—Publishers Weekly on Hidden
Hunter Holt might be the most stubborn ex-soldier ever born, but when he’s called on to help find a lost foster kid, he jumps into action. Even if it means working with the woman who broke his heart five years ago—the woman who still haunts his dreams . . .
“Fans of J. D. Robb and Karen Robards will love Zanetti's series start.”
—Booklist on Hidden
Faye Smith has spent five long years trying to get her life back on track. She knows she should’ve turned toward Hunter and not away from him. But they both had too many demons to destroy. Maybe now they’ll get another chance—and save someone else’s life too . . .
“Spicy romantic interplay; Highly recommended.”
—Library Journal on Vampire’s Faith
But first they’ll have to stop arguing long enough to trust the Deep Ops team. Hunter was a lost boy himself once. In fact, he ran away from the exact same man, their monster of a father. Now he and Faye will have to unite to find the brother he never knew—and maybe each other . . .
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To say that things hadn't ended well for them would've been the understatement of a century — heck, of the entire existence of human beings on Earth. Even a caveman breakup, with swinging mammoth bones and the throwing of fire, would've seemed like an afternoon at the beach compared to the day Faye and Hunter called it quits.
Which explained why her hands were sweaty and her tennis shoes kept tripping over the exposed tree roots of the barely-there path on the way to his cabin. Pine trees closed in from every direction, and an animal squawked in the distance. The sound probably came from a bird, but the beast sounded like it had teeth. Did some birds have teeth? She'd had to toss a decapitated bunny off her deck last year because of a sociopathic owl hunting the forest behind her house. So if not teeth, then maybe claws.
At the moment, she'd rather face that owl than Hunter Holt. He would not be happy to see her, and he'd be downright hostile to the news she was bringing. Dread and anticipation boiled inside her at the prospect of seeing him again. Her first love. Heck, her only love. Man, he'd been everything.
Maybe he'd gotten fat and bald in the past five years and had taken up smoking, which would give him wrinkles. The thought cheered her. Then hopefully she'd stop having dreams about him that resulted in her seeking a cold shower.
She turned a corner, and the side of his cabin came into view. It faced the Smoky Mountains and Dogwood Creek, which rushed by surprisingly fast for late June. A tumble of large rocks angled up from the water to a man- made stone wall designed to protect the wood and rock cabin from flooding.
He came out from the rear of the cabin, his gait easy, his gaze alert. No doubt his bizarre instincts had warned him of her approach half a mile down the trail. "Faye."
Ah, shoot. Neither fat nor bald. In fact, the bastard looked better than ever. "Hunter," she said, drawing on years of practice to keep her voice level and calm.
His intense blue eyes, the color of a male indigo bunting in the height of mating season, revealed absolutely no emotion. His dark blond hair was cut short and yet was still shaggy — thick enough for a woman to spend some serious time running her hands through it. Despite the short beard and mustache he wore, the hard angles of his face proved he'd grown even more handsome in the past five years. His chest had broadened, and cut muscles shifted beneath the worn cotton of his shirt. "What are you doing here?"
Had his voice deepened? She held her stance on the trail, the toe of her shoe angled on a rock. "Miss Angelina sent me."
Finally, emotion. His eyebrows rose, and he moved toward her as if unable to help himself. "Is she okay?" Urgency roughened the edges of his southern accent.
"She's fine," Faye murmured, something hurting inside her chest. Would he have had the same reaction if somebody had approached him about her? After all these years, the good and bad, would he have cared one bit if something happened to her? Not that it mattered. Not anymore. "She wants our help. That means ..." Faye lifted a shoulder.
He sighed and tucked his thumbs in his front pockets. "We help."
She nodded. The man might be one of the deadliest on the planet, and the crankiest, but when Miss Angelina called, you went, no matter who you were, or who you'd become.
"Why send you?" he asked.
Ouch. Seriously. Double ouch. "I'm the only one she's been able to reach so far," Faye said, her hand all but itching to grab a rock and hurl it at his stubborn head. The stone facade of his face was starting to piss her off, and he probably knew it. "Would it kill you to have a cell phone?"
His frown deepened. "I have a cell phone, and Miss Angelina has the number. Called me just last week."
