Tarnished (Wolf Gatherings, Book 1)

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Crystal’s Many Reviewers

“I have to say this was another great book from Becca and I can’t wait to read more from her in the future!”—Crystal Marie, Crystal’s Many Reviewers

Julie’s Book Reviews

“Becca does not disappoint and keeps you going with the tension between the 2 characters. Easy read that is very entertaining. Thanks for the great read!”–Julie, Julie’s Book Reviews

Fresh Fiction

“TARNISHED is a sexy, fast paced roller coaster ride. Author Becca Jameson always gives readers a little extra to think about in her writing and this one gives us a lot to ponder as the pages turn.”–Annetta Sweetko, Fresh Fiction

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“She is added to my stalk list and if you like a well rounded short book then try this one out!”–Two One Click Chicks

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Tarnished released August 1, 2013, with Hartwood Publishing.

Blurb:

Wolf shifter Mackenzie Davis has no interest in mating with another wolf. Plenty of experiences in her past have hardened her to this resolve. She is loving life with the perfect job, the perfect friends, and the perfect boyfriend—a human one. Nevertheless, her mom implores her to attend this year’s Wolf Gathering. Reluctantly dragging her feet, she agrees to one day only.

Drake Spencer has come to the gathering from Texas with his family. He’s twenty-eight and believes his chances of finding a mate are slim to none, especially since he saw the woman he felt connected to leave with another man at the last gathering. But what if the woman who has consumed his dreams for the last few years is not actually mated?

When Mackenzie and Drake meet, sparks fly. Kenzie still hopes to deny the claim on her. But can she? The call of mates is stronger than she expected. What will happen to her sense of self if she follows this man to Texas? Not to mention Drake. Can he live with the mental scars of her past?

Excerpt:

“How do you do that?” She balled her fists in her lap.

“What?”

“Manage to say everything as though you’re defending yourself.”

He exhaled and relaxed his shoulders. “I feel like I’m at a job interview.”

She smiled. “I guess you are. But the problem is I didn’t post an opening.”

“And yet, there is still a vacancy.”

“You are so infuriating.”

“As are you, my dear.”

“Is everything always an argument with you?” She released her fists and pushed her hair out of her eyes.

“I could ask you the same thing.” His gaze roamed her body, what there was of it. She was wrapped like a mummy now—an old ratty mummy that died ten thousand years ago.

“Why don’t you get dressed and let me take you out somewhere. We could have lunch or go for a walk or something. It’s nice out. Maybe if we went out in public, you would loosen up a bit. I said I wouldn’t maul you, and I meant it. I’m clear on your level of experience. I won’t take advantage of you.”

She glared at him. “I’m tired. I didn’t sleep much.” She squirmed under his gaze.

He looked at her as though she were naked instead of covered as thoroughly as possible. “I didn’t either.”

“You look much better than I do.”

“Well, I did take a shower and get dressed.” He pointed down at his jeans and T-shirt. Did he even own other clothing? The dude ranch explained the boots. Worn and comfortable. She didn’t own boots.

“I’m a city girl.” What the hell? Her mind was tossing out every thought with no filter.

“I can see that. And I respect it.”

“I can’t leave here. I have a job.”

“Do you have vacation coming?”

Yes. “No.”

“Work with me, Kenz.” He blew out another breath. “I need you,” he muttered, his demeanor changing on a dime.

Her face flushed. The heat ran down her skin and across her chest buried under the layers of cotton.

He leaned forward. “I’m begging you to give me a chance. I can’t go home today and leave you here. It would kill me.”

She flushed further, if that was possible, and bit her lip. A knot formed low in her stomach, an ache. She stared at his lips. Soft. Gentle. Full. She wanted him to kiss her. She needed him too. More than he knew. But she didn’t want this.

It scared the bejesus out of her.

“I’m…” She couldn’t finish the thought. Scared? Worried about losing myself? Afraid of falling for someone only to have them change their mind or take over my life?

He rested his elbows on his knees and spoke softly. “I know, Kenzie. It’s normal for you to have doubts. I wouldn’t be comfortable if you didn’t. But we’ll work through this together. Please. Give me a week, and then we’ll renegotiate.”

A week? A lot could happen in that time. She’d never survive even a day in his presence without making out with him, let alone god-only-knows what else. And then she’d be lost. She wouldn’t know who she was anymore if she let him take her.

“You live on a farm?”

“I do. But it’s not as rustic as you are imagining. I’m not a hillbilly. I did go to college myself. I have a degree in animal husbandry.”

Oh. Why did that shock her? Had she been unfair to him?

“But I work with children. What would I do on a farm without them?” Children were her life. She adored them. Other people’s kids were as close as she ever imagined coming to having her own.

His smile grew huge. “You’re going to love it. Trust me. I have a surprise you will not regret.”

A surprise? What, chickens?

“I need a shower.” She lifted her gaze. “Give me a few minutes to clear my head and think?”

“Of course. I’m not going anywhere.” He leaned back and crossed his legs.

Without another word, she fled the room again. Could she escape his intensity by going upstairs?

No. She could still smell him no matter where she went. His scent had permeated the house. She’d never be able to rid her space of it. If this didn’t work, she’d be doomed.

What was she thinking? The only reason she was even considering going with him was idle curiosity and the chance to prove herself right. She wasn’t meant for this sort of thing.