It probably would be useful if I told you that Shifter Woods: Roar is now widely available at online retailers, huh? I blame exhaustion from repairing and reinstalling the pool pump motor; we spent most of Monday afternoon and evening trying to get it reattached to the pump, to no avail. After getting eaten alive by bugs and retreating inside in disgrace, Ramón did more research on Google and found some tips. The next morning he went out there by himself, and in his own words, “I just slathered everything in lube, and now that I could see what I was doing it popped right in!” Words to live by, folks.
Anyway, the pool pump is now functioning (ironically, the garage door opener failed that night, but more research indicated what was wrong and Himself fixed that as well), the second novella in the Esposito County Shifters series is out and selling nicely, and I’ve gotten a pleasing amount of reviews on it as well, so a huge Cameron thank you to everyone who’s bought a copy and left a review. And if you haven’t, just click on that link up there and it’ll take you to the book page where you can select your choice of ebook retailer. I’m all about making things easy for you.
And because I don’t think I told people about this, Shifter Woods is going to be a four-part novella series. The first two novellas will be followed by Shifter Woods: Snarl, which deals with cougar shifter Andrea Lochter, whose father Jim (the Alpha of their pack and a former Marine) owns a ski lodge on the mountain. When Caleb picks up John Rockwell, one of Jim’s itinerant service buddies, for vagrancy and drops him off at the lodge at Jim’s request, Andrea makes it a point to stay as far away from the homeless wolf shifter as possible. But the pull of a heart’s mate is hard to resist, especially when Andrea and John have to team up for a search and rescue mission involving a little girl.
The fourth novella, Shifter Woods: Scream, is about Deputy Jane Carey, the golden eagle shifter introduced in Howl. When drug dealers somehow “lose” their pet tiger while stopping for food and gas in Esposito County, Jane takes to the air to spot the big cat. But when she learns that the escaped animal is actually tiger shifter and FBI agent Eric Cho, things get particularly sticky, especially when a local zookeeper with a secret of his own gets involved.
Once all the novellas are done, I’ll be combining them at the end of the year into a box set and print version, and at some point early next year I’ll be doing a full-length novel set in Esposito County (first I have to finish the novellas, Cross Current (Olympic Cove 4), Lady of Thorns (Two Thrones 3), Uncertainty Principle (Pacifica Rising 2), Do No Harm, and The Chevalier’s Dilemma). Yeah, the rest of 2017 is gonna be kind of busy.
Okay, I’m two days into my 80K or Bust challenge project and I will be perfectly honest that the scene I just finished is probably one of the most cheerless wedding night scenes in literary history. Necessary to the story, but not something I want to unleash on you today. So instead I’m featuring the lovely and talented Elena Kincaid and her smouldering new paranormal erotic book Alpha Blood (Pack Warriors #1).
Enjoy, and make sure to hit the list after the teaser to see other great Mid Week Teases!
Gemma, a she-wolf, alone and in unbearable pain, cries vengeance against the evil man who caused her suffering. Jordan, alpha of the White-Moon pack, the largest in the country, has a war to prepare for. Kane, his brother and beta, struggles to be worthy of the role thrust upon him.
When young girls start to disappear and rumors of a dangerous serum surface, the two men are brought face to face with their destiny. A fiery passion blooms between Gemma and her men, one that heals her body and soul, but a dangerous war still lies ahead. Will they be successful at stopping an evil tyrant before another girl goes missing or will Gemma pay the ultimate price? With her life!
Gemma still ached all over, but the pain was now dull and tolerable. She knew her reprieve would be short. More pain waited for her throughout the night. Something was different, however. Warmth surrounded her on both sides as she rested on what felt like a soft bed. A pillow cushioned her head.
She opened her eyes and bolted upright when a warm, calloused hand brushed her cheek.
“Easy, you’re safe,” said a deeply rich and sexy voice. “Lie back down.”
She looked around the spacious bedroom and even through the muted light could see the room was tastefully decorated with dark wood furniture matching the dark wood bedposts. A creamy white chaise sat in the corner with a cozy-looking rich brown throw blanket dangling off the side of it. She imagined herself lounging on it with a good book and a glass of wine sitting atop the small side table next to the chaise. Gemma did in fact feel safe, safer than she had felt in a very long time. She complied with the gentle command to lie down, pulling up the chartreuse-colored sheet that had pooled around her belly when she had sat up and she sensed a blush creep onto her cheeks while doing so. The memory of what had happened earlier in the forest with the two gorgeous men beside her came flooding back to her as well. They had given her a ray of hope when she had none left.
