Tag Archives: Seasonal/Holiday

Be Mine (MF) ~ N.J. Young @NeilaRocks @evernightpub

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Today is the release day for Be Mine (Love With A Price, Book 3). Dylan may just be my favorite hero so far. He’s a veterinarian, and I can’t resist a man who has a soft spot for animals. I hope you enjoy the love story of Dylan and Carly as much as I enjoyed writing it! See below for an excerpt, as well as links to read excerpts from the first two books in the series.

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Be Mine (Love With A Price, Book 3)

By: N.J. Young
Genres: Erotic Romance, Contemporary, BDSM
Triggers: Light Bondage, Spanking
Release Date: March 2, 2016
Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Blurb:

After a bad breakup, Dylan Price is ready to give up on love. That is, until Carly Peters walks through the door of his veterinary clinic on a stormy night. Even though she’s drenched and holding an angry, pregnant cat, Dylan can’t stop the thrill of excitement he feels when Carly looks at him. Could she be the one? Or is she just after Dylan for his money?

When Carly Peters comes back to Oakville to help her mom run the local animal shelter, the last thing on her mind is falling in love, especially with the town vet. But no one told her Dr. Dylan Price was a gorgeous ball of sexy. And she certainly wasn’t expecting him to tug on her heart. Can she convince Dylan to take a chance on her? And will she be able to truly fall for a man who doesn’t trust her?

Be warned:  spanking, bondage

Purchase Links

Amazon | Evernight Publishing | All Romance eBooks | BookStrand

 

Excerpt

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She ran her fingers through her cat’s soft fur, shooting a glance at Dylan, who stood at the counter. She hadn’t seen him since high school, and the years sure had been good to him. He wore a lab coat over a rumpled blue button-down shirt and a pair of worn jeans. Carly found herself itching to slide the lab coat off his shoulders so she could get a better look at his physique. His apparel did nothing to hide the fact that he was perfectly cut, but she wanted to see for herself. She wanted to slide her hands down his arms and feel the muscles there. She thought of her arms circling around his waist and tilting her head up for his kiss as she cupped his muscular backside.

Suddenly Dylan turned to her, and she realized she’d been staring at him. He smiled, revealing perfect white teeth. “Something wrong, sweetheart?”

Blushing furiously, she turned back to her cat. “No, nothing,” she mumbled, but her pink parts were throbbing with need. Damn, she needed to get laid.

Wow, when has that thought ever crossed my mind? She’d finally given in and had sex with her one serious college boyfriend, then wondered what all the fuss was about. Somehow, she’d bet Dylan could show her what it was about.

When he walked slowly toward her, she realized she’d been staring at him again. She stood up straight and faced him, expecting him to stop within a couple of feet of her. But then she noticed his expression—his hooded eyes, his parted lips—and her heart sped up.

Dylan backed her up against an empty cage, not touching her, but standing so close he trapped her nonetheless. “Carls, I’m trying to be a good boy, but it’s very hard when you keep looking at me like that.”

She almost giggled at the double-entendre. Yes, sometimes she had the sense of humor of a twelve-year-old boy.

Dylan smirked and raised one dark eyebrow, immediately catching her meaning. Her smile quickly disappeared as he pressed his lower half to hers. She gasped as she felt his erection. My God, he must have a monster in his pants. She lifted her hands, thinking she should push him away, but instead she fisted his shirt, pulling him closer. When he bent his head to kiss her, she let her eyes float shut.

His lips had barely brushed hers when…

Stalk N.J. Young on the Web

Facebook | Twitter | Website/Blog | Goodreads

aheroinside1l

Read more here about A Hero Inside (Love With A Price, Book 1)

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Read more about One Sweet Taste (Love With A Price, Book 2)

 

NJ Young Square Crop Watermark on bottom SMAbout N.J. Young

N.J. Young has been a writer since she was old enough to hold a pencil. After realizing the trials of corporate America weren’t for her, she decided to leave that world behind and pursue her true dream of writing.

Instead of spending her days writing sexy texts to her husband and engaging in “that’s what she said” jokes, she took that energy and poured it into her books. Sprinkle in a couple of hot guys, a little suspense, and a few sexual fantasies, and her first book was born. She now spends her days drinking coffee at her computer, while diving into the adventures of the imaginary friends who live in her novels.

N.J. Young was born and raised in the Midwest, and currently resides in the Kansas City area with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of animals. When she’s not writing, she enjoys horror movies, live music, cooking, and telling her kids why they can’t read mommy’s books.


