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Off the Leash

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-White House Protection Force Romance #1- The White House Protection Force Saves the Day! Come meet the behind-the-scenes specialists who keep our White House safe—even while they lose their hearts. White House Chocolatier Clive Andrews takes pride in the subliminal messages hidden in his State Dinner showstoppers. But there’s more than sensual sweets at risk when his -White House Protection Force Romance #1- The White House Protection Force Saves the Day! Come meet the behind-the-scenes specialists who keep our White House safe—even while they lose their hearts. White House Chocolatier Clive Andrews takes pride in the subliminal messages hidden in his State Dinner showstoppers. But there’s more than sensual sweets at risk when his heart begins to melt. Sergeant Linda Hamlin left the Army after a decade of service. As the newest member of the U.S. Secret Service K-9 Team she expected flak. She didn’t expect to be paired with a misfit mutt named Thor. Together they face down bombers, master spies, and a teenage genius. All of which might be manageable, if not for the handsome chocolatier who teaches her that a little indulgence can be a very good thing.


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-White House Protection Force Romance #1- The White House Protection Force Saves the Day! Come meet the behind-the-scenes specialists who keep our White House safe—even while they lose their hearts. White House Chocolatier Clive Andrews takes pride in the subliminal messages hidden in his State Dinner showstoppers. But there’s more than sensual sweets at risk when his -White House Protection Force Romance #1- The White House Protection Force Saves the Day! Come meet the behind-the-scenes specialists who keep our White House safe—even while they lose their hearts. White House Chocolatier Clive Andrews takes pride in the subliminal messages hidden in his State Dinner showstoppers. But there’s more than sensual sweets at risk when his heart begins to melt. Sergeant Linda Hamlin left the Army after a decade of service. As the newest member of the U.S. Secret Service K-9 Team she expected flak. She didn’t expect to be paired with a misfit mutt named Thor. Together they face down bombers, master spies, and a teenage genius. All of which might be manageable, if not for the handsome chocolatier who teaches her that a little indulgence can be a very good thing.

