Series: Urban Heat Series , Book 1.0
By: Tressie Lockwood | Other books by Tressie Lockwood
Published By: Amira Press, LLC
Published: Feb 07, 2013
ISBN # 9781937394851
By: Tressie Lockwood | Other books by Tressie Lockwood
Published By: Amira Press, LLC
Published: Feb 07, 2013
ISBN # 9781937394851
Word Count: 49,387
Available in: Epub, HTML, Microsoft Reader, Mobipocket (.mobi), Adobe Acrobat
DescriptionShiya flew to Juneau, Alaska to confirm if the man she's been chatting up online is truly a shape-shifter. This was to be her first job in the field. As a tech geek, she's used to staying behind her computer and gathering all pertinent information about the existence of shifters so her family--shifter hunters for generations--can go and do the dirty work. All Shiya was supposed to do was to seduce Birk into revealing himself. What she didn't count on was how hot the man was in real life. She couldn't deny their chemistry and the reaction her body had to Birk. When Birk suggests they act on their mutual attraction, she can't say no. Then he sets the stakes even higher. He wants her to make his best friend her lover too. Kotori is the hottest Native American Shiya has ever seen, and her lust is ignited even more, especially given the danger she sees lurking deep in Kotori's eyes.
Two lovers--her family doesn't have to know she took the seduction to something physical, right? And when her play is over, she can go back home to San Diego with no qualms. After all, they're just animals. Shiya's reasoning is put to the test when her heart gets involved, and her life in danger when Birk and Kotori reveal they know who she is. Shiya's family wants Birk and Kotori dead, and her lovers want to lure the famous hunter family to their deaths. Shiya is caught in the middle. All that's left is abduction and seduction until something gives.
Reader Rating: (10 Ratings)
Excerpt:“Well?” Birk said, and Shiya took him in. Big, broad shoulders, and a powerful chest, tall and sexy in his jeans and jacket with hiking boots. He stood beside her table, leaning on it with both hands flat like he expected her to raise her chin and kiss those very delicious-looking lips. She stared into his eyes—dreamy blue eyes that did things to her insides and shortened her breath. His rugged jaw had been shaved clean, which she appreciated, and he smelled incredible. The entire package topped with overlong dirty-blond hair melted her to her core. This was a veterinarian? Seriously?
“Well what?” She cast him an expectant look. If he wanted a hello kiss, he better do the initiating—this time. Her belly had done flip-flops the entire flight out here from San Diego, and while it thrilled her to death to be in Juneau, Alaska, the reason she’d come did not produce calm self-assurance. She licked her lips, and he followed the movement of her tongue with such an expression of lust in his gaze, he might as well have met it with his own tongue.
A sudden urge to flee came over Shiya, but she resisted. She had something to prove to herself and to her family. Still, who the hell knew he would be this enigmatic in real life? Skype had lied to her. She almost laughed at her mental joke, and he moved to sit down.
“There you are, the little playmate I’ve enjoyed for the last two months.”
“It’s good to see you in real life, Birk.” She glanced around at the pub, taking in the interesting atmosphere. Sawdust covered the floor, and deer heads hung on the wall. The light fixtures that looked like a ring of lanterns from the Old West illuminated the room just enough to see. The piano player on a raised platform belted out lively tunes and called a greeting each time someone entered the building. “This place is awesome. I’m glad you chose it.”
Birk touched the tips of her fingers, and electricity rose through her hands, up her arms, and down to her nether regions. She turned her attention back to him and made the excuse of needing to push her glasses up to pull away from him. The very fact that her stupid eyes had itched to no end before she came pissed her off. She’d intended to wear contacts and look her best, but that was the first fail. A sexy dress and some slinky high heels went down the drain right after it. Early fall was supposed to still be warm in Juneau, but today had turned cold. She had opted for a gray sweater dress with a deep, loose neckline to show off the swell of her breasts, paired with thigh-high boots. Where she went wrong with the clothing and the contacts, she determined she would make up in attitude.
Shiya unzipped her jacket and pulled it off her shoulders. Birk popped up from his seat and came around to help her. The brush of his big hands over her arms sent chills chasing each other down her spine. She uncrossed her legs and recrossed them the other way while he arranged her jacket over the back of her chair.
“Would you like something to drink?” he offered when he sat.
“What do they have?”
“Whatever you want.” He made it sound like he was the one organizing everything with the sweep of his hand, as if the manager would rush out to fulfill her wish if she requested something not on the menu. Were all shifters this way? Did they make women sweat to be taken?
Okay, Shiya, chill out, girl. You’re here to seduce, not to jump into bed. Remember that.
When she first volunteered to take this one, her dad and her brother had looked at her like she’d lost her mind. After all, she was the researcher, the person assigned to gather available information, chase down leads over the phone, or get a name and pass on what she learned to those who were skilled for fieldwork. Shiya spent her life behind a computer screen. This was not her, but when she’d almost accidentally carried on a flirtation with Birk over Skype, well, she couldn’t let one of her sisters take this, could she? After all, her simple job consisted of winning Birk’s trust and getting him to confirm his shifter status. No more, no less.
“How about hot apple cider?” she suggested. “That seems like it will hit the spot.”
Birk nodded and placed the order, along with what they called Alaskan Amber for himself. Beer, she noted, when his drink arrived. Shiya sipped hers.
“You’re quiet,” Birk said. “We teased each other late into the night online.” He leaned toward her, and her breath caught in her throat. “Not that I’m complaining. I mean, my computer screen didn’t do you justice. I knew you were beautiful, but I’m blown away by the real thing.”
