Navy Seal Seduction
SOS Agency Series, Book 1
July 1, 2016
A Navy SEAL takes on a death-defying assignment to save the one who got away…
With the island nation of St. Marc erupting in civil war, SEAL Jarrett Adler must rescue the woman he never got over—his alluring ex-wife, Lacey. Jarrett regrets failing her as a husband, and he hopes protecting her will offer a second chance to win her trust.
As charming and sexy as Jarrett still is, Lacey knows he won't stick around. She's found her niche in nonprofit work and longs to create a family of her own. But when death threats and bombs arrive at her door, she turns to the man who still holds her heart. Can Jarrett and Lacey navigate their way home—and back into each other's arms?
Four stars from RT Book Reviews!
"Navy SEAL Lt. Jarrett Adler interrupts his ex-wife Lacey Stewart's dinner plans, determined to get her off the tumultuous, violent island of St. Marc…. An intriguing setting, sizzling romance and strong alpha hero are the highlights of this story." - Review by Melanie Bates
4.5 Stars from Always Reviewing blog!
"The SOS Agency miniseries starts off with an installment packed with action and lots of peril. Add in a second chance at romance plot, and the book is doubly enjoyable, especially when threats and feelings become entangled. I have always found the paranormal releases by Bonnie Vanak to be imaginative plus feature original characters, and her first romantic suspense book is just as captivating. Since there will be more books centered around the newly formed SOS Agency, I look forward to catching up with the wonderful couple met in this book and those with whom they have a connection. NAVY SEAL SEDUCTION has nonstop action that frequently seems foreboding.
Training that Navy SEAL Lt. Jarrett "Iceman" Adler received has helped him complete numerous missions, but it will probably not help in persuading a very stubborn woman to listen when he presents his reasonable argument. There is much political unrest on the island of St. Marc at the moment, and what should have been a pleasant reunion with a buddy while both are on leave could easily turn into a nightmare situation. Though not worried about himself, Jarrett does fear for the safety of his ex-wife, Lacey Stewart, and plans to talk her into leaving.
When the two meet up, Jarrett has no idea how she will respond to him. He soon learns Lacey is unwilling to abandon the charitable organization she runs that assists poor women on the island. She is just as adamant about staying as he is to see her depart, and nothing said seems to change her thinking. Jarrett may no longer have a say in how she lives her life, but he is not going to let anything bad happen to her. When minor threats suddenly turn extremely dangerous, Lacey knows her former husband has the ability to keep her safe. Yet getting close to him again may have too high of a price.
The marriage of Jarrett and Lacey fell apart when he was not able to support her during a personal crisis, and going through the pain of letting him once again into her life and then to only return to his duties as a SEAL is more than she can endure. However, neither has forgotten what it was like to be a couple, and this link may not be as broken as they believe. Seeing each other again brings up lots of good plus unhappy memories, and whether to listen to their minds or follow the longing in their hearts causes plenty of internal conflict. The reactions of Jarrett and Lacey were always very realistic, and I hurt along with them when confessions were declared. Although they have much difficulty reaching a decision on many issues at this time, they can mutually agree on how the powerful sexual attraction between them is still very much alive. When control is lost, the encounters are definitely steamy.
Bonnie Vanak has created a fascinating world for NAVY SEAL SEDUCTION, where duty and desire collide. The setting is filled with visually descriptive details, thus letting me feel like I was right there on the island facing jeopardy or observing the daily life of the islanders. The intrigue of what is actually going on is cleverly conceived, and I was drawn into every gripping incident because of the growing amount of uncertainty. As every new revelation was exposed, I was often shocked and became more fearful for Jarrett and Lacey. I am thrilled Bonnie Vanak has joined the romantic suspense genre." - Amelia Richard
EXCERPT FROM NAVY SEAL SEDUCTION
(Copyright 2016 by Bonnie Vanak)
A tall, muscled pirate in a clean white shirt and black trousers stood before her in the courtyard of Le Soleil Hotel. Scowling to hide her emotions, she stared, her heart racing as if she'd run a mile up and down the nearby mountain. Black hair cropped short, he wore a pressed white shirt, the cuffs rolled up to display tanned, muscled forearms. Smooth cheeks, strong jaw and a nose that had been broken at least once. Rugged, tough and those eyes, green as the ocean water he navigated on a mission.
Those eyes had turned smoky and dark with passion as they'd made love, and cold as the Arctic the day she'd announced she'd hired a lawyer to initiate divorce proceedings. Whoa, he still had it. Hot, hot, hot, as the locals said. Bad boy to the extreme, who made her female parts say Why, hello there!
Her female parts needed to stay quiet. This time she'd listen to her broken heart and not her hormones, even though her heart jumped at the sight of him.
He had never been there for her before, and certainly wasn't staying now.
Lacey managed to find her voice. "I hope this is a bad dream and I'll wake up and find you gone."
Her ex-husband pulled out a chair, turned it around and straddled it. "Well, darling, it seems your nightmare isn't going away. Neither am I."
She managed to conceal her trembling hands by wrapping her fingers tight around the beer bottle. Lacey took a deep drink, relishing the cool wash of liquid sliding down her throat. It reminded her of that time after they'd consumed several beers and then he'd kissed her and they had…
Not. Going. There.
"Go away, Jarrett. If you're here on a mission, aren't you supposed to be invisible in your invincibility?"
He did not smile. Flickering candlelight on the table revealed the sharp angles and planes of his lean face. Jarrett looked all business.
"You're my mission. I'm taking you out of here. I booked us on tomorrow's early-morning flight." He glanced around. "Before the elections and before this place blows to hell."
Jarrett, trying to be funny, except his expression was dead serious. Had he heard about the mysterious vandalism plaguing her compound? It had been a few minor incidents she'd written off as a nuisance caused by locals who didn't like how she helped women, until last week's truck fire.
