Two wounded souls discover each other on a romantic getaway…until an imminent terrorist attack turns their world upside down.
Marc Blanchard’s short, ill-fated marriage and the death of Nikki Alvarez’s fiancé sent them both to very dark places, causing them to close their hearts to future love of any kind, the risk of devastation more than they were willing to face.
But Fate likes to play tricks on people, like bringing these two badly wounded souls together at their most vulnerable and showing them the possibility of a future.
A romantic getaway is supposed to help them find the answers…until they stumble onto a plot of a major terrorist attack. Before they can contemplate a future together, they have to save their own lives—and those of several thousand others.
About the Author
A multi-published, award winning, Amazon and USA Today best-selling author, Desiree Holt has produced more than 200 titles and won many awards. She has received an EPIC E-Book Award, the Holt Medallion and many others including Author After Dark’s Author of the Year. She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The London Daily Mail. She lives in Florida with her cats who insist they help her write her books, and is addicted to football.
Read an Excerpt
Copyright © Desiree Holt 2019. All Rights Reserved, Totally Entwined Group Limited, T/A Totally Bound Publishing.
Marc Blanchard took another swallow of his beer and wondered just how much it would cost to cab or Uber back to Slade’s ranch. He supposed he could call Teo, Slade’s foreman, but he hated to put someone out just because he had turned into the most antisocial person on the planet. Maybe he could just find a corner to hide in until the party started to break up. See if one of the guys could haul his ass back to the ranch.
Maybe not. It looked like everyone was into this party except him. Slade was all into an intense conversation with a hot woman and seemed oblivious to anything around him. Beau Williams, their Delta Force team’s sniper, was being his usual hot-guy self with some people near the bar. And Trey, well, Trey was surfing the crowd, not spending too much time with anyone.
Every square foot of space in the living room, family room and kitchen seemed to be taken up by people who didn’t look at all like they’d be moving any time soon.
He should have just been his usual douchebag self, dug in and told Slade he wasn’t going to the party unless ordered to. He knew Slade—all the team—was worried about him. Hell, he was worried about himself, too, but he didn’t know what to do about it. He’d crawled into a dark place to escape the destructive memories that he lived with and he couldn’t seem to free himself of it. The only place he could block them out was on a mission, but hell, they couldn’t do that three hundred and sixty-five days without a break.
He dumped his empty bottle in the trashcan next to the bar and plucked a full one from the big cooler by the patio door. He stood for a moment in the open doorway, scanned the patio and, seeing no one, headed for a bench in the far corner. He sat with his back to the house, blocking out light and sound and wrapping himself in the familiar cloak of misery.
He took a swallow of beer and stared at the thick trees in the back yard. Maybe he could hang himself from one of them.
Okay, asshole, enough with the self-pity.
Jesus. He was getting so he couldn’t even stand himself. If he could just bleach that picture of Ria, high on cocaine and tumbling naked in bed with their next-door neighbor, maybe he could find a way to get on with his life. But it seemed the image was burned into his brain.
Everyone had told him to back away from her. Slade Donovan, his team leader, was always right on the money. Too fucking bad he hadn’t listened to him. It certainly showed how bad his judgment sucked. As devastating as the marriage had been, the divorce hadn’t been any better. She had tracked him down between missions and caused scenes so outrageous and embarrassing he’d finally had to have her arrested. Thank the lord he had a tough attorney who had taken care of everything so he didn’t even have to go to court.
But since then he just hadn’t been able to pull himself out of that hole he crawled into between missions. Which again made him question why the hell he had allowed himself to be talked into coming to this party. Did his teammates think sticking him in a social situation would be some kind of miraculous cure? Or did they worry that if they left him alone he might think suicide wasn’t a bad choice?
He sighed and tried to figure out the best way to slide out of tonight’s situation without putting up with a whole raft of shit from his teammates. A strange noise coming out of the darkness pierced the edge of his consciousness. At first, he thought it was an animal, like maybe a cat, that had gotten itself up a tree or something. But then he realized it was the sound of someone crying. What the hell?
Setting his beer bottle on a nearby table, he stepped off the patio and headed into the little copse. He hadn’t gone five steps before he nearly tripped over a female sitting on the ground, leaning against a tree. And doing her best to contain the sobs that were shaking her body.
Oh, fucking swell. Just what he needed.
But all the misery he’d suffered hadn’t wiped away his sense of decency so, sighing, he crouched beside her.
“Is there something I can help you with?”
He tried to get a good look at her, but the lights didn’t reach this far and tonight there wasn’t a damned star in the sky. All he could make out was long blonde hair covering her head like a shroud because she was bent over, her face buried in her hands. For all he knew, she could be someone’s kid out here having a meltdown.
“Hello?” He touched her arm, just a brush of his fingertips. “Can I do anything for you?”
She just shook her head, her body continuing to shudder with her quiet sobbing.
Well, there was no damned way he was just walking off and leaving her.
Come on, asshole. Figure out what to do.
Being as gentle as possible, he pried her hands away from her face and brushed the smooth thickness of her hair back. When she raised her face to him, he felt like an elephant had kicked him in the stomach. Her eyes might have been swollen from crying and her cheek stained with rivers of tears, but this was no kid. This was a woman with such simple, classical beauty that it stunned him. It was hard to make out details, but he didn’t miss the thick lashes that sparkled with her tears, or the full, sensuous lips.
“Come on,” he urged. “Let’s get you off this ground. I think we can find a better place for you to sit.”