2020 Christmas Countdown: Dog Tags for Christmas – Brotherhood Protectors Book 16 By Elle James

Dog Tags for Christmas
Brotherhood Protectors Book 16
By
NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author
Elle James

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A former Army Ranger and the love of his life, strengthen their bond with each other when their furry friend and retired Military Working Dog goes missing.

Kujo and Molly want to further their relationship with a baby, but they’re having no luck. With Christmas fast approaching, they opt to relieve their stress over missed-conception and head into the Crazy Mountains for a winter escape. When Six, Kujo’s retired Military Working Dog, disappears into the wilderness, Kujo and Molly realize their love for each other is their strength, and the life of their best furry friend takes precedence. They call on the Brotherhood Protectors to help them search for the missing canine. Christmas wouldn’t be the same without Six.

NOTE:
A shorter version of this story was included in the Dog Tags Anthology and has since been expanded with new content.

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This book opens with the birth of Hank and Sadie Patterson’s son. Kujo and Molly are very happy for them but at the same time sad. They’ve been trying for so long and the frustration is taking it’s toll. It’s Hank’s idea for them to relax and get away for a bit. The cabin in the mountains could be the perfect place to relax and unwind. They’ve also noticed some unusual behavior with Six.

This is a favorite scene.

Molly turned to Kujo. “What do you think about Hank’s offer?”
“What offer?” Kujo asked.“Weren’t you listening?” Molly shook her head. “He offered to let us use the hunting cabin in the mountains as a getaway. I have the next three weeks off for vacation from my job, and you don’t have another assignment with the Brotherhood until the middle of January. Why don’t we do it?”He glanced her way. “Just going up to relax?”She nodded.“Not going to be monitoring your ovulation cycle?” he asked.

She shook her head. “Not once.”

Kujo raised his eyebrows. “We’re not going to obsess over getting pregnant the entire time we’re up there?”

Molly sighed. “No. I’m kind of tired of the whole process.”

“Although I’m a stud,” Kujo puffed out his chest, “sometimes, it’s hard to perform on demand.”

She laughed out loud. “Like it’s ever hard for you to perform on demand.”

“True,” he said with a grin. “But it does take some of the fun out of it.”

She laid her hand on his arm. “I’m sorry.”

He shook his head. “Sweetheart, don’t be. I want this baby as much as you do. But if it doesn’t happen, I’ll be all right. I’m just worried about you.”

“Well, if we can’t get pregnant,” Molly smiled brightly, “we can always adopt more retired working military dogs like Six.”

“He does seem a little bit restless lately,” Kujo remarked.

“Did you notice that his limp has practically gone away?”

Kujo smiled. “Yes, I have, and I’m happy for him.”

Molly glanced at him. “So, we’re doing it?”

Kujo grinned. “Looks like we’re going to the mountain cabin.”

Smiling broadly, Molly clapped her hands. “Good. I’m looking forward to it.” Maybe at the cabin, they could get some rest, and maybe get back some of their lusty mojo that had gone by the wayside with the push to make a baby.

When they arrived at their home, Kujo helped Molly down from the truck. She hurried inside to pack clothing and blankets for their stay in the cabin. She might be overpacking, but they needed enough supplies to stay a week in the mountains. In a basket, she packed sheets, down-filled comforters, towels and washcloths and a couple of candles for ambiance and light.

The cabin had no electricity or running water. For baths, they bathed in a nearby stream in the summer.

In the winter, they’d have to heat water from melting snow. It would take a lot of time to heat enough water over the open fireplace to fill the large metal washtub. For the most part, spit baths would have to do.

Six greeted them at the door, tail wagging in a somewhat subdued manner.

“Is it me, or is Six depressed?” Molly asked.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with him,” Kujo said. “But maybe we need to take him to a veterinarian before we go out to the mountain.”

Molly tilted her head. “Or maybe the mountain is just what he needs. If he gets worse, we can bring him back down.”

“He definitely hasn’t been himself lately.”

“Do you think he’s lonely?” Molly asked.

“He used to be in a kennel with dozens of other military working dogs.” His eyes narrowed.

Molly’s brows knit. “Do you think he’s missing other dogs?”

“He’s been with me for over a year,” Kujo said.

Molly’s lips tightened. “And with me almost as long.”

“We’re his pack now.”

“Well, I think he’s sad.”

He glanced sideways at her. “You think we need to get another dog to keep him company?”

Molly’s lips turned up on the corners. “Is that what you’d like me to get you for Christmas? A playmate for Six?”

Kujo shook his head. “I’m not much into Christmas. If a playmate is what will make Six happy, I don’t see a need to attach it to Christmas.” He glanced at Molly. “Don’t get me wrong. I want Six to be happy. But why wait until Christmas?” He went back inside and came out with a bag of dog food, Six’s dog bed and several chew toys.

Molly smiled. “I feel like those couples with small children. They pack everything and the kitchen sink.”

“For now, Six is our baby,” Kujo said.

“And he’ll always be,” Molly said. “He means as much to me as he does to you.” Maybe they didn’t need a baby to be happy…
James, Elle. Dog Days of Christmas. Kindle Locations (136-170). Twisted Page Ince. Kindle Edition.

The cabin seems to be the perfect escape even with a wolf howling out there. Six had answered that howl with one of his own and when he takes off I think my heart broke.

This is a very emotional story and I teared up more than once. I read both versions of this and I still have a problem with the situation with Six. It’s most disappointing because simple facts weren’t held to with regard to Military War Dogs.

3 Purrs for Elle.

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Elle James

Award-winning author Elle James grew up as an air force military brat. She received her work ethic from her rock-solid father, her creative streak from her artistic mother and inspiration from her writing partner and sister, Delilah Devlin.

As a former member of the army reserves and a current member of the air force reserves, she’s traveled across the United States and to Germany, managed a full-time job, and raised three wonderful children. She and her husband have even tried their hands at ranching exotic birds (ostriches, emus and rheas) in the Texas hill country. Ask her, and she’ll tell you what it’s like to go toe-to-toe with an angry three-hundred-and-fifty-pound bird and live to tell about it!

Her adventures in the army and air force reserves, and the wild antics of her life on a small ranch in Texas give her fodder for mystery, suspense and humor in her writing. Elle writes gothic, paranormal mystery for the Harlequin Intrigue line and paranormal romantic comedy for Dorchester Publishing. A former manager of computer programming and project management professionals, Elle is happy she now has the opportunity to pursue her writing full time.

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