It’s that time of year again. The days are getting shorter, the air is getting cooler and the nights are getting spookier. Yes, it’s time for
tricks and treats, goblins and ghouls, chills and thrills and huge amounts of sugary sweets. But at the Laughing Vixen Lounge blog it’s also time for the 5th annual Attack of the 14 Nights of Halloween Giveaway.
Join Laughing Vixen Lounge and our bewitching co-hosts The Kids Did It, The Mommy Island,
Herding Cats and Burning Soup, The Hopping Bloggers, Mama Smith’s Reviews and Women and Their Pretties
for a spooktacular Halloween event.
Enter to win a $250 Prize Pack filled with goodies from 10 wickedly fabulous shops.
All shops are offering Gift Cards or your choice of item(s) so there will be something for everyone.
Many of the shops have items perfect for any book lover along with lots of unique, handcrafted and custom designs to choose from.
Visit the Laughing Vixen Lounge blog daily during the giveaway for the Halloween Movie Marathon.
Test your movie knowledge with the Guess the Movie Game. Then try to solve the Murder Mystery Scavenger Hunt, if you dare!
Each event will get you daily entries in the giveaway plus a special giveaway for the Scavenger Hunt.
Find full details for these events HERE.
OUR BLP SCARY MOVIE PICK
Soooo, when it comes to scary movies, we’re not the biggest fans….. sad but true..
but if I have to pick one to watch it would be the movie version of one of Stephen King’s books.
SK was the first mainstream author who’s books I started reading when I was about 13 (my dad was an avid reader of his books and it was him that got me into the genre!), gods, the stories (and my imagination) scared me half to death and I checked under the bed every night before I went to sleep, but I bloody loved his stories and still do to this day!!
I think as I am a huge paranormal fan (as is Rebecca) Christine is one of my favourite movies from the SK world.
A cool car, a possessed teen, a jealous female and lots of paranormal goings on all in the one film….. excellent!! 😉
Leave us a comment to let us know whether or not you like scary movies and,
if you do, what’s your favourite one to watch?
~ Tracy (& Rebecca) xxx
You can start by entering the Rafflecopter widget below.
To experience all the games, movies, shop features, giveaway info and all around awesome fun make
sure to stop by the Laughing Vixen Lounge blog HERE.
The giveaway runs October 18th – November 1st and is open worldwide to anyone 18+.
1 winner will win the Prize Pack and 1 winner will win the Scavenger Hunt Prize Pack.
Laughing Vixen Lounge is responsible for all giveaway details. Click HERE for full details.
By the Rules
(Evergreen Grove #3)
by Elisabeth Staab
Release Date: 1/19/2016
He thinks I want him because of the rumors around town. Because I think he’s easy. I want AJ, because he’s AJ.
No liars. No suits. Absolutely no straight guys…
AJ Fabin’s list of rules keeps him safe. Since getting kicked out of his parents’ home and attacked by a former escorting client, his rules and his life in the tiny town of Evergreen Grove provide a quiet haven. He may be lonely, and he may stick out like a sore thumb, but the folks like him well enough. When he’s not dodging his old pimp, things are peaceful.
Hayden Price is having a quarter-life crisis. Engaged to a woman he can’t connect to and working a job he secretly hates, he comes to Evergreen Grove to help his mother through a health scare. Returning to his childhood home makes Hayden reevaluate a lot of things, including himself. When he meets AJ and finds he can’t stand the mouthy jerk—almost as much as he can’t stop thinking about him—he has a lot more to change than his career.
To be together, they’ll both have to break all of their rules.
By the Rules is book 3 in the Evergreen Grove series, but reads as a standalone.
You know that movie where the devastatingly handsome billionaire falls head over heels for the former rent-boy with a heart of gold and they ride off into the sunset with their limo, their unicorn collection, and a cuddly little Bichon Frise?
Okay, me neither.
Nobody’s ever gonna make that movie, because nobody would buy the premise. Not even if Julia Roberts does make the prospect look all kinds of glittery-ever-after on camera. And for real, I’m telling you I could rock a string of diamonds just as well as her (I could!), even if you wouldn’t catch me dead in an evening gown. Or doing a douche who drives a five-speed penis-mobile.
Well…maybe it would depend on the penis-mobile.
