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SEALs of Honor: Tanner: SEALs of Honor, #18

SEALs of Honor: Tanner: SEALs of Honor, #18

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SEALs of Honor: Tanner: SEALs of Honor, #18

évaluations:
4/5 (5 évaluations)
Longueur:
248 pages
4 heures
Sortie:
Nov 19, 2018
ISBN:
9781773360935
Format:
Livre

Description

Tanner Kosta is the newest member of the team. Active in sports, particularly aerial types, he's training with a new military harness used in paragliding. The design was developed by Wynn Rider and her brother. As they run two SEAL teams through rigid training, Wynn's glider fails mid-flight, sending her plummeting toward the ground. Only Tanner's quick thinking saves her life–though it doesn't save her from losing her job.

Wynn used to compete professionally in the cutthroat paragliding industry before she walked away from it, but this accident is by far the worst she's ever had. Separating her gratitude from the growing attraction is nearly impossible.

Tanner has heard the old adage that saving a life makes you responsible for it. Having admired Wynn's career when she was a professional paraglider, he's more than a little interested in keeping a close eye on the fascinating lovely who almost literally fell in his lap.

When Wynn realizes her equipment had been sabotaged, she's worried her past has come back to haunt her. Tanner may be the only one who can help her against someone who's determined to put her and her brother out of business…permanently.

Sortie:
Nov 19, 2018
ISBN:
9781773360935
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It's a Dog's Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series). She honors the stories that come to her - and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres! To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. To find out more about Dale and her books, visit her at http://www.dalemayer.com. Or connect with her on Twitter @DaleMayer or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dalemayer.author. If you like Dale Mayer's books and are interested in joining her street team, sign up here - https://www.facebook.com/groups/402384989872660/ Books by Dale Mayer Psychic Vision Series Tuesday's Child Hide'n Go Seek Maddy's Floor Garden of Sorrow Knock, Knock... Rare Find Eyes to the Soul - fall/winter 2014 By Death Series Touched by Death - Part 1 - Free Touched by Death - Part 2 Touched by Death - Full book Haunted by Death Chilled by Death - fall/winter 2014 Second Chances...at Love Series Second Chances - Part 1 Second Chances - Part 2 Second Chances - Full book Novellas It's a Dog's Life- romantic comedy Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy Broken Protocols #1 Broken Protocols #2 Broken Protocols #3 New adult/adult crossover books In Cassie's Corner Gem Stone (a Gemma Stone mystery) Design Series Dangerous Designs Deadly Designs Darkest Designs Family Blood Ties Series Vampire in Denial Vampire in Distress Vampire in Design Vampire in Deceit Vampire in Defiance Non-Fiction Books Career Essentials: The Resume Career Essentials: The Cover Letter Career Essentials: The Interview Career Essentials: 3 in 1

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SEALs of Honor - Dale Mayer

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About This Book

Tanner McGrath is the newest member of the team. Active in sports, particularly aerial types, he’s training with a new military harness used in paragliding. The design was developed by Wynn Rider and her brother. As they run two SEAL teams through rigid training, Wynn’s glider fails mid-flight, sending her plummeting toward the ground. Only Tanner’s quick thinking saves her life—though it doesn’t save her from losing her job.

Wynn used to compete professionally in the cutthroat paragliding industry before she walked away from it, but this accident is by far the worst she’s ever had. Separating her gratitude from the growing attraction is nearly impossible.

Tanner has heard the old adage that saving a life makes you responsible for it. Having admired Wynn’s career when she was a professional paraglider, he’s more than a little interested in keeping a close eye on the fascinating lovely who almost literally fell in his lap.

When Wynn realizes her equipment had been sabotaged, she’s worried her past has come back to haunt her. Tanner may be the only one who can help her against someone who’s determined to put her and her brother out of business…permanently.

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Prologue

Tanner McGrath watched Warrick and Penny from the doorway to their hospital room as they cuddled on the bed. Tanner couldn’t believe that, once again, another relationship had sprung up out of nowhere. As intense and as true as this one was, he had no doubts these two would make it. They were a perfect match. Yet, if anybody had asked who would have been perfect for Warrick, Tanner would never have picked somebody like Penny. And, in the same manner, if he had been looking for somebody for Penny, he’d never have picked Warrick for her either.

Damn good thing Tanner wasn’t a matchmaker because he would suck at it. But, as he thought about his own life, he realized he sucked at it anyway. He hadn’t had much luck picking someone for himself.

