Furry, Fluffy & Wild is a wolf shifter anthology available through Liquid Silver Books and includes my novella Blue Moon Rising which actually kicks off the “Shifting Bonds” series. This is the story where I first fell in love with Jayda Kynslan, a veterinarian who hasn’t yet met the shifter within…
Please enjoy this excerpt:
Jayda Kynslan sauntered into the Whip and Bull Tavern wanting only two things: a cold beer and a hot c**k. The first she hoped would ease the heavy ache in her chest. The second would be attached to a good-looking man who would replace the images of the jackass who’d broken her heart. This whole road trip to the high mountains of Montana had been a knee-jerk reaction to the asshole’s selfishness. Jayda shook her head, clearing away thoughts of the friggin’ pig of a manwhore. She didn’t want to go there tonight. This night was about getting a little buzz and a lot of sex.
Her first objective was only as far away as the bar on the other side of the room. But weaving her way through the handful of empty tables, her red cowboy boots crunching on the peanut shells strewn on the marred floor, Jayda realized finding someone to fulfill the second thing on her wish list wasn’t going to be as easy. She’d picked a bad night to go cruising for male flesh in a nearly empty bar that seemed to cater to the college crowd.
Plunking her voluptuous ass on one of the padded barstools, Jayda lifted her hand to the bartender. Some might consider Jayda fat, but she liked to think of her size-sixteen frame as curving in all the right places. Why men would go for the little waifs with nothing to hold on to, like the petite blonde behind the bar, was beyond her understanding.
“Bud Lite,” she said to the female bartender, who looked only slightly less bored than she felt at the moment. Except for football season, which had already passed, Jayda figured Monday nights, even in a cowboy town like Lonesome Fork, weren’t really big tavern nights for most people.
The woman’s ponytail swayed as she set down the bottle, offered a glass, which Jayda refused, and slid over the bowl of peanuts. Jayda hadn’t eaten since lunch–just before leaving the clinic. Anticipation had kept her driving through the mountains, but now her stomach rumbled, reminding her she hadn’t bothered to fix herself dinner before leaving the cabin, either. Grabbing a handful of nuts, she scanned the reflections of the patrons in the mirror behind the bar, searching for possible targets.
Tonight, she decided, would be her last go-around with the opposite sex–unadulterated, uncomplicated coitus with a complete stranger. A nice memory to hold onto in the quiet of the night when she was alone in her bed. She didn’t want to need a man. She was a successful vet in a big practice–it should be enough.
After tonight, she’d spend the week in solitude at her friend’s mountain cabin, mending her shredded heart, and planting her feet solidly on the path to celibacy. Obviously, two weeks drowning her sorrows with tears hadn’t helped. Men, she’d come to believe, were nothing but scumbags of trouble on the garbage heap of misery. The sooner she cleared them from her mind, the happier she’d be.
Jayda had chosen this evening’s outfit to accent her best features. Her ass was swaddled in her favorite pair of soft Levi’s, and her cleavage was displayed quite nicely in the white cashmere sweater. Her clothes definitely announced, “I’m yours for the taking.”
She hadn’t wanted to mess with the corkscrew curls of her hair while traveling the ninety minutes from her condo in Blackfish Springs to the cabin in Lonesome Fork, so she’d pulled the whole mess into a long French braid. The thick tail of black curled over her shoulder and draped invitingly over her breast.
Unable to make out faces in the murky light of the tavern, Jayda gave up on her sly inspection of the clientele and kicked the stool a half turn. Leaning one elbow on the padded edge of the bar, she casually sipped her beer, assessing her chances of getting laid.
Start with one polymorphic shifter female, add two hot alpha male leaders, mix generously and watch the passion ignite!
BONDED by NEED was released yesterday at Ellora’s Cave. This story begins the the new “Shifting Bonds” series. Lonesome Fork, Montana holds many secrets including the cougar and wolf shifter populations, but nothing is as mysterious as one woman who can transform herself into both!
Please enjoy this excerpt from Chapter One …No. This night would not end with her death.
With one last Herculean effort of kicking, her head broke the surface, and Jayda yelped, her mouth filling with more water and choking her. She managed another strangled cry. Could he hear her?
