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Special Forces: Operation Alpha: Buck the System – Sealed With A Kiss Book 2 By Margaret Madigan


 

Buck The System
Sealed with a Kiss Book 2
By
Margaret Madigan

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Dr. Melinda Emerson is still reeling after her escape from Russian mafia terrorists. If she never sees or hears anything Russian again, it’ll be too soon. She’s ready to go back to researching a cure for Alzheimer’s and to begin building a life with her new man, Grady “Buck” McCormick. But the Russians aren’t done with her just yet.

Grady “Buck” McCormick likes to be in charge. But he loves Melinda more. Turns out it’s not so easy for a single alpha male to learn how to be a partner rather than a leader, but he’s determined to do it. That resolve is put to the test when his team gets orders for a new mission where the tables are turned and he must relinquish control, depending on Melinda to protect him.

The Russian mafia is back like a bad penny. They’ve been experimenting on the cognitive enhancing drug Melinda invented. Their version makes users obey orders without question, but it’s also fatal. Melinda is sent along as a civilian consultant with two SEAL teams to infiltrate a secret Siberian lab, secure the head scientist, and retrieve all the research on the drug. But the mission goes sideways when Buck and several of the SEALs are injected, and Melinda is forced to find a cure, or lose the man she loves.

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Well it seems I have started to read the second book in a series once again. I didn’t really need to go back to the first, but curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to know the relationship’s beginning. My review of Bang For The Buck posted last Friday.

This book opens with an argument that I think many women have had with their partners at one time or another. The ability to drive and getting where they are going the best way possible.

I really love this developing relationship between Melinda and Buck, and her friend Jayla is a hoot in her relationship with Noah another SEAL.

Fearing what the Russians might do with her accidental discovery Melinda agrees to work with the CIA. Never expecting to actually do more than consult on things.

This is a favorite scene.

“Dr. Emerson will go along on the mission as a consultant to assist in the interrogation of Petrov, and identify and obtain pertinent information,” Moss said.

“Sorry, ma’am, those are your orders.” Commander Gerald “Hard-Ass” Hardigen entered the room through a door at the front corner, and everyone in the room shot up from their seats to attention. “Have a seat, men,” he said.

Buck dropped into his chair, numb that his first mission with his new team had his loyalties divided between the mission itself and protecting Mindy no matter what. Certainly protecting a civilian asset would be part of the mission, but this was the woman he loved who had exactly zero military or covert ops training. She could barely hit a fucking target with a handgun, and she fainted in crowds.

“Sir,” Mindy said. “What’s the purpose of my going? Couldn’t Dr. Franklin go? He seems knowledgeable enough.”

Buck bit back a grin. She managed to drag Franklin for his disrespect simply by adding ‘enough’ to her comment. Good girl. But one look at Franklin and the guy was in no better shape for a mission than Mindy.

“No. You’re going. You have two of the Navy’s finest SEAL teams protecting you. Trust me, you’ll be fine,” the commander said, implying the discussion closed. Buck knew she’d have at least one SEAL stuck to her like glue the whole time. “All right, men. You have your orders. Team Leaders will be given infil, exfil, rendezvous, and mission details, and teams will receive those on the flight. You’re to prep and report for departure at oh-six-hundred tomorrow. Dismissed.”

As the rest of the men filed out of the room, Buck worked against the flow to get to Mindy. She looked stunned, just standing at the front of the room like a lost little girl.

“Mindy,” Buck said. When she saw him she came to life, her eyes welling up with tears.

She threw herself into his arms. “Buck. I don’t want to go.”

“I know. But you work for the CIA now, too, right? I assume when the Commander said you had orders, that’s what he meant?”

She pulled away and swiped at her eyes. “Yes.”

Ice Bates stepped up and cleared his throat. “I assume you two know each other, then?”

If the guy wasn’t his team leader Buck would have shot back with some sarcastic response. “Yes, sir,” he said instead. “Dr. Emerson is my girlfriend.”

“Is that going to be a problem for you on this mission?”

“No, sir.”

“Because if it is, I can replace you for this one.”

The hell he would. “Having Dr. Emerson on the mission will not compromise my ability to perform my duties, sir.”

“Good to hear.” He turned to Mindy. “Nice to meet you ma’am. You’ll be briefed further in transit. I suggest you go home and pack a small bag, make whatever arrangements you need to for your job, then report back in the morning.”

“Any idea how long we’ll be gone?” Mindy asked.

Ice held her gaze, his expression flat. “No.”

Buck and Mindy followed Ice to the door. Wolf Steele met them near the exit, offering his hand to Ice to shake.

“I’m Wolf Steele, leader for my team. We’ll be working together on this mission.”

“We will,” Ice said, shaking Wolf’s hand.

