Hour of the Lion
Series: The Wild Hunt Legacy , Book 1.0
By: Cherise Sinclair | Other books by Cherise Sinclair
Published By: VanScoy Publishing Group
Published: Jun 15, 2011
ISBN # 9780983706304
By: Cherise Sinclair | Other books by Cherise Sinclair
Published By: VanScoy Publishing Group
Published: Jun 15, 2011
ISBN # 9780983706304
Word Count: 115,600
Available in: Epub, Microsoft Reader, Adobe Acrobat, Mobipocket (.prc)
DescriptionGenre: Paranormal erotic romance
As a dedicated covert ops agent, Victoria Morgan follows two rules: accomplish the mission and protect the innocent. When bitten by a werecat—yeah, that was a sucky day—she must investigate beings that shouldn't exist and are hard as hell to identify. Just how can she tell if a person is human--or an animal-shifter who enjoys Bambi-sized snacks?
During her investigation, she finds a real home and friends for the first time. Sweet, right? But there's a flip-side: the bad guys are waiting for her to turn into something four-legged with a tail, the shifters suspect her of spying, and she has fallen in love with a pair of Thumper-eating werecougar brothers.
Her duty is to expose their existence. Or she could follow her heart and protect them with all of her deadly skills.
Reader Rating: (100 Ratings)
Excerpt:Ignoring the wood pixie chittering angrily in the oak tree, Sheriff Alec McGregor silently stepped onto the porch, coming up behind the burglar. He tried not to laugh as the criminal squirmed like a paw-pinned mouse.
It’d been a boring week so far. The last excitement was a good four days ago when old Peterson, having indulged in rotgut tequila, tried to demonstrate how to tap-dance on top of Calum’s bar...which he did about once a month.
At least a pinioned burglar had the dubious distinction of being unique.
He rubbed his chin, feeling the rasp of stubble. He’d noticed—being as how he was a guy—what was wiggling was a very fine, nicely rounded ass in tight jeans.
And being a guy, he felt the need to see the front of this dangerous perp who had one leg inside the window and the other outside. He moved silently across the porch and checked out the criminal’s front side to see what else the evening might hold.
Evening is going well. Hair, the rich color of dark walnut, rippled across her shoulders, and her purple T-shirt was tight enough to reveal amazingly lush breasts for such a compact body. Since she was too occupied to notice his arrival, he could study her assets without being considered a macho pig. Abundant. Yes, that would be the word. He’d heard the more-than-a-mouthful is wasted saying, but when it came to breasts, he was a bit of a glutton.
Concentrating on freeing her leg from something, she was oblivious to everything else.
He thought for a minute and decided to speak up. And hey, he needed to see the color of her eyes—for the report and all.
“My jail is empty today,” he remarked sociably. “In case you wondered.”
She froze like a mouse hearing a fox. When huge copper-colored eyes met his, everything inside him came to a halt, like the day he’d been chasing a rabbit and got his leg caught in a steel trap. A hard painful grip, only this time it was his chest being squeezed.
The sound of her breath whuffing out, like she’d been pounced on, cleared his mind. Cop—I’m a cop. And she was a burglar. No pouncing on this little prey allowed...and wasn’t that a damned shame?
“Oh, hell,” the lady perp said, obviously having recovered fast. She now looked more pissed-off than concerned, and that just wasn’t right. “Listen, I’m really just—”
He leaned his hip against the porch railing and crossed his arms. “It’s called breaking and entering,” he offered helpfully.
Her mouth dropped open. “No way. Hey, I talked to the realtor this morning and—.”
“Um-hmm. It’s good you’ve done your homework. Shows a certain pride in your work.”
The sparks in those big eyes almost did him in. “I am not a burglar, dammit. I’m here to rent this place. Amanda Golden is supposed to meet me.”
He studied her for a minute. She had the realtor’s name right—’course it was there plain as could be on the rental sign.
A wisp of scent drifted past him. Blood. Fresh. “You’re bleeding.”
She blinked at the change of subject and he noticed with pleasure how her thick lashes feathered down against skin tanned almost as dark as her brown eyes.
Herne help him, but she really was lovely—and he shouldn’t let that pretty face suck him in. She probably wrapped every male she met around her ringless, delicate finger.
Besides, she was human. Some shifters enjoyed sampling human females, but he’d never understood the attraction.
He pointed to where a nail had snagged more than her clothing, and blood darkened the leg of her jeans. “Looks like the previous renter overlooked a few nails from last season’s Christmas lights. Let me get you down from there before I start on some serious interrogation.”
