Title: More Than Anything
Author: S. Van Horne
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Cover Designer: SK Designs
Photographer Reggie Deanching with RplusMPhoto
Model: Conner Smith
Blurb: At twenty-seven, Sara Reyes had tried to stay hidden working for Seal Security. It was a chance for her to be protected and her loved ones to be safe – until the phone call…
At twenty-eight, Neil Sheilds had felt like things were falling into place. Now that his sister was back at home, he decided nothing would stop him from going after his fiery redhead goddess — until she ran…
Now, stakes are high to find out what Sara’s hiding and why there are people after her. Will Neil ever find Sara and express how she means more than anything to him?
S. Van Horne was born and raised in the small town of Belton, Missouri, which is a part of the Kansas City metropolitan area. She is from a very large family and is the oldest of six. Growing up she did not have the easiest life. She learned quickly that family means everything, even if it is the type that you get to pick for yourself. She met the love of her life at the early age of 20 and was married just after nine months of meeting him. Shortly after marriage, her husband rejoined the U.S. Navy and they moved from Kansas City and started their journey together. Currently they have two amazing children, a boy and a girl, and are still enjoying the Navy life. They are looking forward to retiring shortly to the great state of Washington to be closer to their God daughters/nieces and their parents.
She spends her days being a Navy wife, homeschool mother, reading books, writing her latest novel, watching her beloved Kansas City Chiefs or Kansas City Royals play, watching movies, hanging out with family and friends and having girls days at least once a month.
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I glance around Len’s backyard and smile at the happiness that fills the air. I’ve always wanted a family that could come together and celebrate the small joys that life brings. I almost had that at one point in my life, but it was ripped from my hands before I could even grasp it. A pain of sadness and fear flood my body, but I push it away not wanting it to take over this brief moment of happiness.
I peek out of the corner of my eye to the left and see Neil watching me. He’s the hottest guy I’ve ever laid eyes on. The moment I met him three years ago, I thought I would faint from just how damn good looking he was. He seemed like a stuck up asshole because he really wouldn’t say shit to me. All he did was glare at me like I took the prize out of his cereal box on Sunday morning while changing the channel from his favorite cartoons.
But it slowly started changing, and I realized that he just wasn’t interested in me and was just protective of his sister. I’m not one to open up and tell people my problems, as a matter of fact, nobody knows about my problems right now. I’m afraid of bringing it up and them finding out just how much trouble I can bring to their family.
I know I should be more open about it, but the detectives assured me that my file is closed tight, and that it couldn’t be tapered with. That’s the only thing saving me right now from Neil finding out about my past. At first, I was scared that he would find out when he did my background check for Seal Security. But nothing came up and that was a sigh of relief.
Then, there was that one night at the lake that I can’t get out of my mind. It was the best night of my life, and I want to reach out and grab what Neil was offering with both hands. But my past stops me from doing that. So, for now I live though my memories and try to keep him at arms length even though he’s doing everything in his power to change that.
The sound of laughter snaps me back into the present, and I see pink and blue balloons rising in the air. I’m confussed for a brief moment until I hear the word twins. A huge grin spreads across my face at that thought of Dante having three kids in diapers, one of which is a girl.
That man is an alpha to the max at times, so I know that little one is going to end up hating her daddy when she gets older due to his overprotectiveness.
The sound of a phone catches me off guard, and I realize it is mine. I reach in my purse and pull out my phone to see who could be calling me. Everyone that would call me is here so it has to be the call service for Seal Security. With me as the main admin for the front, all calls come to me when we aren’t in the office.
I glance at the screen and freeze once I see the name and number.
This can’t be happening.
He said he wouldn’t call unless it’s an emergency. I’m not sure if I want to answer it.
“Habibi, you ok?” Neil asks coming up to me.
“I need to take this,” I say and rush off to the side of the house to answer the phone in private.
“Hello,” my voice trembling softly afraid of what he might say.
“Sara?” a voice I know so well on the other end questions.
“Yes this is her.”
