A gentlewoman will do whatever it takes to rescue her captive werewolf betrothed.
When her betrothed, Joe Taylor, is taken captive by a group of men looking for werewolf laborers, it’s up to Charlotte, a genteel frontier lady with no training, to track him down and win him back—even if that means putting her own life in danger.
Charlotte stretched up on tiptoes and pressed a kiss to his lips. “I look forward to it.” A soft creak of the hallway’s wooden floor reached her ears. She hurriedly pulled on her dressing gown, then sat in front of her vanity and picked up her brush. She’d be able to fabricate a tale for Betsy if she needed to.
Joe opened the window and jumped out. Only the faint sound of his boots hitting the ground gave him away. They didn’t have much to worry about since her window faced a rarely used alley.
The soft footsteps stopped outside her door. Charlotte ran the brush through her brown hair, pulling at a few tangles. She hoped Betsy would go back to sleep and not disturb her. After a brief pause and another squeak, the footsteps retreated again.READ MORE
Charlotte sighed in relief, but she waited a moment more. When she was sure it was safe, she dashed across the room and closed the window. She glanced out to see Joe heading toward the main street. His gaze turned to meet hers as if he knew she was there. He smiled and tilted his hat.
From the shadows, a group of four men rushed at Joe. Her eyes widened, and she placed her palms against the windowpane. Desperation punched her in the gut.
* * *
Joe frowned at the sudden change of expression on Charlotte’s beautiful face. What had caused... The rapid sound of boots hitting dirt next to him penetrated his thoughts. He’d been so focused on his lover. Damn it.
Twisting around, he faced the four men, wondering what they wanted. More importantly, he wished he knew if they’d seen him come from Charlotte’s window. He didn’t want her to be looked down upon by anyone because of what they’d shared that night. Her father would never let Joe near his daughter again if he knew.
The men closed in on him, standing much closer than Joe felt comfortable with. He watched them in turn, keeping an eye on each, while his wolf’s instincts raged and warned him of danger.
He’d never met these men and had no idea what they wanted. He didn’t want to hurt anyone, especially with Charlotte was watching. If he showed his true nature, he’d alienate himself from town. He couldn’t do that, not when he had so much to lose. “What do you all want?”
One of the men, a guy with graying hair who looked to be their leader, stepped forward. “We have a job opportunity for you.”
“I’m sorry, sir, but I already have work. Thanks for the offer.” Joe stepped aside to move around them, but the whistle of metal near his head caused him to stop. He turned to see one of the men holding a gun. He grabbed the barrel of the pistol as the man’s blue eyes widened with surprise.
Pain filled Joe’s head, and his legs collapsed under him. He cursed himself for being so distracted.
The older man stared down at him as Joe’s world darkened. “That wasn’t the answer I was looking for.” As the man’s image faded, Joe barely heard his command, “Load ’em up, boys.”COLLAPSE
Well written and very entertaining to read this self-contained story.
If Hannah can't find Ian soon, he'll be lost to her forever as a digital slave...
Hannah and Ian face a drugged gang of werewolves forced into working for MAX Home Security while one of their many enemies is hell-bent on revenge. Things get worse when Ian is kidnapped by the werewolves and taken to a secret facility. Hannah will have to use all her resources to find him after someone from upper management stumbles upon Ian’s innate gift of technomancy. If not, MAX may turn Ian into a brainwashed slave to harness his abilities.
A werewolf's shrill howl sent Hannah Franklin's heart hammering. How would they get out of this? Ian's apartment was on the second floor. It wasn't as if they could make an easy escape through a window, unless either Ian or Bernard had the ability to fly and they hadn't informed her. After the last few months, she wouldn't be surprised.
No, they wouldn't be getting out of here without a fight. Unfortunately, she couldn't picture them coming out unscathed, not against werewolves.
Bernard squealed as another full-bodied bang reverberated from the door. The gnome darted toward her and Ian. "You people are crazy. What have you gotten yourselves into?" He shoved past Ian and rushed into the kitchen, muttering all the way to his gnomish house.
"Hell, I wouldn't mind knowing the answer to that myself." Ian cursed. "We have to get you out of here. There's no way to know how many werewolves are out there, and I don't want you hurt." The intensity in his voice scared her.READ MORE
By no means did she want this to be their final stand against MAX Home Security's newest minions, but there had to be something they could do.
"I don't want them to hurt you either. Let's just try to make it out of this alive. Both of us. So don't do anything irrational. What's the plan?" Hannah dug through her purse, grabbing the handgun she kept there. There'd been very few times when she'd had to use it, but now was the perfect time.
Ian closed his eyes, extended his hand toward the door, and whispered in the foreign language he used for his magic. The energy in the room spiked, and she scooted away from him, unable to bear the sting.