Her eyes narrowed, then she leaned forward. Reaching out, she obviously intended to steady herself on his forearms, but the opportunity was too good to ignore. With a smooth move, he dropped low enough that her hands settled on his shoulders instead, and he grasped her around the waist. His fingers curled around surprisingly hard abdominal muscles—the female must work out regularly—and he lifted her up.
She gasped as he swung her onto the porch. Her grip tightened on his shoulders, lean hands, not soft, yet they felt very, very good on his body. Her hands would probably clutch his shoulders—just like that—as he slid inside her, filled her.
He shook his head. Where the hell had that image come from?
Her eyes were huge, and she smelled of pain and fear. He released her immediately. She was frightened. And he could tell it was more than just worry about being arrested. No, she was scared of him. The idea was insulting.
“Um. Thank you.” Her voice was husky.
“My pleasure.” After all, honesty was the best policy, and he’d enjoyed the hell out of getting his hands on her. Was looking forward to enjoying more, but...she was scared of him?
On the street, a white Taurus pulled up behind the Jeep. Amanda Golden slid out, briefcase in hand, hurried up the sidewalk, and onto the porch. “Hello, Alec. Ms. Waverly? I’m sorry I’m late. I got hung up at the title company.”
“That’s all right. I’ve been kept entertained,” his ex-burglar said dryly.
“Well, damn, guess I have to let you go.” And she would have decorated his jail cell so nicely too.
She shot him a nasty look, her appealingly full lips tightly compressed.
When she started to move, Alec tucked a finger under her belt to halt her. “Let’s make sure you aren’t hurt too bad,” he said. “Nails can be nasty.”
As he leaned forward, he realized the faint scent of blood wasn’t just from the nail; it came from multiple places. She had dark red-brown spots on the back of her T-shirt. The gasp when he’d lifted her from the windowsill—had that been from surprise or pain?
He studied her closer. Meticulously applied makeup covered a bruise on the side of her face. There was maybe a lumpy dressing on her shoulder under the T-shirt, and something more than a bra wrapped around her sides.
Now, all that damage might be from a car accident. But that wouldn’t explain why she was scared of him, the most likable fellow on this planet. So. He could be wrong—frequently was—but he picked the most logical explanation.
Someone had beaten the hell out of her.
“Where else are you hurt?”
Why would the big sheriff ask that? Vic wondered, feeling a chill. She’d covered the blood and bruises adequately. Had her description and injuries been on an APB?
Dammit, he’d already given her one scare. For a nasty moment, she’d thought Swane had hired him until it became obvious he was just a small-town cop having himself a good time.
“Don’t be silly,” she said, deliberately misunderstanding. “A little nail scrape doesn’t warrant all this concern.”
Nudging his arm away, she shook hands with the realtor. “Ms. Golden, nice to meet you.”
“Just call me Amanda.” Tall, blonde, wearing silky black pants with matching jacket, she was the epitome of a refined style that Vic had never mastered. After giving Vic’s hand a firm shake, the realtor frowned at the cop. “Is there a problem?”
“You got here just in time,” Vic said. “Your policeman was about to arrest me and haul me away.”
Amanda’s snicker wasn’t at all businesslike. “Ah, yes. If his jail’s not overflowing with criminals, Alec feels he’s not doing his job.” She leaned forward and whispered loudly, “Of course, it’s only a two-cell jailhouse.”
Vic smiled and glanced over her shoulder to see how the sheriff took being taunted. With one hip propped on the railing and a lazy grin on his tanned face, he didn’t look too upset.
When his focus shifted from Amanda to Vic, his gaze intensified, as if he were trying to see inside her. She felt a quiver low in her belly, but from worry or attraction—she wasn’t sure. Probably worry.
Towering six feet five or so with appallingly broad shoulders that narrowed to a trim waist, the man moved like a trained fighter. Not all spit and polish like a soldier though. His golden-brown hair brushed the collar of his khaki-uniform, and he’d rolled his sleeves up, revealing corded wrists and muscular forearms. She remembered how easily he’d lifted her, how those big hands had wrapped around her. He was damned powerful, despite the easy-going manner.
Yeah, the quiver was definitely from worry.
But then he smiled at the realtor, and a dimple appeared at one corner of his mouth. The laugh lines around his eyes emphasized a thin blue-tinted scar that angled across his left cheekbone as if someone had marked him with a pen. His voice was deep and smooth and slow as warm honey, and she felt her muscles relax. “You have a mean streak, Amanda,” he was saying. “I’ll have to warn Jonah.”
