Ahhh… it’s Mid-Week Tease time! One of my most favorite times of the week because I love Author Sandra Bunino’s feature. Every week I join several other amazing authors as we share a snippet of a new release, a backlisted titled or a WIP. Aside from having the opportunity to share a little part of my work, I get to hop from site to site reading other authors’ works. It’s a lot of fun!
This past Friday, my story Panther Ridge was released, along with nine other incredible authors in the Evernight Publishing’s Alpha’s Claim anthology. Below is the blurb for my story, followed by a new “tease.” Enjoy!
Nathan Thorne is many things. Confident. Proud. Strong. Ruggedly good-looking. And a firefighter. But what really makes him different from most men is that he’s part animal… literally…he shifts into a Florida panther. Nate has spent most of his life a loner, finding satisfaction in random women and roaming his one hundred fifty acres of Florida flatlands in Panther Ridge that his mother left him. He was content. But when Ciara Black enters Nate’s favorite hangout he doesn’t know what hit him. She’s everything he’s ever desired and he knows without a doubt that she’s his mate.
Ciara is on the run trying to escape her father and step-brother’s attempts to steal her Momma’s money. Life is hard and full of disappointments until she meets Nate Thorne. He turns her inside out with just a few words and a smile.
When someone threatens Ciara, Nate can’t do anything but protect what’s his. Can Ciara love him and the animal within?
But Nate was different. He didn’t beat around the bush. Nope! He laid his intentions on the bar top immediately upon her asking. If she were honest, she’d admit that it had been a turn on. No one had ever looked at her with such desire, such … what was that look? Need. Yes, Nate looked at her like he needed her.
All she could imagine as she stood there staring at him was how amazing his full lips would feel moving all over her body. And his hands. Good God. Roughened clearly by his occupation, but oh so strong as he held her wrists. Goose bumps had risen all over her body at the thought of him running those hands against her skin elsewhere.
The Watering Hole started filling up. Five o’clock had come and gone, and it was a typical Friday night. Someone squatted at every bar stool, and the few booths around the edge of the building were packed as well. The Johnson brothers had their usual game of pool going, and most eyes were glued to the large screen television that offered the summer’s pastime of a Tampa Bay Rays game. But Ciara couldn’t get her mind off of Nate Thorne, who sat chatting about the fires with a guy who sat next to him. Even while deep in conversation, his predatory gaze followed her every move as if he were stalking prey and she was his target.
“Hey, sweet cheeks,” Darrin Johnson said, sliding up to the bar next to Nate. Though Ciara had only been in town a couple weeks, the Johnson brothers practically lived at the Watering Hole, and she’d come to know them a bit. Darrin never relented on his flirting, constantly trying to get her to go out with him. But he wasn’t her type.
In fact, she hadn’t really known her type until she met Nate Thorne. Fuck! He is hotter than hell. His tawny hair lay short on his head but long enough to run fingers through and grasp, and his light brown eyes sparkled with gold flecks. And he was a firefighter. Hot damn! His body could easily grace one of those firefighter calendars. Many women would be proud to hang him in their homes.
“You know my name, Darrin,” she said with a smile. “And it’s not sweet cheeks.”
“But you do have sweet cheeks,” Darrin said in a joking manner. A tiny growl rolled out of Nate as he turned his head in her direction. Nate’s light brown eyes flashed with annoyance, and his lips pulled back as if he were seconds away from snarling at Darrin.
“Is that the way you talk to a lady, Johnson?” Nate asked, snapping his head in Darrin’s direction.
“Thorne, hey,” Darrin said, patting Nate on the back. Nate’s muscles tensed at the condescending gesture. His biceps bulged under the tightness of his dark blue t-shirt. His pecs drew the shirt tight across his chest.
Being underneath his hard body would be a fantasy come true for Ciara. At twenty-seven, she was no virgin, but it had been several months since she’d been with a man. Several months. Over the last year, shit with her father made it impossible for her to have a normal life. “See you survived the brush fire unscathed.”
“I wouldn’t say unscathed, but I survived just fine,” Nate said sharply. “Don’t talk to the lady in such a crude way. She has a name.” Ciara bit the inside of her cheek to keep from cracking up. Crude! Ha! Nate has some nerve after what he said to me!
If you want to see how I pictured Nate and Ciara or the area of Panther Ridge, check out my Panther Ridge Pinterest board: http://www.pinterest.com/thejessicajayne/panther-ridge/
If you enjoyed this tease and are interested in reading the rest of Panther Ridge and the other anthology stories, you can buy it here:
To hop to the other fabulous authors on this week’s Mid-Week Tease, click on the link below.
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