- Pub. Date:
Enter a world of smoldering shifters in this scintillating anthology headlined by New York Times bestselling authors Eve Langlais and Milly Taiden with brand-new, never published novellas!
Bearing His Sin
Cole should have killed Anja the moment he realized she was his mate. Instead, he let her live and now they’re on the hunt, chasing the morons who think they can force her to marry another man. Like hell. And while this shapeshifting bear might have his share of sins, he’s not going to let little things like murder and mayhem prevent him from having the woman meant to be the keeper of his heart.
Bought by the Bear
Josilyn Martinez just needed the money to help raise her nephew. That's it. There's no other reason she would take a job posing as a shifter's mate so he can assure his grandmother he's settled down. There's no reason to stay at his place so they learn "more about each other." And there's definitely no good reason she should get involved with the hard, hot, and handsome shifter that's hired her.
Xander just needs a fake mate for a week to get his grandmother off his back. But what's a bear shifter to do when the impostor mate he hired turns out to be his actual mate? All sweet, luscious curves and a heart of gold, Xander's not going to let his mate get away. Now all he has to do is show her that they belong together, one kiss and touch at a time...
The Alpha and I
Devon Kincaid is happy with her new life in Lowman, Idaho. Her little bar on the outskirts of the tiny, isolated town is doing well, and she’s not even interested in finding a man. But when she finds a bleeding man—a hot, hard, handsome, naked bleeding man—in the snow one night, Devon brings him home to care for him. He’s definitely not like any man she’s ever met before, but what she doesn’t realize is that he’s not just a man…
Liam Murphy isn't simply a werewolf. He's the Alpha. In a heated battle with a deadly bear shifter, he's moved his pack to the Sawtooth Wilderness in order to draw danger from them. He was hoping to escape his problems—but the last thing he expects to find in the isolated Idaho wilderness was his mate. Fragile and unfamiliar with the violent supernatural world, the only way he can protect Devon is to make her what he is: a werewolf. He only hopes that in the process convincing her to enter fully into his world, that he doesn’t drive away the one woman he can’t live without.
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|Publisher:||St. Martin's Publishing Group|
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About the Author
EVE LANGLAIS is a New York Times bestselling Canadian author who loves to write hot romance. She enjoys strong alpha male heroes, shifters, and a happily ever after.
MILLY TAIDEN is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the renowned Paranormal Dating Agency, the Sassy Mates books, and the Federal Paranormal Unit novels.
KATE BAXTER is a die-hard romantic with a thing for Shakespeare. She lives in the great northwest and writes about all things fanged, furry, and undead.
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Eve Langlais is a Canadian mom of three who loves to write hot romance. Her twisted imagination and sarcastic sense of humor tend to heavily influence her stories with giggle worthy results. As one of the authors in the Growl anthology, you can be treated to her version of romance featuring a shapeshifter, because she just loves heroes that growl--and make a woman purr. To find out more about Eve please visit her website or find her on Facebook where she loves to interact with readers.
Milly Taiden is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the renowned Paranormal Dating Agency, the Sassy Mates books, and the Federal Paranormal Unit novels.
Kate Baxter is the author of THE LAST TRUE VAMPIRE. She's a die-hard romantic with a thing for Shakespeare. She lives in the great northwest where she hides away to write about all things fanged, furry, and undead.
Read an Excerpt
To kill or not to kill. That was the question, the eternal one that seemed so patently obvious.
Kill. Kill. And, yes, kill. Like really. Who pondered this type of shit?
As Cole spied on the happy families cavorting on the neighboring property — swimming and barbecuing and playing fucking tag — Quick, someone hand me a bag to barf in — he seriously contemplated what he should do. Logic said Cole should end their domestic misery with the pull of a trigger. Make that three pulls because, to be fair, he should shoot all three guys he spied on.
Imagine the screams. The absolute chaos. What about the fact that he'd probably do the world a favor?
Didn't these men know sinners didn't get to have a happily ever after? These men weren't society's finest. They weren't even human.
Then again, neither am I. Within Cole nestled a bear, hibernating for the moment, his ursine half saving himself in case things got up close and personal. It could happen, especially if Cole chose to leave this tree and opt for something a little more old school. What if he didn't shoot his targets but, instead, adhered to some outdated unwritten law that said fights should be paw to paw. I wonder how I'd do against those three?
His bear's simple answer. Cole's lips stretched, the grin of a true predator.