30 review for Off the Leash

  1. 4 out of 5

    Marlene

    Originally published at Reading Reality This was so much fun! I don’t know what I was expecting when I opened this book, but whatever it was, I was absolutely charmed by the book itself. The opening scenes sucked me right in, where Sergeant Linda Hamlin meets her new dog, Thor, as part of her final exam for the Secret Service K-9 corps. Linda was just honorably discharged from the Army Rangers K-9 unit after over a decade of very meritorious service. Now she’s a bit burned out and totally at loose Originally published at Reading Reality This was so much fun! I don’t know what I was expecting when I opened this book, but whatever it was, I was absolutely charmed by the book itself. The opening scenes sucked me right in, where Sergeant Linda Hamlin meets her new dog, Thor, as part of her final exam for the Secret Service K-9 corps. Linda was just honorably discharged from the Army Rangers K-9 unit after over a decade of very meritorious service. Now she’s a bit burned out and totally at loose ends. Thor is not what she thought she needed, and neither is White House chocolate chef Clive Andrews. First there’s poor little Thor. I know it’s difficult to attach the name “Thor” to something little, but this mutt seems to have gotten the name as a very bad joke. He’s a mish-mash of small terrier breeds, and not exactly the prettiest mix of them either. He looks like a purse dog, and he’s not much bigger – maybe 30 pounds. That’s not just small for a police dog, it’s downright tiny. But he comes with one hell of a training pedigree, if not much of an actual one. Thor and Linda bond instantly, and pass the final exam course with flying colors – much to the chagrin of the exam proctor. There’s nothing about Clive’s job as a White House chef that should have him watching Linda’s final exam. But when the mysterious Miss Watson, who occupies a hidden office in the White House sub-basement and seems to be on no known org chart whatsoever, says go here and do thus-and-such, people go there and do whatever she said. She “asked” Clive to watch Linda’s final test, so he does. And he’s instantly captivated. As Linda gets settled into her new duties as part of the White House Secret Service, she and Thor find themselves in the middle of a case that begins with diplomatic repercussions, but just gets weirder and weirder as it goes along. It’s possible that two career Japanese diplomats are attempting to smuggle explosives into or near the White House – but that makes no sense whatsoever. And the more that Linda looks into the things that don’t fit about that puzzle, the stranger things seem. When the likeliest, but oddest, conclusion is that someone is planning to disrupt a state dinner that brings Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian and Philippine diplomats to the table to discuss the real-life situation in the South China Sea, there’s still no clue as to why, who, or what the purpose of the disruption is. It’s only when Linda, with a bit of help from Thor (and Clive) figures out the who that the why and the what become clear. And in the process, Linda, who has never really felt she belonged anywhere or with anyone, finally realizes that she’s come home. Escape Rating A-: This was fun. In fact, it was way more fun that I was expecting, and I was certainly expecting good things. This is the second book I’ve received as a member of the M.L. Buchman Special Mission Review Team, and based on the two examples (the other was Big Sky, Loyal Heart) I’m really, really glad I’m in it. (I received this book in exchange for an honest review. And honestly, I loved it!) Big Sky, Loyal Heart turns out to be the precursor for Off the Leash and the entire White House Protection Force series, of which this is the first book. But many of Buchman’s series are loosely interconnected, from his first series, Night Stalkers, through Firehawks, Delta Force and Henderson’s Ranch, among others. You don’t have to read them all to enjoy any one of them, but they are all terrific. There are two plot threads going on in Off the Leash. One is the case that Linda finds herself in the middle of, and the other is her unexpected romance with Clive. Well, it’s certainly unexpected to her, if not to the reader after their first meeting. While I want to say the romance is a bit of “opposites attract” the more I think about it, the less that feels right. Their careers are certainly nothing alike. Linda has gone from the military to the Secret Service, so effectively into yet another protective role that involves a lot of potential danger. Clive’s career is a totally peacetime operation – he’s a chef! But both of them are driven to be the best at what they do, and both of their jobs, in very different ways, are high pressure, high stress and frequently all consuming. They have similar perspectives on their work, even if the work is very different. They also have entirely different feelings about love and family and well, feelings. While Clive has not exactly been looking for Ms. Right when he meets Linda, he is very aware that love exists and that families are built upon that foundation. Linda, on the other hand, was a poor little rich girl with a nightmare of a family, and is certain that love is merely a hormonal imbalance that will right itself with time. Their differing beliefs on love and even its existence become the shoals on which their relationship nearly crashes and burns. The case feels just a bit made-for-television. It was a lot of fun to watch Linda figure it all out, but the resolution was just a bit over the top. We don’t really see enough of the villain or his motivations for the crime to make sense in context. Which didn’t make it any less interesting seeing the whole thing come together. One final note. That secondary character, Miss Watson, absolutely fascinates me. A long time ago, when I read the author’s first book, The Night is Mine, I said then that the story reminded me of some of the best Jack/Sam fanfiction from Stargate SG-1. Miss Watson, on the other hand, reminds me very much of the inimitable character of Henrietta “Hetty” Lange, the mysterious operations manager in NCIS: Los Angeles. Making the character of Miss Watson tall with her hair in a bun feels like the cosmetic equivalent of filing off the serial number. This is a character I am really looking forward to seeing a whole lot more of. She’ll never be the focus of one of the romances, except possibly in flashback, but she certainly is the proverbial mystery wrapped in an enigma, and I’d love to know more. I’m also definitely looking forward to seeing more of this series. Off the Leash was both a heartfelt romance and a page-turning bit of romantic suspense. And Thor is a scene-stealer at every turn. I can’t wait for more!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bookworm027

    I received a free copy of this title and was asked by the publisher for an honest review. 4 stars! This is the first book in Buchman's new White House Protection Force series and it has gotten the series off on the right foot. Linda is the new "guy" on the USSS K9 team, and as such has been paired with the unassuming Thor, a sweet, lovable pup with the best nose in the kennel. Clive is the White House chocolatier tasked with creating new and wonderful things with chocolate. She's the tough as I received a free copy of this title and was asked by the publisher for an honest review. 4 stars! This is the first book in Buchman's new White House Protection Force series and it has gotten the series off on the right foot. Linda is the new "guy" on the USSS K9 team, and as such has been paired with the unassuming Thor, a sweet, lovable pup with the best nose in the kennel. Clive is the White House chocolatier tasked with creating new and wonderful things with chocolate. She's the tough as nails Secret Service Agent and he's the meltingly handsome chocolatier, and while they're each great at what they do, together they could be so much more. I really enjoyed the story and the strength with which Buchman endows his characters. Linda recently separated from the military where she worked as a K-9 handler and makes the lateral transition seamlessly. I love the dog Thor and how Buchman's portrays the relationship between him and Linda. Clive first comes across as a nice guy, but without much depth, but as the story progresses his strength, insights and heart shine. This is a fast-paced, action-packed romance that doesn't skimp on the details. His action scenes are well written and really paint a picture of the scene with amazing detail. Can't wait for the next installment!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Margaret

