The Yuletide Rescue (Love Inspired Suspense Series)

The Yuletide Rescue (Love Inspired Suspense Series)

by Margaret Daley

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When Dr. Bree Mathison's plane plummets into the Alaskan wilderness at Christmastime, she is torn between grief and panic. With the pilot—her dear friend—dead and wolves circling, she struggles to survive. Search and Rescue leader David Stone fights his way through the elements to save her. David suspects the plane crash might not have been an accident, spurring Bree's sense that she's being watched. But why is someone after her? Suddenly Bree finds herself caught in the middle of a whirlwind of secrets during the holiday season. With everyone she cares about most in peril, Bree and her promised protector must battle the Alaskan tundra and vengeful criminals to make it to the New Year. 

Alaskan Search and Rescue: Risking their lives to save the day

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781460344187
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 12/01/2014
Series: Alaskan Search and Rescue
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 117,911
File size: 282 KB

About the Author

Margaret Daley, an award-winning author of eighty-three books, has been married for over forty years and is a firm believer in romance and love. When she isn’t traveling, she’s writing love stories, often with a suspense thread, and corralling her three cats that think they rule her household. To find out more about Margaret visit her website at

Read an Excerpt

In the bush plane high above the Alaskan landscape northwest of Anchorage, Dr. Aubrey Mathison swept her gaze over the barren snow-covered terrain below, the endless white broken by evergreens and leafless trees. Even through the headset she wore, she heard the loud droning noise of the engine saturate the cockpit.

She glanced toward the east as the sky grew light. Streaks of purple, rose and orange fanned outward as the sun rose at ten-thirty in the morning. The sight awed her. God's beauty stretched for miles before her.

"I think these trips to the villages are one of my favorite parts of my job," Bree said to the pilot sitting next to her in the singleengine aircraft. She'd spent a month in Daring, Alaska, on the Bering Sea. Now it was time to go home to Anchorage for some rest and relaxation.

Jeremiah Elliot slid a glance toward her. "It's why I love to fly. Nothing beats the view."

Jeremiah was more than just her neighbor; he was like an uncle to her. He'd been her father's best friend for years and had watched out for her and her mom after Dad died eight years ago. She'd been thankful for Jeremiah since she'd spent a lot of time away from Alaska not long after her dad died while she'd been attending medical school.

"But I'm glad to be returning home." Bree glanced toward Jeremiah.

He winced, deep grooves carving lines into his aged, weatherworn face.

Alert, Bree sat up. "Something wrong?"

"Just indigestion. I've flown feeling worse than this. No doubt I shouldn't have eaten that third helping of pancakes before takeoff."

"Three helpings! You need to watch your weight. Your metabolism is slowing down as you get older."

"Quit being a doctor," Jeremiah grumbled and rubbed his arm. "Sixty isn't that old."

"Maybe we should land before Anchorage."

"No way. I'm tough, and a little heartburn isn't going to get me down."

She released a long breath. "Uncle Jeremiah—"

"Girl, don't you call me that. It won't work. You're as bad as your mom when she wanted her way." He looked at her, his mouth set in a frown.

Bree sent Jeremiah a grin. "At least I come by it honestly." The thought of her recently deceased mother not being with her this Christmas dimmed her smile. She turned to stare out the windshield as Jeremiah flew low over the treetops.

"I have to drop off some Christmas presents at a friend's cabin, and that's the only stop we'll make before reaching Anchorage."

"Is your friend's place here?" She pointed to the ground.

"No, just wanted you to see that moose down below. Beautiful animal."

As Bree admired the moose, Jeremiah pulled the plane up higher. He would often go up and down to show her something interesting. "You know I need to learn to fly. Will you teach me?"

"Sure, when summer comes. Don't have to deal with snow and ice then."

"Not to mention subzero temps."

A half hour later, Jeremiah landed the ski plane on a section of flat snowy ground near a frozen stream not far from a cabin. "I'll be back in a few minutes." He shifted in the seat and grabbed a bag.

Bree glimpsed the brightly wrapped packages before he closed the sack and climbed from the plane. She watched as Jeremiah trudged uphill through the deep snow toward the cabin nestled among the black spruce trees. He disappeared around the side of the cabin and came back into view ten minutes later.

Jeremiah knew people all over Alaska and often helped them out. Although this wasn't a place she'd seen before, she was acquainted with a lot of his friends. Some of them lived in the outlying villages he took her to for her month's rotation as the doctor. She scanned the area. Beautiful but isolated. She hadn't seen much on the approach but wilderness.

Jeremiah opened the door and pulled himself into the plane, his face red from the cold, his breathing hard. Settling behind the controls, he donned his headset and let out a whoosh of breath. Walking in deep snow could exhaust a person quickly, and Jeremiah looked as if he had gained an extra twenty pounds in the past six months.

"Okay?" she asked as the sound of the engine filled the quiet.

He scowled. "I'm fine." Then, without another word, he took off, using the flat land next to the stream as his runway.

"What plans do you have for the holidays?" Bree asked after ten minutes of silence had passed between them. The silence was so unlike Jeremiah, who usually talked through the whole flight.

When he didn't answer, she looked at him. Sweat beaded Jeremiah's face, and his complexion was now a pasty white. Bree's concern returned tenfold. "Jeremiah, you should see your doc—"

He jerked, but his hands still gripped the controls. The plane dropped altitude quickly.

Was he having a heart attack? Her medical training kicked in immediately, but along with it came panic. She knew nothing about flying a plane. "Jeremiah, what can I do?" she asked as she removed one of her thick gloves and felt for his pulse at the side of his neck. It raced beneath her fingertips.

Pain scored his face. He fumbled with a switch, then said, "Mayday. Mayday."

As the ground rushed up at them, Bree was unable to do anything but pray. She swiveled her attention between an approaching open space that looked to be a small frozen lake and Jeremiah. From what she could tell, he must be having a heart attack but was hanging on as long as he could to land the plane. If not…

Bree shook that thought from her mind. Lord, help. Please.

Clutching the seat, Bree prepared the best she could for a rough emergency landing. The skis touched down on the frozen terrain, but the plane bounced up, then down again. Finally, the singleengine aircraft slipped and slid over the frozen lake as it plunged toward the huge trees lining part of the shore. Jeremiah wrestled with the steering, trying to control the plane.

Then, pain contorting his face, he stopped struggling and slumped forward.

Bree's grip on the seat tightened as the plane plowed into the trees and rocks along the lake's edge. All she saw was green hurtling toward her, then everything went black…

Seconds, possibly minutes later, pain and a biting cold sliced through the darkness shrouding Bree's mind. She wanted to burrow back down into unconsciousness, but the sounds of the wind howled through the cockpit. Pellets of ice and snow found her uncovered face, further prodding her to wake up. She inched one eyelid up and glimpsed the jagged edges of the windshield. A branch, several inches thick, lanced through the glass like a spear.

Then realization pierced through the haze of soreness. Jeremiah. She tried to sit up, but a limb off the bigger branch, filled with clusters of short needles, pinned her against her seat.

She brought up one arm next to the door and tugged on the annoying foliage, hoping to break it off. Finally she managed to bend it until it snapped; then she tossed it into the back of the aircraft.

Bree undid her seat belt and turned to find Jeremiah. Her medical bag was in her larger piece of luggage in the belly of the plane, which was now lying on the frozen lake, the skis having been ripped off on impact. But she knew Jeremiah had a first aid kit in the cockpit. First, though, she wanted to check on him. Squatting on her cushion, she leaned over the intruding branch, parting the limbs. Jeremiah wasn't moving. Her heartbeat pounded in her chest and head. She pulled off her glove and felt for a pulse through the greenery. Nothing.

