Under Fire (Love Over Duty Series #1)

Under Fire (Love Over Duty Series #1)

by Scarlett Cole

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250128454
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 08/01/2017
Series: Love Over Duty Series , #1
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 300
Sales rank: 67,015
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Born in England, Scarlett Cole traveled the world, living in Japan and the United States before settling in Canada where she met her own personal hero – all six and a half feet of him. She now lives with her husband and children in Manchester, England where she's at work on her next book. She is the author of The Strongest Steel.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Sixton "Six" Rapp parked his truck but left the motor running, taking a long moment to stare at his first civilian workplace since a lifeguarding gig in college. Never had a nondescript warehouse with peeling paint looked so incredible.

There was no sand here to work its way into every crevice known to man. Just good old American black asphalt and some brown grass in desperate need of the elusive San Diego rain. There was no gunfire, no screaming, and no whirring aircraft propellers. Instead, the sweet sound of Nina Simone singing about sugar in her bowl blasted from his speakers. Most importantly, the building was his. Well, a third of it.

He checked his watch. He was late — a new habit he'd subconsciously developed in the last two weeks since he'd left his Navy SEAL career behind.

"Shit," he said, pocketing his keys and grabbing his gym bag and garment bag from the passenger seat. He threw them over his shoulder as he got out and winced as the straps crossed over the four lines of scratch marks that Lauren ... Lori ... whatever her name was ... had left on his back after an impromptu heated farewell against his front door. Some things were worth being late for.

With a gait borne of over a decade of military conditioning, Six jogged into the building. The smell of still-drying paint lingered in the air as he made his way past the empty reception desk. Hiring somebody for the post had been Mac's responsibility, but he was out on their first real two-week job, finding and retrieving a child who had been abducted by her biological father and taken to Mexico. It was nasty case involving years of abuse and a restraining order that was as useless as the paper it was written on.

It was hard to believe that what they had been working on and saving so hard for over the last few years was finally about to be realized. Five years earlier, when Cabe had floated the idea to start planning and saving for a business of their own for when they were done with the military, Six and their best friend, Mac, had thought Cabe was getting ahead of himself. Still hardcore committed to the SEAL brotherhood, retirement had been far from their thoughts as they'd scoured the dusty, barren foothills of the Hindu Kush for signs of a terrorist cell suspected of using the Wakhjir Pass to gain access into northern Pakistan.

But now, at thirty-three, with a Purple Heart and a healed bullet wound to the stomach, Six appreciated Cabe's foresight. Cabe had invested the money they'd saved from salaries, reenlistment bonuses, jump pay, and special-duty assignment pay. The guy was such a freaking genius when it came to playing the stock market that Six wondered why Cabe didn't just stay home and play Warren Buffett all day. Their modest savings had grown enough to make Eagle Securities a reality, if not a particularly wealthy one.

It was going to take time to build their special-ops reputation and grow their business, and Six stopped to look at the large board that listed events and names, an idea Mac had had to fill the gap. High-end, discreet security services. Nobody would ever call it exciting work, but it would help pay the bills in return for minimum effort until they were fully booked.

"Hello," he shouted into the empty building. There was a slight echo as his voice bounced off the tiled floor and undecorated hallway.

"Down here," a voice shouted from a corridor to his left.

Six followed the sound and found his best friend and former kindergarten carpet partner, Cabe Moss, on his knees underneath the table, fiddling with wires running into the floor.

"I swear to God your ass gets uglier and uglier," Six said, walking into the room.

Cabe crawled from underneath the table. "And I swear to God, your face gets uglier and uglier. Better my ass than your mug." He jumped to his feet and hugged Six. "How've you been, Viking?"

Six laughed at the old nickname. A family project during high school had uncovered the origins of his tall frame and blond hair. His family was descended from the original fierce raiders. And though the guys had always teased him about it, knowing that fighting was in his blood had been a source of incredible motivation in the hours before getting the go on a mission.

"Glad to be back in San Dog. Spent most of the weekend on my board instead of unpacking. Surfing Seaside was one giant welcome home."

"Well, I'm glad you're here, finally. We've got shit to do, man, to get this place ready for business. Let me show you around."

Six followed Cabe out of the room and into a wide-open space the size of a small plane hangar.

"Fitness center is over there," Cabe said, pointing toward a bank of strength-training equipment and some cardio machines. Two treadmills, a rower, a couple of spin bikes, and a recumbent. Six had plans for those later. "Showers are down the corridor to the left. There's a dorm with three bunks in it to the right. Can double as medical. Got basic supplies in there for now."

The guys had obviously been busy. "We doing training in here too?" he asked. The space would be great for it.

"Yeah, folding desks and chairs are in the storeroom over there. And we can project onto this wall over here. Black out blinds and shit." Cabe lifted his chin to the narrow windows that ran along the upper wall. "For when we need to do briefings, unit level training, specialty training, etc."

Six could see it. Teams, missions, debriefings. Their own chain of command, with them ultimately in charge. "Did we end up hiring any of those resumes I screened?"

Cabe led them back down the hallway they'd come from. "We got five on the books and a couple more starting over the next week, including an ex-SAS guy from the UK. Will intro two of them later. Mac took three of them with him to Mexico to retrieve the child. The job only needed two, but he wanted to test them out."

"Good plan," Six said as they stopped in front of a steel cabinet. "Armory?" he asked.

Cabe nodded. "Electronic code lock. The date Brock died, followed by the date we enlisted," he said quietly, entering the number on the keypad.

They didn't talk about Brock often. Especially not with Mac. But the two dates went together, one having led to the other. It had been Brock's dream to become a SEAL, but when he'd died in their final year of college, everything had changed, even their own career aspirations.

"We look a little light because the guys flew out privately with their weapons. Had to fight to get all the permits. We should have set up in the OC. Would have been easier. Or somewhere we're allowed automatics as well as semis."

Six could only imagine the paperwork Mac had had to take care of, and he felt shitty that he hadn't been there to help out. But their separation dates were never going to line up properly, especially with different quantities of terminal leave due, so he'd done what he could from Virginia. "It's good to be home, Cabe."

Cabe looked at him and grinned. "Sure as hell is. Over there you've seen. It's a conference room for meeting with clients. One that still doesn't have reliable Internet. And we also have a smaller one that's completely blacked out for security," he said, taking them down a small corridor. "This is my office, and Mac's is next door." Cabe pointed to the left of the corridor. "And this side is the secure conference room. And, finally, your office."

A sign hung on the door. SIX RAPP.

A phone rang in the distance. "Gotta get that," Cabe said, heading back down the corridor. "But you and me, security detail tonight at a big fundraiser. I'll catch you later with the details. Settle in for a while."

Six stepped into his office. Black shelves and cupboards lined one wall. A large glass desk with chrome legs dominated the space. On it were two large monitors and a laptop with a sticky note.

User id: sixtonrapp

Password: #i<3unicorns

(You can change that->8 characters, 1 number, 1 symbol)

Six laughed. "Asshole," he said. He ran his hand over the cool glass, walked to the other side of the desk, and took a seat in the chair that was probably ergonomically designed, given that Mac had picked it. It was sturdy for his large frame, though, which was all that mattered to Six. He turned to face the window looking out over the parking lot.

Home.

He'd not only made it, but he'd survived.

So why did he feel so lost?

*
Someone has touched my files.

Louisa North blew her bangs out of her eyes and flicked through the folder one more time. There was something wrong with her notes, but she couldn't put her finger on exactly what it was. If she didn't know better, she'd swear someone had been through them. It wasn't anything obvious, but she was anal about lining up the corners of the pages before she closed any binder, and the pages were out of alignment as though someone had hurriedly flipped through them.

In the largest privately funded medical laboratory in San Diego, it wasn't unusual for researchers to collaborate, consult, and borrow information from one another in their quests to find answers to global problems as quickly as possible. But usually people asked permission.

She closed the file and pulled up her notes on her laptop. She bookmarked the article she hadn't yet finished reading on gene silencing and its possible effects on clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats. CRISPR for short. While the findings were crucial to her research into treating Huntington's disease, the acronym always made her think of the salad drawer in her refrigerator.

