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Sentinels: Tiger Bound Mass Market Paperback


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin (July 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780373885527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373885527
  • ASIN: 0373885520
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,239,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Doranna Durgin writes eclectically and across genres, with an award-winning international backlist in fantasy, media tie-in, anthologies, mystery, thriller romance, and paranormal romance; she also runs Blue Hound Visions, her web design business, and is on staff at Helix SF, an online quarterly. In her spare time she trains her dogs for agility, rally, and obedience trials, or heads for the high desert backyard barn where the Lipizzan lives.  (Website: Doranna.net)

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Maks clawed back to himself, hand braced against old brick, the quiet engine of a shuttle bus in the background…small-town street traffic passing nearby. Mortar crumbled beneath his fingers.

Not getting better. Getting worse.

Not that he hadn't known it when he'd talked his way back into Sentinel field status—even if no one else had guessed.

"Mommy, look at that man!" said a young voice, bright and curious. "Is he going to throw up?"

"You never know." Brisk retreating footsteps drove the tight voice. "Let's leave him alone."

Maks opened his eyes, knowing it was too soon. Knowing that the red brick of the shuttle bus depot would strobe with his accelerated heartbeat, in and out of double vision, in and out of reality. He caught the merest glimpse of a little boy trotting away—pulled along a little too fast for comfort, casting a look over his shoulder, stumbling—

Maks growled. Softly, but a growl nonetheless—fighting the protective urge to pluck the boy up and away.

Control, Maks.

Not much of that lately.

Just as well that he could do no more than roll his shoulders against summer-warmed brick and focus on where he was and what he was doing here.

Katie Maddox. That's why he was here.

Katie Maddox, nominal field Sentinel…nominal visionary, plagued by uncertain portents. She'd wanted the Sentinel's Brevis Southwest region to look into it; she'd wanted brevis to watch her back. And the brevis consul— Nick Carter—had sent Maks.

Maks closed his eyes, breathing in the scent of hot pine and astringent air…turning his head to the breeze as it fingered his hair.

Home.

"Maks? Are you…Maks?"

Damn. He stiffened, knowing from the doubt in her voice that the fugue still showed on him. Probably in him, and to judge by the dossier he'd studied between Tucson and this little highaltitude forest town, she could well see it.

Then see to it that it's gone.

He played to the tiger within—a big cat in full stretch exuding lazy confidence and lurking strength. When he opened his eyes, there was a prowl behind them.

She recoiled a step. Light of foot, long of leg, perfect in balance—if she ran, she'd go far and she'd go fast. Her eyes widened, cinnamon brown, pupils big…straight brown hair with that same cinnamon tint spilling out of her doubled ponytail.

Yes. Katie Maddox knew he wasn't right—quicker than anyone at brevis, she'd picked up on the growing threat from within him. And she knew, too, that he'd just seen the same in her—that she wasn't the usual Sentinel. Wasn't a hunter, a power-leashed protector…a predator.

No. Katie Maddox was prey.

Katie Maddox, hold your ground.

She'd had years of practice. Years of growing up the only Southwest Sentinel who didn't take the form of something big and fierce and powerful, armed with fang and claw. Years of being bullied, pushed around…dismissed and ignored. Until she'd retreated from the Sentinels, moving out to this tiny, high-country timber town to start her own small business and live life on her own terms.

Until now.

She'd known he would be tiger. But she hadn't known it would shine through from him to her unpredictable seer's eyes—more than just chestnut hair with subtle black chunks nearly hidden in the shaggy nature of it, she could detect the hint of white at his temples that could well be mistaken for gray. More, too, than the size of him.

It was the intent in him. So completely quiet, and yet written there for the world to see.

Or just me?

She never knew.

But Katie didn't run, no matter the impulse of the deer. Her legs might tremble faintly with the restraint and her nostrils might flare with the effort, but she held her ground.

Because Maks Altan, Brevis Southwest field Sentinel, was the only help she was going to get.

She took a step forward, held out her hand, and smiled just enough to show the faint reflection of her own other— faintly elongated canines rested against her lower lip.

Full-blooded field Sentinel, no less than he. Just different.

"Katie Maddox," he said, and his voice came from his chest, faintly rumbly and unexpectedly gentle, softened at the edges. Leaning against the wall with his head tipped back, he was bigger than she'd thought at first glance—mainly because he wasn't beefy, wasn't exaggerated or barrel-chested or overly built. Long legs, broad shoulders, the muscle all to proportion.

Tiger.

Don't think about it.

"I'm sorry I'm late," she said, glancing around Pine Bluff's shuttle bus depot. It was already empty of the few others who had disembarked with him in this high country cow town gone to vacation industry, smack in the middle of Sitgreaves National Forest. With fir and pine everywhere and more vacation cottages than homes, the entire town stretched along one winding road and a few offshoot clusters. They rated a big box store and a Dairy Queen, but not a bus route.. just a shuttle winding its way down to the valley and back. Here, Katie provided therapeutic massage and physical therapy to sick and injured animals from the entire region. It was a modest living, but she did make a living. It didn't hurt that she was a healer in truth, even if she was limited by the need to go unnoticed.

This man would never go unnoticed. Not for long. It was another reason she'd been surprised to learn he was coming in on the shuttle. "I can't believe brevis HQ couldn't spare you a car."

His glance sharpened, full of wild green. "The shuttle gives me time to think."

"To read about me, I imagine," she said, arms crossed in challenge before she thought better of it—and then couldn't believe herself. This conversation was where she wanted to go with their first meeting? This man she wanted on her side? The man she'd quickly assessed as being so close to his tiger, and a Sentinel with enough field experience to dress in the all-natural clothing that would take the change with him, simply as a matter of course.

