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Edge of Hunger [NOOK Book]


Ian Buchanan has always felt the unknown--the deep, impenetrable darkness that lives within him. Yet he is determined to lead a "normal" life, ignoring the unsettling dreams in which he succumbs to his wildest desires.... Until psychic Molly Stratton tracks him down, claiming to share his sensual nightmares.

The petite Molly even has the bite marks to prove it. And she's also received a message from Ian's deceased mother: an enemy is near. ...

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Edge of Hunger

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Ian Buchanan has always felt the unknown--the deep, impenetrable darkness that lives within him. Yet he is determined to lead a "normal" life, ignoring the unsettling dreams in which he succumbs to his wildest desires.... Until psychic Molly Stratton tracks him down, claiming to share his sensual nightmares.

The petite Molly even has the bite marks to prove it. And she's also received a message from Ian's deceased mother: an enemy is near. And it's time for the creature inside Ian to finally awaken. A creature with an insatiable hunger that must be controlled before it overtakes them both...

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Byrd (Last Wolf Watching) successfully combines a haunting love story with complex world-building in the first volume of her Primal Instinct urban fantasy romance series. At first, Ian Buchanan refuses to listen to Molly Stratton's claims of a psychic connection to his dead mother, but then the petite blonde shows up with bite marks on her neck matching those he'd given her in a sexually charged dream. Ian soon realizes he must free his long-denied animal nature in order to battle an inhuman danger. His beast-self demands to be fed with violent sex, but Ian can't bring himself to harm Molly. His reluctance threatens their burgeoning relationship and could allow evil a toehold in the world. The love scenes are less raw than some in Byrd's earlier books, but the intense emotional and sexual connection between her leads remains. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781460308189
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 11/15/2012
  • Series: Primal Instinct
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 89,442
  • File size: 822 KB

Meet the Author

Rhyannon Byrd is a longtime fan of romance and the author of more than twenty paranormal and erotic titles. She has been nominated for three Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards, including best Shape-shifter Romance. After having spent years enjoying the glorious sunshine of the American South and Southwest, Rhyannon now lives in the beautiful, but often chilly county of Warwickshire in England with her husband and family. Visit her website at

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Read an Excerpt

There will be time, there will be time

To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet…

T. S. Eliot

Henning, Colorado, Friday Afternoon

The woman was trouble.

Ian Buchanan knew it the second he set eyes on her as she climbed out of a banged-up, dust-covered, dark blue rental. Knew it as he set down his hammer, watching her walk toward him, her small frame backlit by the burning orange glow of the sweltering afternoon sun while she carefully made her way through the rugged terrain of the building site.

And the first words out of that soft, pink mouth—her lips glossy and sweet looking, voice mellow with a sexy, husky little rasp to it—confirmed his suspicions.

"Mr. Buchanan, my name is Molly Stratton and I'm here because… well, I know this sounds crazy, but your mother, Elaina, asked me to come and find you."

She didn't laugh. Didn't smile. She just stared up at him with the biggest pair of brown eyes he'd ever seen. Waiting.

"Is that right?" He ignored her small outstretched hand while he pushed his sunglasses up on top of his head, picked up his Coors, and took a long swallow of the beer. The glass rim of the longneck was cool against his sweat-salted lips, the beer even cooler as it went down his dry throat in a long, icy glide. She watched him while he drank, her dark gaze snagging on the column of his throat as it worked. A soft wash of pink warmed the delicate crest of her pale, freckle-dusted cheekbones as she stared, those full lips parted the barest fraction. Something down low in Ian's belly cramped in reaction. His blood went thick.

Oh, yeah, she was trouble, all right.

Ticked at himself for reacting so easily to her, he set the bottle back down on top of his battered cooler with a distinct thud, noting from the corner of his eye the way she flinched at the harshness of the sound.

She was nervous—and obviously crazy as hell. Either that, or a pathetic little con, looking for an easy score.

"So tell me, sunshine," he drawled, injecting just the right amount of ridicule into his deep voice. "You talk to the dead often, or is today just my lucky day?"

Reaching up to hook her windblown hair behind her left ear, she held his hard gaze without so much as a flicker of those long, thick lashes rimming the deep cinnamon brown of her eyes. "As a matter of fact, I do. How often depends on them… not me."

Ian stared at her while those strange words played through his mind. She'd stopped just a few feet away from where he stood, her gaze both shy and direct in that way that always captured a man's attention. The bristling Colorado mountain breeze played havoc with her shoulder-length, honey-blond curls, carrying a scent to his nose lost somewhere between want and need— and something hot caught fire in his blood, like a burning glow heating him from within. Even down deep, in those forgotten places where things always stayed cool and calm…and lifeless—where nothing and no one could touch him—he sensed an uncomfortable spark of awareness.