Everything about her computer files and email looked normal. The last modified date matched the date she could last remember opening them. No emails were marked as read that she hadn't opened. While it was possible that her lab partner, Ivan, who was also the lab owner's grandson, had taken a look at her handwritten notes, it was very unlikely. After all their time working together, he knew better than to mess with her things.

She looked through the glass-fronted cleanroom walls to the two labs across the hallway that faced hers. Six to eight people shared space in each of them, a thought that made Louisa shiver. It had been a condition of her mother's investment in the laboratory that Louisa be given her own lab to avoid having to deal with people on a daily basis. It was a good thing too, because some days it was almost more of a drain than she could bear having only Ivan around. Cognitive behavior therapies had only gone so far in helping her overcome her chronic anthropophobia, but her extreme shyness still took over her life at times. While all the breathing and modifying thoughts enabled her to get out of bed in the morning and come to work, daily challenges like looking someone in the eye remained an issue. It was part of the reason she'd let her bangs grow so damn long, even though it aggravated the hell out of her mother.

Diligently, she straightened all the corners of the pages so they lined up and placed the binder to one side. She couldn't spend more time worrying about it right now, because there were other things that needed tackling.

Louisa pulled up the presentation she was supposed to give at tonight's fundraiser. Her palms began to sweat as she paged through it. It wasn't so much the presentation that made her feel ill, more the crowds who usually came to listen to what she had to say. And she knew she was a double whammy. Researcher who'd dedicated her life to understanding Huntington's — check. Potential carrier of the disease — check. She'd buried her beloved father, Isaiah North, a decade ago, when he'd finally succumbed to the disease, and she was well aware that there was a fifty-percent chance that she, too, was a Huntington's disease gene carrier. Like most potential gene carriers, she'd chosen not to be tested, a decision that those who were not in the line of fire rarely understood. In her mind, there was no point living under a storm cloud when she had the chance to dance in the sun.

The slide with her credentials popped up on the screen. Usually she hated talking about herself, but she knew that if she wanted to stand a chance of convincing some of the attendees at tonight's gala to part with even more of their money, she needed to prove that she knew what she was talking about. Thanks to her parents' generosity, Louisa had been afforded an education most people could only dream about. With an undergrad degree from Harvard University and an MD from Yale, she'd been on the fast track as a neurology resident and ultimately fellow in neuro-therapeutics and movement disorders at Johns Hopkins — until her phobia got in the way. When people asked why she'd chosen to bury herself in a lab, she offered them a vanilla answer about dedication and focus.

She wished she could tell the attendees tonight that her quest for an alternative to Tetrabenazine, the drug that had been developed initially to treat schizophrenia but had proven useful in treating conditions with involuntary movements, like Huntington's disease, had proven fruitful. It would have been wonderful to share with the audience that she'd found one with potentially less-harmful side effects, that her research was on the right track, but in truth, the drug she'd been working on had ended up being more poison than medicine. She'd been convinced that she was on the way to creating a drug that would reduce hyperkinesia, the uncontrollable muscle spasms, without increasing the risk of psychiatric conditions such as depression, paranoia, and suicidal ideation. The same psychiatric conditions that caused her prone-to-depression father to succumb to his despair and hang himself in the garage of their estate in Torrey Pines. But instead, the drug she'd tested had gone too far, causing paralysis in rats while leaving them fully aware of what was happening to them. They'd been unable to eat or drink or help themselves.

Louisa studied each slide in detail. The audience wouldn't have the patience to hear long scientific proclamations, so she used layman's terms, like genes and chromosomes, and explained how everyone's fourth chromosome produced a protein called huntingtin, and faulty genes caused mutant huntingtin, which could ultimately kill. She'd learned over the years to avoid phrases like "basal ganglia" and "C-A-G repeats" because, in truth, no one really cared. People were attending the fundraiser for her work because her mother had asked them to. Because other rich people would be there. Because they needed to be seen doing good. Cancer they worried about because it could affect them at any point in time, but a hereditary disease that they knew their family didn't carry ...

Her eyes caught the clock on the wall.

Crap.

It was already four in the afternoon. She normally didn't leave the lab until eight or nine in the evening. Fewer people in the lab, fewer people on the roads, fewer people, period. But Highway 5 to her home in Mission Hills was likely to be as congested as a nasal infection, and if she wanted to get home, get ready, psych herself up, and get back into the city for the fundraiser, she needed to get going now.

