Justice (New Species #4) by Laurann Dohner

Justice (New Species #4) by Laurann Dohner

Review: Justice by Laurann Dohner

Justice by Laurann Dohner
Series: New Species #4
Published by Ellora’s Cave
11 Novemeber 2011
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 222

“The heat in this book is bound to warm you up on a cold night and leave you longing for the taste of a New Species male all of your own.” ~ Under the Covers

Justice North is the leader and the face of the New Species. It is a heavy responsibility and comes with no time for anything else, especially not enough time for a mate. However, Justice didn’t count on Jessie Dupree, the human who has helped with the rescue efforts on all his people, and especially the females. But, being the mate of Justice North is not so simple, after the attacks on the mates of his friends he is determined to keep Jessie safe and at a distance, no matter how much it hurts him.

My sweet Justice finally has his own book and HEA! All through the series so far he has been the steady guiding presence that the others rely on for his judgment and sense. But his cool control is soon shattered by Jessie who encourages the sensible and responsible Justice to let the leash off his instincts, resulting in a book that was sizzling hot and full of surprises.

One of the surprises was Jessie, she has been mentioned a little bit in previous books, but we finally get to meet her in person. She was sweet, strong and passionate and I loved that she wasn’t afraid to go after what she wanted. And one of the things she wanted was Justice. This is what made Justice slightly different to the other books in the series, it was the female enticing the male who at first was tightly controlled and slightly closed off, watching Justice shuck off that control made his possessive, primal side that bit sexier. It’s always the quiet ones!

The heat in this book is bound to warm you up on a cold night and leave you longing for the taste of a New Species male all of your own, especially if they can purr! I am completely in love with this series and cannot wait to read the next one. Laurann Dohner has her self a brand new rabid fan.

