A brand new, never before published novella!
In Catch a Tiger by the Tail by Eve Langlais, Broderick has a job to doaudit the books of a gentleman’s club. Sounds simple, except his company wants him to find dirt linking to the mob, his secret mob employer wants someone to pin the blame on, and the bar manager at the heart of/i>/i>/p>/b>
A brand new, never before published novella!
In Catch a Tiger by the Tail by Eve Langlais, Broderick has a job to doaudit the books of a gentleman’s club. Sounds simple, except his company wants him to find dirt linking to the mob, his secret mob employer wants someone to pin the blame on, and the bar manager at the heart of the controversy doesn’t want himeven though she’s his mate.
Previously published in the 2-in-1 e-original (title) and in print for the first time!
In Wild Passions by Kate Douglas, six womenfriends closer than sistershead off to an exclusive mountain resort for a week-long bachelorette getaway, where most of the women just wants to know if there are any good men left in the world. There are, and they’re the men of Feral Passions, a unique resort located on a private wolf preserve, owned and run by a pack of sexy werewolves who use it as their own personal hunting ground for mates.
In Her Perfect Mates by A.C. Arthur, Malec Zenta was part of a loving lycan family until his twin brother’s suicide took a piece of his soul. Channing Verdi never knew his parents, but that was fine because at the age of sixteen on the night of the full moon, he realized his purpose. The only pleasure these two betas have managed to find in their life was in the bed with the women they shared. Now, a human woman has entered their lives...a woman who sets their primal instincts on fire, a woman they can’t help but stake their claim on...and give her the ultimate pleasure of being with two shifters at once.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.50(d)|
About the Author
EVE LANGLAIS is a New York Times bestselling Canadian Author who loves to write hot romance. Her books include Bunny and the Bear and Jealous and Freakn'. She enjoys strong alpha male heroes, shifters, and a happily ever after.
KATE DOUGLAS lives in California and loves ‘happily ever after’ endings. She is the author of Wild, Intimate, and Awakened.
A.C. ARTHUR was born and raised in Baltimore, where she currently lives with her husband and three children. Determined to bring a new edge to romance, she continues to develop intriguing plots, sensual love scenes, racy characters, and fresh dialogue. 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.
Read an Excerpt
By Eve Langlais, Kate Douglas, A. C. Arthur
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2016 St. Martin's Press
All rights reserved.
Having nine lives was well and good in theory, but when a woman straddled a man — fully clothed unfortunately — held a gun to his head, and said, "What are you doing in my drawers?" it probably wasn't a smart thing to say, "Hoping to lick some delicious cream."
Broderick could blame his stupid statement only on the fact that his mother claimed he'd landed on his head instead of four paws more than was healthy for a kitten.
He could also blame hormones for his ill-advised statement because it took only one look at the curvy redhead straddling him, and a single sniff, to realize the goddess threatening his life was his mate.
Meow. And he meant "Ow!" as she dug the barrel into his skin, not at all impressed by his compliment.
"Give me one reason why I shouldn't shoot."
Apparently, "Because I'm pretty sure we're soul mates" wasn't the right answer.
"Listen, smarty pants, I really don't want to have to blow a hole through your obviously empty head. However, I will if you don't give me some answers as to what the hell you're doing in here. This area is off-limits to patrons."
"And are you off limits, too?" Too late it occurred to him how that might sound. I think I might have just implied she's a prostitute. Maybe she wouldn't take it the wrong way.
Judging by the way her lips pursed, she did. "I am not for sale."
"I didn't mean to say you were. Ah hell, this isn't going too well. Do you mind if I get up so we can start over?"
"Not until you explain how you got in here and why you're going through the bar's files."
"I came in through the door."
"The locked door."
"Was it?" He gazed at her with his biggest, most innocent, kitty cat eyes.
They didn't melt her one bit. "I know it was locked, which means you broke in."
"Or had a key." He held up the shiny silver object.
Her gaze narrowed. "Who gave that to you?"
"Your boss." His, too, but no use getting into details about that now, given she still held a gun to his head.
"Why would the bar owner give you a key?"