She grabbed the folders and made her way around the lab, turning off lights and locking up as she went. On her way to the exit, and the small room where they stored their files, Louisa stopped in front of the laboratory refrigerators and looked at the sample, trying to think dispassionately about what had happened on the last test.

But the trays drew her eye, and the same feeling crept over her skin as she'd had when she'd opened her files.

It was impossible to tell if anybody had tampered with it. Were the trays a little off-center? Maybe. Had the doors been opened? Impossible to say. But was it safe to assume this was all in her head? To do nothing?

If someone had been messing with the sample, they'd either found what they were looking for or hadn't finished searching. She pulled out an earlier sample drug that had been equally unsuccessful but had had nowhere near the same kind of side effects as the sample she had just finished testing. Carefully, with her back to the lab across the hall, she removed the labels from both of the samples, switched them, and replaced the samples on the shelf. It was her laboratory, so she could manage the samples any way she liked. Even in a way that might seem — or worse, be — paranoid. Paranoia had been one of her father's earliest symptoms at the onset of the disease.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Under Fire"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Scarlett Cole.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Under Fire 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
DaneWeimMama More than 1 year ago
Loved loved loved Under Fire. Scarlett Cole writes such a great story. Her characters are real & relatable but also oh so sexy. The relationship between Six & Louisa was special with their support for each other & made the book even better. Do yourself a favor & read Under Fire! I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was very conflicted over rating this one, and would likely call this more of a 2.5, but overall I was disappointed. I loved Scarlett Cole’s Second Circle Tattoos Series so I had high hopes for this one. I never really got the connection between Six and Louisa. We’re told that they are attracted to each other but I never really believed the chemistry (the only time it was clear was when they were intimate). In the bedroom, Six and Louisa are on fire and you can get your fan out now. This was really the only time I felt like Six and Louisa were really connecting and the only time they truly had chemistry. Everything outside of that felt very shallow and on the surface. The reader knows some things about the characters but it takes a long time for them to share together. On top of that, there’s just not a whole lot of history and depth to the characters. Because of this lack of depth, it felt like they saw each other, said they were attracted, slept together, and then decided they were in love. It just didn’t work for me. I really enjoyed Eagle Securities and the personalities of the guys involved. There are quiet a few characters introduced and I look forward to seeing more of them and getting their stories. I also liked that this group is just starting out and they experience mistakes and problems as they figure out they’re going to run the business. I liked Louisa’s quirks and it was interesting to have a heroine who was so shy that it was actually uncomfortable for her to make eye contact. Some romance novels claim shy heroines but don’t follow through. Scarlett Cole did a great job of showing how Louisa’s shyness and anxiety really affected her every day life. This is likely all me, but I just couldn’t get into the story. I honestly would have not finished this one if it hadn’t been for the author. I stuck with it only because I’ve enjoyed Scarlett Cole’s previous books. The action wasn’t bad but I just couldn’t be bothered apparently. Some of the conversations were a bit weird and it’s hard to describe. But there were instances when Louisa and Six were talking and I couldn’t help but think, “no would say it that way”. It was minor and didn’t bother me too much by itself, but on top of everything else, it detracted from my enjoyment.
nhr3bookcrazyNR More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the relationship between Louisa and Six. I thought it was great how attuned they were to one another - and how patient Six was with Louisa. I look forward to more books in this series.
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
Brilliant start to new series featuring ex-SEALs! What a brilliant start to a new series by this highly talented author! This book is filled with action, suspense, mystery and intrigue as well as having a strong romantic element - I loved escaping into it! She is Dr Louisa North, working to develop a treatment for the heredity Huntington’s disease which she may develop . . . . She is super shy, fearing social situation and having an eidetic memory, meaning that she notices when anything is out of place. Her wealthy mother has helped fund her research lab, enabling her to work with only an assistant so she doesn’t have to socialise. When one of the promising treatments actually results in paralysis but still enables the treated to feel pain she is suspicious when her notes are moved, then samples are also examined, so she