HOT SEAL, ALASKA NIGHTS
From NYT and USA Today Best Selling Author comes a beach read that isn’t the typical sun-drenched location. Homer, Alaska. A Navy SEAL on leave. A nurse practitioner in seclusion. A jealous ex-lover looking for redemption…or is it revenge?
Navy SEAL Levi Van der Hayden, aka Dutch, returns to his family home in Homer, AK for the three Rs…rest, relaxation and recovery. As the only SEAL injured during his team’s last mission, the last thing he wants to do is show his bullet wound to friends…it’s in his left gluteus maximus and he’s tired of being the butt of all the jokes (his own included.)
After a violent confrontation with a controlling, narcissistic ex-lover, nurse practitioner Bailey Brown flees Texas for Alaska. A maternal grandmother still in residence provides her with the ideal sanctuary…still in the U.S. but far enough away to escape her ex’s reach.
Attracted to the cute nurse from his welcome home beach party, Levi insists on showing her the real Alaska experience. When her safety is threatened, he must use all his SEAL skills to protect her and eliminate the risk, even if it means putting his own life on the line.
Read an Excerpt
Copyright © 2019 Cynthia D’Alba
All rights reserved — Riante, Inc.
Levi Van der Heyden’s left butt cheek was on fire. He shifted uncomfortably in the back seat of the sub-compact car masquerading as their Uber ride. As soon as he moved, the stitches in his left thigh reminded him that pushing off with that leg was also mistake.
“We should try to get upgraded when we get to the airport,” Compass said.
Compass, also known as Levi’s best friend Rio North, was going way out of his way to help Levi get home leave, but at this moment, Levi gritted his teeth at the ridiculous suggestion.
“I don’t have the money for that and you know it.” Levi, aka Dutch to his SEAL team buds, knew he shouldn’t be so grumpy what with all Compass was doing for him but damn it! Why did he have to be shot in the ass? The guys would never let him live it down.
He repositioned his hips so most of the weight was on his uninjured right butt cheek.
“You bring anything for the pain, Dutch?”
“Took something about an hour ago, which right now seems like last week.”
The car stopped at the Departure gates of San Diego International Airport. Dutch climbed from the back seat of the way-too-tiny car with a few choice cuss words and stood on the sidewalk. Compass paid the driver and then hefted out two duffle bags. After slinging both onto his shoulders, he gestured toward the airport with his chin.
Once inside, Compass said, “Seriously Dutch, you need to upgrade. There is no way you are going to be able to stretch out and you know what the doctor said about pulling those stitches.”
Levi glared at his friend and answered him with a one-finger response.
Compass grinned back him. “All joking aside, I’ll pay for your upgrade. Your ass literally needs to be in first class.” The asshole then leaned back and glanced down at Levi’s ass…well actually the cheek where he’d been shot coming back from their last fucking mission.
“No, damn it, Compass, I already told you I can’t afford it and I’m not accepting charity.” Levi knew his friend could afford to upgrade Levi to a big, roomy, first-class seat, but he was already taking Compass way out of his way with this trip. When his friend opened his mouth to speak, Levi held up a hand to stop him. “Not even from you. I appreciate it, man, I really do, but no.” Levi shook his head emphatically. “I fucking hate being such a pain in your ass, har har har.”
To say Levi had been the target of his SEAL team buddies’ relentless butt jokes would be an understatement. They’d been brutal in the way only people who love you can. Levi knew that. Understood that. And would have been there throwing out the butt and ass jokes if it’d been anyone else who’d gotten shot in the ass, but it wasn’t. It was him and he was tired of it. He lowered himself carefully onto a bench.
Compass looked around and then back to Levi. “Okay, look, I’m going to go talk to the agent over there. I’m not spending a dime, but sometimes they let active duty get upgrades. Let me see what I can do. Okay?”
Levi followed Compass’s gaze to an attractive brunette behind the Delta service counter. He chuckled. “Damn man, you could pick up a woman anywhere, couldn’t you?”
Compass shrugged, but his grin said he knew exactly what Levi was talking about. “It’s a God-given talent. But that’s not what this is about. Give me your military ID.”
Levi pulled out his card, but hesitated. Compass had more money than God, Dropping an thousand or so dollars to change a plane ticket was probably pocket change to him, but not to Levi.
Compass jerked Levi’s military card out his hand with a snort. “Shit that damaged ass muscle has fucked up your reflexes.”
“Fuck you, man. It’s the pain meds.” Levi narrowed his eyes at his best friend. “Not a penny, Compass, not a fucking penny. Got it?”
“Loud and clear.” Compass pointed to him. “Stay here and look pathetic.”
Compass had only taken a few steps before Levi heard him laugh. God damn asshole.
Jesus, he hated this. Not only was he in pain, but the damn doctors had restricted him from lifting anything over twenty pounds. Twenty pounds! Like he was some fucking girl or something. He was a Navy SEAL. He could lift twenty pounds with his toes…or could before just moving his toes made the exit wound on his thigh ache.
Now that their last mission was behind them—he groaned at his own bad joke—the team had a little time off, which meant he could finally go home for a few days. However, the restrictions from the doctors meant someone had to help him with his duffle bag since it definitely weighed more than twenty pounds. He was pissed off and embarrassed by that limit to his activities. Hell, even jogging was off his activities list until the stitches healed a little more.
He’d been ordered to do medical follow-up at the Alaskan VA Health Clinic. Knowing his commander, Skipper would follow up on that, and if Levi didn’t follow orders, his ass would be grass. He groan again and ordered himself to stop with the ass jokes.
Turning his attention back to the action across the lobby Levi watched Compass operate. He was too far away to hear the conversation, but he knew his friend’s M.O. well. He’d smile. He’d compliment the woman. Then he’d toss in his best friend’s war wound for sympathy. Levi snorted to himself. He’d seen Compass in action too many times to count.
Compass leaned toward the Delta agent and Levi was sure the poor woman had been sucked into Compass’s charismatic gravitational pull. She didn’t stand a chance against a pro like Compass.
When Compass set both of their duffle bags on the scale and the airline agent tagged them, Levi was at least sure he was going home. What he didn’t know was if it would be in the front of the plane or the back of the plane. If it weren’t for his ass and leg, he wouldn’t care where he sat, but he knew that wasn’t true for his friend, who always went first-class when he could.
Compass turned from the check-in desk and started toward Levi with a broad smile he’d seen before when Compass got what he wanted.
Levi eyed him. “Why do you have a shit-eating grin on your face? What did you do?”
“I’m smiling because I’m a fucking magic man.” He handed Levi a boarding pass.
Levi studied the boarding pass with first class all in capital letters. “Did you buy this?” His lips tightened into a straight line.
Compass help up his hands. “Nope. Not a penny spent. I swear on my mother’s grave.”
“Your mother is alive, asshole.”
“Yeah, but we have a family plot and we all have real estate allotted. I swear I didn’t spend a single dime on that ticket man. That pretty little thing over there hooked you up.” He motioned over to Brittany who was busy with another customer.
“Sir, are you ready?”
Levi’s gaze fell on an attendant pushing a wheelchair. “What the fuck?”
End of Excerpt
hot seal, alaska nights
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