A Shaman’s temptation could be the undoing of his people…
Madeleine Greenway, perfectionist and analyst for Surety Bank, has no place in her rigidly organized life for something as unpredictable as a man, much less a Native American shaman. Sent to the White Mountain reservation to help the tribe finance its new casino, she meets Tak, a proud, beautiful Apache, and finds herself surrounded by something magical in the Arizona desert. His touch becomes a passport to otherworldly bliss, and the strange coyote she sees makes her question what’s real. But it’s the amazing sex with Tak that makes Madeleine lose sight of her goal—to guarantee that Surety Bank’s investment in the casino won’t fail.
Last in a long line of shaman shape-shifters, Tak Nah-Kah-Yen has sworn a vow of celibacy to his gods. But Madeleine’s lithe body and honeyed lips compel him to forswear his pledge, claiming her for his own. His passion for her overshadows his link to his gods at a time when he most needs their help. Desperate to find funding for the casino and lift his people out of poverty, he’d accepted start-up money from less than savory sources who are willing to kill to guarantee their profit—the profit Madeleine’s bank jeopardizes…
Publisher: Etopia Press
Date Publisherd: October 2013
Genre: Paranormal romance
Word Count: 19,000
Tak sensed the contained anger in Madeline’s tight walk and pinched mien. Gods, he didn’t want to deal with that. Not tonight. He unlocked the doors of his truck, not bothering to help her up.
But that was a mistake. She must have caught her heel in the grates of his steps; he heard her cry out in pain. He sprinted around back to the other door.
“Shit,” Madeleine cursed as she tried to free her heel with her foot still in it.
Tak shook his head and gently eased her foot out of its shoe as she held on to his shoulders.
“Thank you,” she murmured, barely audible. Evidently those words did not come easily to her. He pulled her down from the truck, and then knelt at her feet to put her shoe back on as she braced herself against him again.
He stood slowly, aware now of the scent of her, a sweet blend of vanilla and cinnamon.
“Madeleine.” He said her name for the first time, liking the feel of it on his tongue. He stroked her cheek with the back of his hand, sorry for his earlier dismissal of her. The shock of their contact ran through him like an electric current. He stroked the sensitive skin below her ears, one finger tracing a line down to her collarbone, calling to her primitive mind. Her body jumped in response and she inhaled, her breath a gasp of pleasure at his touch.
She tilted her head up, her large brown eyes doe-like and trusting, open wide in anticipated pleasure. Gods, but she was gorgeous. She ran her tongue over her pinkened lips, and he grew stiff at the gesture. He grasped her bottom and pulled her close. Her sweet, warm body conformed against his. He pressed her back against the door of the pickup, angling her legs apart with his knee. He forgot his vow, forgot the parking lot, forgot everything but the feel of her soft thighs opening to him.
He leaned in to dip his mouth to hers, his tongue licking at the soft underside of her bottom lip, tasting, exploring. She tasted like her scent, a sweet vanilla. Heat coursed through him, an ignition of the flames that they’d been stoking.
“Madeleine,” he growled against her and moved from her mouth to her neck, licking, sucking. He wanted to rip her apart with his teeth. She arched to meet him, exposing her throat to him. The call of the animal was strong; he was hard and excited. He slid his hands down her back to cup her ass and then pushed up her skirt, wanting to be inside of her. He bit at her neck as if he could consume her and watched her eyes dilate in pleasure. Pliant, soft, willing, she was ready for him. He pulled her tight against his erection, straining against his jeans to be inside of her delicate warmth. When she writhed against his hard cock, he groaned aloud.
She reached for him, making to unbutton his jeans, as if they weren’t in a parking lot. Shit, they were in a parking lot. And he had made a promise. Reality brought him up short.
He pulled back from her. “Madeleine, I can’t…”
Her face was dark, hurt, her eyes flashing. He should never have kissed her, never have agreed to take her around. This was torture.
“I’m sorry.” He knew the apology was lame.
She shrugged and pushed herself back even farther with her hands, and he recognized how hard she worked to maintain her evident anger.
“You’re right,” she said. “Let’s just have a pleasant evening together.”
Tak couldn’t think of anything less pleasant than being in her company and not being able to touch her, but he helped her into the truck’s cab.
Erin talks about what's happening in the scene:
Tak’s dad has asked Tak to take Madeleine out for the night, trying to curry her favor for the deal that she is managing for her bank. Tak agrees to please his dad, but he’s also seen Madeleine in a vision, and seeks to understand why. Tak has sworn a vow of celibacy, but it’ never been that hard for him to keep it under control. Until he met Madeleine.
This scene is their first time in each other’s company, other than a dream sequence, and it sets up everything that follows: they come from very different worlds, and for Madeleine and Tak to be in a relationship, they will both have to sacrifice.
Chaco Canyon Hungo Pavi ruins staircase:
Kristen Bell would be my choice for Madeleine. She has the right combination of humor and yet you can tell that she’s not just fluff; there is a lot of substance to her acting style, just as there is in Madeleine’s life. They haven’t always made the easy choices.
For Tak, I was really inspired by Rick Mora. Unfortunately, there don’t seem to be any non-copyrighted photos of him, but he is absolutely beautiful. He has this dark pathos and a real sensitivity to his features, and he can also act; he was in one of the Twilight movies.
Erin has been writing her entire life, but only recently found her voice in the paranormal romance world.
She's an avowed chocoholic, loves travel and good tea, and finds her inner peace by meditating and writing. Fantasy, historical fiction, and romance are her inspirations.