After gemstone smugglers murder three men, Kent Dunbar pretends to abandon his exploration of Vietnam’s Mountain River Cave, arranges to send the female assistants, including his new love, Rebecca Devereaux, back to the States, and enlists help from a team of Vietnam Veterans who served with his father.
Rebecca, shocked and hurt by Kent’s rejection, suspects something’s afoot. At the airport about to depart, she overhears some buff older men talking and realizes they’ve arrived to help Kent carry on his mission. Rebecca convinces her best friend, Amanda, to stay and when the flight is cancelled, the other assistant, Bunny ends up with them as well.
Passion ignites when Rebecca and Kent reunite. While Bunny is sent to a comfortable hotel, Rebecca and Amanda join the men on the adventure. But before long a killer’s pursuing Bunny, Amanda and Tom are kidnapped, and the smugglers start wielding special powers. Will the adventurers be able to outwit the smugglers?
Please note, this book is part of a series and therefore may be a cliffhanger ending that does not end until farther into the series.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam
One day earlier
They spilled out of the tunnel into empty air. Kent clutched Rebecca tightly against his chest, squinting out the sun to focus on her face. “I won’t let you go—I promise. Not now, not ever,” he said.
As they tumbled through the air, a warm breeze brushing over her body, Rebecca felt like she was flying. She felt so free, squinting through the brilliant sunlight and gazing I into the eyes of the man she loved while water showered down all around them.
Their intertwined bodies splashed down in a brilliant blue-green pool in the middle of the lush jungle. Bubbles trailed from Kent’s nose and mouth and his blue eyes connected with hers through the crystal water. Kent gripped her arms and they kicked together toward the lens of water that marked the surface.
Rebecca had never been more entranced by her lover. The water exaggerated the sculpted muscles in his shoulders and chest, the cords in his neck, and his sexy dimples. She felt so safe in his arms. This man who had irritated her on too many occasions, had plunged into the rushing water to rescue her, covered her lips with his own to breathe life back into her and now held her in his arms, making her feel like she was the most beautiful, most cherished woman on Earth.
“Are you all right?” Kent asked between gasps.
“Yes, I’m fine.” Rebecca burst out laughing, feeling pure joy overcome her. She splashed the surface of the water, just relishing its sensation against her skin. “I’m so fine.”
They swam a slow breaststroke into shallow calm water and then collapsed on the shore.
Kent leaned in and kissed her bare shoulder. Rebecca looked down to see her clothes were in tatters—her shirt hung like a ripped rag from one shoulder, exposing the top of her breasts.
“I love you.” He took her hand and urged her to lie beside him on a mossy shelf of rock. She perched herself on an elbow facing him and reached out a hand to touch his face.
“Oh, Kent, I know.” Her chest nearly burst with emotion. “I felt so alone and frightened, tumbling through that water in complete darkness. I wished more than anything you’d come after me and then suddenly there you were. And you never let go. I love you, too.”
He brushed a lock of wet hair from her face. “I’m sorry this trip turned out like this for you. Caving is a dangerous business, but I take so many precautions that usually no one gets hurt. This wasn’t at all how I planned it.”
She reached for his cheek, numbing her hand with its rugged texture. “It’s not your fault. The important thing is we got out alive. And we’re together.