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by Kharma Kelley
Genre: Paranormal Werewolf Shifter Romance
ShadowShifters – Shapeshifting wolf creatures that love as fiercely as they fight.
Aidan Bloodlocke never dreamed he was a wolf Shifter, much less an Alpha. When a pack takes him in, his entire world changes, and loyalties are developed. Then disaster strikes, and he’s on a ruthless mission for justice.
When veterinarian Maddie Ardelle moved to Bridgepoint, Maine, to start a normal, peaceful life on her own, she didn’t expect to get herself caught in the crossfire of two factions of violent, feuding werewolves. And definitely not entangled with a sexy biker shifter that made her weak in the knees. Against their will, Maddie and Aidan’s worlds collide, and with an attraction so enthralling, both are helpless to resist.
As Aidan struggles to fight for both love and duty, he uncovers a betrayal so heinous, it puts the lives of his entire pack and the brave woman he desires at unthinkable risk. The stakes are high, and both must decide if Maddie ultimately can live in his violent world of teeth and claw in this action-packed paranormal romance series!
A Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy author, Kharma Kelley has been enamored with all things that go “bump in the night” for who knows how long. She truly believes that finding humanity and beauty in some of the most seemingly unconventional places is part of the romantic psyche to her. A big fan of the Big Easy, Kharma tends to weave her proud Cajun heritage and values into her books. She enjoys reading other urban fantasy and romance novels and playing Minecraft in her spare time.
“Tall, Dark & Deadly” is the first book of her “Agents of The Bureau” series. Expect more sexy, dangerous and even hilarious installments to be released along with a new “ShadowShifter” series coming in 2017.
She frequents Wattpad (which she refers to as a story “incubator”) often and beta tests her new story ideas there as well as provide guidance and critiques to aspiring authors.
Her works are often compared to Laurell K. Hamilton, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter, Kresley Cole and the late great author, L.A. Banks.
Quote from Kharma Kelley on writing Paranormal Romance:
“There’s something intriguing about strong women finding love in all the “wrong” places in the world of fantasy. Of angels, demons, ghosts, werewolves and your occasional blood sucker, all these paranormal metaphors are catalysts of what humans are and crave most…that we’re all different, beautiful and a little bit weird–and just want someone to love us for who we are.”
She lives in Texas with her husband.
Finally alone, Maddie sighed and looked at the clock. It was six o’clock and her last appointment was over an hour ago. Most would’ve called it a day and packed up early, but it felt useless to Maddie. Where the hell was she gonna pack up early to go? Greta sometimes went to happy hour with a couple of her friends, but they ran in different circles and she only really liked Greta. She had no pets to play with and no boyfriend to entertain.
She laid her head on the desk at her own frustration. “Ugh, I’m the most boring person in Bridgepoint. Guess I’m going to my landlord’s dinner group…again.” She stayed there for a few moments and heard the door entry bell ring. Not lifting her head, she spoke against the wood, muffling her voice. “Sorry, the clinic is closed unless this is an emergency.”
“Well that sounds like a real shame.” A familiar deep toned voice replied. ” I’m all outta fresh cuts today.”
Maddie immediately raised her head to see Aidan standing in the entrance in a black leather jacket and jeans. His gray heather shirt was fitted against his abs, almost able to see the smooth ripples. He still wore his shades and Maddie was a bit thankful for that because all that man standing there threatened to overstimulate her to the point of hollering like a “woo” girl at a club. “Wh-what are you doing here?” She sat up, unsure on how she should react.
Aidan took off his shades and smiled. She looked surprised to see him. In fact, he was surprised to find himself there. He should be out looking for Kieran. But when his search came up empty and no leads came from the Sheriff, he figured he could look again tonight. Though he hadn’t talked to her, he did check her clinic when she was there after hours, he often found himself sleeping less and worrying about Maddie more. Seeing her in the flesh was part of an attempt to quell those ridiculous bouts of protectiveness he was getting. The other part was that, Arista help him, he just really wanted to see her.
He strode over to her desk, his boots clomping against her hardwood floor. The air around him intimidating as he closed in on her like prey. “I came to check on you.”
Maddie smiled. “You assume that I’m in some sort of trouble, is it?”
He looked around. “Well, given the several incidents we shared, that seems to be the theme. I came by to make sure you didn’t disappoint.”
Maddie rolled her eyes. “Well, hate to break it to you but I’m not in any distress…unless your definition of distress is absolute boredom.” She pushed herself away from the desk so she could stand up. “I was just about to head out.”
Aidan shook his head. “Boredom, huh? Well, I’m sure you have a whole mess of books to catch up on.”
