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Nighthawk Search & Rescue
BY AMANDA ZOOK
Her first kiss. Her first love. Her first heartbreak.
Graham was all those things.
Now, twelve years later, Natalie has to face old wounds when she is forced to ask Graham and his Nighthawk Search and Rescue team for help finding her missing students.
Graham has never forgotten Natalie, or their first kiss. The sketch in his office―the one she drew of a Nighthawk, the one he named his business after―reminds him daily of the woman that got away. The life he could have had.
Natalie will need to decide if she’s willing to risk her heart again, but only if she can convince him heroes can have relationships and still save lives.
When Natalie goes missing, he discovers his inner demons are not alone in conniving to destroy their budding relationship. Graham will call on every skill he’s ever learned to save her. Will he find his heart’s guiding star in time? Or will they both be trapped in the darkness forever?
Natalie’s Nighthawk is the first book in the Nighthawk Search and Rescue series. A standalone, full length, second chance novel with no cliffhanger, no cheating, and a guaranteed happily ever after.
Warning: this book contains scenes discussing domestic abuse which might be unsettling for some readers.
Natalie lay on her side; her injured right hand cradled between her breasts. She shivered, kicking herself for not grabbing her heavier parka.
She hurt. Everywhere. She’d tried climbing again this morning, only to fall. Hard. She may have bruised her ribs this time. Or maybe broken one or two. The cold was making things worse. Her body tensing as she shivered, triggering muscle aches.
She wondered vaguely what day it was. Saturday, she thought. Saturday night. Or maybe it was Sunday morning by now. She was too tired to take her phone out to look. No matter what, she’d been in here for over twenty-four hours now. Surely, Maddie knew she was missing. She had to have gotten people out searching for her. Natalie thought a few of the Nighthawks had stayed behind from their latest mission.
The problem was they didn’t know where to start the search. She hadn’t left a note or a text to anyone to let them know where she was going. She imagined Graham would have been trying to reach her too, if the number of calls he’d made the other morning was any indication. He might know something was wrong when she didn’t answer any of his texts or calls. He’d mobilize the team. All she had to do was hold on a little longer.
Or he’d think she was still angry with him. In that case, he would give her space.
Her stomach growled, tearing her from her morose thoughts. She moaned. I get it already! You’re hungry! Well, too damn bad. She hadn’t thought to pack a meal. It was just going to be a simple walk with a friend. How wrong she’d been. She certainly was glad now that she had eaten the cheese and crackers before this little adventure.
Natalie started humming to distract herself from her misery. That only worked for so long, though. She pulled her phone out instead. If she was going to die, she wanted to leave her loved ones a message. She pulled up the messaging app and started to record. Her first message was to Maddie and her dad. She let them know she loved them, and she was sorry to leave them.
Next, she began a message to Graham. It was harder than she thought it would be. She wanted more time. Time with him. A future with him. She wanted to make a home with him. Have his children. Grow old together.
She told him she understood his anger the other night and that she forgave him. Then she told him how much she loved him and how happy he made her. As she spoke, she started to cry again. She sniffed back her tears as best she could to finish her goodbye to Graham. She didn’t know if anyone would ever get those messages. Maybe someday someone would find her skeleton and her cell. Maybe they could even retrieve the messages. She doubted it would ever happen, but she’d had to do it anyway.
Natalie put her phone back in her pocket. It was nearly dead anyway. She lay still, letting the tears slide down her face. Regrets overwhelmed her again. So much wasted time. Twelve years of wasted time. A month of wasted time.
Had it only been one month since that day in his office? Natalie tried to think back. It’d been late October. A day that was so dynamically different than the one twelve years ago. One day held a chill in the air. The other day’s heat stole your breath. And yet those two days were also similar. The easy camaraderie. The instant attraction, at least for her. She wasn’t sure if he’d been as attracted to her as she was to him all those years ago. But that kiss he gave her…The way he’d grabbed her back and deepened it. The way he’d held her, could he have felt what she did back then? She liked to think he did.
And since that attraction had had twelve years to simmer, when they finally were together again, it boiled over. Exploded. Their passion was intense. He made her feel things beyond her wildest imaginings. He was beyond good in bed. An Adonis. And she, his Aphrodite. She could hardly believe he had been all hers. At least for a little while.
She wondered morbidly how long it would take him to move on after her.
She had to get out of here. But how? She’d tried everything she could think of, injuring herself further. The well was too deep. Too dark. She had nothing to help her. You still have your brain! Yeah, but she couldn’t think of anything else to do. She was so tired. So cold. She fell asleep even as she yelled at herself to think.
Amanda Zook has been an avid romance reader since middle school when she delved into Gone With the Wind and has finally decided to liberate the stories that live in her head. After growing up in the Sweetest Place on Earth (Hershey, Pennsylvania) she attended college at a small liberal arts school majoring in English (what can you do with an English degree?). She met the love of her life there and followed him to the Jersey Shore (no, not the MTV reality show) where they lived for the first 20 years of their marriage, before moving halfway across the country.
Amanda now lives in the Southwest corner of the mitten state on the shores of Lake Michigan (no sharks, no salt, no problem).
She is a wife, a mother of teenage twin girls (even though she is aghast that her children dislike reading and pizza) and can now add published author to her list of achievements.
Links to Amanda’s website, blog, books, #ad etc.:
Special Giveaway: Amanda will give away an ebook copy of NATALIE’S NIGHTHAWK to two lucky readers who join her newsletter at http://www.amandazook.com.
Thanks, Amanda, for sharing your story with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!