His phone rang, and he pulled it out, checking the Caller ID. Mason, they’re both in the hospital. They’ll need at least a week off, he said. Warrick cracked the damn cast off his ankle running down the guy who beat the crap out of Penny and put her in the hospital. And, of course, she’s got those three separate injuries to her head so … He let his voice fade away.

Mason chuckled. I’m sure there are a lot of reasons for the bed rest. I certainly don’t have any problems with him getting it.

Right. Honestly I’m jealous as hell, Tanner announced. He turned and walked down the hall, giving the two a little privacy. Although I’ve had more than enough of hospitals for a while.

Yep, me too, Mason said. Since Warrick will be off on medical leave for at least another couple weeks, we need you back full-time.

I only had two days off, Tanner said. I have to admit, they’ve been pretty full days. He took a step around a laundry cart and also a group of hospital staff before he could speak again. What are we up to next?

Paragliding. Trying out new harness designs. We’ll do three or four jumps tomorrow, if we can get them in. We’ll work on these for the next couple days.

Tanner grinned. Awesome. I love jumping. Seems like I never get enough of it.

Or, when we do any, Mason said with a laugh, it’s nighttime, and we’re in silent mode, jumping into unfriendly foreign terrain.

Tanner nodded. Isn’t that the truth? So where will we be jumping tomorrow?

In California, Mason said. Sorry about that. Nothing exotic for you.

Hey, that’s okay. Who’s doing the training?

Mason hesitated. The message I got said it’s a civilian trainer.

Who is he?

Wynn Rider. He hesitated, then spelled the first name. W-Y-N-N.

Tanner stopped. Really?

Do you know him?

Nope, Tanner said. Because it’s not a him. It’s a her.

Really?

Yep. I saw her working with some other guys a while ago, when I did my last recreational jump. I heard she’s really good. But no one from our unit has had a chance to work with her yet.

Tomorrow your unit and one more are it. This time you get to check her out firsthand. Maybe she’ll suit you.

Nah, I doubt it. Besides, if somebody suits me, chances are it’s not somebody who’s good for me. I watched Warrick and Penny come together. I’m not sure I would even recognize what suits me.

Leave it in the hands of fate, Mason said. It hasn’t failed us yet.

Chapter 1

Bright and early the next morning, Tanner piled into the back of the transport truck as the eight SEALs in his unit headed over to the paragliding training session. San Diego was a well-loved paragliding location. But the SEALs had a private cliff edge for today’s training jumps. Tanner had done a fair bit of paragliding in his life. Always found the experience a step above exalted. There was no way to explain the sense of freedom that flying and soaring in the sky gave him. It was seriously magical.

He wished everybody had a chance to try it at least once in their life. He understood his unit and another SEALs unit were trying out new harnesses today, offering better control and able to carry more weight with extra straps for hooking up packs. Tanner wasn’t sure about the constantly changing designs, but he was willing to go with whatever just for a chance to soar in the sky again. At their destination they found the other SEALs team had arrived before them. As Tanner bailed out of the truck, Macklin called out, Hey, Tanner. How’s that idiot Warrick doing?

Tanner gave him the thumbs-up as he walked over to his buddy. Happy as a bug in bed, he said. Especially now that he’s not alone.

Everybody else gathered around gave smug nods.

Understood, Macklin said. Mason’s matchmaking magic is still working.

Tanner nodded. Warrick’s healing nicely, but it’ll be a while yet.

Well, glad to have you back. Although I gather your days off weren’t terribly relaxing.

No, they weren’t, Tanner said with a grin. He pointed to the blue sky above. But this is an absolutely perfect day to be out here. Can’t think of anything I’d rather do.

Unless it’s being like Warrick and stuck in bed with someone special, Macklin said with a big grin.

Tanner had to give him a point for that. You would know. You’ve spent plenty of time there yourself.

I have, and it’s fantastic, Macklin said.

Shadow, with Jackson at his side, stepped up to Tanner, nudged him and said, I think we all have, except for Tanner and Jackson here.

Macklin frowned, slid a sideways glance at Tanner, who waited, knowing the inevitable was coming. Macklin asked, You looking?

Nope. Don’t get me into this.

Macklin shook his head. I wouldn’t knock it. Fate has a habit of turning around and smacking you in the face.

