NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Hand chosen to work a joint op with the CIA as a Navy deserter, Navy SEAL Chance Reynolds followed the rules, and got burned. Now his best friend is dead, and Chance is stuck with the ‘deserter’ label. The only reason he isn’t rotting in prison is due to the interference from a former retired commander.
He owes the man.
So when a mysterious woman contacts Chance and offers him a job to safely escort the daughter of a murdered scientist to several classified locations across the country, he agrees. Not because of the insane amount of money offered, but to repay the debt to his former commander. Knight, no doubt, had to be the one who tossed his name to the shadowy lady. No way would anyone trust a Navy deserter to protect an asset.
Dana Spencer is no asset.
She’s not the scientist’s daughter either, but she is under orders to keep it a secret and carryout the mission her dear friend and coworker would have…if she weren’t in a coma. Even though Dana hates lying, especially to her handsome, ex-military bodyguard, she has no choice. The fate of millions depends on her deciphering codes left by her friend’s murdered father before his secret NSA work falls into enemy hands.
Dana is unlike any woman Chance has ever known, smart, beautiful, a crack shot, and even though he senses she’s hiding something, he doesn’t bother to fight their crazy chemistry.
Chance deserves to know the truth. He’s kept her safe and amazingly satisfied but will he desert her when he discovers she’s CIA? Between her deceit and an enemy who always seems to be a step ahead, Dana’s not sure if their mission or relationship stands a shadow of a chance.
If you’re following this multi-author serial you’ll know that the mysterious Charley always gets her way. In this book Charley wants Chance Reynolds to take on an assignment. Chance is skeptical and when Charley offers a gesture of good faith, he want’s Luke’s wife Melissa to get the house she’s in a bidding war on. Chance doesn’t believe for a minute that Charley can pull it off. Yet she does and practically within one heartbeat and the next.
Not one to go back on his word, Chance prepares to take on this unknown mission.
Dana Spencer and Dayna Milner met in college and with their similar looks they had lots of fun playing each other. Both young women were recruited by the CIA and work in the Directorate of Science and Technology. Dana shared Warren Milner’s love of puzzles and every time the three of them got together he’d have something coded for her to figure out. The circumstances of Dana playing Dayna now are sobering. Dayna and her father Warren Milner were in a car accident, that has been determined not to be accidental. Dr. Warren Milner died and Dayna is in a medically induced coma they hope speeds her recovery and is being relocated to a more secure venue.
Dr. Milner’s work is top secret and there are many who would like to get their hands on it. The problem is Dr. Milner didn’t trust someone in his lab and has hidden his research. Dana and Dayna’s boss Mr. Jacoby, gives Dana the first clue, which was delivered to Dayna via his office. It had been decoded but they don’t know the location. Dana quickly figures that out, but she’s then put on the assignment to gather each clue and then bring the research to a specified location.
Chase has been assigned as Dana’s bodyguard, only he hasn’t been told she’s not the real Dayna Milner. As they meet for the first time, there’s definitely some sparks which will be useful since they are pretending to be boyfriend and girlfriend.
This is a favorite scene, that shows just how strong that attraction is.
An hour later, after activating the newly installed security system, he entered the kitchen and sat across from his charge, who was still nibbling on her last triangle of grilled cheese.
“Yours is probably cold,” she said, nodding toward the sandwich in front of him. “Sorry. I wasn’t thinking. I should’ve waited to make it.”
“It’ll be fine,” he reassured.
“No. Don’t eat that,” she said, pushing her chair back. “I’ll make you another. It won’t take long.”
Chance reached across the table and grabbed the woman’s hand to stop her from rising. The awareness that had hit him when she’d first opened the door earlier had nothing on the direct current presently shooting through him like a live wire.
She stilled, and her intake of breath alerted him to the fact she felt it too. He watched her gaze drop to where his hand curled around her wrist, then lift to meet his with confusion clouding her eyes.
Chance released her and the current instantly dimmed, allowing him to think and breathe with ease.
He held up his hands. “Sorry. I just didn’t want you to get up. This sandwich is fine. Trust me. If you knew the shi—stuff I’ve had to eat over the years then you’d know this is fine cuisine,” he said with a grin.