Huh. What in the world did that mean? Faye tilted her head. "And she hasn't called you yesterday or today?"
Well. That was interesting, and not just a little disconcerting. Everything in Faye wanted to hand off the case to Hunter and head back to figuring out what do with her life in Louisville. But Miss A had been insistent that Faye work it to the end, and there was some logic there, considering Faye had once been a shrink. A mistake among many in her life. She drew off her beige backpack, because her shoulders were starting to ache. "Perhaps Miss A wanted me to deliver these to you."
His gaze dropped to the pack, and then he sighed. "You might as well come inside, then."
"How could a girl refuse such a gallant offer?" she snapped, holding the pack with her good arm and starting for the green-painted side door.
The quickest flash of a smile lifted his lips for a moment. When she came abreast of him, he reached for the backpack.
She jerked it away. "I've got it."
"It looks heavy." He reached for it again, his long arm easily snaking across her body to grasp the strap.
"No." She pulled again, engaging in a tug of war reminiscent of when they were kids. Finally, she twisted her torso, and he either had to let go or pull her entire body toward him.
He didn't let go.
Instead, he grabbed both straps and pulled, jerking her up against his much harder and taller form. His scent of man and wild maple hit her so fast she gasped as memories flooded in. "When are you gonna learn that life isn't fair?" He lifted, and she had no choice but to relinquish the bag or somehow grow ten inches. "You're five-four, a buck twenty, and in a physical fight, you're not gonna win."
"Five-five," she retorted, releasing the bag and instantly punching him in the gut as hard as she could. Pain ripped from her wrist up her arm. His darn ribs were steel.
He sucked in air, pained. "I'd forgotten your sucker punch."
"You're a moron." She turned away, pissed beyond belief that she'd lost the backpack.
"So you've said, on more than one occasion," he drawled, back in control again. "In fact, I believe that's the last thing you yelled at me."
"Actually," she said, looking over her shoulder directly at him, "I believe it was 'I love you, and I'm sorry.'" Then she turned and shoved open the door to his cabin.
* * *
The words hit him in the chest so hard he couldn't move. Those had been the words. And she'd been sad, not angry, accepting and not willing to fight any longer. They'd hung around him, inside him, for so long they'd become a part of him.
What the holy fuck was Faye doing at his cabin? The one place in his life she'd never touched, and now she was there. He'd have to burn the place down once this situation was over — after he had a few choice words with Miss Angelina for creating this disaster.
He sighed. He'd never have choice words with Miss A. She'd probably whack him with a wooden spoon, the way she had when he'd been a hurt, angry teenager.
Maybe that's why he and Faye never had a chance. They'd started mad and wounded, and that's how they'd gotten to know each other. Even now, more than a decade later, they'd just had a tug of war over a stupid backpack. Then she'd punched him in the stomach. It didn't matter that he'd been the one to teach her to hit without injuring her wrist or fingers. The memories all hurt.
Shaking himself out of it, he followed her into the lower level of his cabin, which held a TV room, kitchen, guest bedroom, and bath. The upstairs was a massive master bedroom and bath he'd designed and built himself on top of the existing structure.
She pulled out a chair at the round wooden table, facing the wide windows with a view of the creek. "Might as well get started."
He swallowed. There were so many words to say, he couldn't find one. Damn, she looked good. Straight blond hair cut in a sassy style, soft brown eyes, girl-next-door good looks. Her skin was still smooth and freckled, and her eyes lively, even with the tired lines showing stress.
The stress concerned him. Had she not healed in the last five years like he had? If he had? Shit, sometimes in the middle of the night, when nightmares woke him, he wasn't sure he had. "How are you these days? Faye Rockefeller?"
She rolled her eyes. "No. I've stuck with Smith so far. I'll change it once I find the right one." She'd hated her father, so she'd been trying on new last names as long as he'd known her.
"What's going on, Faye?" He dropped the pack in the center of the table.
She opened the top and drew out several brightly colored manila file folders.
He sat, his gaze on them. "Miss Angelina's folders." The woman loved folders. His youth — the good times, anyway — had been punctuated with colorful file folders. For school planning, for chores, for different seasons. Seeing them was like being yanked back to happier days. "What are those?"
