Take it away, Sondrae!
As both readers and writers, we know the power of words. They can be used to wound an opponent as sharp as any sword, or to fill a friend with hope or happiness. Coaches use them before big games to infuse their teams with the strength to win. But what happens when words are used carelessly. What happens when these powerful weapons are thrown out heedlessly and hit someone who wasn’t supposed to be in range?
That’s exactly what my hero, Ethan, learns in Chasing Paradise. He denies his mate, Gwen, unaware that she is standing just beyond the door and hears every word. When she runs, it’s up to him to not only find her, but win her back. And this time, it will take more than words.
He’ll do whatever it takes to earn back her trust.
A vacation is exactly what Ethan needs to escape the mate hungry females in his pack. Determined to have fun, he can’t think of a better way to start than sampling all the different flavors the shifter only resort has to offer, and not the food variety. But after he meets Gwen, no one else holds any interest for him. Ethan came on vacation to avoid mating. There’s no way he’s going to give up his freedom without a fight.
Gwen is devastated when she hears her mate denying everything they are to each other. She can’t sit by, watching him fool around with other girls at the resort. Or worse, crawl back, unable to resist the mating pull but not really wanting her. She needs to get away and her own vacation sounds like the perfect plan. But she should have remembered what her mother always taught her, never run from a predator unless you want them to chase you. The hunt is on…
WARNING: This title contains explicit sex
When she stopped in front of him, her eyes locked on his and he was powerless to look away.
“Hi.” Her gaze shifted to the side as if searching for something to say. “I didn’t get a chance to introduce myself earlier, or thank you for saving me from the wall. I’m Gwen.”
She thrust out her hand to shake his, and Ethan stared at it. How would she react if he pulled her into his arms and ravaged those beautiful lips like he wanted to? Instead, he gave her a smile and shook hands.
“Actually, you did manage to thank me.” Utterly charming him in the process, too. The blush that stole over her cheeks only endeared her to him more. “I’m Ethan. Can I buy you a drink, Gwen?”
Her gaze drifted to the open doors behind him. “I probably shouldn’t. I try not to mingle with guests.” She continued to stare into the bar before glancing back at him, her doe-like eyes hiding nothing. She wanted to stay with him and was fighting an internal battle with her conscience. It would be easy to tip the scales in his favor.
With any other woman, he’d swing his arm around her shoulders, and guide her toward the bar with a charming smile. Instead, using his intuition as his guide, he cupped her cheek with his hand. Her eyes closed as she nuzzled her face against him but flew open moments later as he drew her closer. His other hand slipped around her waist as he tilted her chin up, aligning her lips with his.
As soon as his lips brushed against hers, his wolf growled low in his chest. Something about this woman captivated him. The need to touch her, taste her, move inside her, was unbearable. Resisting the urge to crush her against him proved difficult and he struggled to keep the kiss light.
Despite his resolution, the feel of her lips parting in silent invitation proved too much for his tightly-strung control. His tongue thrust inside, exploring her mouth as his arms pulled her tighter against him. Her hands closed into fists, pulling at him as if to draw him closer. Breaking away, he gasped for air, need setting him on fire. Gwen rested her head on his shoulder, panting as well.
“What say we skip the drink and go back up to my room?” Ethan suggested, desperate to know her better.
“No.” Her quick reply was so unexpected, it took him a moment to process.
No? He thought they had been on the same page. Her hands were still fisted in his shirt, her body a comfortable weight in his arms. Everything indicated she had enjoyed the kiss as much as he had. Hell, she’d practically melted against him. What had he done wrong?
The moment he’d met this woman, everyone else had ceased to matter. He wanted her more than he’d ever wanted anything in his life. It devastated him to think she might not feel the same way. Letting her go tonight would be one of the hardest things he’d ever done. If that was what she wanted, he’d find a way to walk away. But it wouldn’t end there. Wolves were persistent when they wanted something and he wanted Gwen. Nothing would stop him from coming back until she was ready for him. He’d win her over eventually. No other outcome was acceptable.
“My room is bigger.”
It took a moment to process the meaning behind her words, but once he did, his soul leapt and he fought the impulse to howl.