A Hero Inside (MF) ~ N.J. Young @NeilaRocks @evernightpub

From the Author…

Thank you for having me on your blog today! I am very excited to introduce your readers to the Price family. A Hero Inside is the first novella in my Love With A Price series. I’ve been spending a lot of time with the Price family, and I hope you all will love them as much as I do. I’m thrilled to tell you that the next two novellas in the Price series are already contracted and will be released over the next couple of months. Until then, enjoy the love story of Ethan and Tori…

01 Jan 5th - AHeroInside

Blurb:

Love With A Price, 1

After bouncing around foster care homes as a kid, Tori Bennett abandoned her dream of having a family long ago. Instead, she is focused on saving money to finish her nursing degree, and seems content to adopt her best friend Becca’s family as her own.

On the eve of Thanksgiving, a handsome stranger saves Tori from a would-be robber. Tori can’t get this hero out of her head. Once she finds out he’s her best friend’s brother, life gets complicated.

Ethan Price has been running for years. After the death of his father, he shut down emotionally, deciding it’s easier to be alone than to deal with the pain of loving – and losing – someone.

Sparks ignite between Ethan and a gorgeous bartender after he saves her from a gunman. Once he finds out she’s the best friend of his little sister, Ethan has to decide if it’s worth the risk to stop running away and take a chance on love.

Excerpt:

Ethan watched as she took a deep breath and then looked at him. He wished she didn’t look at him like he was a hungry wolf waiting to devour her. But then, that was a fairly accurate comparison, wasn’t it? He did want to devour her. Every inch of her. Oh, he’d bet she tasted sweeter than any pie.

“So, cinnamon,” she said in a rush. “I know where Sally keeps her spices in the pantry.”

“Tori.” He tasted her name on his lips, but she ignored him, rushing by him and opening the door to the huge walk-in pantry. She flipped the light on and walked to the back of the room. Well, if this was the only chance he had to talk to her alone…

“What are you doing?” She whirled around as he shut the door behind him and leaned against it.

“I want to talk to you.” He wanted more than that, but right now, he would settle for talking.

“About what?” She crossed her arms over her chest. Dammit, she was putting up her shield again, and he wouldn’t let her. He’d seen the way she looked at him through dinner. He knew he wasn’t making it up in his head. It took him only a split second to make a decision.

“About this.” In two steps, he crossed to her and wrapped one arm around her waist, pulling her to him so their lower halves were pressed together. As hard as he was when he was near her, there was no doubt in his mind that she could feel the rigid line of his erection pressed against her.

He knew he was right when her wide green eyes darkened. “Ethan.” Her hands came up to his chest and shoved at him. “What are you doing? Your mother is in the next room.”

Oh, he’d be damned if she was going to shove him away. Clasping her wrists in his strong hands, he backed her up against the wall and pinned her arms above her head.

“I want you, Tori,” he breathed. “If you don’t want me, then tell me now.”

Her breath had quickened, and Ethan could feel the pounding of her heart. “I…” She swiped that tongue over her lips and he had to bite back a groan. “I … uh…” She was staring at his mouth. “What was the question?”

Tightening his grip on her wrists, he knew he couldn’t resist her for one more second. Leaning in, he crushed his mouth to hers, and reveled in the moan that escaped her into his mouth. As her lips parted in an unspoken invitation, his tongue surged, sliding against hers. That torturous tongue of hers danced and played with his.

His natural dominance took over as she softened under him. God, he wanted her. He’d never wanted a woman as much as he wanted her in this instant. He angled his head this way and that, taking her mouth over and over again. When he released her wrists, she wrapped her arms around his neck, her fingers tangling in his hair, lightly tugging. The soft moans she made in the back of her throat flowed into him in an offering.

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Buy Links:

Evernight  ~  Bookstrand  ~  Amazon (US)  ~  All Romance

NJ Young Square Crop Watermark on bottom LGAuthor Bio:

N.J. Young has been a writer since she was old enough to hold a pencil. After realizing the trials of corporate America weren’t for her, she decided to leave that world behind and pursue her true dream of writing.

Instead of spending her days writing sexy texts to her husband and engaging in “that’s what she said” jokes, she took that energy and poured it into her books. Sprinkle in a couple of hot guys, a little suspense, and a few sexual fantasies, and her first book was born. She now spends her days drinking coffee at her computer, while diving into the adventures of the imaginary friends who live in her novels.

