ARC-a-thon day 4: Wilder's Mate Excerpt
Here’s a -special special treat- An exclusive excerpt from the first book in a brand new series coming this spring from Moira Rogers. Wilder’s Mate. It’s so spanking new, its cover is still on the wait-and-see list. I caught Bree and Donna blushing on IM a few times while they were writing this one…
(If you’re wondering what’s happening this week, I suggest you pop back to Monday and read through all the goodness until you catch up. Wheee!!!!)
Wilder Harding is a bloodhound, created by the Guild to hunt down and kill vampires on America’s frontier. His enhanced abilities come with a high price: on the full moon, he becomes capable of savagery beyond telling, while the new moon brings a sexual hunger that borders on madness.
Rescuing a weapons inventor from undead kidnappers is just another assignment, though one with an added complication–keeping his hands off the man’s pretty young apprentice, who insists on tagging along.
At odds with polite society, Satira’s only constant has been the aging weapons inventor who treats her like a daughter. She isn’t going to trust Wilder with Nathaniel’s life, not when the Guild might decide the old man isn’t worth saving. Besides, if there’s one thing she’s learned, it’s that brains are more important than brawn.
As the search stretches far longer than Wilder planned, he finds himself fighting against time. If Satira is still at his side when the new moon comes, nothing will stop him from claiming her. Worse, she seems all too willing. If their passion unlocks the beast inside, no one will be safe. Not even the man they’re fighting to save.
Warning: This book contains a crude, gun-slinging, vampire-hunting hero who howls at the full moon and a smart, stubborn heroine who invents mad-scientist weapons. Also included: wild frontier adventures, brothels, danger, betrayal and a good dose of wicked loving in an alternate Wild West.
He’d almost managed to get to sleep when a timid knock sounded on the door that led to Satira’s adjoining room. “Wilder?”
He fought the urge to slam a pillow over his face. “Yeah?”
She must have taken his reply as permission to enter, because the door inched open and she slipped through, a slight shadow wrapped in a blanket. The floorboards creaked as she took a step closer to the bed. “Do you mind…?”
She looked like she thought he’d growl at her until she ran screaming from the room. “Come on in.”
“I can’t sleep.” Her voice held more than a little shame at the confession. “If people are expecting you to bed me, it can’t hurt our disguise if we sleep in the same room, can it?”
Now he wanted to slam a pillow over his lap. “Can’t hurt our disguise.” It could only hurt him if he had to control himself around her. She grasped her blanket tight around her shoulders, but the gauzy fabric brushing the floor as she walked was sheer, flesh-colored silk.
She stopped next to the bed. “If you don’t want me here, I’ll go. I’ll understand.”
“I think so.” She stared at the floor. “Men have needs, but you’re not interested in complicating our already difficult situation by giving in to them.”
If he was a snake… “Did you come over here for sex, or because you’d sleep better if you weren’t alone?”
“The latter.” She shivered and clutched at the blanket as it began to slip. “I know you could get to my room quickly enough if anything happened, but the way some of those men were watching me…”
She was scared, and he felt even worse about his lust as he patted the blanket beside him. “Climb up. You don’t have to be alone, and you don’t have to worry about me.”
“Thank you.” The blanket gaped open as she scrambled onto the bed, revealing that the damn flimsy nightgown Juliet had packed for her was transparent all over. She shivered and pulled the blanket up to her chin.
Wilder shook his head. “That scrap of nothing isn’t warm enough.”
Satira choked on a laugh, a little hysterical but genuine. “I know. If it gets much colder tonight you’ll have to kick me out of your bed to keep me from cuddling as close as I can.”
The laughter was better than the way she’d looked at him before, hesitant and wary and almost ashamed of her fear. “If you put your cold feet on me, I’ll scream like a little girl.”
Icy toes poked at his leg, and he laughed and shoved her away.
She squirmed right back, and this time he got an entire foot pressed against his knee. Her breathless laughter cut short on a little moan of pleasure. “You’re so warm.”