    I received a free copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed this book. The story of Linda Hamlin who leaves the Army and joins the USSS K-9 team. Linda is used to dealing with powerful Malinois MWDs but she is paired with Thor who is best described as a purebred mutt. Thor, however, is much more than he appears and he quickly wins hearts and saves the day. White House Chocolatier Clive doesn't know but he is about to loose his heart to a woman who I received a free copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed this book. The story of Linda Hamlin who leaves the Army and joins the USSS K-9 team. Linda is used to dealing with powerful Malinois MWDs but she is paired with Thor who is best described as a purebred mutt. Thor, however, is much more than he appears and he quickly wins hearts and saves the day. White House Chocolatier Clive doesn't know but he is about to loose his heart to a woman who doesn't know how to love. Linda and Clive are a great couple. The story keeps you guessing, while there is the romance there is also action and mystery and the workings of the behind-the-scenes specialists who keep the White House safe to keep you interested.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gail

    A bit of a right turn for Bachman, but not too far. There's still things blowing up and good romance. The hero is a chocolatier at the White House and the heroine is the handler of an explosives-detecting dog, a mutt a quarter of the size of the usual Malinois K9 officers. It's an interesting look inside the White House, and into how these specially trained dogs and their handlers work. It felt a bit short, but only because I wanted more. The story is complete. I'm just greedy.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sanny

    Buchman is back! If you have felt that the author’s recent works have been somewhat formulaic, as I have, you will find this a pleasant change. The author in my opinion has gone back to his earlier style of filling out the characters as he writes about their adventures. We still have the strong female character and a strong man who deserves her, but we understand a bit more about the background of the characters that we have recently. There’s also a mystery character, who may or may not exist. Buchman is back! If you have felt that the author’s recent works have been somewhat formulaic, as I have, you will find this a pleasant change. The author in my opinion has gone back to his earlier style of filling out the characters as he writes about their adventures. We still have the strong female character and a strong man who deserves her, but we understand a bit more about the background of the characters that we have recently. There’s also a mystery character, who may or may not exist. Nevertheless, the character plays a major role in the story. I also appreciated the author’s acknowledgement of the knitter’s curse, which states that a knitter who makes a sweater for her boyfriend (switch gender to suit) has just sealed the end of the relationship. Although this is a new series, the author has not abandoned any of the prior series. We see former President Matthews, President Taylor, the Henderson ranch, Dillard’s, Kee, and Archie, and various others who have played major roles in previous works.

  6. 4 out of 5

    E.

    “Off the Leash” by M.L. Buchman is the first story in the ‘White House Protection Force’ series and introduces ex-Ranger Sergeant Linda Hamlin as she tries out for the Secret Service’s canine team. White House chocolatier Clive Andrews is an unexpected observer to her initial trial and their subsequent encounters deepen their relationship until their goals diverge. Finding a way to deal with the danger to her charges and her heart will take ingenuity, determination, and assistance from both “Off the Leash” by M.L. Buchman is the first story in the ‘White House Protection Force’ series and introduces ex-Ranger Sergeant Linda Hamlin as she tries out for the Secret Service’s canine team. White House chocolatier Clive Andrews is an unexpected observer to her initial trial and their subsequent encounters deepen their relationship until their goals diverge. Finding a way to deal with the danger to her charges and her heart will take ingenuity, determination, and assistance from both four-footed and two-footed allies, she just has to be smart enough to accept the aid that is given. This romantic suspense novella is a delicious addition to a series of novellas that give unique insights into those who serve in the White House. This particular story was really fun for me both because it focuses on the chocolatier Clive Andrews (and I was fascinated by the glimpses of this position and the delightful Advent calendar seen in “Daniel’s Christmas”) AND it includes the various canine teams that are responsible for security. I love this author’s stories because they vividly depict aspects of security that are not something I know anything about and they feature larger-than-life folks with incredible responsibilities who manage to find love, help protect those in high places, and blend danger, romance, and humor. This is the beginning of a new series about the canine teams that protect the White House. Even better, it connects this group with the Henderson’s Ranch folks, since this particular story features a dog trained by ex-SEAL Stan Corman. I love the underestimated ‘floppy-eared’ canines with their specialized training and brilliance that is balanced by their love of play. It was great to have cameos by some of the key figures in the ‘Night Stalkers’ series and the effervescent Dilya was a great foil for Linda. The enigmatic Ms. Watson and her surprising secrets is a wonderful element to this story and I hope to see more of her in future stories, and yum, the elegant use of chocolate and the new terms I learned such as couverture were a definite bonus (although I needed my own chocolate fix before I was done!). I adore the bond between the canine and handler and I can’t wait to read about more of these fantastic teams.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Traann

