Cover & Excerpt Reveal
Lost City Shifters Book Three
Cole Brandt is a wolf shifter, sent by his pack to the Amazon jungle to negotiate a treaty. He's unaware that the kingdom of jaguar shifters he's meant to meet with has split--and Cole's suspicion that jaguars are selfish and deceitful is confirmed when he's seized by the rebel faction.
Taya Silveira, a jaguar shifter and fierce warrior loyal to the king, resents being assigned Cole's rescue. She doesn't approve of his pack's involvement in her jungle--to her, wolves are greedy, weak creatures who will exploit the resources the Yaguara protect.
Struggling against centuries of ill will and prejudice, Cole and Taya must work together to prevent a devastating civil war. They can't deny their physical attraction--with the heightened senses of shifters, their desires are plain. But if they give in to passion, they may be forced to choose between staying with their tribes, or staying together.
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: April 1, 2013
Publisher: Carina Press
Her hair brushed against his wrist as she turned her head to sweep the hall. His body responded as if she’d pressed her bare breasts into his hands. And damn it, she noticed his reaction. A lift of her chin as she caught his scent and a sly backward glance told him as much. Wordlessly, she directed him toward a tunnel they hadn’t used yet. The walls were unadorned and slightly uneven. It was narrower here and their shoulders brushed occasionally as they walked side by side.
“Gabriel ordered me to take you out to the site. We might as well hunt on the way. You look like a run would do you good. And, if during the course of that run something slow and sickly stumbles into your path, maybe you’ll be able to catch it.”
He cocked an eyebrow at her. “Is that the way you want to play it? I may not be a fighter by trade, but I can hunt just fine.”
The cast of her face was as haughty as ever, but he’d become familiar enough with her expression to note the light dancing in her eyes and the way her narrow lips kept trying to twist at the corners. “Without your pack, you’ll be sorely disadvantaged.”
He’d have believed it if someone told him Taya liked to talk smack, but the playful edge to her jabs nearly bowled him over. It goaded him to grab her arm and pull her around to face him.
“Are you willing to put money where that smart little mouth is?”
Her eyes glinted with challenge and his pulse kicked up a notch. Some of the playfulness faded from her expression. Of course she’d be competitive. “If you’re sure you’re up to it.”
“Are you up to it?” he asked, not sure if her concern was genuine or part of the game.
“I wasn’t the one injured.”
Another consideration occurred to him. “You said animals avoided the area.”
“It can be a challenge catching something so deeply within our borders.” She gifted him with a drippingly sweet smile. “If you’re having second thoughts, I’d be happy to kill your lunch for you.”
“That’s very generous of you, but I’m hungry now and don’t really want to wait while you track down enough rodents to feed me. I’m sure I can find something big enough for the two of us to share.”
“I don’t think that’s likely.”
Ha. “Name the wager.”
For the first time, a shadow of uncertainty crossed her face, but it was gone as soon as he blinked. She lifted her chin. “What do you want?”
His voice was rough when he answered. “You know what I want.”
Eyes widening, she laughed. “You are direct, if nothing else. Fine.”
“Fine,” she repeated and even though she was looking right at him, the expression on her face gave nothing away. “You make the first kill—and I’m not talking a rat or a tamarin—take down at least a boar or caiman and I’ll sleep with you. Once. We’ll get this…whatever this is out of our way and move on. I win and next time you want to leave the city, you ask me before you bring it up with Gabriel. If I’m going to keep you safe I need to control your schedule.”
She was serious and she was sure that he’d lose. It burst his bubble somewhat but also made him more determined than ever to win. He should turn down the bet. It would be the gentlemanly thing to do. But there was that smirk, her utter confidence that he didn’t stand a chance and…desire. Her eyes were dilated, nipples erect, lips parted as she waited for his answer. She wanted him too. She never would have made the offer otherwise. He extended his hand.
She wrapped her slender fingers around his and he pulled her a step closer. Her lips parted, but her eyes narrowed to slits.
“Rules?” she scoffed. “You think like a wolf.”
“I am a wolf, sweetheart, and I intend to win this bet. Consider the possibility that you’ll lose. Consider it hard while there’s still a chance I might let you back out.”
She leaned forward just enough to balance on the balls of her feet. He was ready for her if she came at him. He might not be a warrior, but he was capable of defending himself. Turning his hips slightly to protect his groin, he set his hand in the curve of her waist so he’d feel her tense before she attacked. She underestimated him and that, more than anything, goaded him to push her as far as she’d go. Eyes locked on hers, he slowly lowered his head, half expecting her to lash out. But she waited, a dare in her eyes and a smile on her lips. He could make out each individual eyelash, long and soot-black, the rim around her dark eyes, a tiny nearly healed scrape on her chin. Her breath, soft and quick, fanned across his lips.
“Last chance,” he warned.
“I’ve no intention of—”
He dipped in and caught her lips as they formed the words, silencing her, groaning when instead of pushing him away, she clutched at his hips to draw him closer. Her body rose, sliding along the length of his. Her mouth parted, her tongue darted out to find his. She’d been eating one of those wild plums Gabriel kept in a basket near the coffee and rolls. Uvilla, sweet and a touch tart. She was warm, hot and not at all passive. Her small hands came up to hold him steady as she explored him. Her hips pressed forward, cradling his erection. His hand tangled in her hair and he crumpled the cool fall of silk in his fist.
Somehow she managed to turn him around, and he froze momentarily when his back hit the wall. Her thigh slipped between his legs and her arms snaked around his neck. Mentally, he cursed the fact that they were still wearing clothes. They’d spent more time together naked than dressed—what were the odds?
When he was breathless and hard, a hot aching mess, she fisted her hand in his hair and angled his head down sharply. Her forehead touched his and her eyes blazed.
“This time I’m not letting you win,” she whispered, pushed off his chest and walked away.
He blinked, his brain sluggish with lust, his body not ready or willing to accept her abrupt departure. He couldn’t make sense of her words, and it was only when she turned a corner and he lost sight of her that he managed to shove himself away from the wall and stagger after her.
Other titles in the Lost City Shifters series by Eleri Stone:
Eleri Stone Amazon author page
Be on the lookout for Eleri Stone's next book, Witch Bound , coming June 24, 2013
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