Friday, June 1, 2018

The Hunt For an Alpha Blog Tour with Heather Long @HVLong and N.J. Walters @NJWaltersAuthor - @EntangledPub

Bitten Under Fire by Heather Long
Wolf of Her Own by N.J. Walters
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: May 28, 2018

Bitten Under Fire
Bravo Team WOLF, #2

Bianca Devlin’s work is her life. Now, she’s finally taking a vacation…and guerillas hit her resort to kidnap a diplomat’s son. She does the only thing that makes sense—intervene to save the child’s life. Being dragged into the jungle with a scared kid she’s determined to protect was definitely not how she saw this trip ending.

After she returns to Texas, the last person Bianca expected to see was Sergeant Carlos “Cage” Castillo, the member of Bravo Team WOLF that helped rescue her. Nevertheless, there he is, living across the street from the house she just bought. The coincidence is alarming, but she has to admit, his presence isn’t entirely unwanted.

But there’s something off about Cage—the way he can move without a sound or the weird way his eyes seem to almost glow at times. And how can Bianca manage her growing attraction, when everything she knows about him and his reason for being there, turns out to be a lie?

Cottonmouth and cracked lips woke Bianca. Her eyelids weighed a ton, and her knuckles burned. Then the twinges along her back added insult to injury. Awareness following discomfort, Bianca jerked as her eyes opened. Beeping machines, a hiss of oxygen, dim lighting, and a swaying sensation all surrounded her.

“Hello there,” an unfamiliar voice greeted her. The woman who appeared in her line of sight wore a uniform, her blonde hair perfectly tucked and pinned. “I’m Corpsman McGinnis, and you’re aboard the USS Seahawke. Do you know your name?”

“Bianca,” she began, but the word came out strained and choked. Coughing, she closed her eyes and grimaced.

“Easy, take a sip of this,” Corpsman McGinnis said, then a straw touched Bianca’s lips. It took a moment to remember how to suck up the water. The cold liquid flooded her mouth like manna from heaven.

She wanted to sigh, but she took several small gulps before the corpsman removed the straw.

“Bianca Devlin.” She managed to state her full name; it still came out in broken syllables and a strained voice. Bianca wasn’t sure what hurt more, her ears or her throat. “I’m a US Aid Worker, identification number four-foxtrot-Charlie-four-five-five.”

“Well, that’s helpful, Ms. Devlin, thank you. You were rescued. You’ve been aboard for about ten hours…”

“Collin.” Bianca tried to sit up, and the aches in her back turned to real lances of agony. She gripped the metal railings of the bed to hold herself up even as the corpsman tried to ease her down. “There was a little boy…Collin.”

“He’s safe.”

A deep, masculine tone wrapped around her, soothing her agitation and jerking her attention from the female corpsman to the hatchway of the ship’s infirmary. The man had to turn sideways to enter. Broad shoulders, thick arms, a huge chest, and a square jaw with a hint of a dimple in his cheek when his lips softened into a hint of a smile… He was gorgeous.

“We got both of you out.”

Sagging with relief, Bianca let the corpsman ease her back into the hospital rack. Exhaustion swarmed her muscles and she closed her eyes. “Thank God.”

“Well, actually, my name is Carlo—my friends call me Cage.” A hint of humor softened his deep baritone and she resisted the urge to laugh.

“Please don’t flirt with me, not when I have no idea what my hair looks like and it tastes like something died in my mouth.” It came out far more a groan than she cared to admit, but his soft chuckle offered a boost.

“Fair enough. I’ll save my flirting for later.” Easy acceptance of her rejection scored him some points.

Action, Danger, Romance…what a fun read!

This story starts out with lots of action and danger, which immediately pulled me in and made me a big fan of Bianca. She’s been forced to take a vacation from her job as a relief worker…and boom, she finds herself kidnapped with a diplomat’s son and fighting for both of their lives. I loved her selflessness, her ability to be pragmatic, and her resilience – especially when faced with adversity. Cage was all alpha wolf, but I also loved getting to see and feel his “softer” and romantic side when it came to Bianca. He’s immediately attracted to Bianca, so when circumstance has him needing to be in close proximity to her, there was no doubt these two were going to be steaming up the pages.

Although this book focuses mostly on just Cage and Bianca, we do get to interact with some of the other members of Brava Team WOLF, and I just loved the scenes with Kaitlyn (from book 1) as well as seeing Cage’s team help him untangle his mess. I also enjoyed meeting Cage’s father and loved seeing their relationship change as events unfolded.

I’m always impressed by Heather Long’s ability to write the emotions onto the page, and she once again so easily conveys the feelings within and between the characters. This story starts off fast-paced but does slow down a bit during the last half of the book, focusing more on the romance and relationships, but still had me turning the pages to see how things would finally work themselves out.

Kudos to the author for creating another great world for her wolves to play in!

USA Today bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime.

From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family.

She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.