    Off The Leash - by M.L. Buchman, is the first book in a new series, White House Protection Force, and it was AWESOME. We are introduced to new characters and some of our favorites from other series are included, to bring you a new experience with the power of a “can’t put it down story”. You will fall in love with Thor, a K-9 partner for Sgt. Linda Hamlin, who is so different than the typical Military War Dog that Linda is used to handling, that he will make you smile. Then there is a new, very Off The Leash - by M.L. Buchman, is the first book in a new series, White House Protection Force, and it was AWESOME. We are introduced to new characters and some of our favorites from other series are included, to bring you a new experience with the power of a “can’t put it down story”. You will fall in love with Thor, a K-9 partner for Sgt. Linda Hamlin, who is so different than the typical Military War Dog that Linda is used to handling, that he will make you smile. Then there is a new, very different character, White House chief Chocolatier, Clive Andrews, who looks more like an NFL line backer, than an artist with chocolate. Linda, after leaving the Military after a decade of service, becomes a U.S. Secret Service K-9 handler and is still getting used to the differences in her new life, which include Thor, the most unexpected Secret Service K-9, meets Clive, an unlikely man who catches her attention but she is not really sure what to do with him. On top of all that, there is the bomb threats, spies and a few encounters with our favorite characters from previous series, to keep your attention in this unexpected page turner. I truly didn’t expect I would enjoy this book as much as I did. I LOVE the Military Romantic Suspense series that M.L. Buchman has written in the past. I did not see how a series in the US at the White House would interest me. But interest me it did, so much so, that I started fact checking some of the information about the White House that I didn’t know, and was excited to learn how well it was all portrayed in the book, so well played out, that I could see it all unfolding in my mind. I really enjoy visiting Washington DC and this book truly makes you feel as if you are there. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a quick read and a well thought out story line with fun surprises. You do not have to have read any other books in any of the other series, to appreciate the characters that cross over into this book. Their place in this story is well explained. Give this book a try, you will not be disappointed, in fact you may well be surprised. I received a free copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Linda Ketter

    This was an interesting book tying in characters from other series while introducing this new series. Having read books in all of the author's series it was refreshing to see the old characters blended in and carrying on. This book, and I'm assuming series, centers around the White House and the Secret Service. It was interesting to learn more about some of the protocols that normal civilians do not see, even when visiting the White House. I love the character development. Clive is a big guy, This was an interesting book tying in characters from other series while introducing this new series. Having read books in all of the author's series it was refreshing to see the old characters blended in and carrying on. This book, and I'm assuming series, centers around the White House and the Secret Service. It was interesting to learn more about some of the protocols that normal civilians do not see, even when visiting the White House. I love the character development. Clive is a big guy, someone you would expect to be ex-military or something similar. Instead, he's the boy next door who enjoys cooking and loves making chocolate. Linda is a lost soul. She served 10 years in the military and didn't know how to become a civilian. There's a mystery as to how she ended up with the Secret Service flyer that she responded to. Ultimately that mystery is solved, at least for the reader. I think my favorite part of the book was Thor. He was as unexpected as anything. He's this small, floppy eared dog that no one wants. He and Linda are paired and they make a great team. I love the tie in to Henderson's Ranch, where Thor was trained. And the tie in with Night Stalkers, where Kee and Archie were first introduced. Finally, I love that we will continue to see Peter Matthews in more books. The funniest part of this book was when Kee went off on Archie about missing all the action. I laughed so hard. Here she is mega-pregnant and she wants to be in on the takedown. Just like old times. Well done Mr. Buchman. A 4.5 star read with some suspense, some lovin' and some comedy. I received a free copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Becky Claxon

    The more I read the book, the better it got. To set the scene, there was information regarding the military, dogs in the Secret Service, and world politics. The information was interesting and important to the story, but something I don’t normally read about. Learning more about the White House was very interesting. Sergeant Linda Hamlin left the military where she was with the part of the Army that handled the military dogs. She applied to work for the Secret Service at the White House again The more I read the book, the better it got. To set the scene, there was information regarding the military, dogs in the Secret Service, and world politics. The information was interesting and important to the story, but something I don’t normally read about. Learning more about the White House was very interesting. Sergeant Linda Hamlin left the military where she was with the part of the Army that handled the military dogs. She applied to work for the Secret Service at the White House again with the dogs that could sniff out explosives. Her dog was one of a kind, and not the normal breed. Clive Andrew was a Chocolatier that worked in the White House and had met Linda when she was first showing how well the dog could sniff out explosives. I loved hearing about the different chocolates, and it made me want to get a piece to eat. Clive was not the normal male character most authors write about. He is a large hunky guy that loves to create different chocolate creations and knit. Linda had parents that didn’t want her growing up, was never there for her, and a father who was a professor and slept with his students. Needless to say she didn’t think much of love. This book got very interesting when there was a foreign diplomat found with explosives near the White House. It was very exciting after that. There were some minor characters that I loved in the book. Of course Linda’s Secret Service Dog Thor was a sweetheart that I couldn’t help but love. I strongly encourage you to read the book. I voluntarily read an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Charlene Long