Hannah aimed the gun at the door. The door wouldn't hold out much longer, wards or not. The wards weren't nearly on the same level as the werewolves. Those feral beasts would rip them apart in this confined space. The gun barely helped to even the odds.
Fear chased through her, and she whispered a prayer, hoping they would all survive.
The clomping of feet on the kitchen's tile floor drew her attention to Bernard, who paced back and forth. "They are too upset to manipulate. They're berserk, if you will. Any ideas, Ian?" the gnome said, keeping his voice low.
"Wards will fail soon. There's no way out of here now, unless we jump the porch. Who says they wouldn't be there too? Or we could break a leg, unable to run... We have to fight. On the other hand, we could ask what they want, if anyone out there has any remaining sanity left. Who knows?"
Ian focused on the door. Beads of sweat trickled down his face. He was fighting to hold the wards in place. That was the only explanation.
The reinforced hinges on the door shook, the wards barely keeping them connected to the door. Regardless of what Ian was doing, the door would soon fail.
"I heard you knocking. What do you want?" Bernard piped up, his voice carrying a thread of panic.
"What are you doing?" Hannah asked, surprise creeping into her voice.
"I'm not going to die today, and if I can help it, neither are you two. I've survived wars, famine, plague, and I won't die now because you two dragged some puppies home. This gnome's ass won't be burned by you two!" Somehow, despite his words, Hannah could tell the gnome cared more than he let on.
A low, growling voice came from outside the door, the words barely recognizable. "We want Ian Bradley, puppet. Give him up, or we will continue knocking until the door falls down. My pack is hungry. If he comes out, we'll leave without eating you two. Maybe."
Another loud bang and Ian dropped to his knees grabbing his head. The top hinge fell to the ground. As he turned his head toward Hannah, she could see his mouth forming an I love you, but the sound was lost to the massive crash of the door.
Hannah was thrust back from Ian as the half-human, half-beast monsters surged at him. She fired off a shot, but one of the creatures knocked the gun from her, sending it sliding to the other side of the living room.
"Now, now, Ms. Franklin, I'd hate if you did anything that might get you hurt." His accented voice was familiar even through the gravelly pitch. He placed a big, furry foot on her chest, pinning her to the ground, then he cocked his head to the side as the other beasts clamped their clawed hands onto her boyfriend.
"Don't hurt her, or I'll kill you all," Ian yelled, thrashing about in their grasp.
Fear curled in Hannah's gut. She hated this. Hated that after all they'd been through, they would be torn apart by werewolves. Literally and figuratively.
"Go with us, and we'll keep her alive. She'll live on, and no one will be the wiser about what happened here. Don't go with us peacefully, and she dies right now." The werewolf stared her down, the pressure of his foot on her chest heavier now.COLLAPSE
He will risk everything to protect her...
Private investigator Hannah Franklin's life is turned upside down after being contacted by a former employee of MAX Home Security, the leader in security services. But they're not just protecting people anymore. Hannah's informant claims to have proof that MAX has ordered the assassination of politicians who stood against the corporation.
When her informant is killed and an attempt is made on her life, Hannah has no choice but to contact a freelance hacker. Her only hope now lies in the hands of a man she never expected to welcome back into her life.
Ian Bradley has lost his girlfriend and his job, as well as having acquired a very annoying gnome. Now his ex, Hannah, is in danger, and she needs his help. Ian vows to protect Hannah with every resource available to him -- and as a technomage in a high-tech world, his resources are almost endless...
Hannah rested her forehead against the cool, metal desk. She anxiously awaited the moment when she could dive into bed and close her eyes. Cheating spouse cases currently flooded her office. Most of the ones she’d worked were fueled by insecurity and simple misunderstandings that could’ve been resolved through conversation or therapy. Just two more reports to file, then she’d be able to call it.
Memories of her soft blankets and the comfort of her pillow relaxed her bunched shoulders. Her eyelids drooped, and she exhaled, ready to give into her exhaustion.
Ringing jarred her from the edge of sleep. She jerked upright and rubbed her eyes. Clearing her throat, she reached for the office telephone. She used an old landline since they were more secure than the wireless communication devices on the market, which ranged from implants in the ear to high-tech cell phones.
“Franklin Investigations, how may I help you?” she asked, stifling a yawn.READ MORE
“Is this Hannah Franklin? I need to speak with Hannah.” The male’s deep voice radiated urgency, with panic underlying his tone.
“This is she. Who’s calling?” Her spine stiffened, and tension tightly wound its way through her. She grabbed a stylus pen and poised it over her e-ink notepad. The electronic leaflet awoke within seconds filled with comments from her previous assignment. Tapping an icon in the top right corner, she brought up a clean page.
