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M. L. "Matt" Buchman

Guard the East Flank (also in audio)

Guard the East Flank (also in audio)

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Emily Beale returns! And the Night Stalkers will never be the same.

Captain Cherylle Vargas may be the best pilot in the 160th SOAR helicopter regiment, but is she ready for Colonel Emily Beale?

Captain Troy Ryland loves three things in his life: his family farm, flying the most lethal helicopter in the US military, and the woman he flies with. Each pull him in a different direction. The clock isn’t ticking—it’s running out!

A new mission slams them into action as they must infiltrate the notorious “Wind from the East”—Russia. Once in, will their combined skills prove enough to escape with their lives and their hearts intact?

Praise for The Night Stalkers series:
“(For) fans of Suzanne Brockmann, Maya Banks, Catherine Mann, and Kaylea Cross.” – Booklist
“OMG, I love how this guy writes military romantic suspense!!” – Smitten with Reading

Buy now to join the military romance adventure.

Listen to an Excerpt

Read an Excerpt

“When was the last time you flew?”
“Yesterday. Or was it Tuesday, Emma?” Mark glanced her way, but didn’t give her time to respond. “Yep, thinkin’ it was Tuesday.” He pointed westward at the abrupt upward break of the Montana Front Range. Their twenty-thousand-acre ranch ended there and the million-acre Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness began.
She, Mark, and Colonel Cassius McDermott had stopped their horses in the shade of a white birch copse atop a crest of the rolling landscape. It was one of Emily’s favorite views. They were on a lazy afternoon ride a couple hours from the ranch, and this would be their turnback point.
The sun glinted off the sharp peaks of the Lewis Range, emphasizing the alternating light and dark strata that slashed through the mountains like the insides of mile-tall layer cakes. Being born and raised in DC, even six years living here hadn’t decreased Emily’s wonder at this vista rising in her backyard.
“Took a couple of fat-cat tourists on a spin out there, in our little Bell JetRanger helo. We spotted bear, moose, a couple herds of elk. Gonna be some good hunting for the larder this fall. Good photo safaris, too—we’re marketing those heavy this year. You should come on out, Cass. It’ll be a good time here at the ranch.”
“I don’t think that’s what Cass is asking, is it, Colonel?” Emily gave Mark the hint, but he missed it. “Six years since the last time we flew a mission.”
Then she caught the look in Mark’s eye. He’d known exactly what he was doing. Instead of scowling at her for spoiling his game, he offered her one of his broad conspiratorial winks, including her in his play. He’d always enjoyed his games but never been particularly attached to the winning or the losing. Less so with each passing year. The ranch had mellowed him so much that it was occasionally hard to spot the former 5th Battalion D Company commander of the Night Stalkers’ regiment.
He pulled out a hip flask. After taking a sip, he offered it to Cass seated on Rollo, reaching over from atop Wind Runner. His big black gelding hadn’t slowed with age, but the years had made Mark a better rider—at least he rarely fell off anymore.
“Sorry, didn’t get you were talking about flying, not flying. Well, why didn’t you say it plain, old son?” His horsemanship may have improved; his phony Texas accent hadn’t.
Cass was looking at the flask as if there was something wrong with it, or the fact that it was still early afternoon. The early summer finally warm enough for no more than a light jacket.
“None of us on duty out here, Cass, and ’tain’t poison. Licensed distiller from just down the valley a piece. All local: water, grain, even the oak for the casks and the cooper who knocked them together—seriously hot, by the way. I’d introduce you, but don’t want to tick off your wife.” Well, his Texas was a little better, even if she’d never understood why a Navy brat turned Montanan kept toying with it. As far as she knew, neither he nor his SEAL father had ever been so much as stationed there and his mother was pureblood Cheyenne from Wyoming.
“He also has a beard down to his solar plexus, except when he singes it while charring a barrel. You might object to that even more than your wife would.” Emily felt it was only fair to warn him.
Cass laughed and took the flask. The whiskey was too harsh for Emily’s palate, any whiskey was, but Cass seemed to like it well enough to take a second taste before returning it to Mark, who tucked it away.
It might be Mark doing most of the speaking, but it was Colonel Cass McDermott she watched carefully. He hadn’t brought his wife on this trip, which meant he was here on business—the Army’s business.

Publication Details

Initial Publication: June 1, 2024
Print Pages: 248
Audio length: 10:17
Narrator: Read by Author

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