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The Covert Wolf Mass Market Paperback – July 24, 2012

15 customer reviews
Book 1 of 8 in the Phoenix Force Series

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bonnie Vanak is a multi-published author of paranormal and historical romance novels. After a career in journalism, she became a writer for an international charity, traveling to poor countries like Haiti to write about issues affecting the poor. When the strain of her job demanded a diversion, she turned to her childhood dream of writing books. Bonnie lives in Florida with her husband and three rescue dogs. Visit her website at or email her at

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Lieutenant Matthew Parker wanted to ram his fist into a wall when he thought about how demons, aided by Fae, had killed his best friend, Adam "Wildcat" Barstow. Instead, he rubbed the heel of his hand against the subway's plastic seat.

Never had he felt so alone, trapped in this conveyance filled with humans who would never know about Wildcat. Never pay respect to Adam for serving his country with devotion.

There'd be no military parade, no funeral with a flag-draped coffin. No newscasters with solemn faces talking of Adam's courage and skill. There wasn't even a body to bring home. Adam had been burned to ashes, his remains scattered. Matt wanted to scream at the passengers, shouting Adam's name until his throat went hoarse. No one would mourn Wildcat other than his grieving family, who thought he had died in a car crash. All memories of Adam's existence had been purged from any human or paranormal who knew him.

Matt felt his neck muscles grow tight as a blizzard of smells and sounds assaulted his senses. He tried shutting them out as he'd been taught in training, but he was drained, his defenses lowered. The creaking of the subway car as it sped on the metal tracks toward Times Square, away from Brooklyn and Adam's weeping mate, grated on his ears like spikes. Desperate for a connection, he looked around for someone to pay attention to him. Just one paranorm like himself, who would acknowledge his existence.

He rode a subway filled with human robots. No one looked up, even gave him a curious glance. He was invisible.

Someone, just look at me. I feel so alone. Doesn't anyone care?

And then a sweet fragrance caught his attention. A scent of meadows and mountains, cool, crisp air and forest. It refreshed his weary spirit. Matt's nostrils flared. A very female fragrance. Draicon werewolf, just like him.

His pulse pounded with awareness and a sudden sharp bolt of desire. Then he caught a tendril of fear threaded through her scent. Protective instincts sharpened with knifelike awareness.

She was scared. Who was she? He scanned the crowded train.

Two seats away on the opposite side, a woman sat with her head bent. Long, straight brown hair, parted down the middle, spilled past her shoulders and curtained her face. She wore the uniform of corporate America—black woolen pencil skirt with matching jacket, white, starched blouse and sleek, expensive black high heels and leather briefcase.

She slipped off the heel of one shoe and absently let it rock back and forth against her heel. She was scared, but hiding it well.

He admired the curve of her calf, the arch of her foot. Matt unclenched his fists.

Look at me.

A subtle but strong command. Matt pushed a little more, using his powers of mind control. Look at me. Please.

The woman glanced up. Sexual awareness shot through him like a bullet. Her nose was small, her mouth wide but soft and sweet-looking. In her eyes he saw a reflection of his own haunting misery, so deep it shattered him. Tears filled her mossy green eyes.

Who had hurt her?

Nothing pushed his buttons faster than seeing a vulnerable Draicon female, alone, without pack to protect her. He wanted to comfort her, and beat the living crap out of whoever made her cry. His teammates teased him about his shining-knight complex. "Because it always gets you laid," Wildcat had insisted.

Once after a mission overseas where Matt had rescued a pretty kidnapping victim, Wildcat brought a white horse onto the base, along with an empty suit of armor. "Your new uniform," he'd teased.

Thinking about Adam, his throat tightened again. I miss you, buddy.

Matt concentrated on the woman. With her creamy skin, delicate features, combined with a strong, stubborn chin, she looked slightly exotic and fey. He could nearly taste the sweetness of her mouth, with its full and lush lower lip. He felt another stir of sharp chemistry, a pure male response to a lovely female.

But striking as she was, it was the grief that called to him.

He longed to wipe away her tears with the edge of a thumb, coax a smile to that down-turned mouth. Matt focused all his efforts.

Please, he thought desperately. Look at me.

Sienna McClare was Fae, accustomed to open air and field. Not this boxy subway car.

The oily smell of fear clogged her nostrils, leached from her pores. The train with its human cargo felt like a coffin. The scent of humans mingled with something darker and more sinister. She was trapped. No way out of this speeding deathtrap. Panic surged, bright and sharp.

Breathe. Just breathe.

She inhaled deeply and thought of deep green forests and quiet glades. Tall pines waving in the wind, the chatter of birds and scolding of squirrels, a deer cropping grass. A wolf watching a deer, waiting. Prey. Images of fangs flashing, tearing, wet sounds…


She fought the panic freezing her blood. Draicon werewolves were vicious killers. Merciless as her father—the man who'd raped her Fae mother and then killed her when his pack attacked her mother's Fae colony after his pack returned for Sienna.

