This was my first Ellora’s Cave release!
Available from Ellora’s Cave: http://www.jasminejade.com/pm-7707-599-the-demon-is-an-angel.aspx
This was my first Ellora’s Cave release!
Available from Ellora’s Cave: http://www.jasminejade.com/pm-7707-599-the-demon-is-an-angel.aspx
Genre: Paranormal, Multicultural
Available from Cobblestone Press: http://www.cobblestone-press.com/catalog/books/pearl.htm
Author Website: www.LeilaBrown.com
Allyson Grey is a take no prisoners type of cop. After a strange encounter with a woman at a flea market, followed by an encounter with a tiger shifter, Ally will do whatever it takes to protect the innocent.
Prince and tiger shifter, Jorel isn’t there for the innocents. He’s there for her. Ally is the one woman that possesses his heartstone and Jorel must take her back, willingly or not, to his world. Has Jorel bitten off more than he can chew?
“I don’t care what he says. I am not going to a royal dinner. I am not leaving this room. If he doesn’t understand tell him to come down and I will say it to his face.” She had no desire to sit down with him or anyone else. What she wanted was to go home. Point blank. End of story. He didn’t honestly think that moving her into his suite was going to endear her to him, did he?
The slip of a woman bowed to her and hurried out of the room. Ally flopped back on the bed. She’d been through the room several times already and there were no hidden passageways. No secret compartments. No way out.
Besides the door. Which boasted to guards. A tiny piece of her felt happy that they deemed her such a threat that they beefed up the guard. It didn’t even matter if she did escape. She had no idea of how to get back to that spot in the woods where he’d dragged her from the park.
Two loud thuds in the hallway knocked her from her small pity party. What the hell was going on? She ran over to the door and peeked out. Both guards lay on the floor. Shit. Either somebody was trying to help her or she was triple fucked. Either way she wasn’t about to sit back and wait for whoever was coming to show up. She opened the door wide enough to slip out. She craned her neck to look down both directions of the hallway. Empty.
Right or left. Not that it freaking mattered. Left. She’d try left. Ally raced down the corridor sliding to a stop before she rounded the corner. She did another quick peek. Empty again. Everyone must be at that royal dinner. She ran down that hallway and right into Jorel as he rounded the corner.
She tried to backpedal away from him but his hand snaked out and grabbed her before she could get away. Fire licked her shin when he touched her.
“Where the hell are your guards?” He marched her back to her room. He stepped over the slumped her guards. “What the hell did you do to them?”
“Nothing. They were like that when I opened the door.”
He eyed her suspiciously but didn’t say anything else about the guards.
“So where were you going in such a hurry. I was told you refused to come to dinner.”
“I was leaving.”
“We’ve been through this. You can’t leave. You do and we both die. That heartstone ties us together. Whether we like it or not.” From the slight upturn of his top lip he didn’t like it anymore than she did.
As soon as her eyes connected with his her mouth went dry and she found it harder to breathe. Her nipples tightened and she wanted to scream her disbelief. She couldn’t want him. Not in that way. She couldn’t be that crazy.
“Look. I have no clue as to why you’re doing this. I’m sure there are tons of women like you who would want to be tied to you. Unfortunately I’m not one of them. I don’t need and don’t want to be tied to anyone.”
“I thought we could go the easy route. But it looks like your determined to do things the hard way.” The way he said ‘the hard way’ she had no doubts about which way he truly wanted things to go.
She’d played right into his hands and hadn’t even known it. Moving around she put the bed between them. “You knew I wouldn’t come down to dinner with your family. You planned it. Planned this. I wouldn’t be surprised if you took the guards out and were waiting for me to run into you.”
He laughed at her. A sound that was far too appealing. “Sorry to disappoint, but I was coming to tell you that if you don’t eat with me you don’t eat.”
“Fine, I’ll starve.” She tried not to stare at his face which meant her eyes were glued to his chest.
“It’s too late for that. Having this separate room was a privilege. One you didn’t appreciate.”
“Meaning what? I’m going to sleep where the servants sleep?” As her words said those words a whole different senario played out in her head.
“No. You’ll be sleeping with me.” His words silenced her.
Ally couldn’t think of a snappy comeback. She was completely floored by his pronouncement. Sure he’d said they were tied and he acted like eventually they would have to sleep together. But she didn’t really think he would push her into it. Take away her choice.
