Bestselling Author Delilah Devlin
Home Meet Delilah
Bookshelf Blog Extras Editorial Services ContactDelilah's Collections

Head Over SEAL

Happy Ever After for a SEAL and a bounty hunter requires true dedication…

A former military dog handler, now Montana bounty hunter, Jamie Burke’s still trying to adjust to life with a live-in boyfriend. With a testy personality, Jamie’s circle of friends is very small, and includes one very loyal canine best friend. Which is how she likes it. She also likes uncomplicated, but her feelings for her boyfriend, Sky Reynolds, are anything but simple.

With ex-SEAL Sky away on a weeks-long mission, she jumps at the chance to work with the Charter Group again, happy to do anything to keep her too busy to worry about him. She heads to Mexico with her dog Tessa to be part of a team working to discover the whereabouts of a cache of weapons stolen from the Army. She’s thrilled when Sky meets her at the airport.

However, Sky’s not happy Jamie’s in the middle of this op. Having nearly lost her months before, he’s going to stick close. Not a tough job it turns out, since they’re staking out a beachside mansion from the mansion next door. Things heat up as they reconnect, but Jamie and Sky both worry about their future, until a cartel arms dealer arrives and bigger worries mount…

Read an Excerpt

Another day. Another stakeout.

Jamie Burke blew at a lock of hair that had escaped her ponytail and now kept falling between her binoculars and her right eye. She laid her binoculars on the ground, took off her baseball cap, and scraped the offending lock back before replacing her cap on her head. Then she leaned on her elbows for another look at the crumbling, single-lane road leading to the house she watched.

“Well, do you see him yet or not?” came Reaper’s deep, growling voice in her earpiece.

“Not,” she said, keeping her tone dead even. Reaper was worse than any kid on a road trip. “What’s the matter? Gotta pee?”

“Got a date.”

“Seriously?” She bit back a laugh. “Someone said yes?”

“Ha-ha. Just ’cause I’m gonna get some and you ain’t doesn’t mean you have to be a bitch.”

Jamie snorted loud enough he could hear, but otherwise she didn’t dignify his words with a response. Not that she really minded his vulgar statement. She took it as a compliment that he behaved around her the same as he did any other hunter. Progress, in her book, considering he’d done his level best when she’d started out to “discourage” her from this line of work.

And now, they weren’t just partners—they ran a brand-new satellite office for Montana Bounty Hunters. Yes, they were still working out the kinks in their business relationship, but at the very least, she trusted him to keep her safe. And he knew, all too well, she was capable of returning the favor.

“Maybe your date will check you for ticks,” she grumbled, irritated at the buzzing of a mosquito near her ear. She lay on her belly in tall grass in a vacant lot opposite the house they currently surveilled. A canopy of cottonwood trees blocked the late summer sun, and a light breeze teased along her exposed skin. Not bad conditions, given she was wearing long-sleeves and jeans to protect her from the insects.

Again, she checked the road then scanned her surroundings. This rural neighborhood in Amity, Montana was as old and crumbling as the blacktop road she watched and looked kind of sad against the backdrop of the distant, majestic mountains.

She shifted on her bed of crumbled leaves. Reaper had a comfortable camp stool he’d set behind a tree on the far side of the small, dilapidated clapboard house they hoped their mark was occupying. With views of both the front and back doors, they weren’t leaving anything to chance. Jethro Mableton’s neighbor said he came and went at all hours of the day and night, and the old woman had seen him the previous afternoon. So, she and Reaper hoped to capture the bail-jumping pedophile today and earn a substantial bounty for their efforts.

She hoped the “soft” skills their boss, Fetch, had hired her for had paid off. While Reaper had scoured the local bars, without so much as a bite from staff and patrons, she’d followed the leads their new office manager, Brian Cobb, developed. She’d chatted up Jethro’s former cellmates to find out where he might be staying, striking gold when one of them mentioned a cousin’s unoccupied house. Then she’d canvassed the neighbors, wearing clothing that belied her rough-and-tumble job.