God bless Richard Gere’s fine ass in a three-piece, though. I may have a rule against dating a guy like the one he plays in Pretty Woman, but there’s nothing wrong with a little fantasy. Like a big ol’ slab of red velvet cake, it may not be healthy for you to eat, but looking doesn’t cost any calories.
Rule #1: Watch out for rich guys in business attire. They’re sleek, gorgeous, and powerful looking, like jungle cats, and as likely to take a chunk out of you when your back is turned.
Rules aside, Gere’s chiseled cheekbones help me stay awake when I’m stuck behind my ratty, wood-paneled check-in desk, working dusk to dawn at The Grove Inn. Not much else going on at night in the speck of a town that is Evergreen Grove, NC.
Once in an extremely blue moon we get a flurry of activity after dark like a tired traveler or two, but mostly it’s me, my laptop, and my movie marathons. Next up is An Officer and a Gentleman, because I’m all about indulging a good movie star crush. Gotta get my feel-goods where I can.
“Did you shower already?”
He sniffs like the concept is beneath him. “I’ll shower at home.” He’s limping when he walks over to grab his backpack.
That ankle’s hurting him and it’s my fault. I was an ass for trying to show him up. “Hey, listen. Sorry about knocking you down like that. Really.” I close the gap between us to offer a hand, but he doesn’t even make a show of accepting. I don’t really know what to do with that. In my world, you shake a guy’s hand. For appearances if nothing else. For the sake of politeness. So you don’t burn bridges with a contact you might need later.
AJ and I clearly aren’t playing by the same set of rules.
He looks down at my hand. “It’s boxing. It happens. I’ll be fine. Don’t let it keep you up at night.” Except he winces when he takes another step. He doesn’t want me to know he’s in pain.
That limp of his drives the guilt I was already feeling deeper into my gut. “Hey.” I pull on his arm to get his attention. “Stop. Are you planning to walk to that motel where you work? It’s all the way on the edge of town. Why don’t you come with me to my mom’s? It’s closer, and then I can give you some ibuprofen and a ride.”
My grabbing hand pulls AJ’s shirt down and to the side, exposing a piece of one of his tattoos. I noticed it before—one of those dancing guys with a flute—whaddyacallit? A Kokopelli.
“Isn’t this a fertility symbol?”
“I prefer to think of him as a traveling gigolo. Seemed to fit at the time, Suit.” When AJ lets out a heavy breath and our eyes meet, I realize I’ve been running my fingers over the black lines on his chest without thinking—or permission.
Shit. I pull my hand back. The heat of his skin seeping into mine reminds me of things better left in the past.
I clear my throat. “Sorry. I didn’t—I was only curious. About the ink.” Jesus, that was a shitty slip and an even shittier save attempt. There are rules about these things with guys. Touching should be brief, impersonal, and possibly pain-inducing. Unless somebody died.
AJ hasn’t moved and hasn’t responded to my offer of a lift home. In order to fill the silence, I decide to ask, “Hey, I was wondering. Those tattoos…”
What are they covering? Where did you get those scars?
AJ lunges, putting us molecules from being chest to chest. Hard, chilly blasts of air conditioning remind me that he’s fully dressed and I’m wearing nothing but an undersized towel that is currently holding on with sheer luck and probably not enough determination.
“Yeah, I’ll bet you were wondering. I’ll bet you’re curious about a lot of things, aren’t you, Suit?” He looks me up and down appraisingly. I assume he’s trying to make me uncomfortable.
BLP REVIEW – Tracy
Oooops, I did it again….. I read a book from a series without realising it! I really do need to pay attention when I sign up for ARCs – but when I was offered the chance to read Elisabeth Staab’s book by Anna over at Herding Cats & Burning Soup I jumped at the chance ‘cos the gal hasn’t steered me wrong with her book suggestions before now!
Anyhoo, the small fact that I hadn’t read the first two books didn’t in any way detract from my enjoyment of By The Rules and has given me another series to go back and start from the beginning, even knowing how things have turned out for the respective lead characters. I’m definitely gonna check out more of Elisbeth’s books when I clear my ARC list ‘cos I really like her writing style.
I’ve read m/m before and for the most part enjoyed it – especially those written by some of my fave authors – and if I’m being honest, By The Rules kinda surprised me, in a really good way.
There’s something hot and sexy about two guys falling for each other and getting together. Hayden & AJ’s story was no exception but there was more to their story than just sexual attraction, heat and sex!