Air blew through the vents, but it wasn't enough to banish the smell of humans. They belonged to someone. She did not. Not in this city with its neon lights and busy streets.

Or anywhere.

Sienna hated glamouring herself as a Draicon werewolf, but it was necessary if she were to find the Orb of Light. Someone had stolen the Orb from her colony, the Los Lobos Fae. A Draicon who'd been seen in the area previously was suspected. Sienna had eagerly seized the chance to help when Chloe, leader of the Fae colony, had approached her and promised that once she found the Orb and returned it to them, she'd receive a hero's welcome back into her colony. No longer would she be an Outcast. The Fae would not pretend she was invisible. They'd cast her out when she was older and able to survive on her own, because she was a hybrid. The bastard child of a sweet-faced Fae and a Draicon killer. Her mother's people had raised her with love and affection, making her feel accepted, and then, eight months ago when she turned twenty-one and was considered an adult, they'd kicked her out.

If she found the Orb, Sienna could return to the only home she'd known. Ijust want things to go back to the way they were.

In two hours, she'd meet with a U.S. Navy SEAL assigned to help her find the Orb. Chloe had been vague about details. Sienna didn't care if it meant working with the devil himself. She'd do it.

Sensing someone staring, she glanced up and focused on a man across the aisle. He was heavily muscled, wore a black leather jacket, black jeans and boots. Dark, wavy hair wreathed a solemn, handsome face with brutal cheekbones, a square chin. Eyes as blue as the ocean studied her.

Power and confidence radiated from him. He had a hard edge, as if he could cut with knifelike precision through every bad element that ever rode a N.Y. subway. Yet he had the face of a gentle warrior. Sienna's breath caught. She felt a stir of sexual chemistry.

He was as lonely and grief-stricken as she was. Her heart twisted. Who had hurt this man? She wanted to go to him, comfort him and ease his sorrow. Sienna smiled.

A crooked, charming smile touched his full mouth. Twin dimples appeared on those taut cheeks, making him appear younger and boyish. She felt all her own pain slowly evaporate. Gods, he was handsome.

An odd connection flared between them. Sienna locked her gaze to his, desperately needing someone who understood.

Then her nostrils flared as she caught his scent. Hatred boiled to the surface. Not a man. Draicon.

The enemy.

Matt willed the woman across the aisle to connect with him. He assumed a nonthreatening posture, his arms open, palms spread.

Come on, sweetheart. Smile at me. You're not alone. We're the only Draicon in this steel cage.

Hope surged as a small but vital connection flared between them. He leaned forward, his heart beating fast. Their gazes caught and met. The woman pushed at her mink-brown hair, and gave a small, shy smile.

He let his own smile widen, let her see the pull of sexual awareness between them. Interest flared in her gaze, and she tilted her head.

Then suddenly her smile wobbled. She made a moue of disgust. Slipping her shoe back on, she shook her head.

"Draicon dog."

The word was a low mutter, but his sensitive hearing caught it as if it were shouted. Stunned, he sank back into his seat. She called him one of the most filthy insults among their kind.

Ice slid over his heart, made his spine rigid. Matt felt his smile crack like brittle glass.

Then he gave her a long, cool look and turned away. Ignoring her, as she'd ignored him.

Reeling in his control, he resisted the urge to punch the wall again. Matt folded his arms, stretching the shoulders of his battered leather jacket. He dragged in a deep, calming breath.

And smelled something dark and foul.

His gaze landed on a man in a suit. Italian, expensive. But the wearer had cold, dead eyes. He stared at the Draicon female as if she were steak. Matt inhaled again, catching the scent of shaved metal and putrid sickness. He briefly touched the man's mind and reeled back from the dark images there.

Not good.

The subway stopped at the Canal Street station. The Drai-con female gave one last disgusted look at Matt and slipped out of the car.

The human suit followed, his expression hungry.

Matt leaped up as the doors began to close. Werewolf strength easily held them open and he bounded onto the platform.

The woman was in danger. And he couldn't ignore a threatened female, no matter how badly she'd treated him.

Both had vanished into a tunnel leading to another platform, but he caught their scents. Matt tracked them, increasing his pace. Worry stabbed him. The tunnel was well lit, but he'd seen that man's expression, smelled his lust.

The business suit intended to rape her.

Not on my watch.

Wolf snarled to the...


Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin (July 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780373885510
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373885510
  • ASIN: 0373885512
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,449,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm the author of sexy paranormal romance novels, Egyptian historical romance novels and starting in 2016, I will writing a romantic suspense miniseries for Harlequin. Navy SEAL Seduction will be a July 2016 release. My current series is the Werewolves of Montana and the Werewolves of Montana Mating Mini series. The books are in order:

Prequel: The Mating Heat.
#1 The Mating Chase
#2 The Mating Hunt
#3 The Mating Seduction
#4 The Mating Rite
#4.5 The Mating Intent
Waiting: A Werewolves of Montana short story
#5 The Mating Challenge
Lovestruck: A Werewolves of Montana short story about dragons
#6 The Mating Season (Tristan's story)

Mating Minis

#1 Seduction
#2 Obsession
#3 Passion
#4 Redemption: A dragon story
#5 Temptation

For the latest updates, please check out my website at or check out my Facebook page at
Happy reading!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jen (Red Hot Books) TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 24, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Matthew is a Draicon wolf who serves in an elite Navy SEAL team of supernatural soldiers. Their existence is a secret, but their service is invaluable, as they help fight demons and other evil entities bent on chaos and destruction.