When Reaper had seen her leave the hotel that morning in khaki capris and a hot pink, sleeveless suntop with pink-and-white ribboned flip-flops, he’d shaken his head. “You look like a damn candy cane.”

“Long as I look sweet, the old biddies’ll talk.” And they had. Myra Nobles, Jethro’s next-door neighbor, had been only too eager to share everything she’d noted—in a school kid’s composition notebook—about her nefarious neighbor. Further, Myra had offered to let her watch from her property.

Jamie was lying in the wooded area bordering Myra’s yard.

“Do you need more iced tea?” came a loud whisper from behind.

Jamie grimaced. The woman didn’t understand the concept of cover and conceal. Or silence. Didn’t have a clue how a stakeout ought to work. Still, her iced tea was welcome on this muggy day.

Glancing up and down the road for any approaching vehicles, and seeing none, she scooted backward from her spot and moved out of the bushes to greet Myra, who held a tray with a frosty glass of tea and a small plate of homemade cookies. “Are those chocolate chips?” Jamie smiled at the old lady.

“Fresh from the oven.”

Jamie heard a groan in her ear and grinned. “Thank you for your kindness, Myra. You really don’t have to keep me fed. I brought some granola bars and a canteen.”

As she shook her head, the woman’s steel-gray hair didn’t move. “It’s no bother. And I’ve been watching from my front window, too.”
Jamie bit back a sigh. She’d already briefed the woman on potential risks should Jethro resist capture. Instead, she gave the rascally old woman a steady stare. “If Jethro shows, you be sure to stay inside. Lock those doors.”

Myra’s brown eyes sparkled. “Most exciting thing to happen around here in years. All my friends will be so envious. It’s like watching an episode of that bounty hunter out in Hawaii.”

Thanking the woman again, Jamie quickly took the cookies and headed back into her hiding place. When she was settled, she took a bite of cookie, enjoyed the explosion of sweetness, and moaned.


Reaper’s sullen tone made up for her irritation with the woman’s interruption. “Can’t help it. She used chunks of dark chocolate…” She finished the iced tea in a single, long gulp then propped the glass against the base of a tree.

“Someone’s coming.”

Tensing, she raised her binoculars and watched as a non-descript, older-model Buick turned onto the one-lane road leading to Jethro’s cousin’s place. Once the car parked under the open carport, she had the best view of the driver’s door and held her breath as it opened.

A moment later, Jethro stepped out, all six-foot-six of pear-shaped manhood, his hands clutching plastic grocery bags.

“Looks like old Jethro’s milk’s about to sour…”

This time, Reaper groaned at her cheesy line. “I’ve got the back door.”

Jamie stood and brushed off the jeans and long-sleeved tee she’d changed into before bedding down with the ticks. “I’ll let you know when I’m near the front.”

Quickly, she headed toward Myra’s house. Wide-eyed, the woman stood in the opening. “He’s here!” she hissed loudly.

Jamie pressed a finger to her lips then stepped past her. “I’ll go out the front door. If he looks out, he might take me for a friend come to visit. You stay inside, Myra.”

“Of course,” she said crisply, “I’m not the one with a pistol on my hip.”

Jamie shook her head as she exited, pausing to turn the lock on the knob and aim another warning glare at Myra.

The woman rolled her eyes and settled into a rocking chair parked in front of a window.

Once outside, Jamie walked calmly toward Myra’s mailbox and pretended to check the mail. Then she strolled toward a neighbor’s car, parked next to the curb. After passing it, she was far enough out of sight of Jethro’s front window, so she ran for the side of his house, crouching to peer inside a bathroom window then moving closer to the front door. With each step, she did her level best to keep her boots from crunching in the thick carpet of last fall’s dry grass and leaves.

Once she was near the porch, she pulled her lock pick kit from her back pocket. “I’m at the front entrance. Give me two minutes to open the door.”

“Going in the back in one minute.”

Jamie cussed and ducked low in front of the lock.

Suddenly, the door opened, and she glanced upward, straight into Jethro’s surly face. She ducked her head and pretended to tie her boot. “Just a second, sir…”

“What the hell?” Jethro said, his voice rising.

He must have spotted her Glock.

