Shifter's Claim (Shadow Shifters Series #4)

Shifter's Claim (Shadow Shifters Series #4)

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by A. C. Arthur

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Half man, half animal, a Shadow Shifter is sworn to protect females-human or otherwise-from the savage fury of his own nature...

Rich, handsome, and successful-hotel magnate Sebastian "Bas" Perry could have any woman he desires. But despite his animal attraction to women, he avoids relationships at all costs. As a Shadow Shifter, he must defend


Half man, half animal, a Shadow Shifter is sworn to protect females-human or otherwise-from the savage fury of his own nature...

Rich, handsome, and successful-hotel magnate Sebastian "Bas" Perry could have any woman he desires. But despite his animal attraction to women, he avoids relationships at all costs. As a Shadow Shifter, he must defend innocent humans from the deadliest of his kind. And the most dangerous game of all is falling in love...

It takes a special kind of woman to hunt a predator, to tame the beast-and to capture a man's heart...

Priya Drake is an ambitious reporter hungry for a story. At a presidential fundraiser, she sets her sights on the mysterious and magnetic Bas Perry, a man with a secret she's determined to uncover. Stalking her prey back to his hotel, the hunter soon becomes the hunted-when Bas takes her in his arms and unleashes the animal within. For Priya, it is more than a night of wild, reckless passion. It's the story of a lifetime. But can she betray the man she loves? in Shifter's Claim by A.C. Arthur.

"The shifter universe just got sexier...sizzling!"-RT Book Reviews

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Deliciously edgy, sexy, and certainly not to be missed. A.C. Arthur knows how to deliver the heat.” —Lora Leigh, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Just the right amount of danger and exciting read that awakens the appetite for more stories.” —USA Today on Mine to Claim

“The shifter universe just got sexier with the kick-off to Arthur's sizzling new series, Shadow Shifters…intriguing.” —RT Book Reviews

“Arthur does a great job of building up the sexual tension…I'll be looking for the next one in the series.” —Under the Covers

“Romantic…exciting…fast-paced.” —Genre Go Round Reviews

“I am in love with A.C. Arthur's new series, Shadow Shifters. From start to finish, I was absolutely hooked…an incredible roller coaster ride! With amazing suspense and sizzling sparks, Arthur creates a fantastic cast of characters that have secrets and lusts and so much more…Highly recommended to all paranormal romance lovers.” —Romancing the Book

“[A.C. Arthur] will keep you entranced starting at page one. The attraction between the characters is immediate and intense…totally awesome! I can't wait for more!” —Night Owl Reviews

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Shadow Shifters Series, #4
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

The Willard InterContinental Hotel

Washington, D.C.

Present day

“What do you want?” he asked even though he had one arm wrapped firmly around her waist, the other clapped tightly over her mouth.

She’d been following him all night, her gaze fixated on him like a beacon in the dark of night. Bas had tried to ignore it, no, actually he hadn’t. He’d seen her about two minutes after she’d taken her seat at the table just ten feet away from his. She’d smiled and conversed with the others around her, all the while casing the room for something, until landing on him. Females did not normally affect him this way, they didn’t look at him and cause all the blood in his body to run hotter and faster throughout his veins. They didn’t call to him throughout the night in a room full of about six hundred people and they definitely did not wander around hotel hallways attempting to break into private suites—the private suites of Roman Reynolds, Leader of the Stateside Assembly.

She mumbled something against his hand, her lips brushing over his skin with the effort. His teeth gritted so hard he thought his jaw might break, warmth flooding him so fast and so potently he felt like he might melt with the intensity. In seconds his defensive stance shifted to something more powerful, more lethal to anyone on its receiving end. He pressed his body closer, let the curves of hers fit perfectly against him. Her ass was cradled by his now-jutting hips, and felt so sweet he almost gasped. Moving his arm upward just a few inches had the curve of her breasts resting against his arms. But both those actions and reactions were basic—male body parts plus female body parts equaled sexual desire, plain and simple, the circle of life so to speak.

Then he inhaled and that circle broke, it bent and reshaped until Bas felt like it was a lasso instead, tightening slowly, keeping them together regardless. Her scent consumed him, filtering through his body like an infusion of pleasure, a drug so pure and so powerful he automatically wanted more. Leaning forward, his lips only inches from her earlobe he whispered, “If you scream I’ll break your neck.”

Slowly, he moved his hand away from her mouth, keeping her body pressed tightly against the wall, firmly covered by his own.

