Title: HOT Justice
A Hostile Operations Team Series Standalone
Author: Lynn Raye Harris
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: January 15, 2019
Sheâs searching for justice. Heâs searching for peace.
What they need is each other. They just donât know it yetâ¦
Dean âWolfâ Garner is the kind of guy who loves hard and leaves fast. From the moment he rescues reporter Haylee Jamison in the Guatemalan jungle, he canât stop thinking about the dark-haired beauty. His life is too complicated for romantic entanglements thoughâand not even a woman like Haylee can convince him otherwise.
Haylee wasnât supposed to be in the drug cartelâs compound, but she was captured while on a mission of her own: find the trail of fake opioids entering the US and halt the operation. Back home in DC, Haylee canât stop thinking about the gorgeous military operative who rocked her world for one steamy night before leaving. But when she uncovers a conspiracy and finds herself in danger, thereâs only one man she trusts to keep her safe.
Itâs easy for Wolf to risk his life to protect Haylee and give her the justice she desires. The hard part is taking a chance and admitting whatâs in his heart before itâs too late.
Before he loses the best thing thatâs ever happened to him.
Dean âWolfâ Garner waited for the jump command. He was standing nut-to-butt with his teammates, all of them suited up and ready to go. This was a HAHO jump where theyâd fall out of the aircraft one behind the other, open chutes about fifteen seconds in and then coast for forty miles to the landing zone. Cade âSaintâ Rogers was team lead and heâd be first out the door. Wolf was second. Echo Squad would stack up behind the leader while they were airborne and follow Saintâs lead as he guided them using GPS and landmarks.
The C-130 Hercules doors were open and theyâd switched over to oxygen bottles. HAHO jumps were hell on the body, whether from the minus-zero wind temps, the lack of oxygen and threat of hypoxia, or the incredible snap of the harness when the chute deployed. It was a necessary evil when trying to sneak up on the enemy, though.
They were currently at T-minus two. The PT had cleared them all to jump and the jumpmaster was about to give the signal.
âYou bastards stick with me,â Saint said into their earpieces. âLetâs go get those hostages and get the fuck out.â
Seconds later, Wolf was free falling into the sky behind Saint. Wolf deployed his chute, grunting as the harness snapped him hard against the restraints. Jesus. He was carrying a hundred pounds of gear and weaponry, which made the experience even more fun.
He sighted in on Saint and lined up. The rest of the team followed, everyone checking in, and then they were gliding under canopy toward the LZ.
The sun perched in the sky behind them, sinking quickly toward the horizon. Everything below was bathed in golden light that faded into darkness the father east Wolf looked. It was a beautiful sight and he never took it for granted.
The terrain here was mountainous and green and a river cut through the landscape, marking the border. This was the area where the Mexican cartels got their rocket-propelled grenades and grenade launchers as well as other military-grade equipment they used as they fought each other for territory. Itâd be fine if all they did was kill each other, but unfortunately civilians often got caught in the crossfire.
Sometimes those civilians were American, and sometimes they were held for ransom. Like now. A group of dentists and opticians on a mission to provide services to an impoverished village had been swept up in the raid and HOT had been tasked with getting them out.
It took twenty minutes, but the team touched down and shrugged out of their chutes. They buried them, along with the special jumpsuits and oxygen canisters. Then they slung their M4 rifles across their chests and started the trek toward the camp where the cartel was holding the hostages.
HOT had pictures of the camp from drone photography and they knew the layout and the approximate number of people who guarded it. Echo Squad wasnât just there to extract hostagesâthey were also there to take out the cartel members who were in the camp. At last count, that had been twenty.
Wolf didnât feel sorry for the men. They were rough, evil, nasty men who terrorized innocent civilians. They killed indiscriminately, and they left messages in the form of headless bodies dangling from bridges and trees.
No, Wolf had no problem with killing them. It took Echo another forty minutes to reach the camp. It was dark by then, and the cartel men were drinking. The hostages were nowhere to be seen, but HOT knew they were being held in a rough concrete structure in the center of the camp. Ten men and women from somewhere in Alabama, on a church mission to help the poor. They were no doubt terrified and probably dehydrated and hungry.
âLike we planned it,â Saint said into their earpieces. The team split up and fanned out around the camp. Wolf and Noah âEasyâ Cross slipped silently toward their target. They waited for the signal, then glided toward the men theyâd marked. A quick slip of the knife and two cartel members would never harm anyone again.
A man emerged from the building where the hostages were, dragging a woman with him. She was small and dark-haired and she fought mightily. Wolf stiffened as the man thrust her against the side of the building and dropped his mouth to her neck. She wrenched her head to the side and tried to hit him but he caught her wrist and pinned her to the wall.
Wolf signaled Easy that this one was his. Easy nodded, lifting his rifle to provide covering fire if necessary as Wolf crossed the distance. The cartel members were falling quickly as his teammates took them out. Soon, Echo would converge on the building.
The woman was fighting hard when Wolf slipped up behind the man. Before Wolf could grab him, the man grunted and stumbled backward. His hands dropped to his crotch and Wolf nearly laughed. Smart girl. Brave girl.
He yanked the man back and stabbed him in the kidney, dropping him to the ground. The womanâs dark eyes widened. She was wearing a stained white button-down shirt that had been torn open and jeans with tennis shoes. Her black hair was wild and her skin was golden, and his heart thumped once before he clamped down on the reaction.
âYouâre American?â she asked in a soft southern accent. âYouâve come to rescue us?â
âYes,â he told her, turning to place her behind him as he scanned the camp for any stragglers. Someone shouted in the distance and a shot rang out.
âGot him,â Jax âGemâ Stone said in Wolfâs ear. âFucker.â
âStatus,â Saint ordered.
âAll clear,â Malcolm âMalâ McCoy replied. The rest of Echo Squad followed suit.
âLetâs get the hostages,â Saint said.
Wolf turned back to the girl, knowing that Easy had his back and that his teammates were converging on the building to extract the hostages. âYou okay?â he asked, dropping his gaze over her body, back up to her eyes. Dark, fiery eyes. Angry eyes.
She lifted her chin as she pulled her shirt together. âYes. Fine.â
âWhatâs your name?â
âWhatâs yours?â she shot back.
Wolf grinned. âWolf.â
She blinked. âIs that really your name?â
âNo, but I like it better than my real name. Which is Dean, by the way.â
âDean.â She paused for a moment. Then she thrust out her hand. âIâm Haylee. Pleased to meet you.â
He took her hand. A sizzle of something electric rolled through him. âYou always so polite in dangerous situations?â
She grinned, and his heart thumped again. âI donât know. This is my first kidnapping.â
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lynn Raye Harris burst onto the scene when she won a writing contest held by Harlequin. A former finalist for the Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart Award and the National Readers Choice Award, Lynn lives in Alabama with her handsome former military husband and two crazy cats. Lynn writes about hot military heroes, sizzling international billionaires, and the women who dare to tame them. Her books have been called "exceptional and emotional," "intense," and "sizzling." To date, Lynn's books have sold over 2 million copies worldwide.
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