She relaxed and returned his grin. “Wow. That doesn’t say much for your travels. You’re not a CIA officer. They’re too cagey. No. Your movements are sure. Concise. Precision in motion. So…are you former military?”
He exhaled and nodded, hoping she didn’t ask any more questions, although she had the right to know who was guarding her.
“Spec Ops?” she asked, arching a brow.
He nodded again, biting into a slice of his sandwich, aware she was regarding him closely.
“Delta? No…” She tapped a finger to her mouth and narrowed her eyes. “Navy…yeah.” She nodded, a knowing smile ghosting her lips as he got to work on the second half of his grilled cheese. “You’re a former Navy SEAL.”
And just like that, the taste of the delicious sandwich turned to cardboard in his mouth. He choked down the remaining bite, and since she was still staring questioningly at him, he nodded.
“Yeah. I can see it.” She sat back in her chair, a pleased expression softening her face.
His gut knotted, and although he wanted to blame it on talk of his military career, Chance knew his body’s reaction had nothing to do with that and everything to do with the beauty in front of him.
Her sorrow appeared to take a back seat at the puzzle of his backstory.
But he wasn’t willing to reveal anything else. Time to change the subject.
“Can I park my bike in the garage?”
She snapped her fingers and leaned forward. “I thought I’d heard a motorcycle earlier. But I thought it had passed because it had sounded further away.”
He nodded. “That’s because the men guarding the house stopped me at the start of the driveway. After we got acquainted, I just pushed the bike the rest of the way.”
“Ah.” She grinned. “That explains it. And yes, of course you can park in the garage. The button is just inside the door to the garage off the kitchen over there.” She pointed to the door she’d shown him earlier then snapped her gaze back to him, her brows crashing together. “Are we traveling to Texas on your bike?”
“No.” A smile tugged at his lips. “We’re traveling by plane.”
Her frown increased. “But won’t the Russians or whoever is after Doc—dad’s work be scouring the airlines looking for my name?”
“I would imagine they would,” he said. “That’s why we’re traveling by private jet. The CIA will take us to the airfield.”
The instructions on his phone told him what to purchase with the stacks of cash in the envelope he’d found on his doorstep yesterday as well as a list of things Charley would provide. A private jet and pilot were on the “provided” list, along with the address to an airfield. Private as well.
Relief flickered across his charge’s face and relaxed the stiffness in her shoulders and neck. “Ah. Okay. That makes sense. And we definitely need to fly, considering I need to be at the bank by eleven a.m.”
In case the woman had been told very little about their vacation, Chance filled her in on everything he knew, being frank about the possibility of an abduction attempt and probability of things heating the second she recovered her father’s research.
“Thanks for filling me in and being honest,” she said. Her gaze, although alarmed, showed no signs of hysteria, which she had every right to feel.
Once again, admiration for the woman washed through him, warming his blood.
“You should know my father loved puzzles and considering how important these notes must be, I’m positive he is going to send us to several locations, with each cypher growing increasingly difficult.”
Although he wanted to complete this mission as quickly and cleanly as possible, he had the feeling the woman was right.
Yawning, she rose from the table and began to clean up. “Given we’re leaving at the crack of dawn, I think I’ll turn in early. Feel free to watch TV, play pool, darts, or whatever it is you like to do to relax.”
He knew everything she’d mentioned was in the study, which was where he intended to bunk that night, instead of the guest room she’d shown him.
“Thanks,” he said, carrying his empty plate to the dishwasher where she was loading her dishes. “I’ll take care of the frying pan. You go on up to bed.”
“Are you sure?” She frowned at him. “I’m not that tired.”
“Nevertheless, you should go to bed. We’re going to have an eventful few days,” he reminded her. “Did the doctors prescribe you any medications?”
Chance wanted to be prepared and know what signs to look for that she was in trouble or pushing herself too hard. The woman would definitely put her health in the backseat to recovering her father’s work. Of that he was certain.
Not on his watch.
“No.” She straightened and shook her head. “Just Tylenol if needed.”
He didn’t know shit about comas but found it hard to believe someone waking from one recently would be sent home and without medication.