Fighting panic, she gathered her strength, gripped the branch and shoved it out the hole it had created in the windshield. The effort caused her head to swim. Plopping back against her seat, she closed her eyes for a few seconds. Something wet trickled down her face, and she wiped at it with her gloveless hand.

Blood covered two of her fingers. Then she glanced at her chest and noticed the red that spattered her tan coat. She probed her forehead and found a cut about an inch long. After wiping her hand against the front of her parka, she slowly sat up and searched for her cell phone in her front pocket. When she turned it on, the screen gave off some much-needed light. She needed to get to her bag and retrieve her flashlight. No bars, but then she hadn't expected any service in the middle of nowhere.

She drew in a deep breath of frigid air to calm her racing pulse. She knew fear and panic inspired frantic actions that zapped a person's strength fast. Conserving her energy for the necessary tasks was important.

Using the light from her cell phone, she leaned toward Jeremiah, praying he was alive and she just hadn't been able to find his pulse a couple of minutes ago.

"Please, God, let him be alive. Please," she whispered.

When she had determined he was gone, she sank back in her seat. Before she could even react, she was swamped by pain that no doubt had been masked by the rush of adrenaline from the emergency landing. The throbbing in her head increased, making it difficult to think. She was alone, somewhere between Daring and Anchorage. Why hadn't she paid more attention to where Jeremiah was flying? She usually was alert while traveling to a new village, but on the ride home, weariness would sometimes overtake her and occasionally she'd fall asleep.

Light from the snow surrounding them shadowed Jeremiah's body as it lay slumped over the steering wheel. To conserve the battery, Bree switched off her phone. She could still make out the trees in front of them and a sloop to the left of the grove of evergreens. From somewhere in her mind came a bizarre thought: if only she had an app for heat.

Staying in the plane wasn't an option with the wind ripping through it and the possibility of the ice cracking beneath it and the aircraft sinking into the frigid water. She had to find shelter. Shelter near the plane, because of the aircraft's emergency transmitter. To do that, she needed the emergency supplies that were stored in the rear of the cockpit.

After rummaging through her duffel bag as well as Jeremiah's—luckily they weren't in the inaccessible cargo bay—she gathered what she could use to keep warm as well as her flashlight. She lit the cabin and zeroed in on the survival kit. She would stuff each bag with what she needed to make it through the long night ahead. She knew the growing darkness and stormy weather would make it unsafe for rescuers to search for her.

Jeremiah had always stocked a couple of extra provisions not required in the new regulations. She spied the shotgun with a box of ammunition and immediately felt better. Her father and Jeremiah had often taken her hiking in the backcountry and had taught her how to shoot. She knew the dangers a bear could pose.

Before leaving the aircraft, she grabbed the first aid box and tended to the cut on her forehead, scrubbing at the blood that had frozen on her skin. She placed a large bandage over the wound and pulled her hat back down over her head to keep any body heat from escaping.

She peered at Jeremiah in the pilot seat and felt emotion finally break through. Tears stung her eyes. She couldn't believe he was gone. He always transported her to and from the villages and had been there to help her through her father's and mother's deaths. Never again. A tightness in her chest spread upward to jam her throat. Tears rolled down her cheek and froze, pulling her up short, reminding her of the harsh environment she faced until she was rescued. She touched Jeremiah's shoulder, saying a brief prayer and a heartfelt goodbye. The safest thing was to stay near the plane because of the emergency transmitter's signal.

After tossing the duffel bags to the ground, followed by the survival kit, she put on the snowshoes, not sure how deep the snow was by the lake, and exited the plane. In the light of day—she prayed it would be early tomor-row—the bright red wings would help searchers in the sky find her. At least that was what she prayed for, but she did have a signaling device in the emergency kit if needed.

"Bree, stop thinking ahead. See to now," she muttered and trudged a few yards from the wreckage. She could see the plane sat mostly on land; only the tail rested on the frozen lake. She forced herself to plan ahead. Doing so always gave her a sense of security.

Make it back to Anchorage—then figure out your future.