AJ is a larger than life, confident mouthy guy who doesn’t care what people think of him or his brightly coloured trainers. Hayden is a confident, successful control freak who lives to work. Or are they?!?!
By The Rules is a story with depth. It showed how people can often seem to be one thing when they are really something completely different.
Most of the focus of the story was on the guys actually getting to know each other. Hayden had so many layers to peel from the rainbow unicorn that was AJ to find the ‘real’ Mr Fabin while our sparkly blonde had to overcome his dislike of, and preconceived ideas about, the ‘Suit’.
There were a few twists and unexpected turns that kept me wondering just how things were gonna go for our couple. The story flowed really well, had some excellent banter and one liners which had me laughing out loud at times.
I give By The Rules 5 sparkly unicorn stars!!! *****
About the Author
Elisabeth Staab started hunting mutant hedgehogs back in 1842… Oops, wrong bio… Elisabeth Staab digs coffee, saucy stories, and sexy things that go bump in the night. Once, she ate dinner in a jail and liked it. She lives in the Washington DC area with her incredible family and does her best to juggle life while ignoring the laundry.
Follow the Tour
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There’s a tour wide giveaway for a $50 Aazon Gift Card!
For a chance to win just fill out the giveaway form
Paranormal Romance, Wolves
Publisher: Harlequin Nocturne
Release Date: June 1, 2016
Who’s been sleeping in the Alpha’s bed?
Exiled from his pack by his father, Brice Walker has secretly come home to visit his ailing grandmother only to discover a human and very desirable female sleeping in his bed. Their attraction is instant. But his new bed buddy seems determined to resist his Southern charm and Alpha allure.
For Brice, fiercely independent Cassie not only represents a chance to build a new life in Walker’s Run but is also his one true mate. Cassie’s reluctance dissolves when a rogue shifter kidnaps her, and now she and Brice must work together to save his pack. But once she witnesses the savagery of wolfan justice, can Cassie accept Brice as man, beast and her true love?
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“Do you ever keep that thing covered?” The huskiness in Cassie’s voice caused his thing to twitch.
“You like seeing me naked. I can see it in your eyes.” Securing the towel around his hips, Brice padded barefoot across the cold tile.
“What you see is my brain being fried from too much exposure to all your glory.”
“You think I’m glorious?” Brice unfastened her silver hair clip. Red ringlets splashed over his hands and slid through his fingers. He held fast to one curl and stroked the luxurious strands across his cheek. A thrill zipped straight down to his groin.
“That’s not what I meant.” A slight tremble parted her lips.
Brice ached for a kiss and so much more. Her taste on his tongue, her scent on his skin, her luscious legs wrapped around his hips. A deluge of erotic dreams had eroded his resolution to keep things platonic.
Cassie’s scent wove a spell of need and want that smothered reason. Helpless to resist, he slipped his arm around her waist and lowered his face to hers. She squinted and puckered her mouth, but not to receive his lips.
The unexpected rejection jolted Brice. “What’s wrong?”
“I don’t want this.” She gestured a between-you-and-me hand signal. “I have plans for the future and you’re not in them.”
Damn. That stung.
Even though he agreed they had no future together, he disliked hearing her say it.
“You need ground rules.” Cassie wormed out of his hold and faced him with a straight back, squared shoulders and both hands on her hips.
Her eyes slanted with censure. She pointed her jaw and scrunched her mouth like his fourth-grade teacher when he’d neglected to do his homework three days in a row. When he’d been a wolfling, the no-nonsense, better-get-your-shit-together look had mortified him into compliance. Now that he was an adult male in his prime, that look on a feisty, petite human female did something entirely different.
“I don’t like rules.” He smiled.
About the Author
Southern born and bred, Kristal Hollis grew up amid cane fields and orange groves. Books fed her imagination, providing adventurous portals to ancient civilizations, medieval fiefdoms, alternate realities and futuristic worlds. Then, a friend gave her Johanna Lindsey’s FIRES OF WINTER, a historical romance which ignited a life-long love affair with romantic fiction.
After earning a degree in psychology, Kristal has enjoyed career and volunteer endeavors that have included sales, banking, social services, and animal rescue. When a family medical situation required her to take a work sabbatical, she began penning deliciously dark paranormal romances as an escape from the real-life drama. Even though the crisis passed, her passion for writing continues.
Currently, Kristal lives with her husband and two rescued dogs at the edge of the enchanted forest that inspires her stories.