"So I could do my job. I'm an auditor."
Long lashes blinked. "Excuse me, you're what?"
"An auditor, not an IRS one in case you're wondering. I work for a privately operated company that does a lot of subcontract work for the city and law enforcement."
"And you're here because?"
"Congratulations, you've been selected out of hundreds to have your business dealings perused and your bank accounts monitored for illegal activity." His game show announcement and brilliant smile fell flat.
"I've got nothing to hide."
"Then this will be a painless process, especially if you don't shoot me."
"I guess since you're here on official business that people know you're here?"
"Tons of witnesses."
"It's your lucky day then," she said with a smirk.
Brody couldn't determine if she joked or not. Either way, the gun lifted from his temple.
The lovely redhead moved away — a shame — and dropped with a sigh onto a worn office chair.
Broderick picked himself up off the floor and brushed himself off. While not as meticulous in his appearance as his friend Gavin, as a feline, he couldn't help but groom himself.
"Now that we've ascertained I'm here on valid business, I think we should start over. Hi, my name is Broderick Fredrickson with the 123 Audited Agency. I've been hired to go through all your accounting records in order to reconcile certain discrepancies that have come to light." The city and the cops weren't the only ones looking for an answer to mismatched funds. His secret boss, the Lycan alpha of the city, also wanted to know. "Who the hell is screwing me over?" were his exact words.
Only an idiot would think they could steal from Fabian Garoux and get away with it. Brody hoped that idiot wasn't the woman in front of him. If she proved culpable, then fate surely screwed with him, leading him to his mate only to have her taken away, because if there was one thing his alpha boss hated, it was thieves.
"I'm not aware of any discrepancies."
"And you would know this because?" He arched a brow.
"Because I'm the one who, for the last few weeks, has been filing the receipts, collecting the monies, compiling the employee pay records, and submitting them to the accountant."
"Who was doing it before you?"
"What happened to Ricky?" Brody already knew — strangled and fed to the fishies — but wondered what she'd say.
She shrugged. "Damned if I know. No one does. Ricky disappeared. Didn't show up for work one day, and a week later, with girls threatening to quit if they weren't paid and distributors refusing to deliver, I kind of took over until they could send in a replacement."
Broderick frowned. "The guy managing this place disappears and upper management didn't send someone to look into it?"
"Yeah, they sent Frank, the guy who collects the money and stuff for the accountant. He's the one who told me to keep doing what I was doing."
Curious. When they'd questioned Frank, he said the accountant, Larry, had put her in charge because she had hot boobs. She really did, a perfect handful, confined by an awful bra.
We should rescue her breasts.
Any other time he would have attempted, but Brody was here to solve a mystery. He couldn't allow himself to get distracted by a lovely redhead.
"Are we done here? I left Nancy alone behind the bar, and given that the after-dinner rush hour is about to start, I should get back there."
Done? Oh, they were far from done, and Brody didn't just mean because of his job. His kitty wanted to get to know her better. Starting with her name. "Who are you? I never did get your name."
"Because you never asked." Then, almost begrudgingly, "Lulu."
"That's it? Lulu?"
A heavy sigh left her. "Lulu Lamontaine."
A made-up name if he ever heard one, but he didn't push it. Lots of people had reasons to change their names. Some to escape their past. Others to ensure a brighter future. He wondered what Lulu hid from. "Nice to meet you, Lulu. What time do you finish work?"
Her brows crinkled in suspicion. "Why do you want to know?"
"I thought we could grab dinner." And then hit somewhere a little more private for dessert. Meow!
"Why would we do that? I've already told you everything you want to know."
"Oh, we're far from done. I'll have many more questions for you, but the real reason I asked is because as I said, when we first met, you are my soul mate." He presented his claim with his biggest smile, the one that popped both of his dimples.
Instead of swooning in pleasure, she laughed, and pointed her gun again.
"Not a chance, numbers guy."
"We prefer the term geek." Sure, he wasn't the classic thick-rimmed-glasses-wearing, pasty-skinned nerd portrayed in movies, but Broderick definitely belonged more on the geeky side of things, where numbers and equations brought a thrill of excitement.