The squeals of the little boy being tossed in the air by a proud papa yanked his lips straight. Had he grown so cold as to destroy that child's chance of a stable family and future?
Don't forget your own fabulous childhood.
What childhood? He'd never had a chance to be a boy raised by his father. Never got to know the soft touch of his mother. If he couldn't have it, why should anyone else?
The continued domestic happiness grated, nails dragging raggedly across his skin. The laughter pierced his eardrums. And yet, his distraction didn't come from that entirely.
A car rattled and choked as it rolled past on the nearby road, its muffler in dire need of repair. Nothing a roll of duct tape — the good kind bought in a hardware store, not the dollar variety — wouldn't temporarily fix. The acrid smell of fumes, carried to him via a downwind draft, brought back memories of the '69 Chevelle he'd rebuilt in his early twenties.
I loved that car. A shame he had to blow it up. Worth every drop of sweat, though. The insurance money went to good use.
Nowadays, he drove a luxurious, fully loaded Mercedes. Creamy gray leather seats, the supple material cannibalized from real animals, the height of decadence for someone like him. He'd chosen a manual gearshift, wanting the sensation of control. I am in charge of all this power. In charge of a mean machine whose powerful engine purred when he shifted those gears.
First ... Second ... Third. Yes!
Indeed, that was a boner in his pants. He dared any man not to get one when driving a sweet set of wheels. Wheels that screamed power, and not just because of the hundreds of horses harnessed in its engine. This car said, I am the man. Anyone who didn't agree would find himself relocated to an unmarked grave. He didn't like it when people argued with him.
He'd left his sweet ride at a gas station earlier today, about a half mile from the edge of Fabian Garoux's property. A cab had brought him along the public access road that wound through Garoux's property. The mobster had bought all the land he could and then proceeded to protect it. Knowing cameras watched, Cole waited in the backseat of the cab for the precise location to launch the app on his watch that caused a temporary glitch in all wireless signals. In other words, he threw out a bunch of meaningless junk that made a bunch of noise.
While the jamming happened, he paid the driver and hopped out of the taxi within yards of the location he'd scouted. He'd mapped his way well and quickly moved to the cover of the trees, hiking about a hundred yards to his destination. He launched his disruptor app every dozen or so paces, interfering with signals to cameras that might be watching.
But it wasn't the cameras that were the most dangerous. It was the patrols on this property, especially by the nonhuman guards who served Garoux, the city's crime lord. The mobster didn't live in the city. Situated outside of town, he owned enough acreage that a shifter could hunt without worrying about anyone hearing the screams.
No witnesses. No crime. No retaliation.
A good killer did the job without fanfare. Which could get boring. Sometimes being too good at a job led to an itch to try something new.
Maybe after this job, he'd branch out his services, because it sure would beat the boredom that came with sitting in a tree situated on a plot of land, a simple three acres, in the midst of Garoux's territory.
And why had he chosen this particular spot? A search of the records showed the property deed registered to one Nonna Smith, an elderly lady living here with her spinster granddaughter. Farmers, as he'd discovered when he'd dug deeper. Holdouts who had refused to sell when Fabian bought the surrounding properties and melded them into one big plot. A big plot with a missing chunk as the women held out against the big bad wolf next door. A perfect spot with a view that sat downwind.
Pow. Pop. The car on the road continued on its way, noxiously belching, soon fading from sight and hearing. Noisy fucker. Smelly too. That was probably why he never heard or smelled her approach, not a single ounce of warning until the distinctive click of a hammer being cocked.
"Care to explain what you're doing in this tree?"
Apparently, I am falling. That was the clever thing Cole wanted to say when he found his nimble grace suddenly gone in the face of her unexpected appearance. How could a man remain stable or even speak when his bear stirred his beastly head and, with great glee, announced, Mine?
And Babushka said men didn't grow on trees. A life lesson imparted to Anja, followed by her grandmother lecturing about how Anja was too picky and it shouldn't matter who he was. Status meant nothing. So long as he can work and doesn't hit you, what more do you want?
How about a little respect? Someone she could feel equal to. A man who wouldn't be intimidated by her blunt manner of speaking. Who wouldn't find himself put off by her freakish height and wide hips. She gave new meaning to the word "voluptuous." Babushka said she was big boned and perfect.
Anja happened to agree, which was why she wouldn't settle when it came to a man. Then again, saying no to men wasn't that hard. For some reason, she attracted the wrong kind, the kind who wanted to climb her like a tree or lick her big feet. She'd also met clumsy idiots, such as this guy in the tree. Well, more like the guy on the ground. He apparently wasn't the most agile of fellows.
At least he'd managed to recover before hitting the uncompromising earth face-first. This time of the year, the ground around the roots proved unyielding, hard with the first glimmers of frost. A face-plant would have hurt, and she would know. In the past, this particular arboreal specimen had once dumped her harshly too.
I'm pretty sure this oak hates me. Which was really shortsighted of the tree, given she owned an ax.
Eyeing the guy, she had to wonder if a face-plant would have hurt him much. "He's a freaking rock," she muttered aloud, an old habit of hers from tending animals over the years. They at least listened to the farm girl.
Yes, she did something as old-fashioned as farming because her babushka insisted only fresh would do, especially when it came to milk and eggs. "In the old country," she'd say as she started her lecture, "we used to milk the cow every morning to make fresh butter and cheese for dinner that night."
"In the old days, you also married first cousins to keep it in the family."
"Be proud you are descended from an almost pure line."
"I'll be happier when I birth some kids with no horns or tails or three eyes."
Her babushka spat on the floor. "There is nothing wrong with birthing greatness."
"Unless you've watched The Omen." The creepy movie had left its mark.
Her grandmother didn't see the world the same way as Anja. In many respects, her babushka had never left the old country. A few decades since she'd come to this country and still her grandmother clung to old ways. Old ways meant sending her granddaughter out with a gun to confront the guy hanging around in their tree. The guy who was about as bright as a rock. In a cave. That was covered by vines.
He didn't have a clue. "Who's a rock?" asked the fellow with the granite-edged face.
"I am? Why?"
As if he had to ask. He saw that rocky visage in the mirror every morning. Hard planes set his jaw square. Piercing brown eyes were framed by the darkest lashes, so dark he almost appeared to wear eyeliner. It provided a nice sultriness that went well with his tanned skinned and thick dark hair.
Totally doable. But given his lack of brightness, she worried about him being clingy. Best to pass on this one. "From what I've seen of you, you're either a dumbass or a rock. Take your pick."
He bounded to his feet, a simple leap of his body that appeared deceptively easy. She knew better and remained steady, the barrel of her gun pointed right at him. He might seem benign, but appearances meant nothing.
For example, most people thought she was just a dumb farm girl. They didn't know about her left hook or that she'd won the state spelling bee four years in a row. Funny how the fist left more of an impression with folks.
"What kind of rock do you think I am?" he asked, appearing utterly at ease. His gaze never once strayed to her gun.
She didn't like it. "Does it matter what type?"
"Of course it does. What if I'm a diamond, shiny and hard? Very hard. A diamond you could fondle. Give a gentle roll between your fingers. Perhaps rub me over your lips." The sinfully thick lashes fluttered in a wink.
Dirty talk? The fun didn't stop with this guy. Did he seriously think he could seduce her with those raunchy innuendos? "How about I use your diamonds for target practice?"
"Big words for a little girl."
Little? She could have snorted. She stood six foot, most definitely not petite, and had often been compared to a Viking babe of old during her college years. Actually, she was of Russian descent, which was just as vicious as a Viking maiden. Maybe even more dangerous. Look at her babushka. No one fucked with her. The cable guy brought her coffee when he came to fix the outages. And he'd been five minutes early for the appointment each and every time since the "incident." Then there was the cashier at the grocery store who'd tried to refuse some coupons. Babushka still cackled when the girl made the sign of the cross upon seeing her.
Most people feared Anja's grandmother. Except me. Anja lived to bug the woman. Which meant she had brass balls when it came to baiting people, even those who might be dangerous. "Come a little closer and we'll see who's little." She let a grin curl the corner of her lips.
"A challenge? I accept."
Accepted what? What did he mean? A tingling anticipation shimmered through her body, leaving her energized and focused. Not just focused, but intent on him. She couldn't seem to look away, not with so much to catalog — and admire. The stranger bore a neatly trimmed beard, enough to cradle his chin and upper lip with a lush pelt that went on to slash across the bold lines of his cheek.
Soft or bristly?
Would it tickle if he put that head between her legs?
And, most importantly, how long could he go without breathing?
Some women might have been appalled at the direction of her thoughts. Lusting after a perfect stranger, what was wrong with her? And not just any stranger but one hiding in her tree, spying through binoculars and bearing a gun, a weapon currently tucked in its holster.
And tall. Taller than her.
Given my boring life, I don't think there's anything about this scenario that doesn't turn me on.
The man oozed suave confidence. He bore the look of a slick warrior. A gun might be pointed on him, but he exuded cool.
Funny how that very chill made her only hotter.
She never saw him move. One moment, he stood before her, hands spread, attempting to look benign — epic fail — the next, he tried to tear the gun from her hands.
Her fingers curled tight around the stock and barrel, very tight, and she growled through clenched teeth. "You shouldn't have done that."
The old country might be a mythical place that Anja heard about at bedtime or when her babushka hit the homemade potato liquor made in the laundry sink, but her elderly relative had made sure Anja could defend herself and gave her the strength as well.
Farming wasn't gentle work. Just ask her grandmother, who'd done it for the last twenty-five years, taking on double duty when her beloved husband died in the same accident that had taken Anja's mother when she was only months old.
The head-on collision that killed Helga had left Anja alive but parentless, her daddy abandoning her before she was born. The jerk. A good thing she already lived with her babushka full-time. It meant she wasn't alone. Nor was she useless. Once she learned to crawl, her babushka started to teach, her first task being to collect eggs.
Back then, her grandmother didn't yell when her chubby fists crushed the thin shells and spilled yolk. But once she started tossing them at her grandmother for calling her a slow, lazy cow, all of a sudden, her beloved babushka claimed Anja was going to starve them out of house and home.
"I should be so lucky as to move somewhere with a decent signal," she'd yelled back.
Collecting eggs and caring for chickens wasn't all Anja did. Milking the blasted cow was another hated chore. The bovine despised her; she knew it did. She could see it in its giant brown eyes.
The animals were only part of her chores. Anja had built up much of her upper-body strength tossing hay, mucking out stalls, and, in general, doing all kinds of manual labor that left her strong. Stronger than all the other girls she knew, and most of the men.
And why was this important? Because when her tree climber dared to grab her gun, he didn't manage to pluck it from her hands. He barely budged it at all because she tightened her grip along with her determination.
"You don't want to mess with me," she muttered.
"Because." She pressed her lips mulishly together before adding, "Because people who mess with me don't end up in a good place." At least so she assumed. Her grandmother never did say what happened to them.
"Here's the weird thing, though." He stopped pulling and leaned close. "I kind of want to." And then he kissed the tip of her nose before licking it. It startled her, and her trigger finger tightened.
Bang. She fired, the spatter of rock salt and metal filings spraying the air. The recoil shifted them off balance, and their gazes caught. Enjoyment lit his.
Let's see how long that lasts. Her lips curled in mockery as she brought up her knee, and missed, hitting his thigh instead of his jewels. The man had quick reflexes and an odd sense of humor because he laughed.
"A wild one. You can't imagine how much that excites me. And you play dirty. Even more fun. The gun, however, has to go."
A gasp left her when he showed just how little strength he'd applied before. This time, when he exerted himself, he wrenched the gun from her hands with ease. Immediately, it went flying as he tossed it before wrapping his arms around her. For the half second she allowed it, it felt good. Great. Here was a man who had the size she craved. A size to make her feel almost petite.
A size meant to intimidate.
He chose the wrong girl.
He might want to give a hug, but she did not remain still. She pulled away from him, straining against his arms, to no avail. She couldn't budge.
A wave of incredulity arched her body. It did not free her. Her body undulated in a harsh snap, and yet he did not loosen his grip. He reeled her closer.
"Let me go." She cranked her head sharply to the rear and hit him in the lower part of his face, a firm blow to his jaw. She'd sent idiots who got a little handsy to the hospital with broken bones before.
Of course those guys weren't made of stone.
"Fuck me, that was a good shot."
Did he sound ... impressed?
"Would you like another?" Wouldn't her babushka be proud, showing manners to the enemy?
Her elbow jabbed back and stopped cold when it hit a brick wall. Her foot stamped down onto steel-toe shoes.
It was like fighting a bloody rock. Big, heavy, and unyielding, which meant gravity would love him.
She turned into a limp doll, hanging from his grip with all her weight — a size built on years of Russian cooking, the only kind of cooking that really counted. She let all her muscles relax as she let gravity do the work.
It pulled her down, but was it enough to throw the man off balance?
"If you insist on lying down, then let me oblige you."
Excerpted from "Thanks Fur Last Night"
Copyright © 2018 St. Martin's Press.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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.
Table of Contents
Bearing His Sin by Eve Langlais
Bought by the Bear by Milly Taiden
The Alpha and I by Kate Baxter