Taming the Moonby Sherrill Quinn
Olivia Felan has a wild side, all right. Even ignoring the fact that she turns furry and feral once a month, her natural style is take-no-prisoners, full-speed-ahead, come-what-may. But when it comes to her little girl, she doesn't take chances. So when a big bad werewolf alpha steals her daughter,/b>
Animal attraction is only half of the problem. . .
Olivia Felan has a wild side, all right. Even ignoring the fact that she turns furry and feral once a month, her natural style is take-no-prisoners, full-speed-ahead, come-what-may. But when it comes to her little girl, she doesn't take chances. So when a big bad werewolf alpha steals her daughter, Olivia will do whatever it takes to get her baby back. And in this case, that means killing Rory Sullivan.
The trouble is, killing him would mean wasting one sexy beast. Sully is all man, all cop, and as of late, half wolf. When he meets Olivia, Sully's a little glad he stuck his nose into his friends' business and came out with animal senses--until he gets a whiff of the chaos following her around. Now he has to decide whether he can't take his eyes off Olivia because she's too beautiful--or because she's too dangerous. . .
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Taming the Moon
By Sherrill Quinn
BRAVA BOOKSCopyright © 2010 Sherrill Quinn
All right reserved.
Chapter OneDetective Chief Inspector Rory Sullivan chased the rape suspect down the paved pathway in London's Battersea Park, a sense of euphoria he'd never before experienced lending strength and speed to his strides. He had never run this fast, never felt like he could keep running without tiring.
On one level Sully realized it was his new werewolf metabolism that enhanced his abilities. And even as he appreciated that aspect of his ... condition, the fact that he also felt a nearly overwhelming urge to sink his teeth into the man, to feel his hot, rich blood course down his throat didn't escape him.
He hated himself for it. He hated his erstwhile friend Declan O'Connell for getting him into this mess in the first place.
And he hated the one who had turned him. If he ever found out who it was, if he ever had an opportunity to kill the bastard, he'd take it.
He didn't know anything about being a werewolf, but one thing his instincts told him: werewolf justice was swift. And final. He couldn't wait to exact his own on his maker.
He increased his speed, his heightened sense of hearing picking up the sound of the suspect's labored breathing, the thud of shoes on the paved walkway, the shouts of the other officers giving chase.
A snarl worked its way free of his throat. The team couldn't have the creep.The sodding lowlife was his.
Sully launched himself through the air and brought the man down onto the pavement. He flipped him over, taking care to keep the man's lower body under control so the bastard wouldn't get a chance to knee him in the nuts.
Though the son of a bitch tried anyway.
Rage exploded through Sully's skull, making his eyes burn, his teeth ache. A pulse pounded in his throat. Through a haze of crimson he saw the rape suspect's eyes widen, the pupils dilating with fear.
Sully drew in a deep breath and held it, savoring the ethereal essence of that tangy emotion.
"What are you, man?" The rapist struggled beneath him, hands and feet scrabbling for traction on the rough pavement. Blood seeped from scrapes on his cheek and chin, drawing Sully's gaze there.
His nostrils flared with his indrawn breath. Beneath the stench of marijuana and fear was something else. Something good.
God, this guy smelled ...
And this puppy was hungry.
Sully brought his gaze back to the suspect's and leaned closer.
Wide eyes focused on Sully's face. "Your eyes ..." His gaze drifted down to Sully's mouth.
Sully grinned and ran his tongue over the tip of elongated canines. He'd never been one to play with his food before he'd become a werewolf, but now he was finding it could be fun.
"What the fuck are you?" The suspect's voice choked to silence as Sully tightened his hands around the man's throat.
From a distance Sully heard someone call his name, then again. "Sully?" Footsteps crunched along the pathway, gaining speed. "DCI Sullivan!"
The horrified alarm in the newcomer's voice drew Sully away from the wolf and back to himself. He drew in another breath, this time a calming one, and pushed the beast back. He couldn't help giving one last squeeze of his fingers around the rapist's throat, then pushed away from him and stood. He walked a few paces away, his back to the group of uniformed officers who swarmed over the babbling suspect.
He scrubbed shaking hands over his face. Now that the euphoria of the adrenaline rush was fading, he was appalled at his loss of control. One minute he'd been chasing the suspect on foot, the next he'd tackled him to the ground and had been ready-with incredible eagerness-to tear into the man's throat.
