Posted by Heidi Blakey on 16th June 2017
Strike Force, the series, was really born of a number of things. First, I love military-themed romantic suspense. Second, I just love romantic suspense! And third, my idea for stories about a Delta Force Team was inspired by my firearms instructor in Texas. I lived in Texas for sixteen years, and my late husband, who was a crack shot, insisted I learn to shoot, also. Who knew it would be such fun? Or that my instructor would be such an interesting person.
He actually gave me an entire day to answer questions about Delta Force, how the teams are formed, the importance of the secrecy of the missions and all those good things. What it does to a relationship and about the toughness both of the men chosen and the woken in their lives. I knew those women would have to be extraordinary, have strength even in the most frightening situations, and be able to deal with long absences of their men.
And of course it had to have a Texas connection, because, well, I was living there and in love with all things Texan. Which is why my heroine ends up in San Antonio and why the team leader, Slade Donovan, owns a ranch just outside that city.
Kari Malone, my heroine in Unconditional Surrender, is front and center. A tough and talented assistant prosecutor, she is driven to leave Chicago by a stalker who continues to get bolder in his pursuit of her. In San Antonio she finds two things: safety from the stalker and the man she spent a delicious, incredible, nameless one night with five years earlier.
I worked hard to get just the right balance of strength and fear (I mean, fear isn’t something you can easily get rid of, right?). She had to have a certain toughness but also a vulnerability that combined made her so appealing to our hero, team leader Slade Donovan. And I wanted to flavor the story with Texas but not have it overshadow the plot.
So then my questions revolved around why neither of them gave their real names that hot, erotic, delicious night and are the feelings they’ve hung onto all these years realistic or just a fantasy that one more night together will satisfy?
As usual, I totally fell in love with my characters, and I so enjoyed watching them struggle with their feelings and their obligations. I included some of my favorite spots in the book, from San Antonio to the Hill Country, hoping to make you a part of this area that still lives in my heart.
I also introduce the other three team members who will have their own books, and give you all a taste of at least one of the women they will meet. And of course each situation will come with its own set of challenges. These are men who never thought to embrace a long term relationship because of the nature of what they do. And the going will not be easy.
I hope my firearms instructor, the assistant prosecutor who gave up a lunch to answer questions and the rancher who helped me create Slade’s ranch will think I did them proud. They gave me the heart of these stories.
I hope you enjoy this first book in Strike Force. When you read it, keep in mind that the framework of the fiction is based in reality.