“You really need to work on your greeting,” came her cool response, delivered in a sultry voice that wasn’t so deep as to be off-putting and wasn’t too high as to work his nerves. It was, he thought, inhaling another dangerous whiff of her scent, alluring.

“Do I now?” Bas asked with a slight chuckle to his tone. “And what do you need to work on? Your surveillance skills maybe? You picked the wrong room and the wrong person to follow tonight.”

Her next move was totally surprising, especially to Sebastian Perry, multimillionaire resort owner and playboy extraordinaire. She wiggled her ass against his now-throbbing erection, turned, and tilted her head so that when she spoke her next words he could actually see her lips move and feel her warm breath fan over his face.

“Maybe I need to work on you,” she whispered about two seconds before her elbow smashed into the right side of his ribs.

Another man, a human, may have buckled at the assault but Bas, a Faction Leader in the Stateside Assembly, barely blinked. He did, however, take about a five-inch step back, which gave her enough time to spin around and face him, but not get away.

“Oh, that can definitely be arranged,” he replied, moving into her once more.

While he’d loved the enticing cushion of her ass against his dick, he was now enjoying the heavy swells of her breasts pressed against his chest, threatening to overflow from the tight bodice of her dress. Her hair was short, shorter than he usually preferred on his females but cut in a chic style that he now realized echoed her snappy and courageous personality. She had a small face, plump lips, wide eyes, and high cheekbones. Everything about her seemed to scream blatant desire, and yet, there was something else.

“This may be some form of harassment,” she told him, her hands pushing futilely against his chest.

Bas, the smooth, cocky sonofabitch he was sometimes known as, only smiled. “No, this would be harassment,” he told her a second before cupping her ass cheeks in his palms and leaning forward to lick the seam of her lips.

He pressed her into him so hard and so fast his dick just about burst through the zipper of his tuxedo pants. Against his spine his cat pressed for more, teeth bared with the idea of conquest. He should have moved away at the quick inhale of her breath, the renewed effort to break free, but that only spurred Bas on, flicking on a switch inside him that had almost been permanently off.

Moving slightly to the right, his tongue ran a line along her jaw, down the length of her neck to her collarbone, which was left open for his perusal by the extremely low cut of her come-fuck-me red dress. Her breath had hitched, her heart pounding against her chest, her fingers clenching in the lapels of his jacket just as his teeth nipped along her soft skin.

Then she moved and Bas knew what would come next. His hand followed her motion, slipping down the back of her thigh to grab her calf just as her knee planned to slam into his groin. When she pushed at him he let her, but still held on to her leg, leaving her to flail against falling flat on the floor. After a split second of her looking helpless and extremely pissed off, he circled her waist with his free arm, holding her once more against him.

“We just keep ending up in this position,” he said as this time she stood with only one foot on the ground, her other leg—the one that had been meant to assault him—hiked up against his side.

“Is this how you like it? Standing up against the wall, your legs wrapped around me while I pump you until you come?” She opened her mouth to speak, clapped those medium-thick lips shut, and glared up at him instead.

“Let me go,” she said. “Or I’ll scream so loud every security officer in this building will come running.”

“You mean the security officers that allowed you to come onto this private floor and skulk around this private suite?” Bas shook his head. “Apparently, they’re on a smoke break.” He let her leg fall to the ground and moved so that now his fingers traced the line of her neck. “Now, I’ll ask you one more time what you were doing here and you can either answer me”—he lowered his voice purposely, letting his finger glide over the spot on her collarbone he’d just licked seconds before—“or you can fuck me. I’ll let you make the choice.”

*   *   *

Curiosity killed the cat.

That old saying ran back and forth through Priya’s head, bringing forth the memory of sneaking into the boxes underneath her mother’s bed in search of whatever her mother reached for at night that left her so out of it, she couldn’t even get up in the morning to get her kids ready for school.

Now, true to its meaning, it seemed her curious nature had gotten her into another mess she wished she’d never laid eyes on. Only, this six-foot-plus, built like a quarterback, smooth as the buttery tone of his skin, and sexy as … well, sexy as in had her nipples so hard they now hurt, man wasn’t precisely the same as finding her mother’s stash of crack cocaine.

She’d seen him before, earlier tonight at the reception for President Wilson Reed, in the ballroom. Up close and personal he was even more handsome than he had been from two tables away. His skin tone was light, hair wavy and dark, his face was clean-shaven with a strong nose and jawline. And his eyes, they weren’t the smoky-gray color she’d originally surmised. Stormy would be the better word as he glared at her with what she thought could pass as either barely masked contempt or intense sexual desire—she wasn’t really in the mood for either at the moment.

