Today, it’s all about the scary shifters and reapers!
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First up is an awesome dark fantasy / paranormal romance, called Hunter’s Moon, by Laura Smith.
Ripley eased his arm up away from Luna to part the branch covering enough to allow the moonlight to shine down on her. Her finely arched brows furrowed together and her bow shaped lips pressed together, reflecting her uneasy sleep. His breath caught again and his gut clenched like he had just been punched. He had the same reaction when he first saw her. He almost hadn’t shot the Were in time.
She made a soft sound and let the branch fall back into place to lightly run his fingertip along her temple. His hand shook at the soft skin and he clenched it into a fist to still the light trembling.
Carefully, so not to disturb her, he leaned away to peel back the collar of his shirt and looked at his shoulder. It throbbed badly, but didn’t appear to be bleeding. She had a mean right hook, but not a lot of sense. He grinned, thinking of the spanking he had given her. For the first time in long years, he taken his hand to a woman’s backside and had wanted to hold her afterwards. She hadn’t tried to pull away. She had accepted his soothing embrace and had wept her apologies, rather fetchingly in his opinion. He couldn’t remember the last time that had happened.
Oh, the women he’d bought for a night or two had all shed crocodile tears and pouted prettily at him. But paid companions gave a man what they thought he wanted. They couldn’t hold a candle to the real thing.
Letting go of his shirt, he gently set his hand down on her hip. Her breath hitched and she jerked, but she didn’t waken all the way. With a soft whimper, she settled back into her nightmare.
Ripley lifted his gaze out to the forest. He could hear the sounds of Were hunting in the distance. He should be out there as well, hunting them. He should leave her to Fate and do his job. Protecting survivors was not a part of it. In all his years of hunting, he had never come across a survivor before. Neither his father, nor his uncle, had ever spoken of one. She might not be the first in history, but she could damn well be the second.
He caressed his thumb along the swell of her buttock. She made another soft noise. Her hand moved up to clutch the fabric of his shirt at his chest.
He lowered his head, putting his lips to her ear, and whispered, “Easy.”
She sighed and pressed herself against him, snuggling into the hollow of his injured shoulder. At last, she slept peacefully. A small smile curved at the corner of her lips.
“Easy,” he whispered again and closed his eyes against the swell of emotion that rose to overwhelm him. The weight of the knowledge that the sound of his voice as she slept had chased away her nightmare pushed as painfully on him as her head on his old wound. At the same time, it filled his heart with such joy, he thought he could take on anything. He, Ripley Hunter, the boy whose uncle had said would never amount to anything, who had paid for more dates than not, who killed monsters for a living, had the trust of the beautiful woman in his arms to keep her safe while she slept.
A howl split the night air, a sound filled with loneliness and fear.
Following a family tradition to seek her spirit guide, Luna sets out for an overnight camping trip into the wilds of the Willamette Valley National Forest along the Blue River. She does not know that the full moon in the sky combined with her chance meeting of the ranger at the trail’s start would alter her life forever. She will soon learn that werewolves are real and that she is being hunted by them. Her only chance at survival is a Hunter, come to Blue River to thin down their numbers if not eradicate them. Fate throws them together and, at first, she is desperate only to stay alive and go home. But then wants more, she wants to be in the Hunter’s arms and, after feeling the bite of his hand on her backside, over his knee.
Author’s Note This story is dark fantasy. It contains scenes describing or touching upon the subject of cannibalism, rape, murder, and torture. If you find any of these subjects questionable, please, do not purchase this book.
Next up is a thrilling urban fantasy, called Reap and Repent, by Lisa Medley.
Excerpt setup: Kylen is a reaper who has been possessed by a demon for the past century. He’s not the guy you want to be alone with.
