Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Paranormal/Feline Shifter/M/m
Release Date: Sep 2, 2009
Middlemarch Mates, Book Eight.
Kiran is a tiger shifter without a past. Plucked from a hospital by Rohan and Ambar Patel, he has no recollection of arriving in Auckland. Nothing is familiar, but he’s sure of one thing. Rohan Patel is an attractive man. He fires Kiran with longing. A stolen kiss and Kiran knows exactly what he wants.
Rohan’s desire for the stranger steals his breath and pushes forward his plans to tell his sister he prefers males. Hurried embraces lead to an understanding, their growing relationship exhilarating. The urgent hunger between them is palpable, guaranteed to make any tiger purr with pleasure.
But weird flashes of memory hint at Kiran’s terrible past. The truth might blow apart his blossoming romance with Rohan and hurt his new Middlemarch friends. A dilemma–push Rohan away or hold him close and place his lover in danger. It’s a difficult choice then it’s too late. Danger stalks through Middlemarch, and they must fight for their love and their lives.
Note for Readers: You must be over eighteen to read this excerpt.
“You smell good,” the stranger said, his warm breath tickling across Rohan’s ear.
A spear of pleasure shot through Rohan, sinking to his groin. A teenager’s giggle brought him back and reminded him of the danger. Aware his sister had heard as well, Rohan started for the exit, shouldering most of the stranger’s weight.
When they’d almost reached the car, Ambar ran ahead to unlock it. She opened the rear door and stood aside to let him help the stranger inside.
Rohan breathed deep, ultra aware of the attraction simmering between him and the stranger. With his arm around the man’s shoulders, he could feel the heat coming off the shifter’s body. Rohan’s cock filled enough to worry him. He held his breath, trying to think of cold things, mindful of Ambar standing behind them.
This wasn’t the way he wanted her to find out about his preference for males. He scowled again. A tiger shifter and one he didn’t know. What were the chances?
Grunting, he manhandled the stranger into the rear of Ambar’s car, wishing they’d kept his SUV instead of selling it. That would have been much easier than squeezing the man into Ambar’s small car. They’d sold Ambar’s car as well, and the new owner would take possession on the day they left for Middlemarch. Rohan couldn’t wait to take delivery of the new SUV they’d ordered in Dunedin.
“I like you,” the stranger whispered. “Wanna fuck?”
Hell! Rohan went stock-still, his heart pounding so loud he was sure Ambar would hear the thumpity-thump as it beat against his ribs. And that wasn’t all that was hard. His dick pressed against the fly of his jeans with an insistent pressure that made him want to rearrange himself for comfort. He cursed softly and attempted to move. The stranger gripped his shoulders and yanked him forward. Off balance, Rohan landed on top, both of them lying on the backseat. Seconds later the stranger kissed him on the mouth.
Rohan froze. Pull away. Laugh it off. Blame the kiss on the stranger not being in his right mind. All these thoughts flashed through Rohan’s mind, yet he followed none of them. The warm touch of the male’s lips moving beneath his held temptation, pushed against his restraint. His cock bucked, and when the stranger moved against him, Rohan gave up his losing fight. Rohan kissed him back despite the fact Ambar was watching. Despite the fact they were still parked in the hospital car park and in danger.
When Rohan finally lifted his head, they were both breathing hard. They stared at each other, the stranger lifting his hand to caress Rohan’s cheek.
“Is there something you want to tell me?” Ambar asked in a choked voice. “Huh, maybe when we get home,” she added in a hurry. “Get into the car properly. Now. And keep down. Grab the blanket and pull it over him. I’ll drive.”
Heart pumping with the urgency he heard in Ambar’s voice, Rohan crawled inside, lifted the stranger’s legs clear of the door, grabbed the tartan blanket from the back and spread it over them both. The car door slammed behind them.
“Kiss me again,” the stranger said in a loud voice.
“We are really going to talk when we get home,” Ambar said tartly.
The car started, turning sharply and throwing them both off balance.
“Drive slow and smoothly,” Rohan said. “We don’t want to attract attention.”
“Shush. I need to concentrate.”
