~ FURRREE ~ EXCERPT BELOW ~
Wolf shifter Tina Hawthorne is oh-so-tempted. Rick, the sweet boy from the adjoining ranch, is all grown up, but that doesn’t make the irresistible human any more suitable as a mate. Especially with a dangerous foe haunting the night and Rick harboring a few secrets — and enemies — of his own.
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Rick’s eyes met hers, and her memories rushed into an overwhelming blur, like a landscape seen from a carnival ride. The kind that terrified you, even if you never wanted to get off.
“Tina,” he said quietly. The warmth of his hand on hers sent a ripple through her body. “It’s been a long time.”
Seven years since their last, rushed encounter, and another five back to the time when they’d spent breathless nights together, all summer long. That made twelve long years. Tina knew. She’d counted every day, every night.
Too long, her body sang.
Not long enough, huffed the tiny section of her brain that still worked. Because for all the smoothness in Rick’s voice, she could feel a tiny, hopeful tremor in his hand.
He remembered, all right.
The realization rocketed through every nerve in her body, which wasn’t a good thing. If he felt the buzz that she’d never forgotten, it would be harder than ever to stay away. Hard to stay away from those earnest, golden-brown eyes that shone with some secret wish she’d never been able to figure out. Hard to keep her fingers from raking through that thick brown hair the way she still did in her dreams.
It would be impossible to say no to this man one more time.
“Hello, Rick,” she managed.
In some ways, he hadn’t changed a bit: same dimple on the left cheek, same perfect teeth. Time had been good to him. He’d gone from cute rookie to smoking hot pro. His face had an extra line or two, just enough to hint at the depth of character inside. He was only a couple of inches taller than her but easily twice her weight, with most of his bulk in his shoulders and chest—the chest slowly rising and falling, just inches away. She caught her hand sneaking up toward that broad expanse, ready to rest over his heart to feel the beat.
Which, of course, she couldn’t do. Not with her brother a foot away. Not with Dale Gordon, the Seymour Ranch foreman, stamping up from behind. Not with her inner wolf wagging its tail like a bitch in heat.
Dale nodded his greeting; Ty grunted back. The cowboys of Arizona had their own brand of charm, and social graces weren’t high on their list. Rick was somewhere in between, as he’d always been: a country boy who’d acquired just enough polish without forgetting his roots. The man was one in a million. But she’d known that from the very start.
“You’re the new manager,” Ty barked.
So much for starting with cookies and a cup of tea.
Tina dragged her eyes from Rick just in time to catch Dale’s scowl. Wasn’t hard to miss, nor was the slight tightening of Rick’s shoulders in response. But Rick’s easy expression remained unfazed.