Maddie gasped. “Did you just insinuate that I was a nerd?” Maddie grabbed her bag and shut off the back lab’s lighting. “You did, did you?” She playfully pushed him, but he was a wall. Nothing budged.
“Aidan threw his hands up. “I was just saying that you look like a reader. A well-read individual who would enjoy the company of books. That’s all.”
“Yeah, well I’m not a nerd okay?”
He nodded, his expression amused. “Okay.”
“Just so you know. I’m hella cool, alright. All the old people and kids in my neighborhood think so,” she mused, almost immediately laughing at herself.
Aidan shared in her smile, looking into her bright brown eyes. Staring at them almost made him forget what he came there to do. Almost.
“I have an idea that would chase away that boredom of yours.”
Maddie smiled as her thoughts begin to turn naughty. Oh? I bet yours is not half as good as my idea.
“It’s gorgeous out. Let’s ride through the countryside. Seriously, when was the last time you got out? Not counting that catastrophe at Riko’s Bar?” Aidan stood quiet as she nodded.
“It’s been a while.” She looked up at him and smiled. “Alright. Let me get my things.” She grabbed her red hoodie and hoisted her bag to her shoulder. Locking her clinic’s door, as Aidan walked out ahead of her past the sidewalk.
Maddie stood still has he gracefully straddled the bike and slipped his shades on, still looking at her. Have mercy, he had moves that reminded her of liquid. He was slow and fluid. Dangerously sensual. She could watch the man all day. However her thoughts hit the brake when it dawned on her what they would be traveling on.
She looked at his bike as it was some alien spaceship.
Confused at her hesitation, Aidan frowned. “What’s the matter?”
Her expression deflated. “You ride a motorcycle?”
Aidan looked down where he was seated as if he was confirming her observation. “That would appear so.”
She scowled at his sarcasm and took a step back. “For some reason I thought you had a car.” Most likely a muscle car, but a car nonetheless. “I’m not getting on that thing.”
“What’s the matter? Bad experience?”
More like no experience. She had friends in college who rode them and though they fascinated her, she couldn’t bring herself to ride with them. And mostly her friends were young and stupid, eager to be the next daredevil. Wanting to keep her head intact, she had declined every single time. Part of her had regretted it because she hated to be afraid of anything.
“I’ve never ridden on one before.” She confessed. Half embarrassed of her honesty. She had expected Aidan to laugh at her. His face stoic, he didn’t.
“Then it’s an experience you should have. It’s just a short drive, and I’m very careful. I won’t let anything happen to you.”
His concerned, reassuring tone didn’t surprise her. She’s watched him too many times doing simple tasks. Every move he’s ever made was calculated. Precise. He seemed to be a cautious man by habit. When he walked her to the office that night, she noticed how tense he was watching the darkness. As if he was ready for something to pounce and attack them.
He leaned back on his bike and smirked. “C’mon. You don’t strike me as woman who’d give in to her fears and ignorance. A well-read woman like you?”
She frowned at his comment, “Are you trying to provoke me?”
“A little bit,” his smile broadened, “How else will I get you to trust me on this?”
Keep looking at me that way…Maddie shook the thought away. The man had a nasty habit of bringing out the horniness in her. Being around Greta did not help either. She was glad her thoughts were private. She didn’t know who would be more embarrassed she or him?
Giving an exasperated sigh, she looked at him.”Just a short drive?”
Aidan slipped on his gloves and crossed his heart. “I promise.”
Maddie looked at the seat and her heart sank. It was too narrow for the both of them. She had healthy hips and there was no way there was room for her on the seat. Damn my mother’s genes.
Aidan sensed more hesitance in her. “What’s the matter now?”
She didn’t want to tell him. “I’m too…round to sit on your bike.” Her face flooded with heat from embarrassment. That was another reason she had declined her friends’ many offers to ride. Who would want a big-hipped woman riding on the back of them?
Aidan couldn’t have been more shocked if she said she owned a unicorn. Despite it, he managed to keep his expression impassive. Was she insane? He rather enjoyed looking at her body. It was curvy, soft and lush. Even now, he wanted to mold that tempting body into his until she came in his arms. A man would have to be blind not to want her. In fact, he thought best to remind her.
Maddie couldn’t breathe as Aidan raked her with his heated gaze from top to bottom. His shades still on, but no less powerful. A shiver ran through her.
“I don’t see a problem from where I’m sitting.”
When her cheeks once again mottled red, he smiled in spite of himself.
Funny, he never struck her as the blushing type. It made his body burn for her. She looked so ethereal and inviting even more so this way. It was all he could do not to grab her and pin her against the fuel tank, kissing her senseless.
He scooted up. “There’s plenty of room for you, Maddie. Ride with me.”
His voice was deep and tender and she was totally unprepared for it. How could she turn him down?