Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂
I don’t usually read novellas, but I will always make an exception for Rebecca Zanetti. In fact, I’m not reading very many romantic suspense books these days. Again, I made an exception for Rebecca Zanetti. You should too! I highly recommend starting with the Sin Brothers and moving on from there.Taken by Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Deep Ops #1.5
Also in this series: Hidden (Deep Ops, #1), Hidden (Deep Ops, #1)
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Length: 3 hours and 8 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
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Hunter Holt might be the most stubborn ex-soldier ever born, but when he’s called on to help find a lost foster kid, he jumps into action. Even if it means working with the woman who broke his heart five years ago—the woman who still haunts his dreams . . .
Faye Smith has spent five long years trying to get her life back on track. She knows she should’ve turned toward Hunter and not away from him. But they both had too many demons to destroy. Maybe now they’ll get another chance—and save someone else’s life too . . .
But first they’ll have to stop arguing long enough to trust the Deep Ops team. Hunter was a lost boy himself once. In fact, he ran away from the exact same man, their monster of a father. Now he and Faye will have to unite to find the brother he never knew—and maybe each other . . .
To say that things hadn’t ended well for them would’ve been the understatement of a century—heck, of the entire existence of human beings on Earth. Even a caveman breakup, with swinging mammoth bones and the throwing of fire, would’ve seemed like an afternoon at the beach compared to the day Faye and Hunter called it quits.
Which explained why her hands were sweaty and her tennis shoes kept tripping over the exposed tree roots of the barely-there path on the way to his cabin. Pine trees closed in from every direction, and an animal squawked in the distance. The sound probably came from a bird, but the beast sounded like it had teeth. Did some birds have teeth? She’d had to toss a decapitated bunny off her deck last year because of a sociopathic owl hunting the forest behind her house. So if not teeth, then maybe claws.
At the moment, she’d rather face that owl than Hunter Holt. He would not be happy to see her, and he’d be downright hostile to the news she was bringing. Dread and anticipation boiled inside her at the prospect of seeing him again. Her first love. Heck, her only love. Man, he’d been everything.
Maybe he’d gotten fat and bald in the past five years and had taken up smoking, which would give him wrinkles. The thought cheered her. Then hopefully she’d stop having dreams about him that resulted in her seeking a cold shower.
She turned a corner, and the side of his cabin came into view. It faced the Smoky Mountains and Dogwood Creek, which rushed by surprisingly fast for late June. A tumble of large rocks angled up from the water to a man-made stone wall designed to protect the wood and rock cabin from flooding.
He came out from the rear of the cabin, his gait easy, his gaze alert. No doubt his bizarre instincts had warned him of her approach half a mile down the trail. “Faye.”
Ah, shoot. Neither fat nor bald. In fact, the bastard looked better than ever. “Hunter,” she said, drawing on years of practice to keep her voice level and calm.
His intense blue eyes, the color of a male indigo bunting in the height of mating season, revealed absolutely no emotion. His dark blond hair was cut short and yet was still shaggy—thick enough for a woman to spend some serious time running her hands through it. Despite the short beard and mustache he wore, the hard angles of his face proved he’d grown even more handsome in the past five years. His chest had broadened, and cut muscles shifted beneath the worn cotton of his shirt. “What are you doing here?”
Had his voice deepened? She held her stance on the trail, the toe of her shoe angled on a rock. “Miss Angelina sent me.”
Finally, emotion. His eyebrows rose, and he moved toward her as if unable to help himself. “Is she okay?” Urgency roughened the edges of his southern accent.
“She’s fine,” Faye murmured, something hurting inside her chest. Would he have had the same reaction if somebody had approached him about her? After all these years, the good and bad, would he have cared one bit if something happened to her? Not that it mattered. Not anymore. “She wants our help. That means…” Faye lifted a shoulder.
He sighed and tucked his thumbs in his front pockets. “We help.”
She nodded. The man might be one of the deadliest on the planet, and the crankiest, but when Miss Angelina called, you went, no matter who you were, or who you’d become.
“Why send you?” he asked.
Ouch. Seriously. Double ouch. “I’m the only one she’s been able to reach so far,” Faye said, her hand all but itching to grab a rock and hurl it at his stubborn head. The stone facade of his face was starting to piss her off, and he probably knew it. “Would it kill you to have a cell phone?”
His frown deepened. “I have a cell phone, and Miss Angelina has the number. Called me just last week.”
Huh. What in the world did that mean? Faye tilted her head. “And she hasn’t called you yesterday or today?”
Well. That was interesting, and not just a little disconcerting. Everything in Faye wanted to hand off the case to Hunter and head back to figuring out what do with her life in Louisville. But Miss A had been insistent that Faye work it to the end, and there was some logic there, considering Faye had once been a shrink. A mistake among many in her life. She drew off her beige backpack, because her shoulders were starting to ache. “Perhaps Miss A wanted me to deliver these to you.”
His gaze dropped to the pack, and then he sighed. “You might as well come inside, then.”
“How could a girl refuse such a gallant offer?” she snapped, holding the pack with her good arm and starting for the green-painted side door.
The quickest flash of a smile lifted his lips for a moment. When she came abreast of him, he reached for the backpack.
She jerked it away. “I’ve got it.”
“It looks heavy.” He reached for it again, his long arm easily snaking across her body to grasp the strap.
“No.” She pulled again, engaging in a tug of war reminiscent of when they were kids. Finally, she twisted her torso, and he either had to let go or pull her entire body toward him.
He didn’t let go.
Instead, he grabbed both straps and pulled, jerking her up against his much harder and taller form. His scent of man and wild maple hit her so fast she gasped as memories flooded in. “When are you gonna learn that life isn’t fair?” He lifted, and she had no choice but to relinquish the bag or somehow grow ten inches. “You’re five-four, a buck twenty, and in a physical fight, you’re not gonna win.”
“Five-five,” she retorted, releasing the bag and instantly punching him in the gut as hard as she could. Pain ripped from her wrist up her arm. His darn ribs were steel.
He sucked in air, pained. “I’d forgotten your sucker punch.”
“You’re a moron.” She turned away, pissed beyond belief that she’d lost the backpack.
“So you’ve said, on more than one occasion,” he drawled, back in control again. “In fact, I believe that’s the last thing you yelled at me.”
“Actually,” she said, looking over her shoulder directly at him, “I believe it was ‘I love you, and I’m sorry.’” Then she turned and shoved open the door to his cabin.
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Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!