THE JUDAS CONTACT by Heather Long
The chaos of fate and the promise of hope.
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Author Guest Post
In honor of the new series: what superpower would you want and why?
Superpowers? What powers would I want? And why would I want them? Once upon a time this was a hard question for me to answer. Did I want to be able to fly like Superman? Have super strength and grace like Wonder Woman? Be a bitchin’ detective and master of my own body like Batman? Oh, I know, control minds like Professor X? Or the weather like Storm? So many powers…but the power I return to time and again—is teleportation. Now whether I appeared in a cloud of smoke like Nightcrawler or simply appeared isn’t important, but teleportation is where it’s at.
Have I mentioned how much I like to travel? I’ve driven more than 10,000 miles this year for conferences. I’ve gone as far west as San Diego and as far north as Ottawa, Ontario—I love to travel. I love Europe, the U.S. and more. I’d love to be able to just get up in the morning, get dressed and take a step only to arrive on the streets of Paris or teleport around the world to see the New Year arrive in Sydney, Tokyo, Italy, England and back to the states.
No more driving? No more flying?
Hell yes, I’m in. I love to travel and teleportation would be the way to go. Not to mention, I could come home and play with my dogs regularly and never, ever again realize I forgot to pack something…
What about you? What superpower do you want?
I received this book via Barclay Publicity. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.
Series: Boomers #1
Published by All Romance eBooks on 2016-08-01
Length: 186 pages
Reviewing eARC from Barclay Publicity
Reading Challenges: 2016 ARC August, 2016 New Release Challenge, COYER 2016 Summer Vacation
Doctor Ilsa Blaine
Abilities: Designs programmable bioware, enhanced understanding of brain chemistry
Mission: Research, analyze and troubleshoot the team’s active microchips
On the cutting edge of neuroscience, Ilsa is developing microchips that can be inserted into the brain and deliver information. The applications are endless, but her current goal is just to get dogs to return to their owners should they ‘become lost.’ When her college roommate turns up asking for lunch, she’s hardly prepared for the chaos that ensues or the revelation her chip changed the world, and the lives of five heroes from the future. And now they need her help…
Codename: The Viper
Abilities: toxins, poisons and assassination, he can kill with a touch
Mission: Protect Ilsa Blaine
One of five desperate men sent back in time to save the future, Garrett volunteers to be the doctor’s guinea pig as she studies their neuro-chips. It’s not his first time being a lab rat. In close quarters, the unthinkable happens—an attraction that could kill Ilsa. Drawn together by science, and on the fast track to destiny, Ilsa and Garrett must save his team from their chips before they can end them, and maybe Ilsa can prove to Garrett he isn’t toxic to everything he touches…least of all her.
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. An alliance with the modern day Halo has given their leader a taste of hope. For these five lonely soldiers, the single emotion may prove their most dangerous threat.
Well, that was not what I was expecting! The Judas Contact by Heather Long is a sexy, super-charged read about a team of superheroes from the future and a doctor in the present time who might be an asset to them. Dr. Ilsa Blaine is on the cutting edge of neuroscience, having designed a chip that interacts with brain signals in dogs, virtually eliminating the need to train them as the chip takes care of it. Garrett is from a dismal future where corporations rule everything and the gap between social classes is more like a void. Garrett’s mission: protect Ilsa while she studies the chips embedded in his and his team’s brains.
Ilsa and Garrett are easily likable characters. Ilsa is kind, sensitive, and at heart a scientist. She takes an analytical look at everything. Garrett is like Ilsa. He has a tough exterior and allows no one close to him because of his “curse.” One touch from Garrett can kill you. He was born with toxins running through his blood. So he takes precautions to keep people safe from himself, which means NO skin to skin contact. Can you imagine?! My heart ached for him as did Ilsa’s. In addition to the job given to her by the team, she plans to find a way to neutralize Garrett’s toxins so he can have that contact.
The plot is very simple. Ilsa studies the chips, Garrett protects her, the two fall for each other. It follows the standard trope for romance novels, unfortunately. However it is still a great read. I enjoyed the paranormal/scientific elements of the story more than the romance. It was too insta-love for me, though I did ship the two throughout the plot. Also warning for younger readers/parents: this is a new adult novel which means there are explicit sexual scenes that are only for the 18+ crowd. Sorry kiddos 😉
Overall I enjoyed The Judas Contact. It’s a quick read, just under 200 pages. It also contains one of my recent favorite elements: superheroes. This seems to be becoming popular and personally I’ll take them all. I love a little action and adventure with my romance. If you enjoy science fiction or you’re looking for a different kind of romantic read, I highly recommend you pick up a copy!
