Cover & Excerpt
by Naomi Bellina
Since waking up on the floor of her apartment after an electrical shock, Tara has felt…different. Colors a little off. Shadows where they shouldn't be. But hot guys glowing blue light and a cheetah drinking a cup of coffee? That's not something you see every day. And why doesn't anyone else seem to notice?
The pillar of blue light is Marshall, a Metamorph—a human who can change at will into an animal or energy form. His human form is damn fine-looking, but that doesn't mean he isn't crazy, with his stories about belonging to a secret government agency and rogue Metamorphs trying to kill her. Plus he wears sunglasses indoors—who still does that? But when there's a panther scratching at her door, she has no choice but to trust Marshall, even if it means her life will never be the same.
Genre: Paranormal RomancePurchase links: Harlequin Amazon ARe Google Play Kobo B&N
Content/Theme(s): Shifter, Urban Fantasy, Action/Adventure
Release Date: June 2, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin E
Excerpt & More
A server took her order, then Marshall leaned in close and lowered his voice.
“When I saw you yesterday, you said something about seeing some kind of light. A blue light. Is that correct?”
“I was having a problem with my eyes. Too much staring at a computer, that’s all.”
“You’re a poor liar, Tara. This is important, so please tell me the truth. You saw me change to another form last night, didn’t you?”
Tara tried to keep her face neutral, but was sure he saw her eyes widen.
“Have you ever seen anyone do that before?” he asked, studying her closely.
She shook her head and he reached over and lightly moved her bangs from her forehead. A tingle danced through her body at his touch.
“You’re hurt. Did this just happen?”
She nodded, speech eluding her.
“Maybe that’s why you could see me change,” he murmured, almost to himself. “I need to talk to you more, find out what you can and can’t see. You’ll have to come with me to a more private place.”
“I'm not going anywhere with you,” Tara said, finding her voice at last. “Whatever I saw yesterday was a hallucination, from this bump on my head.”
“You’ve been seeing other things, haven’t you?” he asked. “Colors a little off, shadows where they shouldn’t be, flashes of light?”
Tara stared at him, dumbstruck. That was exactly what she’d been experiencing since she hit her head.
“What’s going on? Do I have a serious injury?” Even as she asked the question, she knew that wasn’t the reason for the weirdness she’d witnessed. A blue light had come from this enigmatic man sitting in front of her, not from a figment of her imagination or the bump to her head.
“I can’t tell you any more here. Please, come with me. I promise you’ll be safe.”
“Take off your sunglasses,” she said. There would be no further discussion until she could see past the mirrored surface.
He pulled them off and her jaw dropped. His eyes were extraordinary, a deep emerald color, flecked and ringed with gold. Her own eyes were hazel and had been called beautiful, but were nothing like what she gazed into now.
Then he smiled and she was lost. The face that had struck her as ruggedly handsome now became so sensually appealing, her mouth curved unconsciously. He radiated confidence and warmth, and the sincerity she saw caused her defenses to crumble.
“Please, say you’ll come with me,” he pleaded.
“I…” she began, but stopped as Marshall suddenly stiffened. He swore under his breath and she followed his gaze to a man who had just walked into the shop.
“We should go. Now,” he said in a quiet voice, and put his glasses back on.
The man stepped up to the counter and spoke to the cashier, then turned to look at them. He smiled at Marshall, and as he did, his features changed swiftly. His face and form shifted until suddenly, a large cheetah was standing a few yards away, holding a paper cup.
Yet he was not just a cat. This creature was part animal, part man, and totally freaky. Tara’s blood froze. She yelped, and then jumped up from the table, spilling her coffee.
“Don’t move. Sit down,” Marshall said quietly, urgency in his voice.
She put her hand over her mouth.
A scream threatened to emerge and Tara couldn’t understand why no one else in the shop seemed concerned that there was a wild animal in their midst.
“Sit down,” Marshall said in a deep, low voice that was almost a growl.
“Th-that man,” she stuttered.
“I know. Sit down and look away before he sees you looking.”
It was too late. Cheetah Guy stared right at her. She took a step back and knocked over her chair. His eyebrows drew together initially in puzzlement, but in a moment his gold eyes flared with anger. He lifted a lip in a snarl, showing long, pointed teeth. Tara let out a shriek.
Marshall put a hand on her arm but Tara shook it off, grabbed her purse and ran to the door. To her horror, the large cat followed with Marshall right behind.
Regretting her decision not to drive, Tara pushed open the door, kicked up her heels and ran. She was halfway across the parking lot when she heard Marshall yell.
Tara whirled and saw a figure standing halfway between her and the coffee shop, pointing an object that looked like a gun directly at her. It was the man from the coffee shop, no longer in cat form. She had never seen him before in her life but she knew he intended to kill her.
All this registered in a split second. Without thinking, she dove under the nearest car, as a strange sound zinged through the air. She felt a crackle of electricity, almost like the electrical shock she'd received two days before. From beneath the vehicle she saw the man's feet as he ran toward her. Did he just fire that odd-looking gun at her? She heard Marshall's voice again.
“Stop! Back away.”
She slid out a tiny bit to see Marshall pointing a weapon at the man.
“You’re not going to shoot me,” he said, then pointed his odd-looking gun behind Marshall. “You do, and I’ll blow up that building and everyone in it, I swear.”
The man kept the weapon pointed at Marshall and backed away, then turned and ran.
Marshall started to run after him, but stopped and headed toward Tara instead.
“Are you all right?” he asked as she dragged herself out from under the vehicle.
“I’m fine, don’t worry about me. Go get him!”
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