“Rich Granger. Listen, I can’t talk for long.” He paused. “Shit! Hold on.” Rummaging and his frantic breathing sounded over the phone. “Okay. This is the deal. I used to work for MAX Home Security. Everything was fine until a few months ago. A turnover happened with the corporate execs. You’ve heard the news, right?”
How could she not? Everyone was talking about the scandals involving the home security giant. Some of it was a bit too sci-fi weird, even for her. Yet, it also made her think of… Grrr… No, she wouldn’t do that to herself.
“Yes, I have. What’s this about?” She kept her voice professional and scribbled down notes about the new potential client.
“You know the senators who spoke against them are dead, yeah? Well, that’s not a coincidence. I have proof that MAX killed them. Meet me at the donut shop on the corner of Fifth and Main Street. You need to see this. Shit!” Sneakers smacked pavement and tires screeched over the phone line. “It’s too late,” Rich said. “They’re here. A freelance hacker I know can help you finish this. Malloc. Reach out to him. This needs to stop.”
The hackers she’d met weren’t the most trustworthy, but if he could help… And wait, she’d be finishing this? Alone? Reluctance rose within her. Her caseload was already full. Besides, after opening her own firm, she needed compensation for her time. Bills streamed in faster than paychecks. However, none of her current assignments held this level of excitement. This case could drive in more business.
“All right, I will.” She scribbled down the hacker’s name and notes about the donut shop.
Men yelling and the distant sound of thundering footsteps disrupted her thoughts.
“Mr. Granger? Rich? Hello?” She glanced at the caller ID to write down Rich’s number and turned to her computer, keying in the digits to a reverse lookup search engine. She needed to know who exactly this guy was.
A gunshot blast rang through her ear, and she jumped out of her chair, dropping the phone.COLLAPSE
Kinley Baker, Author wrote:
Fun and unexpected... Sarah weaves futuristic society, magic, and a grumpy gnome into a fun story!
Techno Crazed is a fantastic beginning to the series. The story is full of diverse, engaging characters and fun twists along the way... I can't wait to read more about Hannah and Ian.
Vera’s Christmas Elf
Christmas Romance Box Set
Ring in the holidays with two steamy Christmas books about finding love in the least expected places...
Her Christmas Elf (Book 1)
Lost in a forest, Vera finds an elf who gives her a Christmas to remember.
Traveling alone in Finland around Christmas is not really what Vera Hayes had imagined she’d be doing. When her longtime boyfriend dumps her before the trip at the last minute, she decides to go anyway. However, she gets lost in a forest in Lapland and starts to panic until she runs into a magical man who looks suspiciously like an elf without the pointy ears. Pekka, one of Santa’s elves, soothes away her worry and helps her find her way back to her cabin, giving her a Christmas Eve to remember.
~ * ~ * ~ * ~
Vera's Christmas Wish (Book 2)
Vera’s back in Finland looking to find some Yuletide love with a sexy elf.
Vera Hayes had the most amazing Christmas ever a year ago. Now she’s back in Finland hoping to find Pekka, her sexy Finnish elf, in hopes of creating new and delightful holiday memories. Not having any luck, she goes back to her cabin where a deranged goat man storms inside demanding food and drink.
On the run from the goat man, she stumbles across Pekka overseeing a massive herd of reindeer. He’s glad to see her, even if he’s more than a little amused at the trouble she always finds herself in.
Shivering, Vera Hayes watched the soft snow falling around her. The landscape was so pretty and so dangerous at this chilling temperature, especially considering she had no clue where she was. She'd gone on a walk when the sun had been up, but now darkness rapidly descended on the forest.
This trip had been nothing but trouble, and she'd been stupid to actually take it. Her ex-boyfriend Steve had wanted this, not her. She'd gone ahead with it thinking it would help free her somehow, but this was far from freeing.
Vera stomped her feet and huddled deeper into her coat, which was starting to feel a little too thin for the current weather. She leaned against a birch tree and hunched her shoulders, beyond frustrated with her current predicament.
Snow dusted her, and she scanned the forest again. Hope failed her, and she set off walking again. Damn, damn, damn.READ MORE
Faint rumbling sounded in the distance behind her and she stopped. The noise grew louder until she could identify it.
Hooves. Lots and lots of hooves. Adrenaline flooded her veins, but her body froze in place from fear.
In the distance, she spotted a herd of reindeer running in her direction. A quick look around her showed no trees with low-hanging branches. So much for easy climbing. She reached for the closest birch, its bark broken by the frost. She wrapped her hands around it and began to climb.
Behind her, the noise grew louder. Among the trees, a herd of reindeer led by a massive gray bull trampled its way through the forest. Snow and frost caved beneath their hooves with almost no resistance.
The glance startled her, and her feet slipped down the birch. Panic struck her chest as she dropped to the ground.