“Goddammit, Jamie!” Reaper shouted in her ear.

She quickly straightened and gave Jethro a blinding smile, hoping to distract him. But a crash sounded in the distance as Reaper kicked in the back door.

Jethro’s eyes widened, and he rushed her, shoving her aside.

Jamie was ready, dropping to a crouch and reaching out to clamp her hand on his trousers where she estimated his balls to be. As she swung to the side, he grunted and took only a step forward, nearly jerking her arm out of its socket, then he bent and angled his body towards hers.

She knew what was coming next, but she counted on the rapid, loud tap of Reaper’s size thirteens to let her know she wouldn’t have to wait long.

Jethro’s huge hands gripped her hair and pulled. “Bitch, let the fuck go!”

Wincing against the sting on her scalp, she twisted her hand, earning a high-pitched scream from Jethro.

His fingers quickly unclenched, and he raised his hands.

Pulse pounding, she gave him another twist, just to make sure she had his attention, then slowly unclipped her holster with her free hand and pulled out her weapon.

Reaper cleared the front door and came to a halt, his gaze going to where her hand was. He grimaced then shook his head. “Not something I’d have tried…”

“Worked, didn’t it?”

Reaper sighed, pulled his handcuffs from his back pocket, and quickly secured their fugitive. “Guess you know what this is about, huh, Jethro?” He leaned to the side and met her gaze. “You can let go of his balls now.”

By the look of Jethro’s white face, she knew she had only a second. She let go and scuttled to the side as Jethro bent and vomited on the porch.

“We’re fugitive recovery agents,” she said, patting his thick, well-padded back. “You’re going to jail.”

Reaper grunted. “Jethro, you got any cookies in those grocery sacks?”


Hours later, Jamie and Reaper pulled in front of the small house the agency rented for their office. Porch lights blinked on. The front door opened.

Her dog, Tessa, leaped through the opening, clattered down the steps, and stood on both hind legs to rest against Jamie’s chest.

“Miss me, girl?” Jamie gave her a hug and scratched behind her ears.

Brian grinned from his wheelchair as he rolled down the ramp to the driveway. “Fetch is wiring the money to our accounts in the morning. Said you could have the night off.”

Reaper grunted. “I suppose he’s already got us another job?”

Jamie gave her Malinois one last pet then took a step back. “Tessa, fuss!”

Tessa spun and backed up to stand beside Jamie’s right side, her gaze glued to Jamie’s face as she awaited the next command.

“She’s looking good, isn’t she?” Jamie said, studying Tessa’s hindquarters. The scar from her surgery was almost hidden by a new growth of fur. The bullet had missed bones, and the muscles and tendons were fully healed. The dog no longer favored her right side, moving with effortless grace.

“Tessa’s right as rain,” Brian said. “She’s been chasing Frisbees like a pup.” Brian’s eyebrows lowered. “Fetch wanted to know whether she was ready for more field work. I told him she was. He’s got something for you two—you and Tessa, that is. Courtesy of the Charter Group,” he said with a shrug as he glanced at Reaper. “Said to pack your go-bag and whatever you need for Tessa. Make sure you have a swimsuit and summer clothes. Something touristy. He’s got tickets for both of you waiting at the Delta desk at the airport, tomorrow at six AM.”

Reaper and Jamie shared a glance.

“Guess this means you’ve got another special assignment,” Reaper said, his expression shifting to concern. Her last special assignment had ended with Tessa shot and Jamie nearly killed.

Jamie frowned. “Did he tell you anything else?”

Brian shook his head. “No. Just said you’d be met in the baggage claim area when you arrive.”

“Did he happen to mention where I’m going?”

“Not a hint. But he also said to make sure you pack a passport.”

Her eyebrows shot up. She rather liked the mystery. So, she’d spare her boss a middle of the night call for details, not that she expected him to offer any. Likely, that was “need to know”, and she didn’t need to know until she met whomever at her destination.

