I posted my WIP, the last book in the Chimera Chronicles series, lucky number 7, tentatively titled Out Like a Dragon, for Weekend Writing Warriors this week, and I realized I’d never posted an excerpt of my brand new release!
Her Sexy Beast (Chimera Chronicles 6) is my ninth book baby to be born into the world.
This excerpt takes place about a week after Sofia and Roan meet. He longs to make a connection with her, but is too afraid of being hurt to follow through.
***“Whoaaa!” The word slipped from Sofia’s lips without conscious thought as the ladder she was standing on tilted sideways. She grappled for the side of the cash office and her fingers caught the rough shingles. Her other hand was partially supporting the brightly painted wooden sign that perched on the roof of the cash office—normally. The ladder teetered on one leg.
In such moments, your life was supposed to flash through your mind, but all she experienced as fear stabbed through her chest, time slowed, and her fingers burned at maintaining her current, precarious situation, was regret for tackling the repair.
The brilliant idea had been to show everyone she was approachable, and grounded enough to get her hands dirty, not kill herself.
Should she risk a jump to the weedy gravel? That might be the wise move under other circumstances, but the unwieldy sign, heavy with water damage and age, was hanging on by a thread and might tear free and strike her.
All her weight was on one leg to keep the remaining ladder support from losing contact with the ground and her thigh muscle ached, trembling with the strain. Finally, the fatigued muscle gave way.
The ladder rocked and her fingers slipped. She was falling in slow-motion. She scrabbling at the ladder with the now empty hand, searching the rapidly approaching ground for the best place to land. This was going to hurt.
Suddenly, the ladder righted. Two strong arms bracketed her from behind against the shingles. A muscled chest pressed against her back. The bronze tattoos covering the arms on either side of her identified her savior. Roan.
Despite the bruising on her pride left over of their last meeting, relief prickled through her, but the feeling evaporated as he steadied her.
His body heat and strength surrounded her. A shiver zinged down the back of her neck and arms. Her heart do-si-doed from drumming in fear to a frantic, hormone-fueled jive.
She need to speak, to thank him for his rescue, but all the moisture in her mouth had evaporated.
He reached around her and hoisted the dangling sign. His hard, muscled chest brushed against her back. His thighs cradled her butt, the creases of his shorts searing through the fabric of her jeans to stimulate the sensitive nerve-endings beneath. A coil of desire tightened in her stomach. Pressed together as they were, breathing forced her closer to him, but she couldn’t seem to slow the rapid-fire workings of her lungs. She should inch away, but with his hands up to fix the sign, the slightest movement could send them toppling.
He took the hammer and nails from their abandoned location on the roof and lifted the sign back into position, securing it with several strikes of the hammer. His scent wrapped around her as he worked, clean and masculine.
She bit her lips to hold in a moan as he finished and slowly descended. Their positions on the ladder forced his sinewy frame to rub against her sensitized flesh. For all the armor they gave her, her flimsy, cotton T-shirt and jeans might as well have been non-existent. On the ground he held the ladder steady so she could come down.
Unsteady, she dismounted cautiously. She needed to make sure he understood how grateful she was. With Tia so frail, she couldn’t afford to get injured.
Safely on the ground, she paused, still clinging to the rails of the ladder. The rapid meter of her pulse banged in her ears. She inhaled slow and long. Time to face him. She was an adult woman. How hard could it be? Pep talk over, she wheeled to thank him, and faced empty air.
He was gone.***
Stolen off the street as a teen, tortured for months, altered into a monster, and dumped with only vague memories of his past, Ronan found refuge in the sideshow of a traveling carnival. It’s a lonely life, but it’s all he’s known for years—until he finds himself transforming further day by day, his temper becoming more and more volatile, his body changing into what he can only label as a beast.
Sofia Flores always knew what she would do when she grew up, help run the family-owned carnival. She’s been studying for years, first as a scholarship student at boarding school, then college, and finally getting her MBA. Now, at last, it’s time to take up the reins. But she never bargained with her own fascination for her Tia’s star attraction, Ronan. Not only does he appear not to return her interest, he seems to actively dislike her.
Nothing could be further from the truth, however. Ronan is immediately captivated by the carnival’s curvy new business manager, but he knows the score—beautiful women like Sofia aren’t meant for men like him.
Unfortunately, Ronan has more to worry about than unrequited feelings. Since meeting Sofia, his body reshapes more each day. He’s losing himself to the beast. And the shadowy remnants of the people who did this to him are hot on his trail.
The path to a Fairytale ending is never smooth…