She must’ve seen the disbelief in his eyes because she set a hand on his upper arm and smiled. “I think you should know I didn’t really wake up from a coma two days ago.”
He reeled back. “You didn’t?”
“No.” She shook her head. “It was five days ago, but they kept it out of the press.”
Ah. Smart. That made sense. He nodded. “Wise move.”
She smiled. “I thought so too. So, you can relax. I’m not on medication and am in full control of my faculties.”
She certainly was…him, too.
Her hand remained on his arm and his damn skin tingled under her palm, making him hyper-aware of the close proximity of her body. His was in a complete disconnect with his brain because despite repeated orders to step back and sever the connection, his freaking legs refused to obey.
Yawning, she released him to cover her mouth. “Sorry. Guess I’m more tired than I thought. Thanks for offering to wash the frying pan. It’s one of those copper ones. You only need dish soap and water to clean it. No hard scrubbing.” She yawned again. “Okay. I should go finish packing before I fall asleep on my feet. Goodnight, Chance Reynolds.”
As he watched the woman exit the room, his pulse leveled out and his control returned. This job was going to be more complicated than he’d thought.
He ran the frying pan under a steady stream of warm water, added the soap, then used a paper towel to brush off stuck food…and watched it wash clean.
Well, hell. Something that did what it was advertised to do. An oddity for sure.
Like Ms. Milner.
His charge was unusual too. Not at all what he expected.
She was down-to-earth. Frank. Relatable.
Traits that should make her easier to deal with over the next few days.
Only Chance didn’t believe in easy.
He opened several bottom cupboards until he found a stack of pots and set the pan inside.
But he did believe in his gut and it was telling him the woman wasn’t being entirely truthful. She was holding something back.
Good thing he was an expert at extracting the truth.
Michaels, Donna ; Sisters, Shadow. Shadow of a Chance: Shadow SEALs. Kindle Locations (596-671). Kindle Edition.
As Dana and Chase begin their journey to the first stop, they pick up a tail. Russians for sure, they had to get to the plane and the CIA guys driving them were quite helpful with that.
The arrival at the plane was a pleasant surprise for Chase as he recognized the logo as his former commander Jameson Knight’s. He was sure the pilot was one of Knight’s operatives as well. Having someone for backup is always a good plan.
There’s plenty of action as they retrieve that first clue but they make it safely back to the plane. They head to a ranch owned by Buck and Remy Lawe, Buck and his wife Tarah work for Knight and Remy is former CIA who knows Dayna but doesn’t give her away. There’s a dark room for Dana to develop the photos of the contents of the safety deposit box and it’s secure enough for her to decipher the code.
Things heat up in a much different way at the ranch. Chase and Dana definitely steam up the pages.
There’s lots of action, intrigue and some surprises too. I look forward to reading more of the Shadow SEALs. I also saw that some of these characters are part of Donna Michael’s Dangerous Curves Series. I guess I’ll check those out too.
5 Contented Purrs for Donna!
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It’s all my mother’s fault.
She read to me before I could read and opened up that magical world where I still reside today. Then came television and movies. Now I had three avenues that fed my imagination…and boy could I eat! As you no doubt figured out, this lead to my writing career. I’m a NY Times, USA Today, and Amazon Bestselling Award winng author. Phew, that was a mouthful! Multi-published in e-book and print with several publishers, I certainly have a ton of voices in my head.
I’m happily married to a military man for 28 years. We have four children and several rescued cats. Michael’s been in the Army National Guard since before he graduated. The Guard has been a part of our lives right from the start. It was only natural for the military to spill into my writing. God bless the military and their families. Thank you all for your sacrifices. ♥
You already know my mom inspired my love of reading,but it was my dad who got me hooked on movies. Even now, if I had the time, I could happily go from one movie to another all day long. They are the reason I love mixed genre and why I can’t just stick to just one in my writing, although, as you can tell, I have a soft spot for cowboys and the military.
Well, that’s about it. Thanks for getting to know me a little better. Remember, keep reading to your children. The journey you’re igniting is precious. And the next time you’re at the movies, turn around. I just might be the person sitting behind you. No, not the one throwing popcorn (it’s too expensive to waste). I’m the one already imagining the sequel.
Have a great day and thanks for reading!