N.J. Young was born and raised in the Midwest, and currently resides in the Kansas City area with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of animals. When she’s not writing, she enjoys horror movies, live music, cooking, and telling her kids why they can’t read mommy’s books.

Author Links:

Website/Blog  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Goodreads


CROSSROADS (MM) ~ Gale Stanley @galestanley @evernightpub

From the Author…

Hi! Thanks for letting me stop by to talk about my new book – Crossroads.

The story was inspired by a recent trip to New Orleans. We stayed at the historic Omni Royal Orleans in the heart of the French Quarter and we were able to walk to all the fantastic restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. We toured the area hit by Katrina, the cemeteries, and the voodoo museum. In movies and TV, voodoo is usually shown as a dark and scary practice. In reality, it’s a religious practice in which the followers have direct contact with the spirits. And that’s the story I wanted to tell.

The events in Crossroads take place around Christmas, a season of miracles, but really, it could happen any time of the year. All you have to do is believe…

01 Jan 4th - Crossroads

Blurb:

Long time lovers, Louis Abellard and Jesse Trudeau work in a Voodoo shop in the French Quarter. Jesse is a believer, but Louis turned his back on the spirits when they allowed his mother to die of cancer.

When Jesse is hospitalized with leukemia, Louis is desperate to save him. He’ll do anything—except ask the spirits for help. Then one night an unlikely ally makes contact, and Louis finds himself at a crossroads. Maybe it’s time to revisit his past and confront his inner demons.

Be warned: m/m sex, rimming

Excerpt:

Three years ago, Jesse walked into the voodoo shop and asked for a job. It was love at first sight—for Mawmaw and Jesse. They hit it off immediately. Jesse is a believer, the grandson she should have had.

I was smitten, too, but for other reasons. Jesse looked so damn hot, all long blond hair and golden-brown skin like he should have been riding a surfboard instead of a skateboard. His cutoffs were stretched tight over the bulge at his crotch, and being the slut I was back then, I wanted to fuck him. I gave Mawmaw a thumbs-up, and she hired him on the spot.

Jesse stayed for dinner. My grandmother filled his head with ghost stories and his stomach with her spicy shrimp gumbo. I took him to bed later and filled him in other ways. It didn’t take long for lust to turn into the real thing. Fortunately, I didn’t screw things up, and Jesse moved in two weeks later. Jesse is easy to love. I’m not sure what he sees in me, I’m just grateful the feelings are mutual.

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Buy Links:

Evernight  ~  Bookstrand  ~  Amazon (US)  ~  All Romance

Gale Stanley

 

Author Bio:

Gale Stanley grew up in Philadelphia PA. She was the kid who always had her nose in a book, her head in the clouds, and her hands on a pad and pencil.

Some things never change.

Author Links:

Website  ~  Blog  ~  Twitter  ~  FaceBook  ~  Instagram  ~  Pinterest


Holly’s Christmas Dom (MF) ~ Raven McAllan @RavenMcAllan

From the Author…

Hi, and thank you for having me here today and letting me talk about Holly’s Christmas Dom, my latest book from Evernight Publishing.

This was originally published elsewhere as a much shorter and less intense story. When the publisher in question closed down, I kept getting a niggle that now was my chance to rewrite and lengthen Holly and Mac’s story and show how they decided where their relationship was going—if anywhere.

Do they end up ad they both want? You’ll have to buy the book to find out.

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Blurb:

Winters’ Tales, 1

Holly and Mac have been close friends for years, but never had the chance to get together. Now it’s time.

When Mac shows Holly what he wants and needs—her as his sub—it’s up to her to decide whether to accept him and his lifestyle. She’s waited for Mac for years, but never expected such an ultimatum.

Mac knows Holly’s the one for him. He’s sure she’s a sub—his sub—no one else’s. It’s up to him to show her that.

When they play together for the first time, both of them have to decide—is it for keeps? Or do they part ways when the fun is over?

Be warned: light BDSM, spanking, sex toys

Excerpt:

Her jaw dropped and so did her gaze at the smoldering and oh so dominant look he’d given her.

Mac had stood in her hallway and told her starkly, “Holly, you know I want you. I have for years, and now’s the time to ask if you want me.” Her heart leaped, but before she had the chance to reply, he added, “It would be no straightforward relationship. In many ways, I’m not straightforward. I have very definite ideas about what I want from you. You need to think if you want to know what they are.” She’d opened her mouth to ask questions, and he’d stopped them with a kiss that made her toes curl. When he stood back, she’d just stared.

