Ambush in the Everglades
by Petie McCarty
GENRE: Romantic Suspense
Plenty of action-adventure in this romantic-suspense tale. Photographer Kayli Heddon is given the biggest assignment of her career—a photo essay on the Everglades Restoration—and a special airboat safari is arranged, so Kayli can get her pictures. What she doesn’t count on is being stranded alone in the Everglades with her handsome and unpredictable airboat guide. Kayli is forced to learn some tough lessons. Trust means everything in the dangerous River of Grass, and a skilled partner makes all the difference in your survival.
Skye Landers takes the airboat safari gig as a favor to his cousin who is called out of town. Skye doesn’t expect the governor’s photographer to catch his eye, but Kayli Heddon is unlike any woman he has ever met. He knows he should keep his distance, but common sense flies out the window whenever she gets near.
Unfortunately, Kayli thinks honesty is the most important thing in a relationship—any relationship—and Skye Landers is a fraud. When secrets surface from his past, Kayli and Skye are soon on the run from more than just alligators.
Leaping over palmettos and tree roots and dodging half-buried cypress knees, they raced for their boat as the whine in the distance grew louder. Kayli recognized the whine as a second airboat. She couldn’t stop running if she wanted to, Skye had a death grip on her hand.
“Tell me what’s wrong,” she shouted, “and why are we running?”
Twenty more yards, and they reached the airboat. The approaching craft sounded closer by the second.
He dropped her hand to grab the bow line. “Get in the boat,” he ordered.
She stopped dead. “No.”
He whipped around with a fearsome glare.
“Not until you tell me why we’re running.”
This was so unlike the man she’d come to know over the last two days at close quarters. He looked . . . well, scared.
“Crane Tennapin is on his way here with drug runners to make a pick up.”
She felt the blood drain from her face. “Who is Crane Tennapin?”
“Another cousin, now let’s go.” He pushed on the bow of the airboat. “I’ve got to get you out of here. I’ll leave you at Sally’s.”
“I’m staying with you.”
“You can’t. I have to come back to help Crane.”
The whine grew louder and closer.
She froze. “You’re coming back to help a drug dealer?”
“Hell no!” he roared and softened his voice when she flinched. “Crane’s in over his head. He got mixed up with the Colombians before he knew about the drugs. Now they’re threatening to turn him in if he doesn’t help them with this drop.”
He motioned her over and held out a hand. “Come on, come on.”
“What if you don’t get back in time?” She couldn’t believe she wasn’t scrambling into the airboat.
He had her by the shoulders in two steps and stared hard in her eyes. “I can’t let anything happen to you.”
The emotion in his voice wrapped around her heart like long tentacles, and she couldn’t pull free. She didn’t want to.
Her arms flew around his neck, and Skye crushed her to his chest, his mouth hard against hers. A flood of emotion rifled through her unlike anything she’d ever felt in her life. She wanted to fold her soul into his and never let him go. She had wanted this can’t-let-you-go kiss from the moment she laid eyes on Skye. She wanted the kiss to last forever.
Precious seconds were squandered. The airboat whine grew louder, and his head jerked up.
“There’s no time to get me out.”
No way would she leave him, not with drug runners coming. She might never see him again.
He pulled back and gazed into her eyes. “You have to trust me.”
She nodded. “What’re you going to do?”
“Sink the airboat.”
Ms. McCarty is fast becoming one of my favorite writers. In fact, I hope that she continues in the romantic suspense category. She writes her action scenes that make you feel like you are right in it with the characters. Her heroines can hold there own and the heroes realize that the woman in their life is quite capable.
Kayli is no shrinking violet. Look, I would be freaking out about leeches and roaches like any sane person so I can get that with her. She takes her punches and moves on from it. Skye doesn’t need to “rescue” her in the book. Oh no, I can’t even imagine how that would have worked out. Not well, not well at all. In fact, I think Kayli would have left him high and dry even if he tried. They were equals in the end and it made for a better relationship and book.
Now, did Skye really lie to her about his lineage or what he really was? Not really. He had his life on the river and that was good enough for him. He enjoyed it and was good at it. In fact, I think he was a bit embarrassed about it. Did he tease her at the beginning of the book? You bet but it made for great tension between them and made them work hard for the relationship that neither one of them saw coming. I love when an author does that with their characters.
The secondary characters in the book are top-notch. There is a bit of Native American folklore that was extremely interesting and very important to their story. Especially Skye. When everything was said and done in the end, Wren was the most important character in the book. The mysticism towards the end of the book was intriguing and made the whole book come together. Ms. McCarty did her research when it came to sights and sounds of the river, too. Just once I would like to ride a riverboat for the rush. Well, and to also see the Everglades in person, too.
Ms. Carty has written a brilliant action-packed, slow-burn romance in the suspense department. Again, she is becoming one of my all-time favorite authors. Pick her books up to read. You won’t be sorry.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Petie spent a large part of her career working at Walt Disney World—”The Most Magical Place on Earth”—where she enjoyed working in the land of fairy tales by day and creating her own romantic fairy tales by night, including her new series, The Cinderella Romances. She eventually said good-bye to her “day” job to write her stories full-time. These days Petie spends her time writing sequels to her regency time-travel series, Lords in Time, and her cozy-mystery-with-romantic-suspense series, the Mystery Angel Romances.
Petie shares her home on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee with her horticulturist husband and an opinionated Nanday conure named Sassy who made a cameo appearance in No Angels for Christmas.
Visit Petie’s web site online at http://www.petiemccarty.com or her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/petie.mccarty.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Petie McCarty will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC and three ebook copies of The Angel and the SEAL to randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.