“You can’t do that.” She watched him raise his eyebrows at her words.
“Why not? My family is law here. And by the law, you belong to me.” A smile played at his lips.
“I told you Tigerboy, I don’t belong to anyone.” Before she realized it she’d jumped at him. Her arms were outstretched and she hands were poised to rake down his face and pull skin with them. She could’ve ran fast, jumped harder, but her heart wasn’t fully in it.
He caught her hands right before they reached his face. “Temper, temper.” He pulled her down wrapped his arms around her and twisted her so her ass hit against his cock.
She bucked and moved. Pressing against him trying to get leverage to pull herself away from him or hit him hard enough that he let her go. Neither happened though.
“If I were you I’d stop that.”
“Good thing you’re not me.” She thrashed harder. The hard feel of his erection poking her in the back just made her fight more.
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Even as he said the words liquid heat poured through her clothes.
“Did you just jack off on my back?” She stopped moving out of sheer disbelief.
“Nope. That’s something else.”
She heard his words but her brain got foggy. Too foggy to continue to fight. Right now her body was heating up in all the wrong places. What the hell was wrong with her? She didn’t want him. Couldn’t want him.
“Stop that.” He growled into her ear.
Without thinking about it she’d arched up into his erection and rubbed back and forth. There was nothing about that movement that screamed let me go. That had been more like a ‘I want to fuck you’ kind of movement. And fucking was definitely something she did not want him thinking about.
“If you do it again. I won’t be responsible for what happens.”
She caught herself doing it again. The scent of him filled her nostril. He smelled so damn good. It was making her mouth water. Maybe she should move again to see what he would do. Do it! Do it! Her body craved his touch. Starved for it. Her pussy muscles clenched with thoughts of him flipping her over and punishing her in the most delicious of ways.
No. No. No. She did not want him that way. He’d done something to her. Changed her.
“What did you do to me?” Her voice was weak with the strain of holding herself still. A battle she was quickly losing.
“I didn’t do anything but try to give you a chance to get used to being my mate. But no. You had to fight it. Had to rush things.”
Rush what? He leaned down and his hard erection bumped up against her ass. Her control on her overactive libido slipped. Her body stopped listening to the small voice in the back of her mind. She had to touch him. Had to rub against him. Not doing so was almost painful. More like a dull ache that eventually encompassed your entire mind so that you could no longer distract yourself from the feeling.
Jorel flipped her around and she opened her arms and legs to him. She’d fight with him later. Right now she wanted, no needed, to feel his hard flesh pressed against hers. Even as she ran her hands along his back she starved for a more intimate touch.
She leaned up and pulled what was left of her t-shirt over her head. Then shimmied out of her pants. Her bra and panties hit the floor next. The only thing in between her body and his was on thin layer of clothing. His.
“Take off your clothes.” Even to her own ears her voice was raw with need. What did it sound like to him?
He reared up and quickly disposed of his clothing. The sight knocked the breath from her lungs. His skin called to her hands. She curled her hands into tight fist. Where the hell was her self-control? This was worse than throwing herself at him. She was practically mauling the man.
As he pulled down his black-leathered pants she bit her lip. The pain kept her locked in place. The insanity of her desire was almost overpowering. When his erection sprang free of the constraining fabric, she lost all competent thought. She needed to touch him. Feel him. Taste him. If she didn’t her heart would stop. Her lungs would explode. She would simply cease to exist.
When she wrapped her hand around his straining penis, Jorel felt like his knees would give out. He hadn’t had a woman in over a month and this one was more than appealing. Looking down he watched in fascination as she licked her lips before guiding the head of his penis to her mouth.
Genre: M/M Regency-set historical erotic romance
Author: Ava March www.AvaMarch.com
Now Available from Loose Id: http://www.loose-id.com/prod-Convincing_Arthur-979.aspx
Mr. Leopold Thornton missed his chance ten years ago. He isn’t about to let this one pass him by.
Given Leopold’s reputation for vice and debauchery, Mr. Arthur Barrington has a fair idea why the sinfully beautiful man invites him to his country estate. A shooting excursion? Unlikely. Especially considering Arthur is the only guest invited to the estate. He shouldn’t consider the invitation, but a few days of mind-blowing sex could be just the thing to help him get over the heartbreaking end of a ten year relationship. Then he can return to London, to his thriving law practice, and quietly search for an amiable man who understands the meaning of the word discreet and who recognizes the value of commitment.
