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Rush of Pleasure (Primal Instinct Series #8)

Rush of Pleasure (Primal Instinct Series #8)

4.2 23
by Rhyannon Byrd

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Dangerous passion and primal instincts…

With his sinister good looks, Noah Winston is the one man—a human with Casus ties—who Willow Broussard has never been able to resist. Once enemies, then lovers, Noah broke her heart. Yet the powerful witch and paranormal private investigator can't turn him away when he needs her help in


Dangerous passion and primal instincts…

With his sinister good looks, Noah Winston is the one man—a human with Casus ties—who Willow Broussard has never been able to resist. Once enemies, then lovers, Noah broke her heart. Yet the powerful witch and paranormal private investigator can't turn him away when he needs her help in protecting his family, him—and the world—against their enemy…

As Noah and Willow work together, the secrets of their turbulent past are slowly exposed, each startling revelation drawing them closer. But when the enemy finally makes a move, Noah will need more than witchcraft and magic to survive. He'll need his friends, one hell of a plan and the undying devotion of a tenacious witch whose love is eternal…

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Rhyannon Byrd has a gift for beautiful, sensual storytelling." —New York Times bestselling author Cheyenne McCray on Edge of Hunger

"[A] haunting love story."

-Publishers Weekly on Edge of Hunger

"This is an ideal blend of suspense, romance, action and intrigue, all set within an amazing paranormal world."
—RT Book Reviews on Touch of Surrender

Product Details

Publication date:
Primal Instinct , #8
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1 MB

Read an Excerpt

Sacred, Louisiana

The end of the world was a strange motivator, providing the kind of impetus that could make a man do things he'd sworn he would never be caught doing. Like coming back to places he'd vowed he'd never return to… Or seeking out people and memories he knew were best left to the past. The problem, of course, was that the past had ways of sneaking up on a guy.

In cases like this, it could even make you feel as if you were making the biggest mistake of your life.

As Noah Winston walked inside Broussard's, the rickety bayou bar where he'd worked as a teenager, that's exactly how he felt. Like a man walking the plank, heading toward his doom. And in Noah's case, that doom came in the form of a woman. A woman who just so happened to be from one of the craziest families the state of Louisiana had ever known, and who, incidentally, also happened to be a too–powerful, too–stubborn, pain–in–the–ass caste of witch.

His best chance of surviving this visit in one piece was to get the information he needed, and then get the hell out of Dodge before that particular hellion ever set eyes on him. The faster, the better. If he were lucky, she'd never even know he'd been there.

Despite that comforting thought, a clammy, uneasy feeling crept over his skin as he made his way into the dim interior of the bar, the door sliding shut behind him. A bead of sweat snaked slowly down his spine while chills spread over his arms, the whirring blades of the ceiling fan swaying precariously over his head doing little to battle the oppressive heat. At one o'clock in the afternoon, the business was deserted but for the two beer drinkers playing pool near the back wall and the towering brute lurking behind the till, polishing shot glasses that looked absurdly small in his beefy hands. The bartender eyed him with a look of bored indifference, until he caught sight of his pale blue eyes. Noah took a quick sniff, his heightened sense of smell alerting him to the fact that the guy was no more "normal" than he was. A grizzly–shifter, if he was reading the scent right.

Noah might have been more or less human, but that "less" part of the equation was becoming more evident with each day that went by. With every passing hour, his senses were becoming sharper, allowing him to interpret the world around him in a way that was more monster than man. His human self, it seemed, had become another casualty of the war that he and his friends were currently waging against an ancient evil named the Casus. Fortunately, Noah and his buddies, a group of shape–shifters and vampires called the Watchmen, had finally managed to defeat the majority of the monsters nearly two months ago back in May. But the Casus leader, Anthony Calder, had mysteriously disappeared at the height of the battle, before Noah could kill him. They didn't know where Calder was, but Noah had a good idea of who he was with. He also knew the bastard wasn't going to stop until he got what he wanted, and Noah was willing to die to keep him from getting it.

But that was going to be a battle for another day. For the moment, he was after the solution to a different problem. One that was less personal, but no less important. And one he knew he could help with, if he managed to stay a step ahead of Calder.

As if aggravated by the thought of that particular Casus, his arm ached with a renewed wave of pain, the scar left from Calder's fangs throbbing with a dull pulse. Though the injuries he'd sustained on the day Calder had been snatched from his grasp were nearly healed, Noah still didn't feel…right. Too many changes were taking place inside him, his system in a constant state of flux that often left him jittery and tense. Or maybe that was just his current bitter outlook on life. Either way, he was a guy who others went out of their way to avoid these days. One who no longer even tried to hide the raw, constant burn of worry weighing heavily in his gut.

