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Nov 9, 2015

Bearly a Nip by Katalina Leon

Cover & Excerpt

Bearly a Nip by Katalina Leon
MacBrun Book One, a Bite of the Moon story

MacBrun: Barely a NipNever get between a bear and his honey!

Mac is a lonely park ranger resigned to the fact there are no available female bear shifters in Bear Clan MacBrun to claim as a mate. But his long-frustrated inner bear refuses to take no for an answer and makes a solo decision to claim its heart’s desire.

A stormy night on a treacherous mountain road sends self-professed “boss-lady” Andi Brunell hurtling over the side of a gorge and into an icy river. Mac rushes to the rescue, but fate places too much temptation in front of him in the form of flirty-eyed, curvalicious Andi. The bear inside knows what’s good for both of them, and during the voluptuous vixen’s rescue, delivers an initiation-stage claim bite.

Oops, it was bearly a nip, but it was enough to set off a chain of life-changing events that flings them both onto an emotional roller coaster. Mac is forced to take Andi back to the ranger station, where she displays all the telltale signs of transforming into a she-bear. Poor Andi has no idea why she’s behaving so strangely, and Mac’s guilty conscience won’t allow him to take advantage of her or come clean about what his bear has done. Trying to be a good guy, Mac battles temptation until his bear pheromones clear from her blood stream. But a long, awkward night of simmering lust, punctuated by string of hilarious situations, leaves both of them questioning their sanity. Once things heat up, the bears come out to play.

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Content/Theme(s): Shifters, BBW, Humor, Rubenesque, Bears, Vampires, Angels, Demons, Magic, Psychics
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Publisher: Indie

Excerpt & More

Purchase link(s):  Amazon   ARe   iTunes   Kobo   B&N
"Ouch! Climbing out of this gorge will be a challenge.” She offered her hand. “But I’m ready. Let’s get out of here.”

He grasped her hand. “Be careful. You could have injuries you’re unaware of.”

She waved him off and rose. “Don’t fuss. I’m bruised, but feel fine.”

The raging torrent ate at the sliver of silt they stood upon and a chunk of riverbank washed away.

“Hold on!” He placed a hand on her back to steady her. “It’s a huge no-no to move an accident victim, but I can’t allow hypothermia or rushing water to whisk you away.”

She hobbled a step and clutched her side. “I can feel where the seat belt bit into me. I’ll bet it leaves a monster bruise.” Glancing up, she noticed Mac’s considerable height. His majestic proportions made her feel downright petite, which was a wonderful novelty.

Squinting, he leaned closer to touch her throat. “What is this bloodied mark? How does it feel? It looks like an animal bite. I see evenly spaced tooth marks.”

“You won’t believe this.” Her voice quaked. “A bear saved me.”

“Really?” He wrapped his arm around her waist and guided her toward a steel cable laid across the bank. “A bear had you by the throat and you lived to tell the tale? It sounds unlikely. Maybe you imagined it?”

“I don’t think so. I had wet fur pressed against me, and warm animal breath on my face, as real as you standing beside me. The bear freed me from my damaged SUV. It opened the driver-side door, which was jammed. I might have drowned if the bear hadn’t picked me up and carried me to safety.”

Something between a surprised huff and an exasperated snort burst past his lips. “A bear carried you in its jaws?”
She did not like his dismissive tone. “No, in its arms.”

His brow furrowed. “You’ve been through a lot. Stress can cause the psyche to break from reality. I’m concerned you might be in shock.”

“Why are you arguing with me?” she snapped. “You’re the one who noticed the tooth marks.”

“You’re right.” Worry darkened his face. “I don’t like the look of the bite. It’s reddened and appears almost hot to the touch.”

“You don’t think the bear could be rabid, do you?”

Offering a slight shake of his head, he frowned. “Hopefully, there won’t be any lingering repercussions. When we get to the ranger station, I’m going to clean the bite with antiseptic.”

Her teeth chattered. “Fine. I’m all for getting out of the rain.”

Mac picked up the end of the steel cable and wrapped it around their waists, locking it with a clamp. Then he fished a pair of leather work gloves from his back pocket and slid them on. “Andi, let the cable and me do all the work. You’re just along for the ride.”


He wrapped his arms around her. “Loop your arms around my neck and hold on.”

Lifting her hands high to drape them over his shoulders caused enough pain to make her whimper. “I’m going to have some souvenir bruises on my ribs, for sure.”

“Do you think they could be broken?” He sounded concerned.

“They’re not that bad.” Glancing toward the road, she saw the front grill of a large pickup truck parked above. “My SUV fell from up there?” she squeaked. “My God, it’s a miracle we’re having this conversation.”

“Yes, it is.” With a gentle touch, he brushed a wet strand of hair from her cheek. “Ready?” From his pocket, he pulled out a keychain with a tiny remote control, and clicked. The motor of the winch attached to the front of the pickup hummed. The cable pulled taut. With one hand gripping the cable, he wrapped his other arm around her. “Here we go.”

A strong tug from the cable pushed them closer together. Cradled in his embrace, Andi ascended the side of the gorge.

“I’ve got you.” Mac’s voice was calm. His heavy boots stomped across each boulder as it approached. “Pretend you’re walking in a sunny park and everything’s fine.”

“A vertical park?” She peered over his shoulder at the turbulent river and mass of jagged rocks below.

“Andi.” He was quick to stop her. “Don’t look down. Look at me.”

Her gaze lifted from the raging waters to meet his. His dark brows were beaded with raindrops. His expressive mouth had a sensual quality, and his chin a fetching cleft. Glancing lower, she saw a few rogue curlicues of dark hair peeking over his collar. The sight hijacked her attention.

“Twenty more feet. You can make it.”

“I hope so,” she muttered. The motor made a high-pitched whirring whine. “That sounds bad. Should we be worried?”

He stomped up the hillside, his boots leaving large imprints in the wet soil. “No. The cable’s getting shorter, that’s all.” His grip on her tightened. “See? We’re almost there.”

True to his words, soon they were at eye level with the road and the undercarriage of the pickup became visible. The moment they crested the top of the gorge and planted their feet on the gravel shoulder, she stumbled forward, still drawn by the spinning cable.

With the remote poised in one hand, he clicked and brought the motor to a halt. In a flash, he unlatched the clamp and freed them. The remaining length of steel cord fell laxly to the ground.

He turned toward her and clasped her shoulders, searching her face with his gaze. “Are you okay? Did we make it up here in one piece?”

Looking into his dark eyes, she felt an unexpected spark of excitement. Considering what she had just gone through, she should feel wrecked, but instead, an odd sense of elation washed over her. “I’m glad to be out of the gorge.”

“I want you to take those wet clothes off next.” A big grin made the edges of his eyes crinkle. He lowered his gaze bashfully. “I meant, I’ll find you some dry clothes.” With his palm placed gently on her back, he steered her toward the passenger side of his truck and opened the door. “Let me help you.” Taking hold of her elbow, he gallantly assisted her into the cab. He even buckled the seat belt for her, as if she were a child. “I know your ribs are sore, but I want you to be safe. We have to drive another couple of miles up a twisting grade to reach the ranger station.” He shut the door and walked around the front of the pickup to retract the remainder of the cable by hand.

She settled into the seat, feeling grateful to be out of the rain. The storm had broken and the last light of day faded behind a western ridge.

He approached the driver side and opened the door. Climbing inside, his big frame filled the cab. He reached for a radio on the console and clicked it on. “Sierra4, Sierra4, come in.”

A burst of static crackled through the air.

“Sierra4 here.” Another calm male voice hung in the air.

“This is Sierra Portal station—”

“Mac! Is everything okay?” The calm was shattered. Whoever was on the other side of the transmission sounded amped-up.

Turning to face Andi, Mac caught her checking him out. Her guilt-tinged gaze met his like two powerful magnets connecting. The provocative hint of interest in his eyes lingered.

“Hi, Warren.” Mac sounded cool and collected. “So far, so good. I reached the vehicle and was able to bring the female occupant out of the gorge.”

“You moved an accident victim? Dude, that’s bad. You’re not a medic. There’s a lot of sneaky shit that could be going on that you can’t see. They can appear fine, smiling, healthy, and then, boom! Blood clot to the brain. It’s over in a jiff. They’re dead as those dried-up fly carcasses on my windowsill.”

“Warren, I had to. The river was rising fast.” He paused. “By the way, we’re in the truck. She’s sitting right next to me.”

“Now?” Warren yelped.

“Hello, Warren!” she boomed confidently.

“Whoops.” Warren sounded embarrassed.

With a gentle tap to get her attention, Mac offered her the radio. “Tell him your name.”

“Andi Brunell. I’m thirty-two and a resident of West Los Angeles.” As she wrapped the thermal blanket around her, it crinkled loudly. “Just for the record, Mac did the right thing. I was soaked to the skin and possibly in shock. I needed to get out of the situation.”

Mac held the radio to his mouth, which she accepted as a clear indication she didn’t need to say another word. “Would you get a crew up here ASAP? A culvert that drains beneath the highway became clogged with rainwater and debris then burst. I was trying to dig it out when a mudslide covered the road a quarter mile before the turnout. We’re trapped. I need you to alert CalStar air ambulance to fly at first light and take Miss Brunell to the hospital.”

“Will do,” Warren added.

Andi interrupted, “I don’t need to go to a—”

Mac held a finger to his lips to shush her. “One more thing.” He stared out the windshield. “As soon as the road is cleared, we are going to need a heavy-duty crane to get Miss Brunell’s SUV out of the ravine. The vehicle appears totaled and it’s leaking gasoline. We can’t leave it in the riverbed.”

“Okay. Radio if you need anything else. I’ll schedule a chopper to fly tomorrow.”

“Thanks.” He clicked the radio off.

The full impact of events hit. Her purse was in the truck, her clothing and gear, and so much more. She clamped a hand over her mouth in horror. “My mother’s in the front seat!”

Mac’s brows shot skyward. “What? There was someone else? I only caught your scent!” He pushed on the door handle, poised to leap from the pickup.

“Wait!” He’d scented her? What an odd thing to say. “I meant my mother’s ashes. They’re in a plastic box. I brought them here to sprinkle on the summit.”

“Oh.” He relaxed. “You scared me. I thought I left a woman behind to drown.” A nervous laugh gushed. “A plastic box? She might still be in the car. I promise I’ll go back as soon as I can and look.”

“God no. I wouldn’t expect you to do that.”

He put the key in the ignition and turned the engine over. “We’ll worry about it after you’re in front of a warm fire and wearing dry clothes, okay?”

“Deal. But I don’t have any dry clothes. All my stuff is in the SUV.”

“You can borrow something from me.”

Glancing at her reflection in the windowpane, she caught herself smirking. “With my luck, your clothes will probably fit.” The feeling of shock lessened. Except for general achiness, she almost felt like herself again. “By any chance, do you drink white wine? A glass of chardonnay sounds really good right now.”

“White wine?” He wrinkled his nose. “No. Scotch only.”

“I’ll take scotch without complaint.”
Purchase link(s):  Amazon   ARe   iTunes   Kobo   B&N
More Bite Of the Moon series:
Other titles by Katalina Leon:
Portrait of
a Lone Wolf
Dark Sky
For You
Fairy in
the Flesh
Griffin's Prize
Find Katalina Leon at:
Twitter: @Katalina_Leon
Katalina Leon Facebook page
Katalina Leon Pinterest page
Katalina Leon Google+ page
Katalina Leon Goodreads author page
Katalina Leon Amazon author page
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