Kristal is giving away a print copy of Awakened by the Wolf! Open INT.
To enter please fill out the giveaway widget!
Winter Solstice Run #3
(Black Hills Wolves #33)
Release Date: 11/20/2015
Patience is a virtue…a lesson Stephen Dorsett has learned over the years, wooing his mate. He loves the prickly woman with all his heart, but he’s keeping a secret from her—one that will soon change the entire dynamic of their relationship.
Kate Matthews has a secret of her own, but she’s reluctant to share her surprise with Stephen. With her mate spending too many long hours and late nights at work recently, Kate begins to second-guess Stephen’s commitment to her.
One simple misunderstanding, fueled by insecurities and doubts, is all it takes to throw Kate and Stephen off course. Will they allow their secrets to pull them apart, or make their love stronger?
Kate Matthews gaped at the small, plastic stick she clutched with a death grip. The frantic drum of her heart beat against her ribcage while her stomach churned in discord. A swift influx of panic, elation, disbelief, and fear bombarded her all at once, dragging the air from her lungs in a noisy whoosh.
Reeling from the revelation, she stumbled backward to drop onto the toilet lid before her weak knees buckled. Unfortunately, she miscalculated the distance and fell in between the sink and toilet with a surprised squeal, landing in a squished heap and banging her head on the wall in the process. Temporarily rendered stupid, she simply sat there, wedged in the tiny space, gawking at the little strip of plastic glaring the truth at her.
“You all right in there?” her mate, Stephen, called from the other side of the door. No doubt he’d scented her distress.
Alarm whipped through her bloodstream, and the pregnancy test flew from Kate’s trembling hand to clatter on the floor in front of her. When he twisted the doorknob, she bolted from the floor and snatched the small stick from the bathroom tiles.
“I’m fine,” she exclaimed. “There was a spider.”
He twisted the knob again, and she sent up a quick prayer of thanks she’d had the foresight to turn the latch.
“Why’d you lock the door?” A mix of irritation and concern tinged his deep voice.
Frantic, she stashed the plastic strip in a box of tampons in the cabinet under the sink, certain he’d never look there, and then darted for the entrance. Once she fumbled with the lock, she tugged the door open and came face to chest with Stephen.
“I must’ve locked it by accident when I came in.” The excuse sounded weak to her own ears. Surely, he would think the same. They never locked the bathroom door, if she could get him to close the damn thing at all.
A frown creased his golden features. He watched her through narrowed blue eyes—attempting to decipher the obvious lie and cow her with his probing stare at the same time.
Drop it. Drop it. Please, for the love of God, drop it.
BLP REVIEW ~ Tracy
About the Author
Melissa Limoges lives along the Gulf Coast with her OCD cat, Mr. Tibbs.
Tax assessor by day, romance writer by night, she enjoys anything coffee related, traveling,
and reading happily ever afters.
Follow the Tour
You can find the rest of the tour stops HERE.
There’s a tour wide giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
For a chance to win just fill out the giveaway form below!
I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year since we started the last ‘New To You’ reading challenge organized by Anna @ Herding Cats & Burning Soup…
I’ve read a fair amount of ‘new to me’ authors this year and some great books – 3 in particular I would say are in my fave reads of the year list!!!
Anna makes some fab recommendations on the blog and tbh, more than a few of the books I’ve read in this category came via her reviews and spotlights!!!
Why not join us and take part in the challenge this year yourself? You’ll find the sign up here.
I’m going for level ‘wading in’ which is 25 books – more than this year but I think I can achieve it!!!
~ T xx
Monica Beggs is more than the hottest porn star out on DVD–she’s Finn Daniel’s next assignment.
Lights. Camera. Lube?
Famous porn star Monica Beggs has wrapped up another grueling on-location movie shoot when the Colombian cartel attempts to kidnap her. Their guns are as real as the price on her pretty head.
Former Special Ops and present day surfer, Finn Daniels recognizes a lady in distress when he sees one—especially when it’s his adult film crush being hustled out the door. He’s no longer in the business of busting up the underworld, but that doesn’t deflect his moral compass.
In a fast-paced adventure–over land, sea, and air–playing it hot and heavy can only lead them straight into action!
Pick Up Your Copy!
