Title: Her Noble Protector
Series: Night Storm #7
Author: Caitlyn O'Leary
Genre: Romantic Military Suspense
Release Date: July 31, 2021
Her worst nightmare had come true—somehow she had been kidnapped and forced to kill her captor to get away.
Finally home in Arizona, Lisa Garcia was scared all the time. She jumped at every sound and shadow, too scared to even leave her home. How could someone who used to ride the rapids and trek the wilds of Alaska be reduced to this?
Navy SEAL Raiden Sato had forgotten more missions than he could remember. But this last one would stick in his mind forever. Lisa Garcia. How could he ever forget her? Tough, strong, compassionate, beautiful, the woman was a force of nature. But Raiden couldn’t help remembering how she’d been when they’d parted. She’d seemed broken. He needed to know how she was now.
When Raiden took leave to check on Lisa in Arizona, he was shocked at the woman he found. The kick-ass wilderness guide was gone, replaced by a woman still mired in trauma. She was positive that someone was out to get her. Determined to help her, Raiden was positive that he could heal her with time, patience, and perhaps even love.
But what happens when Lisa is right, and somebody really is out to get her?
This is an action, adventure, romantic, stand-alone novel.
Lisa shot up, her eyes wide, as she struggled to breathe, struggled to get away, but something was holding her down. She tried to fight, tried to get away, then she heard glass shatter and it stopped her short.
She focused and saw the light on in her bathroom. She always kept her light on, so she wouldn’t be scared if she woke up from a nightmare.
“Yeah, like that helped me.”
This one was bad, she went to turn on the lamp on her nightstand, and realized it wasn’t there. She blinked back tears when she realized that was what the breaking glass had been, she’d knocked it half way across the room with as she’d thrashed about. She yanked at the sweat soaked sheet. The damn thing was tangled around her like some kind of jungle vine. She kicked herself free then swung her legs over the side of the bed almost stepping in the glass.
Lisa crawled to the end of the bed, stumbled to the wall and slammed on the switch so that the overhead light turned on. She whipped her head around and sighed in relief. The two locks on her bedroom door were secure.
God, what kind of loser has locks on their bedroom door?
The nightmare was probably nothing, but maybe she had heard something. She’d already called the police three times over the last six weeks for no reason whatsoever, she wasn’t calling again. She picked up the aluminum softball bat that was beside the door, and slowly unlocked the door, and waited.
Her arms started to tremble. Lisa had no idea how long she’d been in this position, with the bat at the ready. Ten minutes? A half hour? An hour?
She was afraid to move even a millimeter to check her smartwatch. It wouldn’t matter if she did, since she had no idea when she first stood watch.
You’re such an idiot, Garcia!
She felt a tear slip through her defenses. The bat, which wasn’t all that heavy, felt like it was made of lead. Lisa felt her right hand begin to cramp, when she tried to loosen her grip so that she could relieve the pressure, she couldn’t get it to move.
She tried again.
Ahh God. Now her tense shoulders were starting tremble. She pushed herself against the wall, willing her body to move. She had to be able to swing the bat if someone came in. She had to.
She listened intently. She didn’t hear anything, but that didn’t matter. She remembered how quietly the SEALs could move. She hadn’t heard a thing when they’d come up behind the man who…who…
Lisa shook her head, willing away the memory. Willing all memories away, even the older ones that got confused with the newer ones. She pushed away from the wall and gritted her teeth.
I can do this. I can.
The bat started to lower as her shoulders lost strength. She rested the bat on her right shoulder, it wasn’t good because she would lose some of her speed when she swung, but she had no choice. Lisa heard her harsh breathing. She needed it to stop, it would tip off whoever was out there.
Breathe through your nose. You can do it.
She kept listening intently. Nothing. Or was there something.
What is it? Am I going crazy? How long have I been in this position?
Her back hit the wall as she slumped, but so did the bat, the metallic bing rang through her bedroom. Somebody was sure to have heard it. She pushed herself off the wall and tried to get back to a batter’s stance, but she couldn’t, she just couldn’t.
Her arm’s were trembling so bad, that she could barely keep them up. Lisa tasted salt and knew she was crying again. She was always crying.
Staring at the doorknob, she willed it to move so she could take the swing before she fell over, but nothing moved. It was too much. With what little strength she had left, she grabbed the doorknob and swung open her bedroom door and stepped out. The kitchen light was on, like it always was. Frantically, she looked around her home’s open floorplan and saw nothing. She raced to the front door and sagged when she saw both deadbolts were in place.
Her head swiveled on her neck as she spun to look at the door in her kitchen that led to her carport. Not only did it look closed, she could see the pizza pans resting up against them were still in place. She whimpered with relief. She swung around again to check the patio door.
She was almost positive that nobody would have gotten in through her patio they would have had to break the glass to get in, plus she had two cookie sheets and three pizza pans tipped up against the door so they would have knocked it over and she would have heard the crash, but she dashed over to the door to double check it.
Lisa gave a watery sigh when she saw that the steel bar at the bottom of the sliding door was still in place and not one single pan had been tipped over. She felt her legs start to give out, and she eased herself to the floor before she fell down.
Lisa tried to drop the bat, but her hands were too cramped to let go, she shook her arms, trying to force it to drop on the floor. It finally fell. Her hands hurt like a son-of-a-bitch. She shoved them between her knees, trying to stop the painful tingling.
It was sweltering in her house, why hadn’t she turned on the air conditioning before she went to bed? Looking around she wondered why she hadn’t done a lot of things. There were dirty dishes all over her coffee table, and some on the floor in front of her couch. She frowned when she saw three bags of groceries on her dining room table. One was tipped over, and there was a pint of yogurt and a loaf of bread peaking out. When had she ordered groceries? What was in the other two bags?
Lisa rested her head against the blinds on her sliding glass door, it felt a tiny bit cool. She should get up, right? She needed to keep her eyes open, if she didn’t she’d dream then there wouldn’t be a jungle, or in the back of Damon’s pick-up. Two times when she had been helpless. Utterly helpless.
Don’t close your eyes.
Please God, don’t let me close my eyes.
Caitlyn O’Leary is a USA Bestselling Author, #1 Amazon Bestselling Author and a Golden Quill Recipient from Book Viral in 2015. Hampered with a mild form of dyslexia she began memorizing books at an early age until her grandmother, the English teacher, took the time to teach her to read -- then she never stopped. She began re-writing alternate endings for her Trixie Belden books into happily-ever-afters with Trixie's platonic friend Jim. When she was home with pneumonia at twelve, she read the entire set of World Book Encyclopedias -- a little more challenging to end those happily.
Caitlyn loves writing about Alpha males with strong heroines who keep the men on their toes. There is plenty of action, suspense and humor in her books. She is never shy about tackling some of today’s tough and relevant issues.
In addition to being an award-winning author of romantic suspense novels, she is a devoted aunt, an avid reader, a former corporate executive for a Fortune 100 company, and totally in love with her husband of soon-to-be twenty years.
She recently moved back home to the Pacific Northwest from Southern California. She is so happy to see the seasons again; rain, rain and more rain. She has a large fan group on Facebook and through her e-mail list. Caitlyn is known for telling her “Caitlyn Factors”, where she relates her little and big life’s screw-ups. The list is long. She loves hearing and connecting with her fans on a daily basis.