switches the dangerous treatment samples with less powerful ones before going to face her phobias by giving a talk at a fund raiser to help pay for the research she is involved with. It is here that she meets Six. Six is Sixton Rapp, who has set up a security business, Eagle Securities, with some of his friends after they have all finished serving as SEALs. Despite being complete opposites - or maybe because? - the two feel a connection. He helps her face her fears . . . . When she brings her concerns to him, initially his friends don’t believe there to be any real issue. However, as the two learn more about each other and start to bond, the people after the formula she’d been testing become more daring in their attempts, he’s determined to protect her and the chemistry between them is hot and steamy! I hope the future books in this series will continue with the other members of Eagle Securities as the banter between these ‘brothers’ is brilliant! An enthralling story, with great characters, that I have no hesitation in highly recommending! I requested and was given a copy of this book via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion after choosing to read it.
CathyGeha More than 1 year ago
Under Fire by Scarlett Cole Love Over Duty #1 Scarlett Cole can write! She took my breath away with her Second Circle Tattoos series then with Preload, a spin-off series from Second Circle Tattoos, I became even more committed to her writing SO when I saw a retired group of men to star in her third series I wondered if she could pull it off. She definitely did! As an introduction to the Love Over Duty series we meet Mac, Cabe and Sixton – the founders of Eagle Securities. They have saved money while in the military with the idea of opening a business when they retired from the Navy. And, with all three finally on the ground in San Diego and ready to work together they are hiring men to be on the team, spending time together and busy, busy, busy. One night Sixton “Six” Rapp is working a fundraiser as security where he meets brilliant nerdy Louisa “Lou” North. He supports her as she faces speaking to the group willing to donate money toward her research (and other projects) and then they meet again when out on a trail and she helps him with a bit of PTSD. So, both have some issues with hers being anthropophobia and his PTSD. I always enjoy learning something new and this term was new to me (severe timidity and trouble dealing with people). I also learned about “box breathing” and though I have done breathing exercises THIS was new to me. Anyway, the two hit it off but really get together when Louisa approaches Six with her fears that the lab she is doing experiments has been compromised. The stakes are increased when papers and more go missing from the lab and then Louisa is targeted for kidnap. With Six and his team paid to keep Lou safe and on the job to find out what is going on the case is solved and resolved (mostly) by the end of the book AND there is a HEA for Six and Lou to look forward to as well as the reader getting to contemplate what will happen next in the series. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 4 Stars
RedCheeksReads1 More than 1 year ago
Scarlett Cole simple cannot let me down. This book was the beginning of a new series from her and it is vastly different from her previous works but no less amazing. This story had everything you need in an alpha hero book. Hot ex-Navy Seal, check, smart and quirky heroine, check, tons of action and a plot that reads like a movie, check. I could not put this story down, I could see it playing out in my head and I didn’t want to stop till I reached the end. That to me is a sign of an excellent book. Six and Louisa’s story was completely hot and suspenseful. Despite the fact that she was awkward in social situations I could feel their chemistry immediately. I loved how completely patient and protective of Louisa. This was a great beginning to a series I am incredibly excited to read. Scarlett Cole is a go to author for me and this is yet another book where she has outdone herself. ~miranda
carvanz More than 1 year ago
I love a good romance filled with suspense and action. Under Fire was definitely that. Louisa is a scientist that is working on a cure for Huntington’s disease. Someone has stolen what they assumed was a fatal, but failed sample of her experiment. She met Six at a fundraiser where he was working security and she eventually shares with him her concerns regarding her work. Things heat up pretty quickly story wise while their relationship is a little slower to burn. Once the fuse is ignited however, things get hot fast. There was some push and pull due to Lou being a client of Six’s new security business but he finds it virtually impossible to stay away from her. Lou is practically crippled with shyness but she slowly comes out of it to a degree by the end of the book. I enjoyed watching her grow under Six’s tender care. Six is a great hero who knows when to push Lou and when to back away. He is certainly a man’s man. This is a fast paced read with lots of action and great secondary characters that I’m sure will be getting their own stories. I’ll be signing up for those as well! ARC provided by NetGalley Dual POV Safe No apparent triggers
KaliMcQuillen More than 1 year ago