“He wouldn’t believe you,” the realtor said as she worked on unlocking the front door.
The sheriff turned, letting that should-be-a-registered-weapon grin loose on Vic, and her temperature rose. “So,” he said, “Ms. Waverly, will you be staying in Cold Creek?”
He was gorgeous, and he looked at her as if she was something tasty. "Um...” she said and his smile increased a fraction, just enough that she realized what an idiot she was. You’re losing it, Sergeant. She scowled at him. “A while.”
And the sooner she left this damn town, the better.
The breeze whipped his shaggy hair “Well, while you’re here—” he started.
“I need to get my stuff,” she interrupted. Anything to escape. Odd how the scare from the sheriff’s appearance had wiped out her need to pee.
To her annoyance, he followed her down the steps. “You’re going to enjoy Cold Creek,” he said. Before she could dodge, he slung an arm around her shoulders, and she felt his fingers trace the thick gauze dressing covering the cat-bite.
“Thank you, but I can manage,” she said, smoothly enough despite the way her heart was pounding. Then she looked up.
Dark green eyes the color of the mountain forests narrowed, and he studied her like she was a puzzle to be solved. A quiver ran up her spine as she realized the laidback manner and slow voice camouflaged a razor-sharp intelligence. Knives tended to come at a person in two ways: dark and hidden, or out in the open, all bright and shiny. A bright and shiny blade could still leave you bleeding on the sands.
She pulled away. “I’ll be fine.”
“Well then, I’ll take myself off so you can get settled in.” He waved at Amanda Golden and smiled at Vic, but this time the smile didn’t touch his eyes. “I’m sure we’ll run into each other again, Ms. Waverly. Cold Creek’s a small town.”
Cordial, polite. And Vic heard the threat underneath.
Reader Reviews (24)
Submitted By: katysue on Jan 4, 2014Loved it. Hope she writes more for this series
Submitted By: jamadianuk on Nov 19, 2013Such a shame but this was the most boring book from Ms Sinclair. I wont be thinking of trying the other books in this series. Maybe its just me,but if I want supernatural,i wont be looking in this direction.
Submitted By: sophiarose1816 on Jun 21, 2013I've heard good things about this author so I wanted to give her a try and I do enjoy a good shifter romance so I killed two birds with one stone. The book was exciting both with an action-packed plot, creative worldbuilding, dynamic characters and scorching hot loving. The loving in this one is not for the faint of heart as it tap-dances on a few different sensibilities that folks might have- mild D/s flavoring, menage activities, and passion in both human and shifter forms. The story is told from many perspectives which was really cool getting everyone's thoughts and it was done in such a way that it wasn't distracting or confusing. It was a natural flow. Just as the rules in this shifter/fae world are not just dumped on one, but revealed a bit at a time naturally within the plot. I loved the characters in the story whether it was one of the three main characters or one of the side characters. My favorite was the grandfather in this one though the interactions between the brothers, Calum and Alec, and Victoria was fun, frustration and arousing in turn. So much happened between these three and they grew together even as they had to learn to trust in their love. Overall, it was a fab book and I'll be grabbing more stories from this author.
Submitted By: uksuzi on Jan 31, 2013I really enjoyed this book. The characters were great and the chemistry between them was so endearing. I loved them both. I love a little action/drama with my romance. Good read!
Submitted By: Smiles on Jan 12, 2013Wow, its action packed with an excellent storyline. I'll be picking up the next book in this series.
Submitted By: tickledpink49 on Jan 10, 2013Overall Enjoyment: 3 - Decent storyline and characters. Good for a one time read.
Submitted By: horngate42 on Jan 9, 2013Loved it. Love a woman who can kick a**. Cherise is my favorite writer.
Submitted By: Calia on Jan 8, 2013I really loved this book. Cherise Sinclair always writes something that will capture your imagination, and keep you turning the pages until you are finished. Pick this book up, you will not be disappointed.
Submitted By: 67afrostdo on Jan 3, 2013A favorite author (from the Masters of the shadowlands serie and Dark Heaven serie). First book of "wild hunt legacy". Shapechanging dominating heroes discovering love with a spunky CIA agent who has discovered their world when trying to help one of their. She is honest, a fighter and a caring woman who'll try to help and do what is right always... She's everything her men can hope to love. Another winner of Cherise Sinclair.
Submitted By: horobull on Jan 2, 2013So many reasons to really like this book - great story, fully developed characters & steamy scenes. Very worthy of a spot on my re-read pile.
