Jungle Heat

Jungle Heat

4.2 10
by Bonnie Dee
     
 

Congo Free State, 1888

On a mission deep in the jungle, Oxford anthropologist James Litchfield comes face-to-face with a local legend: a wild man who wanders with mountain gorillas and lives as one of their own.

The chance encounter with the savage, whom James calls Michael, leads to a game of observation and exploration. Their mutual curiosity

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Overview

Congo Free State, 1888

On a mission deep in the jungle, Oxford anthropologist James Litchfield comes face-to-face with a local legend: a wild man who wanders with mountain gorillas and lives as one of their own.

The chance encounter with the savage, whom James calls Michael, leads to a game of observation and exploration. Their mutual curiosity turns to an attraction—one that Michael has never experienced and James is desperate to deny.

When members of the expedition unearth James's secret discovery—a living specimen of man at his most primitive—Michael becomes a pawn in their quest for fame.

As their relationship deepens, James is compelled to protect Michael from the academics who would treat him as nothing more than a scientific acquisition and London society, which threatens to destroy their passionate bond...

85,000 words

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781426890086
Publisher:
Carina Press
Publication date:
06/01/2010
Sold by:
HARLEQUIN
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
556,393
File size:
603 KB

Read an Excerpt

Congo Free State, 1888

Odd One watched, as still as the tree trunk by which he stood, not moving more than his eyes as Old Grunt had taught him. His pale, furless skin caked with river mud was nearly the same gray-brown as the tree. His light hair was also matted with mud and his face smeared so only the whites of his strange blue eyes might give his position away. He could never hide in plain sight like the Others, but he did the best he could.

Something was moving loudly through the underbrush—a foolish animal without enough sense to slip quietly between the leaves or to step lightly on the ground. The footsteps were different from any creature he'd ever heard, a heavy tread. It sounded as if there were more than one. He judged that the approaching animals had the weight of a leopard but not the stealthily padded paws.

Excitement tingled through him, making the hair rise on his nape. He clenched the sharpened stick in his fist, pressed his back against the rough bark and waited for whatever was coming.

One of the creatures made a sound as it came closer. Not a screech or cry, not a groan, hoot or whimper, but a noise unlike anything he'd heard before yet strangely familiar. A dim memory struggled to float up in his mind. He reached for it, and it was gone.

His heart pounded and he breathed faster as he glimpsed one of the creatures between the leaves. It walked upright on two legs just as he did and like the Others did some of the time. He wanted to leap forward, to see all of it at once instead of flashes through the undergrowth.

There were two of them, one walking behind the other. The pair communicated back and forth with their strange calls. He caught his breath. These were like the sounds he sometimes made when he was all alone in the forest, the noises his throat and tongue made that none of the Others could duplicate.

The pair moved into the clearing in front of him where they stopped and stood looking around. His heart raced even faster. The two creatures looked like him, or what he'd seen of himself reflected in still water. Their faces and hands were naked like his with the same prominent noses and fully formed lips. Hair grew on the lower part of their faces. Their bodies were covered with something that was neither fur, skin nor scales but something completely foreign.

One of them took a thing off the top of his head and ran a hand through sweat-flattened hair—hair like his, not fur as most animals had—and white like the streaks in Old Grunt's ruff. These animals were his kind. There were more in the world like him. He wasn't alone.

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Meet the Author

Bonnie Dee began telling stories as a child. Whenever there was a sleepover, she was the designated ghost tale teller, guaranteed to frighten and thrill with macabre tales. She still has a story printed on yellow legal paper in second grade about a ghost, a witch and a talking cat.



Writing childish stories for her own pleasure led to majoring in English at college. Like most English majors, she dreamed of writing a novel but didn't have the necessary focus and follow-through at that time in her life. A husband, children and work occupied the next twenty years, and it was only in 2000 that she began writing again. Bonnie enjoys reading stories about people damaged by life who find healing with a like-minded soul. When she couldn't find enough books to suit her taste, she began to write them.



You can see her backlist at bonniedee.com or join her Yahoo group for updates on new releases at groups.yahoo.com/group/bonniedee/.

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Jungle Heat 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous 10 months ago
What a wonderful surprise this book was. For such a reasonable price, one expects a short story with little plot and the standard m/m escapades. With "Jungle Heat," Bonnie Dee has crafted an intelligent full-length story with vivid settings and fully realized characters. James and Michael were easy to root for through all of their troubles and challenges. The African, shipboard and London adventures were equally exciting, nerve-wracking, and romantic. The attraction between James and Michael was palpable but was acted upon only when it could be denied no longer. Hateful characters were suitably hateful, and those who were a support for the main characters were well drawn. There were many parts of this book I did not want to stop reading. I had to find out what would happen. At the same time, I did not want to rush through the novel as then my immersion in the world of James and Michael would be over. The plot summary lets the reader know this is a version of the Tarzan story. It is, but it is so much more - tender, romantic, exciting, tense and fascinating. This is my first Bonnie Dee book and I look forward to reading other books by her, hoping they will be as good.
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grandmat03053 More than 1 year ago
Fun, light reading, well written.
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