Teresa Reasor rocks when it comes to writing military romantic suspense, and I am a huge fan of her SEAL TEAM Heartbreaker series. Since the third installment will be released soon, I’m showcasing her series to prepare for the upcoming release of Breaking Away.
Breaking Free (Seal Team Heartbreakers #1)
Published June 2011
Purchase from Amazon: Breaking Free
Zoe Weaver is determined never to get involved with a man in uniform. Her father was killed during the Gulf War. Her brother Brett, is in a coma. If that isn’t enough, Zoe has scars both physical and emotional from a hit and run accident that almost cost her a leg. She refuses to lay her fragile self-esteem, or her heart, on the line for a man who puts his military career ahead of his family. But her brother’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Adam “Hawk” Yazzie, triggers a passion beyond her experience. Is she strong enough to love Hawk and, when the time comes, watch him go to war?
Lieutenant “Hawk” Yazzie, is a SEAL. The Navy is his life, and his family. He’s learned the hard way he can’t be there for anyone. He finds Zoe’s combination of feisty femininity hard to resist, but the guilt he carries prevents him from offering a commitment to anyone —but the Navy. Will he love Zoe and leave her?
When Zoe and Hawk investigate the events surrounding her brother’s injuries, they grow suspicious of three members of Hawk’s team. Hawk is torn between loyalty to his men and his need to see justice done. But when he tries to save a troubled teammate’s career he unwittingly puts Zoe’s life in danger. Can he lead the rest of the team in a rescue operation to save her? Or will one of Hawk’s brothers in arms destroy the woman he loves?
I fell in love with this series after reading Breaking Free. The book is a wonderful blend of romance, mystery, and suspense. Zoe is thus far my favorite heroine in the series. She’s emotionally and physically strong after all that she’s endured. She is loyal and committed to her brother Brett and is determined to do everything she can to help him recover after Brett aka “Cutter” is injured while on a SEAL mission. Zoe has grown up around the military and the last thing she wants to do is get involved with a man in uniform. However, her growing attraction to her brother’s SEAL team leader, Hawk, and their budding romance makes her begin to question every assumption she’s made about loving a man who chooses to risk his life to protect his country. Hawk is so sweet and sensitive as he slowly encourages Zoe to break free of the fears that hold her back from taking a chance on love.
Hawk is an awesome alpha hero, who loves being a SEAL and is loyal and committed to his teammates. Not only does he feel guilty that Brett was injured on his watch, but he is conflicted knowing that one of their team may have tried to kill Brett. As he begins to investigate his teammates and their motives, he also finds himself falling for Cutter’s beautiful but stubborn sister who’s supposed to be off limits. However, can Hawk overcome his own fears that he can never make Zoe happy as long as he is a SEAL? Reasor writes amazing love scenes and the plot is well-developed, captivating, and downright suspenseful as the truth gets revealed.
Breaking Through (SEAL TEAM Heartbreakers #2)
Published September 2012
What happens when a Navy SEAL wakes from a month-long coma to discover he’s being investigated for murder?
When Ensign Brett Weaver is accused of murder, he knows he’s innocent, but how can he prove it with Naval Investigators breathing down his neck? A chance meeting with reporter Tess Kelly offers him an opportunity to get the press on his side. But can he trust her to keep his other secrets off the record?
Tess works hard to live up to her father’s expectations. When Brett offers her information about SEAL training in exchange for an introduction to her award-winning journalist father, she jumps at the chance. The situation Brett lobs into her father’s lap is a major scoop. But the secret she discovers about Brett is just as newsworthy. Will her feelings for this wounded warrior win out, or will she release a story guaranteed to destroy Brett’s SEAL career?
When Tess’s father is kidnapped, Brett’s team is deployed to find him. At the same time, a leak in the investigation puts Tess and Brett’s lives in danger. Will Brett be able to break through the lasting effects of his injuries and prove he’s once again a battle-ready SEAL? Or will he and Tess lose everything at the whim of a vengeful killer?