And still she challenged him—because she had to know where she stood with this man. "Brevis must have given you my file—what did you think after reading my history? A marginal seer having the vapors over vague portents? Just like always?"

She braced herself for the response—and got only a mild frown. He lifted his chin briefly, eyes narrowing—and she saw, then, the strength of the tiger in him. Could see in her mind's eye the image of a big cat, making that vaguely impatient acknowledgment to something in its world.

"Whatever's going on, brevis sent me to keep it from being a problem for you," he told her.

Right. He probably didn't believe her, but he had a job to do and he'd do it. Not as good as she'd hoped. Not as bad as she'd feared.

Except there was something else…lingering in the air, tickling at her healer's instincts. Subtle and unfamiliar. She resisted the urge to shift a restless leg. So many little gestures, so many natural expressions, repressed in a world of Sentinel predators.

"My house has a little studio over the garage," she said, expert in the art of obscuring her own instinctive responses. "I thought we'd put you up there."

Maybe not so expert as all that, to judge from the look he gave her. Not so much challenge or annoyance as simply… knowing. That she was faking her aplomb, for one. That she'd found herself unexpectedly affected by his presence as a man as well as a tiger.

But she'd read up on him, too. He had no empathy, no special skills or connections. He was simply what he was—a big man with a tiger's speed and strength at his disposal. So it wasn't true knowing, that look. It couldn't be.

It was only guessing.

He didn't respond to her suggestion; he merely reached down and hefted, with absurd ease, the battered black leather duffel sitting beside him.

At least, until he faltered.

It was only an instant—a hesitation, his eyes closed and a sharp breath drawn—and then he straightened, so casually that only her modest healer's skills allowed her to discern it at all.

The wave of unfocused energy washed through him and faded out again.

"Are you—?" She stopped at his glance.

Not a man of many words. And not one who was going to talk about the moment. But she understood, now, as she imagined he understood, too. Why brevis had sent him here. A damaged Sentinel to help an inadequate and overreacting seer.

The Southwest Brevis consul no doubt figured they deserved each other.

"Be still." Jet ran her hands down Nick Carter's back as he leaned against his broad office desk. Her fingers searched out the cramping knots of muscle. She found the scar tissue deep within, almost-fatal wounds taking their time to heal.

Sentinels, she thought, weren't as invincible as they supposed themselves to be. Even the Southwest Brevis con-sul—their regional leader and her love—wasn't.

The night of Core D 'oiche had taken much from them all. Fabron Gausto, the local Core drozhar, had escalated his enmity beyond the perpetual cold war against the Sentinels, striking a deep blow against the Southwest Sentinels. He'd used Jet to do it, ripping her from her natural gray wolf form.

He'd ravaged her pack.

"All of this pain," she said, her thumb holding muscle until the problem trigger point began to relax and thinking not just of Nick, but of her pack, of his wounded Sentinels, "because too many years ago, a certain woman had two husbands." Her voice slipped into recitation mode of the details she was still learning. "One was Roman, and one was a druid. And they had no TV."

Nick stiffened against a laugh. "...


More About the Author

Doranna responded to all early injunctions to "put down that book/notebook and go outside and play" by climbing trees to read & write.

Such quirkiness of spirit has created a wandering path through the publishing world, spanning genres and form to include nearly 40 novels and counting--mystery, SF/F, action-romance, and franchise, including the Compton Crook-winning Dun Lady's Jess--and a slew of essays and short stories. She also co-manages the Backlist eBooks collective of traditional authors presenting their backlist.

But after all that, mostly she still prefers to hang around outside with the animals. She doesn't believe so much in mastering the beast within, but in channeling its power. For good or bad has yet to be decided.


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By DS on September 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I LOVE Doranna Durgin's Sentinel series. I got Tiger Bound and then I had to go back and get all of them in this series! She is a great writer- the characters have depth and 3D personality, you can really connect with the people in the books, feel like they and their situations are real, and want to read more to find out what happens next to them. It is almost like they become your best and closest friends. I want the next book, NOW!
I have always loved her books. Her style of writing is fluid and lyrical. She first caught me back in the 90s with the Changeling series and then I fell in love again with Feral Darkness and now her Sentinel series. Her books are definitely comfort books for me - I keep re-reading them. I think you will really enjoy her books - the first time and every time you read them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jerre T on October 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Loved, Loved this book!! Maks and Katie are two of the sweetest characters. The author writes a great indepth story!! It actually has a great story!!! I liked it so well that I ordered 3 more of the sentinel stories! Enjoyed it thoroughly!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By melindeeloo TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 5, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Katie, who is a deer shifter instead of the more typical clawed predator, has downplayed her seer and healing powers in order to live apart from the Sentinel world, but now that her spidey senses are telling her that something big and bad is looming on the horizon, she's having a hard time getting the powers-that-be to take her visions seriously. They do send her a bodyguard, but, not only is tiger-shifting Maks terrifying to her inner-deer, he's just newly back on the job after the attack on headquarters - and Maks is still way more damaged than even he knew. But even broken, Maks is protector to the core and he is determined to keep Katie safe at any cost, even if the cost is his own life.

I have been following Durgin's shape-shifting Sentinels from the very start and the Sentinels is probably my favorite of the Nocturne mini series. In this latest entry, Durgin has added something really unique in her odd prey/predator pairing. I really liked both of these leads, the quiet but deadly Maks - who seems barely civilized - and Katie - who finally finds the strength to face her fears and ends up being the one to save her savior. The story moves fairly slowly, as it takes some time for Katie to come to trust in Maks and for her to figure out what is going on with him, and as such it is a lot less sexy than the other books in the series, but I still really enjoyed it and was happy to see a few old familiar faces in cameos here. Can't wait for the next one.
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