Hardwired by Andrea Bills
Publication date: September 1st 2018
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
When Navy Seal Operative Luke Kiersey is finally granted leave after five years, he finds himself driving to a house he doesn’t recognize in a town he’s never been to. The house is home to a beautiful woman and a little girl with big blue eyes. Day after day, he drives back only to hide in the shadows and wonder why he can’t seem to walk away from them.
His therapist says is PTSD.
His handler tells him he’s just not cut out to be part of the civilian world.
Luke can’t help but feel like it’s more.
The dog tags that once hung proudly around his neck, now feel like a collar; leashing him to a life that he fears he didn’t choose. After the terrible things he’s done in the name of freedom, could he possibly be worthy of something as precious as the woman and child he continues to watch?
When the two worlds collide, Luke needs his mind to be stronger than the implant the government placed in his back. They’ve told him he can’t survive without the implant they use to control him, but Luke’s wondering if he can survive without the little girl with big blue eyes and the gorgeous woman she calls mamma.
The man used the time to throw Luke off him. Luke couldn’t let the man go. As much as he wanted to hide the monster he was from the little girl, maybe it was better this way. The make-believe monsters children fear were nothing in comparison to the monsters living amongst them. Luke wasn’t so warped that he didn’t realize he was one of them. He grappled with the man until he had him wrapped up in a headlock. Jen’s eyes grew wide as Luke and the man now faced her.
Luke whispered, “I’m sorry,” and then he snapped the man’s neck, letting his body crumple to the floor.
Luke stepped back to make sure he stayed in the dark of the living room so Jen couldn’t see his face. He spoke up so that she could hear his instructions.
“Call the police,” he said, keeping his voice low.
“Thank you. My God, I can’t imagine what would have happened had you not showed up.”
Her voice sent a pain straight through his mind. Luke stumbled to the side, battling through it.
“You’re hurt. Here, let me help you.”
Luke held his hand up to keep her at bay.
“Mamma,” Bella said from behind her mother’s legs.
“It’s okay baby. This man saved us.”
Luke needed to move. He needed to pack his bags and leave before the sirens rolled in, but he had become immobile at the sounds of their voices so close. In that moment he was worthy, but when Jen reached for her phone, reality reared its ugly head. Luke moved toward the door, but a tiny hand grabbed his leg to stop him. Luke stopped but didn’t turn around for fear that he would never be able to leave the presence of her beautiful blue eyes.
“Sir, are you a soldier?”
Shock registered through Luke, and a pit of fear settled in his belly. At first
, Luke feared his initial reaction to the woman and child had been right, and they were a trap, but then he realized his dog tags had come out during the fight. He gripped them and nodded his head.
“My daddy was a soldier.” A beat passed. “He died. He’s my hero, but you can be, too.”
Her words gutted him. He had so much to say just on the tip of his tongue, but Jen’s voice filtered over; she was giving her address to the operator. Luke needed to go.
“I’m no hero little Bella, but your daddy is.”
Andrea is a wife, mother and writer from small town West Virginia. She spends her time while she’s not dreaming up lovers and villains alike chasing after her two kids and husband.
Her overactive imagination and her husband’s wacky dreams attribute to her love of the written word. Guilty pleasures include reading all night and Reese Cups
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