“Look, there’s been some type of misunderstanding,” she tried to tell him, the final word coming as a partial whisper after deciding to ignore his “you can fuck me” remark. That may have been a little cowardly, which was out of character for Priya, but she figured it was a smart move considering she was actually thinking of doing just that with him.

He looked at her as if he could tell she was lying or ready to tell the lie before the words could even escape. She felt like clamping her lips shut and keeping them that way, until he did that thing he’d done with his tongue again—oh, she’d definitely open her mouth the next time he did that.

Right, because sexual arousal was exactly what she should be thinking about in lieu of the e-mails she’d been receiving that threatened the lives of all the people she loved and cherished in this world. Thinking about taking this man up on his oh-so-enticing offer—especially since the self-imposed celibacy she’d endured for the last year was about to take its toll—was definitely more important than following her blackmailer’s orders and saving her family. In some crazy twisted world, she thought with an inward sigh. She knew she had no choice here and for the billionth time tonight wondered how she was going to do what needed to be done, when the people involved were reputedly more powerful than the president himself.

“I’m a reporter from the Washington Post. I wanted to get a comment from Mr. Reynolds about President Reed’s campaign,” she blurted out. “There, satisfied now that you know why I’m here?”

He looked like he was anything but, still he’d released his hold on her, physically, that is. His eyes still bore into her as if he were performing some type of perverted X-ray of her body right in this hallway.

“You waited all night, the entire three and a half hours that Mr. Reynolds was downstairs in that ballroom to follow him to his room to ask for a statement?”

He lifted a brow in disbelief as he spoke. The slight rasp of his deep voice echoing around her as if forever planting itself in her memory, like she’d really forget being felt up by this guy, which was definitely not going to happen.

“It’s my job,” she told him with a shrug. “And since I’m assuming you’re some type of bodyguard and not going to let me get that statement, I’ll just be going.”

Priya was more than shocked that he hadn’t reached out to grab her again, to try and stop her from leaving. Instead, she’d walked about three very uncomfortable steps because she knew he was staring at her ass as she did, before his voice stopped her.

“Have a drink with me?”

She turned. “What?”

He closed the space between them, taking her by her elbow, much more gently than he had touched her before, yet still sending electrifying spikes up her arm.

“We’ll go down to the bar since having you in my room might lead us to other things besides a nice cordial drink.” He continued as if she’d already accepted, walking them to the elevators at the far end of the hall that had brought her up here about fifteen minutes before.

Once they were inside the elevator and she felt like she needed to stop this impending train wreck, Priya turned to him and announced, “I’m not the reporter who sleeps with someone for a story.”

He looked at her then, an amused grin on his face—amused and way too cocky for her, but still sexy as hell.

“Good, because I don’t sleep with reporters. I do, however, take beautiful women to bed and give them a night they’ll never forget. Tonight, however, I’ll settle for a glass of wine.”

Rebuffed and not sure whether or not she disliked it or felt relief, Priya kept her mouth shut. It wasn’t an easy task since she’d always been inclined to ask questions, always searching for answers. Sometimes, however, the answers she found were more than she’d bargained for. That was part of the reason she was here tonight, on this foolhardy mission to uncover something she wasn’t sure she believed herself.

Still, it was apparent that this man knew Reynolds personally. In the last two weeks Priya had interviewed everyone from a receptionist in Reynolds’s office to the manager of the detail shop where his SUV was dropped off every Friday afternoon. Her file on the man was almost an inch thick with one glowing remark after another. He appeared so squeaky clean she’d felt sick each time she flipped through her notes. So, if having a glass of wine with this new person she’d seen with Reynolds could help get this task completed sooner, rather than later, she’d do it, and whatever else she had to, if it would save her family’s life.

Copyright © 2014 by A.C. Arthur

Meet the Author

A.C. Arthur was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland where she currently lives with her husband and three children. An active imagination and a love for reading encouraged her to begin writing in high school and she hasn't stopped since. Her debut novel Object of His Desire was written when a picture of an Italian villa sparked the idea of an African-American/Italian hero. Determined to bring a new edge to romance, she continues to develop intriguing plots, sensual love scenes, racy characters, and fresh dialogue—thus keeping the readers on their toes!

