Save a little time and scoot to the edge of your seat now, because we’ve got an exclusive excerpt of Heart Strike by M.L. Buchman that’s positively layered with intensity. Heart Strike is out tomorrow!
“Not my first rodeo.”
Richie answered with a waiting silence. How was it that he didn’t trust himself about people? With only the one notable exception, he’d judged her moods perfectly. And that one time was because he hadn’t listened to himself.
“I was forward deployed with the 101st Airborne,” she finally offered. “I was embedded with the ground teams to frisk and question women. Every now and then, they weren’t women beneath the robes but men in hiding. If they were dressed to hide, we knew they were Taliban, Al Qaeda, or worse. They would also be heavily armed. It was close a couple of times, but I was always faster than they were.”
“You were good back there. Damn good,” Richie remarked a few miles later.
And Melissa felt good. Normally a kill gave her the shakes, but this time it hadn’t. The man had been the worst sort. He’d rubbed his erection against Melissa’s ass the moment he’d grabbed her, and his hand had been headed south into her pants even as they stood there in front of everyone. Drug runner, street thug, and rapist.
And then he’d made to grab Carla.
Melissa would put up with some things, but he didn’t get to do that to Carla. Taking him out had been a relief, not a strain. What was it about Carla that commanded such instant loyalty? It wasn’t just her who felt that way; the whole team had surged a step forward in the moment before Melissa had pulled the trigger. And it wasn’t about protecting “the female” either. If anything, they were scared of the Wild Woman at times…except for the unflappable Mister Kyle.
Kyle had offered her the barest nod in support of her action. His hand signals had the team shifting and ready for imminent combat. Melissa had earned respect for her skills with various teams in the past but had never truly belonged. Probably due to the fact that she was embedded much farther forward than most women. In the heart of the crisis, Kyle had indicated she was on a roll and to go with it.
She still didn’t belong here, but she also was no longer ready to send a “Get me out of here!” signal up the chain of command. With the exception of Chad. The two of them were going to have to have it out and real soon now…just not on a plane filled with drugs and two gunsels.
Over the next hours of the flight she and Richie spooked themselves half a dozen times on ships. Who knew the Gulf was such a busy place? Whether they were fishermen, container ships, or Navy frigates, they didn’t hang around to ask.
Oddly, the most useful tool was a radar detector for cars that Richie had mounted on top of the dash. It would start to complain and chirp at even the least refracted bits of signal from a ship’s radar. Mounted on a swivel base with aluminum foil to either side, they could twist it back and forth to determine the direction of the radar’s source and then turn the other way.
“Pretty slick, Richie.”
And she could feel herself falling back into a comfortable place with Richie. Except with him, a comfortable place was also very uncomfortable.
The sex, what there’d been of it, had been fantastic. If she ever needed someone to think something through, it was Richie. She just wished there had been more opportunity to find out exactly what he had thought up.
The guy was decent and handsome and smart.
And he was also Delta, not just in her unit but on her team. That last fact was also placing immense strain on an operation that had apparently been functioning just fine. She didn’t know how many teams from The Unit were operating in South America, but Colonel Gibson had called this the top team, and only six months out of OTC themselves. They’d been operating at an amazing level prior to her arrival.
Having a relationship with Richie was wrong on so many levels even aside from the military code.
This was a situation right out of The American President. The moment when the political activist describes the possibility of a relationship with the President as, “This has catastrophe written all over it.”
The heroine’s sister had responded with pretty much the list of positives that had just rolled through Melissa’s head—except for the Delta part—and asked if maybe the heroine was overreacting. But there was something about the President being a better-than-average dancer.
“Do you dance?”
“Three left feet,” Richie replied.
“Well, that’s a relief at least.”
When Richie asked why, she ignored him and paid attention to the flight.
About Heart Strike:
Sergeant Richie“Q” Goldman: The smartest soldier on any team
Sergeant Melissa “The Cat” Moore: Newest on the team, determined to be the best
Rescued from an icy mountaintop by a Delta operative, Melissa Moore has never met a challenge she can’t conquer. Not only she will make Delta Force, she will be the best female warrior in The Unit, and woe to anyone who says otherwise. Technical wizard Richie Goldman is Bond’s “Q” turned warrior. A genius about everything except women, he takes point on the team’s most dangerous mission yet. When the Delta Force team goes undercover in the depths of the Colombian jungle, surviving attacks from every side requires that Richie and Melissa strike right at the heart of the matter…and come out with their own hearts intact.
M.L. Buchman has over 35 novels and an ever-expanding flock of short stories in print. His military romantic suspense books have been named Barnes & Noble and NPR “Top 5 of the year,” Booklist “Top 10 of the Year,” and RT “Top 10 Romantic Suspense of the Year.” In addition to romantic suspense, he also writes contemporaries, thrillers, and fantasy and science fiction.
In among his career as a corporate project manager he has: rebuilt and single-handed a fifty-foot sailboat, both flown and jumped out of airplanes, designed and built two houses, and bicycled solo around the world.
He is now a full-time writer, living on the Oregon Coast with his beloved wife. He is constantly amazed at what you can do with a degree in Geophysics. You may keep up with his writing at MLBuchman.com.