To her left, she saw a small clearing among the trees. She tried to sprint through the almost knee-deep snow, but her progress was too slow. With the herd not far behind, she screamed. When would this nightmare end?
Just as she reached the clearing, a man grabbed her by the arm. He pulled her toward him then and shoved her against a tree, his firm body nestled against her back.
Her breath came out in pants, and not only from her running. "Let me go," she yelled, fear audible in her voice.
"Hush. The herd will ignore you." The man's low, accented voice calmed her a little.
For a moment, Vera considered kicking him and racing away, but his grip tightened on her. He pressed her tighter to the tree. His body molded to hers as if they were puzzle pieces. She only had a second to ponder that as the herd of reindeer stampeded through the clearing.
The large reindeer bull slowed to a stop beside them. Intelligence gleamed in its black, glaring eyes as it waited for the rest of the herd to pass.
"She won't hunt your kin, Old One. I'll look after her," the man said. The reindeer turned its gaze to the man and snorted, shaking its head.
Vera trembled. The cold and numbness she'd been fighting against was draining away her energy. She barely made out the man saying something she couldn't catch. Her attention now focused on the huge bull that stood close enough for her to reach out her hand and touch. The other reindeer were easily her height from hoof to head, but this one made them look small in comparison.
The reindeer stared at her then blew a cloud of steam from its nostrils, obviously not impressed, before galloping after the rest of the herd.
She watched it go until it was barely in sight, then the man grabbed her shoulders. He spun her around, and his gaze dipped to take her in. His expression soured, and he returned his gaze to hers. "What are you doing out here dressed like that?"
Surprise at his audacity had her pulling away from him. His clothing didn't exactly inspire confidence in his sense of fashion either. From what she could tell, his clothing looked to be made of animal pelt. She placed her glove-covered hand against his chest and marveled at the sleek fur.
He snagged her wrist yet didn't move her hand. "There's a storm coming. You shouldn't be out here. You'll die." His gaze whipped over her again, and he grimaced. "Where are you staying?" His words held a melodic lilt that was so pleasant.
"At the cabins." Her teeth chattered a bit more, and she huddled in on herself.
He gave her a quizzical stare then cursed an almost lyrical string of sound. "You're far from safety. What are you doing way out here?"
What did he mean? She hadn't been walking for that long. Or maybe it just hadn't seemed so.
He scooped her into his arms, and she considered falling asleep in the warmth of his grip. But she didn't know anything about him, and after what had just happened with the reindeer...COLLAPSE
Chrissy on Romance Junkies wrote:
...steamy read that will warm you up even on the coldest winter day. There is some great chemistry between Vera and Pekka that practically sizzles off the page.
...incorporates the magic and wonder of the holiday for a sinfully delightful read. Vera and Pekka’s romance is quick and intense yet still fun and whimsical.
The new Amazon Princess chooses between a close friend who wants her and the man she desires...
In the series finale, Sabina Rukan is ready to find her mate. She must choose between her close friend, Tiago, who lusts after her, and the object of her desire, Rafael. When the three of them come together, Rafael discovers the feelings between him and Sabina are mutual, and he'll stop at nothing to make her his mate.
Sabina Rukan knocked on the door to Tiago's hut. He'd been her closest friend for a while, even though her parents had always preferred her to socialize with the other girls in the village. She didn't really care. Growing up as Princess of the Amazons, she couldn't help a slight feeling of entitlement.
The door to his hut opened, and Tiago stood there shirtless with a faded pair of jeans hugging his hips. He smirked at her with a wicked quirk of his lips.
She trailed her gaze over the muscular expanse of his chest. Seeing all his bare skin made her want to nibble on his torso and bask in its warmth. For the past few weeks, her hormones had gone into overdrive.
She'd noticed the werepuma men taking a greater interest in her, which was embarrassing, and yet her parents were still convinced she wasn't ready to become a woman. If they weren't going to trust her, she needed to take matters into her own hands. She'd known just who to come to.READ MORE
He took her hand and kissed her knuckles. "Sabina, how are you doing?" His nose twitched a little, and his brown eyes darkened, as they tended to do whenever she came around. He wanted her, and she wouldn't mind having him, either.
"I'm doing well enough. I need to talk with you." She held on to his hand, pulling him out of his hut. With her being a weretiger, she had comparable strength to his, but she'd been taught not to use her full strength from a young age. That would only hurt people around her, which she was very careful about.
He didn't look too sure about this, but he shut the door and followed her. "Where are we going? Why aren't we talking in my home? There's more privacy in there than out here."
She stopped, turned to look at him, and sighed. "Not really. You know as well as I do, if someone wanted to listen in on our conversation, all they'd have to do is stand outside your door and concentrate. That's not okay with what I need to talk about."
At just that moment, a couple of male werepumas walked by them and looked her up and down. One halted his progress, his eyes flashing upon her as if he wanted nothing better than to push her to the ground and ride her. Her out-of-control hormones were a primary cause for the sudden surge of crudeness she faced, yet her Amazon kin wouldn't understand.
Sabina was different from them. She was the only female werecat in the village, and in many ways, it felt like she'd been cursed. Her parents had forbidden the werepumas to tell her secret, and Kyle -- their leader -- made sure his people knew the lengths he'd go to help make sure the Amazons didn't find out before they were ready. They weren't sure the Amazons would stand behind her as they did her mother, the queen, or even her father or Rubia and Kyle. None of them was a creature next in line for the throne.
Frowning, Tiago shrugged. "Fine. Take me wherever you think is safe."
She walked with him through the village, her gaze set straight on where she was going. Her shoulders were tense, but Tiago used his free hand to squeeze one of them slightly. "Relax," he said.
Sabina let out a breath and took him into the trees. They didn't go far, just enough to have some privacy. "Okay. I..." She paused, not knowing how to go about this. Her usual carefree personality stumbled with letting this off her chest. How could she ask him about her needs? "I was wondering..." She shook her head. "I'm sorry for bothering --"
Tiago hooked his index finger under her chin and forced her to look at him. "You're not bothering me. Just let me know what's on your mind." He stared into her eyes, his gaze intense even in the dark night.
"I need sexual release." The words left her lips before she could cage them. "I hear the mated women and men in their huts, and my body burns like it's caught in a bonfire." She licked her suddenly dry lips, and his gaze dropped to take in the swift motion.
"And you've come to me with this request?" His tone was carefully neutral, but the bulge at the front of his jeans spoke louder than his words.
"Your parents would kill me -- hell, my parents would probably help -- if I claimed you without their permission." The wicked quirk of his lips teased her. She wanted to punch him in the face, but that wouldn't help her cause.
"And?" She propped her hands on her hips.
"I might be able to help ease your desire." He helped her to the ground then settled her onto her back. His hands went to the strip of cloth covering her chest...COLLAPSE
An Amazon and a werepuma cause a battle between races, but will they find love together in time?
Sol has seen others around her find their mates, and she's determined to find her own, except the man who has caught her eye is standoffish and has no intention of getting into a relationship.
Eduardo, the second-in-command of the werepumas, has no interest in the mating going on around him, but his stern attitude is about to change when he finds what he didn't know he was looking for—Sol.
Soft moans filtered into her sleep. Blinking her eyes open, Sol Rios pushed herself into a sitting position and drowsily rubbed her hands over her face. Sleep wasn’t her friend anymore. Not since her neighbor, Rubia, had mated with the werepumas’ leader.
The quiet sighs of pleasure steadily gained intensity and became more insistent, more demanding. Louder. She balled her hands into fists, even as dampness and warmth gathered between her legs. She squeezed her thighs together against the cruel sensation.
This was craziness! She had to get away from here. Would it look too suspicious if Sol asked Adara, the Amazon Queen, if she could move her hut? Then again, Rubia and Adara were friends. Her complaint might cause friction between her and Rubia if Adara said something. She’d have to come up with a good reason, instead of just complaining about the…noise.
Once dressed, Sol stepped out of her hut. She drew in a breath of fresh air to soothe her nerves.READ MORE
Darkness blanketed the village. Only a few torches here and there provided enough light for her to see. She headed toward the village’s center where the Amazons and werepumas held their feasts. Embers glowed hot in the fire pit. She sat beside it, enjoying the heat and the night sounds of the rainforest.
A few guards—both Amazon and werepuma—were prowling the catwalks, and one of the Amazons noticed her with a wave. She returned the kind gesture then lowered her gaze to the coals. Toasty warmth caressed her skin. She wrapped her arms around her legs, hugging them to her chest, then rested her chin on her knees.
Movement drew her attention away from the fire pit, and she caught sight of a tall, lithe figure striding from the village’s entrance toward her. Torchlight revealed his face, and she sucked in a breath. It was Eduardo, the werepumas’ second-in-command.
She was thankful for the darkness. Otherwise, she’d have run.
Her gaze followed him as he passed by without sparing her a glance. How embarrassing. She buried her face in her legs, wishing she had the spark the other Amazons possessed. Many of her people were finding their mates, yet no one paid her any attention. Especially not the man she found most attractive. He didn’t even acknowledge her existence.
At this rate, her womb would become barren before he even bothered making eye contact. Did what he thought really matter? She’d become like her neighbor and up at all hours doing primal…acts with her mate. When did the women ever sleep?
She shook her head, shrugging off any pity for herself. Peeking over her shoulder, she saw Eduardo standing before Rubia’s hut. Even from this distance, tension was evident in his posture. Maybe Rubia and the werepuma leader were still rutting like wild animals.
