Between Lovers cover - a man and woman embracing, the man has his back to the viewer and the woman is looking over his shoulder, a greyscale lion head in the background
Part of the The Between series:
Editions:eBook - Second Edition

All Rhiannon Reid wants is to return home to her old life, even though nothing will ever be the same again.

On a fateful camping trip, fiery Oregon beauty Rhiannon is kidnapped and turned into a Between—a magical shape-shifting beast. The Between are as reviled as they are coveted in human society, and no one should have this monstrous magic forced onto them. Rescued by the Between royal guard, she’s whisked away to the mysterious island nation ruled by their golden king, lion-shifter Elan Delacourt.

The last thing Elan wants is for Rhiannon to tell anyone that she was turned against her will. It would put every Between across the planet at risk if she fanned humans’ fears and prejudice about the Between. The man who hurt her is dead, and one bad Between shouldn’t put the rest of them in harm’s way.

Elan will do anything to convince Rhiannon, including using their blistering chemistry to seduce her over to his way of thinking. But Rhiannon isn’t so easily swayed and, as the two test each other's strength and character, they lose themselves in the hot-blooded battle…

Note: This story was previously published as part of the Sexy Beast 9 anthology.

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Publisher: CJ Books
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Elan rolled his tight shoulders, shoved his hands in his pockets, and left the room to wander down the hallway that lead to his suite. He smiled tiredly to the Guards positioned along the hall, and they nodded back.

His eyes burned with grit, and he knew he should sleep, but doubted he'd be able to. The way his muscles felt, he'd probably do better if he spent an hour in the gym before he crawled into bed. What he should not do was call Rhiannon to see if she was still up. Nor should he walk down the long pathway to her house and just surprise her. So far, she'd protested neither, no matter how late he worked. She just slid her hands over his body and kissed his as greedily as he kissed her. No questions, no accusations, nothing but a quiet understanding of the momentary escape from reality they both needed.

And, God, he needed.

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It was dangerous and stupid to crave her like he did. Even more dangerous was that he enjoyed talking to her as much he enjoyed fucking her. Sex was one thing, but any other kind of intimacy shouldn't even factor into this affair. He was supposed to be winning her over, not the other way around. Damn it.

“Sire.” The Guard stationed outside Elan's suite snapped to attention and held the door open. “You have a visitor.”

The other man didn't specify who, but he didn't need to. Only a handful of people had the security clearance to be allowed in the king's private quarters, and when Elan stepped into his sitting room, he drew in a lungful of her sweet scent.

Rhiannon.

Tilting his head, he waited for the feel of her boundless energy to vibrate along his senses. It didn't come. Frowning, he followed the smell of her into his bedroom and over to the wide expanse of his mattress. She lay curled on her side, one palm tucked under her cheek in sleep. His chest tightened with a tenderness he didn't want and shouldn't feel. The pose made her look impossibly young and innocent, something he knew wasn't true. A smile curved his lips. The woman more than matched him in insatiable wickedness.

Reaching out to push back a flaming curl gently, he watched her eyelashes flutter. She yawned, rolled onto her back, and stretched. Those changeable eyes locked on his face, unpredictable as her moods, and she smiled. “Mmm. I tried to stay up, but the bed looked too inviting. What time is it?”

“Very late. Or very early, depending on your definition.” He let his fingertip trail over her soft cheek, down her throat, and across her collarbone as he mapped his way to her cleavage.

Arching into his touch, she chuckled. “I wore myself out today. Kira has me teaching Pilates to the poor, unfortunate guys on your Guard. The women on the Guard are loving the show, and I'm pretty sure Kira's just enjoying watching the men be tortured into flexibility.”

He knew that. Every move she made was reported back to him, but listening to her animated retelling made him smile. “How's my brother doing with it?”

“Very well.” She licked her lips and stared at his mouth, desire shimmering in her gaze. “And flirting with me outrageously while he shows off for his people.”

Elan's hand froze, hovering over her silken flesh. He shoved back the totally unfamiliar jealousy, reminding himself that the more Between Rhiannon liked and cared about, the more successful his plan would be. He closed his mouth tightly, hiding the fact that his fangs had elongated to deadly points.

Sitting up, Rhiannon tugged her shirt over her head and tossed it to the floor beside the bed. “It's good that I'm keeping in practice with my teaching for when I go back to Portland. I'm going to have to hit the ground running at the gym.”

His muscles tightened as the blow of her leaving hit his gut the same way his jealousy had. That she was leaving wasn't a surprise--that he hated the idea was. It was a bad sign and it worried him. Shoving his hand into her red-gold hair, he pulled her head around until he could slam his mouth over hers. The possession in the gesture angered him because he knew he had no right to feel it.

Her lips parted under his, welcoming his kiss. He groaned and filled his hands with her breasts, desperate to touch her, to claim her. The lace of her bra maddened him, kept him from softness of her flesh, the tightness of her nipples. A quick jerk and the fabric gave under his superhuman strength. He threw the offending garment in the same direction as her shirt.

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