Faye flipped open a purple folder to show a picture of an angry looking blond kid of about seventeen, with minor scruff as a mustache. "Meet sixteen-year-old Jackson. One of Miss A's newest kids. She only had him for one day. He's run away."
Hunter tugged the picture closer with the pad of his index finger. "Kids run away from foster homes all the time — even Miss Angelina's." He'd been one of those kids who ran away. Twice. Miss A had found him and brought him back the first time, and he'd fought his way back, tail between his legs, the second time. But she hadn't gloated. Nope. She'd taken one look at him, her pretty brown eyes somber, and told him to go wash his hands for dinner. It had been that easy. He didn't leave again until he joined the Marines.
Should've stayed home. Maybe then he and Faye would've had a chance. He kept his gaze on the photograph. "Think if we'd started that band like we planned we'd have ended up like this?" He didn't talk to anybody, but he'd never been able to keep his mouth shut around Faye. Apparently that hadn't changed.
"I don't know," she whispered. "I've thought about it. If just one of us had taken a different path, or even if we'd all faced a crisis at a different time, would we have been able to help each other? Maybe if Mark hadn't died ..."
Hunter looked up, noting the delicate bone structure beneath her pale skin. Who'd been protecting her the last five years? Oh, she had a mean temper, and he'd taught her to fight, but Faye had always had a fragility that scared the shit out of him. Of course, he'd seen her wounded and broken as a kid, her arm busted up, too many bruises across her pretty face to count. That image would never completely fade.
She rubbed her chest. "I left flowers on his grave before I drove down here."
Guilt filtered through Hunter. When was the last time he'd visited Mark's grave? The man had died a hero, fighting for his country far away from home, and Hunter couldn't even bother to visit. But sometimes he figured Mark was around, watching over them. He wasn't in that grave. Not really. Bones didn't count in this life. He cleared his throat and looked back at the picture of the kid. "What's his story?"
She swallowed. "Took off with a thirty-five-year-old teacher, thinking she's the one. She's knocked over two restaurants, as well as a gas station, and so far none of the video shows he's an accomplice."
If the kid was with her on the crime spree, he could be charged regardless. "He in love?"
"Thinks he is," Faye muttered. "The teacher's name is Louise Stockley, and she left behind a husband, another teacher. I'm doing research into her history. We think the affair started last year, when she was his math teacher."
Disgust ripped through Hunter. The woman had preyed on a lost kid in foster care — one no doubt with some anger issues if his picture was to be read correctly — and taken advantage of him. "Aren't the authorities on this?"
Faye nodded, her hands nervously tapping the other file folders. "Yes, but Miss Angelina is really worried and wants us to put our skills to use. You're the best tracker ever born, and you were trained by the military to be even better." The last was said with a perfect imitation of Miss A's accent. "And that's not all." Her voice wavered this time.
Awareness pricked its way up Hunter's spine. "What?" he asked.
Her hand shaking imperceptibly, Faye reached out and slid the picture to the side, revealing a foster care intake form. "His full name is Jackson Holt. Look at him. I mean, really look at him. He's the spitting image of you at sixteen."CHAPTER 2
Faye wanted to suck the words back in the second she said them, but Hunter had to know the truth. He showed no reaction, not even a twitch of an eyebrow or a shift of his shoulders. Instead, he just studied the picture. For minutes. Then, his hand shockingly steady, he picked up the intake form and started to read.
Faye shivered. The river rushed outside, and birds chirped merrily in the trees. Yet the silence inside the cabin, hot and suffocating, threatened to choke her.
Finally, he set the form down. "So the S.O.B. was alive as of six months ago."
"Yes," Faye said, having already read the forms, flashing back to the game they'd played as kids. When it was storming outside, the four of them — she, Hunter, Raider, and Mark — would hide beneath one of the bunkbeds at Miss Angelina's and think of the worst ways their fathers could've died. They were all bad men, and her favorite fantasy had been that they would kill each other. As far as she knew, the monsters had never crossed paths. "Are you okay?" she asked.
Hunter scrubbed both hands down his face. "Yeah. It's not surprising. I mean, Ramsay was good with the ladies. Who the hell knows how many half-siblings I have out there?" He looked back at the picture. "Sixteen years younger than me. Hell. I could be this kid's dad."