    In my mind, ML Buchman has another hit series on his hands. As with all of his books, the story between Linda and Clive is centered around military/ military-like life - in this instance, Linda transitioning to the civilian world after a decade in the service and trying to find her place in the world. The author writes with a wonderful balance between technical and character development while still building the romance. Growing up in the military myself, I really enjoy reading the jargon that is In my mind, ML Buchman has another hit series on his hands. As with all of his books, the story between Linda and Clive is centered around military/ military-like life - in this instance, Linda transitioning to the civilian world after a decade in the service and trying to find her place in the world. The author writes with a wonderful balance between technical and character development while still building the romance. Growing up in the military myself, I really enjoy reading the jargon that is so common while seeing the characters with all their human flaws. As usual, this story comes with a mystery that must be resolved (a possible bombing of the White House!) while Clive and Linda learn to trust themselves and each other. I think what really pulls the reader in this series is the inclusion of so many supporting characters that truly make the story rich and vibrant. In this case, we get to revisit so many old favorites - like Archie, Dee and Dilya (who gets featured in a significant portion of the story) as well as getting introduced to some we'll want to know so much more about - the lady in the basement! For readers that are Buchman loyalists, this series will be a flawless addition. For those that haven't been swept up in the Night Stalkers or Firehawks series, this book/ series will stand on its own and likely drive a need to catch up on other books. Can't wait for more! I received a free copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Susan R

    I'm a big fan of Buchman's books, have been since the first Night Stalker story I read a few years ago. :) Off the Leash is the start of a new series, but has links to prior series in that some characters return and we get to catch up on their lives. Always fun! Clive is a chocolatier at the White House, and Linda, recently discharged from the Army, arrives in DC to join the protection detail for the First Family. Linda has a working dog, Thor, trained at Henderson's Ranch, that sniffs out I'm a big fan of Buchman's books, have been since the first Night Stalker story I read a few years ago. :) Off the Leash is the start of a new series, but has links to prior series in that some characters return and we get to catch up on their lives. Always fun! Clive is a chocolatier at the White House, and Linda, recently discharged from the Army, arrives in DC to join the protection detail for the First Family. Linda has a working dog, Thor, trained at Henderson's Ranch, that sniffs out explosives and can search on scent. (One can never go wrong with a dog in the story.) There is a big international diplomacy meeting, centering on China's building islands from reefs in the Pacific, and all are on high alert. Linda and Thor, with the help of Clive, avert a crisis but they all know something else is brewing. The romance between Clive and Linda is also brewing. This part felt a little rushed, was very intense from the first meeting. The book could have been longer, more drawn out, in order to add to the suspense as well as the romance. Buchman's previous stories have done this very well. Still, I enjoyed the book and will be sure to watch for future books in the series! I received a free copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Merle

    Nice couple with a White House backdrop. Like the previous series of Protection Detail romances, the danger and romance have equal weight for Buchman. In addition, the Protection Force has dogs. Linda Hamlin has spent ten years in the Army, leaving as a Ranger Sergeant. She has been recruited - unknowingly- by someone or some group to work on the White House protection detail. Her new dog, Thor, is the least likely-looking candidate for what he does. However, looks are deceiving and Thor meets Nice couple with a White House backdrop. Like the previous series of Protection Detail romances, the danger and romance have equal weight for Buchman. In addition, the Protection Force has dogs. Linda Hamlin has spent ten years in the Army, leaving as a Ranger Sergeant. She has been recruited - unknowingly- by someone or some group to work on the White House protection detail. Her new dog, Thor, is the least likely-looking candidate for what he does. However, looks are deceiving and Thor meets every challenge. Linda is assigned to perimeter detail with Thir and one day shows her and her dog's skill. That the threat appears to be harmless seems OK, until a little more thought brings it to the forefront again. Dilys, Kee and Archie's adopted daughter, plays a large part in this story. Thor and Zackie, a Sheltie owned by the First Lady, hit it off, as do Linda and Zilya. Under all this, Linda and White House Chocolatier Clive Andrews have also hit it off. However, emotional damage makes Linda back away. Clive is hurt but doesn't let it stop him. This is a story with lots of action and a good one.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    This was a great start to a new series, the White House Protection Force, by M. L. Buchman! You'll meet Clive Andrews, the chocolatier of the White House, and Linda Hamlin, an ex-Army Sergeant who's only committed relationship is with her dog. Trouble ensues while they're getting to know each other, and both Clive and Linda have to step-up to save the day. The coolest part of the story was finally understanding a little bit of what's going on at Henderson's Ranch with Mark and Emily! Though I This was a great start to a new series, the White House Protection Force, by M. L. Buchman! You'll meet Clive Andrews, the chocolatier of the White House, and Linda Hamlin, an ex-Army Sergeant who's only committed relationship is with her dog. Trouble ensues while they're getting to know each other, and both Clive and Linda have to step-up to save the day. The coolest part of the story was finally understanding a little bit of what's going on at Henderson's Ranch with Mark and Emily! Though I can't wait to learn more about the WHPF and who the librarian in the basement really is. Not only that, but we get to see some page time with Dilya, while Kee and Archie make an appearance. And, not to be left out, President Peter Matthews makes a surprise appearance that you won't want to miss. This is definitely a novel for fans of Buchman's other series, as there is a lot of crossover, but it's also a great stand-alone for new readers as you don't need to know any background to enjoy the read. "I received a free copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review."