At first she was on her guard, wary of anyone who dared approach her lest they were part of Pollux-Moon or in allegiance with them. Then she became angry that two complete strangers thought it their right to order her around, to touch her without her consent. She’d been in too much pain to realize that they only wanted to help her. So in agony and unfocused as she was, at first she hadn’t even realized that they were her mates.
Mates. I have mates. She closed her eyes briefly and savored the delicious scents that surrounded her. Her pain had been reflected in their eyes earlier when she had locked gazes with them after she realized who they were to her. One of them had hair the color of midnight and eyes of gold. His hard gaze had softened when she stopped struggling and let him examine her. She found him looking at her when she opened her eyes again.
“What’s your name?” he asked. He had a slightly deeper baritone than the one who commanded her to lie down.
“I’m Gemma. But my friends call me Gem.”
“You have a beautiful name, Gemma, Gem.” His smile was breathtaking. He looked so open and friendly, a complete contrast to how he had looked earlier when he was being bossy and commanding. “I’m Jordan. Alpha of the White-Moon pack. This is my brother and beta, Kane.”
She looked over at Kane—hair nearly as dark as his brother’s, but eyes a mossy green—and managed a small smile. Both men were large and muscular and exuded a power hard to miss. They had identical tattoos on their left pectoral—a wolf’s paw print with a wolf face inside it. The eyes of each wolf, however, matched its owner’s. A full white moon stood out behind the paw and the White-Moon pack insignia, in elegant script, rested underneath. They both sported various other tattoos, but that particular one was breathtaking.
“You had us worried there, little wolf,” Kane said. “How are you feeling?”
“Like I just clawed my way out of hell for a temporary breather.” She hadn’t meant to say that out loud.
Kane looked suddenly angry. “Who did this to you?”
Where to Buy
About Elena Kincaid
Elena Kincaid was born in Ukraine and raised in New York where she currently lives with her daughter. She graduated college with a BFA in creative writing and started a graphic design business a few years later. She developed a passion for reading and writing at an early age and loves to write what she loves to read and that is romance with a paranormal twist. Her desk is constantly cluttered with journals, sticky notes, and torn out pieces of paper full of ideas.
When not working, Elena loves to spend time with her family, travel the globe, curl up with a good book, and catch up on her soaps.
Where to find Elena Kincaid
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Today’s Sunday Shoutout goes to the prolific Doris O’Connor, whose hot take on a favorite fairy tale, Claimed By her Bears, is now available from Evernight Publishing and other purveyors of fine erotic romance. Take it away, Doris!
Thanks so much for having me on your blog today with my newest release, Claimed By her Bears.
Loosely based on Goldilocks and the three bears, this is my version of one of my favourite Fairytales with a decidedly naughty spin.
Imagine being Goldie. You’re not only running late, but you just have to tumble right into your new CEO’s arms, covering both of you in coffee at the same time. Not the best impression to make on the new, sex on legs boss.
Jason Stanhope, for that matter, did not expect to have his mate tumble into his arms on his first day at the office. His very human, clueless about shifters, and inexperienced in the lifestyle mate.
What’s a Dom to do?
This delectable human morsel will run for the hills, if he reveals his bear, never mind the fact that he comes as a package deal, won’t she?
Well, Goldie might be human, but she has a few surprises of her own up her sleeve as it were, and as she embarks on a crash course in all things BDSM, she surprises not only her bears, but also herself.
In her words:
“To heck with labels and what other people might think.”
Let the naughty fun begin.
When Goldie Lockwood tumbles into the arms of the new CEO, she falls head over heels in lust with the enigmatic Dom. Interested in the lifestyle she might be, but Jason Stanhope seems way out of her league.
Jason’s bear wants nothing more than to bend Goldie over his desk and claim her right there, but that wouldn’t be appropriate. This bear shifter comes as a package deal—three for the prize of one. As the oldest of triplets, his mate will also have to submit to his brother and sister.
While Goldie responds beautifully to his training, will a weekend at the club be one step too far, or can she be the sweet sub the siblings need?
Revealing their bears might very well make Goldilocks live up to her name.