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Chapter One

Jessie watched Justice North from the far corner of the room and bit her lip. She
really wanted to work up the nerve to approach him. He’d been on the news often but
he appeared even taller and better-looking in person.
Not too many people intimidated her but the man who had been appointed the
leader of the New Species Organization by his own people was one of those rare few.
She respected strength and courage, something he seemed to have in abundance.
She debated the wisdom of having a conversation with him. Justice gave orders to
her bosses and held the power to change some of the task-force policies that she didn’t
agree with. The chance of finding another opportunity to have a chat with him was slim
to none. She wasn’t allowed to attend briefings her team leader held with the tall
Species leader. Her opinion was irrelevant to him but the issues were important.
She hesitated, considering the ramifications. Tim Oberto would haul her ass into his
office if he found out she’d gone over his head. He’d be his normal loud self and tear
her to verbal shreds.
Her gaze swept the room, studying the New Species. They were brave for all they’d
endured, every single one of them a victim of big business screwing them over.
A pharmaceutical company, Mercile Industries, had created genetically altered
humans using animal DNA, had reared them inside secret facilities and forced them to
endure decades of horrendous testing on their tortured bodies. They’d done it to make
money and worse, they’d been funded in part by the government.
My tax dollars, she grimly acknowledged and clenched her teeth over how deeply
that pissed her off. Mercile had pitched proposals to come up with miracle drugs that
would help injured US soldiers heal faster, become physically stronger and enhance
their reflexes. Those idiots in DC had eaten it up and signed the checks to pay for the
research but later denied having knowledge that live test subjects were involved.
She gave them some credit for acting immediately to discover the truth when
rumors surfaced of the illegal practices. Once officials had proof, military and police
forces had worked together to rescue any survivors imprisoned by Mercile Industries.
New Species were created with US tax dollars and born on American soil, which made
them citizens.
The first facility had been raided and the survivors had been rescued—freed.
Locations of three more hellish places were discovered after employees were
interrogated. The teams had hit them hard and fast, rescued more victims and all hell
had broken loose. Hundreds of victims needed to be housed. They’d been placed in
secure locations and the blame game began. The US had given the New Species a newly
built military base, which they turned in to Homeland, a Species-run community to
keep them safe from the outside world. Under pressure from the government, Mercile
Industries was quickly settling claims brought by New Species. With some of that
money they’d bought a second large section of land they named Reservation.
A big body bumped Jessie, drew her from her grim thoughts and she smiled up at
the male. New Species were easily identified by their animallike features. They weren’t
completely human but weren’t all genetically altered with the same genes either and
dubbing them with that title spanned all the differences. Some had been mixed with
large-feline DNA, some with canine and some with primate.
“Sorry,” he grumbled as she peered into a pretty set of catlike eyes.
Feline, she silently identified his mixed species. “No problem.”
He moved on and she sighed in disappointment. Not many of them wanted to talk
to humans. She couldn’t blame them after all they’d been through. Mercile Industries
had labeled each one with a number and called them experimental prototypes. The staff
had treated the children as if they were subhuman, lab rats, without souls. They’d led
cold, harsh lives, only leaving their cells for training or testing.
The new race they’d created wasn’t docile as Mercile had projected in their grand
scheme. Some of the growing Species rebelled and killed the humans who had spent
years harming and torturing them. Instead of lab rats, the company had hundreds of
angry, bitter, really strong prisoners who’d had enough of their shit. That fact made
Jessie smile. Good for them. I hope they took out a bunch of those bastards.
Mercile decided to see if they could produce children from the males and females. It
was a faster process for a female to give birth to another altered child than it was to
spend millions of dollars to replicate the procedure that created them. Mercile had
wanted to be rid of the originals, start over and learn from their mistakes. Their
attempts to breed the unfortunate victims were unsuccessful. The males and females
were unable to procreate.
That’s when Mercile started selling the other experiments they’d created. Jessie felt
rage thinking about the Gift Females the drug company used to lure in more investors.
They purposely made smaller females with nonaggressive-animal DNA and used drugs
to control their growth rate to make certain the females never reached over five foot
four. The board members of Mercile Industries and all the rich contributors to the secret projects were given Gift Females when enough money exchanged hands. Jessie
wondered if that was why the original scientist walked out on Mercile. The doctor who
had designed the New Species had destroyed her research and disappeared, taking the
knowledge with her. It was bad enough they’d created people as test subjects but to
hand them over to sadistic perverts seemed a hundred times worse.
Gift Females were sold into sexual slavery. They’d been locked up, hidden away
and grossly abused. Those were the females that Jessie helped recover and the ones that
kept her up at night, unable to sleep.