Breaking Through focuses on Brett’s situation as he recovers from his injuries and his search to uncover the truth about what happened to him on his last mission. I strongly recommend that you read Breaking Free first because Zoe and Hawk’s storyline continues to develop in this second installment. The brain injuries Brett has suffered have affected his memory and he decides to work with Tess, a young attractive journalist just starting out in her career and whose father, a legendary journalist, may be able to help him to find out what really happened in Iraq and prove his innocence. Tess has her own issues with her father and along with a disastrous past relationship, she’s wary of becoming too involved with Brett no matter how much she has grown to admire and respect this handsome, dedicated soldier who can’t remember what happened to him but is absolutely certain he has done nothing wrong:
“You’re a source, Brett. I can’t-“
“One day I’m not going to be a source anymore, and you’re going to have to decide.”
Whether to stand on the sidelines and watch life go by, or be a par-“ he paused while he searched for the word. “Participant.”
Was that really how he saw her?
“I’m working to break through my speech issues. I’d love to be there when you break through yours, when you finally reach for what you want without holding back.”
“And you think I’ll reach for you?” she asked, trying to scoff, but not quite pulling it off.
“You did once. I’m hoping you’ll do it again.”
The plot is well-executed, the action intense, and the romance steamy!
Breaking Away (SEAL TEAM Heartbreakers # 3)
Release Date: November 2013
When lone wolf, Navy SEAL Harold “Flash” Carney agrees to act as an undercover operative for the FBI in an international smuggling sting, he revisits a past he hoped to leave behind forever. During the sting his handler is killed. Neck deep in a double cross and cut off from his team, Flash goes on the run with only his training to keep him alive.
Samantha Cross is desperate to leave her past as a battered wife behind, but her ex-husband is attempting to gain custody of their daughter, Joy, to keep them in his life. When her ex turns stalker, Sam is determined to do whatever it takes to protect her daughter and break his hold over them for good.
Despite their mutual wariness, Samantha and Flash are drawn to each other. But trust comes hard. When the walls both have erected start to crumble, trouble surfaces from all fronts, and Flash has no choice but to break away from the ingrained habits of a lifetime to save the one thing he’s always wanted and thought he’d never have—a family.
Will troubled pasts destroy their love?
Flash slowed his Triumph Sprint to fifteen miles an hour. He passed row after row of cookie-cutter houses, all with tile roofs and sparse landscaping. He glanced at the house numbers. After he reached the 2000s, the houses spread out a little more, leaving long stretches of desert dotted with clumps of grass and Joshua trees.
Finally he came to a mailbox with the number he was looking for pasted on the side. A large detached garage came into view. And a police car sat in a semi-circular driveway.
He started to mosey on down the highway, then at the last minute decided to loop around and keep his appointment. If there was a problem with the place he had arranged to rent, he needed to know about it. And it was better to be straight up and get to know the local cops so they wouldn’t be suspicious.
He brought his bike to a stop, pushed it up on the kickstand, and cut the engine.
Two police officers wandered from the back of the house. Both rested their hands on their sidearms as they approached him.
Flash removed his helmet and then his gloves. “Is this the Andrews’ residence?”
One of the police officers answered. “Yeah. Can I see some identification?”
Flash shrugged, dug into the back pocket of his jeans, removed his wallet and tugged free his driver’s license. He’d changed his license to reflect his change of residency to the state of Nevada, with a slight mis-spelling in his name. The current photo showed a man with a well-trimmed beard, darker hair, and glasses. He had no warrants or tickets here or anywhere that he was aware of—yet. Though the military was still looking for him.
The police officer studied the license. “What’s your business here, Mr. Carnes?” He passed off the license to his partner, who took it with him to the squad car.
“I’m supposed to be renting the apartment above the garage and setting up an internet business from here. I have a signed copy of the lease and I’ve already paid a deposit and gotten the permits.” Flash opened the storage compartment on the bike, removed the letter and his paperwork and handed it to the cop.
“What sort of business?” the policeman asked. His partner returned and offered him his license back.
“I custom design security systems and install them.”
The two men looked at each other. “You’ve arrived just in time,” the one who had asked him for identification said. The other handed him back the lease agreement.
Flash raised a brow.
“The lady who lives here is having some trouble and could use a system.”
“What kind of trouble?” Flash asked.
“We can’t really say,” his partner said. “But maybe you could give her a good deal on a security system in place of rent. I’d mention that when you get a chance to talk with her.”
Flash nodded and replaced his license in his billfold. This didn’t really sound like a situation he wanted to get involved in. But he’d already paid a deposit on the room over the garage with a guarantee he’d be able to use the garage if he needed it. “Should I stick around and speak to her while you guys are still here? Or should I come back later?”
