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OPERATION SECOND CHANCE
BY LYNDA REES
Once scrawny and nerdy, Dex Strong commits his life and exceptional mind to service as a Navy Seal. Motorcycling security guard, horseback-riding mother and widow, Zoe Waters is comfortable in her tiny nook of the world. Misfit youthful pals, now resilient, dynamic adults are reunited through tragedy. Friendship morphs into love and puts Zoe in a killer’s cross hairs.
* 2nd chances are my favorite trope and this one had my heart bleeding with the distrust that was developed during her 1st marriage…anger, hurt, murder and mayhem all follow the death of her husband. Can Zoe trust that Gabe (her first love) will not break her heart and can Gabe get to her in time to save her? ❤❤❤ I volunteered an honest opinion for this book. Nancy, SUPER FAN
♥ AMAZING!!! Lynda IS an amazing writer! I have read all of Lynda’s books and love them. I can’t wait for the next one. Once I start reading one of Lynda’s books I CAN’T put it down. Karen
♥ I live vicariously through books like yours, Janet Evanovich, and Sue Grafton. Thank you for sharing them with all of us. From an avid reader, Thank GOD, Sincerely NANCY
Twenty-five-years-old – Lipstick
Zoe Stone couldn’t wait to get her heels off as she quietly entered her home late Saturday night. Dad napped on the couch with the remote in hand and baby monitor next to his head on the table. She shook her head and bit back the sour taste in her mouth.
Obviously, Kyle didn’t make it home as promised. He was racking up a list of late nights. She slipped pumps off and dangled them on fingers, as she paddled softly to the couch.
She planted a kiss on Jed’s forehead, and warmth refilled her lungs. Dad never let her down. It would’ve been nice to say the same for her wayward husband.
Jed Waters shook his head and blinked sleep from his eyes. “Hi, baby. I’m glad to see you home safely. Did you have fun?” He sat up and smoothed his greying hair.
“Yeah; it was good spending time with the girls. Thanks for hanging out with my boy tonight. You’re a doll to babysit. I’m sorry Kyle couldn’t get home to relieve you. I figured he worked late to get out of going to the wedding with me, but he promised to come home soon as possible.”
She would’ve enjoyed Kyle’s company, and he was a fantastic dancer. “The new manager he hired isn’t up to par yet. Guess he had to stay and keep him in line.”
“No worries; I enjoy spending time with my favorite grandchild.” Jed stretched.
She grinned. “Your only grandchild; Ray sure enjoys one-on-one time with Papa.” She took the seat beside her dad. He slipped an arm around her. “I can’t tell you how much it means to me, how much you care for Ray. It’s a relief knowing he’s in good hands.” Her head lay on Jed’s shoulder.
“No problem, Zoe. Does Kyle work late like this all the time?” Concern edged his words.
She nodded. “More than I’d like; he’s got big obligations. Hiring someone he can trust to relieve his burden at the club is difficult.”
“I understand. Everything good between you two?” His brow furrowed.
“Oh, yeah, Dad. Sure.” Not.
The previous day Jed had called and sung Happy Birthday to her, assuming she and Kyle had plans for the special occasion. She’d failed to mention Kyle was working late and had forgotten her special day.
“Thanks; the cake you brought tonight was really good. I may have a piece for breakfast with my coffee. Ray enjoyed helping you with your slice.” She snickered, recalling the toddler with icing splattering his chubby cheeks.
“He was adorable. I love that boy’s chirrup face.”
The door swung wide and hit a chair behind it. Zoe and Jed jerked upright glaring at the vulgar intrusion. Cheer she’d felt from their conversation plummeted, and a heavy weight replaced it.
A blurry-eyed Kyle staggered and bumped against the door jamb. He paused a second, taking in the scene. A sneer eased onto his face. “Well, well, well, look at the happy family.” He stood straight then struggled to remove his suit. He smelled of cigarettes, liquor and something else—something sweet she didn’t recognize.
“Shish; you’ll wake Ray.” Zoe put a finger to her lips.
“The baby is sleeping,” Jed growled.
Her nerves ricocheted wildly, hating for Dad to witness Kyle in one of his tangents. She should’ve sent him home right away; but it was nice soaking up his comforting aura.