The story begins with the death of Matt's best friend Adam. Someone used a powerful orb to pinpoint the team's location and send fire-wielding demons to ambush them. Now, Matt is on the hunt for the orb and whoever orchestrated Adam's death. His boss forces him to pair with Sienna, a Draicon-Fae hybrid, who wants to bring the object back to her people. The SEALs have different plans for the orb, but they keep that to themselves.

Sienna thinks if she recovers the orb, she'll be accepted by the Fae who cast her out when she came of age. Her Draicon heritage made her an outcast and all she wants is for the loneliness to end. She despises the Draicons, because she was told her wolfen father raped her Fae mother and was ultimately responsible for her death. She considers the shifters to be nothing more than animals, which makes her very unhappy to have Matt as a partner. He's not much happier with the arrangement, since the Dark Fae killed Adam.

But despite their initial disdain for one another, an attraction builds between them over the course of their investigation. It's a slow build, with a lot of sexual tension, which I appreciate. I also thought the sex was great, once it finally came to pass. My biggest problem with the relationship is that neither one of them wanted a future with the other. All the way until the very end, Matt is determined that he is going to leave Sienna and wipe her memories so he can get back to his job. And she is so anti-wolf that she can't see past the blinders that the Fae is her whole world.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Vicky Burkholder on July 25, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Matt Parker, part of an elite paranormal SEAL team, has been tasked with finding a magic orb. If the orb falls into the wrong hands, all hell will break loose - literally. Comfortable with the other members of his team, he is dismayed to learn that he will be working not only with a civilian, but a woman who is also a Fae - one of the races responsible for the death of his best friend.

Halfbreed, Sienna McClare, holds a hatred of her own, specifically for Draicon's - the wolf shifters who she believes are responsible for the deaths of her parents. But she has to swallow her hatred in order to work with Matt. She has to find the orb and return it to the Fae so they will accept her back into the colony.

Matt and Sienna have to fight pyrodemons, Darksider Fae, each other, and their own selves to win the battle. The tension between the two is obvious, as is the draw.

This is a well-written, enjoyable read with relate-able characters, enough heat to satisfy without burning down the pages, and enough plot twists to keep the story interesting. A definite recommend for lovers of paranormal romance.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By GenreReadr on July 24, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Since the basic plot of The Covert Wolf has been well outlined by others, I won't restate it. What I will say is that I've long been a fan of Bonnie Vanak's writing, whether it be her Draicon werewolves or her earlier Khamsin Warriors of the Wind. She evokes strong emotion so well! And I have to say that positioning her weres in a covert SEAL group was sheer genius! As always, Vanak builds complex relationships, starting with two people who are each other's worst nightmares. At least on the surface. But as these two people (Draicon and Fae, each of whom have powerful reasons to hate the other's race) work together to find the magical orb, they come to see the extraordinary strengths and the heartbreaking vulnerability in the other. How could they not find their happily-ever-after together, no matter how seemingly insurmountable the obstacles?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By rhonda on September 18, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback

I loved the twist in the end of the book. I laughed in a few places and blushed in other places. Yes thier are a lot of love scenes that I skipped over. I really like the plot of the story too.
Matthew Parker is a Navy Seal but just not any regular seal he belongs to a group that are not normal humans. He turns into a wolf and as magic. He just lot a member of his team on his last mission. Mathew blames the fae who sold them out to demons.
Sienna McClare is have wolf and half fae. When she was 21 she was made to leave the fae lands. She lives in a small cabin outside of the Fae protected land. Her Aunt asked her to track down the orb of light and if she found it and brought it back to be protected she will be welcomed back.
Sienna has just a few memories of her childhood but she remembers her father a wolf killing her mother so she hates and mistrusts wolves.
Matthew has been ordered to work with Sienna to find and bring back the Orb. It is too powerful to fall into Demon hands. Sienna will be able to read the fae words that might be needed.
They track down a lead to a store where the owner is Fae and he is the one who used the power and told the demons about Matt and his team. He sells a purse for Sienna as a gift from him. Then he recongizes Matthew and tells him the orb is protected from the demons. They go back after midnight and find the shop on fire and Tim dead inside.
They know that he did not tell the demons anything.
The demons keep setting traps and know a lot about Matt. They want to kill the group he is part of so they can get more powerful.
Thier is a lot of action and twists & turns in this story
I was given this ebook to read for free in exchange of honest review from netgalley.
07/24/2012 PUB Harlequin Imprint HarlequinNocturne 288 pages.
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