Rohan shut up. A mistake because then he had time to appreciate his proximity to the stranger, take in his scent and feel the hardness of the man’s erection pressing into his hip.
Rohan kissed him, telling himself it was a good way of shutting the stranger up. The first kiss had started off as a mashing of lips with no finesse. This one was different, as if the other man felt more alert. His tongue licked across the seam of Rohan’s lips and he pressed the tip against the corner of Rohan’s mouth. Immediately, Rohan envisaged penetration. A shot of pure lust converged in his gut, the reverberation ending in his balls. He gasped, feeling more turned-on than he could ever remember. And he didn’t even know the man’s name. The thought drifted away when pitched against the touch of the man’s lips, sucking and nibbling on the tendons of his neck.
“I like kissing you,” the stranger said. “You make me hot. I can’t wait to fuck you.”
Rohan pulled away, breathing hard. He pressed his fingertips to the stranger’s mouth, wanting him to quieten. Ambar didn’t need to hear this stuff.
The stranger fell silent, and Rohan let his breath ease out in relief. Judging by the speed of the car, Ambar had left the parking area and was on the main road.
“Is anyone following?” he asked.
“I don’t think so. I saw a couple of men run from the entrance. They were wearing uniforms, but I don’t know if they were after us or not.”
“Best to be sure,” Rohan said.
“Yeah.” A loud sigh sounded, and Rohan imagined Ambar had breathed hard enough to stir the lock of hair that sometimes fell over her forehead. “You’d better stay under the blanket and keep out of sight. If anyone is looking for us, a car with a driver and no passengers might throw them off.”
A rough tongue dragged across his fingers, the abrasive sensation making him gasp. The stranger was going to kill him. Warm heat surrounded his fingers and the man sucked on them. Rohan cursed softly.
“Do I want to know why you’re cursing?” Humor lurked in Ambar’s voice this time, and although Rohan worried about the talk he knew was coming once they reached the safety of their home, he thought it might not be as bad as he’d imagined. She sounded curious and intrigued rather than disgusted.
They’d become close during childhood, teaming up against their parents’ strict child-raising methods. Rohan had loved his parents, and he knew Ambar had as well, but there was no disputing they’d lived in the dark ages, believing in traditional roles for men and women and arranged marriages. Both still single by sheer luck and many arguments, they were ready for a new chapter in their lives. Rohan made a mental note to make sure he canceled the marriage broker. Ambar was still on the books. He’d ring India later today to ensure they were both free to follow their own paths.
The stranger swiped his tongue up and down Rohan’s finger and sucked again.
“Quit that,” Rohan snapped, snatching his fingers free of the stranger’s mouth when all he really wanted to do was sink into the pleasure. He wanted to rip off the stranger’s T-shirt and run his hands over his chest. Rohan blinked and stopped his thoughts above belt level. No point sinking into the gutter any farther than he’d already fallen.
“Almost back to the store,” Ambar said. “For once I’ve struck most of the lights green.”
“Is the sky falling?” Rohan asked. The rest of New Zealand made jokes about the constant snarl-up on Auckland roads, and for good reason. The traffic was horrendous.
“Oh shoot. There are two customers waiting in front of the store.”
“Okay, give me a few minutes to get this guy up to the flat and you can open up. I’ll get him settled and try to get some sense out of him. His name.”
“You’re gonna owe me,” Ambar snapped. “One of the customers is Brian Gibson. I swear if he tries to touch my ass again I’m gonna deck him using every ounce of my strength. I won’t care about holes in the walls or his head or anything else. Do you hear me?”
“Shrew, they can probably hear you on the other side of the world,” the stranger said.
The car stopped so abruptly Rohan hit his head on the seat in front. The man grunted when his cock slammed into Rohan’s hip.
“I hope that hurt,” Ambar said sweetly. “Bro, you really owe me.” The driver’s door opened and closed.
Rohan pushed aside the blanket and shoved off the stranger. His face felt hot. Hell, his entire body shimmered with heat and a blind man would notice his erection. Ambar wasn’t blind.
The rear door opened and Ambar peered at them both. Thankfully she didn’t comment on their appearance. “Do you need help?”