Everything was happening too fast. One moment Rory was dropping in to take her to lunch and, the next, Director Chambers’ goons wanted to detain her. Ilsa dragged her heels as Rory all but shoved her up the stairs. “We can’t go this way. It leads to the roof.” And to the private labs in sections eight through ten. Not only could they not get into those labs, they stood a real risk of being shot on sight.
But her friend was implacable. “Up, Ilsa. Just keep climbing.” Below them, doors slammed and booted feet hit the stairs. For a dizzying moment, all Ilsa could imagine were the jackboots of Nazis marching, the images overlaying the surreal moment. She twisted to argue as a security guard lunged around the corner.
“Rory!” Fear ripped through her gut. The guard was huge, his expression a fierce mask and his arms, easily as big as her thighs, tried to lock around her sorority sister. The black-haired beauty, with her seeming delicate fragility, stunned her by latching her hands onto the railing and literally flying over it, legs wrapping the bigger man and spinning him. He slammed into the wall and Rory delivered three sharp jabs, two to his eyes and a third to the bulging vein in his neck.
He dropped and Rory snagged ahold of her arm and pushed her again. “Let’s go. We’ve got more incoming.”
“What are you?” Adrenaline surged through her system, and she tried to drag to a stop. Her mind couldn’t process everything happening at once. Rory spun away from her and she managed to look back as two more men flew down the stairs. It wasn’t possible. Rory never stopped moving. She barely looked at them and flew up, body twisting, fists jabbing, feet striking, and her opponents went down like dominoes. The smart skirt she wore was torn in strips, flapping around her legs like three banners.
Blackish bruises discolored her calves and two of her toes were purpling. “You broke something.”
“Don’t make me tell you to keep moving again.” Something cold infused that warning and Ilsa fled upwards, obeying her friend. Four more flights then they raced past heavy metal barriers on a stairwell remarkably different from every other floor—at Section Ten, Rory hesitated. Ilsa’s chest burned as she wheezed for air. Her idea of a workout was a brisk walk at lunch and hours spent on her feet in her lab. Her quadriceps burned and she was fairly certain she’d strained something in her ass.
Something crashed against the metal door and Ilsa flattened herself against the wall. Rory spun in a half-circle and stared at the door. A furred face appeared in the tempered glass window—a face that wasn’t remotely human. A roar of fury pounded against Ilsa’s ears and she shoved her hand against her mouth to keep the scream at bay. Keen intelligence shimmered in the creature’s eyes and hate surged in it as the beast ignored Rory and glared at Ilsa.
“What the fuck are you?” Rory’s murmured question, so obviously not directed at her, kickstarted Ilsa’s brain from fear to analysis.
“Section Ten—this is the no man’s land. We need to get out of here.” R.E.X. Labs experimented in any number of weaponized options, from super soldiers to super technology. But not all of their experiments were successful and some were downright dangerous. Section Ten required clearance on the highest levels—despite the Director’s one time offer to bring her aboard these elite projects, Ilsa had refused.
She was a pacifist at heart. She preferred working with animals.
The creature roared again. “Rory, we need to go.” Ice slithered along her spine. Bile burned her throat.
“Yeah, we’re going.” By mutual consent, they jogged up the last twenty-eight steps, the beast’s roars following them to an impenetrable looking steel door, crisscrossed by sensors.
“We can’t get out this way.” Ilsa sagged against the wall. She could barely catch her breath. Every shallow pant lanced more flame into her already oxygen-starved lungs. Fingers against her wrist, she shuddered at the rapid-fire speed of her pulse. One hundred and fifty beats per minute was too fast. She needed to slow it down. The heart murmur she’d been diagnosed with as a child pinched with every squeeze.
“Back up a step.” Rory pulled her away from the door and pushed her against the other wall. “Head down.”
Wild fear raced through her, and she ducked obediently. Ozone scorched the air and metal ground on metal. The sound ripped through the silence, halting even the mad pounding of boots and the creature’s roars below. Sunlight blinded her as Rory tugged her back into motion. A figure, bigger than the insane guard below, stared at them through the now melted door. Melted.
A heavy portion of steel flowed like slag, hardening into a shapeless blob against the frame. Jerking her gaze up, she stared into the most potently beautiful green eyes she’d ever seen. They shimmered in the too bright light—as though suffused from the inside out. Her breath clogged in her throat and her heart felt like it had paused mid-beat, only to thump again with more brutal force.
