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Prey (MF)

New Crescent 3

Siren-BookStrand, Inc.

Heat Rating: SENSUAL
Word Count: 75,000
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[BookStrand Paranormal Romantic Suspense]

When Jade Adams' abusive father dies, she's finally free to return to the place she calls home. She lands a plum job working with childhood crush, Sam Daniels.

Sam is still as devastating as ever and he's showing an unexpected interest in Jade's sex life. Is there a chance he's stopped thinking of her as the tubby kid who'd thrown herself at him all those years ago? Does he see the vibrant woman she's become?

With Christmas approaching and her friends around her, Jade's life in New Crescent is ideal. Ideal that is, until several people are found eviscerated. Is the killer a human or an animal? Even Sam's skills as a vet and Jade's amazing ability to communicate with animals fail to uncover the truth. After a few deadly close calls, Jade suspects that Sam isn't the only one interested in her. Has the killer caught her scent? Will she be next?

"Wouldn't it be great to have a meaningful conversation with your cat or dog? If I could be granted one superhuman gift, I think I'd like the ability to communicate with animals. What could be more humbling or gratifying? In this story I'm pleased to combine two things my family has always held dear, animals and Christmas. Happy Holidays." ~ Mary ~

 A BookStrand Mainstream Romance

Professional Reviews

5 CUPS: "Mary Lou George is an excellent who-done-it author. Prey is the "third" book in the New Crescent series, and I look forward to reading more. Ms. George keeps the identity of the beast unknown until the very end and shocks the reader with the revelation. Jade is such a wonderful woman with a unique talent and radiant personality. The bewitching story is full of supernatural beings, talents unexplained, and a town that has always been a little special." -- Delane, Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance

5 PIXIES: "If you are looking for a wonderful read that will keep you pinned to the edge of your seat with excitement, then PREY, by Mary Lou George, is for you. This is the third book in the New Crescent series and can be read as a stand alone, which I did. However, some of the other characters were introduced before in her previous books, Spirit and Trouble. I found myself enthralled by the lead female character, Jade. In New Crescent, Jade will discover the love of her life, but might have to fight another female to get him. And there seems to be something dangerous lurking in town. A dead body is found on a farm and something unimaginable has attacked this person, eating the flesh and drinking the dead man's blood. There was one little dog who witnessed the creature and will be able to communicate with Jade and give details. Jade and Sam, as well as several of their friends, will work non-stop to find this creature, before it kills again. On another note, Ms. George has written this story so well that I had no idea who the creature really was. I was stunned to read the outcome. What a GREAT story." -- Becky Gaede, Dark Angel Reviews

5 BOOKS:
"Prey is a captivating story with a wonderful cast of characters and a mystery that will leave you on the edge of your seat...I absolutely loved the characters of Jade and Sam and enjoyed them together. They just seem to fit well together. New Crescent is an enchanting town with a couple of other fascinating characters that seem to beg for stories of their own. I can only hope that this isn't the last we see of this town and its inhabitants. If you are looking for a suspenseful, yet fun paranormal romance, I recommend you check out Prey and the residents of New Crescent. I already plan to pick up the other books it what seems to be a fascinating series." -- Lilac, Long and Short Reviews

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Excerpt


STORY EXCERPT



Bloodlust tore through its veins when it caught the scent and sight of its mate. Sex and death, when intermingled was so bittersweet. Resisting the urge to breed was exquisite torture, but how much better would the coupling be after the wait? Instinctively it knew now was not the time for them.

Oblivious, people milled about unaware they were in the midst of greatness, ignorant of the danger walking amongst them. Their flesh and blood would be the food that fed its hunger until the time was right.

Lifting its head, once again savoring the scent, tasting its flavor, it stared with naked need. Together they would create a supreme race the like of which the world had never known. A foamy drool threatened to drip from the corner of its mouth, the urge to change was almost beyond control. Its tongue darted out and caught the telltale saliva in one lightning quick motion. No one even noticed.

 

///////////////////////////////////

 

“I do.” No two words were ever spoken so decisively and with them Regina Stanton became Regina Stanton McCann.

It was about time too. Jade Adams finally had the sister she’d always wanted. Her stepbrother Chase had been in love with Reggie since they were kids. Everyone was overjoyed he’d finally won her love.

Jade turned her head smiling at her new friends Hank and Maggie as they stood next to her. She rarely saw one without the other these days. It made her happy to see them. She figured everyone should have a mate, or a best friend, or whatever. Weddings seemed to bring out that desire in most people…except Jade. She knew that Hank and Maggie were as happy for Chase and Reggie as they were for recently betrothed, Travis Sinclair and Gillian Watson. The people of New Crescent were pairing off, but Jade had no desire to follow suit.

