Thursday, March 31, 2011
Win an ARC of Forbidden Embers
The Dragonstar clan is under attack, endangered by an insidious enemy. Now a top sentry must go undercover, but the task will be more than he bargained for…
Desperate to save his clan from deadly biological warfare, Dragonstar sentry Logan Kelly must infiltrate the Wyvermoon clan—and put an end to the war. Posing as a rogue dragon without a clan, Logan quickly realizes how close the Wyvermoons are to anarchy since the death of their leader. Their ranks are thin, and their only hope lies in Cecily Fournier, the princess whose grasp on the throne is shaky at best. All he has to do is stick around long enough to see his enemies fail.
The plan is foolproof. Until he falls for Cecily.
What starts as an uneasy alliance turns into an uncontrollable passion. As the spark between them gets hotter, Logan discovers the Wyvermoon’s hidden agenda. But how can he bring down the Wyvermoons without exposing himself as a traitor to the woman he loves?
And here's an excerpt:
Cecily was running full out, but she could hear Logan gaining on her. He’d given her a ten-second head start, which she’d used to her advantage, but she had a feeling in a couple seconds any progress she’d made was going to be moot. Sure enough, she had barely taken another step when she felt his warm breath on the back of her neck.
Not willing to give in so easily, she didn’t bother to waste precious seconds looking back. Instead, she ran another few yards, waiting for him to pass her. He did, and a few seconds after that, she veered off the main path onto a shortcut she often took. By the time he figured out what had happened, she’d be almost to the lake.
When she ran the rest of the way without pursuit, she figured she was right, and by the time she came out of the trees right next to the waterfall, she was feeling pretty smug. At least until she glanced across the lake and saw Logan sunning himself on a large, flat rock.
“Hey!” she exclaimed. “How’d you get here so fast?” She knew he was faster than she was, but her shortcut had shaved at least four minutes off her time. There was no way he was fast enough to have beat that.
He just wiggled his eyebrows and pretended to twirl a fake mustache. “I have my ways.”
“That sounds like the pot calling the kettle black,” he said with a laugh. “Where did you go, anyway?”
“This is my mountain. I know all the shortcuts.”
“Maybe not all of them.”
She considered that. “Maybe not.”
He’d circled the small lake as they talked so that he was standing only a few feet away from her by the time she conceded defeat. He was still naked and more aroused than ever. She couldn’t help looking her fill, but then what red-blooded woman would blame her? Even with the scar on his cheek, the man was as close to perfect as she had ever seen.
He interrupted her perusal to ask, “So, do you like what you see?”
“Don’t even go there. You know exactly how good-looking you are. There’s no way I’m going to pander to your swollen ego.”
“There’s only one thing about me that’s swollen right now, and I was kind of hoping you would pander to it.”
“Seriously?” she asked. “That’s the best you’ve got?”
“Hey, cut a guy some slack. All the blood in my brain has drained about three and a half feet south.”
She pretended to think over his dilemma. “I can see where that might be a problem.”
“It is a problem. A big problem.”
“Looks more medium-sized to me, but, then again, my whole life I’ve been told my standards are too exacting.”
“Hey! That’s not very nice.”
“I’m sorry. I thought you wanted honesty.” She hid a grin.
His eyes narrowed as he started toward her. “You’re going to pay for that.”
She retreated quickly, but within seconds he had her cornered between his big body and the lake. “Okay, okay, I’m sorry.” She held up a hand. “I was just joking.”
“That didn’t sound very sincere.”
“It’s hard to sound sincere when you’re threatening to toss me in an ice cold lake! Besides, it’s not like you could possibly be insecure in that area.”
“No, but it’s nice to hear that occasionally.” He stepped closer.
“Hey, what are you doing? I already admitted I was wrong.”
“Yeah, but I thought we’d already established that I don’t play fair.”
“Logan, no!” She backed up right to the edge of the rocks. “The water’s freezing right now.”
“Then I hope you’re a fast swimmer.” He moved to grab her, and she feinted left before moving right. But he was ready for her, and within seconds she found herself cradled in his arms.
He started to swing her. “One, two, three.”
“No!” She grabbed onto his neck, determined to take him with her, but he stopped just shy of dangling her out over the water. She looked at him curiously.
He winked. “You didn’t think I was actually going to throw you in, did you?”
“Of course I did!”
“I wouldn’t do that to a lady.”
“Oh, well, thank you, then. I appreciate that.” She loosened her arms from where she’d been clutching on to him, feeling strangely disappointed that he hadn’t carried through with the threat. Which was stupid, considering how cold the water was around here in October. But after the intensity of the last half an hour, she’d really been enjoying this playful side of him.
But the second her arms released his neck completely, she was soaring through the air, straight at the deepest part of the lake.
She had a second to process the shock of being double-crossed, and then she was shifting. By the time her toes touched the water, she was dragon, and she used her wings to propel her straight back into the air before she got more than her ankles damp.
She landed right next to him, back in human form, a superior smile on her face. Logan gaped at her in shock, and she couldn’t resist rubbing it. “Nice try, Slick.” She reached out and playfully punched his shoulder. “Let me know when you’re ready to play with the big girls.”
“Believe me, I’m ready.” He grabbed her arm and gave it one, sharp tug. She tumbled against his chest, which was exactly what he’d intended. “How did you do that?”
She didn’t pretend to misunderstand. “I’ve always been able to do it. It’s a gift.”
“I’ll say. I like it.”
“That’s what all the guys say.”
He growled, low and deep. “What guys?”
She laughed, spun around in a quick, delighted circle. How had she gone through her whole life without realizing how much fun it was to tease and play? Now that she’d discovered it, she had no desire to ever go back to the joyless existence she’d been living for so long.
“Chill out, Logan. I was joking. God, you’re easy.”
“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. I’m incredibly easy.” He paused. “Speaking of which, are you going to take advantage of my easiness anytime soon?”
“I already tried that. You ran away like a scared little girl.”
“I promise to do better this time.”
“I don’t know. You look pretty wimpy. I’m not sure you could handle me.”
It was his turn to laugh. “Try me.”
She pretended to think about it. “I’ll tell you what. I will have my wicked, wicked, wicked way with you if you put your money where your mouth is.”
His eyes darkened, and when he spoke, he sounded like he’d swallowed about ten pounds of gravel. “What do I have to do?”
“I thought that was obvious. You’ve got to catch me.”
She shifted in an instant, then launched herself straight into the sky.
So, what do you think of Logan and Cecily? Their cover? They're very different than Pheobe and Dylan or Quinn and Jasmine, but I love them anyway. Leave a comment to be entered to win an ARC of Forbidden Embers-- it will be a few weeks before I have one of these, but as soon as I get them, I promise the winner will be the first to get their hands on it.