There was a time when Leopold wasn’t such a rakehell. When every night didn’t end with an empty bottle of whisky. When he believed in the rewards of patience. When he didn’t give himself over to just anyone who’d have him. Old habits die hard, especially when tempted by six feet of solid muscle, but Leopold will only have a few days to convince Arthur he can be that man again — that his love is genuine and he’s worthy of Arthur’s heart.
Publisher’s Note: this book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, male/male sexual practices.
Thornton took one more step, closing the last remaining distance, his gaze locked with Arthur’s. He placed a hand on the dresser beside Arthur, blocking the path to escape, and slowly, ever so slowly, leaned even closer. So close Arthur could make out the midnight blue flecks in his heavily lidded gray eyes. The faint scents of whisky, the enticing spice of cologne, and clean male skin wafted around him. Warm breath fanned Arthur’s parted lips: teasing, tempting. A tremble of anticipation rocked him.
“You refused supper. You refused a nightcap.” The words were low, a mere rumble of sound. Thornton’s mouth barely moved. Then he dipped his head at the last moment before their lips touched.
Disappointment began to crash through Arthur when a hand palmed the placket of his trousers, long fingers wrapping around his hardening prick.
Thornton looked up at him through his black forelock, his eyes blazing with lust. “Is there anything I can tempt you with tonight?”
Arthur opened his mouth, but no words came out.
And Thornton meant it.
But…what to choose? The possibilities… Arthur knew of a few, but he was certain there were more. Many more. Thornton’s experience radiated from him. An intimidating force. The confidence of that hand wrapped around his cock, the easy self-assurance behind every move he made. The man had knowledge of carnal pleasures that went beyond anything Arthur could imagine.
Though what he really wanted was a kiss. To taste those full, red-tinged lips. To feel the soft skin. To sweep his tongue inside the hot depths of Thornton’s sinfully gorgeous mouth.
But surely a man like Thornton would find such a request much too tame.
“Perhaps not?” Thornton murmured. Those long fingers loosened their grip as the man began to ease back.
At the hurt finding its way across Thornton’s beautiful face, he blurted, “Yes. I-I mean, no.” He let out a short, frustrated grunt, struggling to find the words. Hell, it was hard to concentrate with another man’s hand on his prick. Thornton squeezed lightly, then feathered his fingertips along Arthur’s length, robbing him of his wits anew. “I-I…I want…”
Don’t say it; he’ll think you a bore.
Thornton arched a brow. He rubbed his jaw against Arthur’s; their day’s beards a rough yet tender scrape. “Shall I guess?” he whispered, hot breath tickling Arthur’s ear.
Arthur nodded once.
A wink was all the warning he received before Thornton dropped to his knees. He felt the tugs as Thornton made short work of the buttons on the placket of his trousers. In the next blink of an eye, his suspenders were unhooked from his waistband, and his trousers and drawers were at his knees. One swipe of Thornton’s hand tucked his shirttail under his waistcoat. He barely detected the brush of cool air on his erection before a hand wrapped securely around the base and moist heat surrounded the head.
“Ah…damnation.” Arthur gasped, his eyes closing against the most intense pleasure. By God, the man knew what he was about. Bobbing along the length, sucking hard enough to almost pull the orgasm out of him. It had been over a month — hell, almost two — since he’d been the recipient of such a favor. And never had the favor been bestowed with such blatant, unabashed skill.
Thornton pulled back until only the crown was held between his lips and then pressed the tip of his tongue against the highly sensitive slit. A jolt of pure sensation shot down Arthur’s length to his ballocks, his knees threatening to buckle, his eyes flying open.
Arthur grabbed the edge of the dresser and held on tightly as Thornton picked up a luxurious rhythm that brought him closer and closer to the edge. Before he was aware of it, his other hand was threaded in Thornton’s soft, thick hair, palm cupping his skull.
Thornton let out a moan that sounded distinctly like approval. Aggression, raw and stripped bare and completely unexpected, rushed to the surface. Growling low in his throat, Arthur thrust his hips in counterpoint, fucking Thornton’s mouth. Thornton’s hand, gripping tightly at the base, fell away as he took the entire length of Arthur’s cock. As he let Arthur use him for his own pleasure.
A distinctive sound drew his attention down beyond the decadent sight of Thornton’s hollowed cheeks and full lips wrapped around his length. The other man had his own trousers unbuttoned, cock in hand. The flushed head poked through the top of his clenched fist with each rapid stroke.
The climax barreled upon Arthur. His senses narrowed, focused only on the heat and suction and wonderful, blissful slippery wetness surrounding his prick. And then his world exploded.
Arthur gritted his teeth to keep the roar inside as he came down Thornton’s throat. Thornton didn’t pull back or snap at him for getting a mouthful of seed. The man swallowed it all, sucking hard as the last tremor shook him, until it became suddenly too much, the sensations overwhelming his senses.
“Enough,” Arthur gasped, tugging on Thornton’s hair, desperate to get him to stop.
There was a wet popping noise. Then Thornton shot to his feet, his lips slanting harshly across Arthur’s mouth. The hunger and pure need in that kiss… Arthur thrust his tongue boldly inside, sweeping the hot recesses of Thornton’s sinfully gorgeous mouth. Beneath the salty flavor of his own release and the spicy hint of whisky was the unique taste of Thornton. Lust flared, igniting his senses once again. With a tug on Thornton’s hair, Arthur jerked the man closer, unable to get enough.
He was vaguely aware of Thornton’s arm moving between them: quick, determined, and furious. Thornton’s labored breaths puffed against his cheek, scorching his skin. Tension gripped Thornton’s sleek body. Then he groaned into his mouth. Heat splashed onto Arthur’s prick.
The kiss softened, slowed, lulling Arthur’s senses with the heady mix of smooth lips and the scrape of stubble. His flingers unclenched, slipping out of Thornton’s hair, his hands shifting to gently cup the man’s jaw. He felt the rigidity ease from Thornton’s body, heard the soft murmur of contentment as the man sank into kiss.
And for Arthur didn’t know how long, he simply kissed Thornton, soaking up the feel of the man’s body against his, the taste of him, and the sounds of his sighs.
With a nip, Thornton pulled back enough to break the contact of their lips. Could he be any more beautiful?
Full lips, stained rose red from their kisses, tousled black hair, and flushed cheeks. His features were so patently aristocratic, so fine and sharp while at the same time approaching femininity.
Long, thick lashes swept down. Then the corner of his mouth quirked. A little jolt shot up Arthur’s spine as Thornton dragged a lazy finger through the remnants of his climax coating Arthur’s cock.
“I do believe I shall have to take care of that.” Thornton dropped to his haunches, took hold of Arthur’s bare hips, and lapped up the seed, licking him clean.
© Ava March 2009
I have read all Ava’s books and so far, the two Bound books and this one, Convincing Arthur are so far my favorites. Her new release, tomorrow, From Afar… I can’t wait!
Juniper and I had our first Samhain books come out very close together and I know she was a great support to me and I hope I was the same to her. We did our first promotional chat for the books together and laughed through it the whole time because neither of us had done it before at that particular location. It was fun and I have enjoyed having her as a friend. We have been able to help one another through good and not so good when it comes to this business. She’s got wicked skills, too…smiles
For Annie Swenson, only one cure works better than psychotherapy… Annie’s afraid of heights, she’s afraid of crowds, and she’s not too crazy about flying. When her therapist orders her to take a vacation, she picks remote Cat Island in the Bahamas, hoping to hide away. Mortified to find she’s the only single woman at the resort, she pretends the handsome, mysterious stranger behind her in the buffet line is her boyfriend. He goes along with the charade … for a price! The choice is simple: reveal her sham or go along with his erotic, boundary-pushing games. Annie’s life will never be the same after her sensual encounters with The Extremist.
Next to her was the remarkable, amazing presence of Martin. She had never been so intensely aware of anyone in her life. She knew when he reached for his glass. She knew when he looked out at the dark ocean. She knew when he wanted to change the direction of the conversation. Every time she glanced over at him, he met her eyes with a look of amused approval.
He was either a hallucination or an angel.
Gratefully, she shifted her chair to be closer to him. She leaned her body into his and rubbed her cheek on his shoulder. Looking up, she caught that playful smile she was beginning to adore, but this time, it had a wicked edge to it.
He turned to Missy and Daryl and leaned forward to ask them an innocuous question about their last trip to the Bahamas. At the same time, a big warm hand touched her knee, and Annie bit back a startled shriek. The hand squeezed until she gained control of herself. Then it began a slow, teasing march up her thigh.
