UPDATE: The winner is…Tamara!
Love panther-shifters? Love a sexy Cajun drawl? Enjoy the excerpt and enter to win it!
Comment for a chance to win a free download of Bad Moon Rising!
Bad Moon Rising
On a whim, romance author DiDi Devereaux decides to travel to remote Louisiana bayou country to take possession of a house she inherited from a reclusive relative. But before she reaches her destination, she drives her car into a ditch to avoid a large animal that leaps into her path. Rescue comes in the form of a sexy sheriff, whose gruff demeanor seems to hide a feral attraction. As DiDi settles into her new home she finds herself torn between her attraction to the sheriff and the raw, handsome bad boy whose offer to help her renovate her home is a little too convenient and tempting.
Nothing in Bayou Noir is what it seems. When strange things begin to happen, her natural curiosity leads her into danger…
Read an excerpt…
DiDi hit SAVE and shut down her computer. Her newest story was beginning to pull together—or at least, the characters were coming alive. The external plot of her novel hadn’t yet gelled, because she hadn’t discovered what secrets the sheriff and the bad boy hid.
But the characters were now fully fleshed—the two men appealing to her heroine in ways DiDi understood all too well. The question she still struggled with was which man her heroine would ultimately choose. The thought made her smile.
DiDi closed the computer lid. Of course, Sheriff Breaux and Bobby Sonnier were the models for her two heroes. All the while she’d described her heroine’s first meeting with the men, she’d described her own feelings, and how her curiosity and body had both been aroused. Which man did she, DiDi, prefer? Funny, she couldn’t remember the last time she’d thought a man so disturbingly attractive. But in this remote location, within a single hour, she’d met two.
She stretched her arms above her head and glanced at her watch—two o’clock AM. Since she was a night owl by habit, she didn’t worry. However, the room was warm. The AC chugged along, but didn’t seem to cool very well. Upon returning to the room, she’d changed to cutoffs and a tank top, but the fabric stuck to her skin. Maybe drinking something ice-cold would cool her enough to rest comfortably. She slipped the pass key into her back pocket, tucked a couple of dollar bills into the front one, and let herself out of her room.
Outside, she breathed in the thick, humid air. The night was quiet except for the distant, blended hum of insects and frogs. Maybe it was the cloying heat, but she felt restless and aroused. Her thoughts swirled with the erotic fantasies she’d been spinning into a story.
A woman caught between two men.
On the outside, one wore a white hat, the other dressed like he’d just dragged himself out of bed. But inside, both souls were painted with the same darkness.
The soda machine stood next to the office, so she walked barefoot along the sidewalk, slid her money into the slot, and hit the button for a Coke. The machine shuddered, but nothing dropped into the well at the bottom.
“Damn.” She hit the button again. Nothing. Cursing, she bent and stuck her arm up into the opening, found the bottom of her can lodged at an odd angle, and rattled it until it dropped into her hand.
When she straightened, she held the can away and opened the tab, letting it spray outward.
The can was icy cold, and she drank down several gulps before turning back to her room.
DiDi drew up short. A car had parked in front of her room. A sleek Caprice with the township’s emblem and blue lights on the top. Sheriff Breaux stood with his arms crossed over his chest, watching her.
Had he seen her wrestle with the coke, her butt in the air? Would she ever catch a break with the guy?
DiDi made herself straighten her shoulders and sauntered toward the large man. Did he always wear that expression—so dark and intense, so watchful? She caught the way his narrowed glance scanned her bare legs and feet, and she shivered.
She’d take his frown over a smile from another man any day—the gesture did things to her. Challenged her. Made her tingle in all the right places. “Evenin’, Sheriff,” she drawled, walking closer.
“Miz Devereaux,” he said, nodding.
“DiDi,” she replied, curving her lips. “I thought we were getting friendly.”
His expression didn’t soften. “It’s late. Doesn’t a city girl like you know it’s not safe to be alone outside after dark?”
“Tell me,” she said softly, teasingly as she leaned against her room’s door. “This is a small town. What should I fear? And is the danger sporting four legs or two?”
