Two people from two worlds collide in a test of wills.
Olivia Esmerelda Vasques has always been in control—in the boardroom, in the bedroom, and in her life. But when her partner/ex-husband insists she needs a vacation, Olivia is reluctant to give in until the board of directors issues an ultimatum: take a vacation or don’t bother coming back.
So hiking Mt. McKinley it is. Not her idea of fun, especially after she stumbles into something she can’t quite explain and doesn’t really understand. All she knows is that the sexy warrior she meets has promised to keep her safe. The problem is, she doesn’t know if she can survive him.
Bödvar (Blue) Varangian never expected to have his ass handed to him by the saucy firecracker that barrels into him in the woods. Scared out of her mind, and just a bit moody, she’s now his responsibility. However, she doesn’t take kindly to him telling her what to do, even though she’s been thrust into a world of shifters and vampires and is obviously in way over her head. He knows her type, yet he can’t help wanting to tame her. But his cravings run dark; something he suspects will have her running faster and farther than the threat she currently faces.
Can two people from two different worlds find a way to navigate their journey of friendship, love, and their darkest desires?
**PNR, SHIFTERS, HUNTERS, Light BDSM, +18 and over Multicultural/Interracial Romance**
It’s my birthday and my release day! If I could throw confetti, I would! I’m excited for all of you to see Blue in all his story! And as thanks to all you beautiful readers out there, I’m giving away, a signed copy of Arctic Bound, Dire Cravings, and In The Cover of Night. All Shifters! The first two are part of my Arctic Wolves Series, the last book will introduce you to a hot panther shifter living in Louisianna.
I’ll also throw in a nifty 25$ Amazon GC! All you need to do to enter is leave a comment! (With email) so I can contact you to let you know you’ve won!
Here are the books I’ll be giving away. (SIGNED)
I did not see a monster drain a man dry of blood. Not possible. The images played on a loop in Olivia’s mind as she ran.
That’s how long she’d been running nonstop.
Olivia’s legs carried her forward, but not fast enough. She kept going, suspecting that the creatures who’d attacked her camp were not far behind. The altitude alone slowed her down. Every sound made her skin crawl, and her heart race. The silence made her hyper-aware. The forest slept while she attempted to evade the men chasing her. You are not in a slasher flick, Liv. Keep moving. The erratic beat of her pulse served as a reminder that she still lived. With every breath, her chest burned. The weather grew colder, wetter. The damp air hindered her movements and made her clothes stick to her skin. The combination of icy sweat against her overheated body exhausted her limbs. Her dry mouth and swollen tongue only served as an annoyance and a reminder of things she took for granted. Like water. Food. She was parched for water yet soaked from exhaustion. That show with the dude who got dropped in remote locations to survive…he would probably tell his viewers to drink up the sweat or drink their own urine. But time wasted meant certain death in Olivia’s mind. And what was considered safe? What constituted her life no longer being in danger? Dead in the forest on a forced vacation posed a serious problem for Olivia.
What the hell were those things back there? Not vampires. Vampires didn’t exist. They had to be crazy drugged-up men. Yeah. Psychos. Because anything else would make her certifiable, and Olivia Vasques was not crazy. The men back at the camp had killed the Moores—a nice husband and wife. The Chesters—newlyweds who only wanted an adventure, had their throats ripped to shreds. The photographer, Ben—strung up by his feet from a tree limb while still alive, his blood seeping into the ice-cold ground beneath him to mix with the snow and mud. And their guide, Art. She hadn’t seen his body. There was too much blood and chaos for her to truly digest what her mind took in.
Thank God, she hadn’t screamed. A lot of good it had done her. The moment Olivia stepped foot inside the camp and witnessed the carnage, they sensed her. Blood dripped down the sides of their mouths as they hunched over the prone bodies of her fellow travel companions. Their heads snapped up. Eyes lit up like red lasers were eerie and devoid of sanity zeroed in on her. They followed her every movement, like the scope of a sniper’s rifle. One may have even called out to her.
No, thank you. She was not that girl. The one who died within the first five minutes of a slasher flick. Fuck that shit.
There’d be no dying today. She had a company to run. An ex-husband and board members to murder. This had been their idea, after all. Issuing an ultimatum and forcing her into a vacation she didn’t need nor want. Because of them, she was now running for her life. Her lungs burned, and all the cardio and spinning classes she took did absolutely nothing to help with her endurance. Not while in the mountains. The air was thinner, and her body felt like two tons of brick.
Her legs, now boneless, would give at any minute. Olivia’s feet throbbed in places she hadn’t known existed, and the blood in her veins felt thick and sluggish. With every inhale and exhale of breath, her ribcage protested with sharp slices of torment. I’m too loud. They would hear her. She needed to slow down, backtrack and find shelter to rest for the evening. Grab some sleep before her body no longer supported her. If she slept at night and ran during the day, it would buy her some time. The idea made sense to her shattered mind. If she hid and slept while it was dark, and ran during the day, those things wouldn’t find her. She hadn’t seen one while the sun was out. Though she hadn’t really seen one at night either.
They’re playing with you.
Toying with their food in hopes of wearing her out. Or maybe it didn’t matter what time of the day she slept or ran.
Animals sensed fear and anxiety. But those monsters were men. Escaped lunatics from a local hospital surely. But in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness? There wasn’t a hospital for hundreds of miles, least of all a mental facility. Would anyone even look for her? No. They wouldn’t. A forced two-week vacation that the board deemed non-negotiable. If she so much as answered an email, her employment ended. Fuckers.
She knew their plans. They didn’t like the way she ran things. Wanted to shove her out, start recruitment for her replacement. They had another thing coming if they thought to toss her aside. She’d helped make Madds, Parsons, and Goldberg the best insurance agency in the business. She’d bled for them. What a coincidence it would be if she died because of them. I am not going to die.