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    Off the Leash is the first in a new series and it is good. Continuing the tradition of strong, kick-butt women characters is Linda Hamlin who came from the Army Rangers where she was a Military War Dog handler. She becomes part of the Secret Service K9 team. On her first day she meets Clive Andrews who is the White House chocolatier. For fans of Buchman’s other series, characters from related series show up. Dilya, from the Nightstalker series, is a main character. Former President Peter Off the Leash is the first in a new series and it is good. Continuing the tradition of strong, kick-butt women characters is Linda Hamlin who came from the Army Rangers where she was a Military War Dog handler. She becomes part of the Secret Service K9 team. On her first day she meets Clive Andrews who is the White House chocolatier. For fans of Buchman’s other series, characters from related series show up. Dilya, from the Nightstalker series, is a main character. Former President Peter Matthews as well as Kee and Archie Stevenson appear. Other characters are mentioned such as Stan Corman from Reaching Out at Henderson’s Ranch and Emily Beale from several of the series. There are places in the book that make you laugh out loud. There is a mysterious woman who has an office in one of the subbasements who has knowledge of a great deal of historical spy-craft which is very interesting. The ending is great. I received a free copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Debs

    I love this new series! Sgt. Linda Hamlin and hot Chocolatier Chef Clive Andrews are not the couple you would expect to find a HEA together. And lets not forget another star in this story in Linda's K9 partner, Thor, a lovable mutt that proves just how good he is in finding explosives. This is only one of the things that make this story unique and a page turner. As in many of Mr. Buchman's books, it is a sexy hot read of suspense as he weaves a story that is filled with strong characters, I love this new series! Sgt. Linda Hamlin and hot Chocolatier Chef Clive Andrews are not the couple you would expect to find a HEA together. And lets not forget another star in this story in Linda's K9 partner, Thor, a lovable mutt that proves just how good he is in finding explosives. This is only one of the things that make this story unique and a page turner. As in many of Mr. Buchman's books, it is a sexy hot read of suspense as he weaves a story that is filled with strong characters, mystery, fun and falling in love for the H and h. While it is a book that stands alone, I appreciated the connections with others in the story from previous books. Even if this is your first story by this author, the storyline flows so well, that a new reader will have no problem in finding "Off The Leash" a fantastic read. Looking forward to the next book in the 'White House Protection Force' series, I would like to thank the author for gifting me "Off The Leash". My opinion is my own. This is mine. 5 Stars!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Holley

    A strong heroine who is a military/police dog handler. A mutt for a working dog. A hero who is a professional chocolatier and a knitter. Ok, you had me at chocolate, but the descriptions of the knitted items (including a cherry blossom scarf) are inventive and pretty cool. Humor is present in the male/female interactions making the characters more real. The author obviously did a lot of research about chocolate making. I had to look up several terms that he used appropriately and learned more A strong heroine who is a military/police dog handler. A mutt for a working dog. A hero who is a professional chocolatier and a knitter. Ok, you had me at chocolate, but the descriptions of the knitted items (including a cherry blossom scarf) are inventive and pretty cool. Humor is present in the male/female interactions making the characters more real. The author obviously did a lot of research about chocolate making. I had to look up several terms that he used appropriately and learned more about chocolate in the process. (and who doesn't want to know about chocolate). I found stating a dog looked like a cross between a long haired schnauzer (um hello there is only one kind of hair on a schnauzer) and a dust mop annoying. But since that was in the beginning of the book and the author developed the dog's personality, I tried to let it go. There were some typos in the advance copy I read. I assume they will be corrected in future editions, but could be annoying to some people. I received a free copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sally J Anderson