Sol turned away before he could feel her gaze. Not like that would matter much. She hadn’t seen him look or talk to any of the women aside from Adara, Rubia, and a few Amazon guards. All occasions were strictly for business.
He didn’t possess much charm or charisma—in her opinion—just a stern, no-nonsense attitude. Yet Sol couldn’t help the foolhardy attraction she felt for him. What was wrong with her? It had to be why none of the men were interested in her.
Faint footsteps approached her from behind. Maybe he was just leaving the village again. It didn’t mean he’d have any reason to talk with her. Right? But the footsteps paused, and sudden encompassing silence unsettled her.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a pair of denim-clad legs. Her gaze slid up those strong legs and over his solid chest until she stared into his dark blue eyes.
A frown curved his lips, and he folded his arms over his chest. “You live in the hut next to Rubia, don’t you?”
Sol froze and looked around as if he could’ve been talking to an invisible person next to her. His irritated sigh drew her gaze back to him. “Ye-yes, I do.”
He looked from her to Rubia’s hut again. “Give them a message for me when they manage to tear themselves away from one another.” Displeasure oozed from his tone. His gaze pinned her in place, and she felt as small as an ant.
At least she’d been wrong about something—her hair wasn’t gray nor her womb barren—but this wasn’t quite how she’d imagined him looking at her. In her daydreams, he’d been kind and caring, loving and warm. Not at all like this.
Any bit of self-confidence she’d possessed leaked away. Her nerves shook with the intensity of his intimidating stare. “Message?” Her voice squeaked. Heat rose to her cheeks, but she fought back the blush warming her neck.
The sexy werepuma frowned. “Yes, tell them that I—” Shaking his head, he balled one hand into a fist. “Forget it. I’ll come back in the morning and speak with them myself.” He walked off. Lowering his voice, he murmured to himself, “The message probably wouldn’t reach them if I left it with her. She hardly has any backbone.”
Her heart plummeted into her stomach, and she clenched her hands into fists. She barely held back her tears. “You don’t know me,” she said, her words a whisper.
Eduardo stopped. He turned enough to look over his shoulder, giving her a great view of his profile. His lips curled back from his teeth. “I have no reason to either.” He strode away, leaving her sitting by the fire pit, alone and shaken.
Her emotions shuffled between hurt, humiliation, and then finally settled on anger. Pulling herself to her feet, she stared after the man she’d liked. Now she had her reason for wanting to move her home, and she’d be petitioning Queen Adara first thing tomorrow morning.COLLAPSE
The leader of a Pride of werepumas must win his lady's love, or she could be taken from him forever.
In the Amazon Rainforest, traditions are important. They've long led to survival for the Amazon warrior women.
Kyle Reynolds, ruler of the werepumas, is ready to fly in the face of those treasured customs for the love of Rubia Costa, who will soon be out of his grasp if he can't win her affection before allies of the Amazons steal her away from him forever.
Rubia Costa tied down her hammock in a peaceful spot where she went to get away. She’d told no one of this spot, and yet she was within yelling distance of her people. Help would come if the need arose.
She didn’t dare venture far from her village. But these days, her village wasn’t as calm and mundane as it once had been. So far, she wasn’t sure whether that was good or bad. Life and traditions were changing, and she couldn’t hold back confusion as pieces of what she’d been taught now unraveled around her.
She climbed onto the hammock and gazed at the trees above her. The hammock swung gently, lulling her into the relaxed state she so desired. She closed her eyes and sighed softly.
The dream world rose up to greet her. The sound of dry leaves crunching underfoot forced her back to alertness. Her eyes shot open to see a tall, dark-haired man staring at her.READ MORE
She lunged for her spear, stuck in the ground nearby. Gradually, the realization dawned on her who this man was, and she settled back, her nerves still tense and ready to fight.
“Some reflexes you have there,” Kyle Reynolds said. A grin stretched across his lips, brightening his face. At ease, he leaned against the tree near her feet while she admired his broad, muscular shoulders that narrowed down to a slim waist.
She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms, unwilling to show the impact his presence had on her. “What are you doing here? How did you find me?”
“My sense of smell isn’t as acute as other animals’, but it’s good enough to find where you went. I wanted to make sure you’re not out getting in trouble.” His grin turned into a smirk, and he pushed off from the tree.
“What? Like my friend…” She grimaced. Although they still talked, Adara had so much going on. They didn’t spend as much time together as they had before, especially now with Rei in Adara’s life.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He winked and sat next to her in the hammock. It tilted enough that she slid closer to him.
Her hip bumped his, and her nerves tingled. She crawled away. Unfortunately, he must have taken that as an invitation to come closer, since he lay next to her. “What are you doing? Get out of my hammock.” She scooted farther away as her body started to slip toward his once again.