She pulled her thoughts back to the present and stared at Justice North across the
room, deciding she could do her job better if she could get him to hear her out. Tim can be pissed but this is about making it easier for those poor women.
She’d never seen Justice in jeans and a tank top before. He usually wore business
suits at his press conferences. His bare arms revealed thickly muscled biceps, golden
skin and he stood with a relaxed ease that made him more approachable. She took a
deep breath, blew it out and advanced.
More tiny details became apparent as she drew closer to the tall leader of the New
Species. His hair was auburn with streaks of blond. On television and in pictures it
seemed a dull, universal brown color. His catlike eyes were exotic and darker, almost
black. He possessed the distinctive wide cheekbones that jutted outward more than a
typical human’s and his nose flattened, seeming more animal than not. It always
fascinated her that so few of them had facial hair and she wondered if they shaved to fit in more.
Her breath caught when he suddenly laughed and it was a husky, sexy sound. His
full lips were the kissable kind that she enjoyed nibbling on. That realization brought
her to halt. Bad, Jessie. Don’t go there. He’s the boss of your boss and off limits. I totally need to find a man. I’m to the point where I’m fantasizing about guys I work with. Big mistake.
She took note of his perfectly white, straight teeth, which were revealed when he
laughed. She didn’t see any fangs but it was possible he was one of the rare few who
didn’t have them. Of course, she also noticed he smiled with his lips close together. Mr.
North might have trained himself to hide them since he dealt with the public. She’d
overheard Tim say some of them did that and he’d know since he spoke to so many of
the Species males on a daily basis.
Justice spoke to another Species male who was a few inches shorter and their
conversation seemed intense since he never glanced her way. After a quick assessment
of the Species leader, she pegged him at about six foot four. Tall. She had nearly reached his side when a rough hand gripped her forearm and jerked her to a standstill.
Jessie masked her alarm as her gaze dropped to the big hand on her arm, his hold
nearly painful and lifted her chin to peer up. She wondered if he was one of the guards
who protected Justice. She’d learned to hide her fear of the New Species when she came
into contact with the fierce-looking guys. All of them were big, muscular and scary.
This one was no exception.
It was the animal facial features that made them seem so frightening…and their
sharp teeth and ability to make threatening sounds. He growled deep within his throat
while his green eyes narrowed to glare at her. His jet-black hair fell past his shoulders and his clothes were so new they hadn’t been washed.
Shit. Jessie knew hatred when she saw it in his glare. The night before a fifth testing facility had been raided and approximately ninety prisoners had been freed from their
hellish existences. She had a pretty good idea this was one of them. He looked too
rough around the edges to have calmed from his experience. He obviously hated
anyone human and that spelled trouble for her.
She quickly assessed the situation, knowing it had the potential to turn into a
nightmare. He was a big bastard, obviously super irate and while his hold on her arm
wasn’t too painful, the look he gave her seemed deadly. He had issues with her kind
and she was the one in front of him. Not good.
“Please release me,” she softly ordered.
“Human.” He snarled.
Jessie tried to tug her wrist out of his hold but his fingers only tightened until the
bone threatened to break. She didn’t gasp aloud from the intense agony of being
squeezed, fought that reaction and instead allowed her training to take over before he
snapped her arm. He could easily if he applied more pressure. He didn’t seem
reasonable and she didn’t want to wear a cast for weeks.
She quickly stepped into his body, almost touched his chest and jerked her arm
hard downward. He had no choice but to release her or it would have twisted his wrist
painfully. Jessie jumped back, put space between them and tensed. He would either
attack or stay in place.
Being smaller helped. At five foot four Jessie had the advantage as she tucked her
body when her attacker sprang at her with an enraged snarl. He hadn’t expected that
move and his hands only grasped air when his fingers grabbed where she’d been. She
spun to the side, straightened and kicked out with her boot.
She caught the off-balance man in his hip and he crashed to the floor, sprawled on
his side. Jessie backed up to put more space between them. The Species male jerked his
head up, gaped at her with astonishment and used his arms to launch to his feet. He
opened his mouth and growled inhumanly, revealing some sharp, lethal teeth. He
lunged again, this time faster.
Jessie thought one word before she dived to the side to avoid his clawed fingers.
FUCK! She tucked into a ball, rolled on the floor and came up on her feet the way she’d been trained to do. She needed to stay out of his reach and knew it would be over if he
got his hands on her. They were physically no match if it came down to hand-to-hand
combat. He’d pulverize her.
She caught him lunging at her again out of the corner of her eye. She kicked out,
bent to press her hands on the floor to brace and caught the man with a violent up-kick.
The impact of her boot with his body hurt her leg but it had to be more painful for him.
He staggered back with a loud gasp and it sank in that she’d managed to catch him
in the groin. She twisted around after straightening to her feet, watched him grip the
front of his jeans and double over. Jessie winced.
She hadn’t meant to kick him in the balls but it was effective. She’d been aiming for
