something secure and dependable about them.

“I don’t even know what I need.” She winced because that would only bring on more questions. “It’s probably a matter for the authorities anyway.”

Ice was seated on the other side of the table. She leaned over and asked, “What’s a matter for the authorities?”

“I think somebody is mixing up the wrong drugs for animals.”

Silence returned as everyone stared.

“What do you mean?” Levi asked, his voice stern.

Louise took a deep breath. “I got a shipment of drugs from my usual supplier but with different labels on them. When I asked the driver about it, he couldn’t give me a decent explanation. He hurriedly grabbed the case from my arms and reloaded it on the truck. He apologized, saying it was a wrong shipment. Then he was gone damn fast.”

It was probably a mistake to bring it up, but she couldn’t let it go in her head. At least Levi’s team would let her know if she was making something out of nothing. “The thing is, he left one of the cases behind. I tracked it back to the company and called them. They said they didn’t know anything about it. How it was obviously a mistake. I took a closer look. The medicine looked to be in the company’s packaging. As if somebody had opened the packages, dumped the contents of the bottles, filled them with something else, then resealed them.”

“Is that possible?” Ice asked.

“I never thought about it until I ended up with this case. So I’d have said no before, and now I feel like I need to say … maybe,” she admitted.

“What made you think the wrong drugs were inside the containers?”

Rory’s tone was calm, without making it sound like she was making this up. She appreciated that. As such it was easy to answer. “I used to sell a lot of veterinarian supplies. So I do know the company’s products. Plus I use them for my own work. The one I opened had a different texture to the powder. I checked with the company, and they confirmed they haven’t changed their formula. I don’t know if it was my imagination, but I don’t want to use the drugs, just in case, and now I can’t get it out of my mind.”

“Do you still have them?”

Louise nodded. “Yes.”

Silence once again fell in the big dining room. Even Alfred, who just arrived, froze midstep with a tray of something else delicious looking in his hands.

Louise looked around the room and asked, “Why?”

“Several reasons. First, if something is wrong,” Levi said, “we want to make sure the drugs aren’t administered to animals. What color is the substance inside the bottles?”

“That’s part of the problem. When I looked at it, my mind immediately thought of something else. Because it was white.”

“As in cocaine? Heroin?” Levi leaned forward, studying her face intently.

“I don’t know the difference,” she admitted. “I’m not sure about anything. For all I know, it was my imagination. Like, when you notice someone who looks at you in a shifty way, as if they’re nervous, and they just want to get away. As if they realize they’ve made a mistake, and it’s a big one, and they quickly grab and run?” She shook her head. “The delivery man didn’t waste any time leaving the parking lot.”

“What kind of vehicle was he driving?”

“An old delivery truck. I don’t remember what was printed on the side of the truck, but it was one of the standard brown trucks we see everywhere. I didn’t look that closely,” she admitted. “Why would I? And when? After he took off, I couldn’t see anything on the back panel of the vehicle.”

“So, like a pickup truck, a delivery truck or a big semi-truck?” Rory asked beside her.

“One of those smaller panel delivery trucks. But it wasn’t as big as what I’ve seen before.” She frowned, then she shrugged. “I really don’t have any way to measure it. I just gave it a passing glance.”

“But you couldn’t see the license plate when he took off?” Rory asked.

“I didn’t look. I’m not sure if it was even there. The truck was pretty muddy.”

“Do you have security at the clinic?” Ice asked.

Louise turned to look at her in surprise. “Yes. I do. I haven’t checked the feed to see if the truck shows up there or not.”

“Somebody will go back with you. He can take a look, run through the camera feed and look for any sign of a license plate or what kind of truck it was and possibly catch the driver’s face.”

“As for a description, all I can really say is he was Hispanic-looking and dressed in black jeans and a gray T-shirt. I don’t think he spoke English very well.”

“So, no uniform?”

She stared at Rory in surprise. “Actually no. He didn’t have on a uniform.”

The others nodded.

“You really think they’re smuggling drugs? Why deliver them to a vet clinic then?”

“They could also be making regular deliveries, and the shipments got mixed up.”

They asked her dozens more questions, but she was hard-pressed to answer any of them. Finally she stood and said, “I have to get back. I’ve stayed longer than I intended to.”

Rory glanced over at Levi and raised an eyebrow.

Levi nodded. “Rory will follow you back. Give him access to your security feed, and let’s see if he can find anything.”

She hesitated. “Do you really think it’s something serious?”

He gave her a flat stare. “If it is, and you don’t do something about it, it could be bad.”

“In what way?” she protested. “I didn’t have anything to do with it.”

“No, but that is the second issue we didn’t discuss. If one case of the product was left behind, is that driver or his boss coming back after it? If it’s drugs, like cocaine or heroin, it’ll have a high street value. Whoever is moving these drugs will want them back. They’ll retrieve them no matter what they have to do.”

She could do nothing but stare at him. She hadn’t once considered that.

“In other words,” Rory added quietly, “your life is in danger until this is settled.”
Mayer, Dale. Rory’s Rose: A SEALs of Honor World Novel (Heroes for Hire Book 12). Valley Publishing Ltd. Kindle Locations (177-230). Kindle Edition.

Rory stops a break-in but one of the bad guys gets away, not before killing the two Rory had captured. This only emphasizes the need for better security for Louise’s Clinic. A lot of back and forth regarding cost with Ice and Rory then Louise had me giggling. You know they aren’t going to let friends be in harms way.

Lot’s of tension as the body count rises, animal babies abound and there is definitely a cuteness overload with the puppies.

The relationship between Rory and Louise is a simmer to sizzle that is perfect. These two are definitely meant for each other.

I’m going to start the next book in this series, I am almost caught up.

5 Contented Purrs for Dale!

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Dale Mayer

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.


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