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M. L. "Matt" Buchman

Wildfire at Dawn (also in audio)

Wildfire at Dawn (also in audio)

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When a woman sets out to take down a foreign sex-trafficking ring, she calls in Delta Force—and gets far more than she bargained for.
“A great read from the contemporary standard-bearer in military romance.” – Booklist
Their toughest mission yet: take down a massive human-trafficking ring and a corrupt Venezuelan spy agency—without leaving a trace.
The team:
- Sofia Forteza, a top analyst for the most elite intelligence agency, The Activity.
- Duane Jenkins, Delta Force’s expert at blowing things up.

  • In common: black sheep of wealthy families, renegades against the status quo.
  • Differences: tactician vs. explosives expert, thinker vs. warrior.
  • Together: fight to keep their team alive, and their love.

[Can be read stand-alone or in series. A complete happy-ever-after with no cliffhangers.]
Buy now to join the military romantic adventure.

Listen to an Excerpt

Read an Excerpt

It might still be sunny up above. But down here on the floor of the Venezuelan jungle, thick growths of banana and mango trees cast the low hill in twilight. The rise overlooked the heavily guarded camp a half mile away.
But that wasn’t his immediate problem.
Right now, it took everything Duane Jenkins could do to ignore the stinging sweat dripping into his eyes. Any unwarranted motion or sound might attract his target’s attention before he was in position.
Never varying his attention from his target, he decided to see quite how close he could move without detection.
Finally, from two meters away, he whispered harshly.
“Who the hell are you, sister? And how did you get here?”
“Holy crap!” Her voice remained a whisper, so she had some training.
He couldn’t help but smile. What kind of woman said crap when unexpectedly facing a sniper rifle at point-blank range?
“Not your sister,” she gained points for a quick recovery. “Now get that rifle out of my face, Jarhead.”
Ouch! That was low. He wasn’t some damned, swamp-tromping Marine. Not even ex-Marine. He was ex-75th Rangers of the US Army, now two years in Delta Force. And as an operator for The Unit—as Delta called themselves—that made him far superior to any other soldier no matter what the dudes in SEAL Team 6 thought about it. That also didn’t explain who he’d found here in the perfect sniper position overlooking General Raul Estevan Aguado’s encampment.
It had taken him over fifteen hours to scout out this one perfect gap between the too-damn-tall trees that made up this sweaty place and, with only fifty meters to go, he’d spotted her heavily camouflaged form lying among the leaves. It had taken him another half hour to cover that distance without drawing her attention.
Where was a cold can of Coke when a guy needed one? This place was worse than Atlanta in the summer. The red earth had been driven so deep into his pores from crawling over the ground that he wondered if his skin color was permanently changed to rust red.
Why did evil bastards like Aguado have to come from such places?
More immediate problem, dude. Stay focused.
The woman’s American English was accentless, sounding flat to his Southern ear. Probably from the Pacific Northwest or some other strange part of the country. But there was the thinnest overlay that matched her Latinate features—full-lipped with dark eyebrows and darker eyes, which was about all he could tell through her camo paint. The slight Spanish lilt shifted her to intriguingly exotic.
But she wasn’t supposed to be here. No one was.
“Keeping you in my sights until I get some answers, ma’am,” Duane kept his HK MSG90 A2 rifle aimed at the bridge of her nose—a straight-through spine cutter if he had to take her down. It would be serious overkill, as the weapon was rated to lethal past eight hundred meters and they were whispering at each other from less than two meters apart. With the silencer, his weapon would be even quieter than their whispers, but he hadn’t spent the last sixteen hours crawling into position to have her death cry give him away. If she so much as squawked as she went down, every goddamn bird in the jungle would light off, giving away his presence.
She sighed and nodded toward her own rifle that rested on the ground in front of her.
He shifted his focus—though not his aim—then let out a very low whistle of appreciation. He’d spotted the weapon almost as soon as he’d spotted the woman, but now he was close enough to identify it.
A G28. Even his team hadn’t gotten their hands on the latest entry into the US Army’s sniper arsenal yet. Not quite the same accuracy as his own weapon but six inches shorter, several pounds lighter, and far more flexible to configure. A whole generational leap forward. Richie, his team’s tech, would be geeking out right about now. The fact that he wasn’t here to see it almost made Duane smile.
“A Heckler & Koch G28. What’s your point, sister?” He drawled it out for Richie’s sake, who’d also be listening in on Duane’s frequency. Then the implications sank in. If his Delta Force team couldn’t get these yet, then who could? Whatever else this woman was, she would be tied to one of the three US Special Mission Units: Delta, SEAL Team 6, or the combat controllers of the Air Force’s 24th STS.
Or The Activity.
That fit.
The Intelligence Support Activity served the other three Special Mission Units. If she was with The Activity…that was seriously hot. It meant she was both one of the top intel specialists anywhere and a lethal fighter. And that she’d probably been the one to put out the call that had brought him here and was sticking to see the job through. That at least answered why she was in his spot. It also said a lot that she hadn’t taken any of several easier-to-reach locations that were almost as good.
“It is about time you caught a clue. Welcome to the conversation.” She picked up her rifle as if his wasn’t still aimed at her. Very chill. “You are being a little dense there, soldier.” At least she got the branch of the military right this time.
“Hey, they don’t call me ‘The Rock’ for nothing, darlin’,” Duane lowered his barrel until it was pointed into the dirt. “They actually call me that becau—”
The moment his weapon was down, he suddenly was staring down the dark hole of the G28’s silencer.
“The Rock certainly isn’t because you are a towering black movie star. It must be for your thick head.”
Duane swallowed carefully, unable to shift his focus away from the barrel of her weapon to see if the safety was on or not.
“Never was big on the whole race thing, though I am black on Mama’s side. But he doesn’t count because he spells his name all weird. He’s Dwayne ‘The Rock’ with a W and a Y. I’m normal, D-u-a-n-e T-h-e R-o-c-k.” He made it sing-song like the theme song from The All-New Mickey Mouse Club that he’d been hooked on as a little kid.
“M-o-u-s-e,” she gave the appropriate response.
He couldn’t help laughing, quietly, despite their positions—him still staring down the barrel of her weapon—because discovering Mickey Mouse in common in the heart of the Venezuelan jungle was too damn funny.
“Normal is not what I need here,” the woman sighed and there was the distinct click of her reengaging the safety on her rifle.
“Only thing normal about me is my name, ma’am.” Always good to ma’am a woman with a sniper rifle pointed at your face.
“Prove it.”

Publication Details

Initial Publication: October 17, 2017
Print Pages: 356
Audio length: 9:57
Narrator: Read by Author

Bonus Content

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