Desiring Red

Desiring Red

by Kristin Miller

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633756366
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 05/30/2016
Series: A Dark and Dirty Tale , #1
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 69
Sales rank: 291,003
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristin Miller writes sweet and sassy contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and steamy paranormal romance of all varieties. Kristin has degrees in psychology, English, and education, and taught high school and middle school English before crossing over to a career in writing. She lives in Northern California with her alpha male husband and their two children. You can usually nd her in the corner of a coffee shop, laptop in front of her and mocha in hand, using the guests around her as fuel for her next book.

www.facebook.com/AuthorKristinMiller
www.twitter.com/kristinmiller02
www.kristinmiller.net


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristin Miller writes sweet and sassy contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and steamy paranormal romance of all varieties. Kristin has degrees in psychology, English, and education, and taught high school and middle school English before crossing over to a career in writing. She lives in Northern California with her alpha male husband and their two children. You can usually nd her in the corner of a coffee shop, laptop in front of her and mocha in hand, using the guests around her as fuel for her next book.

www.facebook.com/AuthorKristinMiller
www.twitter.com/kristinmiller02
www.kristinmiller.net

Read an Excerpt

Desiring Red

A Dark and Dirty Tale: Part One of Three


By Kristin Miller, Candace Havens

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2016 Kristin Miller
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63375-636-6


CHAPTER 1

Ivy

Arcana Wolf Pack

Somewhere in the Pacific Northwest

"For my eternal mate, I choose Ryan Gosling. Strip him, bathe him, and bring him to my bed." My voice echoes through the stillness of the women's restroom as I stare at my reflection in the mirror. My ice-blue eyes are darker than normal, probably from the strain of a horrible night's sleep. "Ugh, I wish it were that simple."

As far as I was concerned, Ryan Gosling was the epitome of the perfect guy: gorgeous, smart, silently confident, and filthy freaking rich. And every time I looked at one of his "Hey Girl" memes floating around social media, my ovaries moaned. But there was one minor hiccup, keeping me from eternally linking my name to his: he didn't know I existed.

Talk about a buzzkill.

With Ryan Gosling out of the lineup and Brad Pitt officially married and off the market, that only left my ex, the Loser Who Shall Not Be Named, and the Starbucks barista who wouldn't quit spelling Ivy with two Es at the end, no matter how many times I corrected him.

I splash water on my cheeks, rub my fingers beneath my eyes, and try not to think about the ticking clock hanging over my head.

Six hours is not long enough to choose a mate. Especially since I don't have a single victim in mind.

The Omega — often lovingly called Grandmother as she was the oldest werewolf in the pack — would happily arrange a marriage to another packmate if I couldn't decide for myself, but there was no way in hell that was happening. Arranged marriages may work for some, but not for me. I want it all. The fairy tale. Prince Charming by day, sex god by night. And I want to choose him, not the other way around, and certainly not by a werewolf "grandmother" I'd never met before.

As two pre-shifter blondes push into the restroom wearing their ceremonial hooded robes — in vibrant shades of violet and evergreen — I excuse myself and exit quickly. They whisper something about my inability to find a mate, but I don't stay long enough to hear the rest.

Of the twenty women about to declare their loyalty to the pack, I'm the only one without a single prospect.

Who's got two thumbs and is destined for A-1 Spinster status?

This girl.

Nerves rattle through me as I shuffle into the main hall, scan the medieval suits of armor silently standing watch, the wrought iron chandeliers anchored into the massive wood-beam ceiling, and the rows of black chairs lined up in front of an enormous golden throne.

This was really going to happen.

At midnight, beneath the glare of the full moon, I'll parade in front of the Omega, declare my loyalty to a wolf pack I've never known, and bond with a werewolf I've never met. I'll transition for the first time beneath January's Wolf Moon, and join my true family in the pack.

It's too much.

The room spins round and round, and my temples throb.

"Oh God," I murmur as my stomach whirls. "I'm going to be sick."

Pushing out the back door, a frigid gust of wind slams into me. Snowflakes hit my face and hands, chilling me instantly, but I still can't breathe. A python coils itself around my throat, hell-bent on constricting me until I croak.

Loosening the crimson robe tied around my neck, I grasp at the ribbon and charge down the steps leading to the Omega's garden. Winding around life-size wolf statues and bushy potted plants, I run deeper into the shadows, feeling free. The garden is immaculate, full of bright floral displays, jagged stone paths, and inviting terraces. It's the kind of place one could get lost in.

Tonight, it offers the sweet relief of solitude.

