The Covert Wolf
The Phoenix Force Book 2
Loyalties collide, passions ignite and a high-stakes adventure ensues in Bonnie Vanak's sensual new military series.…
When a mission gone wrong kills his best friend, Navy SEAL Matthew Parker will stop at nothing to destroy the demons who threaten his team. To do so, Matt must locate a mysterious orb before the demons use it to destroy the world. But the only woman who can help him—Sienna McClare—has her own agenda…and every reason for hating his kind.
A half blood, Sienna hopes returning the orb to her people will gain her acceptance back into the only family she's known. But working with a Draicon werewolf like Matt comes with a high price—one that could cost Sienna her dreams. A natural-born leader, her werewolf lover must now teach Sienna to listen to her heart—and go where their all consuming passion leads them….
The Phoenix Force Elite Navy SEALS with paranormal abilities
4.5 stars from CataRomance!
"Since the mystique associated with werewolves has always fascinated me while the risky exploits of SEALS also intrigues, I was very excited to discover how the two would be blended in the first book of the Phoenix Force miniseries. Bonnie Vanak certainly does not disappoint in her latest Harlequin Nocturne story, as emotions, conflict and peril escalates.
There are eight men in the special Navy SEAL team to which Lieutenant Matthew Parker belongs, and the Draicon werewolf is proud to serve his country. All members of the Phoenix Force squad have paranormal abilities, so they are better able to battle other supernatural beings who would terrorize unsuspecting humans. Unfortunately, a good friend serving with him is killed by demons when the two are setup, and Matt vows revenge against those responsible. The same demons are seeking the powerful Orb of Light, so he is doubly intent on finding them and keeping their destructive plans from becoming reality.
While Sienna McClare has agreed to work with a SEAL in order to retrieve the Orb, she had no idea the person would be a Draicon werewolf, a race of beings that she despises. Since she is a hybrid, the family by whom she was raised has abandoned her, and she believes locating the ancient object would get her back in their good graces. Matt and Sienna need each other to reach their goals, and they soon realize the connection between them is also very crucial to their future wishes.
Bonnie Vanak is an author of innovative paranormal books. Her previous stories about supernatural beings have been inventively unique, and the Phoenix Force miniseries has additional out-of-the-ordinary features. Taking the real life profession of a Navy SEAL and giving these brave individuals traits that cause them to be even more powerful is a noteworthy premise, and Ms. Vanak makes every aspect of the story frighteningly believable. Could the malevolence that takes place during war sometimes be caused by demons and not ordinary humans? While the SEAL activities at the start of the story come across as possible, the rest of the book is just as conceivable. There are a number of situations where supernatural capabilities come into play, and regardless of the species, their talents seem very natural. Although every member of the SEAL team is not human, there is still camaraderie amongst them like regular soldiers, and these moments sometimes had me smiling and definitely sensing their friendship. I am already eager for more of their stories! The relationship between Matt and Sienna is totally realistic, as they both have dreams yet see no way for them to become an actuality. Their heartaches are so genuine, and any happiness practically leaps off the page because of affecting feelings. I adored these two individuals with their compassionate natures, and I saw Matt as a true hero on so many occasions as the safety of others came first. The sexual awareness they each felt is intense and causes plenty of tension, and when they finally express their inner feelings, the scene is beautifully sensual with fiery heat. There are a few surprises to be learned before everything concludes, and I was shocked by almost all of them. Several characters from past Bonnie Vanak books make an appearance, and they enhance the story whether you have read about them or not. THE COVERT WOLF is a magically enthralling novel with imaginative scenarios, particularly likable characters, a touch of humor and dangerous suspense."
—Amelia Richard, CataRomance
Copyright 2012 by Bonnie Vanak
He had to sneak out. Racing over options, he started for the bedroom door and heard pounding footsteps. Matt withdrew his Sig Sauer 9 mm pistol, cupping it with one hand. Sienna burst into the room and ground to a halt, staring at the gun's barrel.
He sheathed the weapon as she gulped down a breath, eyes huge in her face. "We've got to leave, right now. I was talking with one of the cops when one of them suddenly… It was horrible. His form, it just…I don't know…"
She nodded. "Like when you throw a stone in water."