That fire had not been a nuisance. It had destroyed her best working vehicle.
She glanced around at the two other occupied tables and lowered her voice.
"Are you insane? I'm not going anywhere with you."
"St. Marc is teetering on a coup and I'm taking you back to the States."
She knew St. Marc intimately, shied away from the hot spots and knew how to handle herself. "Elections are in two days. I know about the violence and know how to avoid it. As soon as elections are over, things will cool down. Stop wasting your time."
"You're at risk of getting shot, kidnapped or both."
"The media exaggerates about a few protests downtown. It's not violent here."
Jarrett turned his head as six men carrying sinister-looking guns trotted out onto the courtyard, racing off toward the hotel disco. His mouth curved in a knowing smile.
"The president is here with his friends. He likes the disco," she snapped.
"Do all his friends carry assault rifles?"
"It's the latest fashion craze. Goes well with the Guayabera shirts. We do like to accessorize here on St. Marc."
The smile dropped, replaced with a dark stare. The Look. How many times had he aimed it at her in the past? The man had a stubborn streak bigger than a US Navy destroyer. Jarrett leaned forward. "This country is eroding into civil unrest, Lace, elections or no elections. You need to get out. How many State Department warnings does it take before you'll listen?"
Anger fisted in her stomach. "Those warnings are for the tourists who come here to do poverty tours or sun themselves on the beaches. Not for ex-pats like me or Paul. And who the hell are you to tell me what to do? We're no longer married."
She was twenty-nine, no longer that wide-eyed girl who'd fallen hard and fast for the handsome Navy sailor with a wicked smile, husky laugh and skilled hands.
Marlee's Mangoes was her dream now, not a life of domestic bliss with a SEAL who was gone more than he'd been home.
Gone, too, when she needed him the most. Lacey clenched her beer bottle again and pushed away thoughts of the baby they'd lost. That was the past, and St. Marc was her future.
Jarrett Adler belonged to those ghosts she'd exorcised out of her life.
"Paul." Jarrett's gaze narrowed. "That simpering metrosexual who's with you?"
Blinking, she struggled to leash her temper. "Paul Lawrence is the vice president of the board for Marlee's Mangoes and my business partner."
The realization hit her. "Where is he? Did you do something to him, Jarrett? We're supposed to be meeting a very important donor."
"The very important donor driving a late-model white Montero SUV? He was unavoidably detained in the parking lot. Your vice president went to help him."
More interference. But this time he messed with her livelihood. "Damn, Jarrett, this is my life. You're not part of it anymore, so go home and get out of here."
"Not without you. Darling, I'm sticking to your side until I deliver you home."
She studied him with a keen eye. "Get used to disappointment. I'm not leaving."
Jarrett reached out, touched her hand. "Don't argue with me, Lacey. We haven't seen each other in a long time, and I'd rather spend what little time we have together catching up. Or engaged in more pleasurable activities."
A shiver of awareness raced down her spine as he slowly stroked his thumb over the back of her hand. His smug smile dropped, replaced with a burning intensity that could melt steel. When Jarrett aimed that look at her, she'd wanted to do whatever he wanted. Usually it had involved getting naked in very inventive places.
"Our days of getting horizontal are over," she warned, drawing away her hand.
He considered, and scratched the bristles on his dimpled chin. "Vertical's always fun, too. Or we could try those swinging chairs down by the pool."
Impish grin, a promise of pleasure in those dark green eyes. Lacey's mouth twitched as she struggled not to smile. Sex had always been great between them.
It was the other things that got in the way.
Her cell phone quietly chimed. Paul. She answered. "Where are you?"
"Lacey, I'm sorry," her VP said in his singsong accent. "I went to the parking lot and Mr. Augustin was by his new SUV. Someone threw red paint all over his windshield as he pulled into the lot! He was infuriated and to calm him down, I took him home. We're here, drinking a nice rum. His cook is making an excellent grilled salmon and once we are done with dinner, I'll drive him back to the hotel and we all can have a drink there. Don't worry, ma petite, we'll be there in about an hour or so."
Her spirits sank. Damn, she had counted on Augustin's goodwill and money to pay for the houses she'd planned to build on her compound. He'd wanted to meet with her in person to arrange a tour of Marlee's Mangoes. And "an hour or so" on St. Marc time usually meant no less than two hours. She was stuck here until then. "Do your best to rush through dinner."
Jarrett quietly studied her as she thumbed off the phone and placed it into her backpack. "You don't do anything by half measures, Adler. Red paint? That man was a prime donor poised to fund housing I need for the women I employ." All her pent-up emotions tumbled out. "You don't care about anything, do you? Just like before."
Something flickered in his gaze. "You don't want him as a donor. I do care. I care about hustling you out of here."
She searched his face, the grim set of his jaw. Something was going on and he wasn't about to tell her. Jarrett was a SEAL accustomed to secrecy. But her life was transparent now and she hated secrets.
"Joseph Augustin is a respected member of the upper class here in St. Marc. Why wouldn't I want him as a donor?"
His gaze flicked around the courtyard. "Not here. We need to talk someplace where we won't be overheard."
Fine. "The hotel has a walkway around the gardens."
As she reached down to grab her backpack, a staccato burst of gunfire exploded in the streets below the hotel. Jarrett leaped to his feet and pushed her down to the ground, covering her body with his own. His muscled weight pinned her down. She heard a handgun's slide being racked, and looked up to see Jarrett, weapon in hand, crouching low. Screams and shouts erupted around her, and heavy footfalls pounded against the concrete courtyard.
Jarrett spoke into her ear, his deep voice rumbling. "I told you, this country isn't safe. Now do you believe me?"