Freedom in the Smokies (Durham Wolves, Book 3)

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Reviews:

Julie’s Book Review

“Good story, great hot sex scenes, and a wonderful author.”

Fresh Fiction

“I really enjoyed this book. Becca Jameson’s characters were quick witted, brave, and passionate just like her writing style. There was not a moment in the book where I was bored or the topic seemed to drag on. She will definitely be another that I add to my favorite author list.”–Sherri M, Fresh Fiction

Night Owl Reviews

“I loved this series and hate to see it come to a close. Perhaps if we are lucky Ms. Jameson might revisit the Durham’s with stories of some of the other characters such as Sheriff James Hardin or the wolves living around and working at Winston Hall. A girl can hope can’t she?”–Merry Noelle, Night Owl Reviews

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Freedom in the Smokies releases December 24, 2013, with Samhain Publishing.

Blurb:

Her domineering mate knows how to push all her hot buttons.

With a vampire still threatening the family, Micah Durham has no plans to follow his brothers into matehood. In fact, he’d prefer not to expose anyone else—human or shifter—to the dangers they face.

Yet when he returns from visiting a horse buyer, he’s beyond pissed to find his family has hired a new thoroughbred trainer. A female, human trainer whose scent steals his power of speech.

Kaitlyn Winston couldn’t wait to get out of California, and out from under her grandmother’s thumb, to find her dream job in her beloved Smoky Mountains. Except when she attempts to make nice with her new boss, their attraction lands them in his bedroom.

The haze of passion doesn’t make their problems disappear, though. The life Kaitlyn left behind throws a left hook that could pull them apart. And the Durhams’ old enemy is back, stronger than ever, and threatening to pick off the Durhams and their mates…one at a time.

Warning: Steaming hot sex in a tack room, saddles and saw horses put to good use, hot showers, and lovers’ spats smoothed over with intense make-up sex.

Excerpt:

Micah paced his room, striding back and forth from one end to the other for the thousandth time. Thank God he’d grabbed a sandwich earlier on the road, because he hadn’t had the balls to join the others for dinner.

He hadn’t been ready to face Kaitlyn yet. And he sure as hell didn’t want to confront her in front of everyone else’s smirking faces. By now, the entire clan would be privy to his dilemma. If one could even call it a dilemma.

He glanced at his watch. It was only eight o’clock. The noises coming from the great room had died down. Everyone would have dispersed from the kitchen by now and headed their separate ways. Kaitlyn in her room, filling his wing of the house with her scent.

The only way to know for sure was to pull himself up by the balls and go to her. He headed toward the door to his suite and paused, running his hands through his hair. Crap. Crap crap crap. In all this pacing, he hadn’t formulated a single thing to say to her.

He tried to recall how his brothers had first confronted their mates and let them in on their fates. Damn. That did no good. Both relationships had started under extreme circumstances. Sergius had met Juliana when she’d been a missing hiker lost in the forest. Jaxon had also rescued his mate, Brianna, when she’d become trapped in a cave during a forest fire. Micah still wasn’t altogether sure who rescued whom in that event, since Brianna was a firefighter.

Nevertheless, Kaitlyn Winston was in for a rude awakening. Even though they weren’t currently experiencing some sort of life-threatening event, she might disagree after he told her about him and his brothers.

One thing was for certain—the first item on his list of things to do tonight would be to introduce his mate to the way of wolves. No way could he claim her without first informing her completely about the Durhams’ shifting abilities.

With a long inhale, Micah jerked the door to his room open and stepped into the hall. He regretted the inhale immediately. Yep, his entire end of the house smelled like Kaitlyn.

As though headed toward the guillotine, Micah dragged himself to the door next to his.

Hand shaking, he knocked lightly.

“Come in.” Her response was quick.

Micah turned the knob and opened the door. She sat curled up in the window seat with a book in her lap. Her glorious long black hair hung around her face like a curtain as she lifted her head and smiled at him. In one instant she was soft and sweet. In the next she uncurled her legs, jumped from her perch and stood next to the window. Her book fell to the floor.