“Did you enjoy Nassau?” Martin asked, looking extremely interested in the Hertzbergers’ response.
Meanwhile, his hand pushed under the edge of her skirt, and Annie bit the inside of her lip. He smoothed her inner thigh, making circular patterns on the tender skin. His palm was surprisingly rough-skinned. Did he work with his hands?
“Oh sure, I think it’s thoroughly stunning,” she heard Martin say, and from the teasing tone of his voice, she knew he was referring to her. His hand gently pulled her leg so it brushed against his. She felt a finger pull back the edge of her panties, and fresh air moved against her private parts. She couldn’t stop a surprised little gasp from escaping.
“Are you okay, Annie?” asked Missy.
“Yes,” she said in a strangled tone.
“Take a sip of wine,” said Martin, and the quietly masterful tone in his voice made her obey instantly. As she sipped from her glass, Martin took the opportunity to pull her panties completely away from her sex. She held the glass in front of her burning face, as though admiring the wine.
My God, she was entirely exposed to anyone who happened to be under the table. No one was, but the thought brought a flutter of terror. At the same time, it made moisture drip down her thighs.
Martin’s thumb was now holding back her panties while his fingers went on a determined quest through the wet folds of her sex. He found her clitoris and teased it with his forefinger, pressing it, circling it. His finger left her for a moment to dip into her heated sex. She felt its curious exploration; each little movement sent new shocks through her body. Then the finger withdrew, and it felt like eons before it returned, slick from her wetness, to continue rubbing her clitoris. Although she didn’t dare look at him, she felt his satisfied smile.
Annie thought she might die from the excruciating sensations he was creating. She couldn’t bear it another moment. She had to make him stop, but when she tried to close her legs, he pinched her clitoris just enough to make her yelp.
“Did you say something, Annie?” Missy flicked her cigarette ash into the clamshell ashtray.
“Did you get bitten by one of those bugs, honey?” said Martin tenderly. “They’ve been driving me crazy all night.” He took her whole crotch in his hand and gripped it tightly.
“Maybe it’s time to go inside,” she managed with a remarkable degree of dignity.
“One more glass, what do you all say?” said Martin, with an infectious enthusiasm that made Daryl pour another round. “We’re on vacation, darling. We don’t want to disappoint your friends, do we?” He winked at her.
Disappoint her friends? Annie got the message. If she didn’t let him continue, he might expose their charade to Missy and Daryl. No matter what he did, it wouldn’t be worse than that humiliation. No doubt about it, Martin was in control here. He had all the cards. The only question was, what did he intend to do with them?
As she gripped the edge of her chair, he showed her. He stroked her until her sex was pulsing with red-hot need, until she had to bite down on her lip to keep from screaming. She summoned every ounce of willpower – every particle of control – to keep her face still and her body immobile. He plunged two fingers inside her, then three. When it felt like his whole hand was inside her body, he pulled her forward, so she had to shift to the very edge of the chair. That changed his angle so his wrist could rub against her throbbing clitoris.
Annie felt the world had split in two. Beneath the table, her body was on fire. Her legs were quivering; her sex, screaming for release. Above the table, she was a calm statue with an interested smile plastered to her face. Daryl was in the middle of a long story about a trip to Australia, and luckily, Annie only had to nod now and then. This she did, at random moments.
She completely lost the thread of the story when the heel of Martin’s hand ground into her clitoris. A rush of pleasure overwhelmed her, and she could no longer even make out the other couple’s faces. Everything was a blur: Missy’s head thrown back to draw on a cigarette, Daryl’s arm draped across the back of her chair, the swaying palm trees, the hanging lanterns, and the wait staff lounging around a nearby table. The scent of the sea drifted from the beach and seemed to join with the sharp taste of wine swirling through her senses in a wild tsunami. She balanced on the unbearable edge of a tall cliff, dying to fall, terrified to fall. Despite herself, she pressed into that insistent hand. She felt the flush on her face, felt her breath coming faster through her clenched lips.
“Have a little more wine, darling,” she heard Martin say. How on earth could he sound so calm, when he held a handful of dripping, scalding crotch? Jerkily, she moved to obey. “Here, let me,” he said, as her hands shook. He reached in front of her, blocking her from the Hertzbergers, and in that instant, he tightened his grip, inside and out, as if making a fist around her privates. Now she had no choice. Burying her face into his back, she rocketed over the edge into a freefall of ecstasy. She didn’t know where she was anymore. All she was, all she wanted to be, was a pile of hot, wet, pulsing flesh being shaken and squeezed by that relentless lion’s paw of a hand.