Ruth gathered up her trash and left it on the little tray by the intercom before pulling across the street to Stop & Go to buy a bag of ice. Sliding her key into the trunk latch, she raised the lid and set the ice inside the trunk bed. She scrambled through her random packed groceries. The bagger boy had flung her purchases into the paper bags without any organization. She sorted out the cold items, stuffing them into the cooler. As she emptied the ice from the bag over them, a chill ran up her spine that had nothing to do with her task. She whipped around to find Kylen standing behind her in the parking lot.
She dropped the ice bag and slammed the cooler lid shut. Taking a quick look around the busy lot to see if anyone might be able to come to her rescue, she debated between fight or flight once again as she backed up against the Lincoln. She slid one hand into her shorts pocket, fisting her car keys in the other.
“Busy day?” Kylen asked, grinning. “Where’s your keeper?”
“What are you?” she asked, trying to keep the stutter of her heart from her voice. She didn’t see any point in beating around the bush.
“Well that’s a little rude, isn’t it?” he asked, closing the gap between them. “A customer, of course. Ask anyone here …”
He looked human, but his eyes gave him away…and there was something more, something intangible. But maybe she was the only one who could see that?
That was the question. Since no one was screaming or running in terror, he probably looked nondescript to everyone else, like another customer in the lot. She eased around to the driver’s side, pushing the trunk closed on her way.
“What’s your hurry? We just got started.”
“I don’t want any trouble, Kylen.” Nervous, she scanned the parking lot again for a possible ally. “I have cold stuff in the trunk and errands to run. If you want Deacon, I’m sure you know how to find him.”
“You know my name? How sweet. Then I guess Deacon’s told you about me?” He eased up closer and cocked his head at an odd angle that made his eyes look even creepier…if that were even possible.
“I heard him call you by your name when we were in…down…below,” she said, unable to call it what it was: Purgatory.
He was right in her face now. Uncomfortable and scared, she palmed the knife in her jacket pocket, wondering when and whether she should show it or use it. Kylen slid a dry hand down the side of her cheek and around the back of her neck, pulling her closer to his face. She stiffened and vacillated between stabbing him through her jacket pocket and screaming.
He was so close. She could hurt him at least. Screaming might also be effective, but either of those options would lead to lots of questions, possibly a confrontation with the police, and the rest of the day would be toast. Besides, she had no explanation that would not land her under “observation” for several hours, if not longer.
She released the knife. Instead, she slid her hand into her pants pocket and extracted a handful of salt, hurling it directly into his eyes. He cursed and bellowed like a wounded animal, clawing at his face. She pushed him hard, and he stumbled far enough backward that she was able to get the Lincoln’s big-ass door open and scramble inside. Slamming the door shut, she popped the electric locks. She turned the motor over, slammed the car into Reverse and peeled out of the parking lot and onto Main Street.
ComTel was going to have to wait. She was done. Heading home, she wondered if Kylen had a car or if he could travel like Deacon. One thing was comforting. He probably didn’t know where she lived, or he would already have come by. She hoped his eyes wouldn’t work too well for a while. That much salt in a normal person’s eyes wouldn’t feel all that great, and he was so not normal. In fact, he had seemed particularly averse to it.
Her hands trembled as she gripped the steering wheel and tried to keep from pressing the gas pedal all the way to the floor. She’d had enough fun for one day. She had food, snacks, coffee, the Meridian and Huntsbury papers, and an entertainment magazine…not that she read that trash.
They see death. Can they share a life?
Ruth Scott can read the energy of every person she meets. Then she meets Deacon Walker. She can see his ice-blue eyes, his black hair, and his gorgeous face. But this beautiful stranger has no aura.
Deacon is just as unsettled by Ruth—and, having spent more than two hundred years ushering souls to Purgatory, Deacon is seldom shocked by anything. As he helps Ruth to understand her true nature, she awakens desires that he decided long ago a Reaper can’t afford.
A demon invasion forces Deacon to confront the darkness in his own past even as he fights to save the human souls he’s charged to protect. When he’s taken captive, his first concern is for Ruth. But Ruth just might be able to save herself—and the Reaper she can’t live without—if she can learn to wield her newfound powers.