"Except I never got pregnant," she whispered. They'd been faithful to each other — she knew that in her bones.
"The kid would've at least had a chance if he was ours and not my dickhead of a father's," Hunter said, pushing the picture back onto the stack, glancing at the intake form again. "Instead, the mom dies when he's four, and he ends up with Ramsay or whoever Ramsay left him with for the last decade or so." He rubbed at a scar across his collarbone. "I wonder if the asshole still throws knives when he's angry."
Faye's damaged arm hurt, as if in response. Her father had broken it three times before the authorities sent her to live with Miss Angelina. The smell of whiskey still made her want to puke. She shoved away the bad memories. "I wanted to wait until I told you before calling Raider in." With Mark dead, it was only the three of them now.
"Raider's busy with a new assignment, and it seems like his head is on right," Hunter said.
She couldn't explain it, but the three of them needed to do this together. "Miss Angelina wants him in on this," she said.
"Well. I guess that's that, then." Hunter drew a cell phone from his back pocket and pressed speed dial, putting the phone on speaker in the center of the table.
"Hello, brother," Raider answered, a barking dog in the background.
Hunter drew back. "Did you get a dog?"
"Shit, no. He's kind of the team mascot, and he's the craziest son of a bitch you've ever met," Raider said. Something shuffled. "Shut up, Roscoe," he bellowed.
The dog barked louder.
Hunter's lips twitched. "What is he barking at?"
"A damn cat. Well, kitten," Raider said, his bootsteps heavy through the phone. He slammed a door, and quiet descended. "I'm in an interrogation room just so I can talk. There is no discipline here." The last was said as a low growl.
God, it was good to hear his voice. They talked at least once a week, but she needed to hear him right now as she faced Hunter. Faye let the sound warm her. "Hey, Raider. How are you?"
Silence. Complete, stunned, heavy silence. Then he cleared his throat. "Is Miss Angelina all right?"
Hunter rolled his eyes. "Yes, she's fine. I know it's a surprise to hear that Faye and I have stopped throwing punches long enough to call you."
Raider was quiet in that way he had. "Is one of you dying?"
Faye sat back in her chair, amusement zinging through her. "No."
"Am I dying?" Raider asked.
Hunter tapped his fingers on the table. "No. Geez, you've gotten dramatic."
"Holy shit, you two are back together. I knew it. I always said if one of you pulled your head out of your ass, it'd work out. It's nice to be right. I mean, I usually am." His low voice rose in animation and what could only be termed happiness.
Faye jerked, her stomach cramping. "No. We definitely are not back together." Regardless of the fantasies she'd had through the years.
Hunter keep his blue gaze on the phone and didn't look up at her.
Raider sighed, the sound amplified through the speaker. "So you're both still morons. Good to know." A tone of pure frustration came from him next. "All right. Nobody is dying and you two are still idiots. The anniversary of Mark's death isn't until next month, and I'm sure we're not planning a summer camping trip like we used to. What is going on?"(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Taken"
Copyright © 2019 Rebecca Zanetti.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ms. Zanetti sells readers on characters that you can't help buy into. I'm now invested in these people and can't wait for the next payout in story lines. Love love love her writting and the world she creates for me to escape to. THANK YOU REBECCA ZANETTI!
It was little raw for me but it's a good story.
writing is adequate and characters are somewhat developed but a bit rushed. put a lot of interest and development into a side character who then was out for the resolution part of the story.... feels mire like it was rushed tp be finised so some of the more interesting parts got sidelined abruptly andthen we were thrown into te chase and resolution.
People who constantly use filthy language have a low IQ and poor vocabulary. Loved the characters in this book
An action packed adventure! Next up in Rebecca Zenetti's newest Deep Ops series is a fast paced novella. Two former loves are drawn together to help an old friend. She turned her back on the relationship years ago, but neither of them could forget the other ... their first love ... their only love ... the one they still can't get out of their hearts. Hunter Holt would do anything to help Miss Angelina ... even if it means pairing up with the woman who tore his heart out when she left. Faye Smith sets out to look for a missing foster teen that Miss A took in, but in doing so reconnects with Hunter and Raider from her youth. Uncovered secrets make for an interesting story!
Let me just say that I am a fan of Rebecca Zanetti and her Dark Protectors and Sin Brothers series. This one not so much. I don’tknow if it’s because it’s a novella so the characters are not as developed as in her other books or what. I just didn’t feel a connection. That being said, the writing is very good and the story line is there, but I just didn’t feel like it was as developed as her other stories are. I will continue reading this series to see if I like it better and I would recommend this author. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity of giving a honest review.
Hunter Holt and Faye Smith both have reason to run. However, for now, they both must work together to help locate a missing foster child. Working together certainly is not easy, as they once had a chance to be together. Now, several years have fast and the two must work together, along with Hunter's Deep Ops team to find the child, as well as the brother that he never knew. This second chance story was an excellent read. Although it was only a novella, it was a singular story that was very well done. The Deep Ops team is terrific, and if you like animals you might just enjoy the dog and cat in this story as well. I enjoyed the previous title, and look forward to continuing. In this story readers get to briefly visit with some of the members of the team, such as Malcolm and Wolfe. The first book in this series, Hidden, was released last year, and the next book in the series, Fallen, will be released in September. Many thanks to Zebra and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.
Another great story from the series. The story is packed with such strong emotions combined with great humor and action. This is a second chance for Faye and Hunter who are after Hunters halfbrother. Trough the story we see why did they split in the first place and that the emotions are still going strong. Faye stronger and sober is ready to fight this time for her man. The characters are well developed and likable. This novel is a page-turner and before you know it the pages are gone and I soo want mooooree. Can't wait for the next book. I volunteered to review an ARC of this book for Netgelly
This second chance romance/suspense novella has guest appearances and comic relief by some of the Deep Ops crew introduced in the first book, but is really about 4 kids, Faye, Hunter Holt, Raider Tanaka and Mark, who were fostered together by Ms. Angelina and consider themselves siblings. However, since they aren't blood related, Faye and Hunter Holt became lovers. Hunter went into the Marines and Mark followed him there. Faye became a psychologist. Raider is now working for Deep Ops. Mark was killed in action. The emotional trauma from Mark's death at the same time that Faye lost a patient to suicide, left them both emotional wreaks, unable to open up or help each other, so Faye left. Five years later they are reunited, when Hunter's half brother, Jackson, whom he never even knew existed, ends up at Ms A's for one night and then disappears with his mentally disturbed Math teacher, Louise. Jackson thinks he is in love with this older woman, not realizing how disturbed she really is, as she goes on a killing spree, while telling him that she is robbing convenience stores for food. Working together with Raider, their mission is to find Jackson, before he is implicated in the killings or killed along side Louise. Will Jackson allow Hunter to rescue him? Will Faye and Hunter fight for the one person that means the most? Will Faye finally decide to a new career path and a last name? Wonderful characters and an action packed story make this a terrific, "don't want to put it down" read. I received a free, advanced copy of this book from NetGalley.com. This is my unbiased and voluntary review.
Another successful book written by Rebecca Zanetti! I loved reading the first book, Hidden, in her new Deep Ops series, and was excited to see this novella. When I first started reading the novella I wasn't sure how the story fit into the Deep Ops series because the main characters hadn't been introduced in the first book. That being said, if you haven't read the first book you can easily read this novella as a stand alone book. The story is about Hunter and Faye. Hunter and Faye were in the same foster home and ended up romantically involved. Unfortunately, they broke up 5 years ago and now are working together again to find a boy that went missing from the same foster home,. The boy turns out to be Hunter's brother that he didn't know about. The chemistry between Faye & Hunter is electric and as a reader you just want them to lay their hearts open to each other and be together ASAP. The tie to the Deep Ops series is with Raider, whom is introduced in the first book. Raider is family to Faye & Hunter and was in the same foster home with them. I really enjoyed the dynamics between the 3 characters and the addition of Wolfe from HDD to the 'family'. I loved getting to know more about Raider's back story and can't wait to read about him in the next book!! You'll love the surprise appearance by 2 truly loved characters from the Dark Protectors series too. Bringing Roscoe, Kat, and Force to the story also added more depth and connection to the Deep Ops series. Once again, Zanetti wrote a phenomenal and compelling story. I found myself crying, laughing, and rooting for ALL of the characters to either find their HEA OR, in the case of Louise, the justice that is deserved. I can't wait for the next book in this series, Fallen, and the sneak peek in the back of this novella makes it even more difficult to wait patiently. Excellent, excellent book... enjoy!!
I am a sucker for a second chance romance with a side of kick-ass road trip! Still, I was thinking that a novella might not be the best format to fully develop a solid back story that not only makes me feel their former love, longing about being apart (thank you, dear author, for not making the separation period the magical "10 year," LOL), along with a fresh reason why our former lovers even see each other again, and still find a believably way back to each other in and around 100 pages. I was so intrigued by book one, Hidden, that I really wanted to read more about those bad boys and girls in "Requisitions." While Hunter, Faye, and Jackson are all new-to-me characters, their journey was well worth my read. Not only is there an angel in a Volkswagen like Miss Angelina, but Raider, Wolfe, and Roscoe bring Deep Ops to the deep South ;) Oh, and there is that wee stop in Realm country! Woo-hoo!! A satisfying addition to the Deep Ops series, indeed. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Looking forward to Raider and Brigid in Vegas, baby.
Not gonna lie I am starting to become a fan of Rebecca Zanetti and her new series Deep Ops. This is a side story between the first and second story. As a readers of the series I will admit I was a little lost at first trying to figure out how it connected to the Deep Ops series. Once it became clear the humor from the first book arrives almost with the goofy characters from the first book. I think it will impossible for readers of Rebecca Zanetti to miss this story as well as the series. Faye is a lost soul who knows her soul mate but can't seem to keep her temper in check long enough before she hits Hunter. Hunter is you Rebecca Zanetti Alpha Male with a heart that have readers wanting more of the two lead characters. The story has heat and soul that new readers will be able to fall in love with Rebecca Zanetti characters and books Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher Zebra for the advance copy of Rebecca Zanetti Taken. This is a can't miss read.
Taken is technically the second book in Rebecca Zanetti’s Deep Ops Series. This is a second chance, romantic suspense novella. Hunter and Faye have loved each other since they were kids, but trauma and loss tore them apart. Five years have passed since they were together when Faye comes to Hunter with knowledge of a half brother he never knew he had. Together, the couple must work to overcome their issues and bring him home safely before tragedy strikes again. I love Hunter and Faye, both individually and together. They have great chemistry and a deep understanding of one another that adds to the depth of the storyline. All the books in this series contain a happily ever after and can be read as a standalone, however, reading it in order will give you a better appreciation for the characters and the series itself. Zanetti does a fantastic job creating this world of suspense and intrigue, and each of her stories provides readers with glimpses of the characters introduced in the previous stories within the series. I can’t wait to read her next story!!! I’m looking forward to reading more about the others (Raider, Angus, Wolfe and Brigid) of the Deeps Ops World. I especially love Wolfe’s pet kitten and Roscoe the drunken team mascot who add an interesting quirk to this intense world. This is a voluntary review of an advanced readers copy. ❤️the easter eggs in this novella. Great for fans of Zanetti’s other series.
Hunter and Faye had gone through some tough times and had not seen each other for five years but now they were being asked to work together again to find a runaway from a foster home. The same foster home that Hunter had once runaway from. To add to the the stress of being close to each other again, the runaway is a brother that Hunter knew nothing about. Will they be able to find Hunter's brother in time and will they be able to forgive each other and move forward? Also, loved the surprise appearance
This is a voluntary review of an advanced copy. After reading a couple chapters, it finally hit me that this was part of the deep ops series and that is why some of the names were so familiar.While this book had several of the Deep ops characters, this was more about Raider's childhood friends, Hunter and Faye. Throughout the book, we learn that they have been apart for five years, and the reason for their separation. They are brought together by Miss Angelina who informs Hunter that his half-brother, Jackson, has been taken from her care and ran off with his teacher. Hunter was not aware that he even had a brother and he and his team go search for Jackson and try to stop the crazy teacher who is on a killing spree. Lots of action as they chase the two across the country and try to stop more murders, and get Jackson away from the crazy teacher. The romance takes a backseat to the hunt but Faye and Hunter both realize that they made a mistake not to fight for their relationship and they should not have walked away. Really can't wait for Raider's story and get to see Wolfe and his cat, again!
A quick and exciting addition to the series! I really enjoyed Hunter and Faye's story. They were raised in the same foster home together with two others and are a tight-knit family. Hunter and Faye were once together but experienced personal traumas that ultimately separated them. Their chemistry was electric and quite exhausting but it was plain to see how much they loved each other. They were fiercely trying hard to battle back their own demons-and each other. The suspense was adequate and the story was fast-paced, if not a little emotionally heavy. We had a brief comic relief when Angus Force and his dog Roscoe showed up. Man, that dog is freakin' hilarious! And we are treated to a little crossover action from another Zanetti series!
Can this be your chance to fix the past? Faye knows that coming to Hunter will bring up a lot unresolved feelings but she needs his help. His half brother has been taken by an older woman and she is breaking the law along the way. Hunter never knew about Jackson and he knows that she has to do whatever he can to get him back home safe. They will need Raider and his contacts as they can't do this alone. They are a family again if only everything had turned out differently. Jackson knows that this is love and that he can be enough for Louise but he worries about her going out every day to rob the small stores along the way. But he has no way to turn to so he will need to stick to the plan. He knows that what Louise has done is wrong but he hopes that she will be able to stop so that they can start their lives together. Will they be able to find Jackson before he lands up in even bigger trouble with the law? Can Hunter give Jackson everything that he never had as a kid? Can Hunter & Faye get through this together or is it time to wlak away for good? A good exciting read. I was lucky enough to receive a copy via Netgalley & the publishing house in exchange for my honest review.
When Hunter Holt is called on to help find a lost foster kid, he jumps into action even though it means working with Faye Smith, the woman who broke his heart. She’s been trying to get her life back on track, but Faye knows that she should’ve turned toward Hunter not away. Since they have to work together, maybe they’ll get another chance, but first they have to actually stop arguing long enough to trust the Deeps Ops team and find the kid. This Deep Ops novella is an emotionally gripping and moving story that holds readers hostage with lots of suspense and wonderfully, strong characters that have some scorching chemistry going on. Their chemistry is quite volatile however, so there are lots of sparks flying as they clash together which just punches the passion up hotter than ever. This second chance relationship is chock full of emotions that flows from the pages and ensures that the readers understand exactly where Hunter and Faye stand. The plot is fast paced and while on the short side packs quite a thrilling punch as Hunter and Faye try not only track but save this young man from a bad person, the law and himself. The story has all the elements of a great romantic suspense so while it is a novella, it keeps readers turning the pages until they have read every last word. And the story also holds a few surprises throughout and a delightful one that tickles readers if they have read other books by this author.
I really enjoyed this novella, which focused on main characters outside the team, but gave us some big insight into Raider Tanaka, leading into his book up next! Hunter Holt is an ex-marine, and now leads fishing expeditions on the Cumberland River, in addition to living in a cabin out in the wilderness. He likes his space, and hasn't wanted anyone else in it in a long time. Not in 5 years, when he and his first love broke up. They both ended up in the same foster home with the only woman who ever really cared about them, Miss Angelina, and their two other "brothers", Raider Tanaka (of the Deep Ops team), and the youngest, Mark. Both Hunter and Faye were too broken to fight for what was between them in the end. He was struggling with PTSD after leaving the military, and the death of Mark, in combat, was the final straw between them. They should've dealt with it together, but instead they walked away. When she shows up on his land with some startling information, saying Miss Angelina sent her, he knows he can't walk away again. Faye Smith grew up in Miss Angelina's home after finally being taken away from her monster of a father. She became a psychologist, but mostly she was only trying to figure out her own experiences. She found the job wasn't for her, especially after one of her patients committed suicide, and she didn't deal with the fallout well, at all. After Mark died, it was all too much and she walked away from everything, including Hunter. But she's never stopped thinking about him, or loving him, and when Miss Angelina calls her for help, she's all in. She doesn't know what will happen when she sees Hunter again, but she's ready to find out. Hunter and Faye had a young, pure love that stood the test of time, even if their actual relationship didn't. They were each other's person, in a way no one else had ever been for either of them. When they come back together, you can easily read that the chemistry between them is stronger than ever. I loved their intense connection, even when one or the other of them was fighting it. That connection informed every move they made, whether they realized it or not, and I loved when they discovered that they really couldn't live without each other anymore. The suspense plot here was fascinating, and involved a lost foster kid, a runaway from Miss Angelina's home. He happened to be Hunter's younger half-brother, whom he never knew existed. The 16-year-old kid was kidnapped by his teacher, who was having a relationship with him, and now she's on a robbery/murder spree. Hunter knows they'll need help to find the kid, and he calls in their brother Raider to join the case, in his official capacity as a federal agent. Raider brings another friend from his team, Wolfe, and we get to see a glimpse of a few of the other hilarious characters from the Deep Ops team. (That dog is a menace, and I can't wait to see what he gets up to next!) Obviously this is a short novella, so we can't have all the detail we might get with a full-length book, but I wish I had known a little more about Hunter and Faye in the past. Even a flashback or two could've been great. I wanted to understand more about why they walked away from each other, and what they've done in the interim to solve those issues so they can definitely make it work now. But their connection was palpable, and I loved watching them fall back into each other again. This was a nice detour, and I'm sure it'll be important for Raider's book next.