“You know, my wife’s call sign is Ice,” Wolf said.

Ice paused for a beat then said, “I trust you won’t get us mixed up.”

Buck swallowed a snort, and Mindy covered her mouth to muffle her snicker. Wolf just grinned.

“No chance of that.”

Ice nodded. “See you all in the morning.”

After Ice left, the three of them looked at each other.

“Wow. He needs a sense of humor,” Mindy said.

“Hey, if he’s good at his job, he doesn’t need one,” Buck said.

“I haven’t had a chance yet to welcome you to Coronado,” Wolf said, offering his hand.

Buck accepted the handshake. “Thanks, Wolf. I’m looking forward to working together.”

Wolf turned his attention to Mindy.

“You okay, Melinda?” She smiled, having collected herself enough to do so. “I will be. My experience with the Russian mafia so far hasn’t convinced me I’m any more qualified to deal with them now than I was the first time.”

Wolf rested a hand on her shoulder and squeezed. “We’ve got your back. You’ll have fourteen of the best soldiers the Navy has to offer, protecting you. I promise, it’ll be a breeze. In and out and home before you know it.”

Mindy raised an eyebrow, not buying into the hype. “Thanks, Matthew. I appreciate your confidence. And your protection.”

Wolf smiled and patted her shoulder. “You’re practically part of the family. Besides, Caroline would never let me hear the end of it if I allowed anything happen to you.”

“Oh, that reminds me. I need to talk to her before we leave. You think she’d watch Mr. Wiggles while I’m gone?”

“I’m sure she would.”
Margaret Madigan. BUCK THE SYSTEM (Kindle Locations 481-524). Kindle Edition.

This mission has disaster spelled all over it. The Russians do not give up easily and finding her original kidnappers lived begin the nightmare all over again.There are lots of twists and turns as the SEALs are compromised in the most horrible way and the clock is ticking.

Action, suspense, and plenty of romance! A hold your breath combination.

5 Contented Purrs for Margaret!

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  Margaret Madigan

I write romance for Entangled Publishing and Evernight Publishing. I write and indie-publish romance and sci-fi through M&M Publishing.

I’m an Oregon Ducks fan.

I’m a donut and pastry addict (pretty much any carbs, really).

I like cats.

I’m terrified of balloons.

When I’m not writing you’ll find me in a college classroom teaching English and, of course, wrangling my family.

I love it when my readers review my work on Amazon, GoodReads, Barnes and Noble, blogs, or wherever else they think of. When you talk about something I’ve written, not only does it make me ridiculously happy, it also lets other readers know it’s a great read and they should run out and buy it. So if you enjoy something I’ve written, please review it! I’ll love you forever if you do.

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Special Forces: Operation Alpha: Bang For The Buck – Sealed With a Kiss Book 1 By Margaret Madigan


 

Bang For The Buck
Sealed with a Kiss Book 1
By
Margaret Madigan

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Grady “Buck” McCormick blows shit up for a living as the explosives and demolitions expert on his SEAL team. He grew up on a thoroughbred farm in Kentucky, but he joined the Navy to escape the pain of watching his mom die a long, slow death of cancer. Since then he’s lived with the guilt and dedicated his life to protecting others, carefully guarding his heart along the way.

Melinda Emerson loves chemistry but isn’t so crazy about people. A pharmaceutical chemist with social anxiety, she’ll happily climb through a jungle canopy in search of medicinal plants, but put her in the middle of a party and she passes out. As the only child of older parents, she struggled watching her father fall victim to Alzheimer’s, and is determined to find a cure. Instead, she discovers a cognitive enhancer that has everyone from the CIA to the Russian mafia after her and her new invention.

When Melinda’s social anxiety spikes at a friend’s barbecue, she lands in Buck’s arms. After their one-night stand, Melinda makes a desperate call to Buck for help when her lab is attacked by Russian terrorists intent on kidnapping her and stealing her drug research. He blasts in guns-a-blazing, but under his watch, the relentless Russians manage to kidnap both of them, holding them hostage on board a container ship steaming toward the motherland. Now Buck must protect Melinda, her research, and his heart as he embarks on the mission of his life.

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Melinda was more than embarrassed when her anxiety causes her to faint at Caroline’s party. She didn’t want to attend but her other friend and co-worker Jayla talked her into it. Now instead of going home with her friend she is being escorted by Buck, a SEAL she could definitely fall for.Buck (Grady), is at Coronado for specialized training. His home base is in Virginia. He is not looking for romance or really even a fling. Something about Melinda strikes at the core of him, and he’s not sure what to do about it.

The drug Melinda has been working on for Alzheimer’s accidentally produced another, one that is dangerously mind altering with fatal side effects. The government wants her to perfect it and she has been holding off answering them. She wants to focus on finding a cure for Alzheimer’s not something that was a dangerous mistake.