Tanner nodded. I watched Warrick and Penny come together. I tell you that was almost cataclysmic. It doesn’t happen like that for everybody though.

It sure hasn’t for me, Jackson said in joking manner.

No, probably not, Shadow said. But, when you find the right one, there’s nothing like it.

Shadow rarely spoke, and, when he did, it was something to listen to. Big, silent, indomitable was how Tanner always thought of Shadow. The SEAL groups were made up of all alpha males. They had to be just to do the kind of work they did. But there was something about Mason’s team. Tanner was part of the expanded unit. So many guys were working together now, regardless of their unit assignment, that it was hard to know sometimes who worked with who. But that was what made all the units work so well, whether alone or on a joint mission.

Over thirty of them had trained together closely. Across the country were over two thousand men like Tanner. His brother SEALs. He counted himself as one of the lucky ones to be a part of this unique and select brotherhood. And maybe, if only on the inside, Tanner wondered about finding someone special, like what Mason’s team had found, well, who could blame him? Watching Warrick’s relationship with Penny evolve had been pure magic. Tanner was really happy for the big guy.

The training session started. They were called to attention, separated into groups and brought over to various paragliders already laid out. These were some of the biggest out there, with the silks spanning forty feet when fully opened or otherwise engaged in flight. Sometimes the silks were called wings, like a pair of. But these were just one continuous swath of silk. Regardless, these were some kind of beautiful when aloft in the air.

Then fifteen minutes of safety instruction followed and thereafter another fifteen minutes just going over the differences between these new units and the old ones they might have used before. Apparently the newer versions allowed their riders to get closer to the cliffs, to land faster, presumably without crashing.

Tanner would soon find out.

When instructed to, Tanner stepped up to the blue-and-white unit in front of him near the cliff’s edge. He had a huge grin on his face; he’d always been partial to blue. It was a great color for the sky, and today, well, hell, it was just a damn good day to be outside doing anything.

Twenty minutes later it was his turn. As he soared off the cliff, the single swath of silks on each paraglider already billowed high above him as the wind lifted him to join them. This was where he got to really live. Man had been trying to fly ever since they first saw birds in the air. What freedom this was.

Immediately a breeze caught Tanner’s paraglider and lifted him higher and higher, sending him soaring well above everyone else. It was absolutely perfect. He soared and dipped, coasted, experimenting to understand how the new controls worked. These were fantastic.

He glanced over to see a bright purple-and-white unit. It was Wynn. He gave her a single hand wave, and she smiled at him, waving back.

If he couldn’t be alone up here, being silent with the others was the next best thing. He watched the other gliders circle around toward their designated landing target. Following suit, sad to come down, he slowly angled his way lower and lower to the big zone marked off on the beach below.

This was the first of several trips today. He needed to understand how these controls worked, so that, by the end of the day, he had it down. With that thought in mind, with each jump, he played around a little more, understanding the controls, swooping left, then right. He could make a bit of a nose adjustment too, which was interesting. He played with that a little, and the whole time Wynn stayed close to him.

Finally he circled, lowered himself, using the brakes, and came to a clumsy stop on the ground. He laughed out loud, loving life. He turned to watch Wynn execute a perfect landing with her purple silks billowing to rest beside him. He called out in admiration, You’ve obviously done this a time or two.

She laughed and nodded. She walked over, unclipping the harness around her chest, and held out a hand. I’m Wynn Rider. You were working with one of my assistants earlier. I didn’t get a chance to introduce myself.

He shook her hand, happy just to feel her firm grip beneath his. These are quite the gliders. His smile was still full of joy.

And you’re obviously one of those who loves to be up there.

He nodded. I can’t think of anything better.

Her smile beamed. Then we’re agreed. You ready to go again?

He laughed. Absolutely.

Not only did he get to go again, but again and again, trying out one of the gliders with some specially designed aluminum framework to hold weapons. By the end of the day, heading off for his last trip, he stood in line and waited, watching as they headed off the cliff’s edge, going three at a time. He glanced over at Mason and said, Today is just one of those days you can’t ever forget.

Mason chuckled. Isn’t that the truth? We haven’t had a day to do this in a long time.

Hard to believe we’re getting paid for it too, Tanner said with a big grin. He caught sight of Wynn on the far side of Mason, making adjustments on Shadow’s harness while talking to another instructor. They were using different harnesses this time. He frowned as he looked over to see if there was a problem. He nodded to Mason and said, Do you think that’s an issue?

