Dex & Annabelle
H.O.T. Strike Team 1, Book 10
Tell Dex I’m sorry. I’m not the right woman for him. He deserves more.
When Dex Davidson was abandoned at the altar by the woman he loved, he threw himself into his military career. Five years later, Annabelle Quinn desperately needs his black ops skills. Much as he wants to refuse, he can’t turn his back on anyone in danger.
Blackmailed into jilting Dex and forced into an abusive marriage, Annabelle never thought she’d escape the hell of the last few years. But her husband died a month ago and she’s finally free.
Except she isn’t. If she doesn’t return the fortune her husband stole, she’ll be dead – and so will her young daughter.
As a ruthless menace closes in, Dex will fight to keep the young widow safe. When it’s over, he plans to forget her.
Until he discovers the truth she’s been hiding all these years. Then nothing can stop him from claiming what’s his…
**Start reading the Hostile Operations Team Series – Strike Team 1 today and enjoy an action-packed, seriously romantic and steamy-good-fun military romantic suspense. Each book can be read as a standalone. No cliffhangers or cheating and a guaranteed happily-ever-after ending!
Read an Excerpt
Five years ago…
Dexter Davidson checked his watch for the thousandth time that morning. It was nearing noon and his bride-to-be was over an hour late. His father stood in the chancel, his rented tuxedo making him appear distinguished and genteel rather than rough and worn like the farmer he was. But the look on his face was what killed Dex the most. It was one of pity and a growing resignation.
“Fuck this,” Dex growled as he clenched his jaw tight and walked down the aisle, between the rows of pews where the guests waited for the ceremony to start. The chapel doors were open to the outside because it was springtime and warm. But it was also raining. A soft, gentle rain, but rain nonetheless.
Perhaps the rain had caused a delay. Dex stood in the open door and took his phone from his pocket. Annabelle still hadn’t answered his texts. He sent another one, just in case, and felt his heart shrivel just a little bit more when no answer came.
He tried calling, but it went to voice mail without even ringing. “Belle,” he said, his throat tight and his eyes burning, “where are you, baby? I’m worried. Please let me know you’re safe. If you’ve changed your mind, it’s okay. Just let me know.”
It wasn’t okay if she’d changed her mind, but what else could he say? Annabelle Quinn had been his girl for the past four years. He’d fallen madly in love with her in an instant. He’d known her most of his life, had ignored her for much of it because she was his little sister’s best friend, but one day, pow! She’d smiled at him the way she had a million times before—and he was done for. He’d been hers from that moment forward.
And now they were supposed to be getting married. He’d come home on leave from the Army at Christmas and asked her to marry him. She’d said yes. She and his sister had planned everything while he went back to Afghanistan and did his best to stay alive. He didn’t know how long he stood there before he felt a presence beside him.
“I’m sorry, Dex.” Katie put a hand on his arm. “She’s not coming.”
He wanted to deny it, but the look on Katie’s face told him all he needed to know. He felt hollow inside. Empty. Because he knew she was right. He’d known it deep in his gut for the past twenty minutes.
His sister’s eyes were shiny. He took the phone from her hand and stared at the text message on the screen until the words blurred together and his heart burned away, turning to ash.
Belle: I can’t, Katie. Please don’t hate me, but I can’t. Tell Dex I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have let it go this far. I’ve thought for a while that marrying him wasn’t right, that I’m not the woman for him—I should have been brave enough to say so. He deserves more than this. Tell him.
Dex stood there for a long moment, his gut roiling with emotions he didn’t know how to process. He dropped the phone and strode out into the rain while Katie called after him. He put his uniform hat on, shoved his hands into his pockets, and kept walking down the muddy road, away from the country church that Annabelle had insisted was the place she wanted to be married.
He didn’t know where he was going or what he was going to do when he got there. All he knew was that his life would never be the same again.
H.O.T. Publishing, LLC
April 11, 2017