Intimate Honor by D. C. Stone

Intimate Honor by D. C. Stone
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full length (214 pages)
Other: M/F, Masturbation
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Dryas

A mission has gone almost deadly wrong in Afghanistan. Special Forces military working dog handler Chris Gonzalez and his K-9 partner, Delta Alpha, are sent home to heal after being injured during an operation. The military has decided Delta Alpha can no longer continue as an active military working dog, but Chris refuses to leave him behind.

Coming home to Nyack isn’t something he expected to do so soon, but in order to help his partner heal, he needs to do so with the help of the new local veterinarian, a woman who seems to have a dark history of her own.

Juliette Graham had only wanted to escape her past and start over, this time with a new life and a new name. She didn’t expect to find two males, one human, one canine, burrowing under her skin so quickly.

That’s the problem with secrets, though…they often have a habit of catching up when people least expect it…

Juliette Graham is a victim of extreme domestic violence at the hands of her husband, Manuel. She is going through a case to get away from her with the help of her lawyer Sunny, who is the one that helped her get away from Manuel. Her case will allow her to change her name to Samantha Eagin, get a new Social Security Number, and a new start on life.

Christopher Gonzalez and his military working dog Delta Alpha are part of a special forces unit stationed in Afghanistan. They are part of a crack team that jump from airplanes to be able to sneak up on their targets easier. They are on a mission to destroy and kill a tribal leader to Al Qaeda, Tayseer Al-Lidi, who earned himself a spot on the American’s Most Wanted Terrorists list. The mission went great for a while, until it all went to hell while they were trying to escape. As they were about to depart, Delta Alpha or more commonly known as Dumb Ass, ignored his orders to board and went back to Chris. He ended up saving him from several gunshots and an explosion. The worst thing that ever happened to Chris was seeing his dog so limp and injured saving him from certain death.

I enjoy the character of Chris, a man of extreme loyalty, courage, bravery, and the ability to know what he wants and to pursue it until the end. A great example of his loyalty is when he finds out that Dumb Ass was injured seriously but luck was on his side as none of the bullets had entered any essential organs, but he is now suffering from PTSD. He would not be able to continue being a military working dog and Chris was given two options, put Dumb Ass to sleep or adopt him. For Chris it was a no brainer, he would not leave his partner and made the hard decision to adopt him. He knows that it is not going to be easy trying to help his dog and himself adapt to civilian life. On top of that, he had to decide his own future as he is wondering if he should re-enlist. You can tell that he is getting tired of going through certain death situations and the last mission opened his eyes. They figure that their last mission went so wrong because there was a mole hiding somewhere in the CIA. He is also dealing with his own PTSD after that last mission, which is one reason he is wondering if he should re-enlist.
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He wants to have his dog’s new veterinarian set up before he comes and calls his brother to see if he could find one in his hometown in New York. Luckily for him Samantha had just opened her own veterinarian clinic as that had always been her dream.

You can’t help but admire Samantha’s strength as she is becoming a brand-new person, learning how to become independent after being controlled so long by her ex-husband. A great example of this is opening her clinic and deciding to take in Dumb Ass even though she has no experience in treating a dog with PTSD. Yet, she has a big heart and a ton of courage and figures with the research she has done and with the help of Chris, whose has been with his dog for two years and knows him in and out, she’ll be able to help. She also found out she was pregnant and even though it was unplanned, she is going to do the best she can raising her child on her own.

When Chris and Samantha meet each other for the first time, you can already get the sense of attraction, especially when he gave her a nickname–Red–after only a few moments. It was also sweet seeing how Chris handled Dumb Ass when they were at the vet for the first time, she could see the love a trust between them, breaking her heart a little. Dumb Ass also seems to take a liking to her when he first meets her, even giving a lick to her.

I absolutely adore Chris’s family, as each on had been adopted by the Gonzalez family and are extremely close. It seems that everyone that meets the family is drawn into the love that overflows the home and the ties that bind each brother to each other. Their mother makes sure her sons know how much she cares for them and so does their father. For example, when he went to their house, he was enveloped a much-needed hug, spoiled with a great dinner, and watching sports with his father with a beer and getting the gossip of all his other brothers lives.

Things became interesting when Chris comes back home to his cabin and his gut and instincts let him know something was wrong. He feels so wary that he ends up calling squad leader, Dean Davis, and asking if any of the team had checked in. Chris is drawn into an idea of building a special unit to keep other special operatives from going through the same issues that his team had. As it turns out his instincts were right when he spots Tayseer around the town, but his frustration his palpable when he couldn’t pinpoint an exact location.

Luckily, his brother, Dwayne is a private investigator which comes in handy when Samantha’s ex-husband shows up. Again, Chris’s emotions get the better of him and even though he can’t place what they all meant; he did know that he couldn’t lose her.

It’s surprising how well Dumb Ass starts to heal, with Samantha and Chris’s attention and love. Chris finds it amusing and happy that Dumb Ass has taken such a shine to her and is often seen to protect her.

After that Chris brings her to his cabin and the rest of his team descends upon him. Again, the love and adoration are shown in every moment they share. His family also takes her in, just like the other strays that come along. You can feel her emotions as she feels what she has been missing for so long, the protection and the love of a strong family that enfolds her.

The only thing that I have a problem with this story is how fast the relationship develops between Chris and Samantha. They both realize it though so that does help but in only a few weeks they end up in bed together, which surprised me especially considering her past. It’s also amazing how fast Dumb Ass heals.

This is a wonderful story that shows how a dog that needs help can bring two people together. It also shows how a woman can gain her own independence after a horrible tragedy. She also ends up helping Chris overcome his own problems, to me they bring strength to each other.  A wonderful story for those that love dogs and a wonderful family that sticks together no matter the circumstances.

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