Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Happy Book Birthday-Crazy over You by Wendy Sparrow!
Title: Crazy Over You
Series: Taming The Pack, #3
Author: Wendy Sparrow
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Suspense
Length: 254 pages
Release Date: July 28, 2015
Imprint: Select Otherworld
She’s on the sheriff’s most wanted list.
Waking up with a naked woman holding a knife at his throat is just about the last thing Sheriff Travis Flynn expected. And the brother she’s looking for? A murderer. And dead. Probably. But the real shock comes when she insists she’s not a Lycan.
LeAnn Wilcox isn’t looking for love…especially not from some wolf in sheriff’s clothing. She operates on the other side of the law. Once she finds her brother-alive-she’ll get out of the pack’s territory and go back to her regular, normal, non-furry life of changing jobs and her name whenever her past closes in.
The cool, logical Sheriff has finally met his match, but LeAnn’s life is at stake if she won’t claim her place in the pack, especially once his control over the pack is challenged and her brother’s fate is questioned.
Copyright © 2015 by Wendy Sparrow. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.
Some days were best forgotten.
As he sat on the edge of his bed, Travis Flynn was hard-pressed to decide if these last few days were among them. True, they’d removed the threat of poachers that had been hanging over the Lycan community for nearly a dozen years. He’d lost some pack members, including Ross, who’d arranged a genocide of his people.
Also, he’d started his courtship of Alanna, despite there being only mild sexual interest between them. She was alpha material. He needed a mate. She was the most logical choice. It was hard to say what he’d feel for her when he’d achieved this goal.
He’d presided over a marriage today. That had been…interesting.
Maybe that was it. He was settling for a mating partner instead of a scent-match. Some Lycans never scent-matched. And he’d been Alpha for a year, and there were expectations. The Alpha was meant to contribute to the continuation of their species. After so many years of poachers taking their toll, their species could use a few Lycans getting it on. Besides, you never knew when someone like Ross would come along and destroy the monotonous routine you’d worked hard to achieve by killing you and using your innards to lay a false trail. He could wind up a bag of guts in someone’s fridge like their pack member Colby had.
In that light, mating with Alanna sounded much better. Anything was better than ending up with no one caring you were dead. Alanna would be a good alpha female. And she wasn’t exactly hard on the eyes. It would be fine. It would be good. And claiming a mate was part of his life plan—a meticulously constructed timeline he couldn’t suspend indefinitely while awaiting a scent-match that might never occur.
Travis wiped both hands down his face. He needed sleep.
He lay back on his bed and turned off the light. He’d fought hard today. He shouldn’t have the energy to stare at the ceiling and worry about his pack. His right leg hurt like hell—even if Alanna had stitched it up. He’d carry a scar from the bullet wound he’d received in today’s battle.
Closing his eyes, Travis willed himself to go to sleep. He had a lengthy day ahead of him tomorrow. He needed to go in and function as the local sheriff. He couldn’t take more time off. The threat was terminated. Things were satisfactory. Life was acceptable.
He should try counting sheep.
A wolf counting sheep.
He laughed to himself.
Okay, seriously, he needed sleep.
Finally, exhaustion dragged him under.
The sharp sting to his neck and the pressure of someone crouching on top of him, pinning his arms, woke him up. Travis gasped in a breath, and his heart went wild as he frantically tried to assess the situation. Friend or foe? Is this even real? If it isn’t, is this a nightmare…or a very good fantasy? He blinked. Damn. Maybe both.
It wasn’t every night you woke up with a naked female on top of you and one of your kitchen knives at your throat.This is…unexpected. His pulse kept up its pace despite his mental reminder to “stay calm”—pulses didn’t listen to such things, dammit. This was fine. He was in control. Well, he wasn’t, but he soon would be.
He inhaled, trying not to move…and it hit him. His mouth went dry as his forehead started to sweat. Hormones rushed through his system like he was a teenage boy with a crush—not a grown-ass man, a sheriff, with a genius IQ and a gun somewhere around. Now? Here? Of all the…oh, she smelled good enough to eat…dammit, seriously? Damn was it inconvenient to scent-match to someone wanting to kill you. And in the middle of the night? He didn’t even know her.
He drew in a ragged breath. You can do this. If he played his part right, he could get the upper hand.
Ignoring his hormones. And her very naked body. Her naked body with gorgeous curves that made his fingertips tingle with the desire to trace them. If only his arms weren’t pinned.
A wrinkle formed between her eyebrows, and her mouth firmed just as the sting of the knife blade brought him back to reality.
Ease up on the devouring her with your eyes, moron!
Fantastic night vision was a huge liability right now.
“Hello, what can I do for you?” He blinked forcefully and tried to imbue the right amount of lazy, nonthreatening drawl into his voice.
“Where is my brother?” she asked, slowly enunciating each word as if dealing with an idiot. Her voice was sexy and deep, and his body didn’t care about the knife at his throat. Focusing on the pain helped him leash the animal inside.
Inhaling again, he mentally groaned. Siblings smelled close enough that you could peg a relation.
Just go ahead and kill me.
“Can we discuss this without the knife?” She wasn’t going to take the news regarding her brother well. Who would? Honey, your brother was a traitor to our kind and tried to wipe out an entire population of Lycans. He was ripped to shreds. There weren’t enough pieces of him to bring back in a box to bury.
Narrowing her gorgeous blue eyes, his captor said, “You’ve all been over at his place and taken things and gone through his stuff. The place has been picked through like a crime scene. I want to know why and where he is. I know you’re his Alpha. I know you know where he is.”
Travis was, and he did…but he wasn’t about to blurt that out. “I didn’t know Ross had a sister. You didn’t live with him.” He’d known Ross for years, and she looked around the same age. Ross had never acted as if he had family, and his mother had died when he was an infant. But this woman smelled like she was family of some sort.
She frowned at him.
Warmth flushed his skin. He was burning up with wanting her. Okay, obviously there wasn’t going to be a lot of small talk. Even her frowns were a turn-on.
Concentrate, Travis. Focus. Clear your head. She has a damn knife at your throat. Hell, her legs were long—all sinewy smooth muscle and…dammit.
She inhaled to speak, and then she stopped and blinked…and her pupils dilated. Her breath hitched as she released it. Her frown deepened. “What…just…happened?”
Apparently, the scent-match had hit her, too. Hopefully she wouldn’t kill her soul mate.
Her voice deepened as she said, “He was my half brother. My mom moved away, and he didn’t find out about me until… Why do you smell like…?” She moaned and closed her eyes.
He felt the same way.
Kill me now.
No one could be worse for him to scent-match with. No one.
Unless it was Ross himself. His muscles twitched in a repressed shudder.
And Ross was dead.
Travis had an IQ of 163, and he couldn’t think of anything beyond the scent of her skin and the touch of her brown hair as it brushed the side of his face. Even the knife at his neck wasn’t feeling like much of a deterrent.
She panted out a breath as she opened her eyes. “You smell like everything I’ve ever wanted.”
“If you put the knife down…we can talk about that.”
Sometimes, you had to make the best of a bad thing. And considering the naked body hovering above his—the best might be very good. She was gorgeous. At least she was a Lycan. There was that. The last couple of scent-matches he knew of had been to humans. Judging from the fact that she’d shed her clothes to go into form, she was definitely a Lycan. And while nakedness wasn’t as big a deal among Lycans, that was possibly only because their hormones weren’t normally this front-and-center. Was this what it was like being in heat? He blinked and tried to concentrate. And if he could breathe less, that would be great.
“I’m not moving. I’m not a threat to you. Just put down the knife.” Because if she had a knife at his throat even before she found out her brother was dead, things would be much worse after.
She licked her lips, still breathing faster. At least she was considering it. This might not go as unfavorably as he’d first thought. Maybe they were estranged. Hell, maybe they hated each other and she was looking for her brother so she could put a knife at his throat, too.
Hopefully not while she was naked.
“My name is Travis,” he said slowly.
She narrowed her eyes. “Don’t treat me like I’m crazy.”
Whoa, he hadn’t even begun to treat her like she was crazy—which she was. Normally, he wasn’t attracted to crazy women.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
She inhaled to speak and then started blinking rapidly again and let all the air out of her lungs raggedly. Yeah, this scent-match thing was powerful. It made you overlook things like incompatibility—one of you being a local sheriff, the other being a head case with a knife in her hand. She yanked the knife from his throat and set her hand on the pillow beside his head before leaning down and pressing her mouth against his. Firecrackers went off in his chest, and he closed his eyes as he lifted his head. It was a damn good thing she’d moved the knife, or he might have lopped his whole head off trying to get closer.
Of the million and one things he might have expected—that wasn’t one of them.
But he was willing to go along with it.
This was the quickest he’d ever kissed a woman after meeting her. Definitely the soonest he’d had his tongue in someone’s mouth as she made soft moaning noises. Plus, she was naked. This didn’t happen. Not in the real world. If only she hadn’t trapped his arms at his sides with her legs. One of her hands—the one not holding the knife—came up to cup his head so she could deepen the kiss.
Okay, he was definitely willing to put up with crazy.
She pulled back slowly, her teeth scraping across his lower lip. “LeAnn.” She wiped her mouth—that heavenly mouth—with her free hand.
“LeAnn.” It suited her. “If you’ll let me up, we can keep talking about this.” And by “talking” he meant he’d have her on her back, moaning out his name rather rapidly. His very long stretch of abstinence was about to end.
She licked her lips and wrinkled up her nose. “First, tell me where my brother is.”
Well, that would ruin any “talking.” “First, let me up.”
Raising her eyebrows, she leaned forward and put the knife back at his throat. “First, tell me where Ross is.”
He sighed. “Well, you’ve heard of the poachers, I’m sure.” Whichever pack she’d formerly belonged to would have mentioned them.
She studied his face with narrowed eyes. “What? You mean like animal poachers?”
“No, I mean… Wait, what pack were you a member of?” She was now in the Rainier pack by virtue of being his mate, but this was all happening unbelievably fast for him to process that.
“I wasn’t in a…pack.” She said the word like it was bizarre and foreign.
So she’d simply roamed. But any of the packs she’d been in touch with in the last decade would have mentioned poachers. “Well, in the packs you’ve met with, I’m sure they’ve brought up poachers.” Maybe if she had her memory jogged as to the abhorrent nature of her brother’s crime, she’d be less upset.
“I’ve never met with a pack. Why would I? I mean, I know what my brother was. He showed me on a trip—that’s how I knew about you, but he didn’t take me to any meetings.”
Her brother let her handle being a Lycan all on her own? That was nearly criminal in and of itself. No wonder she was crazy. Being a Lycan was fairly all-encompassing in the way of lifestyles.
“Well, okay, so there are…well, were these individuals who hunted down Lycans for their organs. There is a black market for Lycan organs.”
Her mouth dropped open, and the knife left his throat again. “That’s horrible.”
“Yes.” He cleared his throat. Normally, he’d adopt his dim-witted persona to set someone at ease, but he couldn’t seem to dredge up that side to him. He didn’t want to. He wanted LeAnn to see him as an Alpha. “So, they’ve been hunting our kind for around twelve years and wiping out our population.”
She nodded. Her mouth was pursed in this adorable way that made him want to kiss her again…and they were talking about poachers and the extinction of his species. There was something quantifiably wrong with him. Seriously.
“Now can you let me up?”
She considered this for a second, but then shook her head. “What if you call the police?”
“I am the police. I’m the sheriff.”
She frowned. “Well, that’s unfortunate.”
“But I’m not planning on doing anything.” Not anything as a sheriff, anyway.
With a shrug, she scooted backward—freeing up his arms. He could at least stop her from going for his throat when he broke the news about her brother.
He got up on his elbows. “So, we thought poachers had killed someone in my pack last week, but it turned out to be a trap for a nearby pack where…uhh…someone had notified the poachers of the identities of the entire pack. They’d basically sent out an extermination order. Men. Women. Children. The poachers killed an elderly woman before we got there to help.”
“That’s awful.” She scooted farther back and got off his bed, holding the knife in front of her. “What does this have to do with my brother?”
He could lie to her, but she’d need to know soon enough, and there wasn’t a gray area to what Ross had done. “Ross was the one who notified the poachers of their identities.”
She shook her head. “No. No, I’m sorry. You’re wrong.”
He sat up. Time to lay all the cards on the table and work back from there. “When I arrived there, your brother was holding a woman for ransom as part of the trap…this was yesterday.”
LeAnn continued to shake her head. “No. You’re wrong. Ross said that someone had it out for him. That I shouldn’t be surprised if he went off the grid for a while. But…no. He didn’t do that. You’re wrong…or you’re lying…or…”
“I’m not. I’m sorry. Your brother is dead. Another pack killed him after he attacked the Alpha of Glacier Peak. We lost a lot of Lycans yesterday because of your brother.” They had effectively ended the threat of the poachers, but he wasn’t going to offer her that silver lining.
She frowned. “He’s not dead. I’d know if he was dead, and besides, he’s been around here. He was here tonight. That’s why I figured you’d know.”
He’d seen denial, but that was taking it further than expected. “He’s dead. Really. Honey, I’m sorry, but…”
“No!” she said, pointing at him with the knife. “No. You’re wrong. You’re wrong.” She backed up slowly, breathing faster, and he could see the sheen of tears in her eyes.
He got up from the bed—an inch at a time—maintaining eye contact. This could be going better, but at least she hadn’t sliced his throat, and he’d told her without her going ballistic and knifing him. Now he just had to get her to believe him. “LeAnn, it’s okay. Stay where you are, and we can talk about this. This isn’t your fault.”
“No. He’s not dead. I can smell things really well, and he’s not dead. He was outside your house earlier tonight.”
“All Lycans can smell things well, and trust me, he’s dead.” And her brother should have helped her find a pack so she’d be more aware of the Lycan way of life. He wanted to kill Ross all over again for that. What kind of brother would let his sister deal with this all by herself? Ass.
“Well, good for you guys, but I can smell my brother’s scent, and he’s alive. And he didn’t do anything to your…people or species or whatever like you’re saying. He wouldn’t.”
Travis stood up and stared at her. Okay, the hormones might be messing with his head and, yes, he was tired, and he wasn’t handling this optimally, but… “LeAnn, you do know that you’re a Lycan, right?” Even if the naked thing hadn’t tipped him off, she smelled like a Lycan now that she was as aroused as he was. There was a wild aspect to the sweet musk she was putting off. It was making him insane. Knife or no knife…crazy or sane…he wanted to drag her back to bed with him.
She laughed, and for a moment, he was relieved…because of course she knew.
Then she shook her head and said, “No, I’m not.”
His mouth fell open.
“And Ross isn’t dead.”
My Review is coming soon! But since I'm halfway through it, I gotta say this- it's the best one yet!! And I'm so pumped about a recurring Jordan and I'm totally all for Travis!!! :) I promise to have my full review up soon.