Dropping his sunglasses back down to shield his eyes, Ian picked up his hammer and went back to work, bracing the wall he'd just raised. He no longer held her gaze, but he still felt her, like a fine tension that vibrated from her body to his own, its rhythm rapid and quivering.

What the hell?

"I know it sounds…impossible," she added, "but it's true."

Yeah, sure it was.

"Don't they have medication for people like you, Miss Stratton?" he asked with a heavy dose of sarcasm, determined to ignore her…the heat…the irritating beads of sweat snaking down his spine beneath the damp cotton of his T-shirt. Not to mention the unwanted sexual hunger twisting belligerently in his gut. "What'd you do, miss a dose?"

"I'm not psychotic or delusional." She sighed, sounding tired. Weary even. "And I'm not after your money or—"

"Good," he grunted with a low laugh, his grin crooked as he glanced up at her through the dark shield of his glasses, "because I ain't got any. Would you believe I blew every cent I own on the Psychic Friends Network?"

She frowned, but determination etched the delicate angles of her face, giving her the illusion of being tough, when he knew instinctively that she was anything but. Crazy? Obviously. But there was something vulnerable and soft in her that fascinated the hell out of him.

God, he was so fucked.

"Look, I realize this seems like some kind of joke to you, but I'm not trying to scam you," she murmured, her left hand fidgeting with the bottom button of her shirt, just above the waistband of her jeans. "I really don't want your money or anything else. The only thing I'm asking is that you pay attention to what I have to tell you."

"Now see," he replied in a slow slide of words worthy of any natural-born Southerner, "the problem is that I'm too much of a bastard to pay you even that." He pointed the hammer in the direction of her car, needing her gone. Now. Before he gave in and forgot why bedding her would be such a bad idea. "So why don't you just hightail your crazy little ass out of Henning and back to wherever it is you came from."

A soft sound of irritation rumbled in her chest, making him grin despite himself. It was refreshing to know that little miss innocent looking had a temper, and he found himself wondering what she looked like when that passionate temper was truly riled.

Sweat popped out on his forehead that had nothing to do with the heat rolling up at them in waves from the sweltering ground—and everything to do with the feminine package standing before him. It was his own fault, but he'd been too long without a woman. Now he was in a bad way, and Ian knew he should've ignored his waning interest and dropped by Kendra Wilcox's earlier in the week. If he'd gone ahead and gotten laid, then maybe he wouldn't be getting geared up over the strange little female standing in front of him, talking about conversations with his mother's ghost.

"Look, Mr. Buchanan. If forgetting about this whole thing was an option, then believe me, I would. Unfortunately, it isn't. I've no other choice than to follow through with this, whether you act like an arrogant jerk or a gentleman."

Mumbling around the nail he'd just placed between his lips, Ian arched one brow. "Much to my mother's heartache, I never did take to the whole Southern gentleman way of life. It all started the fateful afternoon I put a frog down Sally Simpson's pants in kindergarten," he informed her, setting the nail in place. He flashed her an unrepentant smile, getting a perverse pleasure out of pushing her buttons. "And I've never changed."

"And you sound remarkably proud of that fact." Her voice held a hint of challenge that twisted the irritating hunger in his gut a notch tighter, and he nearly smashed his thumb as he swung down on the nail head. "A rebel through and through."

"Which really shouldn't come as a surprise," he rumbled softly. "If you're so chatty with my mother, then I'm sure she's already warned you that I'm a stubborn son of a bitch. You're wasting your time here, Molly."

The use of her first name had her blinking with an odd look of surprise. And damn, but if he didn't feel that strange little jolt between them again, like something electric and tangible skittering on the air. Something too intimate for comfort. He didn't know why he'd used her first name, but he couldn't deny that he liked the way it felt on his lips.

"She's told me enough for me to know that you'd be less than cooperative," she answered after a moment, while the wind picked up, molding the soft cotton of her plain white shirt to a petite pair of high, rounded breasts. "She also warned me that you'd react this way."

Ian cut her a sharp look from behind his dark lenses, but bit back an even sharper retort. It was twisted, but the harder she pushed him, the more he wanted her.

"So, we can either go ahead and have this conversation here," she pressed on with firm conviction, taking advantage of his silence, "or I can follow you around night and day until you give in and listen to what I have to say. Your mother isn't going to leave me alone until you do."

Bent over, his weight resting on one arm while he held the hammer in the other hand, Ian studied her. Studied her in the way a fighter sizes up his next opponent. She sounded so confident, but her body language told a different story. The little details he picked up on, like the way she kept licking at her lower lip, her left hand now clenching and unclenching at her side while her right held on to the leather strap of her purse as if it was a lifeline, told a story of their own. White knuckles. Rigid spine. In the base of her pale throat, her pulse fluttered with a telltale sign of nerves. Or was it fear? Arousal?

