Leslie McKelvey came onto the writing scene in 2012, with her debut novel Accidental Affair. I LOVED the book. Jack Vaughan is one of my favorite agents. I remember being afraid to turn the page, because I didn’t know what was going to happen. I might have even cheated a little, to make sure he was still alive. In Accidental Affair, when things for Jack went FUBAR, there was only ONE man he could trust. That man was FBI Special Agent Ted “Bear” Bristol.
Now. F-I-N-A-L-L-Y (I channeling Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson here.) We get Bear’s story in Right Place, Right Time. Bear Bristol is another worthy hero, though he likes to keep his emotions hidden.
While shooting pictures of a mama bear and her cubs in Rocky Mountain National Park, wildlife photographer Beth Drummond witnesses a murderous shootout and the violent deaths of four men. When those responsible realize they’ve not only been seen but also photographed they give chase, determined to tie up loose ends. Praying she can outdistance her pursuers Beth dashes headlong through the woods, intent on nothing but reaching safety.
When Special Agent Bear Bristol, on leave from the FBI, hears gunshots and sees the woman running for her life, he knows he must intervene. He recognizes those who are chasing her and realizes that things are much worse than they seem. A vicious cartel with a mole at the FBI has put a target on Beth’s back, and there is no one they can trust. Unable to call for backup, Bear must keep Beth safe until they can figure out who the inside man is.
As they struggle to stay one step ahead of both corrupt law enforcement and the killers they learn to trust one another, and realize there is more between them than just friendship born of necessity. Can they overcome the obstacles they face, or will they win the fight to live only to lose the battle to love?
~~Leslie has this incredible ability to have conversations with her characters and let you know what they’re like, even before reading their stories. I begged Leslie to interview Bear for me. She was very excited to do so. In typical Bear fashion, he wasn’t. Check out this interview. ~~
“Bear. Bear, where are you?”
The words are a whisper in my ear and I jump. Spinning to face him, I find myself eyeball to chest with him. Not a bad view, really. Actually, it’s a pretty great view, and once again I envy Bear’s new love, Beth. I back up a step. “Sheesh! You wouldn’t think a guy as big as you could sneak up on a girl!”
He grins. “You wouldn’t think a guy as big as me would go unnoticed by a certain author.” He taps my forehead with his index finger. “In a place the size of your brain I find it hard to believe you’d overlook me.”
I narrow my eyes on him. “What is that supposed to mean?” He shrugs those amazingly broad shoulders and chuckles, a sound that both warms and irritates me.
“It means you made me 6’8”, 280 pounds, and you can’t find me in an organ the size of a cantaloupe?”
I scowl at him, but he only smiles back, and I can’t stay mad at my favorite book boyfriend. “At least you used an appropriately sized fruit.”
He cocks one blonde brow. “Well, I figured if I said kiwi or grape we’d have a problem.”
“You got that right.”
Bear eases his muscular frame into the imaginary chair in my head and I have the insane urge to climb onto his lap. Inappropriate, Leslie. Totally inappropriate.
“So, why am I here?” he asks, a twinkle in his azure eyes.
“Um, what?” I blink at him, and then remember. “Oh, right. Character interview.”
His typical blank mask drops into place so quickly it almost makes a sound, like a portcullis falling from its raised position to impale those unsuspecting who pass beneath it. “Really? We’ve done this before, I believe.”
“And we’ll do it again,” I shoot back. “Your book, Right Place, Right Time, was just released, so it’s promotion time. And don’t try to intimidate me with that look. I created that look, remember?”
He purses his lips. “You created me.”
I can’t stop the fluttery sigh as I remember the long days and even longer nights spent crafting this fine male specimen. A combination of my favorite Marine boyfriend and my husband of 22 years, I have a definite soft spot for Bear, and he knows it. Damn it.
He rolls his eyes and fights a grin. “Oh, for Pete’s sake, stop drooling and get on with it.”
“Why?” I ask, miffed. I check my chin to ensure it is saliva-free. “Do you have somewhere better to be?”
He gives me that bored look, another expression I created and know well.
“Have you forgotten my sexy wife?” he asks. “You know, Beth? The woman you made for me?” He leans back in his chair with a devilish gleam in his eyes. “If I remember correctly, the sex scenes, scenes you dreamed up, were pretty hot. So, yeah, I have somewhere better to be.”
And there’s the flush. I can feel it, my cheeks hot and my scalp tingling. Bear’s amused smirk does not help.
“Fine, let’s get to it,” I say after clearing my throat. “Right Place, Right Time is your story. Tell me about it.”
A sigh escapes him, and I give him a glare. After a few seconds of visually battling with him, he frowns, plants his elbows on his knees and leans towards me.
“Fine. Right Place, Right Time is a story about Beth Drummond, wildlife photographer, and how she happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.” He wiggles his brows at me and something inside me turns all gooey. “Thankfully,” he continues, “you put me in a position to save her from the cartel hit-men she inadvertently photographs as they’re assassinating their rivals. Hence, the title of the book.”
“But,” I begin, watching his face carefully, “this isn’t just about you being in the right place at the right time to save her.”
His expression darkens just a little. “No, it’s not, thank you very much. Since we’re on the subject, I’d like to say, for the record, I wasn’t crazy about the way you had Beth cast her spell on me.”
“What are you talking about? Beth didn’t try to cast anything on you.”
He gives me a pointed look. “Exactly.”
“But, in the end, she saves you. You save each other. Isn’t that the way love works?”
Bear stares at his hands. “Maybe, but did you have to make me such an ass about it?”
You weren’t an ass,” I argue, “you were wounded. Beth sensed that.”
“Because you created her, too.”
“I did,” I reply with a nod. His shoulders are squared, his posture rigid, but his gaze remains firmly fixed on his clasped hands. Since Beth is a part of me, I, too, sense the uneasiness in him. I reach over and wind my fingers through his. “I designed her for you because she’s who you needed. You’re not the type of man who lets people in.”
“I can’t,” he says in a low voice.
“I know,” I reply, giving his hand a squeeze. “Part of your formidable defenses were erected because of an old wound, a woman you loved who didn’t love you back.”
He snorts softly. “Yeah, first time that’s ever happened in the history of the world.”
I ignore his sarcasm. “The other part, the wall you built, rebuilt, reinforced, and armored, is necessary because of your job.”
He sighs again, a softer, tired sigh. “It’s an occupational hazard.”
I squeeze his hand. “I know. I’ve been married to a cop for more than 20 years, so I get it. To keep yourself safe you build a fortress, and at work you live inside those walls.” I smile. “Somewhere along the way, you forgot how to leave the citadel at the end of your shift.”
I can’t help but grin. “And she didn’t even have to scale the walls.”
He narrows his eyes on me. “No, she didn’t, which is good since she isn’t a fan of heights.”
“She’s a fan of you,” I point out. “I’m pretty sure she would’ve climbed a wall, or a cliff or two for you.”
A wistful smile curves that delicious mouth. “She didn’t have to.” His expression turns introspective. “All she had to do was be herself, and I willingly left the safety of my walled fortress for her. But, that’s how you set it up, isn’t it?”
One blonde brow shoots north. “You really like putting your characters through the wringer, don’t you?”
I frown. “I wouldn’t say I like it, but it is what I do.” He cocks the other eyebrow and purses his lips. “Okay,” I admit, “maybe I do like it, but you get your HEA in the end. Isn’t that the most important part?”
Bear grins. “I thought the most important part was getting your characters out of your head and onto paper, or computer screen as it were.”
I roll my eyes. “Since your story is written and published and you’re still in my head, we see how well that works, don’t we?”
“I guess that means you still love me.”
“You know it, Bear, and I always will.”
See why I love this guy?!!!! You can read my review of Right Place, Right Time here.
Purchase Right Place, Right Time from:
The Accidental Encounters Series:
Accidental Affair ~ Review
Right Place, Right Time ~ Review
Leslie is a war-veteran who served with the U.S. Navy during the Gulf War, and she was among the first groups of women to work the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. During her five years of service she was stationed at NAS Miramar (currently Marine Corps Air Station Miramar) and was an F-14 Tomcat plane captain and mechanic. While at Miramar she was sent on detachment to the aircraft carriers USS Independence, USS Ranger, USS Lincoln, and the USS Nimitz. The final two years of her enlistment were spent on Guam and her squadron frequently deployed to Japan and the Middle East.
She learned everything she knows about firearms and tactics from her police officer husband, who is a weapons expert and firearms instructor. He is her biggest supporter and her unpaid consultant on everything law-enforcement and weapons related.
Places to find Leslie McKelvey:
I’m also going to do a little giveaway. I’m going to give one lucky winner a Kindle copy of both Accidental Affair and Right Place, Right Time.