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Soldier’s Heart Part Three

by Ilsa J. Bick

, Book 3

You Only Live Once…

Jack Campbell, Kate McEvoy’s would-be lover and her captain, is dead, and that’s her fault.

Cham Bacha was a disaster she can’t shake, and the blood’s on her hands.

The military rebuilt her for its own purposes, and her masters have plans.

But they’ve got another thing coming.

Kate’s off-leash and determined not to fail again. While in the Black Wolf, she and Gabriel Dane, a former MP she’s befriended, have shadowed a group of young Asian girls being force-marched through the mountains. Whether the girls are drug mules or destined for the sex trade, Kate can’t chance they or their guards will reach Dead Man Mountain, a treacherous region few visit and from which even fewer return. So, she hatches a plan: Gabriel will make his way to Lonesome and alert the authorities while Kate, posing as a lost hiker, joins the group.

What she doesn’t count on is Jack, the ghost in her machine, having ideas of his own.

Because Jack has died once already, and once is plenty.

But Sometimes That Life Is A Lie…

Meanwhile, at the fire tower on Chaney Peak, Sarah Grant works feverishly to clear a landing zone for the rescue chopper she hopes will arrive to whisk away the wounded girl she and Deputy Hank Cooper found earlier in the day. The task also keeps her from thinking too much about the photograph she discovered in Hank’s wallet: one which gives the lie to her past with Pete, Hank’s younger brother and her dead lover.

As the weather worsens and snow begins in earnest, she’s resigned to spending the night on her own. Suddenly, out of the darkness and snow, a solitary search and rescue team member appears. Hank’s succeeded in getting word to Lonesome and while no other teams can be dispatched because of the weather, Mark Mitchell’s volunteered to come on his own.

Sarah’s elated. It doesn’t hurt that Mark is not only competent but charming and easy on the eyes. Better yet, the attraction seems mutual. She’s a little annoyed Hank hasn’t turned right around and come back, but . . . whatever. Mark’s here, and being stuck here isn’t such a terrible prospect. After all, doesn’t she need to move on, let go of the past? She’s almost giddy . . .

Until the moment she realizes Mark may not be what he seems.

And Now, Time Is Not Your Side…

Hurt and puzzled by Sarah’s sudden coolness, Hank Cooper’s set out for Lonesome. He’s disgusted, angry at himself. He’s become like Dobbins from Vanity Fair, waiting and hoping Sarah will see him as a whole person, one who would care for and cherish her. Sarah is just as stubborn, though, preferring to cling to a dead man—and, really, who can compete with that?

He decides job one is to get to Lonesome and send help. He’s still got plenty of time and enough daylight to spare. Once the girl’s safe, he and Sarah will find space and time to talk.

Except Hank makes a mistake.

And now, his time is running out.