Special Forces

By: Kathy Ivan

Operation Alpha  Saving Stephanie


After riding herd on the testosterone-filled agents at Carpenter Security, Stephanie Barnes has earned a little R & R. Her luxurious Costa Rican holiday is turned upside down when armed mercenaries overrun the villa. Taken hostage, she’s forced to use her wits to keep the others calm and the situation from spiraling out of control.

Etienne Boudreau is counting the hours until the end of his mandated time off. All it takes is one harried S.O.S. message from his brother to catapult him into action. Enlisting the aid of Commander Hunt of the Riverton SEALs, Etienne scrambles to assemble a team for the most important rescue of his life.

Deep in the Costa Rican jungle, secrets, deception, and hidden threats are uncovered. Desire heats up as Etienne and Stephanie struggle to find their way out of danger. Can they thwart an egotistical madman hellbent on revenge, or will time run out?


Thank you, Susan Stoker, for allowing me to play around in your Special Forces Kindle World, and have my characters crossover with characters from your books, which I love reading. And to the amazing readers who are part of the Susan Stoker Kindle World Fan Page. Wow, you are all so great! I have a blast chatting and getting to know you. You’re support of this Kindle World (and my stories) has been amazing!

Thanks to Drue Hoffman for designing the fabulous cover for Saving Stephanie!

Special thanks to Kimberly Dawn, Ella Gram, and Tanya Newbern – beta readers whose great insights into my books give me inspiration and keep me writing new books.

And as always, a special shout out to Allison B. Collins, my wonderful editor, who dropped everything on short notice to help me polish this story. She continues giving me great feedback that only makes my books better. You are awesome!


“I’ve gotta admit, I’m kinda jealous. It sounds like you’re having a fabulous time, Steph.”

“Girlfriend, you have no idea. Costa Rica is amazing. The entire country is breathtaking. You should’ve come with us. I’d hoped we’d get to spend some quality time together while Stefan’s working.”

Savannah Sloane, Anna to her friends, leaned against the large window in her apartment, staring at the view of the bridge spanning the Mississippi River. As much as she’d once hated New Orleans and everything associated with the city, she’d learned to love the place she now called home. Stefan would be home soon, and they planned to meet up with some of the other Carpenter Security Services team at Lucky’s, a local bar where they’d become, if not regulars, then semi-regular patrons.

“I wish I could have come too, but you know I’m neck deep in catching up on my class work. After missing a couple years, getting back into the habit of studying is a lot harder than I remembered.”

“Plus you’ve got a boyfriend who loves distracting you.” Stephanie’s laughter came through the phone loud and clear. “I’ve gotta admit, I don’t miss the long, sleepless nights of cramming for exams. Or horrible professors. But it was worth it, because I’ve finally got my degree, even if it took me twice as long to obtain it, and a great job to come back to. Only thing missing is a halfway decent love life, and then everything would be perfect.”

“Sorry, you can’t have mine.” Anna grinned as she said the words. After the personal hell she’d been through, she was finally in a really good place, and engaged to a man she adored.

“You sure he doesn’t have any brothers? Think we can get some mad scientist to clone him?” Stephanie’s teasing made Anna’s heart sing.

Stephanie Barnes had become her closest friend and confidant ever since she’d moved to New Orleans to be with the man she adored. She’d helped her adjust to being back in the city which played a large part in her nightmarish ordeal, or what Anna called her year of living hell. Although Steph was a couple of years older than Anna, the two of them meshed immediately, and Stephanie had taken the shyer girl under her wing, helping Anna adjust to one more big change in her life.

Anna had been abducted during Spring Break a few years earlier in New Orleans, and finally rescued. Stephanie had been one of the people who reached out, checking on her periodically. Though only an occasional call at first, their friendship had blossomed slowly, even after Anna decided to stay in California and not return to LSU. Heck, she hadn’t ever wanted to set foot back in New Orleans for the rest of her life. She chuckled. Look how far I’ve come.