Her heart rate kicked into higher gear. With her boyfriend Sky out of the country on a mission to who-knew-where, she liked the idea of having her own special assignment to keep her mind from worrying about him. This time, he’d been gone three weeks, without giving her a single call. Something he’d warned her to expect. And she understood the need. She really did. But knowing why didn’t make the waiting any easier. Not when her mind thought of every scenario for why he didn’t call, each one worse. Better to busy.

“I’ll drop by your place at four,” Reaper said.

“You don’t have to drive me. I can keep my truck in long-term parking at the airport.”

“I’ll be outside at four.” He gave her the frown he usually reserved for the asshats they hunted. “Don’t make me wait.”

She narrowed her eyes. “You do know we’re partners, right?”

One corner of his mouth quirked upward as he continued to stare.

“I’m not winning this argument, am I?” she muttered.

Brian chuckled. “Things will be quiet around here.”

Wrinkling her nose, Jamie tossed another glance at Reaper. “Sorry you missed your date,” she said, her tone insincere.

Reaper’s smile widened. “I didn’t miss a thing.”

She shook her head. “Not a date so much as a bed to crash? You’re a horn dog.”

He waggled his eyebrows. “I get what I need, and my dates don’t try to twist off my balls.”

Brian chuckled. “I’m guessing there’s more to this story.”

“Tell you about it tomorrow.” Reaper headed toward his SUV.

“Stay safe,” Brian called after him. “Condoms are your best friend, buddy.”

Without looking back, Reaper shot him the bird.

Jamie shifted her stance. “Hey, if Sky calls…”

He nodded. “I’ll tell him he should have come home sooner. Or that he should have accepted Fetch’s offer.”

Pressing her lips tight, Jamie shook her head. “I can’t see him as a bounty hunter.” No, Sky was a SEAL, whether or not he still wore the uniform.

“You guys get plenty of action, too. It’s not like he’d be bored.”

She thought about Jethro and Myra. No, he wouldn’t be bored. But he’d laugh himself silly at some of their misadventures. Sky didn’t talk about why he loved what he did, but she thought he might still like being part of something big. Something that mattered.

“Better get some shuteye.” Brian held up his fist.

She bumped hers against it. “Keep Reaper out of trouble. I’d hate to have to break in a new partner.”

Brian smiled, then quickly it faded. “Um, meant to tell you something.”

“What’s that?”

His steady gaze locked with hers. “Thanks for going to bat for me.”

“Fetch wanted to keep you.” Jamie shrugged. “But I told him we needed you more, seeing as how this was a new office, and we’d be taking our own assignments. Someone has to man the phone and do the computer stuff. The calls.”

He scrunched up his face. “You know I hate the damn calls.”

She knew he hated interacting with people. Period. Didn’t mean doing so wasn’t good for him, though. “I need you here. And Reaper appreciates everything you do.”

He glanced back at their office building. “Thanks for finding this place.”

Brian had rooms in the back of the single-story house that had previously been a realtor’s office. He’d sold his house and moved everything he owned. For this job. Really, for her, she knew. “Leaving you would have been my one regret. This works,” she said softly.

“Have to cut the apron strings someday,” he said with a crooked smile.

She hated that he felt as though she was doing him a favor. “Why? We’re besties. Always will be.”

His head dropped.

Brian didn’t like it when she went too maudlin, so she leaned downward to give him a quick hug. “See you when I get back.”

She loaded Tessa in her crate in the back of her truck then slid behind the wheel. When she turned on her headlights, the sight of Brian’s figure, alone in the driveway, hurt her heart.

She lightly tapped her horn then drove out of the small parking lot. When she got back, she’d make time to take Brian to a Soldier’s Sanctuary meeting. He needed more friends. Friends with his issues. He’d lost his legs to an IED, and he’d suffered a brain injury that affected his moods and left him with the occasional excruciating headaches. But there had to be someone out there for him. Some woman with a big heart who could look past his disabilities to see the lonely, strong man he was.

In the meantime, she began a mental list of all the tasks she had to accomplish before Reaper arrived at her door in the morning. She had a closet to ransack. Summer clothes. A swimsuit. Damn, she had laundry to do. And a passport to find. So, she’d be traveling out of the country—which meant she’d have to leave behind her weapons.

Fuck, tonight was going to be a long one.