The sound of something ahead drew Olivia up short. Had they found her? Ducking behind a moss-covered boulder, she plastered herself against the stone, hoping to become one with it. She tried to hold in her breath, the act impossible as her heart beat loudly, broadcasting her location.
The moist ground smelled of wet vegetation. Her water-resistant boots protected her from the cold and wet of the mud but did nothing for the agony in her feet. Her body fought against her will to live. On the inside, the temperature burned. A toasty one hundred and two degrees if she had to guess. Which in turn made her sweaty—the reason her clothing clung to her skin. Hiking was not a part of her regular vocabulary or on her list of things to do before she died. She worked at an insurance agency, in a corner office. She ordered espressos with petit fours. Where were those two guys from that show when you needed them? You are not a survivalist, Liv. This felt more like a movie she’d seen where people hunted people. I gotta find a way to get out of here. The mountains well within her sight fueled her objective. It had been her target for the past three days. Her mind supplied the illusion that if she somehow made it to the mountain, she may come out of this horrible ordeal alive.
She’d cover herself in mud like Arnold had in that movie with the alien. Then, she wouldn’t be seen. At least, she prayed that was the case. Because if it wasn’t. She was screwed.
Will it work, Vasques?
It had better work, running any farther would be next to impossible. Olivia slid down the boulder and began coating her clothing, face, and hair with mud. She wouldn’t focus on all the bacteria, or the possible infections she could get. Or how cold and slimy it felt as she caked it on. Nope. She would imagine all the health benefits a mud bath offered. Your only free spa day, and you’re rubbing mud into your skin to save your life.
Olivia had to face reality. Death could be a real possibility for her. She didn’t know if the mud would work. She didn’t know anything at this point, except that she wanted to live. Survive to run another day, get off the mountain, go back to civilization, and when she returned from her forced vacation, she’d sue the ever-loving shit out of the company for emotional and mental stress.
That’s exactly what I’m going to do.
Exhaustion set in fast as she slumped against the boulder. Adrenaline left her body by the gallons, replaced by irrational fear. Her eyes darted around the forest every second, her ears pricked at every sound. In the brush in front of her, she heard growling. Her limbs wouldn’t move. But her stomach rolled, and her mouth filled with saliva as a wave a nausea overtook her. Frozen in place, she waited. Exhaustion had zapped what little strength she had left.
Dig deep, Vasques. Pull that last burst of energy from your gut and move your ass!
The mental pep talk didn’t do her any good. Her vision blurred and the loud rushing of blood between her ears, gave her an massive headache. Unable to make out what animal hid in front of her, Olivia cringed. She heard the growl again. It was enough to get her heart to pump more blood into her system, giving her the strength and willpower to move. She made it to her feet within seconds, focused in on the mountain, and took off as fast as her boots would carry her.
As she ran, she heard the distinct sound of something chasing after her. She didn’t want to look back. If she did, she’d fall. It happened in every movie that ever involved a vampire. Turn around, you lose your footing, and then you die. Nope, it wasn’t going to happen to her. But her stupid, stupid mind told her there was no such thing as vampires, so it must be something else that pursued her. A bear? An elk? Are there even elk in Alaska? Whatever was chasing her, she wanted to know. Needed to know. She couldn’t not know.
Olivia chanced a quick glance over her shoulder and found that it wasn’t vampires. It was something much worse. A large, black beast of a wolf was trailing her, and its ice-blue eyes did not appear in the least bit friendly. The wolf looked pissed. It was also the size of a fucking pony. Holy mother of God! I promise to go to confession every Tuesday night if you just get me out of this. Please! Now, she was praying to the Virgin Mother. She was officially screwed. But then, the last pocket of energy she needed kicked in, and she knew outrunning the beast was absurd. Even if she tried to confuse it by zig-zagging in a jagged path. Wait. Don’t they travel in packs? Wolves weren’t solitary creatures. Stop thinking and run, Liv. Fucking run.
Her legs felt gelatinous, but she didn’t stop. The idea of climbing up a tree to save her life held appeal. But her arms probably wouldn’t hold her weight due to exhaustion, and the idea of lifting her bodyweight seemed altogether impossible—and dangerous. If she stopped, the wolf would pounce. There was no true clearing in the woods, only tree after tree after tree. The closer she got to the mountain, the colder it became. Olivia tried to focus in on the brush in front of her but failed. Everything was a blur. The sound of paws pounding the ground in pursuit of her had gone silent. But she knew the wolf was there, somewhere, waiting to attack. Her nerves calmed slightly at the idea that the wolf had given up its chase. But then her mind supplied the soundtrack, and she freaked out all over again. Hopefully, muddy human wasn’t on the menu, and the wolf simply wanted her out of its territory.
It didn’t matter. Olivia wasn’t about to slow down. But what she did do was turn her head to double-check her suspicions. Which was why, when her body collided with solid steel, she was knocked flat on her ass. She ached all over. There was a chance she’d broken said ass during the fall, but as she looked up, way up, she found a mountain of a man standing in front of her. She had to be dreaming. No, because you only dream of tall, dark, and handsome. Not tall, light, and… Her train of thought was lost when the stranger with the long, blond hair and ice-blue eyes peered at her, his savagely rugged beard outlined a face that belonged in an epic poem. Not just any tale, but a Viking eulogy, or an Icelandic saga complete with a ship burial as flaming arrows danced across the sky and embedded in their targets. In other words, she was imagining a tall sexy as sin blond male, instead of a beast of a wolf, hellbent on killing her. Because none of it was real. It was Olivia’s last coherent thought before darkness claimed her.