Redeemed (Wolf Gatherings, Book 4)

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Release Date:

March 6, 2014

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Redeemed released on March 6, 2014, with Taliesin Publishing.

Blurb: Acknowledging her true mate is her only chance for redemption…Ashley Rice is broken. After being rescued from the clutches of a crazed shifter who kept her drugged and malleable for four years, she is recovering with the help of her family and a psychologist.Evan Harmon is the private investigator who rescued her. At the moment of escape, he knew she was his mate. Fighting his own instinctual need to take his Fated mate, he keeps that detail to himself to allow her time to heal.

Six months later, at his breaking point, Evan attends a dinner at Ashley’s brother’s house, where he knows their relationship will be instantly revealed.

But Ashley has a long road ahead of her. She is reluctant to enter into a relationship with anyone, including the man she knows in her soul is her mate. She doesn’t believe she is worthy and she needs more time.

In addition, the man who held Ashley is still on the loose. She lives a life in fear of being found and dragged back into an existence she can no longer fathom.

And there are bigger concerns. Who provided her abductor with the drugs and is the entire event a part of a larger conspiracy?

When neither Ashley nor Evan can stand their separation any longer and realization dawns that mating isn’t something that can be denied, Ashley and Evan enter into a constrained relationship that explodes into a claiming neither of them expected.

But Evan has his own secrets, and Ashley suffers from agoraphobia. Can the two of them climb these hurdles and come out together?

Excerpt:

Ashley wasn’t being fair. She knew that cognitively. She knew it as deeply and firmly as she knew he sported the hugest erection of his life and it was currently pressing into her stomach.

She didn’t care. No—couldn’t. She needed him and this was all she could muster right now.

She wanted to ask him to stay forever and let her torture him with her presence until he broke. But she wasn’t that big of a bitch.

Was she in fact testing him to see if his words would match his deeds? How cruel.

She flinched and wanted to step away, to stop the madness. But she couldn’t bring herself to let go and end the best moment of her life. Even though the moment had turned into several minutes.

She knew her breathing evened out and her chest stopped beating as hard as it had been. Calmness filtered into her. He did that to her. With a touch to her hand, she soaked in peace and tranquility. For the first time in years.

He wouldn’t hurt her. Never. She knew that intellectually. If only she could tell her body that.

Not that she didn’t react to him. She did indeed. Her pussy throbbed. It had since he’d stepped on the first stair on his way down toward her. She just didn’t know what to do with the feelings he evoked. They scared her. They swarmed around the room and seeped into her skin. She felt both frightened and elated at the same time.

He set his chin on top of her head, so tentatively she nearly wept at his sensitivity. She squeezed his waist harder. It had been so long since she’d felt this safe and craved this kind of contact. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad after all.

She lifted her face and leaned back to see his expression.

His brows were furrowed, but in concentration, not anger. He was trying to read her.

“I’m all over the board with my emotions.”

“It’s okay.” He stroked her hair and cupped the back of her head.

“Kiss me.” She gasped, shocked at her forwardness and the fact she’d blurted those words out. She hadn’t dreamed of going this far so fast—as if first base were a marathon.

He didn’t move. In fact, his eyes narrowed. “Are you sure?” He stiffened.

So sweet. So kind. Too fucking sweet and kind, and he was killing her with his patience.

“Now. Before I change my mind. Now, so I know what it feels like to be kissed by someone who means well.”

He hesitated, reading her, his gaze traveling all over her face. And then he leaned the few inches that separated their lips and grazed his over hers.

It wasn’t enough. She needed more. Her body controlled this…thing. Not her mind.

She lifted up on tiptoes and deepened the contact. Her arms traveled up the hard length of his back and dug into his hair, pulling his head down toward her.

He tipped his face to one side and their mouths fit together like a puzzle, lips pressing into lips. And she moaned. Her first real kiss.

She’d been so innocent when Damon had snatched her. And he’d never kissed her. There had never been an inkling of passion behind his advances.

Her body came alive and she concentrated on Evan, letting Damon fall crushed beneath her feet. She ground her toe against the carpet for emphasis.

Of its own accord, her tongue reached out to graze the slit between Evan’s lips.

Evan moaned and hauled her closer. She didn’t flinch. She needed more.

He dipped his tongue inside her mouth and teased her with gentle swipes against the roof of her mouth, her cheeks, her teeth, her tongue. He tasted of…Evan…a flavor she would crave for the rest of her life.

She became aware of the rest of her body in a way she’d never experienced. Sure, she’d felt the hardening in the lower part of her belly in Evan’s presence before, but now her entire stature was engaging. Her nipples stiffened. Her breasts felt heavy and she pressed them into his chest.

Her sex swelled inside her jeans and she squirmed against the pressure and need to rub her clit against the denim.

Evan broke the kiss. She couldn’t see straight as he stepped back a pace and held her at arm’s length. He took several long drags of oxygen before she could get her eyes to focus.

“Why…?”

“Oh, baby. You took off like a rocket.”

“So?”

“So, one minute ago you told me you didn’t think you would ever be able to stand being touched.”

Oh, yeah that. I’m such a bitch. A tease.

“Don’t look like that.” He soothed a finger down the side of her cheek.

Her face was on fire. It burned against his cool finger.

He tapped her nose. “You’re fucking gorgeous when you’re aroused.” He stepped back and let her go entirely. “Shit.” He ran a hand through his hair and glanced around the room.

“I’m sorry.” She felt his anxiety. She was cruel.

“Oh, baby. Don’t be. This isn’t your fault. Stop apologizing.” He looked at her, but didn’t reach for her again. “I just need a moment. I let myself get carried away.”

“So did I,” she muttered. Her face fell in shame. She was such a heel.

He stepped into her space once again and lifted her chin. “You’re sexy and gorgeous and I will always cherish this moment. But, I don’t want to rush things and risk you regretting our rate of incline later. Baby steps.”

She didn’t feel like taking baby steps right now, but he was right. If she didn’t rein in her lust, she would risk regretting her decision to mate.

His finger felt cool against her chin, and when he stroked it up and down the length of her neck she gasped, a shiver racing from her head to her toes. “Please don’t go,” she pleaded. She wrapped her arms across her front again, hugging herself tight.

“Wouldn’t dream of it.”

“I meant…ever.”