Guarding Gertrude – A Special Forces Operation Alpha Novella by Heather Long

Guarding Gertrude
A Special Forces Operation Alpha Novella
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Long

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Force Protection on the Move

Jesse “Flint” McCoy spent the year since he left the Teams building a security business with former teammate and best friend Cannon. They’re a private operation, and they don’t advertise. Though they prefer overseas missions, they take the occasional domestic assignment—such as when an old friend calls because he’s worried his sister might be in over her head…what’s a good buddy to do?

If it bleeds, it leads.

Digging into a piece on stolen valor, the last thing news producer Gertrude Wagner expected was to become the story. What began with a suspicious social media profile and a stray bullet sends her running for cover and right into the arms of her brother’s best friend: the sailor who broke her heart.

Guarding Gertrude is more than a favor for Flint, it’s his duty, and honor.

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After a fun day with a bunch of pals, that includes Tex, Liam aka ‘Angel’ and his business partner Cannon, Jessie ‘Flint’ McCoy gets a call from his friend Ned. Ned is in the Navy and calling from sea, realizing the severity of the situation, Jessie doesn’t hesitate. He’s going to protect Gertrude and it won’t be an easy task given their history.

Gertrude ‘Trudi’ and her friend Veronica, run a TV news magazine. They are good at what they do and always check the facts. It’s one of those investigations into the facts that now has her in danger.

This is a favorite scene when things go BOOM!

Trudi pivoted and headed for the door. She fished her keys out of her pocket as she walked. Interestingly, all the guys who’d tried to make eye contact with her when she came in glanced right past her as she made her way to the exit. The source of their swift changing attention could only be one person.

Flint confirmed her suspicion when he grabbed the door a beat ahead of her, then opened it to the street and stepped out. Instead of just holding the door open, he blocked it for a moment.

“Why are you being so damn weird?” The bar wasn’t that far from their offices. If she’d realized she had to go back so soon, she wouldn’t have driven over. The lot was tucked off the street on the other side of the stone building. Ascending the steps, she found Flint constantly in her way—a lot like a certain walking carpet in one of her favorite movies.

“I told you, Ned said you were in trouble.” The laconic response held none of her ire toward her brother. “Where you go, I go. You can handle that, right?”

The challenge in his words stiffened her spine. “Of course I can handle it, I just don’t need to. I’m not in trouble. Ned’s being a jerk, so go back to whatever…it is you do.” Huh, for a moment, she was at a loss. She really had no idea what he did with his life. After his rather abrupt change of heart, she hadn’t heard from him again.

Ned only mentioned him rarely, and it actually surprised her that they were still friends. Then again, Ned has his life and she had hers.

Shaking her head, she sliced her hand through the air in a cutting motion as she stopped in the alley between the buildings leading to the lot. “How did you know to find me at the bar?” That hadn’t been her actual question, but it just occurred to her. He’d walked in only minutes after she had.

“I traced your phone. If you have to go back to the office, I’ll give you a ride. I can bunk on the sofa in your office—or on the floor. I can stay out of the way and be there to look after you.” He almost made it sound like he was doing her a favor. Flint had a way of cajoling people into doing exactly what he wanted and making them think it was their idea all along.

“You tracked my phone.” She fixed on that nugget of information. “That’s illegal.”

“Okay, I can use a chair, too.” He grinned, the tempting curvature of his sexy mouth a reminder of all the times they’d made out in her car when she’d driven to the base to visit him.

“You can sleep on a park bench for all I care.” Liar. “I have a car. I have a job. I have a life. I don’t know why Ned thought this would be a fun prank, but I don’t have time for whatever this is. I haven’t seen or spoken to you in years, Flint. Let’s double that time for our next little tête-à-tête.”

Shaking her head, she marched away with Flint right at her back. Dammit, he’d always been thick, but this went beyond dense. What the hell was Ned playing at? She hit the unlock button on her key fob when she halfway across the lot.

A hot wave hit her, and knocked her backward. Some part of her mind recognized she slammed into Flint, and that he caught her. Then he rolled her to the ground, and he was above her as the sky turned fiery bright. There was a wicked slam of metal against concrete, and every car alarm in the lot began to scream.

It was the longest moment of her life, boxed in by Flint’s powerful body. The car alarms added a particular staccato to the pounding in her head. He stood, and pulled her to her feet in one smooth motion. Her beloved jeep was in flames—what was left of it, and the rest of it was scattered in pieces.

“About that ride…” Flint said, one arm around her shoulders. For once, she had no quick retort. Nor did she shake off the strength he’d wrapped her up in.

Someone blew up her jeep.

That someone really needed their ass kicked.
Heather Long. ARC Guarding-Gertrude (Kindle Locations 266-296). Kindle Edition.

Now it takes more than a little coercion on Flint and Ronnie’s part for Trudi to agree to get out of town. She fumes, but doesn’t continue to argue as proof of the danger reveals itself.

I loved the references to Supernatural and it was great seeing Tex and Angel. Cannon is a pistol, and I really hope we get to see more of him.

Plenty of hold your breath action, tear causing revelations, giggles and smoldering love combine to make this a page turning read.

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

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Winter Blog About Author

Heather Long Heather Long

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 in the 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.

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