“Here, have some before Reggie eats it all.” Sam Daniels stood before her with a piece of wedding cake in his hand. He smiled crookedly. “You’re way skinny. Don’t you ever eat?”

Jade grinned back at him, but she had to tilt her head up, way up, in order to do so. At 5’ 2” she was much shorter than him. “I eat just fine.” She wrinkled her nose.

Sam shook his head. “It doesn’t look like it. It looks like you haven’t eaten since you left here ten years ago.”

She couldn’t help but laugh. “Well, I was so tubby I didn’t need to eat in ten years.” Jade had been a roly-poly little girl, but happily not anymore. Now she had a lithe boyish figure without an inch of excess. Just to make sure that hadn’t changed in the last few minutes, she pressed a hand to her abdomen.

Gaining confidence, she took a second and looked him up and down boldly. He was physically beautiful. It was hard to take her eyes off him. Six feet, two inches tall, Sam still maneuvered his perfectly proportioned body with great ease. He was an elegant man who fit in surprisingly well anywhere he chose to be. She’d had a wicked crush on him when she was a kid. So much else had changed since then, but one fact remained, Jade loved to look at Sam.

He raised his glass of champagne and saluted her. They both laughed when he spilled some on his chin and had to wipe it up with his handkerchief.

Jade’s eyes widened as a perfectly manicured hand took hold of his handkerchief and dabbed at his face. The owner of that hand leaned in and pressed red tinted lips against his. Sam’s date, Michelle Thompson, was just as beautiful as he was and hadn’t strayed far from his side. To Jade’s uncritical gaze she seemed okay, if a little out of place in their small town. They made a stunning couple though, both so impeccably turned out. Her long blond hair was the perfect foil for his thick dark hair. They belonged in a bridal magazine.   

He spared a quick glance for Michelle, but still addressed Jade. “I’d ask you to dance, but I’m afraid I might snap you in half.”

In a low voice, she said, “Your dance card is full.”

When she spoke, he blinked a couple of times then smiled at Michelle.

“I can’t leave you alone for a minute.” Michelle pressed her incredible body against him. She grabbed his arm, stepped around Hank and Maggie and looked at Jade.

“I go to the ladies room and he’s already found another woman.” She kissed him.

Sam shook his head. “Jade could never be another woman. She—”

Michelle interrupted him with a laugh. “Glad to hear it.” She smiled at Jade. “You don’t look the type, of course. You make a lovely bridesmaid.”

Jade decided it was a compliment and smiled at her. “Thank you.” She touched the silk of her dress with her fingertips, enjoying the feel of the natural fiber against her skin. “Reggie’s always had wonderful taste.”

Instinctively knowing when they were persona non grata, Maggie and Hank walked away silently. Jade wanted to go with them, but was too polite.

Sam opened his mouth to speak to them as they melted away, but was interrupted by a gushing Michelle.

“I love what she’s done to this house! I’m positively green with envy.” She squeezed his arm and pouted at him. “Now, when are you going to find a lovely house like this for me here in New Crescent?”

Sam raised his eyebrows at her. “Believe me, there are no other houses like this one.” He exchanged a glance with Jade, and they both laughed.

“This one comes with its very own ghost,” Jade explained.

 “Don’t all old houses?” Clearly, Michelle wasn’t impressed. “I swear some realtors create them just to sell decrepit old places. People love that kind of stuff these days.”

“I wonder if Constance, Reggie’s ghost, will make an appearance? Have you ever seen her?” Jade looked at Sam.

He narrowed his eyes. “I’m not sure. Maybe on the night Chase and Reggie announced their engagement. I saw something suspicious in the garden. I didn’t investigate. I’ll leave the ghostbusting up to Chase and Reggie.”

Michelle looked skeptical. “Surely you don’t believe in ghosts?”

Jade smiled serenely and said quietly, “This is New Crescent. Of course I believe in ghosts.”

Sam lifted his glass to salute her, and she took a dainty bite of the wedding cake he’d brought her.

“Ah, that looks divine.” Michelle nodded at the cake. “Does it taste as good as it looks?”

Jade closed her eyes with pleasure and nodded her head. “Mmmm.”

She heard a noise from Sam and opened her eyes, but he was looking at his date.

Michelle ran a hand down one hip and caressed her own thigh. “I don’t dare. There isn’t a spare inch in this dress.”

“Well, you’re right there, sweetheart. How are you holding this thing up? Glue?” He laughed.

She narrowed her eyes, looked at Jade smugly then turned back to her date. “We girls have our secrets, darling. You’ll find out exactly what’s keeping this up later tonight.” She took his hand. “Come and dance with me.”

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