“While we’re here would be good. She’ll know you have legitimate business with her and aren’t someone hired to cause a problem.”
Things were sounding less and less inviting. Shit!
Another police car pulled into the drive and came to a stop behind Flash’s bike. The officer behind the wheel got out, moved to the back door, and opened it. He reached in to offer a hand to one of the passengers and smiled at the child who wiggled free of the back seat. Gaining her feet, she tossed her feather boa over her shoulder and strutted across the gravel drive on her plastic high heels like a mini runway model.
The woman who followed was dressed in mid-thigh length shorts and a blue, short-sleeved pullover top with a scooped neckline. Her legs looked long and smooth. Her strawberry-blonde hair, a shade just a bit darker than the child’s, was pulled back into a ponytail, baring her face. Her wide-spaced eyes focused on him sitting on the Triumph and she frowned. She reached back into the police car and hiked a backpack over her shoulder. The slender bow of her body as she did that caught Flash’s interest and his mouth went dry.
Was he staring? He scanned the cops’ expressions and saw their attention fixed on her, too.
One of the policemen approached her and she shifted her attention to the officer. She followed him to the porch and unlocked the door. He went inside ahead of her.
“Who are you?”
The words spoken in a demanding tone drew his attention. He smiled at the little girl who stood, hands on hips, eyeing him with a frown.
“My name is Tim.” Using his middle name still felt awkward even after months of doing so. “And you are?”
“Joy.” She narrowed her eyes as she studied his bike. “That’s a motorcycle.”
“Yes, it is.”
“Can I ride it?”
Flash grinned. “It’s a little too big for you, sweetheart.”
“Can I ride with you?”
“If your mom says it’s okay.”
Her bottom lip jutted out.
Flash grinned. Was that frown a sign of a strong will or disappointment? Or both?
“Joy!” The woman’s sharp voice jerked both his and the little girl’s heads around. The woman’s slim legs ate up the distance and made her seem taller until she’d come to a halt next to them.
“Are you with the police?” she asked.
One of the police approached them. “This fellow says he has a lease on an apartment with you, Ms. Cross. He has paperwork, and it appears legitimate.”
Flash frowned at the name Cross. “I signed the lease with a Mrs. Andrews.”
“That’s my grandmother.” She looked away. “She died six weeks ago.”
Shock froze his features for a moment. Damn! The woman he’d spoken to had seemed so feisty and full of life. What the hell had happened? An accident? A heart attack? He shoved the glasses he didn’t really need up on his nose. “I’m real sorry to hear that. I enjoyed speaking with her and was looking forward to meeting her.”
“We’re moving out, Mrs. Cross. Officer Harris set your groceries on the porch. Don’t hesitate to call if you need us again.”
She moved away to thank all three men for their help. And watched as they got into their vehicles and pulled away.
Flash swung free of the bike and stood to stretch his legs.
She turned to face him, a frown much like her daughter’s drawing her brows together. She studied him for a long moment, her pale greenish-gray gaze sharp. She kept a good four feet of space between them and asked, “Do you have a copy of the lease?”
“Sure.” Flash again pulled the paperwork from the bike’s storage compartment and handed it to her. “I can give you my boss’s number and my references, and you can call them and check me out again. I’m staying at the Hampton, but I already have appointments in the area, so I’ll have to give you my cell so you can contact me.”
“Why have you waited so long to move in?” She scanned the document.
“It took a couple of months to reorganize the other office. We’ve been based in Baja and doing work in Mexico, but now want to move a satellite office here. We have a lot of clients on both sides of the border.”
She nodded. “It says here you made an eight hundred dollar deposit.”
“Yes. In March.”
She studied his face again. The wariness in her gaze triggered a responsive concern. Based on the police visit and her suspicion, there was something going on here he didn’t really need to be a part of.
But finding another out-of-the-way apartment was going to be a bitch. “Look, if there’s a problem with this, I’ll work out of the van until I find someplace else. Just write me a check for my deposit and I’m gone.”
“I can’t do that, Mr. Carnes.” Her cheeks grew flushed. “The money has already been spent. I wish my grandmother had told me about this—before.” She handed him back the lease and stood a moment, studying the toe of her canvas sneaker. “I’ll get the keys to the apartment.” She held her hand out to the little girl. “Joy, come into the house and I’ll make you a snack.”
