Book Title: Men Under Fire
Author: Jacki Delecki
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
It’s time for Grayce Walters’ feisty tattooed Office Assistant Hollie Baker to face facts. She’s come a long way from living on the streets and has finally found a job she loves which brought her friends and trust – neither she’d thought she’d be capable of. Yet when everything comes unraveled in the blink of an eye, she’ll have to deal with issues that are far greater than her troubled past. And discover that sometimes what you need the most might just be found in the one person you failed to see coming.
After being injured in an IED explosion in Afghanistan, Sergeant Nick Welby never thought he’d be returning stateside trying to reenter civilian life while suffering PTSD. With Talley, his military bomb-sniffing golden lab at his side, he’s stunned to learn their particular skill set is needed in the last place he’d ever imagined. While working the case and trying to find ways under the skin of the prickly yet intriguing Hollie Baker, he and his trusty K-9 are thrust into a highly treacherous situation with the one girl who might just be worth the risk.
Is she willing to surrender? Does he have the right weapons to breach through her defenses?
Emotions intensified, the duo must determine a way to work together to assist Grayce Walters in her latest and highly precarious case. With everything Hollie’s come to find important on the line, including her fragile heart, can these two unlikely partners work together to save themselves and each other before it’s too late? Is Nick ready to take on the challenge of shattering the chains that lock away Hollie’s capacity to love and trust?
It’s as they learn what’s going down at the Port Commissioners Office on the waterfront that Hollie finds herself leaning on the one person she’s been trying hardest to push away – Nick. And in learning to trust Nick is she willing to take the biggest leap of all and open herself up to something and someone so much more than she’s ever imagined.
Can they learn they’re better together than they are apart?
Find out in Men Under Fire, the companion novel to Women Under Fire. You might think you know this story, but you haven’t read it from Hollie and Nick’s Point of View. Readers old and new finally have a chance to watch the sparks fly and ignite as their journey unfolds. And along the way we’ll watch to see if this pair learn that sometimes it’s easier to work together to face the painful issues that haunt you than when it comes to helping prevent utter devastation in Seattle.
He took a calming breath and then another. The hipster neighborhood, filled with buzzing cars and rushing crowds, ratcheted his already revved-up nervous system, making every sound and movement chafe against his jangled nerves like an open wound.
Talley, Nick’s military partner, a bomb-sniffing canine, strained against her lead.
The golden lab, like him, was tense and hyper-alert, waiting for disaster to strike. Both he and his dog were on sick leave. A month had helped to heal their physical injuries, but neither had made progress in calming their stress reactions. They both saw and felt danger everywhere every day.
He stared up at the refurbished warehouse situated on the waterway to Puget Sound. Adrenaline surged through his body at the idea of walking into the unknown building. He was sweating heavily, as if he were still in the heat of the Registan desert instead of the August summer day in the Northwest.
A white-and-black sign hung on the warehouse: Grayce Walters, DVM, Animal Acupuncturist. He bent and petted the attentive dog. Talley’s soft chocolate eyes echoed the feelings stuck in his throat. “I don’t like it any better than you do, but this doctor will help you.”
Nick didn’t have a lot of hope for his own recovery, but he couldn’t let his partner suffer. Doc Samson, the Welby family’s veterinarian, had sworn by the amazing skill of this doctor. He paused and blew the air out of his constricted lungs and then pulled the door open. He’d do anything to help his partner heal from the IED explosion that had almost taken both their lives, even walk into this dangerous unknown.
# # #
Nick’s mind and body were at ease after the hour with Dr. Walters. Doc Samson was right-on—the tiny woman had special gifts. Having been raised on a horse farm, Nick had immediately recognized the veterinarian’s intuitive connection in relating to and comforting animals.
Simply being in Dr. Walters’s presence was restorative, as evidenced by Talley sleeping soundly on the floor. As Talley’s handler, he was connected to the dog at a level most people couldn’t understand. When his partner relaxed, he felt the same.
Dr. Walters, looked up from her note taking. “I’d like to treat Talley once a week for the next three months. You live in Auburn. Will it be a problem to drive into Seattle?”
“Not a problem, ma’am. I’d do anything for this dog.”
She leaned across her desk. “Do you swim, sergeant?”
“Yes, ma’am.” He didn’t have a clue what swimming had to do with the acupuncture.
“I’d like you and Talley to start swimming in a lake or deep river. It’s important you do it together.”
“Lake Youngs is close by our family farm. Talley and I can swim there.”
“Water will soothe Talley’s ratcheted up nervous system.”
Why did he feel as if the doctor wasn’t talking just about Talley?
She closed the file on her desk. “Don’t do any training around the swimming. Talley needs a real break from her work. Her senses, especially her focus and her nose are working overtime. She’ll have a break in the water.”
Nick nodded. “It’ll be great to swim after our morning runs.”
“Sounds like we’ve got a plan. Let’s see how the swimming works.” Dr. Walters stood from her desk and walked toward the door. “I can hear that my assistant is back. She’ll make your appointment for next week.”
Talley sat up with the doctor’s movements. With her front paws planted forward, the usually hyper dog stretched her spine and then slowly hoisted herself to follow Dr. Walters. He couldn’t explain exactly what had happened, but like Talley, he felt a deep sense of relaxation. For the first time since he had arrived stateside, he could breathe calmly and catch glimpses of the contented man before the war. He and a tranquil Talley followed the doctor to the outer office.
Dr. Walters stopped suddenly in the doorway. A young, curvaceous woman was balanced on the stool, reaching into cupboards, as she sang the painful lyrics from Nirvana’s song “Sliver.”
When she stretched her entire body forward, her short black skirt inched higher, giving him an incredible view of her sweet, rounded backside. He swore under his breath at the tempting sight. She wore fishnet tights and thigh-high boots that were right out of every red-blooded male’s fantasy.
His whole body tightened, not in danger but in hunger. Lust and need hummed through him, an invigorating feeling that he hadn’t experienced in a very long time.
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