“Won’t be for long.” He affected a growl, one he ruined by laughing again. “Jesus, woman. What were you doing, hanging your legs out the window?”
Satira huffed, but it didn’t stop her from tucking her other foot against his shin. “My feet get cold.”
“You’re a walking icebox.”
She echoed his words back, laced with drowsy contentment. “Won’t be for long.”
Quick as a rattlesnake bite, his protective shell of humor faded, leaving him in bed with a sleepy, scantily clad woman whose body made his knees weak. “Then it’ll be my turn to freeze.”
One small hand crept back across the covers until her fingers brushed his. “I’d keep you warm.”
His balls ached. “Better watch what you promise, sweetheart. I’m not a noble man, no matter what you think.”
Satira twisted until she faced him, eyes wide but unafraid. “It’s been eleven months since a man took me to bed. I don’t want noble.”
His first thought was to turn her over his knee and spank her. That led directly to his second thought, a mental image of her bent over in front of him, her pale ass red from his hand, her cunt glistening and wet. “Satira.”
She squeezed her eyes shut and went still, her slightly ragged breaths and too-quick heartbeat the only sounds for long moments. Then she breathed out a tiny sigh. “You make me feel like such a fool, throwing myself at a man who doesn’t want to have me. Over and over again, and I’m supposed to be intelligent.”
He urged one of the thin straps of the nightgown from her shoulder. “You worry too much.”
“I know.” With her eyes still shut she missed his mouth the first time, her open-mouthed kiss landing on his cheek.
His cock jerked like she’d licked him, and he turned his head far enough to meet her second kiss head-on, opening his mouth under hers. He swallowed her tiny little moan, and for a moment she seemed shy. Her tongue darted along his lower lip, then returned to stroke deeper, teasing against his.
He moved before he realized it, rolling them both and pinning her to the bed. “I’m not a boy. You know that, right?”
A short, jerky nod, and she wet her lips. “You’re not just a man, either. I know that too.”
No fear, and he trembled at the thought of being able to let go. Really let go. “No, not a man, either.”
She craned her head up and kissed his chin, then the corner of his lips. “I will enjoy your attentions. Even if you wish to bind me, or order me to my knees, or take me across yours.”
“Shh.” Right now, there was only one thing he wanted to do. He slid one hand into her hair and tilted her head back, opening her mouth wider so he could kiss her deeply.
There was nothing quiet about her moan this time. Her fingers found the back of his head, clutching at him as if she could pull him closer. She reacted more quickly than he thought she would, melting under him.
He trailed his mouth to her neck and collarbone. “What if I do something else entirely? Will you like that?”
“I won’t know until you do it.” Her fingers stroked down to his shoulder, exploring with unabashed curiosity. “I like an adventure. And learning new things.”
“If what I have planned for you is new, you’ve been bedding the wrong men.”
Her bare shoulder lifted in a shrug, but her voice held a soft vulnerability. “They found me pleasant enough to tumble. Perhaps I didn’t inspire them. None of them had seen me in my fancy hair and expensive dress, after all.”
“Like I said…” He skimmed one hand down her side and gathered her sheer gown high on her leg. “You’ve been bedding the wrong men.”
She laughed and bent one knee, sliding her foot along his calf. “Perhaps. So how do you intend to prove that you’re the right man?”
“I could.” His fingertips tickled over the top of her thigh. “Spread your legs.”
No hesitation at all. She opened for him with a quiet, eager noise, her hips lifting toward his hand. “And here I was, certain you’d want to see my breasts first. You seem so fond of them.”
“I know how to take my time.”
Her voice dropped to a whisper. “Are you going to take me?”
Wilder slipped his hand under her gown, between her legs. “You mean am I going to fuck you?”
**blushes** Okay, yup. **grabs cool glass of water**
And…you can look around a little until you feel up to walking, and then head over to Moira’s Blog for a chance to win a copy of my Turn It Up.
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