UPDATE: The winner is…Christine!
Following the same theme as my last post, where I introduced or reminded you about an older series that’s been updated, I’m including an excerpt from the second book in the Danger Zone series, Mutiny’s Bounty. It’s my favorite story in the series because of the shark cage scene, which I share a bit of below. And of course, it’s sexy as hell. The hero’s a SEAL, and my heroine falls quickly into insta-lust (who wouldn’t?) then love, because again, he’s hot, heroic, and knows just how to turn a girl inside out.
Remember, the first book, Dangerous Liaisons, is on sale for just $0.99! That price is not going to last long!
But then, you really don’t have to read the stories in sequence, although I think you’d enjoy the series better! Or if your reading time is limited, you could just jump straight to Mutiny’s Bounty, because, again…sexy as hell, SEALs, danger at the bottom of the sea, an excursion on a billionaire’s yacht…
Solve the puzzle. Then tell me where you’d like to travel to enjoy this kind of scenery! Win a $5 Amazon gift card!
Excerpt from Mutiny’s Bounty
Dex strode aft and glanced over the side of the boat to the escort skiff bobbing on a gentle sea.
Justin raised a hand to wave.
Dex touched his earpiece. “How’s everything going?”
“No worries. Except Johnny thinks something’s up with the engine. It’s been hiccupping a bit.”
Damn. Dex blew out a breath. “If he’s worried, radio back to shore to muster another boat. Halloran has a cruiser we can put to use.”
“Will do. Is your lady friend nervous about the dive?”
“Not too much.” Dex grinned. “She’ll have me in the cage.”
“No worries then. No Great White’s a match for a SEAL.”
Dex gave the men another wave then pushed away from the side. There wasn’t a cloud in the clear blue sky. The sea was calm. Shrugging off his momentary frisson of unease, he went in search of Lace. She’d be his focus throughout this adventure. Still, he ran up the metal steps and entered the bridge, eyeing the captain who gave him a little wave and the other white-suited crewman, who was one of Halloran’s guards.
Dex nodded toward the screen, free of any blips. “No other boats in the area?”
“Screen’s been clear since we left the island. We’ve got it covered. Enjoy the dive.”
The other man’s grin was friendly enough. Unworried, Dex nodded then headed out the door. The other white-suited guard was probably serving drinks while keeping watch. All the activity of the staff and the dive team seemed to be business as usual. Dex didn’t know why his gut was telling him something wasn’t right, but he trusted his instincts. Always.
After taking more steps to the highest platform where a couple of guests were sunning themselves, Dex gazed out over the ocean. The water was calm and a deep, dark blue. Still nothing on the horizon. Looking down, he spotted Lace, holding onto the rail while she made her way toward the back of the yacht. Likely, she was beginning to get jittery about the dive.
Shrugging off the bad vibes, he took the stairs to the lower deck. The cage holding the first pair of divers was being winched up. They dropped their breathing apparatuses and grinned at Troy and his crew, the female bubbling an excited, “It was awesome!”
Dex glanced at Lace. She stood in the raised, caged platform, the spotter’s cage, gazing downward, likely counting fins. While her attention was drawn there, he went to the diving gear, chose a BCD, and then grabbed a tank, regulator, and weight belt. He checked filters, attached the regulator, then checked the tank’s pressure, assuring himself he had plenty of air for the short dive. He inspected the regulator and the alternate, checked inflation and deflation of his BCD.
Everything was in order, all the equipment well-maintained. He stripped off his tee, toed off his shoes, and placed his earpiece atop the folded bundle. Gearing up, he noted Lace heading down the ladder from the spotter’s cage and walking over to Troy.
Dex joined her, giving her a quick grin. “Still time to change your mind.”
She shook her head. “I watched the others. The cage is sturdy. And I have no wish to stick my hand outside the bars to try to pet them.”
Troy laughed. “We’ve got tiger sharks and Whites. Should be a good show.” He turned to Dex. “You ready?”
Dex gave him a nod, and then handed Lace goggles and a weight belt. “This will keep you from floating to the top of the cage.”
Her smile stretched across her face. “I actually think this will be fun. I didn’t much like swimming above them, but the cage is almost like wearing armor.”
Minutes later, the second couple exited the cage, and one of Troy’s team opened the cage door and signaled for them to enter. Dex followed Lace as she ducked through the entrance. Once inside, she donned her goggles and belt, and then reached above her for the hookah tube with the mouthpiece.
“Anything goes wrong with the air in the tube…” he held up the alternate regulator, “I have this. Just remember to breathe in through your mouth, exhale through your nose.”
“Got it,” she said, her expression tense but happy.
Dex glanced behind him just as the cage door swung closed.
Troy stood outside the cage, giving him a hard stare. “You take care of her, and no one gets hurt.” He turned the latch to close it.
Dex cut a glance around him, noted that the dive crew members were opening plastic tubs, pitching aside spare BCDs, and pulling out firearms, pistols and rifles. Dread clenched his gut. Trapped inside a cage, he couldn’t make a move.
Lace’s fingers curled around his wrist. “What’s happening?”
Through the bars, Dex’s gaze locked on Troy’s grim smile. “They’re taking the boat. My crew—”
“Will be busy fishing you two from the bottom of the sea,” Troy said. “They won’t be able to follow us because their engine’s about to seize. While they’re occupied, we’ll be rounding up Halloran and his rich friends, and inviting them to wire funds to our accounts. By the time that second escort boat headed this way arrives, we’ll be long gone.”
Lace curled her body against his. Automatically, he grabbed her waist.
“You’ve got another boat coming,” Dex guessed, his heart beginning to race as he realized there wasn’t a thing he could do. Already, the chain holding the cage was tightening, lifting them off the deck.
“Like I said, if your men don’t try anything stupid, everyone lives. I’m not a murderer. I’m just looking out for my retirement.” Troy gave another grin, one that was tight. His eyes gleamed beneath lowered brows. “Stop worrying about what’s happening up here. You’re gonna have your hands full.” He angled his head toward Lace.
The cage rattled and shook as the crane swung it out over the water. Another chum bucket was lowered over the side. Dex’s attention went to the sharks circling beneath them, and then to the woman standing beside him, her eyes wide as saucers, and her body beginning to shake. “Grab tight to the cage, baby. Hold your breath as we go down. Soon as we’re in the water, I’ll share my tank. We’ll be okay.”
With the cage poised above the water, Dex knew what was about to happen. He grabbed the rail and sank to his knees.
Lace did the same, staring back at him.
The moment the crane released the cage, chain rattling through the winch, they dropped into the water. A second later, they were fully submerged and lowering fast, Lace’s eyes widening behind her mask, her lips pinched closed and cheeks billowing as she held her breath.
Counting the seconds of their descent, Dex cleared his mask, put his regulator into his mouth, purged the water from it, and sucked in air. Then he slid his hand down the hose to the alternate regulator. With the cage still sinking, he held the rail with one hand and moved toward her.
He held up the yellow alternate regulator, but before allowing her to put it in her mouth, took out his own, showing her how to insert it, then hitting the purge button to let out water, before exaggerating an indrawn breath.
Lace followed his lead, at last breathing through the alternate. The panic in her face lessened as she breathed, and they both gazed upward. The chain rolled out, snagged at the end, then released. The cage free-floated the last few feet to settle in the sand at the sea bottom.