Unfortunately the Russians found out about the drug and they not only want it, but her too.

This is a favorite scene after the first attempt to capture Melinda.

She pulled a couple of bottles of beer from the fridge and offered him one. “You want some?”“Sure. Thanks.”

Melinda opened her bottle and took a long, cold gulp. For the first time since the Russians invaded Triada, she breathed deeply and let it out, allowing herself to relax some.

“If you don’t want to talk about it, that’s fine. I understand. But I’m curious, what was that all about?” Buck asked. “At Triada. Why were they after you?”

The muscles of her neck tightened as the whole thing came back again. She didn’t really want to talk about it, but he’d saved her life, and her colleagues’ lives. He deserved some answers.

“Remember I told you I work with cognitive enhancing drugs? I’ve been researching cures for Alzheimer’s, but not too long ago I created something else, completely by accident. Unfortunately, it has a lot of bad side effects, but when the government got wind of it they wanted it anyway. And they wanted me to continue perfecting it. I guess someone leaked the information and the Russians decided they should have it, too. And me.”

“At least they didn’t get it.”

“Well, they got the drug and the research, but they didn’t get me. Thanks to you.” She leaned into him, resting her head on his shoulder and drawing comfort from him.

“Then they missed the most important thing,” he said, kissing her forehead.

“You should get some sleep.”

“I want a shower first,” she said. Her skin itched to clean the horror of the day off. “I still have Brent’s blood on me.”

He nodded. She suddenly wanted the blood off of her. She guzzled the rest of the beer, went to her room to grab some clean clothes, then into the bathroom to start a shower.

As she stripped her clothes off, tears stung her eyes and her throat clogged with grief and anger and confusion. She threw the clothes in a corner and climbed into the shower, setting the water as hot as she could tolerate, and stood under the spray as the tears poured down her already-wet face.

The tears turned to sobs, and when her knees went weak, she collapsed into the tub, wrapped her arms around her bent legs, and rocked and cried while the hot water pounded down on her.

She didn’t register the door opening and only noticed Buck when he pulled the curtain open.

He squatted down to her level. “I heard a thump. I wanted to be sure you were okay.”

She dropped her forehead to her knees. “It’s my fault they’re dead.”

He reached in and turned off the shower before grabbing a towel and held it open for her. “Come on. Stand up.”

She looked up at him. Kindness warmed his eyes, but his jaw set firm like he wouldn’t tolerate any argument from her. She was too tired to care, anyway. It was easier to do as he asked because it didn’t require her to think.

She stood, unashamed of and comfortable in her nakedness, and stepped out of the shower into the towel. He wrapped it and his arms around her, holding her tight.

Leaning into him, she allowed herself to absorb his warmth and solid strength.

“It’s not your fault,” he said.

She looked up at him, gazing into the deep blueness of his eyes. “It is. They were there for my drug. And for me. If not for me, those people would still be alive. And if not for you, more of them would be dead. Oh my God. I haven’t thanked you yet. I’m so sorry.” She’d been so wrapped up in her own feelings about the incident that she hadn’t even thought to thank him for rescuing her.

“You don’t have to. It’s what we do.”

“No. You put your life at risk to come after a woman you’ve known for three days. You didn’t have to do that. So, thank you. I’m so grateful you saved the rest of those people. And me.”

He smiled and caressed her cheek with his knuckles. Her heart lurched at that little expression of kindness and affection. “You’re welcome, darlin’.” He backed away and took her hand. “Now, let’s get you into bed. You need some sleep.”
Madigan, Margaret. Special Forces: Operation Alpha: Bang for the Buck (Kindle Worlds Novella) (SWAK Series Book 1) (Kindle Locations 848-884). Kindle Worlds. Kindle Edition.

This night doesn’t go so well and the rest of this is fraught with danger, fear and unparalleled strength of will.

A nail-biter for sure, with plenty of action and a sizzling relationship, you will definitely want more of.

5 Contented Purrs for Margaret!

Click the Cover for Buy Links

  Margaret Madigan

I write romance for Entangled Publishing and Evernight Publishing. I write and indie-publish romance and sci-fi through M&M Publishing.

I’m an Oregon Ducks fan.

I’m a donut and pastry addict (pretty much any carbs, really).

I like cats.

I’m terrified of balloons.

When I’m not writing you’ll find me in a college classroom teaching English and, of course, wrangling my family.

I love it when my readers review my work on Amazon, GoodReads, Barnes and Noble, blogs, or wherever else they think of. When you talk about something I’ve written, not only does it make me ridiculously happy, it also lets other readers know it’s a great read and they should run out and buy it. So if you enjoy something I’ve written, please review it! I’ll love you forever if you do.

newsletter - for blog

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Amazon Author Page