Type: Romantic Suspense
My Copy: Sent
HONOR, LOYALTY, LOVE
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 . . .
My second book ever read by Piper J Drake and I think I’m getting into the groove of her writing. Extreme Honor was a harrowing romantic suspense with lively characters, an intriguing military mystery and a deadly dog who just wants to be understood.
After the suspicious death of his handler, Atlas (a highly trained military dog) is shipped stateside for retraining. Suffering from PTSD and depression, no one can reach Atlas, let alone handle him. Sending him to a prestigious training facility and his ex-handlers good friend, David, is just one more stop on the route back to the combat zones he knows so well. David is determined to rehabilitate the animal and find out the truth about his friends death in a war zone. When a gorgeous female trainer walks into his facility and demands to work with Atlas, David knows there is more going on than what she is telling him but the dogs reaction to Lyn cements her place in the training regimen. Atlas has found his new handler and much to David’s dismay, that handler is Lyn.
As a military dog whisperer Lyn likes to stay out of the limelight. She’s not a solider and she’s not looking for adventure. So when she’s attacked within 12 hours of working with Atlas she knows the bigger picture is much more dangerous than she had anticipated. Walking away isn’t an option after seeing the grief Atlas is suffering from. David isn’t keen on her sticking around but the more the two work together the more heat is beginning to simmer just underneath the surface.
I enjoy a good romantic suspense but sometimes military suspense doesn’t work for me. Sometimes the story lines get bogged down with information and terms that I don’t necessarily care about. Too much military and not enough romance. Extreme Honor was the perfect mix of components. Military background and knowledge, a hot hero, a smart heroine and a dog who is struggling with what he has seen. Perfectly timed action sprinkled throughout the story to keep the pace moving along and a steadily growing attraction between characters to ratchet up the heat. Piper does a great job conveying her characters feelings and thoughts. Her characters might move at a bit of a slower pace than I usually like (heat wise) but she stays true to the characters and I can understand that.
Lyn had a lot of tenacity in the face of danger she’d never encountered before. Being attacked would leave anyone frightened and unsure but Lyn powers through and stays the course because helping Atlas is more important than letting her fear win out. She’s not a runner and with David and Atlas by her side she feels protected and empowered. She was smart and quick thinking, two qualities I love in a heroine. I also loved how quickly David became fiercely protective of her. Long before he realized how important she was becoming to him, he just felt the drive to be by her side. Always. She may have annoyed him at times with her by the book speeches about dog training, but her hands on approach with Atlas quickly won them both over.
I give Extreme Honor by Piper J Drake 4 stars!
His kiss wasn’t light or gentle or teasing. His lips came down on hers with heat and firm pressure. His hand moved from her chin to cup the back of her head, urging her to tilt for him. She did, opening her mouth and giving him access, too. His tongue swept in, hot and searching. She answered in kind and they explored each other.
This was . . .wow. More than wow. Heat swept through her and she reveled in the sensation he sent coursing throughout her body with his kissing.
It was a long time before he let her up for air and when he did, she realized she was clutching the front of his shirt with both hands. Oh hey. How about that?
“You need to get over this.”
Shocked, she started to step back but David’s hand was still on the back of her head and his other arm came around her waist. Tucked against him, she looked up to see him glaring at Atlas through the chain-link fence.
The big dog had reared up and put his front paws on the fence.
“You can deal,” David said to Atlas. “Don’t even tell me you gave Calhoun this kind of interference when he was with somebody.”
Butterflies tickled her and she buried her face in David’s chest as she giggled.
“What? That’s seventy-five pounds of canine jumping up on me if it weren’t for this fence.” Despite his words, amusement colored his tone and his arm remained firmly around her waist.
“With the two of you, there isn’t anything that can keep me worried.” She smiled up at him, enjoying the fit of their bodies against each other.
David gave her a lopsided grin. “Good. I’d like to say we make a solid team but Atlas here is working for you but not with me, if you get what I mean.”
“Ah well, he’s a free agent for the time being.” She didn’t want to ruin the mood. But it’d be stupid to pretend Atlas wouldn’t be returned to duty once they’d gotten him back to one hundred percent responsiveness. The big dog was too good to retire yet.
“True.” David pressed a kiss to her temple. “So.” She could barely believe her own audacity but the last few days, the last few minutes in particular, were all about personal evolution, apparently. “Where were we before Atlas expressed his opinion?”
Because she’d like to get back to that. And explore. In detail.
Okay, maybe she wasn’t as daring as she could be. Yet.
“Here.” David caught her mouth for another hot, fantastically mind-blowing kiss.
And don’t miss the second book in the True Heroes series, ULTIMATE COURAGE, on sale 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, North Carolina.
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 the author
Piper J. Drake (or “PJ”) spent her childhood pretending to study for the SATs by reading every interesting novel she could find at the library. After being introduced to the wonderful world of romance by her best friend, she dove into the genre. PJ began her writing career as PJ Schnyder, writing sci-fi & paranormal romance and steampunk, for which she won the FF&P PRISM award as well as the NJRW Golden Leaf award and Parsec award. PJ’s romantic suspense novels incorporate her interests in mixed martial arts and the military. The True Heroes series is inspired by her experience rescuing, owning and training a variety of retired working dogs, including Kaiser, a former guard dog, and Mozart, who was trained to detect explosives.