Her body slammed into a rock and pain seared through her ribs. Jayda had no idea how long she could continue to fight. Rolling away from the boulder, her body twisted and turned in the current, pulling her into its depths again.
When a muzzle came up under her belly, she knew immediately he had found her. He pushed at her body, and when Jayda’s head broke the surface, she gulped in the sweet night air, filling her lungs, waiting for the water to envelope her once again. But it didn’t. Her feet paddled furiously and she tried desperately not to kick him. But her limbs seemed to have a mind of their own. Her back claws raked his skull and Jayda prayed she wouldn’t drown them both.
The large wolf abandoned that idea and came up beside her. His muscular body pressed to hers, lifting her from the moving water. His powerful shoulder muscles bunched as he swam, redirecting her flailing body toward the shore. Briefly, Jayda slipped below the surface. His muzzle came up under hers, lifting her nose from the water. She churned her paws at twice the speed of his more effective pulls. Her breath whistled with her efforts.
When her paws bumped a rock, Jayda wanted to weep with relief. The marshy grass of the shore swayed placidly in the gentle breeze. It had never looked sweeter. Not until all four feet found purchase on the sandy bottom did the wolf beside her relax. She dragged herself to the grass and lay whimpering. The soft fronds cushioned her belly and Jayda took a moment to enjoy the sturdy feel of the earth beneath her.
Her lungs screamed in agony as Jayda worked to fill them. Relaxing, she willed her body to shift. Muscles rippled and bones warped. Her wolf gave way to her human form. Fur receded, leaving the damp satin of her skin. As her muzzle shortened and she became fully human, she rolled on her back, trying to find him.
The wolf strode over to her, fury sparking in his narrowed eyes. Anger rippled over his lips curled back in a snarl. Moonlight flashed off hungry fangs just above her face. Though his breathing was labored, his chest heaving with the effort, he managed a low growl that rumbled through Jayda’s heart. Fear and relief warred inside her, rendering her unable to apologize.
With ease borne of years of shifting, the wolf before her rippled and shuddered until it too became human. The man towered over her, his fists planted firmly on his narrow hips. The wild mane of dark hair framed the scowl on his face and stuck to his wide shoulders. She couldn’t stop her eyes from traveling down his furred chest and lower still over his flat belly to his sex. A primal need pulled at her womb. Even angry, this man, her lover, was a powerful aphrodisiac.
The lump in her throat became an acute throb of lust that nearly swallowed her voice. “Cole, I’m-”
Without warning he pulled her to her feet, wrapped his arms around her and covered her mouth with a fierce kiss. His tongue swept her lips and she opened for him, tasting the familiar flavor. The heat of him exploded in her mouth. His hands wound into her damp hair as he changed the angle and deepened the kiss until she was breathless from the assault.
Cole pulled from her, his gaze raking her face. “Christ, Jayda, what the hell were you thinking?” His hands cupped her face, his thumbs skimming her jaw.
She read the anger in the deep lines of his face, but it was fear riding on his words.
“I couldn’t find you. All that black fur in the river,” he said, pulling her tight to him again, his heart thumping loudly against her cheek. “Don’t do that again. Winning isn’t that important.”
She laughed. He was right of course. Their little race through the woods had nearly turned deadly because of her competitive streak. She had only wanted to beat him to the ridge, not nearly drown them both. “I assumed swimming as an animal was instinctual.” Jayda looked up at him, his features softening.
“Only one thing’s instinctual, Jayda,” he whispered.
That did it. He’d been grilling her for the last half hour about the events of last evening and now he was accusing her … of what? A switch clicked and pushed away her confusion. He was accusing her of killing Glenn? She may not be telling him everything, but to think she’d bring any harm to the man who’d loved and protected her dropped indignation over her wounded heart like a shield. Alex jumped to her feet, the metal legs of the chair scraping loudly. She barely noticed. “What the fuck, Reese?” Her hand pointed in the general direction of Glenn’s farm. “Do you think I shoved a stake through Glenn’s heart and started that fire?”
