Piper J. Drake
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 . . .
This book was a gift from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
This book has everything you could want in a military romance. You have your hot ex-military trainers, a determined female “dog-whisperer”, and a military dog named Atlas. Atlas, is really the star of this book and I loved every single second.
Atlas’ handler Callhoun died under suspicious circumstances that was labeled accidental friendly fire. As a result Atlas has PTSD and severe depression. Now before you start on me, dogs can and do feel emotions as deeply as we humans do and its just as hard if not harder to break through to them.
Atlas is grieving, he is only responding to commands by rote. He really doesn’t want to do anything. Not eat, not play, nothing. My heart breaks for him, he has lost so much more than just a handler he lost his partner, his friend, his family.
Sent to Hope’s Crossing kennel to his original trainer David Cruz for rehabilitation, Atlas is also assigned a civilian trainer by the Pentagon, Evelyn (Lyn)Jones.
Things start going awry right from the start. A minor security breach at the kennel causes David to confront Lyn at her hotel. Only he doesn’t get to confront her, but stop an attack on her.
Thus begins a relationship that David isn’t sure he wants, but he sure wants a taste. One of my favorite scenes is after an attack and he is tending to a scrape on Lyn’s wrist with Atlas watching the whole interaction.
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.
There is lots of action, fun and some sizzling sex sprinkled throughout the suspense. A thoroughly enjoyable page turner.
5 Contented Purrs for Piper!
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.