“Dominant, Holls. Think about it. If you want me, you’ll submit to me. I’ll be back, and we can talk. Read this please. Have faith.” He handed her an envelope and left, leaving her standing, wide-eyed, looking at the open door. That had been it.

Until tonight, when she’d glimpsed him across the village green, she still hadn’t believed him. Even after she’d opened the damned envelope and seen his handwriting, she hadn’t dared think of him in a positive way. Because how could she? After reading his ideas, what he needed from her, and not knowing if it was in her to do as he demanded, Holly had worried herself into not sleeping. He wouldn’t come back and ask her. If he did, she couldn’t say yes. Or could she? His demands made her itch to come, except there in the letter it said,

“If you are thinking in any way positive about this, you do not come until I say so. Your climax belongs to me.”

Even if she thought she might agree, she had no faith he would seek her out or that she truly was who he wanted. But she didn’t make herself come.

Now he was here and it was make-your-mind-up time. Her stomach jitterbugged as she drank in his image. Mac. Maybe soon-to- be her Mac. Her lips still tingled from his kiss—the rest of her just tingled.

“Holly, I’ve wanted you ever since you turned from the long- legged skinny kid who whined when Noel and I went off and did boy things into this stunning teenager with curves. A body to drool over and an ass I want to paddle. For all the right—or wrong—reasons.” He stopped speaking and took a mouthful of wine.

His swallow made her mouth dry up. That simple movement, the way his throat moved, and the play of his muscles, was so erotic her skin heated, and her senses went into high alert.

Hell, I have it bad if a simple swallow makes me think of sex. Of him swallowing me, me swallowing him, and—oh shit, I do have it bad.

Mac cleared his throat. So caught up in the moment, Holly realized she’d missed what he’d said.

“Sorry,” she apologized. “I was miles away. So you’re going to explain what you want? I’m ready to hear. I…” She hesitated. “To be honest, Mac, I’m interested, but I’m not sure I can be what you want. I’m no subservient. I like to be in charge. Hell, if I didn’t, I’d never have left the village. I’d still be here, working for Mr. McKenzie as his typist. Not even a secretary or PA. Instead, I run my own recruitment agency in the city, have staff, and I’m happy.”

“Are you? Really?” he asked, his eyes more than curious. “I’d say that is only one small part of you.”

Holly decided she now knew the meaning of the expression “looked into your soul.” Her body was scorched by that look, her mind playing hopscotch as it jumped from one thought to another. She couldn’t help it—she squirmed.

“Happy? I’m not so sure you are,” Mac said in a definite manner. Even though his voice was low, the ring of sincerity and authority was clear. “Not missing something in your life? I think you are. That indefinable spark has gone from you, Holly. I can provide it if you want. However, you need to be sure. Very, very sure. I’ll stretch you, demand things of you that you didn’t think you were capable of doing.” He lowered his voice even more. “But in return, you’ll learn how to fly. And we will be partners.”

Hmm…

“You say that now, Mac, so define the partnership.” She needed it spelled out. “Because how can you dominate me if are we equals? To me, that’s a very unequal partnership.”

Mac lifted one hand in the air and his fingers splayed in what Holly decided was frustration with her.

Well, tough. I need to understand.

“No, Holly, that’s where you’re wrong. Okay, maybe some people want that, but the whole point of this is it will be our relationship. Ours,” he stressed. “Designed by us, for us. There is no one-scene-fits-all here. I’d say ask ten couples what a Dom-sub relationship means to them, and you’ll get fifteen different answers. But in each and every one, unless they specify differently, the sub is in charge every time. She or he calls the shots. Didn’t you read my letter?”

“Yes, but…” Holly stopped talking as he put a finger over his own lips, and then moved it to hers.

“Shh, you always did talk too much. There are so may other things that gorgeous mouth could be doing.”

Holly had never before heard such determination in his voice. Oh shit. Her clit did the samba, and her pussy joined in at the pictures that rushed into her mind. She pushed them away and concentrated on what Mac was saying—or tried to. It wasn’t easy when all she could see was a naked Mac bending over her and… No, no. Stop it already.

“Will you hear me out? Please? Without interrupting?” he asked. Only the faint shake of the finger over her mouth showed how tense he was. Otherwise, he could have been asking her to make a cuppa. “Then you can ask anything you want.”

She nodded, and he lifted his finger far enough for her to speak. “Okay, but I’m not saying I’ll agree with anything,” she said in a rush as her words tumbled over each other. “And if I have questions after, you promise you’ll answer them?”

He looked shocked. “Ah, Holls, of course I will. As well as show you anything you need a demonstration of.”

That was what she was worried about. What if she didn’t like the demonstrations? What if she did? His short descriptions of what he liked had her cream gathering and would have resulted in several sessions with her vibrator if he hadn’t demanded that she not come. As it was, she was frustrated and jumpy. Holly wasn’t a total innocent. Her experience with a hot male body might be almost nonexistent, but her experience with her purple friend wasn’t. Carol might have Verne, but she had Roger the Rabbit. Or she had until Mac’s letter. Poor Roger was now sadly neglected.

“Yes, well, we’ll see. Okay, Mac, go for it.”

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Buy Links:

Evernight  ~  Bookstrand  ~  Amazon (US)  ~  Amazon (UK)  ~  AllRomance

RavenMcAllenAuthor Bio:

Well what can I say?

I’m growing old disgracefully and loving it.

Dh and I live on the edge of a Scottish forest, and rattle around in a house much too big for us.

Our kids have grown up and flown the nest, but roll back up when they want to take a deep breath and smell the daisies so to speak.

I write in my study, which overlooks the garden and the lane. I’m often seen procrastinating, by checking out the wild life, looking—only looking—at the ironing basket and assuring tourists that indeed, I’m not the bed and breakfast. That would mean cooking fried eggs without breaking the yolks, and disturbing the dust bunnies as they procreate under the beds. Not to be thought of.

Being able to do what I love, and knowing people get pleasure from my writing is fantastic. Long may it last.

Author Links:

Website  ~  Blog  ~  Facebook  ~  FB Fanpage  ~  Twitter  ~  Amazon (UK)  ~  Amazon (US)


A Christmas Home (MF) ~ April Zyon @aprilzyon

*** I am going to give away TWO free copies of this book to 2 lucky posters. So comment, share, and comment again! ***

12 Dec 22nd - AChristmasHome

Blurb:

Shifters-Match.com, 1

Ophelia Lambros thought her life was in order, until she lost her fiance and job all in one day.

She couldn’t return the honeymoon trip she’d been given so she takes the opportunity to find herself on the slopes of Wyoming on the back of a snowmobile.

Jagger Morris was perfectly happy running his repair shop in Shifter Falls, his home for years. As the Kodiak Bear Alpha, he has a lot on his plate. When a new pack asks to join them, Jagger’s hackles rise, but he doesn’t know why.

When he meets his fated mate, Ophelia, she shares a piece of herself that confirms his suspicious nature was spot on. As a seer, she can see death coming their way. Can she make her new mate and his friends understand the risk before time runs out?

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Purchase Links:

Evernight Publishing | Amazon US | Amazon CA

Barnes & Noble | Bookstrand | AllRomance

Stalk me later links:

Website | Facebook | Facebook Reader Group | Tsu

Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads

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Excerpt:

Throwing the wrench down onto the tool pad, Jagger scrubbed a hand down his face. There were days he loved being a mechanic. Then there were days like today where he knew he should have listened to his mother and gotten into something else. Not that he’d ever tell the woman, even if he was still speaking to her. She already thought too highly of her own opinions. Gods only knew where the woman was today, at least she wasn’t in Shifter Falls giving him even more trouble so that was good.

He grabbed the bottle of water he’d been working on and took a long haul while staring at the engine in question. He was missing something, and it was really starting to piss him off that he couldn’t figure it out.

For the last ten years, he’d been head mechanic at the only automotive shop in Shifter Falls. They were the only one there because they only hired the best and did the best work. Competitors didn’t stand a hope in hell. There had been a few other places that had tried to start up in the Falls. But they’d all shut down within a year because they hadn’t had what it took to work in such a closely knit town. That and they’d been outsiders, something that didn’t go over well with the very private residents who ran the town.

Founded by a shifter pack more than two hundred years prior, the town was home to six different types of shifters. Only through harsh laws and firm hands at the helm of each pack did it work. Especially considering the mix the Falls had running around.

There were plenty of humans living and working there, too, but the majority of the population was other. Sometimes there were problems. Sometimes there were all-out fights, but in the end they all knew they had to live together so things had better damn well work out. Which they usually did, eventually.

Moving to the open door of the bay he was working in, he stared out at the falling snow. The weatherman had predicted another couple of inches throughout the day, and more overnight. Great for all the tourists currently running around Shifter Falls in search of as many wintertime activities as they could find. It also had its perks for the business. It was amazing how many out-of-state tourists had no idea how to handle driving in snow.

He spotted a friend and lifted a hand in greeting. Conroy Hayden was the owner of On The Plate, one of four restaurants in Shifter Falls. The guy was a damn connoisseur when it came to flavors. Likely why his restaurant had managed to get rave reviews in several travel and food magazines. Since then people had come to Shifter Falls not only for the events held but in the hopes to get a table in his restaurant.

“Con, good to see you. I have to admit I didn’t think you’d actually get out during the lunch rush.”

The large redhead shrugged and shot him a smirk. “Figured I should bring you something to eat or you’d forget. Again.”

Jagger spotted the bag then and felt his belly rumble. He’d only had a piece of toast and several cups of coffee for breakfast that morning. It was already one in the afternoon and he wasn’t exactly a small guy. Waving Conroy into the bay, he followed behind the man, shooting the troublesome engine a glare. He cleared off a spot on his work table before grabbing a couple stools to set in front. He took one while Conroy unloaded the bag, hitting Jagger with the scent of cooked meat and spices. His stomach let out a hungry snarl that earned him a knowing look from his friend. Jagger held his tongue, knowing anything he said would only provide Con with more ammo to use against him at a later date.

He accepted the plate from his friend and unwrapped it. A huge pile of roast beef he knew was slow cooked, mashed potatoes, and seasonal greens from the greenhouse at the end of town. Con handed him a little container which held gravy, utensils, and a napkin.

“Thanks,” he said. Cutting off a piece of the beef, Jagger slowly chewed the perfectly cooked meat. It practically melted on his tongue. “Damn this is good,” he practically moaned. Another bite he chewed slowly. He knew better than to shove Con’s food down his throat as fast as possible. The man would beat him silly. And Con was nearly as large as Jagger. They’d both taken boxing as kids, but Jagger had plain meanness on his side. Con was a good soul who wanted to help others, which was why he’d gotten into feeding folks. He said the food was good for the soul and part of why On The Plate did the soup kitchen for those who needed a helping hand.

After finishing the meal, Jagger wiped his mouth while Con packed up the dishes. The secondary dish caught his attention. “What’s that?”

“Dessert,” Con told him.

Accepting the dish, he pulled the top off and inhaled the scent from the hot dessert. It was a crumble of some sort. Rhubarb, for sure, definitely strawberries, but there was something else. He took a bite and let out a moan of pleasure.

“I’m going to assume you like it.”

“Dude, this is spectacular. What all’s in here?”

“The usual, but I threw in some cranberries this time for a more seasonal flavor. Gives it a different taste.”

He nodded, it did at that. Scraping out the last, he licked off the spoon under Con’s knowing watch and passed it back. Another wipe with his napkin before he tossed it into the garbage closest and leveled a look at his friend. “I guess this wasn’t just your need to feed me, since you usually dump and run. What’s going on?”

“Don’t know yet but figured I’d give you a heads-up. The sheriff and a couple deputies were in for lunch today and we got to talking. Apparently there are rumblings from the city council about another pack wanting to set up shop here. They’re calling an emergency meeting tomorrow night to discuss it with the alphas and their seconds. You’ll be getting the call soon, but I wanted to let you know before you got it. I know how much you hate surprises.”

That was an understatement. The last surprise Jagger had gotten was his parents divorcing, his father leaving the Falls, and his mother hooking up with the first of many younger males to keep her bed warm. Since then he’d managed to avoid being surprised with the help of those he called and considered to be true friends, like Conroy. Without them, he’d have been caught with his pants down more than once. But they looked out for him, and he helped look out for them in turn. They were more his family than his parents ever had been.

“I’ll be ready, thanks.” Standing, he gave his friend the quintessential man hug and walked him out of the bay. He stayed there a moment longer to watch the comings and goings of the locals and tourists before turning to face his current nemesis. One way or another he was damn well going to get this thing running. Then he could take it over to the hotel and return it to the tourist to which it belonged.

“All right, you giant hunk of metal, let’s get down to business.”

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