‘Strength of his Heart’ by Victoria Sue. Published by Dreamspinner Press December 11, 2018, 214 pages.
Rainbow Gold Reviews would like to congratulate Victoria Sue on the release of her newest book ‘Strength of his Heart’ (Enhanced World Book 4).
Be sure to check out the Giveaway at the bottom of this post for your chance to win an e-book from Victoria Sue’s backlist!
To protect and serve…. All Vance Connelly ever wanted to do was continue his family’s tradition and join the Tampa Police Department, but his dreams were crushed the day he woke with the enhanced mark on his face. After years of struggling to adjust to life as an enhanced human, by a stroke of luck, he met Talon Valdez and became a proud member of the FBI’s Human Enhanced Rescue Organization.
Samuel “Angel” Piper is eager to leave his DEA undercover work behind as he joins the HERO team as Vance’s regular human partner. But Sam’s painful past is ever present, just below the surface of the life he has built for himself as an ambitious young agent. When the team investigates rumors of a new drug using enhanced blood, the case’s mysterious connection to Sam threatens not just his life but Vance’s.
Trust doesn’t come easy for Sam, but Vance is willing to fight to convince his partner that the strength of his heart might be the salvation they both need.
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“What is it, Talon?” Vance leaned forward.
“You do realize this makes you a confirmed target?” Sam blurted out, seeming incredulous.
Vance met Sam’s gaze for the first time since they had been in the kitchen. “Of course I know.” He looked back at Talon. “And?”
Talon sighed, and everyone else fell silent. There was something else Talon hadn’t said, and Vance knew it and was waiting for it.
“Buchanan has made progress with some contacts, including an ex-employee of the Tye Group. He was fired for taking too much sick leave, so even though he may have an axe to grind, his information seems reliable.” Talon glanced at everyone. “According to this man, the warden is on the take. He was responsible for both enhanced going missing. He also has at least four guards—possibly all of them are dirty as well.”
“So shut it down,” Gael said.
“We have no proof. A fired ex-employee with no physical evidence would get laughed out of court. We need proof.”
“And how on earth are you gonna get that?”
“By putting me in,” Adam said eagerly. “Even if they know where I’ve been, it isn’t such a stretch that I would screw things up.”
Talon smiled at him, but the smile didn’t reach his eyes.
“He can’t do that,” Vance said almost kindly.
“Why?” Adam said. “Haven’t I proved—”
Talon’s raised hand cut him off. “It isn’t that at all.”
And Vance understood, and by the indrawn breaths of Gael and Sawyer, they did too.
“You don’t have the right ability,” Vance explained. “They need someone strong.”
“No way.” Gael got to his feet angrily.
“Of course.” Vance nodded, ignoring Gael. “When do I go in?”
“It’s taking some work to get background, et cetera. Apparently the biggest plus is that you’ve been in Baton Rouge. Their backstory is that you got caught dealing while working with the DEA. And they want you in tomorrow.”
Everyone was suddenly silent. Vance sat back.
“Does he have any backup in there?”
Vance looked at Sam as if the question surprised him.
Talon shook his head. “It’s too late. The guards have all worked there for some time. We have no chance of a replacement. You may have heard of the warden… well, his older brother certainly.”
Vance raised an eyebrow, and Talon continued. “Raymond Cryer. Judge Benedict’s younger brother.”
“Shit,” Gael exclaimed and slumped back down in his chair.
“Who’s Benedict Cryer?” Sam asked.
Vance turned. “Anti-enhanced. Very bigoted. He’s not a judge anymore since he got into politics. My dad thinks he’s likely to run for governor next time.”
“He’s not hanging around, is he?” Gael asked rhetorically.
“No,” Talon agreed and looked at Vance. “You sure, buddy?”
As if he would refuse. “I’m sure.”
Talon glanced down at his phone. “Daniel’s here.”
Vance nodded and stood up.
Vance turned to look at Sam, and everyone seemed to take that as their cue to leave. “See me before you go, and I will explain details,” Talon instructed and left the room behind everyone else.
Vance waited for Sam. He didn’t know what to say. Sam had made it perfectly clear how he felt, or how he didn’t feel.
Vance’s lips twisted. “Sorry for what exactly?” Sorry for treating Vance like shit? Sorry for not feeling the same way as he did?
“You didn’t deserve what I said.”
Didn’t he? “Did you lie?”
Sam’s lips parted, but Vance didn’t hear a denial.
“Look, it’s okay—”
“No.” Sam took a shuddering breath. “It really isn’t.”
“You can’t help how you feel. You can’t help how I feel.” And he couldn’t. Maybe it was for the best. “Let’s get this case done, and I’ll ask Talon to get us different partners.”
Sam took a step back. “No.” He shook his head. “I don’t want that.”
“No?” Vance said, for the first time not caring what someone else wanted but what he did. “Pity. Because as soon as this is over, I will ask Talon, and he’ll agree.”
“But—” Sam started to protest, but Vance just stepped around him and walked out of the door. Technically he had the biggest backbone of anyone he knew. It was about time he started using it.
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Victoria Sue fell in love with love stories as a child when she would hide away with her mom’s library books and dream of the dashing hero coming to rescue her from math homework. She never mastered math but never stopped loving her heroes and decided to give them the happy ever afters they fight so hard for.
She loves reading and writing about gorgeous boys loving each other the best—and creating a family for them to adore. Thrilled to hear from her readers, she can be found most days lurking on Facebook where she doesn’t need factor 1000 sun-cream to hide her freckles.