The pole raising a tent in his jeans hovered near her face. Need thrummed through her veins with every beat of her heart. Tension coiled, building a delicious density in her core. It took all the sexual training she possessed to not reach out and run the tips of her fingers over his impressive bulge.
No, not yet…
She waited, bit her lip and drew the moment out. Choosing to remain quiet until she saw his hands flex into fists not once, but twice.
“Are you sweet—” Moni leaned forward, keeping her fingers gripped tightly to the bed. She inhaled his musky, virile scent as she drew the side of her nose along his hard length. “—or spicy?”
Always on the hunt for the uncommon things in life, award-winning author Sheri Fredricks thrives on creating one-of-a-kind adventures.
A former engineering secretary, she lives on California’s beautiful central coast. “I wanted to move away from a profession of inflexible right angles and create an unboxed world with no boundaries.” A voracious reader since her early years, Sheri found her brain crowded with stories of her own. “Ultimately,” she says, “my husband encouraged me to write them all down.”
Winner of the Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Finalist multiple times for InD’Tale Magazine’s Reward Of Novel Excellence award (RONE), she has numerous five-star reviews everywhere eBooks are sold.
Sheri loves to spend time at home and connecting with readers. A computer hutch keeps her focused on creating stories, but the panoramic view of life on a ranch will call her outside to play in the sun.
Find Sheri Online!
Tour Wide Giveaway
There’s an awesome tour wide giveaway. One lucky commenter from the tour will win an e-set of Sheri’s entire backlist!
Follow the Tour!
Stop by every day and check out new excerpts, guest posts and interviews with Sheri!
The tour schedule can be found HERE.
Naming His Mate
Black Hills Wolves #17
GBLT Paranormal/Erotic Romance
Release Date: May 1, 2015
Length: 64 pg.
Small-town sheriff, Mike Hadley, would love to experience a headache-free day for once in his life. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen anytime soon. While investigating a rash of disappearances and dealing with his ornery lover, he’s thrown into a whole new world he never imagined existed.
Damien Marks has finally found a place to call home in Los Lobos, South Dakota, with the Black Hills Pack. He also stumbles across something he never thought he would—his mate. Falling hard, he decides he needs to come clean and tell the truth. But will his sexy lover accept what he is?
Embroiled in a potentially dangerous situation, both men have to decide where their loyalties lie—with duty or love?
Mike Hadley adjusted his gun holstered on the belt at his waist and tugged his jacket over the weapon, concealing it from clear view. There wasn’t any doubt he’d incite a riot if he walked inside with his piece visible.
Coming here, to this place in the middle of nowhere, shouldn’t have troubled him. He’d stepped into shittier, more unstable situations than this hole-in-the-wall bar, but damn if a thread of apprehension didn’t prickle the length of his spine as he stood outside of the entrance. One small detail kept him from strolling into the establishment like he owned the place, and he sincerely hoped that minor detail stayed home tonight.
He rolled his neck from side to side in a bid to loosen the tension in his shoulders. With an air of confidence he didn’t quite feel, he pulled open the heavy steel door and strode inside the Den.
Thirty seconds was all it took for activity to grind to a screeching halt. The drawl of a country ballad playing on the music box in the far corner thumped through the stifling air. Weighted stare after weighted stare met his gaze head on as he scanned the bar’s occupants. Their open hostility battered at his senses.
He wasn’t welcome. That much was apparent, but he would deal with it. Despite a bar full of unfriendly locals, the absence of one in particular shaved off a degree of his unease.
Of course, his anxiety hardly mattered. As sheriff of the small town of Collins, South Dakota, it was his job to investigate a rash of disappearances over the last several weeks. Unfortunately, the trail had led him to the neighboring, inhospitable town and people of Los Lobos.
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About the Author
Melissa Limoges lives along the Gulf Coast with her OCD cat, Mr. Tibbs. Tax assessor by day, romance writer by night, she enjoys anything coffee related, traveling, and reading happily ever afters.
There’s a tour-wide giveaway (US only) going that includes a $25.00 Starbucks gift card, Naming His Mate Necklace, Ahava Weekender gift set, and a mini nail file set. 🙂
AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT ~ Katalina Leon
Book: Hoodoo Blue
Series: Magic and Mayhem #1
Publisher: Fated Desires Publishing
Fredi is a passionate witch with a scorching hot secret. Every time she has a sexual thought, green fire blasts from her fingertips. Gus is a gorgeous lycan who scares women away with his wild wolf-shifts. Not the best way to find relationships.