He had originally planned to spank her insolent ass, and then fuck her over his desk, but when she hadn’t appeared, his mood had darkened. For one soul wrenchingly disappointing second he’d thought she’d run out on him, and then his bear had picked up the scent of aroused woman. He’d tracked her down to the ladies’, and just when he thought he’d have to break the door in, she had appeared, and a new plan had taken hold.
Her untutored responses to him had made the Dom in him roar, and his bear had positively strutted at them. Fucking her now was out of the question. His volatile animal was too close to the surface, and he would not be able to resist biting her. No, it was far safer for everyone involved to consummate their relationship at the safety of the club, where his bear would be easier to control in the company of Jacob and Cat.
Besides, they had to establish the ground rules, and his little Goldilocks had some homework to do, starting right now.
He spread his legs and raised an eyebrow at her when she just stood there, staring at him openmouthed.
“I’m waiting, girl. If you can’t follow a simple instruction then this ain’t gonna work out between us.” She gasped at that, and grinning he reached out and shut her mouth with his index finger under her chin. A shudder went through her when he rubbed the pad of his thumb over her kiss swollen lips, and she pouted when he withdrew again.
“Can’t you just spank me or something, and get that punishment over with, please, Sir?”
Jason threw his head back and laughed, and her pout deepened, but when he shook his head, she gave an exaggerated sigh, and slowly inched the hemline of her skirt up.
It was his turn to groan when her pretty pink pussy lips came into view. Delightfully bare, they glistened in her dew, and his bear huffed his need for a taste of the nectar between her legs.
Jason had to clear his throat to get his voice to work, and the little minx grinned at him.
“Spread your legs, girl. Give your Sir a good view.”
With a groan to match his, Goldie complied, and Jason had to rub his aching shaft through his trousers to gain some relief, as her outer lips opened to reveal the bounty therein. Her inner lips darkened in color the longer he stared at them, as the blood rushed to that area. Her engorged clit stood proudly out its hood, almost daring him to devour it with his teeth, and her pussy hole clenched and released, causing more of her juices to trickle out of it and down the inside of her thighs.
“Now, that is a pretty sight, my girl. I bet you want to come pretty badly right now, don’t you.”
He smirked at her strangled answer, and taking his phone out of his pocket got to his knees to take some candid close up shots of his girl’s cunt. Both Jacob and Cat would sure appreciate those, not to mention he would, while he imagined himself balls deep inside that pretty flesh.
“What are you doing, Sir?” Her voice wobbled, but she didn’t close her legs either, and pride surged in him. Maybe this would work out after all. Not claiming her as his was already too painful to contemplate. All three of them would just have to work really hard to make her fall in love with them so that the small matter of them shifting into grizzlies wouldn’t freak her out too much.
He had a sudden vision of her running away screaming from the club when she found out about them like her namesake in the popular fairytale. He shook his head to free it of those disturbing thoughts, and getting back to his feet showed her the last picture he’d just taken.
“Just taking a picture of what’s mine, girl.”
Goldie glanced at the screen briefly and blushed crimson.
“No need to be ashamed, Goldilocks. You have the prettiest little cunt I’ve ever seen, and I can’t wait to claim it.”
The hopeful look she threw his way made him laugh, and he shook his head.
“Not today though.” He pulled the hemline of her pencil skirt down and tapped her nose.
“You can close your legs now, but remember what I said. No making yourself come, and no panties. I’ll be checking to make sure you follow that rule, and if you don’t…” He grinned at her sharp intake of breath when he swatted her ass twice.
“You won’t be able to sit that pretty behind of yours down for a week, got it?”
“Yes, Sir,” she whispered, and he brushed his lips over hers, drinking in the scent of his woman.
“You have some homework to do first, and when I think you’re ready, we’ll be taking that step at the club.”
Her eyes widened anew at that proclamation.
“The club?” she asked. “Not the one all the staff is dying to find out about?”
Jason tapped her nose again and stepping away, pulled out the list of websites he’d printed off for her earlier out his trouser pocket.
“The very same, baby, only, you’re looking at the new owner. Well one of them. My sister and brother own a third each.”
“There’s more of you?” Her voice rose in her astonishment, and he knew now was the perfect time to test the waters.
“Yes, we’re triplets, and…” He let his words trail off waiting for her reaction, and she didn’t disappoint.
“Triplets? I guess that makes you really close, right?” she asked, and when he just shrugged his shoulders, she wrapped her arms around herself.
“Is there a reason you’re telling me this now?” she asked, and he nodded.
“Let’s just say, we like to share—everything.”
Where To Buy
About Doris O’Connor
Doris is a writer of sensual, sassy, and sexy tales involving alpha heroes to die for, and heroines who give as good as they get. From contemporary to paranormal, Sci-fi, BDSM, F/F, M/M, and Ménage, haunting love stories are guaranteed.
Happily married for the last twenty-five years, she lives with her husband and their brood of nine in a far too small house filled with love, laughter, and chaos.
Where to find Doris O’Connor
Bad Alpha and Bad Alpha: Manlove Edition feature a select collection of stories with shifters so ruthless they will stop at nothing to protect their pack. These aren’t sugar-and-spice heroes. Our alphas are feared, inked, and don’t ask questions first. They take what they want, never give in to their enemies, and think love is for the weak—until they meet their mate. Are you ready to learn how to tame a savage heart?
Hey folks, Nicola here! I am extremely delighted to host both of Evernight Publishing’s newest anthologies today (and not just because I have a story in one of them). I asked some of the authors to tell me what inspired their stories about bad alphas and the mates who love them.
From the minute the submission call for the Bad Alpha Anthology went up, I knew I would have to write something. I love shifters and bad boys. Combine the two…yes, I could not resist that, so it wasn’t a huge surprise when I woke up one morning with bear shifter Zayden growling in my ear.
He was a sought after assassin, and he came to me mid kill of his latest assignment. Cynical, deadly, this killer for hire has no time for tender feelings, let alone a mate, so when he finds out that the Alpha he’s been hired to kill, is his mate.
In his words…
Quinton Thorn was his fucking mate. The universe was having a great big laugh at his fucking expense. He’d come here to kill his mate. His bear roared at the mere thought, and Zayden shook his head. He could no more kill the man than he could have killed his own mother. He wasn’t a complete fucking animal, but the new tender feelings that had coursed through him when he’d shaken Quinton’s hand meant he felt like a fish out of water. He knew how to kill and fuck, but he had no idea what to do about these emotions.
Such a delicious conflict. What would Quinton do when he finds out that his mate is a killer?
When the call for submissions was announced for Bad Alpha: Manlove, I mulled it over for approximately 10 seconds before deciding, “Yep! It’s time to throw your hat into the horror/supernatural ring.” Later that evening, while picking out a movie to watch, my husband mentioned that the myth behind the 2001 French movie Le pacte des loups (Brotherhood of the Wolf) might be fun to somehow incorporate into a story. So off I went, down the Google rabbit hole. There is a ton of info out there with regard to the Beast of Gévaudan. And with so much actual fact mixed up nicely with the fiction, the idea became all that more appealing. My story, “Destined”, didn’t take long to work its way onto paper (especially with Joe Manganiello and Gaspard Ulliel taking shape in my head as Marick and Caleb, respectively!)
Where to Buy
Bad Alpha: Manlove Edition
“For Blood” by J.R. Gray
The only way to end the war and stop the bloodshed is to marry the enemy. Every fiber of Roman wants to hate Victoria, but the more he sees, the more he craves her. Can he fight their past demons to be with her?
“Destiny Realized” by Khloe Wren
Leonardo has been the clan’s alpha for 300 years. Ruling his people has always been his one and only priority. Until he, along with his brother and sister, stop at a broken down car near their home in the Flinders Ranges on the edge of Outback Australia. The woman they rescue turns both Leo and, his brother, Valentino’s lives upside down. A mate was the last thing Leo wanted, and everything Val had ever hoped for.
Felicia is on the run. Again. Her baby’s daddy broke her daughter’s arm the last time he caught up with them so she’s desperate to stay ahead of him. But her car breaks down and trouble finds her. A killer takes advantage of her failing vehicle and she fears all is lost for her and her little girl, until another car stops and she finds herself in a whole new world where she may just have found the future she’s always wanted but never dreamed she’d have.
“Exiled Alpha” by Amber Morgan
Rachel Jacobs is a wolf on a mission. To save her pack from destruction, she’s turning to the werewolf who nearly destroyed it once before. Arkady Gusev is everything her father ever warned her against – so why does she find him so irresistible?
Arkady Gusev isn’t looking for a pack or a woman. But when Rachel walks through his door, she throws down a challenge he can’t resist. Is this exiled alpha about to come home?
“Drakon’s Prize” by Moira Callahan
Being the Alpha of a misfit clan of Dragons comes with its share of troubles. When the supernatural Council comes to Drakon Blackwood with yet another false claim against his clan he knows it’s time to make someone pay. Preferably with their life.
Allegra Hanson doesn’t work for the Council, and yet she’s been roped into assisting them in their investigation into the Blackwood clan’s supposed activities. Against her better judgment she goes to the clan’s lands to do what she can. What she never planned on was her visceral reaction to the Alpha.
The Blackwood clan land is valuable. Not for its location, but for what lies beneath the earth’s surface. Many will do anything to get it, one will stop at nothing, and is willing to kill Drakon’s woman to get it. Allegra is his, and there’s no way Drakon will lose the most precious prize of all.
“Tiger’s Mate” by April Zyon
Streak politics, and differences in opinions forced Kurt Owens to choose his own path. While it may be outside of the law in many regards he sees it as ensuring justice for the true victims of crimes when the system fails them. It’s his way of seeing the guilty pay, and keeping his own inner beast in check with the violence, and blood it craves.
Everyone thinks having a super power would be great. Alexa Harold would beg to differ. She’s been cursed to see ghosts, the dead not yet having gone to their final resting place, or judgment, or wherever they belong. They track her down, and harass her until she’s ready to go mad. Learning early in life what she needs to avoid has been the only saving grace in keeping her sanity intact.
Kurt never thought he’d find his mate outside of the streak, or streak functions. While those of a supernatural inclination aren’t exactly rare, they have had to be careful and keep their population down. Alexa is the woman for him the only one he could ever want or need. And when her life is put in danger by his own past Kurt won’t stop until everyone understands to get to this tiger’s mate, they’ll have to get through him.
“Dark Heart” by Elyzabeth M. VaLey
Ten years ago, Daryl Jones lost his pack to a group of demon vampires. Since then, he not only lost his will to battle for good, his life has become a spiral of drinking, fighting and fucking anything in sight. In his opinion, a pretty perfect existence. Until, he meets the new SOA representative sent to convince him to go back to the lab. With mile long legs, a tight little ass and a smile to kill for, when she offers him a bargain, how can he possibly refuse?
Silvia Adams, has one mission: convince Daryl Jones to work for SOA again. The agency needs him to get back into the lab and help develop a serum to neutralize the growing number of vampires. She knew it wouldn’t be easy task, but with her job on the line, she’ll do anything it takes, including, bargaining with the shifter and surrendering to her deepest desires. Only problem is, she might have bartered for more than she can handle.
“Resisting His Mate” by Lynn Burke
Warrick Keaton eludes a forced pairing with one of his kind. No one is going to choose his mate for him, not when he wants nothing to do with being tied down to a woman. He never expects fate to intervene in the form of a freezing, barely alive female. With his independence in jeopardy, Warrick fights his inner hawk’s desire to stake a claim on her.
Clare Byron longs to escape her domineering ex-husband, a jealous bear shifter determined to keep her prisoner. She seizes the opportunity to run and lands in the arms of another alpha—exactly what she doesn’t want or need.
For Warrick, Clare is everything he’s ever wanted in a mate and all that he’s run from. For Clare, Warrick is freedom in a way she never dreamed possible—the one man who will own her heart yet give her wings to fly.
“Alpha’s Vixen” by Jocelyn Dex
Dax is overwhelmed by desire when he catches the white fox trespassing on his land, and that totally pisses him off. He refuses to mate, no matter how much the fox inside him wants it, Dax definitely does not.
Opal is instantly enamored with the menacing black fox, but isn’t surprised when he chases her away—no one ever wants her, the freak-of-nature albino.
When theft and violence bring them together again, will they give in to passion, or will their hang-ups force them apart?
“Always Midnight” by Ashlynn Monroe
Taryne Michael is all her younger brother Travys has ever had for stability. When fifteen-year-old Trav doesn’t come home after he fights with her she spends the next week searching for him. He finally comes home he’s not the same boy who slammed the door the night he left. Something is very wrong and when she discovers he’s been transformed into a werewolf she’s at a loss as to what to do. The violent, angry boy isn’t the little brother she knows how to deal with. Teenage hormones are nothing compared to the animalistic young man emerging from the boy she’d raised.