My steps slow near the entrance to the shrub maze, and I crane around, glancing over my shoulder. The view of the Omega's mansion from here steals my breath. Round towers on either end of the Gothic structure rise to conical roofs with gargoyles looming over the side. The castle is rumored to have been the home of Reaper, the Omega's eldest grandson. When he was only seven years old, a rogue werewolf savagely murdered his parents. He ruled as Alpha in his father's absence, but five years ago he left the pack to hunt down their killer.

No one had heard from him since.

What would it have been like to grow up in a place like this? With guards, servants, and more money than you could spend in twenty lifetimes? It's such a far cry from my pathetic life in San Diego, I can hardly picture it.

"It's amazing to think this whole place is enchanted, isn't it?" a deep voice says from behind me.

I spin on my heel, heart beating fast as a tall beast of a man emerges from the right side of the maze. Most of his face is cloaked in shadow, but he has to be six feet six, two hundred fifty pounds of solid muscle. Although I'm not a fan of MMA fighting, I don't live in a cave, and those hard-core fighter types have bodies designed for pleasure. Impossibly broad shoulders, bulging biceps, a tapered waist, and tree trunks for legs. He was probably seriously packing in the dick department, too. As the massive bulge in his slacks captures my attention, I suck in a clipped breath.

"What'd you say?" I mumble, backing away a few steps to allow him to pass. "Enchanted?"

"A witch in the 1500s cast an invisibility spell on the castle and anyone who walks its grounds. You have to have werewolf blood flowing through your veins to see it." His voice is rough and scratchy as if he needs to clear his throat, but it's sexy as sin. He blocks the entire maze entrance, his arms folded over his chest. "Shouldn't you be inside rehearsing?"

"I came outside because I needed air." I shudder, feeling his gaze sharpen on me. "No, in all honesty, I need a mate. You wouldn't happen to know where I could find one of those lying around, would you?"

His laugh is even sexier than his voice, charging the air between us. "Eternal Mates 'R' Us not working for you?"

"Don't poke fun. I already Googled all the werewolf dating sites and I still came up blank." I shake my head, and snowflakes dance down from my hood. "I don't know what I'm going to do."

He makes a low noise deep in his throat as if he's contemplating something, but my body comes alive to the primal sound. Electricity sparks over my skin, and desire blooms deep in my stomach. Desperate to cool the sudden rush of heat through my bloodstream, I perch on the edge of a bench near a pot overflowing with bright pink flowers. A light, sweet, earthy fragrance envelops me, but nothing can mask the stranger's scent. It's woodsy and masculine with hints of dark spice. And it's unlike anything I've ever smelled before. It calls to me, and I can't help but breathe him in.

Steps slow and calculated, he stomps toward my bench, his boots crunching over the powdery snow. "I find it hard to believe you don't have a mate waiting for you back inside."

My cheeks heat, and I'm keenly aware that he's been staring at me since the first moment we met. "Oh yeah, I've been beating the men off with sticks all night. I think the last few have witnessed the bruising of the others and finally got the hint. None of them will come near me now."

This time when he laughs, he crouches in front of me, one knee in the snow, the other brought up near his chest. Although I still can't see his eyes, lamplight from behind me illuminates full lips set on a ruggedly square jaw. Stubble covers his chin and cheek, and begs for the touch of my hand.

"You're not like the others in there," he says, keeping his voice low. "What's your name?"

"Ivy Douglas." My palms sweat, so I swipe them on my snow-dusted robe. "What's yours?"

"Your parents aren't part of this pack."

I nod, fully aware he dodged my question.

"I would've remembered seeing you around," he states simply, and his gaze burns, even though I can't see his eyes.

"I moved from Southern California a few years ago. My parents were pledged to the San Diego Wolf Pack, but they moved up here when my father was transferred for work. I stayed in Southern California, finished school, and was about to join their pack when my father got sick. I moved up here to care for him and have been here since. After he died, my mom followed shortly after, and I guess I was so focused on dealing with their passing, I haven't felt ready to join a pack."

"And you're ready now?"

"Hell no." My voice pitches high, and a tense chuckle bubbles out of me. "But I'm twenty-five, and this is my last January Wolf Moon before I shift for the first time. Because my mother was so busy taking care of my father, she didn't teach me much about the shifting process. Before she died, she made me swear to join a pack so the werewolves in it could become my new family and protect me the way she couldn't."

"She was good to make you swear it," he says. "It's safer for you to be with a pack family. The wolves in there will care for you like your own brothers and sisters. You can depend on them for anything you need."

"That's the thing." Pursing my lips, I wince as I say, "I'm not the type to depend on anyone. I'd rather do things for myself, on my own terms."

