Romance among weres is never simple.
Secret Passions by Loribelle Hunt
When the discovery of human/animal DNA makes werefox Sara Beth Reynard a tabloid’s lead story, she laughs the whole thing off…until some goon attempts to kidnap her. As a result, she is sent to the wereeagles for her own protection, but she’s not happy about it.
Wereeagle Patrick Aquila takes one look at Sara Beth and wants to peel away her layers. Yet one night of exploding passion pits him in a race against time. Time to convince Sara Beth they belong together, and to find the snitch who is feeding information to her stalkers.
Illicit Passions by Crystal Jordan
As a pretty swan-shifter, Tori Haida was born a stereotype, and has spent a lifetime living it down.
Wolf-shifter Bastian Lykaios is just the kind of dominant male who drives her the wrong kind of crazy. And yet, Tori can’t help wanting him.
Unfortunately, there’s no time to indulge an affair—not while a werekind traitor is leaking information to the human press. But when Tori is kidnapped, Bastian’s is willing to go to all lengths—including betraying his own kind—to get her back.
Secret Passions by Loribelle Hunt
Someone had to die, but she couldn’t decide who should go first. The list was growing. Some asshole had attacked her. Her father and Michael had insisted she come here. And now Patrick, the grown-up teenage crush from Hell, was…she wasn’t sure what. He wasn’t exactly flirting, was he? But he seemed to be trying to engage her on a personal level she knew she shouldn’t allow. If he wanted to hop into bed, she was so there. But she wasn’t about to get emotionally involved with an adrenaline-junkie eagle.
On second thought, sex was probably a bad idea. She might not be able to protect her heart if he touched her, if she gave in to the desire to feel him over her—moving in her. It would probably be a colossal mistake.READ MORE
She was a fox, for crissakes. She did home and hearth and she did it damned well, thank you very much. She wanted comfort and warmth and a man who was devoted to her because of it. Patrick would never be that man, which was a cryin’ shame, but as her favorite aunt always said, “Life’s a bitch and then you die.”
The hell of it was Patrick was the only man who’d ever tempted her wild side. He hadn’t noticed her since the day he’d gone off to college, three years before her. She hadn’t been as blind. And this was who she got stuck with as a bodyguard? Hell with that. Two days tops and she was going home. She’d hire someone if she had to. There were plenty of werewolves in the personal protection business.
Actually, if she’d been thinking straight, that would have occurred to her earlier. She was an idiot and irritated with herself so she might have been a bit testy when she asked about sleeping arrangements. It all went downhill from there.
“Where is the guest room?”
“There’s only one bedroom in the house,” he said. “We’ll be sharing.”
Oh no. She might think about trying him on for size, but she knew the danger to her heart. “I’ll take the couch.”
“The hell you will,” he snapped.
“Does that mean you will?” she asked, sweetly even though she could tell by his scent and expression he intended to sleep with her. More than sleep. His arousal was rich and masculine. Seductive.
“You’re pushing it, foxy.”
“Don’t call me that,” she bit out. Gods, she hated that nickname. “Frankly, it’s insulting. You called me that when I was an unattractive kid you wanted to get rid of. It isn’t getting you anywhere now, I promise.”
She just wanted to go home. For some reason, her ego was more bruised now than right after the attempted kidnapping. It took every ounce of her control not to respond when he stepped closer and stroked his hands up her arms.
“You were beautiful. Why do you think I called you that? So sensual, so sexy and so damned young,” he whispered. “You scared me. You made me feel things I wasn’t supposed to feel. You were too young for me then.”
She wrenched out of his grasp and knew her smile was saccharine sweet, totally fake. “I’m still too young for you. You can take the couch.”
She tried to stalk away before he could protest, but she wasn’t fast enough. He stopped the bedroom door from shutting with ease, slapping his palm against it as she tried to push it closed. There was no way she could compete with his strength and she didn’t see the point in embarrassing herself by trying. She set her hands on her hips and used the look her brothers called the death glare. Unfortunately, it didn’t have much effect on a tall, well-built wereeagle. And why the hell were eagles so damned tall when she was cursed with shortness?
“What’s that look for?” His expression may have been calm, but she was pleased to hear the exasperation in his tone.
“Do you have to keep looming over me?” She waved her hands in a shooing motion. The sun had set hours ago. She just wanted to change and curl up in bed. “Go away. It’s been one annoying thing after the other today and you’re making it worse.”
He arched an eyebrow, pale blond and as perfectly sculpted as the rest of him. His hair was pulled back, but she guessed it was about shoulder length loose. And those eyes…bright, shocking blue. He was tall, his body roped with muscles she wanted to explore. He was disgustingly good-looking and if he got serious about seducing her she knew her resistance would turn to dust with the slightest effort on his part. It wasn’t fair, was it?
“First of all, I don’t loom,” he said. “Second, I am not leaving you alone.”
She wanted to scream. Or throw something at him. “Why am I with you anyway? You’re Ajax’s senior advisor. Bodyguard duty isn’t exactly in your job description, is it?”
“No one else can keep you as safe as I can,” he said, arrogant and haughty.
“Wow. Does that hurt?”
He looked confused. “What?”
“Carrying around a head swelled that big.”
At first he looked stunned. She doubted anyone ever gave him grief over anything. Then he stunned her. He laughed, deep and full, totally genuine. When he reached for her, it didn’t occur to her to dodge. He held her close with one hand on her ass and the other on the back of her head. As she became aware of every hard inch of his body, he fell silent.
“You are something else, baby,” he whispered.
His eyes darkened to a stormy blue, the skin around them pinched tight as if he was under a great strain. His head lowered, his lips moving closer to hers slowly enough she could turn her head and struggle free. If she’d had an ounce of self-preservation, that was exactly what she’d have done. She had more curiosity, though. She’d imagined what his kisses would be like, and even though she had no knowledge, she’d compared the kisses of other men to her fantasy. Now was her chance to find out.
Illicit Passions by Crystal Jordan
Tori glanced up as two tall men entered the lobby of the Leonidas headquarters. She had to blink a couple of times to clear her blurry vision. Four days with no smoking and she was on a killer jag of insomnia. Swan-shifter or not, her bosses were walking softly and watching her with wary gazes. Part of her was amused by that, but mostly she just wanted some sleep and the constant headache to go away. Or a cigarette. That would work too.
Sighing, she rose from her chair to greet the newcomers. One, she knew. Nico Leonidas. The other she hadn’t met before, but she knew he was the wolf Beta. He was turned to the side to speak to Nico, so she could only see him in profile, but she took a moment to look him over. Even from this distance, she could tell he was incredibly attractive. Broad shoulders that tapered down to a lean waist and sculpted ass. Long, muscular legs his pants did nothing to hide. He had the same inky black hair as Lyra, and while the cast of his features declared them family, his face was more angular. High cheekbones, square jaw. Mmm-hmm, he was a pretty piece of man-candy.
But when he turned and their eyes met, it was like a spark of electricity zinged over her nerve endings. Her breath seized in her lungs, and a shiver of pure sexual awareness caught her in its grip. Liquid heat sluiced through her body and settled in her sex. Some instinct she didn’t understand roared to life and she wanted so badly it weakened her knees. His gray eyes burned to silver and he took a step toward her. A wicked, knowing smile curled his lips, as if he understood exactly what kind of affect he had on her. There was a touch of arrogance to his expression, as if he’d seen what he wanted and knew it would be his.
Get a grip, Tori. She shook herself, straightened her spine and stiffened her knees.
Yes, he was attractive and it was clear he knew it. Unfortunately, he also had that alpha male swagger that said he owned the world and had no problem telling people what to do. So not her type. All four of the Leonidases had that same attitude. Five, if she counted their father, Hector. Actually, Hector was the worst of the bunch and Tori hadn’t particularly liked him the few times they’d met. She’d mostly wanted to put a boot up his domineering ass.
She was also fairly certain her intolerance of he-man bullcrap was why Lyra had decided it would be good for Adrian and Jason to have Tori as an assistant. The thought made her grin.
Uh-oh. The wolf Beta’s gaze sharpened on her the way men’s did when they noticed she was more than simply pretty—she was drop-dead gorgeous. Her smile did that. Unlike most men, he didn’t melt into a puddle of testosterone at her feet. She liked that and wasn’t sure she should. His grin turned easy and charming and it annoyed her that her belly did a quivery little flip.
“Hello,” he said, the slow Southern drawl making the word sound like it was dipped in honey. “I’m Bastian Lykaios.”
He held out his hand to shake and she hesitated while deciding if she really wanted to touch him. That would confirm a chemistry she wasn’t sure she was in the mood to acknowledge. His eyes narrowed at her show of resistance, and a non-alpha male would have dropped his hand. Instead, he arched an eyebrow and waited her out.
It was the expression on his face, daring her to take his hand, that did her in. She’d never been one to back down from a challenge.
“Tori Haida.” Thrusting her arm out, she wrapped her fingers around his broad palm. His grin spread and she got a flash of wolfish fangs. Oh, yeah. Chemistry out the wazoo. The slight calluses on his hand rasped against her skin, made a shudder pass through her. Her nipples tightened and her sex clenched. He tugged her closer, and his scent hit her. Hot male spiced with a light cologne. His thumb swept over the inside of her wrist, and her pulse leapt in response. His touch left sweet little tingles in its wake, and she had to yank her arm back before she did something really embarrassing. Like jump him. Or start panting.
Someone cleared their throat, and they jerked apart. She turned to see all four Leonidas brothers and three of their wives standing there staring at them. Jason coughed. “I see you’ve met our administrative assistant.”
“Ah. Yes.” Bastian shook himself, didn’t even glance at her. “I’ll take some coffee, Ms. Haida. Black.”
Really? That was how he covered the overly intimate moment they’d just shared? By treating her like a servant? She resisted the urge to stomp her heel into his toes.
“Well, it’s over there.” She pointed to the fancy espresso machine on the credenza. “Help yourself.”
He frowned. Oh, he didn’t like it that she had no intention of waiting on him? Too damn bad. If she didn’t do it for her bosses, she sure as hell wouldn’t do it for him. She didn’t care how good he looked and felt, she wasn’t going to roll over and play doormat for him.
Just to piss him off, she faced Nico and gave him a little curtsey. “Prince Consort. I’m honored by your presence.”
He didn’t crack a smile, but amusement glittered in his gaze. He inclined his torso ever so slightly in a bow. “Ms. Haida.”
“May I get you anything? Coffee? Soda?” She widened her eyes as if eager to do his bidding. Luckily, he wasn’t stupid enough to take her up on the offer.
“No, I’m good. Thanks.”
Jason snorted, Adrian rolled his eyes and Bastian’s frown turned into a scowl. He drew in a deep breath as if scenting the air. Then he asked, “What kind of bird-shifter are you?”
“Swan.” The word shot out of her mouth like a bullet, and she waited for the smirk she often saw when men realized the too-pretty woman turned into an equally pretty bird.
Fortunately, the man had two brain cells to rub together and kept his face neutral. “I see.”
An awkward beat of silence passed before Adrian spoke. “Uh, Tori…there was a conference call on my calendar—”
“Already handled. I rescheduled to Monday afternoon, with an apology.” Tori slipped behind her desk and resumed her seat. She looked at Jason. “There’s also a cougar-shifter who’s been trying to get through to you for days—a border dispute between two groups of mountain lions—but I’m fending her off. You’re welcome.”
He nodded. “We’ll probably have to do some mediating there, but not today.”
“I’ll pencil them in for late next week. You’ll want to speak to both sides, of course.” She tapped a few notes into her computer, ignoring everyone as they exchanged greetings and congregated around the espresso machine. There was a tension in the air that she pretended didn’t exist. Important things could happen today, and that was one of the reasons she liked this job. She could help make a difference in the shifter world, but this wasn’t what she planned on doing forever.
Maybe that was why she’d suddenly decided to give up the cigarettes. It wasn’t as if she hadn’t known they were bad for her before she’d ever touched one. Some instinct that demanded change had twitched to life within her a few weeks back. Even the healthy routine she’d started hadn’t made that instinct quit nagging at the back of her mind. It had eased, but hadn’t stopped. Something else needed to change. Maybe her career? She’d come to Refuge Resort on a vacation after she’d graduated college five years ago and had just…never left. She wasn’t exactly using her degree in industrial design as a secretary. But other than working on her classic cars, she didn’t have a particular direction she wanted to pursue. She didn’t have a real passion for anything except hotrods. Probably not a good idea to make any sudden changes there, but she would look into her options. At the moment, anything could hit the chopping block until this instinct stopped prodding. It was beyond irritating and it just made the jonesing for cigarettes even worse.
She looked up, meeting Lyra’s gaze. “Yeah?”
The she-wolf set a hand on Tori’s desk, leaning in a bit. “You okay? My cousin didn’t—”
“He’s fine.” She picked up a pencil and twirled it between her fingers. “I’m having the resort’s restaurant deliver lunch for you guys. Should be here shortly.”
“You’ll be having some too.” It wasn’t a question.
Tori grinned. “Of course. Though I think it’s best I not actually join you. I’ll eat at my desk.” She got up and made shooing motions with her hands, herding them all into the conference room. “Go on, get some good politicking in.”
The Leonidas family was used to both her managing them and generally displaying nothing like the submissive personality one would expect of a woman of her species and with her job title.
Everyone but Bastian went where she told them with a minimum of grumbling. He stared at her as if he had no idea what to make of her. Good. She hated fitting neatly into anyone’s pigeonhole.
She arched an eyebrow. “You’re going to miss your own meeting if you don’t get a move on.”
Something devilish flickered to life in his gray gaze, as if he wanted to call her on bossing people around, but he refrained from commenting. Anticipation shimmered within her, and she would have loved to hear whatever he was thinking. He sauntered slowly into the conference room. “I’ll see you later, Ms. Haida.”
The heavy promise in his voice made her insides clench with a need she couldn’t decide if she wanted to ignore or pursue. Not that she was going to tell him she was considering tracking him down after work tonight. Arrogant alpha male or not, attraction like this could be explosively fun. For a night or two, anyway. He definitely wasn’t the type she’d keep around long. And he was headed home soon, which made pursuing the attraction even more appealing. He couldn’t expect more than she wanted to give if he was gone.
“Later? You wish.” She grasped the handle to close the door in his face, noting the way his eyes narrowed. After there was a solid slab of oak between them, she let herself chuckle.
Tweaking that wolf’s tail was the most fun she’d had since she quit smoking.COLLAPSE