“I’m sorry. I thought you were Juliana or Brianna.” She wiped her palms on her jeans, and her gaze met his for a few seconds before she looked down and away.

Why did she seem so uncomfortable? Oh yeah. That’s right, doofus. You acted like a dolt earlier in the barn. She probably fears you’ll fire her and send her away.

Man, how he wished he could. If he could put her on a plane to anywhere but here, she’d remain safe. Unfortunately, fate didn’t work that way. He’d needed a few hours to wrap his mind around it.

“Sorry—about earlier,” Kaitlyn said in a halting manner. “I know you weren’t expecting me to be there…in the barn, I mean. And I know you aren’t too thrilled about your family hiring me, but I assure you if you give me a chance, you’ll see that—”

Micah held up a hand to stop her and shook his head. He needed to set her straight, but his tongue was stuck to the roof of his mouth. Plus, it was hard for him to concentrate because she looked so fantastic. Her jeans hugged her to perfection. He wanted her to turn around so he could see her ass. He hadn’t had the opportunity earlier. The snug fit from the front left little to the imagination. His jeans suddenly felt too tight…again.

He took a deep breath. He could smell her arousal. It gave him the confidence to say what needed to be said. “Kaitlyn—”

She interrupted him. “Sir, I promise I’m qualified to train your horses. More than qualified actually. And—”

He shook his head again and her shoulders fell in dismay.

What was this “sir” business? He winced. She was totally misunderstanding his intentions.

“I didn’t come here to fire you, Kaitlyn.” He shut the door behind him with a quiet snick, stepped farther into the room and took a seat on one of the winged chairs by the television.

The proximity to his mate stiffened his c*ck even more. She smelled so damn good. She hadn’t showered yet tonight and he was glad. Her personal musk still stood out and combined with her expensive perfume. The two seemed incongruent—a woman who worked with horses for a living wearing some designer perfume—but he never wanted her to stop because he would forever know her by the scent. It burned itself into his brain.

Kaitlyn didn’t move an inch. She stood rigid by the window, staring at him with her brow furrowed. “Oh,” she muttered. “Well, okay.”

He needed to expound on the reason for his presence in her space, but words escaped him—again—as he stared at her.

He cleared his throat. “Sit.” He nodded to the other chair across from him. It might not have been the best idea, since she would have to get even closer and he could barely concentrate as it was, but he needed to look her in the eye and tell her a dozen things.

Stiff, like a robot, his woman approached. She perched on the edge of the seat and set her palms on her knees, rubbing them again. He knew he made her very nervous.

“Relax. You aren’t in trouble. You’re staying.” He smiled at her; at least he hoped he did. It was hard to get his facial muscles to do what he commanded. Perhaps it had been more of a half grin.

Her shoulders relaxed infinitesimally. “Okay. Good. You won’t be sorry. I promise.”

“I’m sure I won’t. I just hope you won’t be.” Now he smiled for sure. He was about to turn her life upside down. “You can’t imagine what you’ve stepped into here.”

Her eyebrows rose as she flinched. “Huh?” She shook her head. “No, I’m sure I’ll love it here. Horses are my passion and I have wanted to return to the Smokies for many years and find a job doing what I love most—horse training. This is the most perfect place on earth.”

Now Micah was shocked. If she only knew how not perfect the Appalachians were right now… But she was human. She had no knowledge of vampires. He hoped to keep that tidbit to himself for a while too. He had enough information to share right now as it was. Vampires did not make the short list for this evening. Wolves. Mating. Claiming. Screwing. That was the short list. Vampires could wait for tomorrow…or another day when he and his mate came up for air.

“Your farm is gorgeous. I’ve been introducing myself to your horses all day. They are clearly loved and have always been well taken care of. I hope you’ll be pleased with what I can add—”

“Kaitlyn…” he interrupted.

She sucked her bottom lip into her mouth and chewed on it.

Micah had a hard time dragging his gaze back to her eyes. He wanted to suck that lip into his mouth and bite it himself. “I’m not here to discuss the job.” He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. It brought him within a foot of her face. He didn’t release the lock on her gaze.