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“Present Danger starts with a bang and never lets up. Goddard’s fast-paced romantic suspense will have your pulse pounding as you turn the pages. Hold on to your seat and your heart as you enjoy this thrill ride!”

Rachel Dylan, bestselling author of the Capital Intrigue series

“A plane crash, a dead body, and two people who decide that justice and love are worth fighting for all add up to a riveting read you won’t want to put down. I highly recommend this book!”

Lynette Eason, bestselling, award-winning author of the Danger Never Sleeps series

“A riveting beginning to the new Rocky Mountain Courage series, Present Danger takes readers on a wild ride filled with family tragedies, long-buried secrets, ancient relics, and broken hearts. Goddard has crafted a page-turner that takes off in the first nail-biting chapter, weaves through unexpected twists and shocking revelations, then culminates in a whirlwind of betrayal and redemption. I couldn’t read the final chapters fast enough!”

Lynn H. Blackburn, award-winning author of the Dive Team Investigations series

“I was captivated from the very first scene of Present Danger to the shocking conclusion. You can always count on Elizabeth Goddard to bring you dramatic action and adventure scenes that put you on the edge of your seat!”

Susan Sleeman, bestselling author of the Homeland Heroes series

“Elizabeth Goddard starts her brand-new Rocky Mountain Courage series with an opening that sucks you in from page one and doesn’t stop until the heart-pounding conclusion.”

Lisa Harris, USA Today and CBA bestselling author of the Nikki Boyd Files

“Present Danger—another edge-of-the-seat story by Elizabeth Goddard that will keep you turning pages to the end.”

Patricia Bradley, author of Standoff, Natchez Trace Park Rangers series

Books by Elizabeth Goddard


Never Let Go

Always Look Twice

Don’t Keep Silent


Present Danger

© 2021 by Elizabeth Goddard

Published by Revell

a division of Baker Publishing Group

PO Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287


Ebook edition created 2021

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—for example, electronic, photocopy, recording—without the prior written permission of the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is on file at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

ISBN 978-1-4934-2860-1

Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Bible.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

To my daughter, Rachel.

You’re the light and joy of my life.

Greater love hath no man than this,

that a man lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13


Chance Carter should have known this last delivery wouldn’t go down without a hitch.

A monstrous thunderhead had popped up in a clear morning sky and now loomed directly in his path as if forbidding, or at least challenging, his approach to his destination—a lone airstrip in Nowhere, Montana. As an experienced pilot and courier for an airfreight company, inclement weather didn’t concern him as much as the troubled feeling in his chest, which he’d been trying to ignore since takeoff.

Given the cold, hard stone of unease that had settled in his gut, he’d failed miserably.

Earlier this morning, back at the FBO—fixed-based operator—the rhythm of his flight prep had seemed off. Excitement hadn’t pumped through his every movement, and the usual bounce to his step hadn’t accompanied him while he worked through his preflight checks. If that hadn’t been enough, dread had replaced the anticipation that had always filled him as he readied to climb into the cockpit of his Piper Cherokee 235, which he affectionately called Ole Blue.

Now, as he neared the airstrip, he shook off the apprehension and grabbed on to the assurance earned from years of experience and hours spent piloting.

A good, strong headwind buffeted the plane, which was preferred for landing. He took comfort in the familiar deafening roar of the Piper breaking through his headset and droning in his ears. He wanted to focus on nothing but landing, delivering, and escaping. But this trip carried him back, and the evergreens of the forest, the winding rivers, the meadows, the crops, and the majestic mountains captivated him, reminding him of all he’d left behind.

Gripping the yoke, he sat taller and shoved beyond the melancholy.

At seven miles from his destination, he switched tanks.

The noisy engine sputtered and then stalled.

Nothing he didn’t know how to handle. Chance would quickly remedy the situation. He trusted that forward movement and lift would propel Ole Blue along like an eagle riding in the wind long enough to give him ample time to restart the engine.

Only the engine refused its resurrection. The fuel gauge indicated a fourth of a tank of fuel remained. He switched to the other tank and confirmed it was empty.

As if emphasizing his earlier presentiment, Ole Blue’s propeller slowed to a stop.

Utter silence filled the cockpit. Moments passed before the slow cadence of his heartbeat ramped up and roared to life in his ears.

The plane remained in the air, gliding on the current. But not for long. Creating a controlled descent was up to Chance and the tools at his disposal. Sweat beaded at his temples as his instincts took over, and he maneuvered the rudder, flaps, and ailerons, steering the plane through the air currents to maintain lift as long as possible.

Chance had to face the truth.

Ole Blue wasn’t going to make it to the airstrip.

And those evergreens he’d admired moments before rushed at him now as the ground rose toward him, much faster than was safe.

He was going down.

Chance pressed the button on the yoke and squawked to a local frequency. “Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!” He detailed what he knew of the expected crash location, which wasn’t a lot.

He got no response. Nobody monitoring the frequency today in Nowhere, Montana. Just his luck.

Between evergreen-topped mountains, Ole Blue surfed along a ravine. Not

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