The Ties that Bind
I think few things define a person more than their community. Whether your community is your family, religion, or even hometown, it shapes you and has a profound affect on the person you become. I’m from a small town and I’ll probably always be a small town girl at heart even though I live in a city. My community had a profound influence in making me who I am. And I’d like to think that in some small way, I might have left my mark on my community as well. ‘Cause that’s what makes each community special…unique. As it’s shaping you, you’re shaping it.
So what happens when your community disowns you?
That single question sparked the birth of my newest heroine, Nicola Lillian Rathe. When she was twelve years old, just after the death of her mother, she was cast out of her community. To make matters worse, with no family or home, she was forced into human foster care. Most children would find this to be a traumatic experience but for Nikki it was more than that. It was shattering. Her community was not just her family and friends. And it was more than her home. It was her race—her own kind.
Nikki’s Community was made up of people of magic. Some could shape-shift (take on any appearance at will), some could manipulate fire, some were empaths, and some were compulsors. And Nikki? She was one of the rarest and most dangerous of them. She was born a seductress. Able to bend a man until he broke with a single touch.
But just because she no longer had a place in her Community, didn’t mean they no longer shaped her. And it most certainly didn’t mean she no longer shaped them. They might not want her, might be afraid of her, but they still need her. And when a handsome enforcer tricks her into a blood bond, she discovers she might still need them as well.
Nikki heard the low growl of impatience, but it took a second for her to recognize it as her own. “You talk too much.” She covered his mouth with hers, silencing him.
The kiss was filled with challenge and desire, making it both hungry and vulnerable at the same time. His arms closed around her back as she deepened the kiss, pulling her closer, until every inch of her body was pressed against his. The feel of his skin under hers was intoxicating.
Pushing him away, she sat up and stared at him for a moment before lowering her mouth to his neck. Her tongue sought out and found his racing pulse. Savoring the lightly salty taste of his skin, she started working her way down to the sensitive spot where his neck met his shoulder. Biting him teasingly, she heard him moan as his hands clenched her thighs.
“You taste good.” Her voice was husky, seductive—intentionally so. Here, she was in her element.
“And what if I want to taste you?”
God, this was just what she needed. “Feel free.”
“No, I mean all of you.” Read the rest of this entry »