“No, honey. Remember we had to put the ice cream back so it wouldn’t melt. We can make some popsicles with the orange juice later.”
Mrs. Cross heaved the backpack over her shoulder, picked up the groceries and went into the house.
Flash wandered around the outside of the garage, looking over the property. The exterior of the building wasn’t much to look at, but structurally it appeared sound. Two large flowerpots positioned on either side of the wooden stairs leading up to the door of the apartment spilled over with blossoms, a nice woman’s touch. They reminded him of Juanita and her garden.
He heard steps on the gravel drive before she appeared around the edge of the garage.
“I’m sorry it took me so long. I had to get Joy settled in front of the television with a snack.” She sounded breathless.
She offered him the keys.
Flash mounted the stairs then looked over his shoulder to find her still standing at the bottom. “Are you going to do a walk-through?”
She bit her lip and glanced toward the house. “I don’t feel comfortable leaving Joy unattended. I’ll come up in a few minutes, after she’s finished her snack.”
“Okay.” The dead bolt turned with a soft click and he pushed open the door. The room stretched the length of the four-car garage. Mrs. Andrews had told him it had once been her husband’s workshop.
Flash wandered around the space. Solid wood floors polished to a shine stretched across the entire length of the room. A small galley-style kitchen spread across opposite corners just inside the door. The solid wood cabinets stained a light oak gleamed with care, and a round kitchen table and four chairs separated the area from the living room. The living room boasted both couch and recliner, with an end table between, and a small entertainment center housing a twenty-seven inch television. A colorful area rug of dark maroon and gold covered the empty floor between.
After seeing the plain exterior of the building, Flash was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the interior.
He pushed open the bedroom door. A sand and blue comforter covered the double bed, a runner in the same colors stretched along the floor on one side. A nightstand with a lamp, a dresser and a chest of drawers made up the furnishings. A pocket-sized closet took up one corner.
The bathroom appeared more utilitarian than the rest of the apartment, tiled in white, with a sink, commode, a shower stall and a stacked washer-dryer unit.
The place would be perfect for his needs. And he’d certainly lived in much worse.
He heard the rattle of the exterior storm door opening in the other room and strode back into the living room to join Mrs. Cross. He’d never introduced himself, nor had she.
“My name is Tim Carnes by the way,” Flash said. Every time he introduced himself by the fictitious name his stomach cramped, even though his days of being Harold Timothy Carney had been over for the last six months.
She stayed close to the open door. “Samantha Cross.”
“Maybe you’d better tell me why the police were here.”
Her gaze settled on his black t-shirt. Her throat worked as she swallowed. Her gaze settled on his black t-shirt. Her throat worked as she swallowed. “My ex-husband spent five months in jail for assaulting me and a nurse at the hospital where I was admitted. Then two months more for stalking and attempted assault when our divorce went through and for ignoring the restraining order I filed against him. He got out two days ago and today, while we were at the grocery store, he slashed my tires.”
Son of a bitch!
He studied her bent head, taking in the curve of her high cheekbones, her smooth skin, the scattering of freckles across her nose. She stood five foot four and wouldn’t weight much more than a hundred and ten pounds. What kind of guy raised a hand against a woman like this? He noticed a scar that marred the smooth skin of her cheek. Had the bastard done that? Anger built, thrusting heat into his face.
The cop’s comment about a security system made sense now.
She raised her head, and for a moment met his gaze. “I’ll understand if you don’t want the apartment.”
Flash wandered to the kitchen window and scanned the open land to the east and the mountains in the distance. He didn’t need anything that would draw uninvited attention to his presence here. He’d chosen the area for that exact reason. But what suited him worked against her.
The house was too isolated, the nearest neighbor possibly a quarter of a mile away. The ex could break in here and do anything he wanted. She and her daughter would be totally at his mercy. Joy’s delicate face flashed through his thoughts. Had he laid hands on her too?
Memories of another place and time tumbled through his mind like a kaleidoscope. Every protective instinct he had leapt to full life.
Frustration tightened his stomach and shoulders. He mentally flipped through his alternatives. A wry smile twisted his lips. He thrust his hands into the back pocket of his jeans and turned to face her. Who was he kidding? It would take a full company of Afghan terrorists to get him out of this apartment. “I think the apartment will work just fine, Samantha.”
Purchase Breaking Away
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