Whatever it was, Ian suddenly found himself captivated by the intimate sight of the pulsing vein beneath that smooth, flawless skin. It looked too delicate, too fragile, like something he could so easily sink his teeth into and mark. Taste. Something that was too much like the dreams he'd been having, and it scared the shit out of him.

"Even if what you're saying is true, which I don't believe for one second, what could my mother want with me?" he asked in a low, rough blast of words that felt ripped out of his chest, all traces of sarcasm and humor gone. "We didn't talk for the last sixteen years of her life and she's been gone for five months. Seems a little late to start mending fences now."

"Elaina regrets that all those years were wasted," she said with such an earnest expression, he honestly believed that she was buying her own bullshit. God, she really was a whack job. "Still, she contacted me because there are things she wants you to know. Important things she wishes she had explained while she still had the time. But first…" She paused, and the look in those big brown eyes made him want to reach out to her and— hell, Ian didn't have a clue what he would have done. He was saved from finding out when she cleared her throat, wet her bottom lip with a nervous flick of her tongue, then quietly said, "I'm sorry to have to tell you that someone close to you is in danger."

Aw, shit. What kind of sick game was this woman playing? Whatever it was, his patience was at an end.

"In case you've missed the clues, Miss Stratton, I'm going to spell it out for you all nice and slow like. I do not think this kind of crap is funny." Each word came from his lips with biting precision, his voice low, hard, expression even harder as he pulled off his glasses and glared at her through narrowed eyes. "Never have, even when my mother was parading her psycho friends in and out of our lives and putting my little brother and sister through an emotional wringer. I'm warning you now, get back in your dingy little rental and just get the hell away from me."

She crossed her arms over her chest, as if she could shield herself from the blast of his anger, but she didn't budge. "Trust me, Mr. Buchanan. Ian. I'm not enjoying this any more than you are, but I made a promise to your mother and I'm keeping it. I know she made mistakes, but she's trying to set things right. And if you don't listen to her—to me—to us …then someone is going to end up hurt. I can feel it."

Why in God's name do I always have to go for the psychotic ones? he silently cursed, running one hand through his hair so hard that his scalp stung. Must be in my goddamn genes.

That was one of the reasons he'd kept things going with Kendra—the simple fact that she was so different from the women he usually hooked up with. The hard-nosed CPA didn't take to bullshit any more than Ian did, and they both got what they wanted from each other, even if their encounters left him with that gnawing edge in his gut. Left him cold inside. Left him… wanting.

It sucked, sure—but he'd learned to live with it.

"Like I said before, my mother died five months ago. Now get off my property. This is private land and you're trespassing."

He watched her mouth firm. Then those delicate, narrow shoulders pulled back, determination showing in every rigid line of her soft, womanly body. "No."

Ian laid down his hammer and rose to his full height, expecting her to turn and hightail it away. At six-four, he was tall and broad, with enough muscles to make most people back down when he wanted them to. Wearing his meanest scowl, he held her stare, the look in his eyes purposefully hostile and fury-darkened. When he finally spoke, his words came in a low, silken rasp that he expected to buy results. Immediate ones. "What do you mean, no?"

What did she mean? She had no idea.

You are insane, Molly. Freaking certifiable.

How did you explain death and ghosts and pure, bone-chilling evil?

How did you explain the existence of hell on earth… or the fact that monsters really did hide in the shadows?

That something was watching you over your shoulder?

That we, humanity, were no longer alone?

How did you explain to someone that their entire world was about to change, never to be the same again?

Molly didn't know—didn't have the answers. She was only the bearer of bad news, not its source, and she thought of the old saying: Don't shoot the messenger.

Somehow, she didn't think Ian Buchanan was going to be so understanding. Her mind felt dazed, and she knew why. It was pathetic, but the man's physical presence had short-circuited her mental faculties. He was…she faltered for a word that would do all that beautiful, hard-edged male power and arrogance justice, but failed. Elaina had warned her that he'd be distrustful, but she hadn't mentioned how bitter he'd become.

Or how gorgeous. Despite his crass rudeness, the man was a walking, talking poster boy for every woman's hidden bad-boy fantasy.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 87 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 87 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    EDGE OF HUNGER is a terrific romantic fantasy thriller

    Before his mom Elaina died five months ago, Ian Buchanan and she were somewhat estranged as she wanted him to be a perfect southern gentleman and he preferred being a rebel without a cause. He does not hide the fact he is not grieving her.

