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Radclyffe - Oath of Honor

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Oath of Honor
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bold strokes books

eBooks are not transferable. They cannot be sold, shared or

given away as it is an infringement on the copyright of this

work.

Please respect the rights of the author and do not file share.

Oath Of hOnOr

Acclaim for Radcly ffe’s Fiction

2010 RWA / FF&P Prism award winner Secrets in the Stone “is a

strong, must read novel that will linger in the minds of readers long

after the last page is turned.”— Just About Write

Foreword Review Book of the Year finalist and IPPY silver medalist

Trauma Alert “is hard to put down and it will sizzle in the reader’s

hands. The characters are hot, the sex scenes explicit and explosive,

and the book is moved along by an interesting plot with well drawn

secondary characters. The real star of this show is the attraction

between the two characters, both of whom resist and then fall head

over heels.”— Lambda Literary Reviews

Lambda Literary Finalist Best Lesbian Romance 2010 features

“stories [that] are diverse in tone, style, and subject, making for

more variety than in many, similar anthologies…well written, each

containing a satisfying, surprising twist. Best Lesbian Romance series

editor Radclyffe has assembled a respectable crop of 17 authors for this

year’s offering.”— Curve Magazine

In Benjamin Franklin Award finalist Desire by Starlight “Radclyffe

writes romance with such heart and her down-to-earth characters not

only come to life but leap off the page until you feel like you know

them. What Jenna and Gard feel for each other is not only a spark but

an inferno and, as a reader, you will be washed away in this tumultuous

romance until you can do nothing but succumb to it.”— Queer Magazine

Online

2010 Prism award winner and ForeWord Review Book of the Year

Award finalist Secrets in the Stone is “so powerfully [written] that the

worlds of these three women shimmer between reality and dreams…A

strong, must read novel that will linger in the minds of readers long

after the last page is turned.”— Just About Write

Lambda Literary Award winner Stolen Moments “is a collection

of steamy stories about women who just couldn’t wait. It’s sex when

desire overrides reason, and it’s incredibly hot!”— On Our Backs

Lambda Literary Award winner Distant Shores, Silent Thunder

“weaves an intricate tapestry about passion and commitment between

lovers. The story explores the fragile nature of trust and the sanctuary

provided by loving relationships.”— Sapphic Reader

Lambda Literary Award Finalist Justice Served delivers a “crisply

written, fast-paced story with twists and turns and keeps us guessing

until the final explosive ending.”— Independent Gay Writer

Lambda Literary Award finalist Turn Back Time “is filled with

wonderful love scenes, which are both tender and hot.”— MegaScene

Applause for L.L. Raand’s

Midnight Hunters Series

“Raand has built a complex world inhabited by werewolves, vampires,

and other paranormal beings…Raand has given her readers a complex

plot filled with wonderful characters as well as insight into the hierarchy

of Sylvan’s pack and vampire clans. There are many plot twists and

turns, as well as erotic sex scenes in this riveting novel that keep the

pages flying until its satisfying conclusion.”— Just About Write

“Once again, I am amazed at the storytelling ability of L.L. Raand aka

Radclyffe. In Blood Hunt, she mixes high levels of sheer eroticism

that will leave you squirming in your seat with an impeccable multi-

character storyline all streaming together to form one great read.”

Queer Magazine Online

The Midnight Hunt has a gripping story to tell, and while there are also

some truly erotic sex scenes, the story always takes precedence. This is

a great read which is not easily put down nor easily forgotten.”— Just

About Write

“Are you sick of the same old hetero vampire / werewolf story plastered

in every bookstore and at every movie theater? Well, I’ve got the

cure to your werewolf fever. The Midnight Hunt is first in, what I

hope is, a long-running series of fantasy erotica for L.L. Raand (aka

Radclyffe).”— Queer Magazine Online

“Any reader familiar with Radclyffe’s writing will recognize the

author’s style within The Midnight Hunt, yet at the same time it is

most definitely a new direction. The author delivers an excellent

story here, one that is engrossing from the very beginning. Raand has

pieced together an intricate world, and provided just enough details for

the reader to become enmeshed in the new world. The action moves

quickly throughout the book and it’s hard to put down.”— Three Dollar

Bill Reviews

By Radcly ffe

Romances

Innocent Hearts

Fated Love

Promising Hearts

Turn Back Time

Love’s Melody Lost

When Dreams Tremble

Love’s Tender Warriors

The Lonely Hearts Club

Tomorrow’s Promise

Night Call

Love’s Masquerade

Secrets in the Stone

shadowland

Desire by Starlight

Passion’s Bright Fury

Honor Series

Justice Series

Above All, Honor

A Matter of Trust (prequel)

Honor Bound

Shield of Justice

Love & Honor

In Pursuit of Justice

Honor Guards

Justice in the Shadows

Honor Reclaimed

Justice Served

Honor Under Siege

Justice for All

Word of Honor

The Provincetown Tales

Safe Harbor

Winds of Fortune

Beyond the Breakwater

Returning Tides

Distant Shores, Silent Thunder

Sheltering Dunes

Storms of Change

First Responders Novels

Trauma Alert

Firestorm

Oath of Honor

Short Fiction

Collected Stories by Radclyffe

Erotic Interludes: Change Of Pace

Radical Encounters

Edited by Radclyffe:

Best Lesbian Romance 2009–2011

Stacia Seaman and Radclyffe, eds.:

Erotic Interludes 2: Stolen Moments

Erotic Interludes 3: Lessons in Love

Erotic Interludes 4: Extreme Passions

Erotic Interludes 5: Road Games

Romantic Interludes 1: Discovery

Romantic Interludes 2: Secrets

Breathless: Tales of Celebration

Women of the Dark Streets

By L.L. Raand

Midnight Hunters

The Midnight Hunt

Blood Hunt

Night Hunt

Visit us at www.boldstrokesbooks.com

Oath Of hOnOr

by

RADCLY f FE

2012

oath of honor

© 2012 By Radclyffe. all Rights ReseRved.

isBN 13: 978-1-60282-712-7

This ElEcTronic Book is PuBlishEd By

Bold sTrokEs Books, inc.

P.o. Box 249

VallEy Falls, ny 12185

FirsT EdiTion: July 2012

This is a Work oF FicTion. naMEs, characTErs, PlacEs, and

incidEnTs arE ThE ProducT oF ThE auThor’s iMaGinaTion or

arE usEd FicTiTiously. any rEsEMBlancE To acTual PErsons,

liVinG or dEad, BusinEss EsTaBlishMEnTs, EVEnTs, or localEs

is EnTirEly coincidEnTal.

This Book, or ParTs ThErEoF, May noT BE rEProducEd in any

ForM WiThouT PErMission.

cRedits

EdiTors: ruTh sTErnGlanTz and sTacia sEaMan

ProducTion dEsiGn: sTacia sEaMan

coVEr dEsiGn By shEri ( [email protected])

Acknowledgments

Some characters live on in the back of an author’s mind, waiting for the

right story to come along in which to make an appearance. The First

Responders series is a group of stories linked by the theme of featuring

those who serve on the “front lines”: firefighters, law enforcement

agents, medics, soldiers, environmental engineers, and many others.

When I conceived of the idea of writing about the First Doctor, the

physician assigned to the president of the United States, I instantly

thought of the characters I had created in the Honor series as natural

cast members, and thus this crossover novel was born. This is a stand-

alone spin-off from the Honor series, with a new central main pairing,

but I think those of you who know the Honor series will be happy to see

a few old friends. Old friends or new, I hope you enjoy!

Thanks go to Sandy Lowe, for shouldering a gargantuan task with

energy, enthusiasm, and remarkable calm; to author Nell Stark for close

reading and expert advice; to Ruth Sternglantz for editing with insight

and dedication; to Stacia Seaman, for being the one I count on in the

final stretch; and to my first readers Connie, Eva, Jenny, and Paula for

reading the early drafts and never failing to encourage.

Sheri shines, and the covers are always proof of that. Thanks for a great

one.

And to Lee, who never falters— Amo te.

Radclyffe, 2012

For Lee, for patience, understanding, and belief

Oath Of hOnOr

chapter One

Wes glanced at her watch as she turned off the coast road onto

the narrow causeway leading to Whitley Island. 1142. With

luck, she wouldn’t be late. Luck wasn’t something she usually relied on.

She believed in schedules and ran her life by the clock. Unfortunately,

death had a way of interrupting even the most finely tuned schedules.

Until thirty-six hours ago, she’d been looking forward to spending

her upcoming annual leave with her mother and sisters over Christmas,

not dealing with a new job, no place to live, and no idea of what the

next day would bring. She definitely hadn’t planned on attending the

wedding of the year.

All that had changed when she’d gotten a call informing her she

was at the top of a very short list for a job most people in the navy,

let alone the nation, had never even heard of. The anonymity of the

position didn’t bother her—in fact, she preferred working alone and

was happy contributing behind the scenes. The next rung in her planned

career ladder had been a professorship at the Uniformed Services

University where she was stationed. She’d joined the navy because

she’d needed the scholarship to go to medical school, and while she

liked the structure, she was an academic at heart. She wanted to teach,

take care of her patients, and let others wage war. She hadn’t been sure

she wanted a job that was going to throw her into close contact with the

most powerful people in the world on a daily basis. She’d asked for a

day to think it over—they’d given her four hours.

Heading into an unknown situation without the proper preparation

made her wary. Order, discipline, and perseverance had brought her

• 13 •

RADCLY fFE

from her working-class neighborhood in South Philadelphia to the

United States Naval Academy at Annapolis and finally to the National

Military Medical Center in Bethesda. Knowing what she faced—in the

ER, in the field, in life—kept her cool and in control. If she never relied

on anyone or anything to run interference for her, she had no one to

hold accountable for the outcome except herself.

She’d called her best friend Emory for advice—not just because

she’d known Emory since they’d shared a cadaver at Penn, but because

Emory knew intimately the landscape and the people Wes would be

spending every moment of her life with for the next year, or maybe the

next five.

“Are you kidding, Wes?” Emory had said when Wes reached her

en route to the island. “It’s an amazing opportunity. God, you’ll have

a front-and-center for events that might change the future of the whole

world. And you’ll be doing what you’re trained to do.”

“But I’m a teacher, not a clinician,” she’d protested.

“Uh, excuse me—don’t you teach trauma care to military medical

personnel?”

“Yes, but—”

“And didn’t you spend ten months supervising a field hospital—”

“Yes, but—”

“And—”

“Emory,” Wes said patiently, “I suck at politics.”

“Huh.” Emory fell silent for a moment. “This is true.”

“So—”

“Should I mention honor and duty and—”

Wes sighed. “No. I already considered that.”

“And?”

And she’d said yes to this new job because to do otherwise

seemed impossible. She’d rarely been faced with impossible decisions,

and she wasn’t sure yet how she felt about a situation she didn’t

control. Nevertheless, she’d called her boss, Rear Admiral Cal Wright,

and said she was honored to accept, and he’d passed the word up the

chain of command. Her final security interview wasn’t scheduled until

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