Kyle grabbed her wrist and kissed her knuckles. His gaze held something she’d seen in glances between Rei and Adara. Those kinds of emotions were unfamiliar to her. Vaguely, she realized their meaning, but why would Kyle project that toward her?
He trailed his lips over her wrist and slowly moved up her arm. His warm breath tickled her flesh. She couldn’t drag her gaze from his. Her voice escaped in a whisper. “What are you doing?”
“Something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. You don’t make this easy for me, Rubia.” He rolled over carefully. His body hovered over hers, and he pressed his lips against her shoulder and then her neck.
Sensations of pleasure spread between her legs, warming her body to a fever pitch. What were they doing? Panic rose up within her, and she shoved hard at Kyle’s chest, throwing him off balance. The hammock tilted, and air rushed by just before her body hit the ground with a thud.
Pain throbbed throughout her back, and a groan welled from her throat. She blinked her eyes open.
Kyle knelt next to her. Concern etched soft lines at the corner of his mouth. “Are you okay?”
The ache in her back sharpened, and she fought not to wince. Instead, she pushed against Kyle’s chest. “I’m fine. I can walk.”
Kyle stared at her with a raised eyebrow. He shook his head. “I’ll carry you. It’s no trouble.”
Great. She didn’t want her tribeswomen to see him carting her around as if he was her protector or had… claimed her. Let alone the state she was in. They might worry she’d been injured, which wasn’t far from the truth since she wasn’t feeling too well at the moment.
She shoved against him, but it was like trying to move a solid tree trunk. He didn’t budge an inch. Her people had studied the werecats, since they lived in such close proximity, but she had a hard time getting used to one being so close. She wasn’t sure she wanted to be intimate with Kyle.
Something about him was alluring, but she couldn’t dream of becoming tied to the werepumas’ leader and shirking her responsibilities as an Amazon. She wanted to lead a peaceful, simple life. Those words were foreign when Kyle was involved.
He stood just out of sight from the village’s catwalks, and she wriggled in his arms.
“Set me down. Right now.” She lowered her voice and glared at him. If only he didn’t have such a solid grip on her spear, but there was no chance she’d be able to wrestle it away from him. Not if he didn’t want her to.
He watched her, and his lips twisted. Determination set in his jaw, but he gently placed her feet on the ground. “Fine. Go show everyone how strong and brave you are.” He muttered under his breath, “Silly woman.”COLLAPSE
Janie Esparza on The Romance Studio wrote:
I liked both Rubia and Kyle... their romantic connection was hot. Readers looking for a pleasant half hour read will enjoy JUNGLE FIRE.
Kim on Goodreads wrote:
[Jungle Fire] is a fast-paced story that is filled with a sexual tension between Kyle and Rubia that you can almost feel and a lot of action.
The characters are well written in this story. They are strong, interesting, sexy and hot. This is a great sexy read with a quick plot that flows well without being rushed. I believe if you give this series a read you will get addicted quickly.
An Amazon Princess and a weretiger must find love enough to heal their peoples’ painful history.
The Amazon Rainforest still contains a few secrets. One of these secrets is a hidden village of women whose history is filled with the horror of conquering men.
Adara Rukan, princess of the Amazons, ventures away from her village to find something waiting for her. Andrei "Rei" Makarov is a weretiger and a biologist on assignment. Can Rei and Adara find love enough to bridge their two separate worlds?
Adara raced over the dense forest floor, trying to escape the shadow closing on her heels. Fear pumped adrenaline through her body as she ran toward her village through the darkness. Panic tangled with the sheer need to survive. If only I'd listened. What was I thinking, coming out alone?
She shot a glance over her shoulder. Her foot smacked against a tree root in the moment of distraction, pitching her body forward. The fall came in slow motion.
Cursing under her breath, she rolled onto her back. Dry leaves clung to her blonde hair. The subtle, musty scent of slow rot rose from the rich soil, mixed with something coming from behind her. The dark shadow loomed. Her gaze rose to take in her pursuer, wondering if the beast would be her doom.
The tall, broad-shouldered creature towered over her. Watching. It wasn't human or animal. The village wise woman had warned her of beings like this, but they'd seemed like fables. How could something so fantastical be real?READ MORE
Even as she trembled with fear, this creature captivated her. The black and orange stripes covering his shoulders and arms evoked a distant memory, yet the design was uncommon in the Amazon.
His hair hung in straight, black strands like a human's, but his face had the nose, mouth, and eyes of a feline. His muscular, naked body reflected a splendid combination of both species. Sweat-shiny skin glistened through the inch-long fur that covered him. His white chest intrigued her, all the way to the patch of fur barely covering his groin. Leaves and branches framed his face with a lush green background. He crouched over her. His piercing golden eyes focused solely on her. His stare reminded her of a cat from her village staring at a small rodent before pouncing.
