Redeeming Her SEAL (ASSIGNMENT Caribbean Nights #9) - Kat Cantrell


This one is for Jennifer Hayward. Thanks for always taking my panicked calls and for reading Charlie's story a quadrillion times until I finally got it right.

Charlie St. Croix was on a mission. Not the normal kind with a speedboat full of tourists, a bright and colorful coral reef stretching under the water for a mile, and thirty pounds of dive gear strapped to his back as he accompanied Duchess Island Resort guests on a snorkeling jaunt. He couldn’t go near the reef off the coast of Ilhota Rosa at the moment. The owner of the resort, Jared Anderson, had filed an ironclad injunction against commercial ventures, which rendered the coral reef off-limits—for now.

The area was currently under review as a potential wildlife sanctuary. Except everyone knew the billionaire hadn’t filed the injunction to protect the dolphins that frequented the reef but instead as a personal shot at Charlie.

His current mission? Figure out how to fix the problems Anderson’s crappy, juvenile vendetta had caused Aqueous Adventures, the Caribbean excursion company that Charlie and five of his former SEAL teammates had built from nothing.

He was done playing around. The billionaire needed his priorities reset, a reminder that having money did not give him the right to upend people’s lives, and maybe a black eye.

Charlie planned to throw in that last bit just because. When a guy you’d been friends with for twenty years screws a woman you care about and then screws your business, it’s an engraved invitation for a fight. Anderson had sure as hell found one. Though Charlie had every intention of letting him keep the woman, Anderson would destroy Aqueous Adventures over Charlie’s dead body.

The man had a good head start on ruining their company. And then refused to see Charlie when he’d gone looking for answers the first three times, so he’d have to come at the problem from another angle. As soon as the rest of Charlie’s team got their asses to his house so they could hash out the latest development, he could get busy with a plan to put this chaos in order.

One by one, they trooped into the tiny bungalow Charlie shared with Jace Custer. It was the largest one they could swing in the little dot on the map known as Town, as housing was scarce on Duchess Island. But it was steps from the beach and served its purpose, with a large enough dining area that six ex-SEALs could easily fit around an old pine table. Of course, Charlie hadn’t counted on women joining the crew, so seating had gotten a little cozy now that a couple of the guys had put jewelry on their ladies’ third fingers.

The lack of chairs didn’t slow the guys down. Evan Silva had pulled Rachel into his lap and Dex Riley widened his legs so his wife, Emma, could sit between them. Jack Hyland fiddled with the back of his phone, and it would surprise no one to learn it was because he planned to take it apart and make a time machine with the guts. Miles Lynch lounged in his chair without comment, mild to the core, a perennial quality that allowed him to have such a delicate touch with explosives.

“Where’s Custer?” Dex asked with a head jerk at the empty chair.

Jace materialized from the kitchen, several longnecks clutched in his fingers. “Bringing the favors, of course.”

Perma-grin in place, Jace handed them out to the takers before plopping into his own seat. It wasn’t a party until Jace showed up, and he reveled in his role as official morale booster, mostly because it gave him an excuse to buy beer.

With a chuckle, Miles flat-handed the lip of his bottle top against the edge of the table to pop off the cap. “Figured you were doing your hair again. I was about to send Jack to get you. You know, in case you had the door to the bathroom locked. He needs to practice his lockpicking.”

Jack scowled. “I do not. You’re high as a kite if you think I can’t pick any lock you put in front of me in under four seconds. Also, there’s more than one way to get into a locked room. Taking the door off the hinges. Window—”

“We get it.” Charlie interrupted before the entire meeting devolved. “You’re a badass even a year out of the teams. You get to keep your jack-of-all-trades status one more day.”

“I see your charming personality is well intact, old man,” Jace commented with a smart-ass grin