Ax Greyson is a lone wolf, an alpha without a pack. He enforces laws non-shifters don’t know about. Celo Valley, is a place where two species co-reside. The werewolves keep the humans blind to their existence by being careful. Someone isn’t following the rules. Someone is killing, with no regard for secrets. When killing the woman seems like the only way to keep his people’s secret until Ax’s instincts find another way.
Mate…the word is the only thing that can scare a man like Ax.
“Becoming His Mate” by Harper Shaddock
After escaping an abusive ex, lone-wolf Brenna is looking for a fresh start. She never expected to stumble across a pack’s territory, or that the Alpha would claim her for a mate. Remy had enough on his plate dealing with a rival pack, but it was love at first howl and he’s not about to lose his mate…even if it means fighting her past her fears.
“Bully Boys” by Nicola Cameron
When Victorian solicitor Arthur Finter is forced to cut down a dangerous London alley after work, he stumbles upon pit bull shifter Alpha Gunner Jones in the middle of a dogfight with a rival shifter pack. The hard-nosed bully boy scents Arthur and recognizes him as his mate, but will events orchestrated by the other pack separate them before Gunner can lay final claim?
“The Alpha’s Assassin” by Doris O’Connor
Bear shifter Zayden Reid makes his living doing what he does best—killing people. The sought after assassin doesn’t have to think twice when he’s offered a lot of money to kill the Alpha of a wolf pack, until he scents his mate.
As the Alpha of his pack Quinton Thorn is used to giving orders. He may be gay, but that doesn’t mean he’s weak, and he’ll squash any challenge to his leadership with ruthless efficiency. When the threat comes from a source he trusts, however, can he afford to give into his feelings for his mate, knowing that he’ll endanger everyone under his protection?
The mating bond cannot be denied, no matter what the consequences, and they might well kill.
“Discarded Pup” by Angelique Voisen
Betrayed by his beta and abandoned by his pack, Cole Reyes wasted the last ten years of his life rotting behind bars. A cage is no place for a wolf, and wounds left open, fester. Cole has zero tolerance for mercy. The time Cole spent in prison didn’t just bleed out all the decency he once possessed. It broke him. Made him hard and unforgiving. Cole’s vengeance starts now, beginning with his beta’s new toy.
“Yellow Eyes” by Gale Stanley
The brutal war between shifters and humans is over, but each side still sees the other as a threat. The only thing they can agree on, is that they can’t agree. Humans live east of the bridge, shifters live west. Camden is a halfbreed, the product of a rape that happened during the war. Neither side wants him, but he lives with his human mother. The night she dies, Camden goes west looking for revenge. He knows he won’t find his father, and he’ll probably get himself killed, but he doesn’t care. As long as he takes a shifter with him, he’ll die happy.
Wyat is alpha of the pack living in the west. He’s a warrior who believes in separation of the races. Then on the night of the full moon, he discovers a half-breed hiding in the alley. The man’s scent makes him burn with lust, and against his better judgement, he takes him home—and discovers that sleeping with the enemy might just lead to a better future.
“Destined” by L.D. Blakeley
Caleb Stokes has had a shit night. Too bad catching his boyfriend in flagrante delicto with the club DJ isn’t the worst thing he’ll witness before the night is through. Marick Gevrees has no time for romance. He has even less time for a tipsy twink looking for a man to fill some Daddy fetish. But what the hell is he supposed to do when said twink wanders headlong into the middle of a bloody vendetta that could result in the exposure of his clan?
“Trouble” by James Cox
Tremarc is sleeping his way through the entire Bear Shifter Clan. He’s sent to the moon, under the colonized dome to stay out of trouble. When he meets sexy alpha Lyon and his mated human, Quinn his life takes a sharp turn that may just find him his happy ending or get him kicked out of yet another bear shifter clan.
“Outlaw Wolf” by Elizabeth Monvey
Dekker ran away from his pack in an order to protect his lover and Alpha, Grey, when he overheard two higher ranked wolves talk about killing him.
When Grey finds him six months later, Dekker tries to convince the man he loves to go away. But Grey won’t take no and as the two talk it out, their mutual attraction overwhelms them.
In desperation, Dekker renounces Grey as his Alpha. But when another force tries to punish Dekker by silencing him forever, Grey must choose which stand he’ll take…being the alpha for all his pack, or being the man Dekker needs, even if it means breaking the rules.
A little bit of background about “Bully Boys” — I had just finished the BBC’s NORTH AND SOUTH when I saw the call for the antho, so I kinda had Richard Armitage in full Victorian fig lodged in my head when I sat down to come up with a story. Since I was already thinking Victorian, I figured, “Okay, let’s set it in Victorian London. Now what kind of shifter species would you expect to find in the Smoke way back then?”
Which is how I settled on bull terrier shifters. Personally I happen to adore pitties, but they’re tough dogs when threatened. I could see RA being able to shift into a Black Staffordshire bull terrier and leading a rough-and-tumble shifter pack in the slums of London.
Of course, then I had to come up with Gunner’s mate. *dimples* Let’s just say that I’m a fan of Peter Jackson’s latest trilogy and leave it at that.
When Victorian solicitor Arthur Finter is forced to cut down a dangerous London alley after work, he stumbles upon pit bull shifter Alpha Gunner Jones in the middle of a dogfight with a rival shifter pack. The hardnosed bully boy scents Arthur and recognizes him as his mate, but will events orchestrated by the other pack separate them before Gunner can lay final claim?
When Arthur awoke, he was in bed. The awful scene in the alley drifted through his memory, dim now from sleep. It was just a nightmare. Oh, thank goodness.
He tried to turn over, and couldn’t. Looking up, he saw that a length of hemp rope had been tied around his right wrist and woven with very little slack through an unfamiliar brass headboard. The other end of the rope had been attached to his left wrist, effectively pinning his arms wide.
Lifting his head as high as possible, he stared around his prison. It appeared to be a small bedroom, lit only by a coal fire in a blackened grate. A row of hooks on the far wall held various items of clothing, and an armoire hulked in the corner. A plain wooden table stood next to the bed, bare of anything except a candlestick with an unlit candle.
He flexed his feet and found that his legs were bound as well, with the same amount of slack given to his arms. To make matters worse, someone had removed his clothes before tying him to the bed and covering him with a thin blanket.
Panic set in, making his heart lurch. “Help!” he shouted. “Please, I need help!”
The door opened and his hopes were dashed as the handsome werebeast sauntered in, carrying a wash bowl and water jug. He’d taken the time to rinse the blood from his face and slick his hair back, and an old, threadbare towel hung casually over one shoulder.
“Someone’s up, I see,” he said in an East-End accent.
Arthur fought down his fear and gave the man his best glower. “Untie me immediately, sir!”
“Can’t do that. At least, not just yet.” The man approached the bed, giving him an appreciative look. Arthur belatedly remembered his nude state, and cringed under the cheap blanket that protected his modesty. “I suppose you want to know why you’re here, then.”
“Indeed I do,” Arthur said, hoping he sounded braver than he felt. “I am a solicitor, sir, and if you do not untie me this moment, you will find yourself in grave trouble with the law.”
The man shrugged. “Won’t be the first time. Doubt it’ll be the last.” He moved to the bedside table and deposited the jug and bowl on it, then sat down on the mattress. That blue gaze trailed over him dispassionately, but there was a flicker of something else as well, something that tugged at Arthur’s senses and caused his breath to come faster.
The man grabbed the edge of the blanket, dragging it down to just below Arthur’s waist. The solicitor flinched as the cool air of the room hit his skin, causing it to break out in embarrassing gooseflesh.
“You’re trim. I like that in a bloke,” the man said conversationally. “Don’t spend all of your time on your arse, do you?”
Arthur gaped at him. “I—how—that’s none of your business!”
“Oh, but it is my business.” His captor sounded amused about that. “Everything about you, Mr. Arthur Finter, is my business. Now that we’re to be mates and all.”
The bizarre comment would have made Arthur laugh in other circumstances. “If you mean we’re to be friends, sir, I can assure you that I feel no such friendship with anyone who ties me to a bed and terrorizes me in such a manner!”
The man tilted his head to one side, and Arthur was forcibly reminded of his other shape. “You’re tied to my bed to make sure you don’t run away,” he said. “I know you saw what happened in the alley, and I’ll explain it in good time. As for terrorizing you, it wasn’t what I had in mind for us tonight.”
He reached out and touched one of the tiny nubs on Arthur’s chest, tracing a circle on it. The caress caused Arthur to gasp, an indecent zing of pleasure arrowing down to his groin.
“Thought so,” his captor said in satisfaction. “You long for the touch of a man, Mr. Finter. I’ll be that man for you tonight and ever after. We’re mates, you and me.”