As the spasms died away, Martin slowly sat back. With one part of her mind, Annie wondered what she could possibly look like now. Were her eyes glassy, her face red? The rest of her mind was still below the table, where Martin’s hand patted her twitching flesh and smoothed her wet curls. She desperately wanted to close her legs, but still he wouldn’t let her. Not until he’d had his fill of caressing her, put her panties back into place, and pulled her skirt back to her knees. Then he closed her legs and gave her a gentle pat on the knee.
I remember reading parts of this book when Selena was writing it. I couldn’t wait to read more and am very glad I did.
Available from Cobblestone Press: http://www.cobblestone-press.com/catalog/author/selenablake.htm
Author Website: http://www.selena-blake.com/
The Deverauxs and Vassars have been fighting for hundreds of years, but somehow Andre and Juliette fell in love. More than that, they’re mates. Destined to be together for eternity until betrayal tore them apart.
When business sends Andre Deveraux to Savannah he comes face to face with Juliette for the first time in sixty five years. Their crash course renews old memories and desires. With Juliette stranded and the hurricane of the century roaring to shore, Andre has no choice by to offer her a lift.
He’s in for the ride of his life.
“It looks like this is going to be a doozy of a storm, folks. Hurricane Love is skirting Florida’s east coast right now, roaring north at fifteen miles per hour. The storm will likely make landfall between Jacksonville, Florida and Charleston, South Carolina. Cities along the coast are now under a full voluntary evacuation. Paul, how are things looking in the Weather Center?”
André Deveraux glanced up from the book in his lap and studied the gray haired man on the television screen. Behind him a large map of the Southeast showed the first of bands of rain moving across Savannah. The wide mass of swirling clouds looked imposing, even to André.
He’d gotten to the airport hours in advance of his flight with hopes of catching an earlier one, but the airport was clogged with travelers and the plane/passenger ratio was not good. The Bobs, Deveraux Shipping’s lawyers, had been smart to catch a flight late last night. André had wanted another night to himself, to think over his future. Not that the extra time had helped.
“Hurricane Love is picking up speed, Don. And the barometer continues to drop. South Florida is already experiencing heavy rain from this storm. Fort Lauderdale has picked up two and a half inches in the last six hours. If you’re in the path of this storm, I strongly urge you to get out of the way.” The man made a sweeping motion with his hand, away from the coast.
Easier said than done, buddy.
A sharp ring and the accompanying vibration alerted him to a call. He dug his cell phone out of his pants pocket and glanced at the number. Angelica. A sharp ache squeezed his heart and headed south.
He pressed the answer button and held it to his ear. “Hi, Angel.”
“Hiya, handsome. We were wondering if you were able to catch an earlier flight.”
He glanced at his luggage, still sitting in the same spot at his feet where he’d dropped it three hours ago.
“No. There weren’t any earlier flights.”
A long pause clued him in to Angelica’s worry. Ever since that week in the cabin when he and Jules had brought her in out of the storm he’d had a connection with her. Past what was normal for a brother and sister-in-law. But she’d made her choice. It was Jules who’d stolen her heart. And André had stepped out of the picture.
“I’ll be fine, Angel. Don’t worry about me.”
“I can’t help but worry about you. You won’t let anyone take care of you.”
“That’s because I don’t need taking care of,” he clipped. That wasn’t entirely true, and he knew it. He saw what Angelica had with Jules and Sebastian with Amanda and it made him crave that closeness for himself.
He was no longer used to the yearning that plagued him. He didn’t like it. Didn’t like wanting anything as much as he wanted a woman of his own. Someone to hold close, someone who would dote on him, be excited to see him, someone to share his life, his wealth with. But that woman was not Angel. “I didn’t mean to be short with you.”
“I know,” she said quietly. She probably did. Angelica Humphrey was an amazing woman, easy-going, expressive, giving. Perfect in so many ways. And she fit seamlessly into Pack life.
“Any progress on the house?” he asked, hoping that questions about something other than him would ease some of the growing tension. When their home had burnt to the ground last month, Sebastian, his older brother and the Alpha of their pack, had declared that they would rebuild. Construction had already begun.
“Sebastian’s looking for a supplier of old flooring. There was a reporter snooping around the other day but Gin and Burke ran him off. They’ve almost got the roof on.”