"Whatever. Geek, nerd, I don't really care; we're done. Now get out of my bar."
He'd leave, for the moment. However, she was delusional if she thought they were done. Lulu had caught the eye of the tiger, and no way was he letting her escape.
Step 1: Woo her with his incredible charm.CHAPTER 2
Lulu didn't move for several minutes after the attractive male in his rumpled suit left. She didn't move for a few reasons.
First, finding the guy snooping in her office had taken her by surprise. On his knees and sifting through her filing cabinet, he was rocking along to the music piped into her office and didn't hear her approach.
She almost shot him. Surely no good could come of someone spying. But she'd restrained herself. Too many questions from the cops. Once she'd ascertained he was there on legal business, she decided he was harmless. An accountant, snort. Or so he claimed. Like an idiot, she'd forgotten to ask for identification, but then again, the fact that he produced a key and a plausible explanation for his presence seemed to indicate he was there on real business.
I wonder why no one warned me about it. Surely, whoever gave him the key could have spared a quick warning call.
And that was just the first set of reasons keeping her mentally spinning.
The second was she needed a minute to process his claim that someone was cooking the books, with an unvoiced accusation that she was to blame.
Not me. Lulu wasn't a crook. It would have never even occurred to her. Stealing was never okay. Murder under the right circumstances though ... Her parents had an interesting ideology that she struggled with now that she'd left home.
But who cared about her traumatizing childhood? Someone thought she was pocketing dough. Never. Every dime the bar made went to the accountant. She barely did anything more in her job as manager than hand over the cash and credit card receipts for their daily sales. With company checks, which left a trail, she paid the distributors and did payroll. So okay, she was pretty involved with all the money aspects surrounding the bar, but that didn't mean she was the culprit if numbers didn't add up. The knowledge that something illegal was happening, on her watch, didn't sit well.
I better not be getting framed.
The final reason she lingered in her office, the most surprising reason of all, was because of her unexpected reaction to Broderick. He'd told her they were soul mates, and for a moment, a stutter from her heart, and a warmth she'd never thought to feel again after the betrayal of her ex, floored her.
Attracted to a numbers geek who practically accused her of stealing? Never.
Although, when she said geek, it should be noted the guy was anything but. Forget a scrawny, pale-faced wimp lacking confidence and good posture. This self-referred geek was extremely attractive with his golden brown hair, teasing amber eyes, and a panty-dropping grin.
Oh yes, she'd noticed the power of his dimples at work, but she'd learned how to hide her inner self a long time ago and thus betrayed nothing in her expression. Add in the attractive package a body that moved with smooth grace, and it had her wondering what kind of physique hid beneath his suit.
Not that she'd ever find out. She wasn't interested in a relationship with anyone. However, now that he'd left and she was all alone, she could perhaps admit a certain attraction to the white-collared guy with his engaging manner and tempting smile.
Admit, yet never act upon. He couldn't know about her secrets. Especially not given who he was.
The best thing to do? Avoid him. But how? If he had been mandated to examine the books, then she'd have no choice but to see him again.
Next time, I'll make sure it's in public. This would prevent her from shooting him if he annoyed her too much — and from doing something even more foolish, like succumbing to his charm.
Exiting her office, Lulu took a brief moment to scan her bar. Not really hers — she simply managed it — but since she currently set the rules, and kept a strict eye on the place, a certain sense of ownership came naturally.
Her career at the Tail Waggers gentlemen's club had begun a few months back as a waitress. A hard worker, Lulu didn't hide her ability to handle patrons, money, or responsibility. It wasn't in her to do a half-assed job, nor did she ever let anyone pull a fast one on her. Given her work ethics, and the fact that she always showed up on time, she quickly jumped from waitress to bartender, courtesy of Ricky, the currently missing manager.
Then when Ricky went missing, Frank, whom she'd gotten to kind of know on his several-times-a-week pickups, temporarily assigned her to take over.
The patrons soon learned to respect her. A woman in charge didn't mean a pushover. It only took her ordering the bouncers to toss a few of the troublemakers out, literally on their ears, to ensure they didn't try anything with the girls who danced at the club.
See, Tail Waggers was more than just a bar serving drinks and pretzels. It also provided entertainment. The type that came with a stage, a pole, and the least amount of clothing allowed by law. Which, in this state, meant the panties stayed on, but some of those scraps held together by string barely squeaked by that mark.
Right now, on the red-carpeted stage, Bindi was doing her thing. Wearing a saucy nurse's uniform, she strutted her stuff to the tune of "Witch Doctor" sung by David Seville but juiced up to give it a modern appeal. The silver pole, washed in between sets because Lulu had a thing about keeping things clean, didn't wobble as Bindi grabbed it and swung her legs around, flashing white panties where the crotch area had a red cross stitched on the front. It matched the pasties on her nipples.
Lulu had long ago become indifferent to the sight of boobs and naked buttocks flashing, but that didn't mean Lulu underdressed. On the contrary, she showed as little flesh as possible on the job, usually wearing form-fitting jeans, which hugged her curvy hips, and T-shirts with cartoons printed on them like the one of the moose with the giant set of antlers she currently sported that said STOP STARING AT MY RACK ORI'LL POKE YOU IN THE EYE.
Lights flashed, and the music blared as Bindi bent over to grab the bills tossed onto the stage. Her movements delighted the crowd sitting behind her, who got to see where the G-string on her ass went.
"I love you, Bindi!" a particularly excited fan shouted.
Nothing new, not around here.
Satisfied that things were running as they should, Lulu took her spot behind the bar. The after-dinner crowd was arriving, thirsty for more than just the entertainment.
For the next several hours, Lulu managed to forget her odd visitor, but when she locked up for the night at one A.M., early since it was Tuesday, mid workweek, she couldn't help but wonder what would have happened if she'd accepted the auditor's invitation to dinner.
Would he have seriously returned to meet her this late at night?
A white-collar guy like him was probably in bed by ten and in the office by nine A.M. The complete opposite of her, who usually didn't roll out of bed until noon, or later, hitting the bar around three or four to open it.
As Lulu stepped into the practically empty parking lot, well lit by her insistence in order to provide safety for the girls, she scanned the darkness at its edges.
Force of habit. In truth, Lulu did not fear the dangers that might lurk in the dark, but it always helped to see them coming — so she could shoot it.
Before anyone got the impression she was a trigger-happy, violent freak, it should be noted that she'd never shot anyone who didn't deserve it. And it wasn't that many times. Only seven, five of whom lived. Not because she'd missed — because, see, her daddy had taught her well. A self-defense excuse worked best if a girl didn't aim for the heart. In most cases, when a threat was needed, just a simple wave of her Browning 9mm Luger was enough to deter most criminals. In the cases where it wasn't, a well-aimed shot that whistled by their cheek made them see the light.
But sometimes there were cases when a lesson had to be taught and a gunshot would cause too many questions. When she didn't want the law involved, she resorted to hand-to-hand combat. There were ways of hurting people without leaving a bruise.
Try going to the cops with the claim that sweet little me beat the hell out of you with no proof.
It was her jujitsu training mixed in with dirty street fighting that she employed when she heard the steps rushing from behind. Before the unknown person could reach her, she whirled and took in a glimpse of the situation — guy in a navy blue hoodie brandishing a knife.
Piece of cake — the chocolate kind, drizzled with rum, whipped cream, and a dab of cherry sauce.
Mmm. How long since she'd eaten? She'd figure that out after she took care of the ill-advised mugger.
"Give me your purse, bitch!"
"How about I give you a lesson in attacking women instead?" she snapped back. The idiot rushed in with no finesse, relying on his puny knife. A knife he couldn't hold on to when she kicked his hand, sending it spinning to clatter somewhere behind him. But she wasn't done. Lunging forward, she snared his wrist, yanked him toward her, and head-butted him in the nose. His high-pitched scream made her smile in grim satisfaction, but he hadn't yet learned his lesson.
Excerpted from Wild by Eve Langlais, Kate Douglas, A. C. Arthur. Copyright © 2016 St. Martin's Press. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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