Both have vowed not to date until they get themselves under control, but a witchy friend thinks differently. The pair get tricked into sharing a frosty pitcher of “Hoodoo Blue” and fall prey to a wayward love potion that has them blurting out every lustful thought. Worse, it won’t allow them to walk away from each other. They’re stuck together until dawn under the devilish effects of a time-released hoodoo that makes them do outrageous things. For everyone’s safety, Fredi is forced to take Gus home and tie him to her headboard and only some very witchy lovemaking can calm the storm.
Fredi and Gus might find themselves on the set-up date from hell, but even a hilarious cascade of disasters can’t keep a plus-sized blonde witch with attitude, and a hunky lumberjack of a lycan from seeing the other would be the perfect mate.
(Fredi and Gus just met in the Voodoo Hoodoo cocktail lounge. Sparks fly. Now they need to get away from each other ASAP)
…Sid stood in front of the booth blocking her retreat. “Leaving? Not so fast. Here’s your pitcher of Hoodoo Blue, mixed special for you. I know that rhymes.” He winked as he set a frosty pitcher filled with what looked like a turquoise slushy on the table and placed two heavy glasses paired with pink straws beside it. “Enjoy.”
“Thank—“ Fredi stopped herself and raised a palm in apology. “I won’t say it.” Sid smirked and walked away. Damn Fae. With his sly green eyes, he always looked like he was up to no good.
She stared at the frosty blue beverage with suspicion. There was a lot of drink there—more than enough to get several adults schnockered. No doubt sneaky Sid mixed it strong, too. “There’s no way we can finish all of that. I really shouldn’t stay.”
Gus reached out and stroked her hand with a whisper light touch that brought her to a halt. “One drink. We’ll talk a little and I promise I’ll let you go. I have no business hanging around either. I need to get home, or take a run in the hills….”
“Why run to the hills?”
He heaved a tense breath. “To get a little wiggle room between me, civilization, and full- blown Lycanthropy high jinx. You’re a witch. I’m sure you’re familiar with what I’m talking about.”
She shrugged. “I’m sorry. I’m not sure what you mean. I didn’t grow up around many Lycan. I was raised in San Buena. Wolf boys usually aren’t part of the surf and shore scene. They head for the forests.”
“Wolf men,” he corrected her. “And you’re right Lycans prefer the woods to sandy beaches, but you must have heard something?” He settled his big frame uncomfortably on the vinyl seat.
“No.” She shook her head. “Nothing. I really don’t know much about the Lycan community.”
Gus’s expressive brows drooped. “You must have heard that during a full moon Lycans have a bad reputation for getting a little too aggressive, hairy, and—“
“Horny? Okay, I have heard that. I thought you might offer something a little more obscure, like you had to wear red shoes and skip through the hills searching for four-leaf clovers or something stupid like that.”
“Nope.” He looked terribly uneasy. “Nothing fancy. I have to stay away from the ladies. I don’t want to offend or bother anyone who’s not into Lycans, and it can be a challenge to control myself, especially around a woman like you.” His thick brows creased so strongly they almost met. “Strike that. I should not have said it.”
Book: Forsaken Realms
Series: Bounty Hunters United #1
Publisher: Fated Desires Publishing
“Retrieval specialist” is just a fancy term for high-level corporate bounty hunting. Agent Gemmina Nayar is the best in her league. She’s a sense-enhanced, level-seven bounty hunter from New Mumbai who receives an exclusive invitation to track a dangerous criminal on private property. She arrives on the tropical planetoid eager to hunt and release her inner tigress, but is disappointed to discover the bounty has already been captured.
Syan is a Kironian, an off-limits alien race. He’s gorgeous, rugged and all male. Even sedated and forced to wear an electronic silence collar, he resembles a coppery skinned refugee from Mount Olympus. Worse Gemmina’s unaware Kironian saliva is loaded with pheromones that can turn even the most indifferent woman into a willing mate. A single kiss or bite is sabotage.
When the mission turns lethal, she realizes she’s not only been tricked into bringing the wrong man to justice, but the harsh jungle below is a calculated trap.
Four guards wearing head-to-toe body armor and face shields, and carrying ionized bang sticks with the tips glowing hot, marched toward her, dragging a semi-conscious man between them. The captive was slumped forward with head hanging and a tousle of dark, wavy hair concealing his face. His splayed legs hung limp, and the toes of his heavy boots dug deep furrows into the beach. The current sedation seemed to be effective.