Hello Sixton!!! Who doesn't love a Navy Seal?? Not only does he have a rocking body, have a new security business with other former Seals but he has a good heart. When he first met Louisa, he helped her with getting through a difficult situation. He just seemed to know what she needed to center herself. I absolutely loved that about him throughout the book. When Louisa finds herself needing help she turns to Six. She's a nerdy woman that has her own issues but she's trying hard to overcome them. Six and his team are doing everything that they can do to get answers while Six and Louisa are fighting their attraction to each other. The chemistry between these two is awesome! Great suspense, a love story that has you rooting for these two and a great start to a new series by this author and can't wait for the next one.
ravenwolf_EPTX More than 1 year ago
Sadly, it fell flat and was predictable. ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ FOUR-STAR ✩ REVIEW ✩ ✩ ✩ ✩ > > Judging a Book by it's Cover > Looking Deeper Third-person Scarlett Cole ventures away from her amazing Second Circle and Preload contemporary romance series' to delve into a more action-packed military romantic suspense series debut with UNDER FIRE. Louisa's case is not one they'd normally take on, but something about her calls to Six and he's determined to help her out. Soon enough, though, it becomes evident that she truly needs protecting when a potentially dangerous test sample goes missing from her lab and someone breaks into her home. Social awkwardness and a bit of neurotic behaviorisms aside, Louisa is extremely intelligent. Their chemistry is interesting, but sometimes contradictory. I did not quite feel the bond between them and did not buy their relationship beyond lust and sexual fulfillment. I enjoyed Mac and Caleb, but wish there'd been a prologue or prequel detailing their days with Brock, which ultimately led them to who, what, and where they were today. The plot was a standard fare chemical weapons espionage plot and while it flowed well, it played out like a scripted TV show or movie and contained several points of predictability. The conclusion was alright, but left several areas open for the next book to deal with. Overall, it was alright, but I felt it personally fell a tad short of my expectations. I've really enjoyed this author's previous work (since her debut novel, actually) and hope the second book (presumably Mac and Delaney) will be more dynamic and feel more natural. . Rating: [R] ~ Score: 3.825 ~ Stars: 4 ========================== ⭐ ⭐ **** Disclosure of Material: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the Author/Publisher with the hope that I would voluntarily leave unbiased and unsolicited feedback. I was not asked, encouraged, or required to leave a review - nor was I compensated in any way. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising". ***** ⭐ ⭐
RomanticReadsandSuch More than 1 year ago
I loved Louisa – she was awkwardly nerdy without being over the top. She has an issue with being around people and is super smart, but she was raised by loving parents and has learned how to overcome it to lead a somewhat good life. It isn’t a typical one but she makes it work for her. Then she meets Six. Six is your typical bad-*ss SEAL. He’s strong of body and mind, honed by years of training and missions, but he’s also smart and intuitive. He never expected to be as affected by Louisa as he is – the little scientist does something to her that he can’t explain. And when she finds herself in trouble he jumps at the chance to be near her. Louisa and Six are a great complement to each other. She has him thinking of settling down and dedicating himself to one person, while he helps her address her fears. Unfortunately once she’s officially a client, it’s hands-off … something they find quite difficult to do :) Cole does an amazing job of creating a suspense element that not only makes sense and keeps you on the edge of your seat, but works well with the emotional and romantic side of the story. It brings mystery and danger to a story that already had me hooked by the characters and emotions. I can’t wait to see what awesome things she has in store for Six’s teammates! *** I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s. ***
ZR1000 More than 1 year ago
A SEAL and a shy researcher… This is the first book in the Love Over duty series that can be read as a stand-alone. Navy SEAL Sixten Rapp and a group of friends planned for when they would leave the service and open their own security company. They’re just beginning to get established and have much yet to put in place. Working security at a medical fund-raiser is a way for them to earn cash towards their goals while still in set-up mode. At the gala event Six runs into a lone woman, one of the presenters, who’s suffering from extreme nervousness which keen observation shows him is more than just jitters, he’s supportive and also very much intrigued by this woman who avoids eye contact and hides behind long bangs. A long time sufferer of severe shyness, Dr. Louisa North can be overwhelmed by the presence of people. She’s a researcher for Huntington’s disease medications, driven by the death of a father who died from the side-effects of the medicines against this genetic illness. Having to make a presentation at a