He glanced at the window. "Where?"
"Downstairs. But I think he knew I could see through him. He may be another Fae. Or something else. The daughter, they were leading her out, she was screaming that a demon tortured her mother for information, and went too far, then set the daughter up to make it look like—"
"It's okay," he soothed. "You did good. Where's the rest of the police?"
"They're all outside, since they're done wrapping up the crime scene."
"Good. Let's go."
The stench of sulfur grew stronger. Matt herded Sienna out of the room, grinding to a halt. He slid an arm around her waist and yanked her against him, away from the specter blocking the way at the hallway's end.
The specter shimmered, losing the glamour of a police uniform.
They were screwed.
"Draicon. You have something I need," the demon hissed. Then it smiled and held up a hand, tipped with long, gray talons.
Flames burned at the tip of each finger. Matt's throat went dryer than sand.
No way out past the pyrokinetic demon.
He and Sienna were going to fry.
Pulling his sidearm free, Matt screwed on the long barreled silencer, knowing gunfire would bring the cops running. He fired at the creature, hoping to slow it. But as the bullets whizzed at the demon, flames burst from its fingers.
The steel and silver-tinged bullets melted in midair. Sienna gasped. Damn it, the new ammo was specially designed to withstand the demons' defenses. No dice.
They needed CO2. "You don't happen to have a fire extinguisher handy in your bag of Fae tricks?" Matt unscrewed the silencer, and pocketed it with his service pistol. He pulled Sienna behind him.
"There's a bathroom behind us. Let's go, we need water, have to have water."
"Water doesn't kill them. Only puts out the fire and you need a lot of it. CO2 smothers their oxygen, keeps them from breathing."
The ragged sound of her panting filled his ears. Panic radiated from her as Sienna stared at the demon. He could feel her pulse pounding, smell her fear. Knew the demon scented it, as well. They dined on terror.
"He's going to burn us. We have to get out of here."
"Stay calm," he urged, backing her away from the demon.
Flames burst out of the demon's fingers in a hiss, scorching the walls. A framed photo of the witch and her daughter began to burn. Then it turned and sprayed fire down the stairs, cutting off their exit.
Sienna whimpered, turning pale as milk. Matt gripped her hand. "I'm not going to let anything happen to you. You need to stay calm and don't panic. We'll get out of this."
Smoke began filling the hallway. She coughed, and laughed. "We will? Okay, super lupus, guess it's a time for a weenie roast. Except I doubt you like having your weenie roasted."
Putting up a brave front. Knew all about that. Had done it a time or two. His admiration kicked up a notch.
"Depends on who's doing the roasting. Definitely not him."
Matt turned, searching the hallway. At the end sat a cherry wood bookcase with leather-bound volumes. No good, but the covering…
The Indian weave table runner.
"Create a distraction. Talk to it. Feed its ego. Demons love having their ego stroked."
"As long as you don't ask me to stroke anything else," she muttered.
"If something happens to me, get into that back bedroom and drop down. Drive as fast as you can to a place where you feel safe, and call that number on the card you got earlier."
She coughed, nodded. "Nothing's going to happen to you," she whispered.
Sienna faced the demon as Matt backed up to the bookcase. "Hey, Officer Hot Stuff. That was some glamour you pulled. Never guess you were a demon. Fooled the cops, too."
Matt removed the runner, folded it behind his back.
The demon smirked. "You're a pretty one. You'll look even nicer when I melt your face."
"Enough. You found the witch's ledger, Draicon? Give it to me and the girl lives. Perhaps."
"These?" Matt pulled the book from his back jeans pocket. He ripped out a few pages, tossed them into the flames licking the walls. "Go get them."
Screaming, the demon dove for the papers burning out of control. Matt pushed her to the side and whispered, "Get ready. On my word, conjure a fire extinguisher in my hands and run into the east side back bedroom."
The demon raised its hands toward Matt, its slit of a mouth yawning open, showing daggerlike teeth. Timing was everything. If Sienna dropped the illusion, his ass would be cooked.