His eyes grew dark, the corner of his mouth curving in a malicious smirk. He straightened and held his palms out, inviting her to rebuke his theory. His silent recrimination filled the air and Alex could hardly draw breath.
She had come here thinking Reese was one of the few people who would understand the pain burning through her veins. She hadn’t expected him to accuse her of murder. “Fuck you, Reese.” The whisper was barely audible through the tension. “I loved him like a father.” Sorrow ripped open the raw wound, bringing a fresh sting of tears behind her eyes, but she refused to give in to them. Alex didn’t need this. Didn’t need him. And she sure as hell didn’t need his accusations–or pity. She’d come seeking solace in Reese’s arms–and his bed. She’d wanted one day of lust to take with her when she left. That had been something else Alex had decided on her way here. She needed to leave and take her secrets with her. “I thought you knew me. All these months … yesterday…” The last word choked out with a sob. Alex turned, intent on leaving the cabin, leaving South Kenton. She’d been mistaken thinking there was something left for her here.
Reese’s hand was on her shoulder before she took more than a few steps. He turned her and pulled her tight to the solid plane of his chest. His mouth came down hard on hers. No soft exploration. No gentle probing. Just raw male lust devouring her mouth. His hands fisted in her hair and she opened herself to him, wanting to fill the void Glenn’s death had left in her heart. She needed to feel alive in the midst of so much death. Her lips parted and welcomed the heat of his tongue. It tangled and danced with hers, teasing and tasting.
“Alex, I’m sorry.” Reese whispered in her ear. “Glenn … the fires … you … it’s all too much.” His lips wandered her face, kissing her lids and her nose, trailing fire down her neck.
She felt the scrape of his teeth as his fangs drew across the tender flesh of her throat. The sensation sent sparks of desire straight to her sex. Despite what he might believe of her, the anger couldn’t keep her heart from wanting this man. “Reese, I’m yours. Take me.”
Her world spun and shifted as he lifted her into his arms and covered her mouth with his. She was dizzy with need and had no idea where he was taking her until his body shifted and his foot kicked closed a door. Without preamble, Reese laid her on the soft mattress of a bed and came down heavy on top of her. Reveling in the sensation of his hands on her body, she didn’t open her eyes. The essence of him permeated the air. The pillows around her head were filled with the thick male scent of him. She wanted to drown in its heady aroma.
Their hands were everywhere at once, tugging at clothes, ripping away buttons. The desperate need to have flesh searing flesh was all that drove them until they lay naked and gasping in each other’s arms. Their lips, teeth, and hands moved in frantic hunger to taste and touch. She couldn’t get enough of him.
Alex’s palms slid down the hard muscles along his spine, pressing into the well of his low back before curving up the rounded arch of his taut ass and digging her nails in deep. Air hissed through Reese’s teeth, a low moan vibrating through the heat of his mouth at her neck. His teeth dragged down her throat and his lips replaced his hand at her breast. His mouth suckled and bit first one aching nipple then the other. The sharp thrill of pain shot straight to her core, clenching her muscles. The thick heat of lust leaked onto her thighs. No man had ever made her so wet.
Divine Deception was so much fun for me to write. This couple doesn’t want to like each other, but when their sex becomes hot and heavy, their hearts can’t help but tangle in the deceit.
EXCERPT:The moment he’d arrived on the property, Nick had lived up to his playboy reputation, letting her hit on him in the field. The lame excuse about Joseph had been as obvious as the erection tenting his Levis. She had no doubt he knew the man was terribly ill. Well, she’d gone for broke and melted in his presence like some love-struck teenager drooling over her first crush. It had been almost too easy. Everything was moving in the right direction. It pissed her off that her body hadn’t gotten the memo about remaining aloof. Though her lips had barely feathered over his, he’d left her panting and weak-kneed as he strode back to his Harley.She turned back to her lab table and the grapes that needed to be assessed for sugar content. “Well, at least he’s not too hard on the eyes.”“What?”
She wheeled around at the sound of Nick’s voice. As if her thoughts had conjured him, he stood there, all six feet of solid danger wrapped in black leather, sucking the air from the room.