    Sgt Linda Hamblin just got out of Army, 75th Rangers, to become a USSS dog handler at the White House. She is confronted by definition a mutt. A furry eager mess named, of all things, Thor. Linda learns Thor was trained at the Henderson ranch. Plus she finds Thor, although small, a very good dog. Linda tours all over the White House with Thor meeting two very special people. One an elderly blue eyes woman far under the main house who has an office full of spy memorabilia. The other, a huge Sgt Linda Hamblin just got out of Army, 75th Rangers, to become a USSS dog handler at the White House. She is confronted by definition a mutt. A furry eager mess named, of all things, Thor. Linda learns Thor was trained at the Henderson ranch. Plus she finds Thor, although small, a very good dog. Linda tours all over the White House with Thor meeting two very special people. One an elderly blue eyes woman far under the main house who has an office full of spy memorabilia. The other, a huge handsome man, the White House chocolatier, Clive Andrews. Lonely hearts, hidden explosives, a lovable mutt and a who done it mystery. The characters are entertaining and unique. Once you get past the interior descriptions the story keeps you reading until the mystery is solved. If you are a fan of ML Buchman it's a pleasure to include old members of the 160th SOAR and the X president. Especially Dilya. The wonderment of her brain is amazing and one of a kind. She's a jewel. I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lynne Costa

    This book as a great read with a fantastic,stong,kick butt female and is the first in a new series with some old friends visiting from previous ones.Linda Hamlin is seperated from the Army Rangers where she was a war dog handler and enters the Secret Service K-9 team, where she is paired with a mutt that is much smaller than a war dog withe the improbable name of Thor.Clive Andrews is a big guy who Linda finds out upon meeting is the White House Chocolatier and a knitter. It is a pairing that on This book as a great read with a fantastic,stong,kick butt female and is the first in a new series with some old friends visiting from previous ones.Linda Hamlin is seperated from the Army Rangers where she was a war dog handler and enters the Secret Service K-9 team, where she is paired with a mutt that is much smaller than a war dog withe the improbable name of Thor.Clive Andrews is a big guy who Linda finds out upon meeting is the White House Chocolatier and a knitter. It is a pairing that on the surface looks like they have nothing in common but as they keep meeting proves wrong.There is intrigue right from the start as Thor is an explosives sniffing dog whose nose is incredible.This story has some layers to it as it goes on making you want to read until you finish it.I can't wait for the next book in this series.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Vicky

    This is my first book to read by the author. I enjoyed the main character, Linda Hamlin and her k9 Thor. Linda changed careers from a wartime soldier to a k9 WH handler. Her k9 Thor is not a typical GS k9; he’s small like a terrier of sorts. Thor is a bomb sniffing k9 and proves his ability along with Linda proving her abilities as a handler. Together they discover a bomber and become instant heroes. As a secondary plot, Linda meets a White House dessert chef and they instantly become attracted This is my first book to read by the author. I enjoyed the main character, Linda Hamlin and her k9 Thor. Linda changed careers from a wartime soldier to a k9 WH handler. Her k9 Thor is not a typical GS k9; he’s small like a terrier of sorts. Thor is a bomb sniffing k9 and proves his ability along with Linda proving her abilities as a handler. Together they discover a bomber and become instant heroes. As a secondary plot, Linda meets a White House dessert chef and they instantly become attracted to each other. Personally, I felt their sexual encounters could have been implied rather than described, but that’s my personal input. There’s intrigue b/c the initial bombing leads to possibly a bigger and far reaching tragedy if not stopped. There’s a happy ending for all.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Svd

    I received a free copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I really loved the start of the book. Linda is a super cool heroine that is capable and breaking barriers everywher she goes. Also the dog Thor is really cute. I like that the hero isn't a military man. First I thought that M.L.Buchman with this book was back to the standard he set in "The Night is Mine" - the first Nightstalker book. But the twist with Miss Watson in the basement is a little too inprobable. I received a free copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I really loved the start of the book. Linda is a super cool heroine that is capable and breaking barriers everywher she goes. Also the dog Thor is really cute. I like that the hero isn't a military man. First I thought that M.L.Buchman with this book was back to the standard he set in "The Night is Mine" - the first Nightstalker book. But the twist with Miss Watson in the basement is a little too inprobable. It's still a good read. I just wish M.L. Buchman would keep the standard he set with the first Nightstalker books…

  21. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Murrin

    Loved, loved, loved it! Stellar opening book in a new series. Likable protagonists (could Clive possibly be any sweeter?), delightful inclusion of Dilya, awesome offsite involvement of Emily Beale, and an intriguing mystery (who is that lady in the basement...really?) I can hardly wait to read the next book. An "off" note for me was that the meeting room wasn't automatically checked for things such as that briefcase; seems like that should have been automatic for a security sweep. I received a free Loved, loved, loved it! Stellar opening book in a new series. Likable protagonists (could Clive possibly be any sweeter?), delightful inclusion of Dilya, awesome offsite involvement of Emily Beale, and an intriguing mystery (who is that lady in the basement...really?) I can hardly wait to read the next book. An "off" note for me was that the meeting room wasn't automatically checked for things such as that briefcase; seems like that should have been automatic for a security sweep. I received a free copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, but I also purchased a copy on preorder.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Emily Dickson