The tension between us swells until I can feel the pressure on my chest.

Why isn't he saying anything?

"You're definitely different," he says, resting his hands on his knee. "A rose among thorns. I'm still wondering why no one has claimed you yet."

"Maybe I'm harboring a sinister secret." I shrug. "I could be a werewolf hunter and you'd never know. I could be on a secret mission to kill the Omega and take over the pack."

"Are you?"

"Well, I could tell you," I tease, leaning closer, "but then I'd have to kill you."

He bows toward me, matching my move, until we're a breath apart. "I'd like to see you try that."

I flinch, blinking quickly. "What?"

"Kill me." He stands abruptly, a shadowy silhouette of onyx against the snowy backdrop. "I'd like to see you try."

A flare of challenge rears up inside me as I rise and meet the stranger eye to eye. I have to stretch up on my tiptoes to reach his chest, but close enough. Short-girl problems aside, I drop my hood back and give my best aggressive wolf posture by standing ramrod straight.

"You don't think I could take you down?" I prod, hands on my hips. "Because I could."

His sexy mouth pulls back into a grin. "Go on then. Give me your best."

Accepting the challenge wholeheartedly, I stomp on his toe, digging my heel into the top of his boot. He doesn't react. Instead, he kinks his neck to the side.

"Is that it?" he teases, shifting his weight side to side. "I was expecting better."

A fierce growl erupts within me, and my fist flies. Right toward his face. He catches my hand midswing, inches away from his nose. Damn, his hands are large, swallowing mine entirely. His forearms flex in the lamplight as I struggle to release my fist from his grip.

"Let go," I say, but he smiles, the sexy sucker.

So I take another shot, this time with my left. He captures my hand, twists my arm behind my back and spins me around completely. My back against his front, his face near my neck, he breathes into a deep, raspy laugh that sets my blood on fire.

"You've got spirit," he says. "But what do you plan to do now that I've got you here?"

Heart pounding against my ribs, I fight against his hold and writhe in his embrace. Our chests rise and fall together as our breathing becomes in tune. And then, as if a switch flips, the playfulness disappears, and the air charges with an undeniably hot sexual current. Blood pounds through my veins as chills blanket my body.

I should be fighting him off, kicking and screaming to get away from the stranger's hold.

But I don't want to get away from him at all. I want — need — him closer. As close as two people can get. And as odd as it is, he doesn't feel like a stranger. Despite knowing him a few measly minutes, he feels warm and right.

Clutching me against him, he stills, as if warring with himself over what to do next.

And then his lips graze my neck and the blood freezes in my veins. The languid caress of his mouth glides toward my ear, my jaw. I squirm against him, my backside brushing against his groin. Despite the drumming of my heart, not a flutter of fear races through me. Instead, my panties drench with desire.

"If you really want to be free," he whispers before flicking his tongue out and licking my ear, "say the word and I'll let you go."

Tingles scatter through me as I close my eyes and let my head fall back against his chest. I'm unable to resist the hold he has over me.

Please don't let me go.

The tiniest whimper of acceptance escapes my lips as he nibbles on my earlobe, sending jolts of pleasure rocketing to my core.

"I thought so." He smudges wet kisses down my neck, yanking down the collar of my robe to gain access to more of my trembling flesh. "Hold still."

Done.

I couldn't move if I tried. My legs wobble as I shift my weight, and he releases his grip to steady me. Coiling an arm around my waist, he supports my weight as I sag against him. His other hand slips between the folds of my robe and grasps my bare breast.

He groans. "You're bare."

"As I was instructed to be for the ceremony. I was following orders."

Using two fingers, he rolls my nipple between his fingers, and I fight the urge to cry out. "What a good girl you are," he says, and licks a thick line from my jaw down my neck. "But do you have a bad side, too?"

I don't know this stranger, and reason says I should leave the garden and run for the castle, but nothing about my reaction to him is logical. My body responds to his on a primal level I can't explain, in a way I've never known. I don't want him. I need him, more than the useless air in my lungs.

Nodding frantically, I draw my lower lip into my mouth and move against him as he continues to assault my neck with feverish kisses. His grip is rough on my breast, but his palm is warm and enticing, and I arch into it. White-hot sensations of pleasure ripple through me, wave after wave, until I'm writhing against him and gasping for air. Between the greediness of his hands and the skill of his mouth as they possess my body, I'm dizzy with an insatiable hunger that's never moved me before.

"It's freezing out here," he says as I crane my neck around to stare up at him. "But you're so damn hot."