“They know, Sara. I need you to get here as soon as you can. We’ve got to get you to safety.” I close my eyes at the words; one of my biggest fears becoming reality.
After gathering enough strength, I make my way back and spot Neil and Dante. “I have to go. Please tell Len I will call her later.” I rush out before turning and running to the front of the house. Neil runs after me, shouting my name, but I quickly say something over my shoulder without stopping.
The life I know, the life I’ve come to build is no more. All I can do; all I must do is leave. They have found me, and in order to keep those I love safe, I must run without turning back.
I glance, yet again, at the redheaded goddess that has been on my mind from the moment we met three years ago. That first meeting, I didn’t mean to glare at her the whole time, but I was trying to figure out why I wanted to pick her up, throw her over my shoulder, and never share her with the world. It bothered me that she had that much power over me.
Then, I realized that the only reason I would feel that with her was because she was my one. After that, I tried everything to get her to notice me, short of just announcing that I liked her and wanted her. Nothing was seemed to work, and right when I was about to just take that plunge, my sister came up missing, and that stopped everything.
It isn’t a secret that I’m a protective ass when it comes to my sister. So when she vanished the night of my company party, I felt like I failed her. After a few weeks of her missing, I knew then that after she was found, only then was I going after Sara. And, nothing was stopping me from having her.
That night at the lake was the most amazing night of my life. I had never felt perfection like I did when I made love to her for the first time or the times that followed that night. But the following morning, I woke to an empty bed; abandoned and furious. When I stormed downstairs, she acted like she didn’t even know me, and that made me even angrier. I’m not one to blow up in public, so I bit my lip and decided to wait until we had a second alone.
But, that second never came.
After Adams was killed, it took a while to get things back to normal, and by then I was over the anger. Now, I’m trying everything to get back to that one night we had. So far, I haven’t made much leeway.
The sound of Sara’s phone snaps me out of my thoughts. When she glances down to look at her screen, she turns pale, and I immediately rush over to her side.
“Habibi, you okay?”
“I need to take this,” she states her voice trembling with fear and rushes off to the side of the house. Before I can follow, Dante steps up besides me and stops me from intruding on her call.
As he holds me back, I see her listening intently to the person on the phone. Whatever they say has her turning even palier. I swear I can feel her fear radiating from her body. I don’t know who is on the other line, but I’m about to march over there and snatch the phone from her to find out who the fuck it is, when she hangs up and glances over at us. She quickly makes her way to us, her eyes show nothing but pure unadulterated fear.
“I have to go. Please tell Len I will call her later,” she states in a whisper and then turns and rushes to her car.
It takes me a moment to process her words before I’m hot on her tail, chasing her.
“Sara, wait a minute. What the fuck is going on,” I yell.
“I don’t have time explain, Neil. I have an emergency. I’ll call later,” she tosses over her shoulder, without stopping.
She reaches her car and has it started before I can reach her. Just as I get close enough, I see her glance towards me with tears streaming down her face. So much hurt coming through her beautiful eyes, that I stop in my tracks, something preventing me from opening her car door. Instead, my chest rising and falling fast, and my eyes silently begging her to come to me.
“I’m sorry, Neil. I never wanted you to know. Please, let me go,” she whispers out of her window that’s barely down.
“Never,” I growl out between clenched teeth. Before I can open her door, she flips the lock and shakes her head sadly.
“Goodbye, Neil. If you remember anything, remember this, you always made me feel as if I was so much more than what I thought I would ever be,” she states with a soft smile as the tears just keep streaming down. Then, she pulls out of the driveway without a backwards glance.
I stand there, shocked at the words she just spoke, watching as her car fades down the road. I vow in that moment that she isn’t getting away from me that easily.
Furious, hurt, and determined, I turn and storm back into the house to let the others know that I have to go. I have to find Sara and get to the bottom of this once and for all.
It’s time she sees the beast within me. The beast that will weather any storm her past can bring. Because nothing will stop me from showing her just how much more she really is to me.