A guard stepped forward. “Open the skimmer’s bay wider. This is a big guy.”
Gemmina carefully lifted her feet and dared to take a shaky step or two across the rolling glass-bead beach.
“Hold on. Let me have a look at him before I take custody.”
She removed a handheld scanner from a hip pocket, activated it, and waved it over the inert captive.
“I’m looking for possible broken bones, signs of abuse, bruising, internal injuries, slow- acting poisons, et cetera…. In short, anything that I don’t want to be held legally responsible for. I’m making a complete virtual record of his physical condition at the time he was taken into my custody.”
She scanned the man’s powerful limbs. Syan wore a snug, black pressure suit made of stretchy fabric that emphasized the curved sweep of thick biceps and broad thighs. The man was built.
Best guess was he’d be at least a head and a half taller than she was. He appeared to be pure muscle and was likely at least twice her weight. Without a doubt, he was going to be a challenge to transport, and she wished she had a bigger ship with a secure gravity-plus chamber to lock him inside.
The guard who had removed his face shield appeared concerned. “Is everything all right?”
“Aside from mild dehydration, so far everything’s fine, but don’t rush me. Taking a virtual report is serious business. If a judge ever discovered that I let it slide before I—”
The guard interrupted. “No one’s rushing you! Take your time.” Then he made the spinning fingers motion, which was the universal sign for hurry-up.
With a gentle touch, she explored the top of Syan’s head. His hair was unlike that of any species she’d ever seen. It was dense, and the glossy locks that hung to his chin were such a deep black they shimmered with a purple iridescence reminiscent of a raven’s feather. Fascinated, she rubbed a few strands between her fingertips. Kironian hair was gorgeous and felt like silk.
Touching it was mesmerizing.
The guard frowned. “What are you looking at? Is something wrong?”
“I’m examining him. I’ve never seen a Kironian before.” She knelt to Syan’s level, brushed his long hair aside, and cautiously lifted his chin. Her breath caught. He was stunning with heavy, black brows and rugged features paired with flawless, coppery skin. He looked like a refugee from Mount Olympus now collared and bound. He was too damn perfect in a provocative way.
Syan opened his eyes, which were ringed with lush, black lashes. Just that one movement appeared to tax him, and the first moments his attention seemed to drift before coming into focus, but, when it did, his gaze was laser-sharp. Without blinking he looked directly at her. He had large, commanding black eyes with the slightest violet sheen. The intensity of a bird of prey shone in their depths.
His gaze narrowed and for a moment she imagined he was attempting to speak to her, in code or through looks. A weird sense of telepathic connection lingered. Suddenly a rush of jumbled images raced through her mind. The images were disturbing and violent, and churned unsettling emotions. He opened his mouth as if he were silently screaming, wriggled one arm free of the guards and lunged toward her throat with teeth bared.
“Whoa!” Gemmina leaped backward, toppled, and crawled away on her elbows like a crab until she sank into the beach sand. “Holy crap! What was that about? This man’s not sedated!”
The guards surrounded Syan and delivered a crackling volley of stunning bursts from their blast sticks until their captive shuddered, fell, and lay limp on the ground with a trickle of blood running
from his bitten lip.
“That’s enough!” she shouted…”
Book: Portrait of a Lone Wolf, Novella, #7
Series: Black Hills Wolves
A mixed-blood Native American wolf-shifter, abandoned by a teenage mother and ignored by an absentee father, Rio Waya has never fit in or felt worthy of love. But when he comes home to the Black Hills, he realizes he wants a mate of his own.
Recovering from a cheating ex who started a new family behind her back, Sela López seeks escape to pull her life back together. As a documentary filmmaker and wildlife photographer, she rents a cabin in the Black Hills with plans to film the beleaguered wolf population. But she’s so busy looking through a camera lens she doesn’t see trouble coming.
Sparks fly as mutual fears and vulnerabilities surface when Sela and Rio meet. She can’t figure out why the mysterious Mr. Waya is so anxious about having a documentary made of the Black Hills Wolves. But when his secret is exposed, all hell breaks loose. Can Rio win Sela’s trust and soothe her fears about allowing a hunky wolf-shifter into her heart?