“Just get the door for us. I’ll help him up the stairs to the flat. As soon as I get him settled, I’ll come down to help you in the store. You have my permission to hit Brian if he gets out of hand.”
“Pretty,” the stranger said.
Rohan hid the surge of disappointment behind a stoic face. That would be right. Half the men he met at the store had the hots for his sister. Why should this man be any different? Someone had drugged him and maybe worse. No wonder his head was addled. The kiss had meant nothing. Sighing, Rohan turned to find the man staring directly at him, not Ambar.
Ambar’s eyes narrowed. She made a tiny noise at the back of her throat that could have meant anything and stomped over to the door leading directly to their flat above the store. Her expression told Rohan their talk would come before the day ended. He climbed out of the car and leaned back inside to grasp the other man.
“I can do it,” the man said.
Rohan suppressed a smile at the snappy tone. It reminded him of a determined child, intent on testing his skills.
“Don’t be long,” Ambar called, disappearing inside.
Rohan watched the stranger closely, ready to grab him if he faltered. After long seconds, the man stood beside him. He wavered from side to side, looking like a sailor walking on land after a long sea voyage.
“How are you feeling?” Rohan asked. “What’s your name? I’m Rohan Patel and that was my sister Ambar.”
In the distance, he heard the roar of a lion, followed by the screech of primates. The familiar sounds coming from the nearby Auckland Zoo calmed the angst residing in his gut.
The stranger tensed, his head jerked and he turned to face the direction the sound came from. The lion roared again.
“Easy,” Rohan said. “It’s the lions at the zoo. The zoo isn’t far from here.” Not that Rohan blamed the man for his unease. Difficult not to feel a bit of anxiety, given the circumstances.
“Sister.” A grin transformed the man’s countenance as he turned his attention back on Rohan. “That’s good to know. I thought you might have been married.”
“No,” Rohan said, holding back the surge of relief. “I wouldn’t have kissed you if I was with anyone else.” No sense getting ahead of himself. They knew nothing of this man, apart from his shifter status. They might go up in flames when they touched each other but that didn’t mean they were compatible. “You didn’t tell me your name.”
“My name is…” The male trailed off, his brow furrowing in consternation. “My name is…” He wobbled and Rohan’s arm shot out, slipping around his waist to steady him. “I don’t know my name.” A trace of panic coated his words, echoing in the stricken expression on his face.
“It’s all right,” Rohan soothed. Another layer to the puzzle. Maybe he’d hit his head and that had something to do with his memory problems. Although when they’d kissed, Rohan had noticed the faint sickly sweetness present when someone took drugs. Something else to check on… “Do you know where you come from? How you ended up in the hospital?”
The man’s frown intensified. “I…I don’t know. I can’t remember anything.”
“This is another fabulous story fans of Shelley Munro are sure to enjoy and if you have not yet tried one of her stories and love shapeshifters, give this one a chance. With plenty of passion, mystery and laughs (the soccer scene is sure to leave you chuckling) this book is one not to miss.”
~ Literary Nymphs Reviews.
“I have read all of the Middlemarch Mates books for two reasons, first it’s a series and I hate not finishing a series once I start, and Second, but even more important, is that the entire series is just so well written that I can’t help but read them when I see them released. Each book is written so that you can read them as part of the group or as stand alones and not be confused as to who the characters are. I particularly loved this one for two reasons: It tugged at my sense of humor and it made me cry at the end. I hated that one of my favorite characters was injured, but I loved that Kiran finally stands up for himself and believes that he deserves to be loved. Want to know who and how etc? Read the book. CatNap is beautifully written, as always from Ms. Munro, I can’t wait for Ambar’s story.”
~ Night Owl Romances.
“A sexy yet emotional story, be sure to check out CATNAP.”
~ Romance Review Today
“CatNap blends mystery and suspense with sizzling hot sexual encounters. Likeable, charming main characters as well as a large cast of secondary characters are what make CatNap truly enjoyable. Easily read as a stand alone tale, fans of the series will be pleased to meet up with characters from previous stories. There are some plot threads left dangling, but the overall story is satisfying. CatNap mixes layers of suspense, carnal encounters, humor, and a pinch of sadness into an entertaining tale.”
~ Joyfully Reviewed