USA Today Bestselling Author
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?
Something I can depend on in every Heather Long book is a strong woman and an Alpha male who isn’t afraid to give in to her. In this book our heroine takes strength and courage to a whole new level.
Bianca isn’t a soldier, she’s an aid worker on her first vacation in years. Lounging by the pool enjoying the tropical sun, her relaxation is interrupted by a bunch of armed men grabbing a young boy. Without thinking she attempts to thwart them and ends up taken with the boy.
As Bravo Team WOLF moves in to extract them, something unexpected happens, a nick, a bite, something. Did Bianca imagine a huge wolf releasing her from her captor?
Carlos ‘Cage’ stays by her side as much as possible during her initial recovery. He has to stay close, he has to find out if he has changed her life forever. A mistake his father, his Alpha will never forgive.
Now the fun begins as he takes up residence in a house across the street from her and worms his way to friendship even as he tried to verify if he bit her.
A favorite scene is when Cage follows her while she walks, he is concerned for her well-being as it’s not even dawn.
Leaving, she moved slowly and deliberately down the steps, favoring her right leg. Her feet had been scratched, bruised and damaged. Even last evening when she sat on her deck, bare feet stretched out to rest on the rail, he’d seen the angry marks on them.
As she reached the sidewalk, she paused, hands on her hips and looked left then right. Her gaze swept back and forth, and it was then he realized her lips were moving. Even with night vision, he couldn’t read what she said. Finally, she turned toward the uphill rise on her right and began walking.
At four in the morning.
In a city she didn’t know.
A neighborhood she’d just moved to.
Cage growled, then hurried to throw on shorts, a t-shirt, and running shoes. In less than three minutes, he’d dressed, descended the stairs and let himself out of the front. Jogging, he followed her scent easily. Even at her limping walk, she’d made it to the end of the block and continued around the curve.
He’d almost caught up to her when it occurred to him that running at her in the dark might not be the wisest course. Slowing, he opened his mouth to warn her he was there, when she spun and slammed a taser into his side. The voltage sent a cascade through his nervous system. One minute he was standing, the next he lay on the ground staring at her dumbly.
“Oh shit!” Bianca cursed, then turned off the flickering taser. Kneeling, she grimaced and touched his arm. “Are you okay?”
“No,” he said, slowly, not sure he trusted his voice. His wolf felt as stunned as he was. The shocks rioting along his nerve endings zapped him in lessening increments. Tingles spread throughout his limbs. His tongue seemed permanently rooted to the roof of his mouth. “No.”
The weight of her hand on his arm riveted him, helping to ground out the solid scrambling she’d sent through his system. Wolves were hardy beings, and they could take a solid beating. Most minor injuries they could heal in a short time. More serious wounds—bullet wounds, knife stabs, even claw rips—they could heal by shifting.
Electricity ripping through them? That hurt on multiple levels, and not even a wolf could recover from the stunning effect swiftly. Maybe it had something to do with the disconnect he felt with his wolf right now. The animal seemed dazed, and distant.
He’d almost forgotten Bianca was there; her fingers traced over his arm.
“I’m really sorry, I just heard someone coming at me and it’s dark and…”
And she took his ass out with a taser.
“No problem,” he managed to grunt around the pain. Sitting up cost him some dignity as his synapses still seemed to be short firing.
“What can I do?” She’d gone to one knee, and strain showed in the tightness of her mouth. Sitting brought him eye to eye with her, and her luscious lips she slicked with her tongue as she licked them in. Concern radiated in her scent, along with embarrassment. She grasped his arm, as though she planned to help him to his feet.
“Gimme a minute,” he managed after loosening his jaw. His teeth had been grinding and it took him a moment to recognize the sensation. How much voltage had been in that little device?
“I so sorry,” she apologized again. “I didn’t know it was you.”
“I know, you did fine.” His wolf seemed to stumble into awareness within him. The animal felt drunk. Yeah, tasers were definitely not their friend. Forcing himself to stand, he suffered the indignity of Bianca bracing him, though it did allow him to wrap an arm around her. She fit perfectly beneath the curve of his arm, even as she pressed her hands against his chest and back to complete her effort. The contact of her body alongside his sent a fresh wave of electricity through him.
She was close enough to kiss. To taste. To…
Flashing lights sliced through the darkness, and Cage growled as he turned to face the newcomers. Shaky or not, he could still protect Bianca. Next to him, she stiffened a fraction as the black and white rolled up to pause next to them.
“You folks all right?” The officer in the driver’s seat gave him a long, studying look. His manner was warily cordial. Then his gaze went to Bianca.
“Ma’am?” The officer slid out of the driver’s seat and stood.
“We’re fine, officer,” Bianca spoke before Cage could say anything. A growl rumbled in his chest, then Bianca rubbed a slow circle with her palm against the center of his sternum. The agitation settled immediately. “Don’t let the bruise fool you, I was involved in an incident in Costa Rica a few days ago. I’m still healing.”
“And you?” The officer didn’t seem to doubt her story, though his attention returned to Cage. “Are you drunk son?”
Was he drunk? What the hell kind of question was that? Straightening, he forced himself not to lean on Bianca, but she didn’t let him go. A good thing, he still staggered a little on his feet and not leaning on her, he could straighten. Then he met the officer’s gaze and held it. The cop was doing his job, good man. But Bianca was his to protect, not the cop’s.
The man began to sweat under the weight of his stare, though he fought to hold it. Finally his gaze cut away.
“Not drunk, took a misstep in the dark.” It chaffed his pride to admit to clumsiness. Approaching Bianca at speed in the dark, had definitely been a misstep. He had the taser burn to prove it.
“Well if you’re both fine, I’ll leave you to it.” The officer didn’t sound certain.
“We are. We’re new to the neighborhood, just out for a morning walk–well he’s going for a run. I was just going to walk to Bonnie’s Donut House. I heard it’s down this way.”
“It’s about six or seven blocks, not an easy walk…” Fresh skepticism rifled his tone.
“I like long walks. It lets me get to know the area,” Bianca slid her response in before Cage could just tell the officer to fuck off and leave them alone. Arguing with law enforcement wasn’t a good idea. Cops in Austin were decent, but better not to give them cause to detain him, much less Bianca.
“Well you’re headed in the right direction. She’ll be open by five.” The cop gave them another long, measuring look before he slid back into the driver’s seat. The flashing lights ceased, then he gave them a small wave and pulled away.
“Whew,” Bianca blew out a breath, then her attention was on him again. “How are you feeling?”
“Positively electric.” He couldn’t take the worry in her eyes or her manner. Better to take the burden away. The fact she’d tased him had been his own damn fault. He shouldn’t have charged at her.
Heather Long. Bitten Under Fire ARC (Kindle Locations 985-1038). Kindle Edition.
Okay so maybe I laughed a little harder than I should have, but damn she tased him!
Plenty of tension as he waits for signs she might be turning. I loved his conversations with his abuela, she pulls no punches. Lots of little things snuck in that had me giggling or reminiscing and there were definitely some tears as well.
So we have some family drama, a possible bite that could change Bianca’s life forever, and a growing attraction that cannot be denied.
I can’t wait for the next book in this series!
5 Contented Purrs for Heather!
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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.