The SEAL’s Temptation
Wounded Hearts Book 7
by Jacquie Biggar
Genre: Romantic Suspense
I’m thrilled to share my new release with you today!
It’s been four years since I’ve written anything in the Wounded Hearts world, so you can see why I’m excited to get back to these characters who have become old friends over the years 🙂
DEA Agent Magdalena Holt is one of my favorite characters. She has high moral standards and is willing to place her life on the line for those she deems vulnerable.
In Maggie’s Revenge, Maggie was captive of a high-ranking official in the Sinaloa cartel. She’d gone undercover in order to discover why young women (sex trade workers) were going missing amid a spreading opioid crisis. It takes everything she has to escape the clutches of her nemesis, leaving her battered and broken.
The SEAL’s Temptation opens on SEAL Chief Frank Stein’s ranch where the DEA team has come to recuperate.
Frank Stein sat at the scarred wooden dinner table that had graced his family home since long before he was born. The combined aromas of roasted turkey, sage stuffing, garlic mashed potatoes and poultry gravy had his mouth watering and stomach growling. No one cooked better than his momma.
On his right, best friend, Jared Martin and wife Annie, visited with Frank’s mother, Emily, and her new beau, Spencer, while Adam and his boss bickered in the background, but it was the silent woman on his left that commanded his attention.
His fascination with the mysterious DEA agent had grown almost embarrassingly obvious to everyone, it seemed, except her. She was too focused on stopping an international human trafficking ring to worry about his tender feelings.
Emily’s black lab, Sugar, lounged on the floor at Maggie’s feet, as though he sensed her underlying torment. Every now and then, Frank caught her sneaking a piece of meat to the dog, but he pretended not to notice. She could give the animal the whole damn bird if it made her feel better.
Her recent abduction left him angry and helpless. The vibrant, commanding agent he’d met months ago, when Jared called from Las Vegas asking for help, was nowhere to be seen in the timid, pale imitation sitting at a table full of laughing, chattering friends.
The dark place in his head wanted to reach out and shake her silly. How could she have allowed herself to be placed in danger that way? At the same time, his arms ached from the restraint he placed on himself not to grab hold and never let go. He’d gladly protect her with his life.
But, that was the problem; she didn’t need him. She never had.
And to prove his point…
“Hey, Mags, any word on the girl you saved from that crash?” Her partner, Adam, turned his mega-watt smile her way and grasped the fingers fiddling with her fork instead of eating.
“Hmm?” she murmured, the low hum sending vibrations through Frank’s gut, and lower. “Molly? No, but the hospital promised to keep me informed.” She gave a faint smile. “Thanks for helping her parents with the repatriation order. I was worried she’d have to remain in Mexico over Easter until trial was set.”
He gave her a warm hug, his blond hair a stark contrast to the inky darkness of Maggie’s. Frank wanted to rip them apart. Not a good reaction for a SEAL Chief, even if he was retired. He had no right to feel jealous. Maggie had never shown any sign of interest—it was all wishful thinking on his part. Which was ridiculous. He was a thirty-seven-year-old war veteran acting like a kid wet behind the ears with his first crush.
DEA Agent Maggie Holt knows what Hell is like…
After eighteen months undercover in a Mexican cartel, Maggie is broken. The kickass agent she once was, is gone, leaving her riddled with guilt and nightmares. Forced to take paid leave, Maggie accepts the offer of a vacation on the ranch of the man who’d rescued her from an almost certain death.
Frank Stein knows the signs of PTSD, he’s suffered the symptoms himself as Chief Petty Officer of SEAL Team Five. Honorably discharged from duty, Frank has found peace at the family ranch and hopes it will do the same for Magdalena. Ever since he’d first met her when she was interrogating his buddy, Jared, Frank has been fascinated by the raven-haired beauty and wants the chance to see where their relationship could go.
Adam O’Connor is Maggie’s partner. He knows her. He loved her once and could again, if she’d let him in. But he’s also angry she took the chances she did by going undercover against orders. And now, things are different. She’s different.
When a right-wing militia group infiltrates the area, will DEA Agent Maggie Holt, her partner, Adam O’Connor, and ex-SEAL Chief Frank Stein be able to set aside their differences to stop them before someone dies? And who will Maggie choose, the handsome cowboy, or her charismatic DEA partner?
Maggie stared at the evening sky, fingers clenching and unclenching in the folds of the blanket around her shoulders. She was almost preternaturally aware of the man sitting like a silent guardian in the too-small rocker a few feet away.
Desperate to break what felt like an awkward silence, she gestured toward the sparkling constellations over their heads. “Do you study the stars, Mr. Stein? You have quite the view out here.” Maybe not as reach-out-and-touch them as she’d felt on that mesa in Mexico, but a hell of a lot safer. The melancholy that was never very far away filled her chest, a black cloud covering the silvery moon. Her best friend was buried on that hill, a victim of the monster who’d ruined the lives of countless women.
“Not really. My brother and I got into it some as kids but then he… disappeared and I kind of lost heart.” Frank’s voice flowed over her like a warm breeze, dispersing the darkness of her thoughts.
“I’m so sorry,” she murmured. “I think I remember reading something about that in your file—the part that wasn’t confidential anyway.” She smiled.
He nodded. “It happened a long time ago. We’ve accepted it, though that’s not to say we’ve stopped looking. Hope lives on, you know?”
Yeah, she did.
The only thing that kept her alive through those hellish months with Chenglei and his band of assholes was hope.
Well, that and a craving for revenge.