One thing he had always prided himself on was his ability to not let criminals get under his skin, not allow them to prod a response from him. Calm and cool, that was DCI Sullivan.
God. What kind of hell had Declan brought him into?
From behind him he heard the slide of restraints being fastened around the suspect's wrists, the scuffle of feet as the man was led away.
"What the hell was that all about?" Detective Constable Aubrey Lindstrom moved in front of Sully. "You return from holiday and start attacking suspects?"
Sully closed his eyes until the burning stopped. Once they felt normal again-once he felt normal again, or as close to normal as possible-he opened them to see Lindstrom standing there, a muscle twitching in his jaw, waiting for a response.
"Nothing?" Lindstrom glanced over Sully's shoulder, then pointed toward the departing police cars. "That bloke is going to tell everyone who will listen that you tried to kill him." His pale blue eyes held a mixture of confusion and frustration. "This is me you're talking to, Sully. Remember? The guy who sees through bullshit?"
DC Lindstrom had a knack for ascertaining when someone was lying-whether it was a suspect or a man he'd worked with for nearly ten years. But Sully couldn't very well tell him what had happened to him on holiday. For one, he wouldn't believe it.
For another thing, it meant potentially exposing his friends as well, which he wouldn't do.
Even if he wanted to break every bone in Declan's body, it wouldn't change anything. Something told him this was a secret better kept than exposed.
If humans found out that werewolves really did exist, he and his friends-and every other werewolf out there-would be in danger.
He shouldn't give a rat's ass, but he did. The fact that he no longer thought of himself as human started the rage building again.
He used to be human. Now he was something ... More.
Or perhaps something less.
Maybe a little of both.
"Look, I ..." Sully broke off with a sigh and rubbed the back of his neck. He loosened his tie. Pushing his suit jacket back, he thrust his hands into his front pockets. "I can't go into details, all right? I'm just a bit tired."
With a slight lift of his eyebrows, Lindstrom gave a nod telling Sully clearer than words could that he wasn't buying that, either. "Well, you can expect a call to the Chief's office. You know that, right?"
Sully pursed his lips. Frustration burned in his gut, tempting the wolf to come out and take care of things. With a growing sense of panic, he pushed the beast down again and turned toward the park exit. "He can do whatever he wants," he said with a barely restrained growl.
"Yes, he bloody well can." Lindstrom put one hand on Sully's arm and pulled him to a stop. "And if you go in with an attitude like that, mate, he'll slap you with a suspension so fast your head will spin."
Sully jerked away from the detective. The entire situation was a sodding mess, and the only ones who could help him were the two people he didn't want to see. If his so-called friends had been up front with him from the beginning, his life might not have been plunged into this hell. He trapped a howl of fury in his throat. "You let me worry about that," he rasped and stalked to his car.
"Yeah. I'll do just that," he heard Lindstrom mutter.
Sully unlocked his unmarked sedan with the remote key fob and opened the door. He sighed and looked at Lindstrom over the roof of the car. "Thanks."
Sully jerked his head toward the park. "For back there. For ... bringing me to my senses."
The detective shrugged. "You'd do the same for me."
Sully gave a nod. He would. They had each others' backs. "See you back at the Yard."
A scant half hour later, Sully stood in front of his superior's desk, receiving the dressing-down of his life.
"Just what the hell were you thinking, Sullivan?" George Glace's voice climbed a full octave.
Sully hid a wince. The Chief Superintendent was in rare form. Rightly so, he supposed, but it didn't mean he liked being taken to task like a boy still in knee britches.
"Tackling a fleeing suspect is one thing, but wrapping your hands around his throat is unacceptable. And, I might add, bordering on illegal as it would imply excessive force. Not to mention it's highly irregular."
Sully turned his face to one side to hide a smirk. Everything with Glace was "highly irregular," from a hangnail to one of his best DCIs nearly choking a suspect to death.
Though what he'd wanted to do was feast.
That thought erased the smirk.
"You'd better not be smiling." The Chief Superintendent stalked around the corner of his desk, his tall, lanky frame as stiff as a two-by-four. "The only possible saving grace for you in all of this is that the suspect seems to be quite mad. He's been raving on about your eyes changing color and your teeth being sharp like an animal's." He shook his head. "I won't be surprised if the tox screen comes back showing he's high on something."
Sully remained silent. He could guarantee forensics would show the suspect was high. Sully had smelled it on him. The Chief was right in one thing. It definitely worked in his favor if people thought the rapist was a strung-out lunatic.
Because everyone knew that werewolves weren't real.
He clenched his jaw so hard it cracked.
"What's gotten into you?" Glace crossed his arms, drumming the fingers of one hand against the opposite elbow. "You've been back from your holiday for two days, acting like a lion with a thorn in its paw."
Make that a wolf, and he'd be half right-though the thorn wasn't in his paw.
Which was why he was so surly.
"Save it." Glace walked around his desk and sat down, tipping his chair back. The slight squeak as he rocked back and forth grated on Sully's already tightly drawn nerves. The Chief sat forward and rested his elbows on the desk, steepling his fingers. His graying eyebrows beetled. "At this moment, Detective Chief Inspector Sullivan, you are on an extended personal leave of absence."
"Leave of absence!" Sully scowled. "I don't need a bloody leave-"
"Yes. You do." Glace eyed Sully. "I could make it something of a more official nature, though I'd prefer not to have that sort of thing on your record." He watched Sully, and when he didn't respond, Glace went on. "Turn in your badge and car keys. You're to conduct no official police business during your leave. You may keep your weapon." He put the tip of his index finger on his desk blotter, pointing to the spot where the badge was to be placed.
Sully ground his jaw but did as directed. He yanked his badge off his belt and tossed it onto the blotter. Taking the car keys from his pocket, he plunked them onto the desk as well.
"Whatever's eating at you, Sullivan, I suggest you deal with it while an investigation into this"-Glace waved one long-fingered hand-"distasteful situation is conducted. And hope that, because of the suspect's unhinged behavior, police brutality charges aren't brought against you."
Sully repressed the urge to snarl. "Maybe I'll go on another holiday."
The Chief opened the top drawer of his desk and scooped Sully's life into it. "Good idea. You do that. And get your head screwed on straight while you're at it." He closed the drawer and leaned back in his chair with a sigh. "You're a good policeman, Sullivan. A good man. I'd hate to see your career go arse over elbow."
Sully nodded, the only thing he could manage at the moment. When Glace gave a wave of dismissal, Sully turned and strode out of the office.
By the time he got to his desk the rage had returned. He wanted to hit something. Someone. He wanted to run until he couldn't run anymore.
What he didn't want to do was talk to Declan, the sodding prat who'd gotten him into this mess. That Irish devil was a bastard of the first degree. Declan was a dirty, rotten son of a bitch who'd let him get involved in something dark and dangerous without giving him all the facts. As far as Sully was concerned, it was Declan's fault he would turn furry once a month, starting ...
He glanced at his desk calendar. Starting in two fucking weeks. Though he'd felt an urge to shift a couple of times already, he'd have no choice of it during the full moon.
Damn Declan. He was ...
Sully scrubbed his hand against the back of his neck. Damn it. Whatever else he was, Declan was his friend. And one of two people who could help him through this.
"So?" Lindstrom leaned forward in his chair at the desk next to Sully's. "What did the old man have to say?"
Sully brushed the edge of his suit coat aside to show where his badge would normally be clipped to his belt.
"Damn." Lindstrom's pale gaze met his. "I really was hoping he wouldn't go that route."
Sully sighed and sat down in his chair. Lindstrom was not only a good cop, he was a good friend. A good partner. "He really had no other choice, did he?" Sully stared at the top of his desk for a moment, gut churning with regret, frustration, and restrained rage. Biting back a curse, he pushed to his feet with enough force to send his chair rolling back to thud against the desk behind him.
"Oi!" The detective behind the desk looked up with a frown. "Watch what you're about, Sully."
"Sorry," Sully muttered. He shoved his right hand into the front pocket of his trousers. He looked at Lindstrom. "I have to get out of here." He couldn't stand the thought of heading back to his terrace house or, God forbid, home to the family estate in Suffolk-it would send him 'round the bend if he had to go stare at four walls or pretend to his mother that he was fine.
He was far from fine. He'd never been further from being fine. He was about as fucked up as a man could get.
And, as much as he hated to admit it, he needed Declan's help.
"I'll probably be headed to the States for a bit." He straightened a stack of folders on his desk and then met Lindstrom's gaze. "Sorry to do this to you."
Their caseload was horrendous, and the last thing the detective constable needed was to have to take the load by himself. But there was nothing Sully could do about that. He needed to get his head on straight and come to terms with this new twist in his reality.
"Don't worry about it, mate. We'll manage." Lindstrom gave a slight smile. "You take care of yourself."
Sully nodded. He said his good-byes and left the building, stopping for a moment on the pavement to stare at the New Scotland Yard sign. This was his job, his life, and he was damn well going to fight to keep it. Up to this point his record was impeccable, so he didn't think the review would cause him to lose his job, though the timing of his next promotion would probably be affected.
To sit at home and wallow wasn't in his nature. There was something he could do, as much as he might be reluctant to ask for help. Scowling, he yanked his mobile phone from its holder on his belt and punched in Declan's number. As soon as Declan's sleepy voice came on the line, Sully muttered, "I need your help, you son of a bitch."
"Do you have any concept of time zones at all, boyo?"
Over the phone line Sully could hear the rustle of bed linens and pictured Declan rolling over to look at the clock. He glanced at his wristwatch and did the math. It was only three in the morning in Arizona where Declan was. Tough shit.
"I nearly bit the head off a suspect today. Literally." Sully hailed a cab. As he climbed into the backseat of the black Austin, he switched the phone to his left ear and pulled the door shut. "Lyall Mews, Belgravia," he said to the cabbie. The car pulled away from the curb, and Sully turned his attention back to the phone. "I've just returned from holiday only to be this close"-he measured a small space between thumb and forefinger-"to being suspended, you bastard." He settled back against the car seat cushions.
"How exactly is that my fault?" Declan's voice was heavy with sleepy irritation, which thickened his Irish brogue. Sully heard a feminine voice murmur in the background, and Declan's tone immediately softened. "It's just Sully, love. Go back to sleep."
"Is he all right?" Sully heard her ask. Pelicia Cobb, Declan's fiancée-the woman Declan had asked Sully to help him protect. The woman in whose home Sully had been attacked by a werewolf, his life forever changed.
Forever fucked up.
"He's fine. Go back to sleep."
Sully heard the soft smack of lips meeting lips, and Pelicia's sleepy sigh. Then Declan said, "I told you that you should've come to the States with us from the get-go."
"I didn't call to hear you say 'I told you so,'" Sully interrupted. "Just ..." He heaved a sigh and ran his fingers through his hair. "Just tell me the offer to come stay with you and learn how to control this ..." He met the gaze of the cabbie in the rearview mirror and changed what he'd been about to say. "Tell me the offer is still on the table."
Excerpted from Taming the Moon by Sherrill Quinn Copyright © 2010 by Sherrill Quinn. Excerpted by permission.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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If you like werewolf romances, Sherrill Quinn is a great author to start reading. She has an interesting plot, and good character development.
This book brings together all characters in the series. You can't wait for them to kick bad guy butt! Keeps you at the edge of your chair!
Holding six years old Zoe as hostage to force her mom to perform a deadly deed, New York werewolf pack alpha Eddy ordered omega Olivia Felan to kill Scotland Yard Chief Inspector Rory Sullivan or else have her daughter returned in a body bag. Olivia is attracted to the cop and instead of killing him, accidentally turned him into a furry shapeshifter like she is (see Seducing the Moon) though he is unaware she was the one who changed him. However, crazy Eddy still holds Zoe so she warns Olivia to complete the mission before his patience runs out. She heads to the Southwest United States where she confesses everything except one biting mission to Sully; he persuades her to team up with him to rescue Zoe and kill Eddy; as well as for some wolfish sex. Once that mission is done, Sully plans to find the werewolf who converted him and kill the beast. This is an entertaining werewolf romantic suspense starring a beleaguered omega who can turn lioness when it comes to her cub. The story line is fast-paced, but a bit thin especially for newcomers as the previous Sherrill Quinn Moon howlers (see Daring the Moon and Seducing the Moon) provide the depth as to how Olivia and Sully got to the point they have reached. Fans will enjoy this fun tale of an omega turning alpha to rescue her daughter. Harriet Klausner