“Mr. Gradin, I didn’t hear you come down the stairs.” She was pleased the words were delivered evenly and without a nervous stutter.
“Please, call me Nick.” He slipped his hands into his back pockets and tipped back on the well-worn heels of his biker boots. A silver hoop earring winked at her from below the short crop of hair. Dark spikes, highlighted with bronze framed a strong face and accented the growth of beard shadowing his jaw. He oozed confidence. A sense of superiority sparked in the gold of his eyes but she needed to ignore it or it would just piss her off. Anger wasn’t the angle she was looking for here.
“Have you come to assess the wines?” she asked coyly. “I was just going to do that myself.” Frankie shot a quick glance at the grapes in the baggie then back to him. “Well, after I do the sugar levels on the fruit from the vineyard. I’m thinking we can begin the harvest next week. The pinot noirs are right on schedule. I’m planning on getting the netting out in the next couple of days to protect the grapes from the hungry birds.” The words were tumbling out too fast for comfort and she bit down hard on her tongue to keep it still. A seductress shouldn’t be nervous.
The man stared at her, a smile curving his arrogant mouth. A mouth accented by full lips that could probably bring hours of sinful enjoyment to a woman’s flesh. Well at least her business would also be pleasure. That thought brought a smile.
“There should be a shiraz we’re looking to bottle in the next couple of weeks?” His gaze traveled slowly up the tall rubber boots, over the stained apron covering her thighs and tummy and lingered on her breasts. She held her breath not wanting him to see how hard she was finding it to fill her lungs. With tantalizing seduction, he dragged his eyes to meet hers. “If you wouldn’t mind, I’d love to have a sample.” He arched a thick brow. The double entendre was not lost on Frankie. He was making this so damn easy.
Grabbing two glasses and the wine syringe, Frankie invited him to follow her to the back room. Recessed lighting ran under the edges of the low-hanging ceiling, washing the room in its golden hue. Wine casks lay on their side in the metal framework. These barrels held the wines she had nurtured for years, mixing and tasting until the blend was smooth and full bodied. Now she’d see them bottled and never know the satisfaction of another wine well aged in her own cellar. Frankie swallowed the sadness before turning back and handing the glasses to the man behind her. She pulled the stopper from one of the casks, inserted the thief into the hole, pulled back the syringe and extracted a generous amount of wine.
“How long have you been working with Joseph?” The question was casual but the condescending smile Nick flashed pissed her off.
Frankie released wine from the oversized syringe into a glass rather than over his head and the cocksure asshole in front of her offered the second. “A few years,” she said sweetly.
“It took me years to work the thief. I’m not sure I could do it today without having wine all over the floor.” Nick swirled the wine in the glass and brought it to his nose. “Joseph’s a good teacher. You’re lucky he took you under his wing. He doesn’t open his cellars to just anyone.”
Oh, she wanted to hit him. He acted as if she wasn’t good enough for Mill Tavern wine cellars. Frankie set the thief on the barrel and took the glass from him. Lifting it to her nose, she took a slow, steady breath as if savoring the shiraz’s bouquet but actually using the moment to tamp down her irritation. “He’s been gracious sharing his knowledge.”
One corner of Nick’s mouth curved. “Not blending the grapes I hope.” He swirled the wine in the muted light and watched its fat legs descend the sides of the glass. “I mean, those are family secrets.”
Either he had no idea who she was, or Nicholas Gradin IV thought family had to do with blood rather than sweat, tears and love. She opted to believe the former. “That’s true.” Frankie sipped the wine, tasting nothing but resentment. Sharing her thoughts would get her nowhere, so she opted to focus on the superb vintage in her hands and save the confrontation for another time. “What do you think?” She lifted the glass.
Pulling the burgundy liquid into his mouth, the man closed his eyes and savored it on his palate. She hadn’t known tasting wine could be so sensual, but as he swallowed, Frankie couldn’t take her eyes from the pulse in his throat.
“Full bodied with a rounded flavor of plum.” He paused and sucked his bottom lip into his mouth.
Frankie pressed her thighs together against the heavy ache in her womb. What she wouldn’t give to have that mouth on her.