    In Henning, Colorado psychic Molly Stratton informs Ian that his mother has contacted her because she wants to speak to him. Ian is scornful of Molly's claim that his mom sent her to warn him someone close to him will die if he fails to heed her. He also tells Molly he has no reason to listen to his mom when he didn't pay attention to her when she lived. Ian's mom is worried about her son as she failed to warn him about his Merrick supernatural blood that he must accept without any doubts. Several centuries ago, his ancestor fought, defeated, but could not kill so he exiled the evil Casus. However, Casus escaped banishment and has returned with the intent of killing Ian and his loved ones. Ian's girlfriend Kendra is killed and the culprit targets a feisty psychic whom he recently met through his dead mother while he dreams of discussions with his mom.

    The first Primal Instincts urban fantasy romance will grip the audience from the moment Molly accosts Ian and never slows down as the heroine struggles to persuade Ian of the danger. The keys to this fine opening tale are Byrd land seems genuine as evil arrives due mostly to Ian's initial reactions of being attracted to a psychotic and the romantic subplot simmers with attraction, but never supersedes the danger. EDGE OF HUNGER is a terrific thriller starring a reluctant hero, a fascinating psychic, and a chilling malevolence who calmly kills as if he is biting into a sandwich.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 31, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Pretty good

    My first Byrd book. Nice and easy read. Well written and interesting. Kept my interest and I didn't find it boring.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Edge of Hunger by Rhyannon Byrd

    Reviewed for; book release Apr09<BR/><BR/>Yippee! Something new in the paranormal genre to read about--by yet another author who¿s making the jump from small-press to mainstream publishing. Rhyannon Byrd¿s first HQN Paranormal release is ¿Edge of Hunger¿ and after reading it, I¿m just hungry for more.<BR/><BR/>Molly is a woman who is used to protecting herself from the scorn and disbelief of the rest of the world. When her latest `case¿ won¿t let her be, she accepts her ghostly task¿find the ghost¿s oldest son and convince him to listen to her because someone he cares for is in danger. Molly knew the job would be difficult. She also knew it might be dangerous. But she had no idea it would involve sex, blood, erotic dreams, and bite marks!!<BR/><BR/>Ian is a man who uses his imposing physical appearance to keep himself apart. He uses physical labor and `sex-only¿ encounters to try and bury the hunger inside him. But lately, that¿s not working so well and his dreams are becoming darker and even frighten him. So when his dreams suddenly incorporate the wacko psychic who won¿t leave him alone, he¿s not sure how to contain the feelings she seems to awaken in him. And when she shows up sporting the marks he put on her while dreaming¿well, even Ian can admit this situation might just be a bit more than unusual.<BR/><BR/>I¿ve been a big fan of Byrd¿s erotic novels for a couple of years now. I can almost feel my fingers tingling as the passion transfers from the page to my brain. She¿s done a great job here of portraying that passion with the growing sense of caring and love that¿s a must for mainstream press. The story flew so smoothly I was almost surprised to realize I was nearing the end¿and I didn¿t want it to end! Another mark of a talented writer...and her characters?<BR/><BR/>Ah me, I came to care for Molly and her incredible patience, and Ian with his incredible stubbornness! I swear there were times I wanted to jump into the book and smack Ian upside the head! That was my only complaint with the book¿Ian and his bullheaded determination to fight the obvious. Of course, without that the book would have been much shorter so I¿ll mark that down as a needed plot contrivance; but I hope this doesn¿t become a trademark for her heroes now.<BR/><BR/>The paranormal elements in this story are interesting and different from the normal werewolves, vampires, witches, etc available en masse today. Rhyannon Byrd hooked me with just enough information to make this tale work, yet it¿s easy to tell there¿s more new data to come. So I¿ll be waiting impatiently for the next two scheduled releases in May and June where she continues this series with books about Ian¿s sister and brother, respectively. If you¿re looking for something new and hot in the paranormal romance genre, try ¿Edge of Hunger¿ in April 2009. I¿m glad I did.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 12, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Good Start!

    This is a great start to this series.

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  • Posted January 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Enjoyable series

    First of her novels I've read after a friend recommended her to me. I really loved the story line and plot. Nice work!

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  • Posted August 17, 2011

    Great book

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Posted April 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    loved it!!!

    awesome story!!

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  • Posted September 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Worth reading.

    When I first started reading this I was like "What have I gotten myself into?!?!?" I seriously didn't like what I had read Which was only ten pages! But then I was like "Come on, finish what you started." So I did and I loved it! Lol!!!
    I can't wait to get the second one.

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  • Posted July 11, 2009


    loved it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2009


    This was one if the worst books I ever read. It wasnt because of the characters or the plot. It was the way it was written. I have never ever had a author use so many descriptive words in one sentence an for stupid things that no reader would care about. The word "like" is on a page at least 5 different times. Needless to say I was very diappointed in this books but what was worse was I bought all three before I read one because I had such high hopes for this author.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 87 Customer Reviews

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