Authors: Dee Henderson
Praise for Dee Henderson and
“Dee Henderson has done a splendid job mixing romance with the fast-paced action of a Navy SEAL platoon.”
Steve Watkins, former Navy SEAL
“Action, adventure, and romance!
has everything a reader could want!”
New York Times
“[Dee Henderson] has created a truly stunning tale of love and devotion to God, country, and to those left behind when the missions are done.”
“A wonderful story with real and entertaining characters. Ms. Henderson’s gift with words makes this book impossible to put down.”
Writer’s Club Romance Group on AOL
is the first in a new series called Uncommon Heroes and is definitely a must read for all lovers of suspense and military heroes!”
Romance Communications Online
“Dee Henderson and
earn my first platinum medal for excellence.”
“Dee Henderson delivers an uncommonly good story with grace and style.”
“I served in the U.S. Navy during Desert Storm, and your book is one of the best books I have read in a long time! Can’t wait for the next Uncommon Heroes book!” —M. M.
“My husband is in the Air Force, so it is nice to read military stories that are based in reality!” —R. G.
“I have just finished reading your book
. I thought it was one of the best Christian romance adventure books I have ever read. I look forward to reading more of your books.” —Royale
“I couldn’t put down
I’ve read it twice already, and I have only had it a week. My husband was in the Navy for six years, and this book just touched my heart. I can’t wait for the next one.” —M. K.
* * *
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Copyright © 2000, 2002 by Dee Henderson. All rights reserved.
Previously published in 2000, 2002 by Multnomah Publishers, Inc., under ISBN 1-57673-886-8
Cover photograph of man © by Brian MacDonald. All rights reserved.
Cover photograph of woman © by ImageShop/JupiterImages. All rights reserved.
Illustration of Seal © 2001 by Dawson 3D, Inc. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1952 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of either the author or the publisher.
Table of Contents
This story is dedicated to the military heroes
of my immediate family:
my Grandfather Johnson
who rests at Arlington National Cemetery,
my Grandfather Hammer
decorated for campaigns through France,
my uncles who served in the Army and Navy,
and my brother
who served in the Air Force.
I’m proud of you.
* * *
Navy SEAL Team Nine is a fictional entity with a few differences from an actual SEAL Team. A real Team would not deploy with the geographic diversity as shown in this story, nor would they serve together for such an extended period of time. These changes were made to accommodate a work of fiction. I have, however, endeavored to be accurate in both the terminology and tactics of an actual SEAL Team. To that end, former Navy SEAL Steve Watkins did me the honor of reviewing this manuscript. All remaining errors are mine.
AOIC: Assistant Officer In Charge.
Attack board: Underwater guidance board used for long swims. The board has a bubble compass and a depth gauge on it.
AWACS: Airborne Warning And Control System. Special aircraft with powerful radars to scan for planes at any altitude. Controls air-to-air engagements with enemy forces.
broken arrow: Any accident with nuclear weapons or nuclear material lost, shot down, crashed, stolen, or hijacked.
BUD/S: Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL. The name for the initial six-month training program at the facility in Coronado, California, which all men hoping to be SEALs must pass.
C-130: Cargo plane.
Chocolate Mountain: Land training center for SEALs in the California desert.
Draegar LAR V: Rebreather units that suppress bubbles under water.
GPS: Global Positioning System. Satellite guidance around earth used to precisely pinpoint aircraft, ships, vehicles, and ground troops.
MP: Military Police.
NAB: U.S. Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado, California.
NATO Phonetic Alphabet: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliet, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-ray, Yankee, Zulu.
NEST: Nuclear Energy Search Team. Nonmilitary unit that reports at once to any spill, problem, or Broken Arrow to determine the extent of the radiation problem.
newbies: A new man in an established military unit.
NVGs: Night Vision Goggles give good night vision in the dark with a greenish view.
SEAL: One of the elite branches of the U.S. Special Forces operating from the sea, air, or land.
snaked: Slang for stepping through stuff you don’t want to identify.
sneak and peek: Slang for stealthy reconnaissance.
TRIDENT: SEALs emblem. An eagle with talons clutching a Revolutionary War pistol, and Neptune’s trident superimposed on the Navy’s traditional anchor.
XO: Executive Officer.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
* * *
They were going to drown.
Kelly Jacobs could already see the headline on the front page of the weekly
newspaper: “Riptide Kills Teen and Lifeguard.” The cold water had her by the throat. Six minutes had passed since she’d last seen the boy bobbing in the swells, and they were being pulled out to sea at a horrifying clip.
She had a lifetime of experience in the Pacific waters off San Diego, numerous rescues, but nothing like this. The water in early May, warmer than usual from La Niña, was still only sixty-seven degrees, cold enough to induce hypothermia. The swells dropped her four feet down in the troughs. If she didn’t find the boy soon she wouldn’t have the ability to get them back to shore. And this was a big ocean for a search party to cover in the dark—to her left the sun had already set and the twilight was fading fast.
The riptide created by the conflux of ocean currents and the outgoing tide had formed late in the day with an explosive suddenness. When conditions changed, the riptide would fade as abruptly as it had formed, but whether it lasted a few hours or a day would not matter in the end. It was already on the verge of becoming deadly.