Following her nose through the front door, she was thrust into a honky-tonk time warp. Bars like this one didn’t exist in Los Angeles. The Den was cozy enough but appeared to have been decorated by a taxidermist in the late seventies and zealously preserved since. The shaggy heads of several unfortunate buffalo dominated the far wall. At the front door, two stuffed raccoons offered a mock greeting with outstretched paws. The chairs, booths, and even a few of the tables were covered in forest green vinyl. No doubt a sticky misery to come in contact with on a hot day.
Movement caught her eye. A burly man with an inscrutable expression rose from behind a counter as if he was part of a magic act. He was tall with a barrel chest. A nappy brown sweater coupled with hunched posture lent him a distinctly bearlike appearance.
The dour gentleman focused on Sela with a frown. “Where did you come from?”
Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild” was cranked to eleven. She had to shout to be heard, “Can I order some food to go?”
The saggy-faced Papa bear behind the counter appeared perturbed. “Fair warning, miss. The kitchen’s closed. Pretty sure we don’t have what you want.”
The explosive clack of a pool cue making hard contact with a ball nearly drowned her out. “Except for you, everything’s closed in this town!”
A few customers cast her a brief glance then looked away. The lucky bastards sat in front of pitchers of cold beer, towering hamburgers, paired with heaps of french fries or onion rings. Her stomach growled embarrassingly loud, but she doubted anyone could hear above the blaring music. “Something smells heavenly. Could I at least order onion rings to go?”
Bear man shook his head. “Sorry. No can do. Fryer’s turned off.”
“Really?” Digging through her purse, she wondered if this place would accept a credit card. “I’m willing to pay a little extra for the trouble.”
With a sullen pout, he rubbed a limp rag across the countertop. “After hours The Den ain’t open to the general public. Guess what? It’s after hours.”
“Oh, come on!” She sounded desperate.
A man in a red plaid shirt, who appeared to be in his mid-thirties, sat at the counter. He shot her a smoldering look filled with mixed emotions. Perhaps he was angry or lost in thought. She couldn’t tell. The flash of fire in his eyes beneath brooding black brows was impossible to decipher. When he opened his mouth, the tough gravel voice of a drill sergeant rumbled out. “Gee, don’t be a hard ass. Get the lady some onion rings.”
The lumbering hairy thing behind the counter, presumably named Gee, thrust out his bottom lip and lifted his hands into the air in mock surrender. “Why not? It’s not like my house rules ever get any respect anyway.”
From the corner of her eye, Sela glimpsed a huge silver-furred canine dart from under a table, push a swinging door open with its muzzle, and disappear.
“Did I just see a wolf?” Sela gasped.
“Medium rare.” Gee set a steaming hamburger buried beneath heaps of fries and onion rings in front of Sela.
Everything on the plate looked delicious. “Thank you. I thought I ordered this to go?”
“Stay awhile. Enjoy your food.” Gee gave Rio a sickly sweet little grin. “L.A. stood up to you. I like her.”
The crease between his brows deepened. “Gee, no one asked your opinion.”
She gingerly picked up a fistful of scorching hot fries and ferried them over to Rio’s plate.
He appeared puzzled. “Why?”
“Peace offering.” She wondered what he looked like when he smiled. “I’m sure yours are cold by now.”
Rio picked up one of the token offerings, lifting the hot french fry to his lips. He didn’t even care he was about to get burned big time. In fact, he wanted the pain. Better to take the punishment now than suffer a shitload of hurt after he did something stupid like make a play for Sela López, which absolutely, positively could not happen. To his eyes, she was knockout gorgeous with killer curves. She had plenty of sass, too. She hadn’t backed down a bit from his most withering I- just-put-you-in-your-place look.
Something else caught him off-guard—her scent. One whiff of her subtle female aroma had brought his blood to a boil.
Holy crap, what had he gotten himself into? By the tone of her e-mail inquiries about the cabin, he’d come to the false conclusion Miss López was a dried-up academic collecting data about the Los Lobos wolf population. Instead, a Latina temptress with an ass that made him want to bite his fist and whimper had shown up.
Katalina Leon is an artist and author who can’t commit to a single genre. Her favorite playgrounds are historical, Sci-fi, contemporary, and most of all paranormal realms. Katalina brings a sense of adventure and a touch of the mystical to erotic romance. She believes there’s a daring heroine inside every woman who wants to take a wild ride with a strong worthy hero.