prison to sweet freedom, five brave military heroes have made it home—and
they’re ready to take on the civilian missions no one else can. Individually
they’re intimidating. Together they’re invincible. They’re the men of ARES
to clear out his late grandfather’s small house. As the covert ops specialist
for ARES Security, he’s eager to get back to his new life in Texas. But when he
crosses paths with Annie White, a haunted beauty with skeletons in her closet,
he can’t just walk away—not when she’s clearly in danger…
on the loose with a link to Annie’s dark past. And the closer he gets, the
deeper Rafe’s instinct to protect kicks in. But even with his considerable
skill, Annie’s courage, and his ARES buddies behind him, the slaying won’t
stop. Now it’s only a matter of time before Annie’s next—unless they can
unravel a history of deadly lies that won’t be buried.
fantastic blend of romance and suspense…thrilling to the end.” –Mary Burton,
USA Today bestselling author
glancing down she came to a sharp halt, her breath locked in her chest
as she leaned over to pick up the small doll with the mass of tangled
the clothes were rumpled, but Annie had a vivid memory of dancing
through the house with the doll clutched in her hand.
precious feelings of childish joy refused to be completely dismissed.
she muttered, her attention locked on the doll that looked as lost and
broken as she felt since returning to Newton.
next to her, his hands clenching as if he was battling the urge to reach
out and touch her. “You loved your father?”
admitted without hesitation, lifting her head to meet his searching
gaze. “I know you must think it’s twisted, but he was always kind and
patient and funny when we were together.”
twisted at all,” he protested. “Tell me about him.” He held up a hand
when she frowned. “I mean, tell me about him as your father.”
unconsciously pressed to her chest. “He always had two Oreo cookies and a
glass of milk waiting for me on that table when I came home from
school.” She nodded toward the shrouded piece of furniture situated near
the door. She hadn’t eaten an Oreo cookie since she’d left Newton. “And
he went with me to the movies on Saturday afternoon just because I said
I wanted to be an actress when I grew up. And every Sunday morning he
took me to the restaurant for pancakes.” Bittersweet pain sliced through
her heart. “I don’t understand how the same man could be so evil.”
hinting at memories that were as dark and painful as her own. “Some are
just naturally cruel. They enjoy causing pain because it’s a basic part
of their nature.” His jaw clenched. “And there are others who’ve been
ruined. By life. By war. By . . . fate. They do what they do because
they can’t help themselves.”
redeeming qualities,” she said, having learned from the second she’d
been rescued that her father was public enemy number one. “I usually
feel guilty for not hating him.
another shiver. “We should go.” He dropped his hand and nodded, keeping a
small distance between them as she headed out the door and across the
overgrown yard. “I’ll tell Teagan to join us at the motel.”
had a vague impression of a large man who appeared from the shadows to
speak with Rafe before he was jogging toward her Jeep, but her
concentration centered on keeping her feet moving forward.
opening the door to his truck and helping her to climb into the seat
before he was rounding the hood and taking his place behind the steering
high before performing a U-turn. There was a brief stop as he waited
for his friend to approach the truck holding her purse that he’d
obviously retrieved from her Jeep. Then, placing the bag in her lap, he
shoved the truck in gear and headed back to town at a pace far slower
than the one she’d used to get to the house.
purse, only vaguely aware of her surroundings. She had the impression of
genuine leather and a dashboard that had all the bells and whistles.
The sort of truck that would be functional for work around a ranch but
no doubt cost more than she made in a year. But her gaze remained glued
to the dark, chiseled profile of her companion.
his car with the warm air beginning to ease her shivers, there was
nothing to distract her from Rafe’s sheer male beauty.
of the motel. Rafe pulled to a halt in the center of the parking lot and
glanced in her direction.
said that we lived overseas, but it’s really just a blur,” she admitted.
Newton. Time with her father. Her friends at the school she’d attended.
Climbing on top of the house so she could see her father in the distant
before coming to Newton or the days after she’d been found tied and
blindfolded in the bomb shelter.
was admitting, but she was too tired to try and search for any hidden
cell number is printed on the back. Call me . . . any time, for any
suspense and romance. After reading a particularly emotionally draining
book I was glad to read this book as it was light, fun to read and had a
really good plot.
Rafe Varga covert ops specialist, Max Grayson
trained forensics, Hauk Laurensen a sniper weapons expert and Teegan
Moore a computer wizard
It should have broken them. Even the most
hardened soldiers could shatter beneath the acute psychological and
physical punishment. Instead the torment only honed their ruthless
determination to escape their captors.
And so ARES Security was born.
Vargas is on his way to Newton, Iowa to clear out his estranged
Grandfathers house. He doesn’t want to but he knows he has to.
White is the daughter of the Newton serial killer. Her visions of women
being taken have picked up again after 15 years so she travels from
Denver back to Newton to see if her fears have come true. Unfortunately
Now there are loads of former military opening their
own security firm but I really enjoyed this one. Rafe had so many
opportunities to hook up with other women but he solely focused on
Annie. They were really good together.
There were good twists and turns that were unexpected.
I can’t wait for the rest of the series to come out. 3 solid stars.
Book received by Kensington Books via netgalley in exchange for a honest review.
theatre before deciding she preferred to bring her characters to life on paper
rather than stage. She currently lives in Missouri with her extraordinarily
patient husband and teenage sons. To stay updated on Alexandra’s Guardian
series or to chat with other readers, please visit her website at