Before I can get a good look at the man who has captured me prisoner, he crushes his mouth to mine and plunges his tongue past my lips. I'm rocked back. Oblivious to anything but his vicious mouth and its soul-searing heat. It's a kiss of possession and gripping need, and I'm drowning in his heady taste. He sucks on my lower lip, smashing his mouth to mine mercilessly. I whimper into him as he steals my breath and kneads my breasts with increasing urgency. Grinding his hips against my backside, his rock-hard shaft rubs against me, and I'm silently crying out for more.

I try to turn toward him fully, to press against him chest to chest, but he stops me and holds my back against him. Skating his hand over the flat span of my belly, he continues to tangle his tongue with mine as his fingers traipse down, down, down my body, and then part my slick folds.

"God, your pussy is so fucking wet." His words are so dark, they're nearly a growl. "My sweet little bad girl ... will you let me fuck you with my fingers?"

"Yes ..." My word is a dark, moaning plea for him to continue ravishing my body. Reaching behind me, I tunnel my fingers through his hair. "As long as you promise you won't stop there."

He groans in approval as his fingers swirl over my most sensitive flesh. I shudder uncontrollably, gasping, fighting for air. Helpless to the sensations rocking through me, I lick at his upper lip and moan loudly into the night. Snow falls into my mouth, but he laps it up, plunging his tongue past my lips once more. And then, when he slides his fingers through my heat slowly, teasingly, my breath hitches.

"I'm going to make you come against my hand." He pushes his fingers into my core, stretching my flesh, and curls his fingers inside me. "And then I'm going to bend you over this bench and slide my dick inside you."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Desiring Red by Kristin Miller, Candace Havens. Copyright © 2016 Kristin Miller. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Desiring Red 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
MJHughes12 More than 1 year ago
What a great first installment this was in Kristin Miller’s new serial. I’m not a huge fan of the cliffhanger, but I went into this one knowing it was the first part of the story – and I just loved the world and lore that was presented. A bit darker than some of the author’s other werewolf books – and a bit more sexy (hence the Scorched line!) – this book delivered everything I’ve come to expect from Kristin Miller. Her characters are relatable, the story was engaging, and I was left wanting to become part of the world she has created. I’m looking forward to the rest of the story! I received a copy of this book NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Desiring Red - A Dark and Dirty Tale 1 Author: Kristin Miller Published: 5-30-2016 Publisher: Entangled Publishing Pages: 55 Genre: Erotic Romance Sub Genre: Series; Contemporary Fiction ISBN: 9781633756466 ASIN: B01FD8ALU2 Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley Rating: 5 stars . In the Arcana Wolf Pak the Alpha has first choice of the females. None others are to touch them until after he makes his choice. Unfortunately Reaper, the Omega's grandson doesn't particularly care to follow the rules and Ivy Douglas intrigues him and makes him laugh. After five years away tracking his parents killer Reaper has returned the question now is what is his place in the pack and what will happen at the bonding ceremony. A short read that will pull you in from the first paragraph. Kristin Miller waste no time establishing her characters and her story and you are there with the on a cold moonlit night to right along with them to experience it all. Forget everything for a bit as you feel the heat of the pack mating ceremony. You will never be the same again. My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
TammyS32 More than 1 year ago
This is a quick read by very hot! Be prepared it ends in a cliffhanger, however I was hooked from beginning to end. Ivy is a pre-shifter and before choosing a mate, the alpha has the option to choose to keep her with him. However before she meets him she runs into Reaper, the chemistry between them is scorching what will happen when she meets with Lukas, the alpha. I feel a love triangle brewing. This read has plenty of drama suspense. I really liked it and am looking forward to more.
aprilrenee1976 More than 1 year ago
Paranormal hot triangle of Love, desire, suspense and intrigue all packed into this This was one Steamy HOT book that grabbed my attention from the first several pages. Desiring Red is new by Kristin Miller in her paranormal wolves saga and is a steamier read than from her previous works. This is one of the brand new books from the Scorched line from publisher Entangled Publishing and I have to say-WOW, it really does scorch you when reading the intensity and the passion from the MC involved. Here we have Ivy who is brand new to the Arcana Wolf Pack and she has come to be presented to them before she shifts. She promised her parents she would do this and now that they are no longer living, she especially wants to honor their wishes but she is terrified she mistake. Ivy is considered a pre-shifter and the “pre shifters” must meet with the alpha for the first time. There is this thing where he can keep them for as long as he chooses to. Ivy hasn’t met Lukas yet and she is in a tizzy over what he will think of her. Ivy ends up in the rose garden, trying to calm down when she runs into the sexiest man ever who touches her soul with this spark that she has never felt before. There is the immediate sensual spell woven between them when this man, Reaper, touches her, Ivy has never felt like this , ever , before. Reaper has been away from his pack for awhile, looking for the person(s) who murdered his parents. His grandmother, the Omega has called him home to help her with something to do with the pack. His being back looks to be temporary but when he saw Ivy in the garden he felt this pull to her and went down to meet her. Repaer knew he shouldn’t have touched her because she was his cousin, the alpha’s until he had made his choice but he couldn’t help this pull he felt toward her. Ivy thought her and Reaper had something going and that her meeting the alpha would be ok, that he wouldn’t want her. Well, that isn’t quite what happned. She met the alpha and that was an experience in itself. Lukas was not what she was expecting and Ivy is left uncertain by this encounter. What is going on? Lukas isn’t the bad guy that she thought, he seemed to have this magic about him, all she knows is she is drawn to Reaper and his touch as well. The book ending an an epic cliffhanger; also this is a short book, like 55 or 56 pages so even with it being this short, it packs a huge punch. I loved this story and I cannot wait to see what Ms. Miller has coming up next because the Reaper/Ivy/Lukas triangle has me quite intrigued. This paranormal hotness of a story is something I do quite enjoy and am ready to read more of . My rating: 4.8 stars ***** **I was given an ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review***
caroldh4 More than 1 year ago
Desiring Red is book one in the series, A Dark and Dirty Tale by Kristin Miller. This book was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review by NetGalley, Entangled Publishing and by the author. This is one of the brand new books from the Scorched line from Entangled and I loved it. Ivy is brand new to the Arcana Wolf Pack. She is considered a pre-shifter. She and some other of the pre-shifters must each visit with the alpha, Lukas, for the first time. He may then choose one of them for as long as he wishes to have them. She is then supposed to declare her loyalty to the pack and choose a mate. Has she chosen one yet? No. So, she is in the garden in a state of panic before the ceremony when HE comes along. No-one is allowed to touch one of the pre-shifters until the alpha has made his choice. But when Reaper touches her, there is an electric spark. A yearning for this man she has never felt. “My body responds to his on a primal level I can’t explain, in a way I’ve never known. I don’t want him. I need him, more than the useless air in my lungs.” Reaper has been away from his pack for years. His grandmother, the Omega, has called him back to help with something. So he is only back temporarily. As soon as he saw Ivy in that garden, he had to have her. He wasn’t supposed to touch her until the alpha, his cousin, has made his choice. But he can’t stop himself. “She’s everything. Made only for me. Mine.” When Ivy’s turn comes up and she meets the alpha, he is not what she thought he would be at all. “They’re like two sides of a coin, each intriguing for completely different reasons, yet cut from the same steel.” This was a very short book, the first in a serial. So there is a cliffy, a big one. This was my first book by this author and I loved her style of writing. Once I started this, I had to go ahead and read the whole thing. I couldn’t put it down. Ivy and Reaper are drawn together by a force greater then either of them can fight. Even though it is against the pack’s rules. I can’t wait to see what comes next in this series. I’m absolutely thrilled with this new Scorched line from Entangled. Another new to me author and another home run. Perfection.
MoniqueD More than 1 year ago
First of all, let me point out that DESIRING RED ends in a cliffhanger, and what a cliffhanger it is! I hadn’t even read the last word, that I was already wishing for the next instalment. Ivy Douglas is a pre-shifter, a werewolf who is yet to shift, and she had never been actively looking for a mate, but now she’s left with only six hours to choose the one, or she’ll be stuck in an arranged marriage by the Omega, the oldest in the pack, if she is to belong to the pack. While taking a stroll in a park and pondering on her future, she meets the most gorgeous werewolf: Reaper. He is the Omega’s grandson, thus off-limits – sigh! – but he is not really supposed to be there; Reaper is actively searching for his parents’ murderer. And thus begins DESIRING RED. Kristin Miller writes fabulous paranormal romances, and this first instalment of a new series doesn’t disappoint! As expected, it’s extremely well-written, the dialogues are sexy and fun, and the descriptions are just fabulous: I could easily picture Arcana Castle in all its glory. While I often find it difficult to digest, Ms. Miller made the instalust entirely plausible, because Ivy is also perplexed by how she is attracted to Reaper and … Well, let’s not digress… DESIRING RED is scorching hot, but I was also quite pleased that the seeds of what promises to be a very intriguing story have been sown, and I can hardly wait for the next episode! DESIRING RED is as complex, intoxicating, and delectable as a tumbler of the finest brandy (wink for those who will read it!). Lots of fine reading ahead from Kristin Miller! I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.