She continued talking, telling him about the plans that Amanda and Sebastian, the pack’s Alphas, were making. Only half listening, he heard something about overstuffed furniture, rocking chairs and a nursery.
He watched the TV screen and the storm that was heading to shore. Just then a voice came over the loudspeaker announcing that all flights had been canceled due to weather.
“Angel…” he interrupted. She fell silent. “They just canceled my flight. I have to go. Talk to you soon.”
“Okay. Love ya. Be careful.”
He ended the call and stared at the phone for several seconds. That ache was still there nestled in his heart. He’d dwelled on their relationship far longer than he should have. The pact with Jules didn’t extend to mates. And even if it did, he just didn’t love Angel with an all-consuming passion. He’d only felt that with one woman. The one woman he could never have.
Gathering his luggage, he headed back to the rental car counter where he’d dropped off the keys to the SUV a few hours ago. Somehow, he had to get out of here. His business was rapped up. The sale was going to go through. Sebastian would be pleased. Negotiating the throng of people, he wondered what they would do once they were no longer the owners of Deveraux Shipping.
For the last decade they’d thrown themselves into their business and for a time it had made their bachelorhood tolerable. But lately there had been a gnawing at André’s gut reminding him that there was more to life than making money.
Maybe he’d travel. He’d never been to Canada or Antarctica. Maybe a world cruise was in order. He’d definitely have to consider that once he got back to Louisiana.
As he stepped up to the car rental counter, he caught a whiff of perfume mixed with warm, alluring woman. But it was distinctively werewolf too. The delicious scent teased his memory, tormenting him.
Man, he had it worse than he thought. White hot lust coursed through his veins and his cock twitched to life. Just being in the same part of the country and he was thinking he could smell her—
“What do you mean you have no other cars? As in none?” A feminine voice floated down the expanse to him. There was a trace of accent, French, and a barely controlled panic.
His head swiveled left toward the sound, and he caught sight of the woman in all her furious glory. A mane of long mahogany waves cascaded over her shoulders. The silky strands made his fingers itch to sweep them from her face. His gaze swooped lower, taking in the sophisticated charcoal gray dress that hugged her tall curvy frame like denim fresh from the dryer. Her legs, pale and bare of pantyhose, went on for miles. She wore ultra-sexy, black leather heels. And her toes, dear God, the perfectly painted red polish did crazy things to his mind.
At the same moment, his body tensed and his heart dropped. He knew the woman without having to look at her face. She’d have wide blue eyes, a perfect nose—minus the old break—and ruby red lips. She was pretty without being overly beautiful. Her special blend of quiet assurance and subtle seduction could have a man eating out of the palm of her hand with a single lick of her lips.
André knew that, knew her, all too well. Juliette Vassar was the one woman in all of Savannah, non…the world, that he’d hoped to avoid on this trip. He’d sworn to himself that he would not search her out and yet here she was. Were the stars in alignment? Were the Fates playing tricks on him?
She flicked her hair over her shoulder, showing off the creamy column of her neck. He swallowed a groan and slowly traced the profile he knew so well.
“Fuck me,” he muttered.
“Was that an invitation?” André jerked his gaze to the short blonde behind the counter. She gave him a willing smile.
He raised an eyebrow and then sat his briefcase at his feet. “I’m going to need the SUV again.” He tried not to notice the disappointment in her eyes.
How the hell was he going to get out of here without Juliette seeing him? Like him, she had a killer sense of smell, and he was willing to bet his life that she still felt the bond between them just like he did.
It would pull them together like magnets if he let it. All those years ago, they hadn’t just been in love. He hadn’t just worshiped the ground she walked on, adored and desired her. Non. He’d mated with her. For life.
Overhead a voice blared through a speaker. “The weather service has issued a voluntary hurricane evacuation—”
“Great,” André muttered as the crowd around him surged into chaos.
“If you’ll sign here, Mr. Deveraux.” He took the pen she offered and scrawled his signature on the line.
“What about you? Do you have any cars left?” Juliette’s voice was closer this time. André grabbed the keys to his rental and turned to gather his things. His gut tightened into little knots. Just turn around and walk away.
But he couldn’t. Sighing, he turned back to see her blue eyes glimmering with hope and a hint of desperation.