his stomach but the guy was too tall and her legs weren’t long enough. His head
snapped up and she had no doubt he wanted her dead. Pure rage was displayed on his
harsh features.
“Calm down,” Jessie demanded, trying to sound composed when she wasn’t. “I
wouldn’t have done that if you’d kept your hands and temper to yourself. I won’t hurt
you if you don’t try to hurt me.”
Jessie knew all hell broke loose around her. She didn’t dare take her attention away
from the large male who glared at her, still bent over, gripping his injured crotch. It was only luck that she heard a warning growl and twisted her head to check out the new
threat.
Another large Species male sporting new clothes, shoved other males out of his way
who were frozen in stunned shock. The new threat stormed toward her and she only
had seconds to assess the situation. A few Species snapped out of their stupor and tried
to stop him but he easily shoved them to the side. No one was able to prevent him from
reaching her.
“Shit,” Jessie gasped as his fist launched at her face.
Instinct alone shot her arm up to knock his fist to the side and deflect a direct punch
that would have been dead center to her face. His knuckles brushed her ear and pain
shot through the side of her head. He gripped her shirt with his other hand. She hadn’t
seen that move coming. Her sole priority had been avoiding the fist. He jerked her off
her feet as if she weighed nothing and terror struck. He would probably either throw
her into something or smash her bones by slamming her down onto something hard.
Either way, it would be very painful.
Two hands gripped Jessie’s hips firmly from behind. Shit. I’m so screwed. Two of them had her. She could only hope that some of the Species would come to her aid
before the males turned her into a wishbone. Though she was human, she doubted they
would allow her to be killed before they stepped in. How hurt she got before being
rescued was anyone’s guess.
The hands on her hips yanked hard. She was torn away from the one in front of her
and the sound of tearing material registered. She’d seen him haul back his fist to
attempt to nail her again but now she was out of his range.
Her back slammed into a rigid body and the large male—she assumed it was one—
twisted away from her attacker. He put his body between her and the incoming fist,
taking the punch himself. Jessie felt the impact through the man holding her and it sent
both of them flying forward. She saw the wall coming and turned her head away,
guessing it was going to hurt when they hit. He’d squish her between it and his body.
The male holding Jessie twisted again at the last second and his shoulder and hip
slammed brutally into the wall instead of her. He dropped her onto her feet, moved
lightning fast to position her against the wall gently and she bumped the plaster. It left her gawking at the wide back of the Species male who’d come to her rescue. He braced,
his body tense as a loud snarl tore from his throat.
He’s protecting me. Jessie relaxed instantly. The guy was huge and stood between her and anyone who wanted to do harm. Who says chivalry is dead?
“Back off,” her protector roared—a harsh, brutal sound. Jessie carefully studied his
back and it sank in that he wore jeans with a black tank top. His muscular arms were
well displayed and his fingers curled into fists, lifted at his sides to fight. Her gaze
roamed higher to the back of his head and identified the auburn hair with blond
streaks. It hit her then that Justice North was the male who’d saved her ass.
“She’s human,” another voice barked.
“That doesn’t give anyone the right to attack. She is a guest here.” Justice snarled
the words in obvious anger. “We are friends with humans and don’t attack them. We
especially,” he shouted now, “don’t attack females.”
“I’m sorry, Justice,” a new male voice panted. “We should have had more officers
present.”
“I want every one of the new ones rounded up and taken into the cafeteria
immediately.” Justice gave the order with harsh authority. “This is going to be settled
immediately. This is the second attack on a human female since this morning and there
won’t be a third.” Justice growled those words.
“Even the new females?” The out of breath male spoke.
“No. Just the males. The females seem to know better. I want to see every new male
inside that cafeteria in ten minutes.”
“We’re on it,” another man stated firmly.
Jessie stood perfectly still and waited for the tension to ease. Justice still appeared
ready to do battle since he didn’t budge from his position in front of her. She heard
movement in the room, soft voices, a few growls and finally silence. Justice relaxed his
stance. His arms lowered to his sides, his fists unfurled and he slowly turned.
Jessie stared up into Justice’s handsome face. Breathtaking fits him, she thought, as she realized she’d stopped breathing. She sucked air into her lungs and met a pair of
furious cat eyes framed with long, black eyelashes. They were a huge contrast to his
blond-streaked auburn hair. On television and in photos his hair appeared much lighter
and the camera didn’t begin to capture his beautiful eyes. They were so exotic that they
were probably the most beautiful sight she’d ever seen.
“Who are you?” he growled softly. “How did you get past security?”
Jessie frowned. He should have known who she was and why she was there. She
took a deep breath. “I’m Jessie Dupree and I work for the task force assigned to the
NSO. I’m their female ambassador to your retrieved Gift Females. Last night I was on
the raid in Colorado and I came here with the females who were recovered.”
She paused and watched his intense eyes. It was amazing to see them transform.
The color changed as his anger dissipated. There was some blue in those dark depths.
For a moment she was so distracted, she forgot she’d been talking.
“Tiger gave me permission to be here. I rode in on the helicopter with your females
