Shifter Woods: Growl

Cougar shifter Denise Elgin is a single mom who just wants a quiet life. But when tiger shifter/FBI agent Marco Santos shows up in her back yard asking for help, Denise winds up involved in the federal takedown of a drug cartel kingpin.

Marco can’t stop thinking about the beautiful cougar shifter he met after he escaped from Hector Elizardo, aka the Jaguar. He knows his growing attraction to Denise could put both her and her daughter in danger, forcing him to ignore the growing mating link with Denise. But when the Elizardo cartel strikes back, Marco must use all of his skills, both tiger and human, to protect the female he loves.

Excerpt available here.

  • Paranormal, Erotic Romance
  • Word Count: 30,000
  • Heat Level: 4
  • Published By: Belaurient Press

Books in the Shifter Woods series:

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Excerpt

“Momma?”

Denise glanced up from the dishes. “Yes, honey?”

“Miss Holly says we can bring in stuff for show and tell.” Holly Havens was the pretty young coyote shifter who ran the preschool. “Can I bring in my treasure?”

She wanted to groan. Like most shifter children in Esposito County, Addie enjoyed wandering in the woods on Sandia Crest. She’d gathered an impressive collection of old bones, feathers, interesting pieces of wood, and pretty rocks during her rambles, referring to the diverse assortment her “treasure.” Unfortunately, her latest acquisition, a knot of pine wood as big as Denise’s fist, had turned out to host a small but very annoyed ant colony. Denise had hurriedly deposited the entire box of treasure out on the back porch, hoping the ants would take the hint and find another home. “I didn’t get a chance to clean it out yet, honey.”

Addie’s lower lip slid out. “Just the rocks, Momma? They don’t have bugs in them.”

Denise didn’t have the heart to say no, especially when it was a reasonable enough request. Plus, Addie had found some chunks of rough garnet and amethyst that would go over well during show and tell. “Okay, I’ll go out there and get them, but you have to stay inside.”

The lip slid out more. “But Momma—”

“Adeline Theresa Elgin. Do you want your rocks?”

Her daughter sighed under the onslaught of her full name. “Yes.”

“Then you stay inside while I get them.”

“Yes, Momma.”

Putting on her shoes, Denise headed out to the sturdy little porch Kirk had added to the cabin before their marriage ended. It was still one of her favorite places to spend a summer day or to watch the sun go down over the trees while Addie played in the nominal back yard, as a pair of rocking chairs testified.

The treasure box had been deposited at the edge of the porch. As far as Denise could tell, the ants had left their old home for greener pastures, but she still wasn’t bringing in everything until she’d had a chance to go through it thoroughly. She started picking up the various rocks, yanking out the bottom of her t-shirt as a makeshift pouch for them.

“Momma?”

She glanced over her shoulder. Addie was in the back doorway, plucking at her own t-shirt. “Honey, I told you to stay inside.”

Solemn, Addie pointed at the back yard. “Momma, there’s a kitty.”

Denise turned to look, assuming she would see one of the local bobcats or a stray domestic shorthair. Her blood turned to ice as she spotted a huge, sleek form prowling along the edge of the clearing. The tiger’s orange and black stripes formed a distinct contrast against the trees’ sage green growth, and it padded with silent deliberation towards their cabin.

She stood, the rocks tumbled out of her t-shirt pouch as she tried to force her panicking brain to work. If she turned and ran for the door, the tiger might see that as prey behavior and race after her. Cursing herself for leaving her gun inside, she said, “Get in the house, Addie, and close the door. Now!”

She could hear Addie follow her order and the solid thump of the door shutting. Not daring to take her eyes off the predator, she toed off her shoes, then unbuttoned her jeans and let them and her panties drop to the ground. Shifting while clothed was problematic as human clothes didn’t fit a cougar body and usually bound them up for a few seconds. She couldn’t risk that, not with Addie’s life at stake. The tiger stopped, golden eyes following her movement.

Please God, help me scare it off. I don’t want to die. She pulled off her top and bra, letting the fabric fall, then shifted into cougar form. The world changed around her, everything coming into bright, sharp focus through her feline eyes.

She set her front paws and crouched, snarling at the tiger in feline warning. If I start towards the creek maybe I can outrun it, I know the terrain better, gotta lead it away from the house and Addie—

The tiger blinked at her once, slowly. If she didn’t know better, she would have sworn it was amused.

And then its body rose, shifting into the form of a man.

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