by Piper J. Drake
Hot military heroes, the women who love them, and the devoted dogs that always have their backs. EXTREME HONOR is the first book in a high adrenaline contemporary suspense series from Piper J. Drake published by Forever Romance. Fans of Jill Shalvis’s Animal Attraction series and Cindy Gerard’s One Eyed Jacks, will love this brand new action packed romantic suspense series.
Title: Extreme Honor
Author: Piper J. Drake
Series: True Heroes #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing- Forever
David Cruz is good at two things: war and training dogs. The ex-soldier’s toughest case is Atlas, a Belgian Malinois whose handler died in combat. Nobody at Hope’s Crossing kennel can break through the animal’s grief. That is, until dog whisperer Evelyn Jones walks into the facility . . . and into Atlas’s heart. David hates to admit that the curvy blonde’s mesmerizing effect isn’t limited to canines. But when Lyn’s work with Atlas puts her in danger, David will do anything to protect her.
Lyn realizes that David’s own battle scars make him uniquely qualified for his job as a trainer. Tough as nails yet gentle when it counts, he’s gotten closer to Atlas than anyone else—and he’s willing to put his hard-wired suspicion aside to let her do the same. But someone desperate enough to kill doesn’t want Lyn working with Atlas. Now only teamwork, trust, and courage can save two troubled hearts and the dog who loves them both . . .
Her heart rate had picked up, fluttering at the pulse point under his touch.
“Yeah?” The urge to slide has hands over more delicate areas grew and he couldn’t help running his thumb along the inside of her arm.
Awareness grew in her gaze and she bit her lip as she nodded.
He leaned toward her, focused on her plump lip caught under her teeth.
“What else do you like?”
She opened her mouth to answer but he didn’t plan to let her get a word out. Maybe later. He bent his head to capture her lips.
And seventy five pounds of fur jumped up on his side.
Lyn gasped. “Atlas!”
“Af.” Mindful of the dog’s injury, Cruz gave Atlas a gentle shove.
The dog dropped back to all fours, his tongue lolling. Looking from him to Lyn and back again, Atlas lay back down on his belly.
Jealous. Damn dog was jealous.
Be real. Every dog recognizes a fake. And good men can see through it too.
“I’d really like to help.” Honest. Simple. All the other reasons paled in comparison to this.
“Whatever is going on, you know more about it than I do.” She licked her lips, her mouth gone dry.
His gaze dipped, focusing on her mouth. “I might. I know something. I’m not sure it’s related. But this next question is important.”
Can I kiss you?
Doubtful that was the question he was going to ask. But the moment was drawing out and she very much wanted for him to ask it. “Okay.”
“Do you think I would hurt you?”
“No!” It popped out before she had time to think about it. Anger burned up from her chest and spread outward. She scowled. “Of course n—”
He kissed her.
Extreme Honor is the first book in the True Heroes series, focusing on the Hope’s Crossing Kennel and the three men who work there (all ex-military), the dogs they work with (military dogs and police dogs, as well as some “regular” dogs and their humans), and, of course, the women they encounter along the way. Book one is David Cruz, Atlas, and Evelyn Jones’s story.
Atlas worked with a close friend of David’s who was KIA, and the dog has yet to recover from his loss. He’s lethargic and uninterested in continuing his training. Just before his friend’s death, David received a strange message from him that he’d initially discounted as a “drunk text”; now he’s not so sure. He’s immediately suspicious of Evelyn, however, who shows up at the facility unannounced to work with the canine, sent by someone with connections. When Atlas–and Lyn–appear to be in some sort of danger, David’s protective instincts come to life. What is the common demoninator between Atlas, Lyn, and David’s friend? What do the men who appear to be after them want, and why?
I enjoyed this story, my first from this author. Though David and Lyn have great chemistry together, it’s the connection they both forge with Atlas that really makes the book shine. He’s a working dog, not a pet, though, so if you’re looking for a book with a lovable fur baby he’s not going to quite fit the bill. However, I found the loyalty he showed toward those he’d accepted as his handlers and his intelligence made him into a character that was on par with the book’s humans. The suspense part was nicely done, though the ending still left a few questions, and one character’s switch from villain to apparent hero was a bit abrupt. Still, I had a hard time putting the book down once I’d started.
David’s coworkers are nicely set up to be heroes in future books; I’m looking forward to learning their stories and reading more about the amazing animals they work with.
Rating: 4 stars / A-
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Book two in the True Heroes series- Ultimate Courage
Available July 26, 2016
Elisa Hall is good at starting from scratch. Leaving an abusive relationship in her rearview, she packs everything she owns into the trunk of her car and heads for refuge with her friend in Hope’s Crossing, Pennsylvania.
Alex Rojas returned from his second deployment as a Navy SEAL to find his condo empty and divorce papers on the breakfast table. Now he’s building a life for himself and his daughter at Hope’s Crossing kennels training younger dogs and handlers to search and rescue, struggling to adjust to life back in the States and as a single father.
When Elisa shows up at the kennels, it’s obvious she’s running from something. Luckily, the dogs and trainers at Hope’s Crossing are more than capable of warding off trouble. And with every minute he spends with Elisa, Alex becomes even more and more determined to protect the woman he’s certain he won’t be able to live without…
About Piper J. Drake:
Piper J. Drake (or “PJ”) began her writing career as “PJ Schnyder” writing sci-fi & paranormal romance and steampunk. She has recently received the FF&P PRISM award for her work as well as the NJRW Golden Leaf award and Parsec award.
Now, PJ is exploring the complexity of romantic suspense, incorporating her interests in mixed martial arts and the military into her writing.