More of my re-read! Wolf On Board – Wolves of Willow Bend Book 9.5 by Heather Long


Wolf on Board
Wolves of Willow Bend Book 9.5
By
USA Today Bestselling Author
Heather Long

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The wolf days of summer are here…

Meet Jake Danes of Hudson River—Lone Wolf, avid gamer, extreme sports enthusiast, and surfer. He’s spent the last two years roaming free, exploring the world and escaping the dark place his pack had become after betrayal and murder tore them apart. Sure, life changed back home, but Jake’s having way too much fun to return — riding the waves in Monterrey and living out of a van. It’s the perfect life, one he never wants to give up, no matter how many calls he’s fielding from his big brother…then he catches her scent.

Mimi Chase wanted one perfect year. Time away from pack politics and her mother’s matchmaking efforts. Ever since her big brother settled into mating with a healer, Mimi’s mom seems to have gone into overdrive—throwing her at every eligible male in the pack. Choosing to roam seemed the best option, and California the ideal location to get away from everything pack related. Her plans for art classes, yoga on the beach, maybe a cooking lesson or two while living a hippy dippy lifestyle are all she cares about…until another wolf butts into her every activity. Doesn’t he know the rules?

Lone Wolves aren’t supposed to form relationships, so why doesn’t he catch a hint? Worse, why isn’t she working harder to make sure he does?

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For two years Jake has been having the time of his life. Following the waves and working side jobs. But lately his brother Luc been hounding him to check in more.

Mimi asked Mason’s permission to roam for a year, to get away from her mother’s attempts at matchmaking. Now in California, she taking all kinds of classes to learn new things.

Jake comes across Mimi while surfing, she was doing her yoga on the beach. He was curious about the beautiful wolf and uses teasing to coerce her into going for coffee with him.

While there are many scenes that have me laughing, this one is a favorite.

“So, now I’m adorable?” She paused at the exit to check the oncoming traffic, then glanced at him. “Like poodle or a Pekinese.” Not laughing proved difficult. Returning her attention to the traffic, she floored the accelerator when she saw an opening and swung them back out onto the road. Jake’s frantic gripping offered even more entertainment than his appalled reaction.

“Holy crap, where did you learn to drive?” The words burst out of him.

“Evading the dog catcher 101.” She spotted the coffee stand she’d missed earlier, the coffee cup-shaped sign was a dead giveaway. Shifting gears, she slid into a spot as another car pulled into traffic. A perfect parallel parking job, another perk of her mini. Pulling the safety brake on, she killed the engine and glanced at her passenger. He had his mouth open and his lips moved, but no sound escaped. Smiling, she let herself out and waited outside the vehicle for him to recover.

It also helped that she wasn’t drowning in his scent out here, the ocean breeze vied with the land based one to clear her nose. She drew in a deep breath at the same moment he exited her car, and the wind ruffled his still damp hair. The man should smell like wet wolf, not sunshine, salt, coconut and woods. It seemed a weird, yet heady combination.

While California had its share of forests, they didn’t smell like home to her. The Hudson River wolf shouldn’t either. Jake squinted at her, cocking his head to the side much as he had when she’d found him squatting in front of her on the beach. It was a wholly innocent yet deceptively attractive pose that left a curious number of butterflies fluttering in her belly. “You’re not really mad about the gnaw comment, right?”

“No,” she said, letting him off the hook. Then again, maybe she shouldn’t. “I’ve always enjoyed being compared to toy canines because no one ever remarks on how short I am.”

His eyes widened a fraction, and she couldn’t help it. Her laughter burst free.

“Oh my God, you’re easy.” Clapping her hands together, she continued chuckling. “And now I really do want coffee.”

The relief overtaking him was practically palpable as he followed hot on her heels. A handful of people made up the line to the cart and more continued to drift in their direction. The scent of Arabica beans and sugar filled the air. “What do you want?” Jake glanced down at her, and it was looking down. The man was easily as tall as her brother, and Owen was over six feet.

From her five-foot vantage point, she couldn’t even argue for almost five foot one inch she usually tried for. “Just regular coffee is fine, though that looks good…” She pointed to the whipped cream laden mochaccino the woman at the front of the line carried away with her. “If it didn’t have way too much sugar.”

“So? It’s early, and if you want something sweet, you should have something sweet.” Jake pivoted when someone bumped her from behind. A man muttered an apology then left the line entirely.

Elbowing her erstwhile escort, she hissed in a sub vocal. “Don’t scare off the locals.”

“I’m not,” he replied, all relaxed and easygoing once more. “Just some people should watch where they are going.” He nodded as the line moved, but didn’t nudge her forward. It was a sweet gesture, one she liked even more than his earlier shaking out of the blanket. He didn’t give her a push or try to put a hand on her to guide her forward.

“Still, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” Her mother said that all the time.

“Why the hell would you want to catch flies?” Jake made a face and she laughed. It was almost comical how he could go from fierce and sexy to goofball and sweet. If she were being honest, and she didn’t have to be…she actually preferred goofball.

“I don’t know. It was just something I heard when I was growing up. Be nice.” It was their turn, and Jake raised an eyebrow at her when she didn’t order immediately, but studied the menu instead. “Go ahead, I still need to decide.”

“Large latte,” he said, surprising her again. “Extra hot, no foam.”

“You got it, Jake.” The man greeted him by name. Apparently, Jake was a regular. It was her first time at this beach, so that explained why she hadn’t run into him before. “What would you like, little lady?”

“She prefers just Lady,” Jake told him. “I’ll be Tramp.”

Fighting the insane urge to laugh again, she forced her twitching lips to stay together. Then a snort escaped… and a second.
Heather Long. Wolf on Board (Kindle Locations 274-308). Kindle Edition.

All is not fun and games though. While perusing a bookstore Mimi encounters a female wolf and Jake intercepts her before she loses herself to her anger. Growling among the humans is frowned upon.

Mitch, who we met briefly in Snow Wolf, is their enforcer and on hearing Mimi’s report on the wolf decides Jake should stay with her, at least temporarily.

Mimi and Jake do lots of fun things as they get to know each other. I love the slow build of this relationship and the surprises that get thrown in that have me itching for more.

Mitch is the messenger that gives us a glimpse of the friendship and co-operation between Mason (Willow Bend) and Brett (Hudson River) taking these books to a whole new level!

Don’t miss this fun and game changing read!

5 Contented Purrs for Heather!

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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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