It’s here! My critique partner, Rhian Cahill, had a new release hit the shelves at Ellora’s Cave today and I just had to give the book a shout-out. I’ve watched this book evolve from an idea to the story it is today. It’s a brilliant book, the second in Rhian’s Coyote Hunger series. All the books are brilliant. Check them out if you have some free time this weekend. You won’t be sorry you did!
Book two in the Coyote Hunger series.
Brogan Wilder knows all about animal urges. As a coyote shifter, he’s lived with them all his life but he’s never experienced the bone-deep hunger Eloise Crawford elicits. Claiming a mate is one thing. Claiming one who’s human and has no idea shifters exist is another matter altogether. In El, he’s found his destiny. Now he just has to convince her they are meant to be together.
A visit to help her best friend with wedding plans seems like just the kind of relaxation El is after. But once she arrives, there’s nothing relaxing about the reaction she has to her friend’s brother. Suddenly her senses are on high alert and she’s drawn to him in a way she finds nothing short of terrifying. But there’s more to this man than his golden eyes and magical touch. There’s something else. Something not exactly human.
Accepting her fate should have been the difficult part, but when El finds herself the target of an outraged pack member, the true struggle begins.
Need slammed into Brogan Wilder like a two-by-four to the gut. He knew lust, dealt with it when it rose, but this…
This was unlike anything he’d ever experienced. The beast inside chafed at the chains of restraint, snarled and snapped to be let free.
Brogan searched the room but nothing he could see should have him ready to shift. His sister Rowan sat on the sofa, his best friend and her fiancé, Quinn, beside her. They were the only others in the room. The fine hairs on the back of his neck stood at attention and the blood in his veins heated and pumped harder. Whatever had his instincts screaming to take, to possess, had moved closer.
Skin grew tight and hot as he fought with his inner beast. Shifting wasn’t an option. Not yet. First he needed all his human skills to determine what had the power to do this to him. Then he’d have to decide if it was friend or foe. He sniffed the air, tried to place the feminine scent teasing his senses. It wasn’t Rowan or any other female he knew.
“For pity’s sake, Brogan, sit down. You’re making me nervous and I know you’re all bark and no bite. If you don’t relax you’ll scare El right back to Australia.” Rowan’s words broke into his agitated thoughts.
“What?” He tried to focus on his sister and what she was saying.
“Eloise. Remember? She’ll be coming down from her room any minute and I want you to be on your best behavior. It took months of nagging and pleading to get her to agree to come out for the wedding. I want her to enjoy herself and not regret saying yes.”
Rowan pushed off the lounge and came to stand beside him. Placing her hand on his arm she said, “Please, Brogan. She’s the best friend I’ve had since Gordie, the only friend. She likes me. Not Brogan’s sister.”
Brogan looked at her. She was all grown up, ready to face her destiny but not without scars. They all had them but Rowan would have more if it wasn’t for Eloise Crawford. He knew their friendship had been what kept his sister from going mad the few years she’d been forced to live away from home. He sucked in a deep breath and let it out slowly.
“Okay, I’ll try. But something’s got the beast’s hackles up and I can’t figure out what.” He’d never hidden any of the ugly side of who or what he was from Rowan and he wouldn’t do it now.
A musical voice with a strange sultry accent came at the instant his beast went on red alert and yanked at Brogan’s control.
He couldn’t keep the growl inside, or stop the change in his eyes that Rowan wouldn’t miss. If Brogan’s instincts were right, his mate had just stepped into the room.
Rowan’s eyes went wide and her face drained of color. Shaking her head, she whispered, “No. Brogan, no.”
Brogan squeezed his eyes shut, dragged the beast back under control. It wouldn’t do to scare Eloise before they’d even met. When he opened his eyes again it was to find Rowan watching him warily. A rush of breath left her when she saw he had command of his coyote.
“It’s not my choice, Rowan. The fates have spoken.” He tried to ease her with a hug. Drawing her close he murmured, “You’ll need to help guide her.”
“Yes, Rowan. Remember, what’s done is done, we move on from here.”
She pulled from his arms and stood with hands on hips. “You hurt her and I’ll tear you to pieces,” she snarled.
Brogan smiled. He had no doubt she’d follow through on her threat. He’d seen her go to battle for someone she cared about. Her loyalty to those she loved was unquestionable, but if those she loved were pitted against each other she always sided with the weaker one.
Rowan looked past him to the woman who stood twenty feet away and had his body reacting as if she were plastered to his side. He could smell her, almost taste her. If he didn’t get a hold of himself he had no doubt Eloise Crawford would run screaming into the hills or to the nearest airport and first plane out of there.
“El, you’ve unpacked?” Rowan asked as she stepped around him.
Brogan looked at Quinn, who’d remained suspiciously quiet during the little demo of his animal behavior. Their gazes connected and he could see the laughter in his best friend’s eyes. The bastard knew this wouldn’t be easy and if Quinn knew anything about him, he knew everything. As he knew Quinn. He wouldn’t fool himself into thinking Quinn felt sorry for him. Oh, no. To Brogan’s way of thinking, Quinn was looking forward to the inevitable fight to come.
El watched her best friend pull away from the man built like the side of a house. He was huge. She’d be lucky to come up to his shoulder, not that she’d get too close, something about him made her stomach churn and her heart pound.
The air in the room crackled with tension, thick with energy, the kind that spikes before a lightning strike. The skin that had tightened moments before she left her room now tingled, stretched, pulled tighter. Her hair stood on end and goosebumps broke out all over. She felt the need to strip off her clothes and rub herself all over the big man who still hadn’t turned to face her.
Her eyes bored into the back of his head, even when Rowan reached her side and grabbed her up in another hug of welcome. Distractedly, El returned Rowan’s affection and tried to ignore the slight desperation in it. She’d always been able to judge Rowan’s moods and right now anxiety rolled off her in waves.
“I’m so glad you’re finally here,” Rowan said as she gave one final squeeze and let go.
El dragged her gaze away from the rigid man across the room and looked at her friend. Nothing could detract from the happiness etched all over the beautiful face in front of her. Rowan glowed and it went far deeper than the smile spreading her lips. Her eyes sparkled and she no longer had the pinched expression El had come to expect.
“I’m glad I came, too. Although if you’d mentioned how damn cold it would be I might have reconsidered,” she joked. El gripped both of Rowan’s hands and pulled her arms out wide. “Being home must really agree with you. I didn’t say it earlier but you look gorgeous. But then you always do.”
“Stop. You’ll make me blush.” Rowan let go of one hand and tugged her farther into the room. “Come and meet Quinn and Brogan, they just got home.”
El hadn’t noticed the second man earlier and as they got closer to the two men on the other side of the room her heart rate accelerated. A layer of sweat coated her skin and her breasts grew heavy, her nipples impossibly hard. Between her legs throbbed and went slick. With each shortened breath her nostrils were filled with the scents of open air, the rich, earthy aroma of the forest and man. It was the last smell that had her nerves in overdrive.
The numbing cold she’d felt from the moment she stepped off the plane no longer existed. Instead her body burned with a heat unlike anything in living memory. Fire burst and consumed, leaving behind an arousal so great each step, each rub of her thighs took her closer to an orgasm that would be shattering.
What was going on? Sure she hadn’t had sex in months but then she hadn’t wanted to. Until now.