As he leaned down, she grabbed her kris from the garter on her thigh and pushed it against his stomach. She didn't want today to be the day she died. Her people needed her. She wouldn't let this beast deny them their princess.
The animal cocked his head at her. He brushed his lips over her throat, whiskers tickling her chin.
Her body stiffened. What is he doing? Bewilderment spread through her as his feline lips touched her neck. Instead of biting her, his canines grazed lightly, gently, from just below her ear down to her shoulder, almost as if exploring her flesh, instead of seeking to rip open her throat.
She tensed. Even with her weapon pressed against the beast's stomach, she still feared for her life. As an Amazon princess, she wasn't easily scared. But this feline made her heart pound. If only she had brought Rubia with her. She wouldn't be in this situation and could've stood a better chance against this feline.
Why does he persist in toying with me? Adara swallowed as a low burn started in the pit of her stomach. These feelings confused her.
A soft sniffing sounded in her ear right before his tongue scraped rough caresses on her skin. Other jungle cats marked their territory. Did this animal believe she was his? She didn't want to find out.
Without waiting for the feline's next move, Adara drove the kris deep into his stomach, meeting resistance as it plunged through flesh and muscle. She forced it further as his blood flowed onto her hands, making the hilt of the kris slick, weakening her grip.
He roared and leapt back with her kris still embedded in his abdomen.
She scrambled to her feet. His scream so near the side of her face made her ear ring. Bringing up a hand to her ear, Adara felt a trail of his wet blood drip along her cheek.
He straightened his spine and strode back to her, her kris still buried in him. It seemed as if it were nothing more than a minor annoyance to him. She clenched her hands into fists and dropped them to her sides.
The reality of what she saw struck her. She froze. How could he act so unaffected? He shouldn't have been able to move around so casually. It wasn't possible. How can I outrun something like that? This can't be happening. Her mother had always warned her to be careful when traveling through the forest. Why hadn't she listened? And how could she feel so drawn to this animal when he intimidated her?
"Who are you?" Gritting her teeth, she forced her voice to resonate with the commanding tones of an Amazon huntress, and fervently hoped it didn't betray the panic racing through her veins. Her people's beliefs restricted them from showing fear in front of strangers. Not that they saw many. But her tribeswomen were survivors in dangerous times. Their history brimmed with reminders.
The feline bared pointed white teeth. "Call me Rei." His husky voice reverberated like a deep growl.
He launched into the air and, before she could react, flattened her to the ground. Air whooshed out of her lungs. Her eyes widened and locked onto his.
He pinned her arms next to her head and pressed his feline lips to hers. His tongue scraped across her lower lip, causing nips of pain to cut through the alluring sensation.
She shook her head hard, breaking the kiss. Her breath rushed out short and quick. Never before had she kissed anyone. His mouth on hers created fiery stirrings within her body that felt almost too good. Her racing pulse only spread the warmth throughout her body that much faster.
Twice a year, her tribeswomen associated with Indian men. The younger girls were forced to stay in a hut during those visits, although Adara had snuck out once with Rubia in a fit of rebellion. She'd spotted one of her kin pressing her mouth against an Indian male's. Could this be what happens?
But men weren't to be trusted. Her kin had learned that the hard way many, many years ago.
Her mind flashed to the tales she'd heard from the wise woman. Horrible reminders assaulted her, memories of the men from long ago, enslaving her kind, killing them ruthlessly with diseases and swords.
She could imagine the cruelty of the conquering, pillaging men as vividly as if she had been there herself, so strongly had the wise woman spoken. It had taken weeks for her to sleep soundly after listening to that story.
Sudden panic swept away the lust that burned inside her. This creature could do the same. He's chased me, after all.
"What do you want from me?" Adara asked, trying to sound forceful, but instead her voice came out husky. She cleared her throat and returned his gaze.
Talking with an animal! Rubia would be jealous. Her tribeswomen would never believe this story... if she survived the encounter.
Rei smiled, warmth emanating from him. "You." His chest rumbled, and he rolled the word off his tongue like an exotic purr.COLLAPSE
I Heart Bookie Nookie on The Romance Reviews wrote:
Picture yourself as an Amazonian Princess out for a walk and happen upon a half man half tiger. What do you do, fight or run? ... Well written and very enjoyable to read this nice short story. Looking forward to finding out what else may happen. This may be part of a series, but it is a self-contained story.
JUNGLE HEAT was like a quick escape to a secret world. It was exciting and a little different from the typical shifter story. The sexy weretiger was a nice change... there really should be more tiger shifters in the paranormal world, they have a lot of love to give.