Heading toward the bar, Noah kept his gaze locked on the giant behind the till. The guy set down another shot glass, slapped the dish towel over his shoulder, then braced his beefy hands against the scarred but gleaming wooden counter. Thick, graying brows drew together in a deep scowl over his suspicious gaze. "You thirsty, Casus? We don't welcome your kind here, but you can take something to go."

"I'm not a Casus." Noah fought to keep his tone easy, knowing it wasn't going to do him any good if he started shit with the shape–shifter.

"And I don't want any trouble. I just need some information."

"Not Casus?" The guy snorted. "You looked at your eyes in a mirror lately, son?"

Noah ignored the question. Thanks to his maternal bloodline, he had the same ice–blue eyes as the Casus, but he wasn't one of them. Not yet, at any rate. "I'm looking for Jessie Broussard," he said, making an effort to sound patient. "Do you know where I can find her?"

The scowl deepened. "What's yer business with Jessie?"

"I need her help."

"S'that right?" the guy drawled.

"I'm willing to pay for the information." He reached into his back pocket, pulled out a wad of folded bills and slapped them on the counter. The scent of the money filled the air, sharp in his nose, but the shifter didn't so much as blink.

Leaning closer, the guy eyed Noah with a dark, steady stare. "Do I look like the sort to be bribed?"

"You don't want the money, fine." His voice was tight, his irritation rising like the heat spilling in off the murky waters of the bayou that lurked just beyond the bar's entrance. "But I'm not leaving until I've spoken with Jessie. It's a matter of life and death."

"For who? You?"

Noah clenched his jaw as he pocketed the money. "Let's just say that I'm here on behalf of the Watchmen."

A gritty laugh rumbled from the giant's chest. "Those crazy–ass shifters? Hell, what makes ya think I care what they're up to?"

"Because a helluva lot of people are going to die if you don't."

The seconds stretched out, marked only by the whirring of the ceiling fan and the distant sounds of the pool game, while he stared the older man down.

Finally, the shifter muttered, "You can find her out back. Last cabin on the left."


"Hell, don't thank me yet." Laugh lines crinkled at the corners of the bartender's eyes as he smiled. "Knowing Jessie, she's liable to shoot ya before you get yer first word out."

"Tell me something I don't know," he grated under his breath, turning and heading for the door. It was common knowledge that the Win–stons and Broussards had never gotten along. The human residents in Sacred believed the decades–old disagreement had been spawned by a particular piece of land that bordered both their properties. But those locals who were a part of the ancient clans—nonhuman races who lived hidden among the humans—knew the truth.

That truth being that Chastain witches generally disliked any species that fed on blood, such as the Deschanel, or vampires. And the only species they hated more than the vamps were the Casus.

The Broussards didn't care that Noah's family was human. Nor did they care that the only reason the Winstons had Casus blood running through their veins was because one of his ancestors had been unfortunate enough to be raped by one of the monsters a millennia ago. They distrusted the Winstons' ice–blue eyes, and they feared the day when the Casus would escape their immortal prison called Meridian and return to this world, using families like Noah's as their human hosts. It wasn't a fair prejudice, but was one that had been bred into Jessie's grandparents, her parents and into Jessie herself.

About the time that Noah turned sixteen, the local sheriff had had enough of their constant bickering and proclaimed it was time the two families learned to get along. Jessie was ordered to give Noah a part–time job at the bar, which she'd inherited from her father, and her nephew Harris had been ordered to help out at Noah's grandfather's garage on the weekends. Though it took a few months, and a couple of brawls, he and Harris had surprised everyone by breaking the legacy of distrust and becoming friends. The hostilities between the families had cooled for a time—but Jessie had still scared the crap out of him.

Heading around the side of the building, toward the cabins that had been built in the woods behind the bar more than a hundred years ago, Noah figured the once ramshackle cabins must have been renovated before Jessie moved into one of them. The lady might have been one egg short of a dozen, even for a Chastain witch, but he remembered Jessie as a silver–haired woman who enjoyed things exceptionally neat and clean.

Wondering just how loudly she was going to screech when she set eyes on him today, Noah set off down the winding path that wove through the lush woods. He told himself he wasn't afraid of Jessie Broussard, but an uneasy feeling still burned in his gut like bad whiskey. His instincts urged him to turn and get the hell out of there, but he couldn't do it. Desperate times called for desperate measures, and he'd already wasted too much damn time as it was. He'd known for months now that this visit needed to happen, and yet, he'd put it off. Dragged his feet like an old woman. Yeah, he'd sent letters, but he hadn't really expected the Broussards to respond to them. And he'd known that trying to email or call would be pointless. The Broussards had always trusted modern contraptions about as much as they'd trust a cranky cottonmouth. Twelve years might have passed since he was last in Sacred, but there were some things that just never changed.

So, yeah, he'd known this visit was unavoidable. But he'd stalled, because he hadn't wanted to spend what might be his last days scraping off emotional scabs that had never quite managed to heal. Crap like that sucked. Left you raw. Bleeding. And he already had enough problems to deal with.

Following the path farther into the woods, Noah lifted his face as a cool breeze fluttered its way through the trees and he pulled in a slow breath that had him instantly jerking to attention.

There was something there. Something rich and sweet beneath the verdant scents of the forest. Something primal and female that called to those increasingly visceral parts of him. But despite the instinctive hardening of his body and the almost primitive impulse to hunt and take, he knew he had to maintain control. Damn it, he knew that scent. Knew precisely who owned it.


With his heartbeat pounding in his ears and a low curse on his lips, Noah scanned his surroundings, knowing beyond a doubt that Willow Broussard was there in the forest with him. That mouthwatering scent was his first clue. The delicate little hand suddenly whipping around his shoulder, pressing a sharp blade against his throat was his second.

With her other hand fisting the collar of his T–shirt, wrenching his head back, she spoke quietly in his ear. "What the hell are you doing here, Winston?"

He choked back a frustrated growl and forced his body to remain still, unwilling to fight her for his freedom. She sounded irritated, but she wasn't going to kill him in cold blood.

At least, he didn't think she would. They hadn't parted on the best of terms twelve years ago. No way to know how she felt about him now—but he figured it would be wise to play it safe. Especially for a guy with luck as crappy as his had always been.

"I asked you a question, Noah." The soft weight of her body pressed closer against his back, making it damn hard for him to concentrate. He could feel the sexy shape of her breasts, the tightness of her nipples, and knew damn well that she wasn't wearing a bra. Sweat broke out across his forehead that had nothing to do with heat and everything to do with the woman breathing into his ear. "What are you doing here?" she repeated.

It was a mistake to pull in another deep breath through his nose, his temperature spiking when her scent flooded his senses, his brain derailed by the feverish surge of lust ripping dangerously through his system. Determined to stay in control, he managed to rasp, "I need.to talk to your aunt. To Jessie."

Her low, husky laugh was one of the sexiest damn things he'd ever heard, and he wondered how sick it was that he had a hard–on for a woman who was holding a knife to his throat.

"You've got to be kidding," she drawled.

"I'm not. I swear. You know I wouldn't be here if it wasn't important."

Silence, punctuated only by their sharp breathing and the rustling trees, and then she muttered a quiet, colorful curse and lowered the knife. She was taking a step back as he turned to face her. He tried to give himself time to prepare, but there was no way to hide the fact he was floored. Damn near knocked on his ass by the sight of her, just like he'd been the first time he noticed her transformation from a scrawny, troublesome tomboy into a beautiful girl. It'd been a sweet shock to his system, as well as painful as hell, since Noah had known he couldn't have her. His unlikely friendship with her older brother, Harris, had been part of the problem. Harris would have kicked his ass if he'd known Noah had a serious case of lust for his younger sister, and he hadn't wanted to lose that friendship. Then there'd been Jessie, who would have skinned him alive if he'd so much as looked at Willow with a whisper of interest.

It hadn't been easy, but Noah had somehow managed to fight the rising attraction.until that hot summer night when he'd come across her fighting off Johnny Stubb in the front seat of the bastard's Corvette. Raw, possessive fury had taken hold of him, and his resistance had shattered, along with Stubb's nose when it met with his fist.

Meet the Author

Rhyannon Byrd is a longtime fan of romance and the author of more than thirty 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 www.rhyannonbyrd.com.

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Rush of Pleasure 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Sacred, Louisiana, believing his kin and him are cursed due to some Casus blood, paranormal investigator Noah Winston leaves behind the witch he loves Willow Broussard; breaking her heart. Noah joins a unit of former Watchmen who battle against Casus leader Anthony Calder and his minions who have plans for the world. He believes his side has a weapon to defeat the enemy, but need help from the Broussard witches to do so. Though he fears what seeing his beloved Willow will do to his heart, Noah arrives asking for their translation of an ancient spell. Willow remains furious at her beloved for deserting her. Still with her sister and the world in peril, she joins forces with Noah. Meanwhile Calder needs a new Casus body to take over; with his choice being Noah. The eighth and final Primal Instincts Bayou fantasy (see Rush of Darkness) is a great finish as readers like me have wanted Noah's saga told. He remains a dark hero who fears his tainted DNA will destroy his beloved Willow. However, the final confrontation leaves him no choice but to plead with his cherished Willow to help him. Though she has issues too, this time her plan has two objectives: to defeat the evil Casus and persuade her champion to stay with her in victory or defeat. Rhyannon Byrd provides a strong climax to a powerful series. Harriet Klausner
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Bluewillow1970 More than 1 year ago
Devoured the series. Loved this book
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A great continue to the series
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Book_Monster_Reviews More than 1 year ago
My Review... Rush of Pleasure is the 8th and final installment of the PRIMAL INSTINCT series. I have been on this amazing ride since the first book in series "Edge of Hunger" released in 2009 and it has been well worth it. The PRIMAL INSTINCT series is one of my all time favorite series and I will definitely be going back and reading the series again (and then again ?) . Noah Winston is a strong and determined man. Having Casus blood in his family, due to a Casus raping one if family members, Noah will stop at nothing to prevent the Casus from taking over his body or his two brothers. Noah goes back to his hometown Sacred, Louisiana to get some answers from people he had hoped never to see again - Jesse, Mitch and Willow Broussard, the woman he once loved an ran away from. Jesse and Willow Broussard are very powerful Chastain Witches. Willow never forgave Noah for leaving the way he did but he when he returns he comes baring bad news, Willow's sister Sienna is helping the Casus leader. Willow sets out to help Noah and to find her sister. This book is full of action, twists and turns. I loved watching Noah and Willow fall in love all over again. I don't want to say anything more because I don't want to spoil anything. So many thing happened in this books to bring together the conclusion of the series. This book definitely did not disappoint. I laughed, I cried and I screamed with frustration. The PRIMAL INSTINCT series will always be on my top favorite series list and I will definitely be reading it again and again. I also fell in love with Willow's best friend Damon, the sex demon. He is one of the most funniest characters I have read and totally loveable. I am dying for Damon to get his own book. I am looking forward to Ashe's book "Deadly is the Kiss" in 2012 and keeping my fingers crossed that there will be more to come. ?
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This book was hurriedly written mess, that skimmed over important events in the storyline to focus unnaturally on the romance of the two characters, who to me don't have much chemistry. Also, it seemed like an overlong short story.
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LASR_Reviews More than 1 year ago
This is the eighth, and final, book in Rhyannon Byrd's Primal Instincts series, and it was worth the journey. The final battle to stop the Casus is over, but in the confusion of the fight, the Casus leader, Anthony Calder, was able to escape, with the help of his pet witch. Noah Winston won't rest until he has stopped Calder once and for all. He also knows it is time to go back to his home town and bring the bad news to people who used to be his friends: Jessie, her niece Willow and Willow's brother, Harris. What he has to tell them has to be said in person, and even if he wanted to avoid it, they deserve to know that the witch helping Calder is Willow's sister, Sienna. He also wants to ask Jessie if there is a way to stop the death walkers that were released when the Casus were defeated. And he dreads facing Willow-the only woman he has ever cared anything for, even though he left her all those years ago. As for Willow, she never got over Noah, either. But Calder wants to take over Noah's body, and he is determined to get what he wants. When the sparks rekindle, Noah is determined to protect Willow at all costs, but she isn't having any of that. But when Willow's friend, and demon, Damon explains what they need to stop the death walkers, Willow becomes more important than ever. It seems she is part of the solution, and Noah is shocked at what he learns. Can Noah stop Calder and keep his own soul? Will the plan to stop the death walkers work? Is Willow strong enough in her magic to save what she and Noah could have together? I really enjoyed this world Ms. Byrd created, and I will miss visiting with all the characters that live there. I met some very memorable characters and some very nasty bad guys as well. I did find that most of the villains were not completely evil, but s few were beyond redemption. Noah Winston is a strong and determined man. As the oldest of three brothers, he understands responsibility, and is determined to prevent Calder from taking him over. I loved Noah's sensitive side, when he admitted to Willow how he felt about her, how he had always felt. Noah's real strength is his ability to care and protect those he cares about. Willow is sassy and independent, and a very powerful witch. She is surprised when Noah shows up after so many years, and is determined not to let him back into her heart; at least until she realizes he never left it. I enjoyed watching as she and Noah became closer, and loved the way she was able to accept that she had to fight for her role in the destruction of the death walkers. Ms. Byrd does an admirable job of bringing all the varied threads together for this book, and I enjoyed the surprises that arise as Willow and Noah begin to reconnect. There are a couple of tear jerker moments, but they serve to make the happy ever after all the sweeter in the end. I recommend the complete series to those who like love and adventure and lots of action. Originally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews