Harlequin HQN, Aug 25 2015, $7.99
“Tough Love.” Vanity Baker knows what she wants is MMA light-heavyweight Stack “The Wolf” Hannigan. However, she also realizes to become his permanent she-wolf, Vanity has to overcome his aversion to commitment. Hoping he will make a move, Vanity remained patient only outrageously flirting with her secret love for a few months. When that strategy fails, she persuades him to accept a casual deal: if he escorts her to a family wedding, she will have no string sex with him. Though the lessons learned growing up as part of a disturbed dysfunctional family prove difficult to overcome, Stack needs to convince Vanity he wants more than a friends with benefits relationship.
“Back to Buckhorn.” Pet groomer Zoey Hodge left Buckhorn, Kentucky the first chance she had with no plans of returning except for short visits to see her mom. When her mom becomes very ill, Zoey comes home to help her recover. Firefighter Garrett Hudson loved Zoey’s wit in high school, but desires her even more now. His mission is to persuade her that they belong together forever.
The third Ultimate (see No Limits and Holding Strong) is an enjoyable contemporary due to the fascinating protagonists plotting their respective next steps though ignoring a serious discussion when one is desperately needed. Series fans will relish the first print copy of this pleasant Buckhorn e-book prequel even if the stars’ love overcomes their tsuris rather abruptly.