Taken is a great novella length addition to the Deep Ops series. Zanetti creates a fantastic and fully executed story of second chances. Faye and Hunter have chemistry, that was never the problem but 5 years ago, there was too many issues in their lives and lots of things left unsaid. They grew up together in the foster system Now, they are pushed together to find a missing boy. A boy who happens to be Hunter’s ½ brother and in the sights of a trigger-happy sheriff. Zanetti masterfully captures a heartwarming romance with a beautiful story of love, family and reuniting lost loves. I received this ARC copy of Taken from Kensington Books. This is my honest and voluntary reivew.
This book is a novella that is part of a series, but really is a stand alone. It is a quick and easy read, and I really felt the pain Hunter and Faye suffered in their relationship. But also the closeness, how thoroughly they knew each other. I would really like to know what happened five years ago, and hopefully we will learn more in other books in this series. Received an ARC courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley.
Taken is a novella set in the world of the Deep Op series. Faye Smith left Hunter Holt five years ago when she realized love was not going to be enough to make their relationship last. Both slightly broken with the weight of guilt from much different situations, they fled to work on themselves. Now years later, Faye chases Hunter down to let him know he has a little brother and that he is missing from the foster home they were raised in. Calling in the big dogs, Raider and Wolf from Deep Ops use their resources from Homeland Security to aid in the search for Hunter's little brother and the spree killing teacher he took off with. Faye and Hunter story is sweet as they manage to save the day and rediscover a sweet love. This story moves quickly but is believable because I could envision a true love broken from hard times but so easy to fall back into. Wolf and his kitten, Kat adds a fresh dose of humor to lighten up the tense situations. I love the Deep Ops characters and their wacky animals. I need Wolf's book soon since I might be in love with all the weirdness that is Wolf. A great short read that flies by way too quickly. My voluntary, unbiased review is based upon a review copy from Netgalley.
I loved this second chance romance. You can always count on Rebecca Zanetti to write a heart pounding romance mixed with a great suspense story. Hunter Holt and Faye Smith have known each other since they were young teenagers. Raised by the same foster mother they knew from the start they belonged to each other. Youthful misunderstanding and a friends death sent them their separate ways. When their foster mother needs their help with a runaway they are thrown back together. Needing each other help and trust. If they survive this threat they just might find themselves!
Faye Smith has tracked down Hunter Holt as a favor for Ms. Angelina. She didn’t want to, as it has been five years since she had last seen Hunter, but for Ms. Angelina she would do this. They need to locate sixteen-year old Jackson who has run away from Ms. Angelina’s custody with his teacher, Louise Stockley. Louise has been busy fleeing from life with her abusive husband and robbing gas stations along the way. So far Jackson has not been fully involved in the robberies…it is essential they find him before law enforcement does. When Hunter learns that Jackson is his half-brother, a brother he knew nothing about, they join up with Hunter’s Deep Op friends to locate the teen. Faye has never forgotten Hunter and he still loves her. Can they admit their feelings and reconcile while they are hunting for his brother? Will they reach Jackson in time to save him from becoming more involved in criminal activity? I received an advance review copy at no cost and without obligation for an honest review. (by paytonpuppy)