SEAL Wolf Christmas

SEAL Wolf Christmas

4.1 7
by Terry Spear
     
 

Christmas paranormal romance from USA Today bestselling author whose werewolf/Navy SEAL hero is a sure winner

A holiday paranormal romance with the hot combination of a sexy Navy SEAL hero with werewolves, from USA Today bestselling author Terry Spear.

SEAL Bjornolf Jorgenson and undercover operative Anna Johnson get off to

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Overview

Christmas paranormal romance from USA Today bestselling author whose werewolf/Navy SEAL hero is a sure winner

A holiday paranormal romance with the hot combination of a sexy Navy SEAL hero with werewolves, from USA Today bestselling author Terry Spear.

SEAL Bjornolf Jorgenson and undercover operative Anna Johnson get off to a rocky start when they're tasked to play newlyweds preparing for the holidays while investigating a SEAL's murder at a Christmas tree farm. Anna and Bjornolf are both dreading the season, and are happy to work instead of celebrate. Together they learn that a little Christmas cheer can become so much more when you have someone special under the mistletoe,

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/02/2013
In this lively paranormal, Spear takes readers on a pulse-pounding ride from the Amazon to a Christmas tree farm in Oregon. Bjornolf Jorgenson and his team of SEAL werewolves (last seen in A SEAL in Wolf’s Clothing) are on a rescue mission to Colombia when they discover the family they’ve been sent to rescue might not be innocent victims. After a successful extraction, Bjornolf and fellow agent Anna Johnson agree to pose as a newlywed couple, uncle and aunt to a recently orphaned teenage wolf, while the team searches for answers. They discover a suspicious connection between the tree farm owner and the pharmaceutical executive they rescued—and from there, the pieces begin to form a grim picture, involving several murdered DEA agents and a young wolf who is unaware of her status. In between red-hot love scenes, Bjornolf and Anna race to find the truth before one of them—or someone they love—is killed. Christmas elements are scant, but there’s plenty of action. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"A satisfying paranormal romance: the mystery, humor, the characters, and the sexy love story." - Miranda's Library

"Wonderful shifter stories..." - Tea and Book

"The holiday spirit permeates that the story is infectious and makes me wish for my tree and all the hot chocolate I can drink." - Romance Witch's Reviews

"A complete, adventure-filled romance overflowing with the best of what keeps me addicted to books by Ms. Spear... another strong addition to a sexy and fun series that keeps the craving alive and well for all of Ms. Spear's wonderful werewolf series' heroes and heroines." - Long and Short Reviews

"Spectacular... I loved the story line and how Terry was able to write a story based during the holidays" - Book Lovin' Mamas

"This book is a rollercoaster ride of mystery, intrigue, and wolfy love... Terry Spear is a masterful storyteller. " - HEAs are Us

"Terry Spear does not disappoint and delivers the action and steamy romance expected by fans of her shifter stories." - Paranormal Haven

"A wonderful read to get lost in!" - Booked & Loaded

"This book is another hit and a must read." - Bitten By Love Reviews

"Spear's latest offering is also a non-stop action-adventure story that will keep readers turning the pages till the final Christmas surprise is revealed." - Ck2's Kwips and Kritiques

"Tis the Season Werewolf Style... a fun blend of warm fuzzy with romantic suspense." - Delighted Reader

"Suspenseful, fast paced and romantic..." - Fresh Fiction

"Nonstop action, sexy attitude, edgy characters..." - My Book Addiction Reviews

"Spear has delivered an intriguing, romantic shifter story that was fun to read... not only as a good addition to the series, but also as a welcome bit of holiday shifter goodness." - That's What I'm Talking About

"A suspenseful, sensual paranormal romance that will keep readers on the edge of their seats... A masterful storyteller, Ms. Spear brings her sexy wolves to life. Combining danger, clever banter, deceit, suspense, wolf shifters, missions, plot twists, Christmas, romance and love" - Romance Junkies

"Delicious, intense and charming. A SEAL Wolf Christmas makes for a wonderful holiday read. " - Anna's Book Blog

"If you like shifters, adventure, a bit of mystery, true love, and watching people rediscover the joy of Christmas, this book is probably the perfect read as you get ready for the holidays." - Delphina Reads Too Much

"If you like a storyline with action and mystery; shifters and their mates; and of course a happily ever after, Terry Spear write a series that is easy to read and with one you will fall in love especially if you like your romance novels with a peek at the next generation of shifters." - The Reading Cafe

"An easy, exciting read and I found it quite difficult to put it down . It's filled with humour, action and suspense and it held my interest through to the very end. " - Romancing the Book

"Spear's extensive research and eye for detail brings this tantalizing tale to life. Readers can escape to a world of amazing characters and intriguing adventure." - Thoughts in Progress

"In true Terry Spear fashion, there's adventure, mystery, love and personal pasts to overcome." - Star-Crossed Romance

"Terry Spear once again delivers... Well written, entertaining and all around an incredible read." - BTS Reviews

"Chocked full of action, adventure, mystery, chemistry, romance, heat, and witty characters A SEAL Wolf Christmas is one of those books that should come warning label stating that it has the potential to explode in your hands." - The Royal Reviews

"Overly compelling stories that leave you wanting more at the end." - I Love Vampire Novels

"A fun and action-packed adventure... " - The Good, the Bad and the Unread

"An entertaining paranormal romance with lots of action, suspense, and complex, likable characters." - Book Lover and Procrastinator

"Spear's wonderful gifts as a writer [are] on clear display... the story is thrilling, containing edge-of-your-seat-action." - RT Book Reviews

"In this lively paranormal, Spear takes readers on a pulse-pounding ride... there's plenty of action. " - Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402284083
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
09/24/2013
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
506,614
Product dimensions:
4.38(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.82(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Amazon Jungle, Colombia

Despite being deep in the jungle on a life-or-death mission, Bjornolf Jorgenson couldn't rid himself of the refrain of "Jingle Bells" playing over and over again in his head. He'd just come from an assignment in snowed-in Minnesota where he'd heard the song. For now, he was shadowing his favorite retired SEAL-wolf team and one female operative in action, and Christmas should have been the furthest thing from his mind.

Their mission: rescue a kidnapped family. His mission: watch the team's back.

They were getting paid as private contractors. He was doing it as a favor to Meara. Neither her brother, leading the operation, nor her mate, serving as one of the team members, would appreciate that she'd asked Bjornolf to watch over them.

So he was serving in a covert way, which he preferred over any other.

Bjornolf was also doing this for Anna Johnson, who had intrigued him during their last hot encounter. Straight ahead of him, she was keeping low as she made her way through the jungle with the rest of the team.

It was dusk, and high above them in the canopy, the cacophonous cries of black howler monkeys sent a jarring noise through the trees, warning other monkeys that this was their territory. The air was heavy with moisture and the scent of fragrant orchids as moths fluttered around them.

Bjornolf crept close to the ground. He trailed the team unseen, blending in with the feathery ferns, hibiscus, mimosa, and bromeliads, one kind sporting sweet pineapples that he'd had a bite of earlier in the day. Massive spaghetti-like creepers of lianas crisscrossed the jungle floor underneath his boots where insects and lizards moved about.

Up ahead, Hunter Greymere led the group. A highly decorated SEAL team leader, he was also the alpha pack leader of the Oregon-coast gray wolves.

Finn Emerson, Hunter's brother-in-law, and Paul Cunningham were to Anna's left, and Allan Rappaport, now hidden from view, was somewhere off to her right. While all wolves, none of them were members of Hunter's pack.

Bjornolf shifted his attention from the team to the jungle and, hearing no human sounds, he focused on Anna. Because of his enhanced wolf sight, he saw her in the twilight as clearly as if it were daylight. She was svelte and sexy, even when covered from head to toe in camo gear. She was all curves and hotness, her face painted in a pattern of greens, browns, grays, and blacks to hide her in the foliage. Anna had silky auburn hair tucked under a jungle hat, though straggles of it curled about her shoulders.

He admired her stealth, courage under fire, and resolve. He had to admit he liked watching her a lot better than the men. No matter how dangerous she looked, bristling with weapons, some hidden, she was still all woman. And one who could fight.

He listened again to the noises all around him, attempting to hear even a hint of human voices. Colorful yellow-crowned parrots and red and green macaws made their noisy cawing and chattering, frogs croaked as in a mating call, rather than higher pitched in distress, and insects rustled everywhere.

Then two men began speaking in the distance-complacent, unaware that highly skilled men and one woman were about to descend on them. The men spoke in Spanish, talking about the hostages, so Bjornolf knew the team was targeting the right people. The men appeared to be serving guard duty on the perimeter.

The odor of bitter smoke drifting to him told him the men were smoking.

Although Hunter's team members were all in human form, they moved like a wolf pack, working together, moving slower now, more cautiously, determined to see the hostages freed without causing any casualties on their side.

A jaguar roaring in the jungle not too far away made the kidnappers' chatter die instantly. The call of a second and then a third big cat's roar rent the air.

Anna and the others paused mid-crawl... listening. They continued to stare straight in front of them-their focus on the mission. Allan moved up closer to Hunter and Finn.

Uniformly camouflaged like her, Bjornolf crept nearly parallel to Anna, far enough away in the jungle and slightly behind her so that he could keep an eye on her. He was effectively in her blind spot. He'd broken his cover the last time he'd been assisting the team, but he hadn't needed to this time. Yet. He was half hoping he could get through the mission without revealing himself and half wishing he could let Anna know he had her back.

Like a wolf stalking its prey, Anna crept toward one of the two guards. To her left, Paul matched her careful pace. The last time Bjornolf had seen him, Paul wore a scruffy blond beard, but now he was clean shaven. Wiry and thinner than Bjornolf and Finn, Paul was quick in his movements, an economy of force to be reckoned with.

Bjornolf was torn between wishing he was in Anna's place so she didn't have to risk her neck taking down the guard, and wanting to replace Paul so he would be the one at her side. Him, a ghost. He was known throughout the SEAL community as a super-wily deep undercover operative who never revealed himself to anyone. For years, body counts would add up during a mission that no one else could account for, all attributed to him, whether he was in the vicinity or not.

So why was all of his damnable interest in the she-wolf's welfare now potentially blowing the carefully concealed part of his business-as-usual attitude?

She was fully capable of handling herself just fine.

When she was close enough, she popped up from the jungle floor like a woodland sprite, framed by massive trees, twenty feet in diameter and reaching toward the heavens like skyscrapers. She whipped out a shuriken and threw it. The stainless-steel, five-pointed throwing star slid through her fingers, heading straight toward the guard's forehead. Without making a squeak, he collapsed with a thump in a cluster of vines and ferns.

Before the other guard could react, Paul had him in a chokehold, jerked his head to the side, and snapped his neck, then dropped him where he stood.

Hunter and the others hit the camp just as two relief guards headed for Anna and Paul. Not normally impulsive, Bjornolf was having a devil of a time curbing the urge to intercept the man targeting Anna, but he knew to keep his attention focused everywhere else-anywhere that someone might be hiding with dark intent.

Anna moved forward in attack mode as gunshots rang out in the camp. A woman screamed and kids shrieked as Anna dropped the relief guard with a rapid barrage of bullets. Paul took down the other man with a burst of gunfire before the guy could retaliate.

Mission accomplished, Anna and Paul raced toward camp, running at a crouch.

Without warning, a man jumped out of the brush, his rifle raised to shoot Anna. Bjornolf leaped from where he'd been running and slammed into the man's back, taking him to the ground. Startled by the surprise attack from behind, the man yelled out. Bjornolf slit his throat, then jumped to his feet. He looked up to see Anna watching his back, her gun ready, mouth pursed in annoyance.

"You could have let us know you're with us," she said, her voice hushed. Her green eyes narrowed as she sent him a caustic glare.

He gave her half a smile and a small salute. "You're welcome," he said quietly back.

She turned slightly, aimed her gun as fast as she could, and fired off a round. Before Bjornolf could turn and see what she'd shot, a thump sounded as a body fell from a tree. He stared at the dead man, bullet hole in his temple.

"We're even," she whispered to Bjornolf.

He could read her plainly and smiled. They would never be even.

After confirming there were no more surprises waiting for the rescue team, Bjornolf followed Anna into camp where the rest of the team had gathered.

"Look what Anna dragged in," Paul said, his brown eyes widening. He gave Bjornolf a small smile.

Last time Bjornolf had observed him, the SEAL had just arrived on the Oregon coast from Florida, dressed in blue jeans and a Hawaiian shirt with hot-pink palm trees and green flamingoes that was the most god-awful thing he'd ever seen. If Bjornolf hadn't witnessed Paul in action before, he would have wondered if the guy could handle any kind of a mission. He was less muscled than Bjornolf, but he was quick on his feet and where Hunter's sister, Meara, was concerned, Paul had been protective and wary of Bjornolf before he knew him.

So he chalked that up as good points in Paul's favor.

Hunter and Allan glanced his way, both checking the rescued family over for injuries, both smiling a little at Bjornolf.

William Wentworth III and his brother, wife, and five-year-old twin daughter and son were dirty, disheveled, gaunt, and tired, but otherwise unharmed. Mom and the kids were crying, and Bjornolf wanted to slap the husband for bringing his family here. Sometimes rich folks had more money than sense.

All the family members had raven hair, their eyes varying shades of blue. The two men looked similar, except that the brother was a little taller and a little skinnier. All wore jeans, the guys attired in Western shirts, the woman in a once-clean white shirt, now stained green and brown. At least they were wearing boots. Deadly venomous snakes could cause fatal consequences for humans who weren't properly dressed out here.

Next time, maybe they'd plan a normal trip for a couple of five-year-olds this close to Christmas. Like a vacation at Disney World where the bad pirates wouldn't threaten to kill them if someone didn't pay a ransom. Bjornolf would have felt sorry for William Wentworth III, but the adults should have known better. Not only that, but their ignorance had also put the team in danger, just to bail them out.

"Who are you?" William asked.

Hunter said, "Special ops contracted to take you out of here safely."

He didn't explain any more than that; he didn't need to. The man nodded. The woman sagged a little with visible relief. Brows furrowed and looking pensive, the brother glanced at William.

Bjornolf watched the interaction between the two. The brother, Jeff, was younger, the follower, he could tell from their nonverbal actions. But something else passed between them. A guarded communication. Worry. Doubt. Something.

"Seems Bjornolf can't stay away from us. Maybe we ought to make him one of the team, Hunter." Paul sounded like he was half joking, half hopeful, maybe getting used to the SEAL joining them on missions without Hunter's approval.

Bjornolf working for someone else and with a team now that he'd retired? Not likely.

He did find some appeal in the way the team worked together. After they arrived at a safe destination, they'd share beers or tequila, whatever was easy to obtain, thanking their lucky stars that they made it out alive after another difficult mission. They'd joke and let down their hair, commiserate, blow off some steam.

While he went his own way. They never even knew he'd shadowed them on another mission, taking down the bad guys they hadn't realized were after them. He meant to revert to his old way of doing things. As a loner on his own, no family to worry about, no pack obligations.

A team like this would soon become family. He didn't need or want the distraction.

The problem was that he couldn't have taken out the guard who targeted Anna without her seeing him do it. So he was stuck being part of the team this time around. Just like the last time.

"Glad you could join us," Hunter said to Bjornolf, his expression mostly somber because of the still precarious situation they were in. His dark brown eyes studied Bjornolf, judging him. Bjornolf could almost see the wheels in Hunter's mind working furiously through the situation. Did Bjornolf want to be part of the team now? "We can certainly use your help in getting the family out of the jungle and safely home."

"Couldn't have my favorite SEAL team, and others," Bjornolf said, making a point to slide his gaze Anna's way, "come to harm."

She cast him a quizzical glance over her shoulder, their gazes locking.

Unable to stop himself and amused at her reaction, he winked at her. He swore she had to be blushing under all that jungle paint as she gave him an annoyed look and continued on her way to provide security with Finn.

Catching sight of Bjornolf's reaction to Anna, Allan snorted and folded his arms. "More likely Anna's got his attention."

Yeah, he was ready to spar again with the woman to prove to her that one alluring she-wolf would never get the upper hand with a SEAL. He'd wanted to kiss Anna ever since he'd met her during his last mission, gotten the best of her, and tied her up with her pantyhose, but he couldn't make himself do it.

He shook his head at Allan. The man had a boyish charm. When he turned ninety in human years, he'd probably still have that look-wide-eyed innocence, dimples, raised brows. The look was totally deceiving. Under that charming appearance, he was all hardness like the rest of them.

"I don't know about the rest of the guys, but I missed you, Bjornolf. Good to see you're still kicking." Paul clapped him on the shoulder, then crouched down and talked to the five-year-old boy. "What's your name, son?"

"Jimmy." Tears left a path of white streaks through the dirt on his face and his lower lip was trembling, but at least the question stopped his and his sister's bawling.

"I'm going to give you a lift as we move through the jungle, okay? Piggyback ride?" Paul asked Jimmy.

The boy looked at his dad, who nodded. As dehydrated and fatigued as the dad and his brother appeared, Bjornolf knew they would have a hard enough time keeping up and staying on their own feet without having to carry a couple of kids.

Allan didn't offer to transport the little girl. Finn safeguarded them from some distance away, leaving the others to decide how to handle the logistics of the situation. Hunter was in charge of the operation, so he needed to keep his hands free and his thoughts on the team and the freed hostages and couldn't haul the girl himself. Anna didn't seem to be into kids, but even so, she couldn't carry a child that far without the effort putting a real strain on her.

Bjornolf sighed and stepped forward, towering over the tyke, and said, "Wanna horsey-back ride?" He thought a horse sounded much better than a pig.

She gazed up at him with wide, blue, tear-filled eyes. She was wearing tiny snowman earrings in honor of the season, reminding him again how she shouldn't be here. The girl glanced at her mother.

Mom nodded. "Go with the man, Elsie. He'll help get us out of here safely."

"I'm Bjornolf," he said, carefully pronouncing his name Byee-or-nulf so she'd understand it. His name meant bear-wolf, but she looked frightened enough without him sharing that additional information.

He probably should have met her eye to eye, like Paul had done with her brother. Then again, his face was covered in camouflage face paint like the rest of Hunter's team. The strange streaks of olive green, black, muddy brown, and woodland gray markings all over their skin had to look scary.

Her lip trembled and he was afraid she would begin to bawl again. He quickly crouched down in front of her and dug out a camouflage face-paint stick.

"You want to wear some of this so you blend in with the jungle like the..." Bjornolf was going to say "snakes," but he didn't think that would appeal to her. "Jaguars who are covered in rosettes, spots," he clarified. "It makes them almost invisible in the shadows of the jungle trees."

Allan chuckled. Turning to look at Bjornolf, Anna raised her brows. With her mouth curved up and her eyes sparkling with humor, she looked highly amused. He wanted to ask if she needed any of her camouflage makeup redone because he'd be glad to help her out.

Finn glanced over his shoulder at him, a wry grin tugging at the corners of his mouth. Paul swore under his breath.

"Could we all look like the jungle cats?" Mom sounded hopeful that if they blended into the jungle more, they might get out of this alive.

Grinning, the boy nodded vigorously.

Before the party got under way, four of the SEALs were face-painting the humans, making them blend into the woods as much as possible, while Anna and Finn continued to provide security. Once that was done, the men made sure the family had enough to drink and eat. Then Bjornolf crouched, letting Elsie grab on to his field pack. He held on to her scrawny legs to keep her in place.

Vulnerable, he thought. Both he and Elsie were at a disadvantage, should they be attacked en route to the location where they would be transported out of the country. He felt his stomach tighten with disquiet. He liked being the ghost of a backup. No one knowing he was there. The bad guys died, never getting close to the team. No one to say thanks. No getting emotionally involved.

Except for the last mission he'd had with them, and he hadn't believed he'd ever get that involved with the team again. That would have suited him fine.

To physically transport a human child out of a potentially volatile situation was also something foreign to him. He was the lone wolf, the hidden security, which fit his personality perfectly.

Paul carrying the boy and Bjornolf the girl, they walked in the center of the group. Mom and the dad led the way, while the dad's brother hiked behind Bjornolf. Hunter was out in front, Allan bringing up the rear, while Anna and Finn flanked them in the jungle, providing cover to the left and right. Bjornolf couldn't see them, but he kept thinking that was where he should be.

Elsie whispered, "Did you tell Santa what you want for Christmas?"

Anna instantly popped in his mind. He smiled to himself.

"Have to make up my list," he whispered.

"I wanna iPad and a phone and a..." Elsie began listing all the colors, brands, and kinds of toys she wanted for Christmas while Bjornolf nodded absently, all the while attempting to listen for trouble.

He smiled to himself. He had to admit the idea of Anna sitting pretty under his Christmas tree sure appealed.

The going was slow, not because of the difficulty with the heat and humidity or the terrain, but because the two brothers and the mom were struggling to keep up. They huffed and puffed as he felt Elsie's tension-filled legs loosen their grip on him. She'd fallen asleep.

Worrying that she might slip off, he paused. The uncle pulled the sleeping child off Bjornolf's back and offered to carry her, despite his obvious lack of strength. He looked about done in with his shoulders stooped, sweat pouring off his face, and his eyes heavily lidded.

Bjornolf declined Jeff's help and continued to carry Elsie in his arms. She was a dirty-faced little angel, her nearly black hair tangled and sweat plastering her bangs to her forehead. He felt a strange pang in the pit of his stomach.

Probably hunger. He hadn't eaten in hours, he reminded himself.

He caught sight of Anna watching him. He couldn't tell from her camouflaged expression what she thought. He shouldn't have cared, but he was curious-as wolves were known to be. Was she amused by what he'd been roped into doing? Or maybe she felt a little sorry for him.

They had traveled for a couple of miles-although the thick jungle made it seem much farther-when he heard a startled male cry come from Anna's direction. Everyone immediately crouched down. Heart pounding, Bjornolf knew to stay where he was and protect the child at all costs, but he damn well wanted to ensure Anna was okay.

She finally made a bird call, letting them know she was all right and to continue to move the family.

Still caught up in the anxiety that had seized him, he moved with the others, keeping alert, every muscle tense, ready to spring into action in the event of new danger.

Trouble didn't take long to manifest itself.

The rat-ta-tat-tat of a spurt of gunfire off to his right meant Finn had his hands full. Then Bjornolf heard rustling to the left where Anna was watching their flank. Suddenly, Hunter was fighting a man in front of the group in hand-to-hand combat. Everyone came to an abrupt halt and crouched. Bjornolf handed the child off to the uncle, while Paul left the boy with his father. Bjornolf's and Paul's gazes met. Bjornolf motioned with his head toward Anna, indicating he was looking after her. Paul raised his brows a little.

Allan stayed with Hunter to safeguard the family while Paul joined Finn.

Bjornolf stealthily made his way to where he had last heard movement in Anna's direction. He couldn't find her. His heartbeat was racing when he heard her soft curse nearby. Even making that much of a sound seemed to be an effort for her.

Hell. He dove through the jungle in her direction.

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