Wounded Warrior Series
Anna del Mar
Genre: Romantic suspense,
Military romance, SEAL romance.
Publisher: Carina Press
Date of Publication: February 22, 2016
Number of pages: 336 pages
Word Count: Approx. 95,000
Anna del Marâs explosive, sexy debut novel in the Wounded Warrior series, perfect for fans of Lisa Marie Rice and Lora Leighâthe story of a woman desperate to escape her dangerous past and the navy SEAL who would lay down his life to save her.
Ash Hunter knows what it is to run. A SEAL gravely injured in Afghanistan, heâs gone AWOL from the military hospital. Physically and mentally scarred, he returns home to his grandmotherâs isolated cottageâand finds a beautiful, haunted stranger inside.
Like recognizes like.
Lia Stewartâs in hiding from the cartel she barely escaped alive, holed up in this small Rocky Mountain town. Surviving, but only just. Helping the wounded warrior on her doorstep is the right thing to doâ¦itâs loving him that might get them both killed.
Soon, Ash realizes heâs not the only one tormented by the past. Pushing the limits of his broken body, testing the boundaries of her shattered soul, heâll protect Lia until his last breath.
My finger twitched on the trigger as I stared down the barrel of my shotgun. A stranger stood on my stoop. The mere sight of him shoved my heart into my throat and sent my brain into default. I widened my stance, tightened my grip on the gun and aimed at the strangerâs chest. No way. He wasnât going to take me alive.
A sharp bark startled me. The largest, darkest, most handsome German shepherd Iâd ever seen stood next to the stranger, head tilted, ears forward, nose quivering in the air. It uttered a quiet whimper and padded over to me without a trace of aggression, circling me once before it leaned against my legs.
I kept my shotgun leveled, but I spared another glance at the stunning dog. The plea in his eyes tempered the adrenaline jolting through my body, reined in my runaway heart and gave me pause to consider the stranger before me.
Framed by the Rocky Mountains and the lake, the man at the threshold blocked the morningâs gray light and cast a huge shadow over my little porch. Raindrops tapped on his leather jacket, dripped from the rim of his cap and ran like tears down the sides of his face. Despite the exhaustion etched on his features, his glacial blue eyes narrowed on my gun.
âThatâs a pretty old Remington,â he rumbled. âWith the damn safety off, no less. Who the hell are you expecting, Jack the Ripper?â
âStay back.â I forced the words out. âIâll shoot if you come any closer.â
âDamn it, girl,â he said. âIf you want us to leave, just say so.â
The scowl on his face contributed to his dangerous appearance. So did the scruffy beard and the shaggy hair sticking out from under his baseball cap. If he hadnât come all the way out here to get to meâand that was still a big âifââwhat on earth was he doing here?
I couldnât see any weapons on him. Was he a drifter? He didnât look dirty, but a metallic scent wafted from him, an odd, ripe trace I couldnât place.
He must have seen my nose wrinkle. His whole body stiffened. He drew taller than six feet by several inches, but it was the outrage I spotted in his eyes that reinforced my fears.
âArenât you a spitfire?â He pulled out a rumpled piece of paper from his pocket, balled it and dropped it at my feet. âSecluded, cheap and quiet, thatâs what the ad said. But I donât think you want to rent out a room, at least not to me. Come on, Neil,â he said to the dog. âLetâs leave this little hellcat to count her bullets.â He touched the rim of his baseball cap. âAnd a good day to you, maâam.â
He braced on a pair of sturdy crutches and hopped down from the stoop. Crutches? I shouldâve noticed those before. The sable shepherd looked up at me, then nuzzled my hip and trotted off after his owner. The rubber bottoms of the manâs crutches stabbed the ground as he shuffled to the black truck parked in my driveway, a supercharged Ram 3500 that matched its ownerâs brawn.
I exhaled the breath Iâd been holding. Bad guys didnât knock at your door. They didnât back down, attack while on crutches or hobble away after they came for you. They didnât call you maâam, either. I picked up the crumpled paper and flattened it against the stairâs wobbly baluster. It was indeed the one flyer Iâd dared to post at Kailynâs convenience store, printed on pink paper, complete with the ten tear-off rectangles that listed my cell phone number.
The ad. My brain came on line. He was here about the ad?
Crap. Terror had a sure way of wiping reason from my mind. The ad talked about a stone cottage but didnât include the address. True, mine was the only stone cottage around. Still, my stomach churned.
I stared at the paper in my hands. Heâd taken down the ad. Now I had exactly zero chance to rent out the room, which also meant that, since Iâd have no money to make the rent, I was going to lose my little stone cottage. I was going to be homeless and Iâd have to move on. Again.
But I liked it here. The place suited me well. People in this secluded valley were nice and Iâd managed to build a semblance of a life hidden out here. And what about my little friends out back? Whoâd take care of them if I wasnât around?
The pound, thatâs who.
I took a deep breath and looked down on my flannel pajama pants and my extra-large sweater. With my hair up in a messy tail, I was pretty sure I looked like a gun-toting, gray-eyed witch, brimming with hostility. Iâd just scared away my first and only customer.
A top-notch German shepherd like that couldnât belong to a crook. It was obvious that the owner took excellent care of his dog. If that wasnât enough, the man got around on crutches. He couldnât hurt me and, if he tried, I wouldnât need a shotgun to defend myself. Iâd just have to trip him.
God, the things I thought about. Was I going to live in fear forever?
Yes, I would, but living in fear was better than not living at all.
Long Excerpt for The Asset by Anna del Mar: Complete First Chapter, approximately 5,000 words. Alternatively, hereâs the direct link to read the chapter directly from the website: http://www.annadelmar.com/pages/excerpt.html
About the Author:
Anna del Mar writes hot, smart romances that soothe the soul, challenge the mind, and satisfy the heart. Her stories focus on strong heroines struggling to find their place in the world and the brave, sexy, kickass, military heroes who defy the limits of their broken bodies to protect the women they love. She is the author of The Asset (Carina Press), the first novel of her Wounded Warrior series and three other novels scheduled for release during 2016.
A Georgetown University graduate, Anna enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing, and the sea. Writing is her addiction, her drug of choice, and what she wants to do all the time. The extraordinary men and women she met during her years as a Navy wife inspire the fabulous heroes and heroines at the center of her stories. When she stays putâwhich doesnât happen very oftenâshe lives in Florida with her indulgent husband and two very opinionated cats.
Books are my consuming obsession and giveaways are my everlasting passion! Join me for my bookish journey as I discover new reads and who knows.... you might win something along the way! If you're an author and would like a personal book tour, please e-mail me! I'm extremely PR-friendly!