fund-raiser she finds unexpected support from one of the men assigned as security to the event when he finds her alone and stressing before she’s to speak. He’s a gorgeous man who showed her understanding and compassion and she finds herself thinking about him afterwards. There’s a mystery that placed the heroine in danger that the hero had to solve. A failed research experiment led to the creation of a drug sample that could be weaponized but before Louisa could destroy it her notes and a sample were stolen from her laboratory. Though she reported the thefts to management something wasn’t right. Not sure how to handle the situation she talked to Six about it because of the friend he had started to become and his profession and skillsets. This story was suspenseful and emotional, the protagonists an interesting pairing with great dynamics and an undeniable sexual attraction, their cute banter made this reader smile. The relationship, though steamy from the onset, unfolded as a slow burn, they became friends who got each other then looked to see what they had which was a refreshing change. We were given an intelligent, quirky, sometimes sassy (when not nervous) heroine who elicits our compassion and a protective alpha hero who fathoms the heroine as she does him, they are two very relatable characters, so human in their flaws, and they help each other grow. This was a new author to me that I’ve been meaning to read and this lover of romantic suspense was quite pleased and not disappointed. The storyline captured my attention from the beginning and kept it, I became easily invested in the characters. I look forward to reading more by this author. An advanced reading copy was obtained from the publisher via NetGalley. 4.5 stars
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
What a fantastic way to kick off a new series! I adored this book and it gives us a different side to Scarlett Cole's writing. I must say she nailed it! The perfect blend of romance and suspense to keep me turning page after page. Sixten "Six" Rapp is a former Navy SEAL starting up a security firm with his buddies. His first assignment is protecting Dr. Louisa North. A scientist researching a treatment for a previously incurable disease. She develops an chemical agent that is so powerful the wrong people want to get their hands on it for all the wrong reasons. Six is skeptical at first but quickly sees that the threat against Louisa is real. And the more he gets to know how the more he wants to make sure she stays safe. A great fast paced story that you won't want to put down. This is one for the must read list. I highly recommend it.
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
What a fantastic way to kick off a new series! I adored this book and it gives us a different side to Scarlett Cole's writing. I must say she nailed it! The perfect blend of romance and suspense to keep me turning page after page. Sixten "Six" Rapp is a former Navy SEAL starting up a security firm with his buddies. His first assignment is protecting Dr. Louisa North. A scientist researching a treatment for a previously incurable disease. She develops an chemical agent that is so powerful the wrong people want to get their hands on it for all the wrong reasons. Six is skeptical at first but quickly sees that the threat against Louisa is real. And the more he gets to know how the more he wants to make sure she stays safe. A great fast paced story that you won't want to put down. This is one for the must read list. I highly recommend it.
MBurton More than 1 year ago
What a great start to a new series! It was a great blend of suspense and romance, where neither one overshadowed the other. I'm such a fan of the nerd/hottie pairing. It shows that it isn't all about looks, but a true connection a couple feels for each other. Scarlett Cole did a wonderful job of taking a playboy like Six and turning him into a complete gentlemen where Louisa was concerned. He read her social cues with accuracy and not only accommodated her but also bolstered her. The plot was believable and put an exciting twist to the story. It also kept Six's buddies and co-owners to the new security business in direct involvement so we could learn more about the future H's in this series. I recommend this to all romantic suspense lovers and I'm looking forward to the next one in the series. ARC provided by NetGalley.
crys12065 More than 1 year ago
Incredible roller coaster ride of suspense and intense chemistry between Six and Louisa! I have been a fan of Ms. Cole ever since I discovered her book and she never ceases to amaze me with her incredible story telling. She has a way of sucking you right in and endearing the characters to you so you want to get to know them and live their journey right beside them. Six is as alpha and protective as they come and Lou is unbelievably shy and quirky yet strong and beautiful. They are the unlikeliness of couples yet fit together perfectly. When Lou's life becomes endangered Six steps up to protect her and as they get to know each other danger threatens to tear them apart. Their chemistry is off the charts and the suspense is palpable, I couldn't put the book down and finished it in one sitting. No one writes romantic suspense like Scarlett Cole and I can't wait for book 2 in the series! 5 suspenseful sexy stars!