“No, ma’am. I’m afraid not,” the attendant said in a thick southern accent. André didn’t like the way the man behind the counter ogled Juliette. Didn’t like it one little bit. But he pushed the feeling aside and picked up his briefcase.
One by one the counters closed.
“I can take you wherever you need to go, cheri.” The words were out of his mouth before he could stop them. Inwardly, he grimaced.
Juliette turned toward the dreamy masculine voice. Deep, gravelly, she’d know it anywhere. That same voice had starred in all of her fantasies from the time she’d understood the attraction between men and women. Seductive words whispered in her ears as a young woman had caused her to lose her heart to its owner centuries before.
But that was a long time ago. She pulled her shoulders back and sucked in her stomach. Then she turned slowly, telling herself she would not cave in to him again. She would not forget what he’d done to her brother.
She would not forgive him.
So she said the only thing guaranteed to put emotional space between them. “Aren’t you on the wrong side of the river, swamp rat?”
He didn’t so much as flinch at her words. What the hell was he doing here? And why did she feel the overwhelming urge to step into his arms and hug him?
Ah hell. This wasn’t what she’d expected when she came back from France. For starters, she’d expected to be able to rent a car. She shot the dweeb behind the counter a barely contained look of disdain. Not that it was his fault but she needed to get out of here, get to her family’s estate, and it seemed like all the cars in the city had been rented.
Taking a deep steadying breath, she stepped toward the last rental counter. The one André Deveraux stood in front of…looking hotter than holy sin. The expensive looking suit hugged his body to perfection, showed off those broad shoulders and trim waist. The crisp black fabric only added appeal to his tanned skin and silky black hair. Heaven help her, he looked good enough to eat. The epitome of tall, dark, and dangerously handsome. He made her tail twitch. Always had. She was terrified he always would.
“And you, mademoiselle,” she said to the blonde clerk who eyed André like a piece of chocolate. “Do you have any cars available?” Juliette cocked her head and prayed that the other woman’s answer would be yes.
“I’m sorry, ma’am. Mr. Deveraux reserved our last one.” Juliette didn’t miss the way the little southern tramp’s blue eyes lit up when she said Mr. Deveraux. Not that Juliette could blame her really. She’d fallen into the trap of his dynamite sensuality. That knowledge just pissed her off more.
Her temperature rose another degree and she resisted the urge to fan herself. Had she only been away a year? Surely it hadn’t long enough for her body to lose all acclimation to the climate. How did this place stay so hot and humid without melting right off the face of the planet?
She cut a glance at the big man a few short feet away. So close she’d be able to touch him if she stretched her arm out. The corner of that handsome mouth pulled up a quarter of a centimeter. Her breathing grew shallow. Dieu, he was handsome. Male perfection.
Chill, Julie. Just chill. Don’t let him know how much he affects you.
She adjusted the strap of her purse over her shoulder. “So, why are you here?” Truth be told, he was the last person she’d expected to come face to face with. This was only meant to be a short trip. Just long enough to sell the estate, tie up loose ends, and say goodbye to her past.
Which sounded like she had a plan for the future. If only that were true.
“Business meeting,” those kiss-me lips said.
“Ah.” He was taller than she remembered. She was tall for a woman and her heels gave her another three inches. But he…he towered over her. Broad, hard, muscular in all the right places. The top button of his crisp white shirt hung open revealing a sexy V of tanned skin. She’d kissed that very spot dozens of times.
“About dat ride—” he began but she cut him off with a shake of her head. She couldn’t accept a ride from him, no matter how much her heart begged her to do exactly that. André Deveraux was and would always be off limits. Her family may no longer be alive to keep up the feud, but they’d roll in their graves if they knew she’d gotten back together with the man who’d murdered her brother.
And getting into a car with him would surely be the first step to getting back together because where André was concerned, she had less than zero willpower.
No. Better to not even tempt herself.
Who was she kidding? She was already tempted.
“No thanks. I wouldn’t want to keep you from your meeting.” And she couldn’t take the chance that she’d either coldcock him or kiss him. The best thing to do was walk away.
So she did. Turned on her sexy little Donna Karan stilettos and started down the concourse.
“Uh, the exit is the other way,” André said, his voice lifting over the flurry of passengers.
Juliette stopped. Of all the times to look like a complete imbecile. She bit back a choice word and turned toward him again. But he was already striding down the corridor. She didn’t miss how all the women turned to watch him go by.
Damn the man. And what he did to her insides.