She lowered her lashes and toyed with her mug. “Thank you.” When she looked up again, she tilted her head to the side and met his gaze with a flirtatious one of her own. “You’re pretty sexy yourself.”
“I do feel a bit cheated.”
She touched the stark black rim of her glasses. “What do you mean?”
Birk’s brows lowered, and he rubbed his chin. “I believe you promised me a kiss, and I haven’t gotten one.”
She chuckled. That’s why he’d stood over her, saying well. “We can’t have you disappointed, now can we?”
Shiya leaned forward. Even her sisters kissed their quarries. She could do no less than that. A chaste kiss, enough to entice but keep the distance between them. Just before their lips met, a cleared throat and the thunk of a jar landing on the table interrupted. Shiya drew away from Birk and turned to look into the weathered face of a woman whose age she couldn’t determine with all the wrinkles, the scraggly black hair, and the rumpled, worn clothing.
“Devil’s club juice,” the old woman announced, and she held up two fingers as if that meant something.
Birk said words she didn’t quite catch, but the woman focused on Shiya.
“Um, thanks, but I don’t need—”
“For when tired. Brew it myself.” The woman tapped the bottle. She brought a pouch from her pocket and held it up. “Caribou leaf salve.” She patted her chest, and Shiya wondered if the salve was meant to grow the boobs, but her breasts were a good size if she did say so herself. The old woman explained. “Heal wound from bear claw.”
Shiya flinched. “I don’t think I’ll be mauled by a bear anytime soon, but thanks.”
“Bad woman. You bad woman!”
The finger pointed in Shiya’s face pissed her off. “Because I won’t buy your products? I’m sorry, Nana, but I don’t need it!”
“No Nana. No Nana,” the old woman almost shouted.
A deep voice called something out in another language, and the old woman went silent, although her eyes snapped with resentment as she stared at Shiya. Grateful for whoever had gotten her to stop the harassment, Shiya peered past the woman and had to tilt her head way back at the man who strode up to their table. Mercy!
He stood at least six foot five or six, and had Birk by a good three or four inches. His midnight-black hair and dark eyes, paired with a chiseled jawline and massive build, gave off an air of danger. All that would be more than enough to make a woman either throw herself into his arms or run in the opposite direction, knowing she was in over her head. What added to this sexy Native American man was the tattoo of a knife on the right side of his muscular neck.
Shiya watched as he conversed with the old woman. While neither spoke in English, she could tell he chastised her in a firm but respectful manner. After a few minutes, the woman eyed Shiya and then spun on her booted feet and marched out of the pub in an obvious funk.
“I apologize for my grandmother,” the big man said to her.
Shiya waved her hand. “It’s fine. No harm done.”
When Birk spoke, she realized he’d also spoken to the woman in the language the man used, but he seemed to know but a few words, and the old woman had ignored him. “Shiya, this is my friend Kotori Munro. I mentioned him a few times while we talked.”
“This is Kotori?” For some reason, she had always pictured a small man. Birk had told her Kotori was attacked a few years back by a wolf. He had a scar on his throat, an injury that almost took his life, but instead took his voice, until his grandmother’s potions healed him. Maybe she should have bought that salve and devil juice, or whatever she’d called it. Shiya took him in, blown away by how attractive he was, especially with the tattoo on Kotori’s neck, which covered the scar.
“It’s nice to meet you,” she murmured, still intimidated by this man’s size. “I’ve heard a lot about you.”
He nodded and dragged up a chair from another table. She guessed the apology was the extent of what she would get for now.
“Shiya and I were discussing when and where we would stop playing with each other and get to what really interests us,” Birk told Kotori.
“Oh were we?” Shiya shook her head at his boldness, and all her nervousness drifted away. What if she did? No one had to know. She hadn’t told her dad or her siblings about talking to Birk so much online, and it wouldn’t be like she was veering off from her job. She’d fast-forward it.
“She may look prim and proper, my friend, but under those cute glasses, our Shiya is a tigress waiting to get loose.”
She waggled a finger at Birk. “Listen, you, you’re going to get me in trouble.”
“With who?” Kotori cut in.
She hesitated and then forced a smile. “With my morals.”
Birk threw his head back laughing. “Your morals did not complain when I strip-danced for you on camera.”
“You call that dancing?” She wrinkled her nose at him and then stuck out her tongue. “Besides, I wasn’t the one doing it.”
“You could be.” His voice dropped low, and he reached for her fingers to hold in his warm grasp. Her heart hammered in her chest. “For me . . . and for Kotori.”
Her eyes widened. She retrieved her hand and held both up. “Hold on, what? Are you kidding, Birk? We both knew we might, you know, see what happens, but we never discussed a . . . a . . .”
Man, was she being a prude now. Her sisters had juggled boyfriends countless times and dared any of the guys to complain about it. Of course, she didn’t know if all were intimate relationships, but still, the girls took it in stride. Not only was Shiya venturing into territory unheard of scoping out shifters, she was being offered a ménage à trois with two of them?
Reader Reviews (5)
Submitted By: lyjo46 on Jan 27, 2014I loved loved this book, it has an great story line ,with well developed characters . I loved the chemistry between the hero and heroine. a must read
Submitted By: sharm01 on Jan 15, 2014As a fan of this author's work, I could not finish this story. The premise of this story suggests a strong heroine, but something appears to be missing in the ménage.
Submitted By: same on Mar 24, 2013Nice surprise. TLs book is quite good. It has intrigue, highly erotic, action, good character development. Overall good read. Actually looking forward to potential Part II and III, especially with the older sister or even the dad, Wow!
Submitted By: betty333 on Feb 16, 2013Blah
Submitted By: lilmissnet on Feb 8, 2013Great read, love the chemistry between the characters.