Run to Ground (Rocky Mountain K9 Unit #1) will be available on June 6th, 2017!
He lost his mentor.
He lost his K9 partner.
He almost lost his will to live.
But when a ruthless killer targets a woman on the run, Theo and his new K9 companion will do whatever it takes to survive—and save the woman neither can live without.
Grieving the death of his partner, Theo Bosco has no room in his life for distractions. Though his instincts scream that he should avoid Juliet ‘Jules’ Jackson, he can’t seem to stay away. It doesn’t help that Theo’s new K9 companion has fallen head over paws with Jules’s rambunctious family.
Or that when he’s with her, Theo finally knows peace.
When Jules rescued her siblings, whisking them away to the safety of the beautifully rugged Colorado Rockies, she never expected to catch the eye—or the heart—of a cop. Yet as Jules struggles to fight her growing attraction to the brooding K9 officer, another threat lurks much closer to home…
And this time, there’s no escape.
“I love Ruggle’s characters. They’re sharply drawn, and vividly alive. These are wonderful escapist books.”—Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series
Read on for an excerpt from Run to Ground!
At the heavy knock, all conversation around the dinner table ceased. Everyone went still, not even chewing. Since her freak-out in the walk-in cooler that morning, Jules had been jumpy, and an unexpected visitor didn’t help matters. Their new life in Monroe was so fragile. The unknown person at the door could be the one who would destroy it. Jules exchanged a look with Sam, and then he ushered the other three kids out the back door toward the barn. Taking a shaky breath, she walked toward the front door.
I won’t let them get the kids, she told herself as she approached the entryway. I just need to buy them time to get away. Her hand shook as she flattened it against the door, rising on her tiptoes to look through the peephole. Her lungs and heart stilled for a second, only to rush into motion again when she recognized the person on her porch.
Lightheaded with relief and a giddiness she felt only around Theo, she yanked open the door. “Hi.”
“What are you doing here?”
For some reason, his scowl deepened. “This porch is a death trap.”
Confused, Jules looked down at the boards under his feet and then back up to his face. “Okay. Should you be standing on it then?”
His snort could’ve been a laugh if he hadn’t looked so cranky. “Probably not. I…uh…” He shifted, looking away, and Jules could’ve sworn he seemed uncomfortable. But he was Theo, and from what she’d seen, Theo wasn’t ever uncomfortable. Angry? Yes. Hostile? Sure. But uncomfortable? This was a first. “I brought some boards and my tools.” When she just stared, even more confused, he gestured toward the porch floor. “To fix it.”
“You’re going to fix our porch.”
“I told you. It’s a death trap.” He shifted impatiently, and the wood squeaked under his boots. “You could fall through. Or one of the kids could get hurt.”
As she looked at him, a wave of strong emotion washed over her. He was there to help, to do something she couldn’t to protect the kids, to protect her. She felt like she’d been treading water since she’d met with Mr. Espina, trying desperately to keep them all from drowning, and now Theo was there, offering her a hand. It was just a porch, but it was help, and it made her feel so much less alone.
Stepping forward, she wrapped her arms around his chest and hugged him hard. He stiffened, letting out a surprised grunt, but she held on, pressing her forehead against his worn T-shirt. Tears of gratitude rushed to her eyes, and she blinked hard, trying to keep them contained. Releasing him, she stepped back, giving him a shaky smile.
“Are you crying?”
“It’s just a porch.”
“I know.” Her smile stretched bigger even as her eyes filled again. “Thank you.”
“I’m not fixing it if you cry,” he threatened, making her laugh.
“I’m going to go get the kids,” she said with a final sniffle.
Theo glanced toward her SUV, probably thinking she had to pick them up. “Where are they?”
“Oh, um…just playing in back.” She forced her brain to get back on track. Just because he was fixing her porch didn’t mean she could slip up and reveal that they were hiding in the barn. “Did you want me to keep them out of your hair?”
He shrugged. “They can help.”
Jules beamed at him.
“You are such a sweetheart.”
His wary look shifted back into his usual scowl. “Am not.”
With another laugh, she turned away, moving toward the back door so she could give the kids the all clear. He really was. A porch-fixing, heroic, heart-stealing sweetheart.
Pre-order your copy of Run to Ground today!