(Shadow Warriors #8)
by Lindsay McKenna
April 28th 2015
He was a haven in the midst of Hell…
Temporarily assigned to the Shadow Squadron in a troubled region of Afghanistan, Chief Warrant Officer and pilot Leah Mackenzie is no stranger to conflict—even if most of her physical and emotional scars are courtesy of her vicious ex. Still, she's got a bad feeling about picking up a team of stranded SEALs. A feeling that's all too justified once enemy fire hits their helicopter and all hell breaks loose…
SEAL Kell Ballard's goal was to get the injured pilot out of harm's way and find shelter deep in the labyrinth of caves. It's a place of dark intimacy, where Leah finds unexpected safety in a man's arms. Where prohibited attraction burns brightly. And where they'll hide until the time comes to face the enemy outside…and the enemy within their ranks.
Intense and emotional military romance.
Leah has collected the broken pieces of her life, from a difficult childhood to her abusive ex husband, and made herself a career in the military. She is capable and professional pilot on the outside, but inside, she is still suffering from her father's neglect and the brutal abuse during her marriage.
Kell is a SEAL sniper, he is a healer by nature, loving, caring, loyal, protective, and a true hero. Kell's parents raised him and his brothers in the rural mountains of Kentucky to be upstanding men, who respect women, and treat them as equals.
After rescuing Leah from the deadly attack on the mountains, Kell soon realizes, the nightmares Leah is having, has nothing to do with the military attack, but comes from somewhere deeper from her history. As Kell takes care of Leah's outside wounds in the caves of the mountains, the form a connection and friendship. In the intense situation, where danger is constantly present, Kell's caring, loving attitude helps Leah to share her past, and the abuse she has suffered from. Long conversations in the caves, forms a trust between Kell and Leah, and Kell's healing hands, patience, honesty, tenderness and kindness don't only take care of the wounds on her skin, but also starts a healing process in her heart and soul. For a short time, the caves become their 'home', their haven in the hell. The form a team, where they work together to escape the mountains, and the Taliban.
After the escape from the mountains, back in the base, Leah has to face her past, her father, and the power abusing ex-husband. The events that follow, will change the future for Leah and Kell, as suddenly both of them are at the crossroads of their lives.
Even though the danger and threat of the war, and Leah's past, is continual, the main focus of the story is the beautiful, fragile relationship forming between Leah and Kell. Leah's wakening to the sensual pleasures of being a woman creates highly emotional scenes. Her truly broken soul is pieced together by Kell, and by the love and acceptance of his family. I was surprised how many similarities this story has with the previous book in the series, Taking Fire. This is a book eight in a series, but can be read as a stand-alone novel.
~ Four Spoons
Meet the author: Lindsay McKenna
I've lived six lives in one and it all shows up in the books I write, one way or another.
I was always a risk taker and broke mustangs at thirteen years old in Oregon. I learn to break them with love, not threat or pain.
At 17 years old, I picked night-crawlers (worms) out in our Oregon orchards from 9pm to midnight, every night. I earned enough money to buy my school clothes and book. I also plunked down $600 to a flight company at the Medford, Oregon airport and asked them to teach me...a girl...to fly. I soloed in 12 hours, which is average. From that time until I left for the US Navy at 18, I had accrued 39 hours of flight time in my Cessna 150 single engine airplane.
I was in the US military and was an AG3 (weather forecaster). There was no airplane club, so I couldn't fly when I was in the Navy. But I could look at the clouds in the sky ;-).
Later, I flew in a B-52 bomber for a day and night mission (18 hours total), a T-38 Talon jet, USAF, where I was riding in a "chase plane" on a test flight in a Dragonfly jet.
I was one of the first AFLA (American Fencing League of America) women fencers to fence with epee and sabre. These weapons were closed to women because they were too 'heavy' for a female to handle. I said baloney and fought the males and won half my bouts. I was part of a surge of women fencers on the East Coast in the 1970's to push for equality in the sport. Together, we changed the sport and changed the mind of the men. Today? In the Olympics? Women now fence in foil, epee and sabre, thanks to what we did as a vanguard showing the world it could be done.
I then became a volunteer firefighter when I was a civilian once more, the first woman in an all - male fire department in West Point, Ohio for three years. I became a local expert not only in firefighting, driving the engine and tanker trunks, but also had training in hazardous material (Reynoldsburg Fire Academy, Columbus, OH).
My books always reflect what I experienced. If you like edgy, gritty, deeply and emotionally intense love stories with sympathetic heroes and heroines, check out my newest series that will be available mid-Oct. 2015, and it incorporates much of what I have lived.