Mason turned, glanced and shrugged. I’ll have to trust the instructors in this case.

Tanner nodded.

Mason roared off the edge of the cliff, in perfect form as always. He was one of those guys who did well at everything.

Tanner was less so. He had a little bit more of the country farm in him. Big, rugged, raw-boned, so not everything came easy. Things like dancing were damn hard. His feet wanted to do anything but. Yet, when it came to karate and judo, his feet danced just fine.

He stepped up next and saw Wynn step up beside him. Any reason you’re tacking onto me again?

You have this tendency to be last, she said with a smile. And I will always be with the last one.

He glanced around and realized she was right. He shrugged. I don’t want it to end. This is the last run of the day, and it’s been glorious. Thank you very much for your part.

She shrugged and said, Hey, I’d do this every day all day if I could. She kept shifting her harness, checking her lines.

You and me both, he said with feeling. Any problem with your paraglider?

She shook her head. One of the instructors had a bit of an issue with the harness earlier, so I’ll take it down myself. See if anything is wrong with it.

He frowned. Is that safe?

We’ll find out, she said, laughing as she raced off the cliff beside him.

Her answer was likely meant as a joke, but he couldn’t quite relax. These paragliders were absolutely stunning. The ride was freeing, like being one with the world, but the minute there was an issue, it was as unforgiving as the rest of Mother Nature. Still, Wynn appeared to have no problem as she caught a thermal updraft and floated above him. Close by, the two of them glided gracefully through the sky. He twisted and turned, dancing on the wind, absolutely loving how the paraglider responded. He’d have to remember to say something to her when they hit the ground.

If she had anything to do with the design changes on the harness, he was all for them.

He was still smiling, his eyes closed, his face in the wind, reveling in this moment, when he heard a strangled exclamation. He turned to catch sight of Wynn struggling. The frame of her paraglider had folded, causing her silks to collapse, and she plummeted. He dove down beside her and could see her struggling even more to hold on. The strings were likely tangled, but he couldn’t tell from where he was. She pulled hard to right her rig but started to crash-dive. He dropped the nose of his glider, tilted his unit and dove deep. Paragliders were generally meant for one, although there were special harnesses for tandem flights. Tanner had done plenty of safety trainings in tandem but hadn’t undertaken any midflight rescues.

Until now.

And it was damn hard to do a rescue in these paragliders. He’d never had any training for something like this, and it definitely required fast thinking. He maneuvered under her, hoping for an unorthodox tandem midair hookup, expecting to feel the blow when she fell into his silks, knowing they would tumble twice as fast with twice the expected weight. He could see her above him, still struggling inside her silks, but he couldn’t see what she was doing.

Had she pulled her parachute? Did she carry a spare? Or was she flying light without a reserve chute?

He couldn’t communicate with her. He could only hope that she understood he was underneath her, like a safety net of sorts. Although she might prefer to take the blow herself, to avoid injuring anyone else, and slam into the ground alone, she could inadvertently take him down with her if she just didn’t realize he was here. But he couldn’t open his chute, or he’d pop up above her. Then he’d lose his chance to try a tandem maneuver. He slipped off to the side of her, watching her progress.

She caught sight of him and gave him a worried glance, and he slipped back underneath her. If her glider completely failed, she wouldn’t have any choice. She’d plummet on top of him.

By now the people on the ground could see they were in trouble. He was trying to stay directly under her, but she was in a nose-dive pattern while he had to circle to lower his unit down, and that made it much harder. He took one more chance at shifting to the side to see what she was up to. Her wings had fully collapsed and sent her plummeting.

He dove down underneath, catching her just as she slammed into his wings. But her added weight folded his silks, with both ends drooped uselessly toward the ground, and Wynn bringing down the center point. Yet it brought her closer to him. He felt for her harness through the silks and grabbed on tight before he pulled his chute. This was like yanking on the parking brake when the foot brakes wouldn’t respond in a car. Not the best thing but the second-best thing at the moment. They were jerked back and up, and he heard her cry out. The chute was tangled in the mess above him. It slowed their descent but not enough.

She shouted, Hit the water.

He glanced around to see a river below them to the right. It would still be a hard blow of a landing but was their best option. He adjusted his angle as much as he could, hoping it was enough. The wind caught and dragged his disabled mess toward the water. He fought for control. Yet again, he could hear her yelling something above him, but he couldn’t make out her

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