Kyle acted on edge most of the time. He barely slept. When he was home, he was irritable and cranky. If she waited up for him, it pissed him off. He drank too much and too often, and was belligerent. They hadn’t had a decent conversation for a couple months.
Zoe stood, attempting to help Kyle with his jacket. He shoved her with his elbow knocking her against the couch and knocked air from her.
“Kyle, I was trying to help.”
“I don’t need your damned help.” His eyes blazed with contempt—maybe hatred. He’d never looked at Zoe that way. It took her breath away. Rarely was she at a loss for words, but she couldn’t find any.
Jed stood tall, rounded the couch. His hand crumpled the front of Kyle’s favorite dress shirt and jammed her stunned husband against the wall. Two buttons flipped onto the floor. Kyle’s mouth flew wide.
“You twisted son-of-a-bitch; never lay a hand on Zoe again. If I even suspect you hurt my daughter, you’ll answer to me. You touch Zoe and she doesn’t shoot your ass, I’ll kill you myself.” Zoe had heard never Jed use such a treacherous tone.
“Look, Jed, I didn’t mean no harm.” Kyle helplessly slapped at his father-in-law’s hand without impact. “I’d never harm a woman. I didn’t mean to push Zoe. It was a reflex. I had a few too many. That’s all.” His hands went wide.
“Alcohol is no excuse. Apologize—now.” Jed released Kyle’s shirt with a shove that rocked his head against the wall.
Zoe almost smiled at Kyle’s stunned expression as he blinked himself alert. He glared her direction with an insincere smile.
“Sorry, Zoe, I didn’t mean to scare you.” He teetered into their bedroom and seconds later began snoring.
Jed placed hands on her arms. “Don’t take a beating or let that asshole abuse you.”
She pushed out a heavy breath. “Pa, you don’t have to fight my battles. I’m a grown woman.”
“If you need me, I’m here for you long as I walk the earth. Rely on it.” He kissed her forehead and saw himself out.
She fumbled for a blanket and pillow in the closet. She’d sleep on the couch. Kyle would be livid if he awoke, and she didn’t want him pawing at her in his condition.
Lynda Rees is an award winning storyteller from Kentucky. Born in the Appalachian Mountains, the daughter of a coal miner and part-Cherokee Indian, Lynda grew up in northern Kentucky when Newport prospered under the Cleveland Mom–a gambling, prostitution and sin mecca. Fascination with history’s effect on today’s lives works its way into her written pages.
Having traveled the world working with heads of industry, foreign governments and business leaders in a corporate marketing and global transportation career, this free spirited adventurer with workaholic tendencies follows her passion for writing.
Lynda’s award-winning debut historical novel, Gold Lust Conspiracy is about a woman’s struggle in the brutal1890’s Alaskan Gold Rush. Her debut romantic suspense Parsley, Sage, Rose, Mary & Wine of Book 1, The Bloodline Series was awarded Finalist in the RITA contest. The series is set in Kentucky horse country and consists of ten books so far. Lynda’s middle-grade children’s books, Freckle Face & Blondie and The Thinking Tree of the Freckle Face & Blondie Series, are co-authored with author, Harley Nelson. Lynda has published other stand-alone mysteries, contemporary romances and non-fiction books.
Lynda hopes you enjoy her stories and you become life-long friends.
OTHER BOOKS BY LYNDA REES:
Gold Lust Conspiracy
The Bloodline Series:
Parsley, Sage, Rose, Mary & Wine
Blood & Studs
Blood of Champions
Bloodlines & Lies
Horseshoes & Roses
The Bloodline Trail
The Bourbon Trail
God Father’s Day
2nd Chance Ranch
Operation Second Chance
Sacrifice For Love, Second Chance Romance by Lynda Rees
Children’s Middle-Grade Mystery:
Freckle Face & Blondie, Book 1
The Thinking Tree, Book 2
Links to Lynda’s website, books,
BOOKBUB REVIEW LINK:
Love is a dangerous mystery. Enjoy the ride! ©
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RITA FINALIST, GOLDEN HEART AWARD
Historical Conspiracy Romance
Sweetwater Publishing Company
Thanks, Lynda, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!