Behind some evergreens, the shore of the lake sloped upward with a denser stand of trees at the top of the rise a couple of feet back. She peeked through the foliage and made a decision. To the left in the middle of the incline was where she would dig her snow cave. Using a collapsible shovel from Jeremiah's survival provisions, she began digging, keeping her mind focused on the task at hand. Ninety minutes later, with breaks to rest, eat a protein bar and drink some water, she finished the crude shelter she'd learned to make in her survival training class.

She stacked the duffel bags to block the entrance after she crawled inside, taking her shovel with her. After she lay down on the sleeping bag, which was spread out over a tarp, she turned on her flashlight and examined her snow cave. She'd curved the walls and poked some holes in them to allow fresh air to enter.

The small confines triggered a childhood memory. She'd been exploring a tight cave when her light had gone out, leaving her in the darkness with little wiggle room. At the memory, she began panting, her fear returning. Usually closed spaces didn't bother her, but suddenly she struggled with the image of the cave in her mind. She had to do something to keep herself calm. She began singing her favorite Christmas songs.

By the time she finished "I'll Be Home for Christmas," she couldn't shake the question: What if she wasn't? The cracking of ice mingled with the howling of wolves in the distance.

She pulled up her legs and clasped them. I'm not alone. You're with me, Lord.

A crashing noise overrode all others. Bree braced herself as though the ground would move beneath her.