Submitted By: greyson on May 28, 2012Interesting, good story, characters that evolve with the storyline. Strong female lead, with morals & failings - which makes her more interesting. Shifters who aren't type cast, they have depth & more 'unhuman' (which is what they should be!) Good 'love scenes'. Plausible actions & reactions. By the time I finished I was looking for more. Having now read the second in the series... I am begging for more! I am hooked.
Submitted By: smh on May 10, 2012Loved everything about this book. I hope Ms. Sinclair writes more in this series!
Submitted By: Sarajane1953 on Dec 1, 2011A really tough, smart female and two amazingly different, fun and totally hot guys. What couldn't be better? Throw in shifters and bad guys chasing the bad-ass ex-Marine and a little BDSM tendency that's needed to teach the bad-ass to relinquish control in some areas and it's a absolutely excellent read!!
Submitted By: NEWBLUE82 on Oct 8, 2011I loved Alec and Calum! Strong men with the right amount of compassion and tenderness. As for Vic, she was too rough around the edges for me. I can admire an independent woman with a fighting spirit but she seemed to try too hard to be macho. Thank goodness for Jamie bringing out her maternal instincts or I'd have given up on Vic. I would have preferred a different conclusion to the story perhaps with a pregnancy. I'd like to see Daniel's story written next the were-bear. He was adorable!
Submitted By: Angelskiss on Sep 21, 2011Great book strong characters both female and male, a good plot with lots of action that started right from the beginning. The sex was hot and steamy and never boring. I really enjoyed this book I hope there is a follow-up to it. I would look forward to more of this storyline.
Submitted By: spanktacular on Sep 20, 2011I love all of her work, but this one was in a class of its own. The sex scenes were still hot, but there was more focus on building the characters and the relationships in this book. My favorite book from Cherise Sinclair by far, and that's saying a lot. Hopefully this is the start of a new series as there were a few side characters that I'd like to see follow-up on (hint hint if you read your own reviews!)
Submitted By: sassygirl76 on Sep 19, 2011I am going to say that the sexual tension, chemistry and the sex itself was HOT to the TOUCH...Loved it. Unfortunately the storyline did not keep me riveted. I think that if the main character (Vicki) had less control/trust issues I would of enjoyed this book more. Overall I will read it again and I will definitely read anything this author writes.
Submitted By: jdloelo on Jul 22, 2011This was my first book by this author, but it will not be my last. A great read that is not just sex, (even though those scenes are smoking hot). The males are so hot and in charge, and yet gental and sweet and caring. It is the perfect mix. This book is worth every penny and on my top ten list. This is not a short read, so be ready to read. All I can say is just buy it, you won't regret it.
Submitted By: kgatkins on Jul 21, 2011Loved this book. Great character development, I fell in love with Vic. Great secondary characters also, I would love to read more about them (hint, hint to the author). Very entertaining read with lots of action.
Submitted By: DrJ on Jul 14, 2011Another compelling Cherise Sinclair novel that is a change from her more recent publications. A story that moves a government agent out of her comfort zone and brings changes in her relationships that have extreme consequences for her future. Very erotic but the loving serves the story and not the other way around. Just a fantastic read! Already one of my favorites!
Submitted By: MsMia on Jun 27, 2011Paranormal romantic supense at its best! Cherise Sinclair never disappoint me!
Submitted By: shelby123 on Jun 26, 2011Cherise Sinclair has a je-ne-sais-quoi that it is impossible to just stop reading once you turn the first page. This story is no exception. I loved that the heroine is a bad ass but a real softy. I enjoyed that she is a very strong woman split between duty and love. It is not the normal BDSM that we are used with Cherise Sinclair but the fluidity of the words was never boring and never enough. I hope she will consider another menage story like this which is the genre I love the most.
Submitted By: hkern on Jun 21, 2011It has been difficult to rate this book because it is a wonderful story, but it was hard to read. I have read all of C.Sinclair's books and usually read them in one go, but this one didn't flow. Why? - I think it is because it wants to cover too much ground, hold too many characters and small extra stories - the sprites,the dwarves, the frosen sprite, the brownies - whatever that is, if it should have been there the book should have been 500 pages - I would have worked with 'the little people'!
Submitted By: myjoy on Jun 17, 2011Wow - great read! Lots of action, characters you love and identify with, humor, good family relationships and (of course) alpha heroes, incredibly hot sex and explosive chemistry. The story moved along well and, well...it was fun! Cherise Sinclair is one of my favorite writers, and with each new book, I remember why. A very satisfying story!