    This was a fun read with such different characters that just fit. First we have Linda who was likeable and a soldier working with a K9 at the White House. Linda was a strong character and her dog Thor was again not your usual K9 working dog, but a smaller dog which had a great personality on his own. Then you have Clive who was a chef who made chocolate. And the two came together great. I have to say the creations of Clive made me crave some chocolate. Secondary characters were also well done This was a fun read with such different characters that just fit. First we have Linda who was likeable and a soldier working with a K9 at the White House. Linda was a strong character and her dog Thor was again not your usual K9 working dog, but a smaller dog which had a great personality on his own. Then you have Clive who was a chef who made chocolate. And the two came together great. I have to say the creations of Clive made me crave some chocolate. Secondary characters were also well done and were perfect in their roles. Some action and some sexy time with great chemistry made this a great HEA read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Darcy

    The setting of this one was fun, the couple not bad, but what appealed to me more was the mysterious Miss Watson. She had a hand in so much, yet you weren't exactly sure what her role was. Another highlight to this one was Dilya. For a teen she had some great thoughts about what was going on. Clive and Linda were cute, a bit of an odd couple, but they worked. I was glad when things worked out for them. The big downside to this one for me was all the talk of chocolate. All I wanted to do was eat The setting of this one was fun, the couple not bad, but what appealed to me more was the mysterious Miss Watson. She had a hand in so much, yet you weren't exactly sure what her role was. Another highlight to this one was Dilya. For a teen she had some great thoughts about what was going on. Clive and Linda were cute, a bit of an odd couple, but they worked. I was glad when things worked out for them. The big downside to this one for me was all the talk of chocolate. All I wanted to do was eat everything they were talking about, sadly it didn't happen.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Sturlini

    FASCINATING STORY! I really enjoyed this book. It was so interesting to read about the inner workings of the Secret Service Canine Units and the work they did at the white house. There was a lovely romance throughout the book between Clive and Linda. Thor was delightful. The storyline was very cleverly written to keep us in suspense. All in all a very riveting story with interesting characters!! I highly recommend it... It's a quick read, and a very unique and intriguing one!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bungluna

    I'm a big fan of this author. He creates a world full of romance and suspense and his novels are fast, fun reads. This book is the start of a new series. Characters from previous series make an appearance, but one can read the book without having read any other novel. The new setting was interesting and the characters were sympathetic. That said, I felt the book could have been longer to allow for more character and plot development. Both the action and the romance felt rushed. I did like the I'm a big fan of this author. He creates a world full of romance and suspense and his novels are fast, fun reads. This book is the start of a new series. Characters from previous series make an appearance, but one can read the book without having read any other novel. The new setting was interesting and the characters were sympathetic. That said, I felt the book could have been longer to allow for more character and plot development. Both the action and the romance felt rushed. I did like the premise of the new series, so I'll be searching to get my hands on upcoming installments.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Reba King

    I received a free copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Because it was an uncorrected copy, a couple of errors snagged me, but the story is great! Introducing this new series in a familiar setting and including some of my favorite Buchman characters from other stories ensured my attention. Combining love, adventure, dogs, and chocolate with the new characters made it a winner. Reading about how growing love helps people become better at their careers--to the I received a free copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Because it was an uncorrected copy, a couple of errors snagged me, but the story is great! Introducing this new series in a familiar setting and including some of my favorite Buchman characters from other stories ensured my attention. Combining love, adventure, dogs, and chocolate with the new characters made it a winner. Reading about how growing love helps people become better at their careers--to the point of being heroes--warmed my heart. Looking forward to seeing more in this line.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Celine

    I received a free copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I absolutely enjoyed this book. The White House Protection Force gives a lovely insight back into the White House and ties the Hendersons back into the story line. I absolutely loved the characters especially having met one of them in previous White House stories. A easy read and yet engaging book. I definitely recommend it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kim Vanravenswaay

    I received a free copy of Off the Leash, from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Chocolate and dogs, of course it's going to make for an awesome book. And as always Buchman made me laugh so much, and an assortment of other feelings sometimes at the same time. It was just like catching up with old friends, there were quite a few characters from previous books. I can't wait to read the next book in the, White House Protection, series.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mary Mac Kenzie

    A surprise to surprise . Kept me turning the pages. Action with some humor. A woman shoulder who was not sure what to do now that she was out. Good with dogs takes a job with the secret service at the white house. Learns that love really does exist after believing there was no such thing and it was all a Hollywood lie. I enjoyed this fast read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Beverly

    I received a free copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I've met most of the characters in this story in the previous White House series. If you are a fan of ML Buchman then you will enjoy this short story. The extra chapter with Dylas point of view was a little off. She sounded like a ten-year-old instead of a 15-year-old.

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