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The Yuletide Rescue 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
lindyLW More than 1 year ago
Margaret is a great author and this book is a romance and mystery, I`m sure you will love as much as I do. She makes her books with characters that feel like your friends. I think this series is her best yet. I am really looking forward to the next book in this series. It is set in Alaska and soon as the plane crashes, you can`t put it down you want to know what is next and stays that way the whole book
J_Augustine More than 1 year ago
Another winner from Margaret Daley! I've gotten hooked on Margaret Daley's suspense novels and, as expected, The Yuletide Rescue was another great read! I really enjoy stories set in Alaska so I was pretty excited to learn this book was set there. People are not always who they seem and the reader is left wondering who and why until the exciting climax in the Alaskan wilderness at Christmastime. With descriptive scenery, tingling suspense, and very real characters, Margaret Daley will draw you into The Yuletide Rescue from the first page to the last. Loved The Yuletide Rescue and can't wait until book two in this series! (I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my entirely own.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great Read
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
The Yuletide Rescue is definitely a must read. I love the first installment of this series. Alaska is a wonderful setting and perfect for a suspenseful read. I love the chemistry between David and Bree. David is the perfect hero.  I think this book is a great story for action and romance. I highly recommend it! 5 stars.
countrybear52 More than 1 year ago
I love Christmas and stories set during the Christmas season. So, with Christmas just a few weeks away, what better time to read a book set during Christmas? Especially, if the book is Margaret Daley's newest offering for Love Inspired Suspense, The Yuletide Rescue. Releasing in December, this book is Ms. Daley's first book in her "Alaskan Search and Rescue" series, Based on this first book I know I will love the series. The story begins when Dr. Aubrey (Bree) Mathison is in a small bush plane with long-time family friend, Jeremiah Elliot. Bree travels all around Alaska helping people who need medical help and Jeremiah, as a pilot, is flying her home to Anchorage. Unfortunately, Jeremiah suffers a heart attack but is able to send off a May-Day call before crash landing the plane. Bree tries to help Jeremiah only to find that he has passed away.  Now on her own, Bree builds an ice cave to stay in feeling assured that someone will find her by tracking the plane's beacon. Thankfully, David Stone, the head of a search and rescue unit finds her and is able to get her safely back home, but not before their safety is put in jeopardy. In the days to follow she begins to wonder if she really knew Jeremiah after all. I really enjoyed the characters of Bree, David and David's father, Don. They were all well crafted and pulled me into their story from the very beginning. Bree and David both have painful memories and I loved how they worked through those pains as their love for each other grew. I also love it when a story and it's characters engage me in their world early on. One thing I love about Margaret Daley's suspense novels is the fact that you can always count on a few twists and turns to keep the reader wondering and guessing. The Yuletide Rescue did not disappoint me in that area. Packed with suspense, the reader can count on a 'sitting on the edge of your seat" adventure. I would highly recommend picking up a copy of The Yuletide Rescue book as soon as it hits the shelves. If by chance you miss it in the stores remember you can always buy it on line with any of the on line booksellers. On a 5-Star Scale = 5 HUGE Stars!!!!! I would like to thank Margaret Daley for my copy of The Yuletide Rescue. I received my copy for free in order to read it and give my honest review, which I have done.
carol223CS More than 1 year ago
Margaret Daley's The Yuletide Rescue Welcome to Anchorage, Alaska!! This is the place of an action- packed suspense story blended with Christian romance. It is the first book in Margaret Daley’s “Alaskan Search and Rescue” series. Dr. Aubrey “Bree” Mathison is returning home to Anchorage abroad an airplane flown by Jeremiah Elliot, who besides being her next store neighbors is a family friend. Then the plane crashes as Jeremiah has a heart attack. Bree survives the crash, makes a ice cave, fends off a wolf pack. She is rescued by David Stone who is a “Search and Rescue “ pilot. While being rescued, a helicopter lands with armed men surround & search the plane. Then the plane is stolen. For what are they searching? Who are the men searching? With what was Jeremiah involved? Why was Jeremiah’s then Bree’s homes trashed while being searched? Why was Bree‘s friend and coworker kidnapped? Why would someone being trying to kill Bree? The characters were well developed and very believable. They are involved in a puzzling plot that has many sharps twists and turns. The ending provides a stunning surprise!! In addition to the suspense and romance, there is a mixture of humor, family and personal values. You will want to put Yuletide Rescue on your to be read list for this Christmas season!! Thank you to the author for the book. My opinion is my own.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
I loved The Yuletide Rescue! I have enjoyed every Margaret Daley book I’ve read, but this is one of my favorites! The action and adventure begin on the very first page and remain a thrilling ride throughout the story. Dr. Bree Mathison escapes death when her plane crashes, but can she remain alive when someone apparently wants her dead? David Stone rescues Bree from the Alaskan wilderness, but can he continue to protect her from the evil that is lurking? I loved the excellent characterization, gripping suspense, and nail-biting danger; I adored the romance and sigh-worthy ending! If you’re a fan of romantic suspense, grab a copy of The Yuletide Rescue and hold on tight!
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
What a fabulous suspense story this is! It kept me guessing till the end and I love it when an author can do that. The main characters are very likeable and believable, and their attraction throughout the book is wonderfully done. Bree is a strong woman, a doctor, who is very alone in the world. She has lost so many people that she loves. I was able to really feel for Bree. Having lost family and friends, she is very scared to trust her heart to another. This is something she struggles with throughout the book. David knows all about pain and loss. This widowed father is dealing with guilt and grief. The feeling that he should have been able to rescue people close to him is part of the reason that he volunteers as a leader with a search and rescue group. David and Bree have to figure out who is after them and what they want. Watching these people fall in love while trying to stay alive was quite a ride! I am so excited to read future books in this series! My thanks to the author for the complimentary copy of this book that I received in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic book, exciting, highly recommended!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is not what I would call a romance nor is there much real search and rescue and no real suspence. What there is is a lot of praying and being told what god wants me to do or feel. Oh and bible quotes. I doubt anyone would consider this a romance. Most of the 5 star reviews are from people who got the book for free in exchange for the review. I will be very careful to pay attention to that in future reviews. I paid for it the booj so you can be sure my review was honest. I wish I could get my money back.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Got so engrossed I had to finish it in one sitting. Love the romance and the suspense . Brings home my motto God has a plan!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Keeps you involved wanting to know
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good clean mystery. Looking forward to reading more from this author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago