Friday, June 13, 2014

Excerpt-a-Ganza: Shifter Madness - Moon Shine by Vivian Arend

Wolfies!!!  I adore Vivian Arend to a frightening degree and she has MORE KICKASS SHIFTERS coming your way.  So as I continue the Excerpt-A-Ganza of Shifter Awesomeness, of course she had to be included.  Observe:

When the past hurts, it bites.

Takhini Wolves, Book 4

Meet Evan Stone. Laid-back, in-control Alpha of the Takhini Wolves. Life’s not perfect, but he’s got a good handle on his world. At least, he did—until the night he ends up in jail, soaking wet and wondering what the hell just happened. 
The “what” is Amy Ryba, a vengeful female who’s decided it’s long past time to make Evan pay for his sins. Amy has spent years tracking him down, and the last nine months working in secret to destroy him. She’s ready for anything—except discovering the shifter she hates is her mate. 
Suddenly, Evan’s not so very in control, of himself or his pack. And unless Amy can learn to forgive and forget, she’ll have to do the unthinkable: reject her mate. 
With two packs watching, one thing is certain. Their personal issues won’t stay personal for long. If Amy and Evan can’t find a way to work together, there won’t be a happily-ever-after for them…or any of the wolves of Whitehorse.

Product Warnings: Contains angsty wolves. Lots of angsty wolves causing explosions of all sorts, playing bad pranks, hacking computers, and having angry sex against a wall or two. Not all at the same time, though, because that would be silly.
Copyright © 2014 Vivian Arend
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

Amy leaned back in her chair, annoyance rising. Well, that hadn’t gone nearly as well as she’d hoped. Evan had clammed up, and she hadn’t had a chance to set up the next sting.
Losing the ability to drop leading hints would have hurt a lot more a few weeks ago, though. Now she just about had everything in place.
She rose to stare out the window, the nearby leaves trembling in the slight breeze. Her skin itched, as if she’d been too long in a hot tub and was badly in need of cream.
Her wolf nudged her. Hard.
It wasn’t a trip to the spa she needed, but a good long run. Everything she did for the pack drained more of her energy. She loved each of them, cared for them deeply, but they were a group of individuals who required a unique kind of attention. Plus, there was the computer shop that was a real business even though she also used it to hide her presence.
Add in the extra time she’d put into planning surprises for Evan?
Screw it. A run would refresh her so she would have more to give. Amy pulled off her clothes and folded them carefully, stacking the articles to one side of her desk. She pushed open the sliding door behind her that led to the second-storey balcony, and drew in a deep breath of fresh air.
The sound of an email alert stopped her in the middle of taking advantage of her usual route to freedom. She stared longingly at the slim ramp built along the outside of the building at a narrow incline, stopping just far enough off the ground her wolf could make the leap but wild animals didn’t access her domain uninvited.
Amy took a quick glance at the email in the hopes she could blow it off, but this one needed attention ASAP. She left the door open, though, even as she sat, bare-ass naked in her computer chair and put out the pack fire.
But as soon as this was dealt with? She would take her cranky butt into the bush and work off her lingering aggression. The power of her wolf side hovered in the background as always. The beast made her strong and drove her nuts. One of the downfalls of being an Alpha female—she rarely had someone to work out her itch without them caving to her superior wolfie vibes.
The date with Colin on Monday was very much needed. He seemed strong enough to give her physical relief without her wolf becoming pissed off or bored by a weaker partner.
Solitude and frustration had become her constant companions, and she didn’t expect that to change. She’d been alone for years, and she always would be alone. Expectations of anything more had long ago been burnt away. Her heart was devoid of all but two things—love for pack.
And vengeance.
She bent her head and put her fingers to work composing a reply, the fire burning up her spine balanced evenly with the ice in her soul.

Evan stared at the computer-shop signage, every nerve in his body on high alert. This neighbourhood wasn’t his usual stomping ground, and a computer store? The last place on earth he’d ever go for shits and giggles.
But the closer he got to Bytes Unlimited, the more agitated his wolf became. He paused across the street in the shadows to scope the place out. Make sure there wasn’t a hidden assault team from the mysterious Canyon pack waiting in ambush.
Amy might have thought she was safe, but that didn’t mean her Alpha wasn’t checking up on her. Evan needed to get the woman out of danger, his sensation of uneasiness rising by the second.
Damn the risk to himself, this was happening now.
Evan strode across the road, jaywalking between moving vehicles. He was at the door in no time, jerking the glass open. Somewhere deep in the shop, a gentle buzzer sounded.
From the back of the store, two males turned to face him, welcoming smiles melting into rigid grimaces. Before Evan could say a word, the men vanished.
Gone. Completely.
It was like the coolest magic trick imaginable, only Evan was more pissed than impressed. He stepped into the shop and closed the door behind him, glancing past shelves that were loaded with computer thingies and plastic packaging.
“Hello?” he called into the silence.
And that’s when it hit him.
Peaches. Sunshine. The aroma of a wind that had crossed miles of seemingly empty tundra—wilderness at its rawest yet full of hidden life. All mixed up into one unique package.
It was a full-on dose of the scent he’d caught a hint of nearly two weeks ago. His stomach tightened, his heart rate kicked into overdrive. Instinctively his legs carried him forward as he tracked the scent that grew stronger and stronger.
His mate.
His mate had been in the computer shop. More than once. Often enough that as he moved toward the cash register and the counter, his head was so full of her he had to work hard to remain alert.
What was the deal with the missing staff? Evan kept his gaze moving as he silently padded forward. To one side, he spotted a couple of doors that explained where the men had gone, but not the why.
Until he hit their scent. Wolves.
Two unfamiliar wolves who vanished when they spotted him? Had to be Canyon pack. He’d deal with them later, though. Spend a little time explaining he wasn’t the enemy.
The enticing trail led him to the back of the shop and a narrow set of stairs. He moved like a wolf, noiseless and invisible. Sensing which treads to avoid stepping on to maintain absolute silence.
Easing his way upward was brutal when everything in him demanded that he run. Rush forward and swoop in on the woman who had to be at the top of the stairs.
His wolf clawed at him, eager for the hunt. Evan wrestled that part of himself under control for long enough to reach the top landing and step through the doorframe.
The room was filled with her, the open door pushing her intoxicating scent toward him like a sledgehammer to the brain.
He got a quick glimpse while she was unaware of his presence. Impressions struck like lightning bolts. Short dark hair worn in a simple style that suited her. Smooth creamy-brown skin, similar in shade to his own.
Lots of naked skin as she sat behind a desk and stared at her computer, and he wasn’t even going to ask why the hell she was working in the nude because she was his mate, and if she chose to wear nothing but skin for the rest of her life, he was oh-so-fine with that.
Then she looked up, and their eyes met. Pupils widened against her dark brown irises. Her nostrils flared, and if possible, her eyes widened farther.
“Amy?” Evan moved cautiously.
His naked goddess didn’t answer. Just blinked, hard, as if in total shock to see him in her office, which made sense.
He lifted a hand to reassure her—
She bolted. Twirled and shot through the open door, naked skin transforming in a flash to midnight-black fur.
He cursed even as he leapt after her, scrambling onto the balcony. The lithe body of a wolf ran full-out down a narrow ledge on the side of the building. Evan stripped his clothes off as quickly as he could, but she’d already hit the ground before he was able to make the shift.
Chasing her wasn’t a good idea. She’d obviously been shocked enough to flee, and having an Alpha on her tail wasn’t a very nice thing to do to any wolf, especially to one who was afraid.
But hell if he could let his mate get away again.

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