If you haven’t already, you can pre-order at your fav e-book retailer (Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | Samhain) OR if you’re a book blogger, drop me an e-mail. I’m always looking to add to my roster of fabulous reviewers ; )
This one roars into stores on March 24th.
Copyright © 2015 Lola Dodge
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
Angel toppled like feather. A dull thump sounded as she hit the carpet. I balanced my weight on my back paws, pinning her under my body, and holding her wrists down with my front paws. No claws yet.
But the attitude on her. Behave yourself. Like I was a naughty kitten? Panther hadn’t mentioned how annoying the woman was.
Angel’s brown eyes widened for a split-second, but I didn’t catch the scent of fear—just a jolt of panic and then she was staring me down. “What are you doing?”
I growled, moving my sharp teeth closer to her face. All I could smell was the scent of the jasmine in her tumbling dark hair.
“You can’t play the panther card with me, Quan. And don’t tell me your brother is the reasonable one. I had such high hopes for you.”
I snorted. Could she be more condescending?
“This isn’t the nicest way to repay someone for saving your literal tail.” Angel wriggled her wrists, but wasn’t struggling to get free—she knew she couldn’t unless I let her. “If you’d shift back, we could talk it out.”
Fine. We could talk.
My fur bled away to dark skin, and I changed positions as my form changed. Now I straddled her, pinning her wrists with my hands.
Her gaze slid down my body, then quickly up to the ceiling. “This would be easier if you weren’t naked and on top of me.”
“You tranqed me.” And I was enjoying the view from this angle—the long line of her neck and smooth bronzed skin that begged to be tasted one way or another.
“You were going to run.” Angel let loose a suffering sigh. “I’m not about to have a panther frolicking through Los Angeles on my watch.”
“Then why’d you open the door with a gun in your hands?”
“Please. You shot me that same flat-ears, fangs-bared expression that Pan gives when he’s about to make trouble. And you did pounce before I fired. I gave you a chance—not that you seem to be doing me the same favor.”
I gazed down at her, calculating. She wasn’t wrong, but maybe that was why she was getting to me. I had her at my mercy, and she wasn’t even fazed.
What fun was that?
“Can we finish this conversation with you in a robe?” She kept her gaze locked on the chandelier. “Your brother might not have mentioned it, but I have a bit of a photographic memory. What’s seen can’t be unseen…”
A flush colored her cheeks and her full lips pressed into a line.
At least I had some effect on the woman. She’d barely reacted to the panther, and not even being pinned to the ground by a man twice her size got much of a rise.
Not a shaman. A robot?
And why did I have to feel freaking guilty about jumping her? She’d shot me. She could at least let me have a little fun as payback.
A knock sounded at the door. “Room service.”
Angel lifted an eyebrow. “Do you want to let them in, or should we wait like this?”
I shifted off her, and she was up in a flash and heading for the door. “Your room’s on the left and there’s a robe in the closet.”
She opened the door and I caught the tantalizing scent of steak before slipping into my room. I could safely say I was being an asshole, but everything about this place made my hackles rise. Plastic tastes and metallic smells and artificial surfaces.
Plus, infuriating women who made me feel bad for trying to let loose some steam.
I had to get the hell out before I really snapped.
The door clicked behind Quan, but I had to take a moment to compose myself before I let in room service. I smoothed my hair and jacket with shaking hands.
Smooth dark skin and impossibly broad shoulders giving way to a tight waist and—
Dios mío. I pressed my hands to my cheeks, but the memory wouldn’t let go.
Blazing orange eyes. Quan’s thighs straddling my waist, his weight pressing down on my belly. The answering heat inside me.
He was taller than his brother and broader through the shoulders. His skin a deep, dark brown.
A vision of pure lust.
I’d let my guard down too much and I was going to pay for it. Given, there were worse things I could remember, but I doubted anything else could be so distracting. I could already foresee myself flashing back to this every thirty seconds for months. Years.
Because I’d liked it more than I should.
Quan’s face so close to mine, his vivid orange eyes staring into my soul, hot breath on my cheek—
Taking down my walls a little was one thing, but Quan was like a battering ram. If I let myself indulge in moments like that, how long would it be until he filled my head completely? Until he was all I could think about?
I’d be useless for anything but daydreaming of Quan’s abs.
A second knock sounded, and I quickly opened the door, reciting multiplication tables in a few different languages to keep my mind on task. “Just put the cart anywhere.”
Two men in hotel uniforms—both of whom had helped haul up the crate—rolled the heavy load of food in. Raoul was the first to eye the open crate. “Should we, uh…take that away for you, ma’am?”
“You can leave it for now.” This time, I slipped them each a twenty-dollar bill for their trouble. “Thanks for your help.”
They both nodded and hustled out of the room.
I sighed as I buttoned my purse. This couldn’t continue.
Quan’s body weight pressing me into the carpet, his arms pinning me down—
This absolutely could not continue.
I refused to give Quan so much power over me, especially when I knew next nothing about him.
I grabbed my cell, but didn’t dare retreat from the sitting room. Quan’s eyes had given away how much he wanted to run—and I understood why he’d be uneasy in this environment, but that didn’t mean I could cut him slack. It was my job to keep track of him. Not to trace the lines of his shoulders in my mind.
Panther picked up Ivory’s cell. “Angel? Is he giving you trouble?”
Quan stares down at me with intense orange eyes and my gaze slides down his body to the tight muscles and—
I fanned myself with my free hand. “You have no idea.”
And I had no idea how I was going to get the image of the man out of my head.