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Shifter's Claim 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the fourth installment of Shadow Shifter’s Series by AC Arthur that will take you on a journey. Sebastian Perry is the owner of Perryville Resort in Sedona, Arizona. Priya Drake is reporter who will do anything to get her story. Priya Drakes is journalist who is on a mission to uncover the strange death that has been happen in Washington DC, like many she believes that shifter lives among them but she doesn’t have any proof. As Priya is determine to get her story she does what any journalist will do. You have to purchase the book to find out what she does. Once Sebastian find out that Priya is there not only for the story but to save her brother life. From the moment they met they clash but there was also an instance attraction that neither is ready to admit. Sebastian does everything to keep Priya from finding out the truth. The more time they spend together the more they begin to let their guard down and now it become down to do they TRUST. Mrs. Arthur bring just the right amount of danger and romance that will keep you entranced starting at page one. The attraction between the characters is immediate and intense…totally awesome. We praise Mrs. Arthur for another great story and I am looking forward to more from those SEXY AS SIN SHIFTER’S. Reviewed by Louise Brown
DAFort More than 1 year ago
Customer rating 5/5.0 August 1, 2014 By Deborah A. Fortner CONCEPT The concept of this story was the latest in Shadow Shifter saga, where the shifters are half man, half animal trying to remain a secret to the world but events are proving it difficult remain in the shadows. STORY In the 4th installment of the Shadow Shifter series, hotel magnate Sebastian Perry is an attractive man that can have any woman he wants, however he is not a fan of relationships and will seek to avoid them no matter what. He is loyal to the Shifters and works diligently to defend the human world from the rogues. His most important assignment, that of trying to steer Priya Drake, a reporter, from exposing the Shifters to the world, and finds himself spellbound by the mutual attraction between them. These two initially meet at the Presidential fundraiser, and the sparks set off once their eyes meet. Priya is determined to uncover Bas’ secret and he is determine to keep the secret at all cost as well as protect his heart. Once the secret is out, will Priya sacrifice her relationship for Bas for a story or does this relationship progress to another great love. CHARACTERS The author did an outstanding crafting these characters. Readers are able to understand and see what past events shaped Sebastian’s character. Readers cannot help but fall in love with this charming and sometimes hard man. He was a stubborn man but once he decided he wanted Priya, he pursued her with single-minded determination. Priya’s character was well-developed in that readers see how her impulsiveness will put her in the most dangerous situations, to where Bas doesn’t whether to throttle her or kiss her senseless. To say these two are explosive together is an understatement. The calor scent is so strong between these two and they are both running from the inevitable. They are drawn to each other and once Priya learns the secret she is in so deep that she knows what must be done to preserve the secret. DIALOGUE The dialogue was engaging and stays in line with the flow of the story. STRUCTURE The structure of this installment fell in line with the other books and picked up right where Passion’s Prey ended. It flowed as well as a t.v. show’s episode. The book will keep readers turning pages and hating to get to the end. There are more secrets revealed in this segment that sets the stage for the next book. A true love story unfolds in the midst of potential exposure. OVERALL Shifter’s Claim was a hot, steamy and enthralling read. Ms. Arthur has done a great job with this series as that I am not an avid reader of paranormal stories. The Shadow Shifter series has proven it is not your typical paranormal romance. The characters are well crafted and the love interests are evenly matched. Readers will continue to fall in love with these characters and series and will not want it to end. Anxiously waiting on the next installment to see which shifter is next to fall in love.
histgirl More than 1 year ago
Shifter’s Claim is an action packed paranormal romance full of intrigue and hot steamy scenes that lean more towards erotica.  I haven’t read the first three books in the Shadow Shifter’s series but I found I was able to catch up on the gist of the main storyline that connected Priya and Sebastian’s love story to the ongoing of a bigger plot line concerning the Shadow Shifter’s. The glossary of terms presented at the beginning of the book explain the terminology that is used by A.C. Arthur and throughout the book there are several references to how the Shadow Shifter ruling government works as well as what the rules and guidelines are that the shifters are expected to follow and live by. I plan on reading the previous books before I attempt to read book 5 in the series because there are some established couples in the book that piqued my interest. Priya Drake is a beautiful, stubborn, intelligent and independent woman. She’s a journalist living in DC who has worked hard to rise above the poverty, abuse and addiction that has plagued her family. One night she witnesses something unusual and from that moment on she’s thrown into a dangerous situation where she is being blackmailed by an anonymous person or persons who want her to expose the shifters living amongst humans. While Priya starts digging into the Shifter world she finds herself caught up in a war between rogues and shadows. Despite the danger she’s determined to discover the truth in order to save herself and her family. Sexy Alpha male jaguar shifter Sebastian “Bas” Perry isn’t going to make things easy for Priya. Publicly he’s known as the successful billionaire playboy who owns a thriving resort in Arizona but Bas is much more than the suave persona he portrays. He’s a Faction Leader for the shifters with a devastating past that has closed him off emotionally. His focus is on protecting his people and that means keeping the tenacious reporter from discovering the truth about the shifter’s who hide amongst humans but how far is he willing to go to stop Priya from writing the story of a lifetime. The animal inside of him wants to break free to claim her while the man he is fears he won’t ever be able to let her go and that’s a dangerous thing for a shifter who is bound by laws that prevent him from exposing himself to humans.  From the first moment Bas and Priya meet the sparks fly and the sexual connection between the two is off the charts. A.C. Arthur balances detailed plot development with a seductive intense romance. It’s a fast paced sensual ride with tons of action.  Four Sunflowers   Copy provided for review. Reviewed by Joy for Crystal's Many Reviewers
asgoodrich More than 1 year ago
Shifter’s Claim is the fourth book in The Shadow Shifters series and can be read as a stand-alone. I have read Ms. Arthur’s spin-off series of novellas, Shadow Shifters: Damaged Hearts, and was excited to get the opportunity to see what she could do within a full-length novel. Suffice it to say, she did not disappoint.  Priya is a journalist looking for a story … a story to confirm the existence of “cat people.” But she isn’t investigating the story to make a name for herself as a journalist. She is being blackmailed and her brother’s life is on the line. While she doesn’t actually believe in the existence of “cat people,” she was pointed in the direction of a specific individual. As she attempts to get closer to him during a fundraiser she is intercepted by Sebastian and her life takes an even more unexpected turn – she just doesn’t know it yet. The chemistry between Priya and Bas is primal … but we are dealing with shifter pheromones after all. Ms. Arthur has a knack for writing intense sex scenes that are raw and primal, thus making Bas and Priya’s immensely pleasurable.  There is a lot of action in this book as the rogues continue their attacks. The author provides bits and pieces of information for readers of the prior books in the series, but does so in such a way that readers who haven’t read books 1-3 yet aren’t lost. If anything, she has peaked my interest even more in the earlier books in the series and I suspect that I will be reading them sooner rather than later as I’m quite interested in the stories of some of the other characters. Shifter’s Claim is an action-packed paranormal romance with plenty of steam to keep you entertained. Ms. Arthur has definitely made a fan of me.  I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.  Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
SHIFTER’S CLAIM is the fourth instalment in A.C.Arthur’s adult, contemporary The Shadow Shifters paranormal romance series focusing on a group of feline shifting jaguars originally from the Amazon. This is millionaire resort owner and jaguar Shadow Shifter Sebastian Perry and newspaper reporter (and human) Priya Drake’s storyline. Although this is the fourth in the series, it can be read as a stand alone although I would suggest reading the series from the beginning to understand all of the lingo etc.   Told from two close third person POVs the focus of the storyline is two fold:  Priya is a reporter who suspects that there are shifters among the humans and she has been forced to gather information about their existence. Priya’s involvement has more to do with a threat against someone she loves then revealing the truth about shapeshifters. While Priya looks for answers, Sebastian and his team are called in to investigate a shipment of designer drugs that may be connected to a government facility known as Comastaz Labs, and a rogue band of jaguar shifters.  When Priya and Sebastian collide, fur will fly when ‘Bas’, as he is called, denies that Priya is his ‘companheiro’ or mate. Shifter’s Claim is a detailed storyline that is somewhat  dependent on prior knowledge of the series. The jaguar shifters have a ruling government not unlike many national  political systems and in this the storyline and premise follows a strict guideline of principles and rules. The secondary characters play a major role throughout the story including most of the previous storyline shifters who all have a specific job description. There is a small index at the beginning of the novel that gives some of the definitions and descriptions. A.C. Arthur pulls the reader into a compelling and imaginative storyline where two people struggle with their attraction to one another. Priya is on a mission to gather information for an unknown source; and Sebastian must stay true to the laws of the shifters and never reveal their existence to human kind. Although Bas’s jaguar knows that Priya is their mate, Sebastian refuses to recognize the call to mate because he knows that he would only bring pain and sorrow to any woman that is connected to him.   Shifter’s Claim is a seductive, intense and spirited storyline of heartbreak and betrayal; family and love; suspense and action.  The Shadow Shifter series takes a passionate look at a species whose goal is to survive in a world dominated by human bigotry and specieism, and through it all, each individual shifter will discover that there is someone out there who is the other half to their soul; who must risk love and a happily ever when all around them someone is trying to take them down.