“Give the doctor to me. The captain wants you off the roof.” He extended a leather-clad arm, his fingers stretched expectantly. She would never want to meet this man in a dark alley—or anywhere there wasn’t a lot of light for that matter. Beyond the exquisite beauty of his eyes was a raw tension in his face, both fierce and frightening. Her insides went liquid with the most curious sensation, but a slam from below drove any analysis away. Maybe her mind had snapped under the pressure, but she trusted this man and she took the hand he offered.
Cool leather gloved fingers fisted around hers and tugged her forward. She let him guide her through the opening, Rory flattening a hand against her back—whether to offer comfort or to make sure she didn’t flee, she couldn’t really say. Outside, Ilsa blinked at the sunshine. The roof seemed so ordinary after the mad exodus up the stairs. The two hustled her toward the southwest corner. The rolling landscape of the R.E.X. complex swam up toward her and she dug in her heels.
“No, no…no, I can’t—what are we doing?” Panic jacked up her spine, but her escort didn’t release her. He didn’t even drag her. Instead, he wrapped a steel banded arm around her and pulled her right up to his chest. Oh my God. He’s so big. She was a tall woman, taller than Rory and most of her sorority sisters. Five foot ten was nothing to sneeze at and was why she preferred flats to heels. But she barely reached this guy’s chin.
She beat a hand against his chest as he continued to fast-walk toward the edge—were they going to kill her?
“Shh.” Brilliant green eyes clashed with hers and her heart hiccupped. “You’re not going to fall.” The warm scent of patchouli and sandalwood tickled her nose and she sucked in a deep breath, filling her lungs with his underlying masculine wildness. A sharp sting pricked her neck, then euphoria surged up, blotting out the fear, and her muscles sagged with relief. The pounding of her heart stopped bruising her ribs.
“What did you do?” Rory’s agitation barely scored against the bliss enveloping her mind. It would be all right. Everything would be fine. She opened her mouth to tell her sorority sister just that. But they weren’t paying any attention to her. Over Green Eyes’ shoulder, she stared at the men racing toward them. Rory would kick their asses, didn’t they know that? But instead of engaging them, they just blew back, one at a time—slamming into the roof as though punched by invisible fists.
Green Eyes climbed up onto the ledge and she turned to look over her shoulder. The ground raced up to meet them. She waited bemusedly for the pain, but it didn’t come. Green Eyes landed on his feet—like a cat—and the smooth motion gave way to a jagged race as he ran. Amazingly enough, the R.E.X. facility retreated over his shoulder.
Did he fly? Ten stories from the roof to the ground. Ten stories and they weren’t a splattered pile of goo. Where was Rory?
“She’s fine. Stop.” The whisky warm breath tickled her ear. She was wrapped completely around the giant of a man and beating on him. Her fists released obediently and her bloody palms swam into view. She’d clenched her hands so hard, crescent moon shaped cuts had formed against the skin. “We’re clear. Halo, out?”
Clear of what? She wanted to ask the questions but, no sooner did they form, they drifted away on a peaceful haze. A door opened and Green Eyes set her down on something soft. She rolled onto her side, cheek tucked against a raspy blanket. It didn’t smell as sweet as he did and she tried to protest, but her eyelids drooped.
Other Books by Heather Long:
SNOW WOLF (WOLVES OF WILLOW BEND)
Ranae is the youngest of the Buckleys, and the only girl amongst three powerful male siblings. Her restlessness and dominant nature has affected every relationship within Willow Bend, not to mention testing the patience of her Alpha. Apprenticeship to the Hunters fed her desire for a purpose. When her Alpha and eldest brother ask her to undertake a mission to the Yukon territory, she’s thrilled at the opportunity for a real chance to be useful. Clashing with the Alpha was the last thing she expected on the dangerous assignment.
The oldest Alpha in the U.S. packs, lives a gray existence. The loss of his mate so many decades before wears away at him, until he doesn’t give a damn about anything. The problems of the other packs are not his, and he prefers to be left to his isolation. The arrival of the Chief Enforcer annoys him, but it is the wolf traveling with him who wakes the predator in Diesel. The scent of mate clings to her, but she rejects his overtures and challenges him on every level.
Wealthy, titled, and very privileged, Lady Katherine Hardwicke successfully eluded some of the best thieves in the world in a quest to obtain the Fortunate Buddha. Her time is running out and her enemies are closing in, and one deliciously enigmatic man seems determined to get in her way. Will he save her or end her quest forever?
Jarod Parker wears many faces and lies for a living, but when the same thief steals the Buddha out from beneath his agents not once but twice, this handler returns to the field. His target? The last woman anyone would suspect of being the thief. But is he really after the Buddha or has this brilliant woman stolen his heart?
Their sensuous game of cat and mouse turns deadly when a third player turns up the heat, but can these two liars come clean with each other or will they lose it all?