From NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY best-selling author Lynn Red comes a steamy, sensual, seductively hilarious shifter romance!
Publisher: Yellow Moon Press, LLC
Date Publishers: 11/4/14
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Word Count: ~70000
Jamie Ampton is a sharp-tongued, pointy-toothed, vampy shifter with a penchant for neatly done-up hair buns and a habit of attracting EXACTLY the wrong sort of guy. Guys with a dash of arrogance, a pinch of cocky swagger turn her head... but when her last one turned out to be more “self-important jackass” and less “gruff and strong and takes what he wants,” it left her cold.
So to speak.
Ryan Drake has a dark past and a mysterious present. When he shows up demanding the town alpha do his part to care for Jamesburg’s aging shifters, the first thing Jamie notices is that her heart starts beating a little quicker. The second is a knot in the pit of her stomach. And then, before she can catch her breath, he stares straight into her eyes.
She’s never been one for the big, loud, muscled-up types, but in the space of two breaths, the elegantly detached Jamie finds herself falling for a bear.
Little does Jamie know that before he stomped into that courtroom, Ryan decided that nothing was gonna stop him from getting what he wanted. But, once he saw Jamie?
Suddenly there were two things that this massive blue-eyed alpha bear were going to have, no matter what it took: help for his friends... and Jamie.
And Ryan? Ryan is one bear who ALWAYS takes what he wants.
***The Jamesburg Shifters is a series of standalone novels each with a unique hero and heroine, and HEA! No cliffhangers here – the stories can be enjoyed in any order you like, though once you start, you might not want to stop!***
Ryan’s gaze was so hot on her skin that she felt every breath, every thump of her heart. She was flustered, she was irritated at herself, but damn if she couldn't taste his lips without him even kissing her. She was burning hot, and wanting to feel him against her skin, to see if he wanted her as much as she did him.
And when he finally grabbed her shoulder, she knew. Those fingers, warm, strong, gripping her like velvet iron. She knew he felt the same thing, no matter how hard he was going to fight it.
He left his hand there for just a second before pulling it away, but even when it was gone, she felt the ghostly vibration of his heat on her skin. Ryan shook his head, slowly. "They need food more than I need..."
"Me?" she asked. "I can see it in your eyes. I felt it just now."
He turned away. "I can't," he whispered. "Not until I know they're safe. Not until--"
"You're a coward," Jamie said, coldly. "A beautiful, big-hearted, incredibly sweet, giant coward. You know what you're feeling. I know what I'm feeling, and I'm a big old wimp too, because I just let you turn away."
"You know what I am," Ryan said shortly. "You know who I am."
"I do?" she asked, stepping forward and grabbing Ryan. "The only thing I know about you is that you're willing to give up your whole life to help people, no matter what it takes. That's literally all I know about you, but for some reason, you got under my skin."
He chuffed a laugh, dismissively. "So you don't know me, but you're willing to make wild generalizations about my personality?"
There it was, Jamie saw, the grin from earlier. That cocky, slightly smug, absolutely disarming grin. She couldn't stand it, but every time he did that, it made her realize her own weakness. She recognized it, but had no idea where it came from, or why it was for him that she had these feelings.
The two of them stared at each other for a second, Jamie coming to grips with herself, and Ryan apparently wrestling with the same thing, judging from the way he kept moving his hand like he wanted to touch hers, but then backing away. Finally, he did, he laid his hand on top of hers, and let a grin crack his face. The corners of his eyes turned down as he squinted, slightly.
There it is, Jamie thought. His wall is cracking.
And for just a second, it did. The look on his face was pure. She could feel the passion radiating from his hand on top of hers, and then just like before, he clenched his eyes, smile lines wrinkling them at the corners. He shook his head and looked away before he opened them again.
"I need you to meet someone," he said.
"I shouldn't," Jamie started, but trailed off for a moment. "I shouldn't interfere with your life."
He turned back, one eyebrow cocked. "Who’s the coward now?" he challenged. "You're willing to talk about wanting to help these people, but you won't even meet them?"
The words stung. They bit deep, but underneath it all, Jamie knew he was right. She'd watched both her parents grow old and die, and it broke her heart. For a long, long time, she couldn't face reality. Her two years away from Jamesburg, to take care of them, were the hardest of her life, and when she returned, she was different. Everyone noticed, everyone asked, but she'd never let anyone in. She couldn't stand the fact that she'd gotten... scared.
Scared? Is that all it was? Was it just fear? Or was it seeing a little bit of that weakness they showed at the end... in myself?
"Come on," Ryan said, grabbing her hand.
It felt so good to hold his hand, although he was just leading her. This wasn't the sort of hand holding that happened at Sandra Bullock movies, or in the back of a car on a deserted road overlooking a river. But she wanted it to be so badly, and still, she didn't understand her own desire.
Explain what's happening in the scene (the conflict) if it's not immediately evident.
This is the first scene where the two main characters get into it with each other. They’ve had a couple short romantic interludes, and fooled around a little, but this is the scene where Jamie – who works for the town of Jamesburg – has to confront the fact that she’s falling in love with a thief, no matter how noble his cause.
Ryan, for his part, is stuck in the past, not wanting to get her involved and possibly hurt – and at the same time, he’s protecting himself from the possible pain of loss.
Explain what you really love (or hate) about the scene.
We’ve all been there.
The first time you really get to know someone, their good and their bad, and everything in between. It doesn’t much matter that Jamie’s a vampire and Ryan’s a werebear – they both have to come to terms with the same thing we’ve all had to deal with.
A partner we love, but something about them is something we can’t reconcile... but as we all know, you don’t get to pick who your heart falls in with.
And then there’s the background of both of them still hanging on to a few secrets – not necessarily because they don’t trust the other, but because they just can’t deal with letting everything go at once. I can’t count how many times I’ve been there!
What inspired the scene?
Like with most of what I do, it’s hard to draw direct “influences” from something else. All my characters and all my stories, are adaptations of my own experiences, or the lives of my friends and family.
Which... uh, probably says a lot about the people I know!
But this particular book, and this scene in particular, was exaggerated (wildly. WILDLY exaggerated!) from the story of two of my best friends meeting under vaguely similar circumstances. Although she’s not a vampire, and he’s not a werebear – he sort of is a regular bear – I remember her calling me pretty late one night, and venting about the experience that became this scene.
In reality, it was a lot less dramatic, and a lot less illegal, but the two of them had a tremendous difference of heart and mind, and butted heads over it for a LONG time. It all worked out though! They’re still hitched.
AUTHOR BIO: .
LYNN RED is a former history professor who got so caught up in her own world that she couldn’t handle the politics of academia. So, she took a wild, ridiculous leap into a world she’d always loved – paranormal romance.
Now she’s a full time author who lives with her husband, two kids, a corgi and a pit bull in the north Florida jungle. When she’s not writing, and it’s not too hot, you can almost always find her reading outside with one or more of the above mentioned family members trying to get her attention!