Heather is best known for her 18-book paranormal romance series Wolves of Willow Bend, which begins:
Prequel: Wolf at Law
1: Wolf Bite
2: Caged Wolf
3: Wolf Claim
3.5: Wolf Next Door
4: Rogue Wolf
5: Bayou Wolf
6: Untamed Wolf

Heather's other fantasy romance series include the paranormal westerns Fevered Hearts starting with Marshal of Hel Dorado, Black Hill Wolves which start with What a Wolf Wants, Witches of Mane Street, Mongrels, and the Bravo Team WOLF series.

Her contemporary romance series include: Always a Marine, Going Royal, Elite Warriors, The Love Thieves, beginning with Catch Me and Lone Star Leathernecks, beginning with Semper Fi Cowboy.

Heather is well-represented in fantasy with her her superhero series Boomers, a sci-fi western called Space Cowboy Survival Guide, an urban fantasy series called the Chance Monroe Adventures, and a stand-alone ghost novel titled Haunt Me.

Wolf of Her Own
Salvation Pack, #9

Mikhail Matheson came to Salvation for his sister, but he stayed for Elise LaForge. She’s the alpha’s mother and the most fascinating woman he’s ever laid his eyes on. He’s wanted her from the first moment he saw her. He may feel like an outsider in the pack, but there’s no way he can leave when he’s sure Elise is his mate.

Elise’s made a home in North Carolina with her adult sons and their pack. It’s taken her a long time to get over the years she spent with her abusive mate, and while she’s content now, she can’t help but feel there’s something missing in her life. Mikhail stirs emotions in her she never expected to feel, and the attraction between them is off the charts. But Elise’s not sure how her sons and the pack will react, not to mention the danger the pack is facing.

You’re a very sensual woman, whether you realize it or not”

“I really don’t know how to respond to that.”

“You don’t need to. It was an observation. I like watching you.”

“I know. That’s what caused the problem at lunchtime.” The reminder brought them both back to reality, and she pulled away.

Mikhail pushed to his feet and sat on the sofa next to her. “I’ll try to control myself in public. How about that?”

She rubbed her hand over the sofa, roughing and then smoothing the fabric. “That’s not fair to you.”

“Okay, then, how about I control myself in public until you’re more used to me, more able to handle me.”

She snorted. “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to handle you.”

Her teasing delighted him. “What can I say? I’m more than a handful.” The sexual innuendo wasn’t lost on Elise. Her cheeks turned the most delicate shade of pink, and he could see a teasing glint in her eyes.

“I wouldn’t know anything about that.”

He sat back against the sofa and spread his arms wide across the back. “Want to find out?”

Mikhail held his breath, wondering if he was pushing her too hard, too fast. He thought she might be a lot more ready than she thought she was. Of course, that could be pure wishful thinking on his part.

“No pressure,” he assured her. “What do you want to do?”

Elise had never had the opportunity to discover herself as a woman. He had a feeling that once she’d embraced the sensual, sexual side of her personality, he was the one who was going to have his hands full.

He couldn’t wait to face the challenge.

“I can touch you. You can touch me. Whatever you want. And it only goes as far as you’re comfortable. It’s all up to you, baby.”

Elise came up on the sofa beside him. His heart pounded in his ears, and he locked his hands around the top of the sofa to keep from reaching for her.

She studied him with her direct golden gaze so reminiscent of her older son’s. “You really mean that, don’t you?”

“I do.” Even if it kills me. He hadn’t felt this out of control since he was a young man.

Then she shocked him by swinging her leg over his lap so she was sitting facing him. “Then touch me.”

This book was definitely not what I expected but turned out to be a wonderful read. Both characters are older and Elise has had a past history of abuse, so watching these two find each other and happiness was very satisfying.

Mikhail and Elise proved to be perfect for one another. Mikhail had the patience of a saint – knowing enough about Elise’s past to give her space and the time she needed, but also knowing when to press a bit so they could move forward. With Elise being the mother of the pack Alpha, Mikhail knew that pack politics would come in to play, but he also knew that Elise had to be willing to stand up for them as a couple if they were going to have a future. Elise has had a very abusive past. The things she has gone through broke my heart. I loved seeing her come back in to herself and rediscover and find who she is and who she wants to be. I wanted to cheer every time she did something to help break free from the demons of her past.

I really enjoyed getting to know the rest of the Salvation Pack. I haven’t read any of the other stories in this series but had no trouble reading this as a stand-alone. There were many other characters introduced and just enough backstory was given to not overwhelm with details but keep the story moving. I always love the family that is the pack, and because of, or maybe in spite of, the history of all the pack members this pack had a warmth and emotion that made me smile and often times had me chuckling.

There wasn’t a lot of action to this story – just a bit of drama at the end and a really good fight scene - so this one moved a bit slower than I typically like, but the romance was touching and satisfying so that more than made up for it.

I would definitely recommend this one and look forward to checking out other books in this series.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy from the publisher via NetGalley of this book.

N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.

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