He puts the hot…
Christian Watson, a former SAS officer and current BKI operator, never thought he would return to England after a terrible turn of events forced him to abandon his homeland. But now he’s back on British soil where old enemies are determined to do him in. Fighting for his life is pretty much SOP for Christian. Doing it with the beautiful, bossy Emily Scott in tow is another matter entirely.
In hot pursuit.
Emily lost her coveted job at the CIA because of a colleague turned rogue, and now she has just one rule when it comes to men: they’re for recreational purposes only. But when she and Christian are thrust into very close quarters while evading two mysterious men who want Christian dead, she can’t help but question all her ideas about love and life lived on the edge. Battling the bad guys is hard enough, battling her feelings for Christian just might prove impossible.
What was he doing?
What the bloody hell was he doing?
Emily didn’t realize it, but all her acts of caring, her selfless moments of kindness—from waking him from his nightmare to pulling him into the cab of the pickup truck—had torn open his chest, ripped out his heart, and served it up on a platter.
Then, when she had stepped in front of him, ready to take a bullet that was bloody well meant for him, he had stopped pretending that what he felt for her was lust mixed with a heavy dose of vexation. Stopped pretending that he wasn’t completely arse over teakettle about everything she did, everything she said. Each smile. Each laugh. Each witty quip.
In that moment, he had known. Heart. On. A. Platter.
All she had to do was take it.
Unfortunately, he was the one taking.
Taking a kiss she hadn’t granted. Taking a taste she didn’t return. Taking advantage of a beastly situation.
Had he lost his mind? Had he forgotten the unwritten rule? The one that was bold, underlined, and all in caps?
Not to mention, he’d lost control of himself, of the moment. He blamed it on the memory of Emily in that bastard’s grip. The sight of her there—a pistol to her head, her eyes wide with fear, but her jaw gritted tight because she refused to give in to it—was forever tattooed onto the backs of his eyelids. He knew he’d see it when he closed his eyes at night.
It took effort, but he ripped his mouth away from Emily’s and dropped his hands. Curling his fingers into fists, he locked his jaw until his molars begged for mercy.
“Whaaa?” She blinked up at him through the rain in confusion.
“Sorry.” He ground out. The word was guttural. Hard. “I shouldn’t have…” He shook his head, water flying from the ends of his hair. “Just…sorry, okay?”
Her mouth opened in a bewildered little O. That mouth that tasted like mint toothpaste with a lingering hint of buttered toast. His favorite flavor used to be Welsh cakes, but now it was Emily. Emily and her mint toothpaste with lingering hints of buttered toast.
“That won’t happen again,” he assured her before grabbing her hand and towing her toward the others.
He had thought for sure the man in the black pants and the white shirt was dead. Ben’s shot looked as if it had drilled the bloke directly in the heart. Which meant Christian felt like a total prat for stopping to ask Emily why she had stepped in front of him—for stopping to kiss her—when they arrived in time to hear the decidedly alive man whisper his name. “Philippe Dubois.”
“You’re Boss’s friend,” Ace said, applying pressure to Philippe’s wound. “You’re the former Armée de L’Air commandant.”
“Oui. C’est moi,” Philippe managed, water dripping from his chin and earlobes. He wasn’t wheezing. That was good. Meant the bullet hadn’t collapsed his lung.
“Don’t try to talk, Philippe,” Ace told him. “Rusty, call airport security.”
Christian was already pulling his mobile from his soaking hip pocket. The rain had let up. No longer a deluge, it was now more of a steady drip. “We don’t need security. We need an ambulance. This man needs to go to hospital.”
He dialed 999 without hesitation and waited for his call to connect. Dropping his free hand back to his side, he was startled when Emily grabbed it, threading her fingers through his. They felt dainty, delicate. And freezing wet. He desperately wanted to kiss them warmer, kiss them dry.
Glancing at her, he blinked the water from his lashes but couldn’t stop the questions in his eyes. So you forgive me? For taking without asking? For kissing you when you’ve given me no indication you were interested?
Before she could answer, an operator’s voice sounded in his ear, all efficient and bored. After explaining the nature of Philippe’s wound and what had happened in the vaguest of terms, he gave the operator their location. When she asked for his name, he growled, “That’s not what’s bloody important. What’s bloody important is a man’s been shot and needs help. Hurry!” He abruptly hung up. “Help is on the way,” he announced.
Philippe’s white shirt was soaked with blood despite the pressure Ace applied.
“Damnit,” Christian growled, looking around for something to stanch the bleeding. Nothing else for it, he decided, dropping Emily’s hand—he really, truly hated doing that—and shrugging out of his coat. Next came his sweater. He tossed both pieces of clothing to her.
His white cotton undershirt was wet and sticking to his skin, but it would have to do.
Worth the wait!
If you’ve read book 10 in the series ( Fuel for Fire ), then you had more than an inkling that Christian and Emily’s story was going to be something else. Their constant bickering with and “annoying” each other made it clear to everyone but them (or was it?) that these two had chemistry to spare. You just knew their book was gonna be good–and it didn’t disappoint!
Hot Pursuit begins where the last book left off, with four BKI employees still stuck in England, trying to get back to Chicago. The infamous and elusive Spider’s still at large, but now another, more immediate enemy is at hand, and Christian, Emily, and the rest of the gang spend most of the book dealing with danger from that front.
But those gosh-darn hormones, they keep getting in the way…
I loved watching Christian win Emily over to his way of thinking (the car wash scene–whew, that one give you some niiiiiice imagery to ponder!) and am really looking forward to seeing them be all couple-y like in the next book ( Built to Last –Angel’s book, woot!) but please, please tell me that Ace and Rusty are at least getting a novella (I’d settle for that, though really, they deserve their own full-length book!)
Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
About the author:
Julie Ann Walker is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of award-winning romantic suspense. She has won the Book Buyers Best Award, been nominated for the National Readers Choice Award, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, and the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award. Her latest release was named a Top Ten Romance of 2014 by Booklist. Her books have been described as “alpha, edgy, and downright hot.” Most days you can find her on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission.
Be sure to sign up for Julie’s occasional newsletter at: http://julieannwalker.com
To learn more about Julie, follow her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/jawalkerauthor and/or Twitter: @JAWalkerAuthor.