Chello my darlings. It’s only about a month until the release of Angel (novella #4 in the Manhattan Ten series, if you’re counting) so I wanted to post a little excerpt for those of you who’ve been looking forward to this one.
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 ; )
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.
I posted my ridiculous Christmas list in my weekly blog over at Ink Monster, and my Manhattan Ten heroines were super jealous of all the stuff I’m getting this year…especially that basketball-sized Lindt truffle.
Shopping for a superheroine can be daunting (capes? masks? Lycra?) but my girls are pretty practical with their wish-lists. They all need gear to get through the day.
Have a look! Maybe you’ll pick up a few last-minute ideas for the superheroines in your life : )
Jenny appreciates the balance between sexy and lazy. She’s equally up for a night at the clubs or a night on the couch. This year, she’s hoping to find some Agent Provacateur under the tree, along with this sweet pizza onesie. MAC rebel (obviously) is needed for kissing on the job, and she’s hoping Tank will treat her to some fancy food giftcards for her favorite ramen and cupcake joints now that she’s officially a New Yorker.
Ivory can’t feel the cold, but she loves her creature comforts. She’s always in the market for new boots that fit her Amazon-sized feet and snow-flake inspired jewelry. Some new passport covers and plushie snow friends round out this wish-list, along with steaks in serious bulk. She and Pan are intensely carnivorous, and work up their appetites fighting crime.
Belle is one practical ballerina. She needs new warm-up booties, legwarmers, and pointe shoe glue…and she’ll use them every day. She’s also hoping for some mason glass drinking jars (just like home!) and a new speaker system so she can have more portable dance practices.
Angel just wants to stay organized this year. She needs new pens and notebooks to keep it together in the office. At home, she’s looking for a few cute throws, and a new phone case (Trina Turk FTW). Plus a new perfume–anything with notes of jasmine!
I’m so excited to share the cover for the next Manhattan Ten novella…and even more excited to share Angel’s story! I love Angel, and she’s definitely one of the more relatable M10 ladies–she’s working at the office every day just trying to deal with her powers as she cleans up all the other superheroes’ messes. Plus, you may recognize her guy from somewhere…
Angelina Márquez’s perfect memory recall makes her ideally suited to manage the Manhattan Ten superhero crew, a task that sometimes borders on insanity. Still, the price of being everything to everyone is high.
A recruiting trip to UCLA does nothing to cure her chronic insomnia. Intel indicates someone in the L.A. Pack may be harboring anti-super sentiment. On top of that, she’s sent to retrieve a straight-out-of-the-jungle panther shifter being detained at LAX.
Tequani was looking forward to visiting his hero brother, but when civilization unexpectedly brings out his claws, he’s court-ordered to stick with Angel while his paws are on U.S. soil. He’s fully prepared to be bored out of his skull—except Angel’s talents and beauty fill the vacant places in his soul.
Angel can’t seem to stop Quan from burning himself into her mind, right down to the exact dimensions of his abdominals. But when they fall into a trap, survival means pooling every one of their talents. A move that could balance their souls…or throw their hearts into dangerous chaos.
Warning: Feeding panther-shifters results in territorial behavior and steamy displays of affection. Be on the lookout for claw marks, love bites and heavy petting.
Now that the big day is here, I’m doing a little giveaway to celebrate the release of Junglecat Honeymoon and the M10 anthology. Click on the Rafflecopter below to enter.
You can earn 10 entries by Instagramming a picture of Junglecat Honeymoon on your e-reader or computer (tag it #M10giveaway @loladodge). Junglecat is FREE y’all. Just pop on over to Samhain for a quick download.
Thanks so much to everyone who helped me on the journey to getting my first book in print. Readers, editors, fans, family, friends–everyone! Your support means the world to me.
I woke up thinking today would be like any other day. Y’know, words to write, pizzas to eat. Instead, this lovely little box showed up on my doorstep and blew my already writing-addled mind.
The author copies of Unlikely Beginnings are here!!!
The print anthology releases December 2nd, on the same day that Junglecat Honeymoon goes live. Both are up for preorder on the Samhain site and I’m already running a Goodreads giveaway (open internationally!). Two copies of the paperback are up for grabs and there will be a few more giveaways to come as we get closer to the pub date. Click below to enter: