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Lia Cassidy left the Army scarred physically and emotionally after a vicious attack by two fellow soldiers. She turns to helping others, working at a Delos Home School Charity in Costa Rica that provides schooling for children. But when the deadly drug lord, La Arana, attacks the school, Lia finds herself on the run for her life. The only person she can trust is the ex-SEAL sent to protect her.
Cav Jordan is strong, honorable and gorgeous…and intrigued by Lia. He knows she has suffered pain in her past, and he is determined to break through her barriers and earn her trust. But as Cav slowly chips away at the walls Lia has built, ghosts from her past threaten to destroy their fragile relationship.
EXCERPT #2: Introducing the heron ex-SEAL, Cav Jordan
When Dilara placed Lia’s hand on the yet-to-be-introduced man with the thoughtful hazel eyes, she felt her heart beat a little faster. She knew he was military, even though he wore civilian clothes. His training almost dripped off him; she could see it in his sharp glance and his effort to appear casual, but she wasn’t fooled—she could feel the tension radiating from him.
“This is Cavanaugh Jordan,” Dilara said, patting his broad shoulder. “Because Robert and I want you safe, we called in a security contractor who’s already worked for Robert—several times, in fact, on different missions. We hired Cav to be your bodyguard for now, Lia. Neither of us feels you’re safe at La Fortuna right now, and until we can figure out what’s going on and know you’ll be safe again, Cav will be at your side like a shadow.”
Lia lifted her head and met Cal’s flat, emotionless stare. “Oh,” was all she managed. Then, turning to Dilara, “But I’ve never had a security detail before.”
“You will now,” Robert said. “We’re not losing you, too.”
Lia felt her heart speed up. The man sitting across from her gave nothing away, and yet she could sense his reaction to her. Automatically, she touched her scar on her cheek, then looked away from him and forced herself to focus on Robert, who was looking grim.
“The police said they sent you their investigation reports, sir?” Cav spoke up now.
“Yes,” Robert said, pointing at the Major’s laptop. “We have everything on their ongoing investigation. But we want boots on the ground Intel, which,” looking now at Lia, “only you can provide us.”
Lia knew she would be driving down to San José to give them an eyewitness report. But why five days after it happened? She still felt like ground meat exposed to air, and could barely check her own emotions.
“Where do you want me to start?” she asked the general.
“Most important is why did it happen,” Robert said. “Do you have any ideas?”
“I think I do, sir, but I can’t prove it. I’ve already told my suspicions to the Costa Rican police detectives.” She opened her hands. “Dante Medina, La Araña, is the regional drug lord in the northern highlands. He has a villa near La Fortuna, up in the jungle. ‘The Spider’ is a regional drug lord. He and his men grow marijuana and cocaine in the jungle. He’s married to a woman named Suelo, who’s about twenty-eight. They have three sons—two, four, and eight, and he keeps two mistresses at a villa in La Fortuna, Pilar, seventeen, and Marta, fifteen. These girls are sex slaves, closely guarded by his soldiers at the La Fortuna villa.” Lia’s voice dropped into a painful whisper. “His third mistress, Lupe Zavala, eighteen, escaped and ran to us for help, which we gave her. She flew out of the country and back to her country, Guatemala.”
Lia forced herself to look at the General. “Lupe came to us five days earlier than the attack. She begged Maria Gonzalez and Sophia Casales, the teachers, to take her in. I wasn’t there at the time, but when I returned from my errands the teachers had taken Lupe in. She was a mess, terribly beaten up, and the teachers cared for her in their homes. I went and got the doctor from Tabacon Resort, who was kind enough to come and care for Lupe.”
“Had this happened before?” Robert asked.
Lia shook her head, keeping her hand covering her left cheek. She could feel the security contractor’s gaze, like heat, on her face and inwardly, she cringed, knowing that he must be disgusted, like every other stranger who first saw her face. “No. Oh, we’d run into Lupe and the other two mistresses at the grocery store in La Fortuna, but they always had a guard with them, so we never really stopped to talk to them.” Grimacing, Lia added, “All three of us knew that these women were prisoners at Medina’s villa. I mean, it was local common knowledge.”
“Why weren’t the police called long before this happened?” Dilara asked.
Lia looked up at her. “Because everyone is deathly afraid of Medina, Dilara. You don’t know how dangerous he is. He’s killed before, and he won’t hesitate to get his revenge if someone crosses him. People live in absolute fear of him.”
Nowhere to Hide by Lindsay McKenna is the first full-length book in the new Delos series. We are first introduced to Lia in the free eBook Last Chance. Lia is damaged – she has a history of being assaulted and as a result has physical and emotional scars. She’s been hurt and is lonely but feels that no one would ever be able to look past her scars (the visible ones and the ones that aren’t visible). Cav sees Lia’s inner beauty right away. I really enjoyed their story. Nowhere to Hide by Lindsay McKenna was a believable, emotional read. This is a series I think I will like following along.