His features stilled. He stepped closer and looked down his nose.
A move like he was trying to intimidate. She didn’t know why, but his stance aroused her.
“Bayou Noir is a quiet town,” he said, his voice dead even, “but you’re a beautiful woman. More temptation than man or beast might be able to resist.”
DiDi blinked, all bluster gone. Heat soaked the crotch of her panties. He thinks I’m hard to resist? “Looks like I don’t have a thing to fear with you here, Sheriff.”
His lips crimped in irritation, and he shook his head. “Told you before, Mason,” he bit out. “Seein’ as how we’re friendly now.”
Two could play this game of chicken. She stepped close enough she could smell him. “What if I like sheriff? I like a man being in charge.”
His nostrils flared. His eyelids fell. “Careful, chère…”
“Am I really that hard to resist?” DiDi lifted her chin.
He didn’t answer, but his gaze fell to her mouth.
DiDi knew she’d roll her eyes if a character in her book licked her lips at a time like this, but she couldn’t resist the tease. She stroked her bottom lip, wetting it and watching Mason’s eyes narrow further, homing in on the simple little motion.
“You like playin’ with fire?” he muttered, his voice guttural.
“I’m not playin’.”
His eyes were shadowed, a touch sinister and frightening.
She couldn’t have said why, but she wanted to rattle him. Answer his challenge with one of her own. DiDi leaned into Mason, pressing the hand not holding the soda against his chest and rising on her toes. When her mouth approached, she saw his lips part.
But he held still, watching her with that dark, steady gaze.
She placed her lips against his and rubbed, and then did it again when he still didn’t move. Pulling back, she gave him a slight glare. His expression hadn’t changed, but that didn’t defeat her. No way could she be this hot if he wasn’t returning some of the heat.
Plus, he hadn’t warned her away with a word or a gesture, hadn’t moved back either. Not exactly a no.
Angling a hand backwards, she set the soda on the windowsill and reached up to clutch his shoulders, pushed her chest against his, snuggling closer, and kissed him again.
His hands curled gently around her waist.
Her heart sped up, her body melted. She pressed her lips harder.
However, Mason pushed her away…but his fingers didn’t let her go.
Rather than reach for him again, DiDi curved her fingers into her palms. She’d never thrown herself at a man like that, without an ounce of encouragement. Feeling like a fool, she pushed at his hands. “Don’t worry,” she said, unable to hold his steady stare now that she’d humiliated herself. “I promise I won’t attack you again.”
“What?” she snapped, lifting her face, hoping to salvage her pride.
“Dammit.” His lips slammed on top of hers. His hands let go of her waist and glided around her back, pulling her against him. And then he was walking her backward, pushing her against her door while he devoured her mouth.
DiDi thought she’d been ready for his kiss. Ready for whatever he’d bring, but under the onslaught, her head swam, her knees weakened. She locked her fingers behind his neck.
Scents intensified—the smell of thick, green forest, the exhaust of his car, his aftershave, the unique smell of his masculine musk.
Sounds—an indistinct hum before—returned, becoming louder. Crickets chirped, frogs croaked. The wind sifted through the trees, rustling leaves and creaking branches. And his heartbeat grew loud enough, insistent enough, her own matched its beat.
And God, the lush, wet thrill of that kiss! His mouth was hard, his tongue sinfully fluid, sliding along hers then tangling and twisting until she had to suck on it to keep him still and savor the sensual connection.
DiDi felt as though she drowned in a perfect moment, falling deeply into lust, her body shivering and bending toward him.
Mason broke the kiss. His gaze raked her face; his jaw tightened. “Better get inside an’ lock that door, chère.”
“And if I don’t want to?” she asked breathlessly, looking deep into his dark eyes.
“Gimme your key.”
Relief made her knees shake. He’s coming inside. She dug into her pocket for the key card and handed it over. He swiped the key and pulled down the latch next to her hip. Then he tossed the key toward the bed behind her and grasped her waist.
DiDi began to reach up to enfold him in her arms—
Scowling, Mason pushed her backward and closed the door in her face.
“Fuck,” she whispered. That had never happened before.