and have been assigned a room on the third floor of the hotel. Tammy invited me to her
wedding so here I am. Didn’t you see me during their ceremony?”
“No. I was distracted by a long voice message from the president. I had an
earphone—was listening to it—and I had to text my reply to him.” He took a deep
breath and held out his hand. It was a big one with long, strong fingers and those nifty
calluses covered both his fingertips and his palm. “I’m Justice North. It is a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Dupree.”
She placed her smaller hand inside his. Heat from his hot skin jolted her. His large
hand clasped hers but instead of shaking it, his fingers curled around her smaller ones,
holding them. His gaze lowered to stare at their joined hands. Jessie couldn’t take her
attention from his face though. He finally looked up when he released her.
“I apologize for the attack. They are new and have a lot to learn. I’m going to teach
them some valuable lessons about manners in a few moments. We won’t tolerate that
kind of behavior.”
She shrugged. “I understand why they hate my kind. They have their reasons. I
appreciate you coming to the rescue. I can keep someone off me for a little while but
when they gang up, it’s not usually a painless or healthy outcome for me.”
His gaze lowered from her face down her body. His eyes widened and his
breathing changed slightly, increased to a faster pace. His nostrils flared and a soft
sound came from deep within throat. Jessie grinned.
“Did you just purr?”
His gaze lifted. “I don’t purr.” He gripped his tank top at his waist, quickly tugged
it up his impressive torso and over his head. He offered it to her. “Put this over your
shirt.”
Jessie glanced down at her chest and noticed her shirt had been torn in the melee.
She studied her black lace bra, grateful not to be wearing the white one she’d worn
yesterday—the ugly, full-support bra. The black push-up cupped her breasts and
flattered her size 34-D chest. She flinched over how pale her skin appeared against the
black and hoped he wasn’t blinded by the sight. Jessie didn’t tan, she burned so she
avoided the sun.
“Thanks but I can hold this together until I reach my room. One of your women,
Breeze, set me up with some clothes since I didn’t pack for a trip. I was called to the
Colorado raid too fast to do that.”
Jessie avoided his gaze by examining her shirt as she spoke, sorry he’d seen so
much of her breasts. A few buttons were missing and the tear started at a buttonhole
and ended under her breasts to fully expose her cleavage. She gripped the fabric
together over her breasts to hide them and the cups of her bra. So much for a first
impression. Tim is going to chew my ass big-time and blame me for starting a fight with a Species.
Her gaze lifted. Jessie examined Justice’s bare chest and her attention snagged on a
few sections of his naked skin. She would have started drooling but she knew it was
extremely rude and unprofessional. The guy was tan, and firm muscles ripped his lean
torso. His nipples were slightly darker than his coppery skin and they were hard at that
moment. She had the urge to lick him to see if he tasted as good as he looked. BAD
JESSIE! her mind screamed. She forced her gaze higher to discover he silently watched her.
“You should put that shirt back on, Mr. North. You have a chill.”
He blinked. “I don’t.”
Her focus flicked to his nipples, still hard pebbles. “Your chest seems to disagree
and it’s difficult for me not to stare at you. You must work out a lot to look that good.”
I said that aloud. Shit! I didn’t mean to.
Another soft sound came from his throat and Jessie smiled, quickly over her slip of
the lips. That was definitely a purr. He’s so hot. Tall, good-looking, can fight, stands up for women and makes that sexy sound. Oh yeah, don’t forget he’s off limits!
Justice shifted his stance and cleared his throat. “I’m not cold.”
She let that one slide, knew she’d said more than enough to get her yelled at by the
task-force leader and pressed her lips firmly together. Justice put his shirt back on and she wished it were a crime for him to cover up that wonderful, sexy view of muscled
masculinity.
With his chest covered again, her focus remained on his face and she didn’t miss
when his nostrils flared as he inhaled deeply, taking in her scent. She was glad she had
showered recently and wore deodorant. She kept her smile in place as he tucked his
tank top into the waistband of his jeans. Just a few feet separated them. He inhaled
again and his nose twitched. It was as cute as hell but she worried he found her
offensive.
“I hope I don’t smell bad. I used stuff from the room when I took a quick shower
before the wedding. The shampoo the hotel carries isn’t bad but it’s kind of generic. Do
I pass muster?”
His gaze met hers. “I’m sorry. You smell nice. It’s a natural instinct we have.”
“It’s all right.” Jessie leaned forward a little and inhaled deeply. Her eyes remained
locked on his. “You smell nice too. I like your cologne. It’s kind of woodsy and
masculine.”
He softly purred and cleared his throat again. “Thank you.”
“Are you all right? Did that guy hit you in the throat?” She started to worry he
might be hurt with the way he kept making noises.
Justice North blushed. It stunned her a tiny bit and made her like him more.
“I’m fine.” He paused. “It was nice to meet you and I’m sorry for the attack. I
should go to the cafeteria since I did call for the meeting. I need to yell at my new males and throw in some threats for good measure to be certain they learn good behavior.”
He turned and took a few steps away from her before Jessie’s mind started to fully
function again. Justice was walking away from her and she couldn’t stand the idea of
never seeing him again.
“Wait!”

Justice (New Species #4) by Laurann Dohner
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