Protecting his woman means claiming his mate...
Ex special forces operative Nathan Quinn enjoys women, but he doesn’t trust them. As a panther shifter, he has no intention of ever marrying or mating, preferring to focus his energy on expanding his security business…until a human woman catches his eye. Challenged by Erin’s seeming indifference, Nathan sets out to break down her barriers and discover the secrets she hides.
Born of ambitious, emotionally cold parents, Erin Howard’s craving for attention led her into an abusive relationship. On the run from her ex, she intends to lay low and steer clear of possessive, domineering men. Yet Nathan is hard to resist, and where is it written that she can’t enjoy some steamy sex without the commitment?
Soon their attraction develops into something primal and fierce. But while Nathan fights the need to mark Erin as his, her past comes hurtling back, and threatens to destroy them both.
His fingers curled around her hand, his grip solid and his palm tight to hers. Since he drew her close, she had no option but to place her free hand on his shoulder. Solid there too, she thought. Wide and unyielding.
He drew her even closer, crushing her breasts against his rock-hard chest. His hand rested on her lower back, his hold felt proprietary and controlling.
Despite the initial panic that trembled through her, she didn’t feel especially anxious or intimidated. She felt … aroused.
After what had happened to her, she had never anticipated feeling this way about a man like Nathan. If she’d ever expected to feel attracted to a man with his innate power and sense of entitlement, she would have questioned her sanity.
She looked up at him and caught the slight smile on his beautiful mouth.
“You scared of me, Erin?”
“No, of course not.” Her cheeks heated and her pulse hammered. “I wouldn’t be here if I was.” She’d be running, like she had with Justin.
“Then why do you look like you expect me to strip you naked and perform lewd and depraved sexual acts right here in the middle of the dance floor?”
She froze for a second, then a laugh bubbled up and dissolved some of the pent-up tension in her chest. “For some reason, I wouldn’t put it past you.”
His smile deepened, taking its time to get where it was going. “And if I did? What would you do, I wonder?”
Right then? Swaying in his powerful arms while the sensual music wafted around them and the heady effects of too much champagne sparkled through her? “I might just surprise you.”
God. Had she actually said that?
His grin was full out sexy, and his hold on her tightened. She might have missed it had she not been quite so tuned into him.
“I’ve got no doubt of that,” he said, sliding his hand sensuously up and down her back. “You’re just full of surprises, sugar.”
Erin bit down hard on her lower lip and tilted her head. “What are you doing, Nathan?”
“Dancing with the prettiest woman in the room.”
She huffed a laugh. “You can’t help yourself, can you?”
“It’s in my DNA to flirt with women. Especially the sexy ones.”
Just as she’d suspected. And he really was good at it. Flirting. Making a woman believe what he told her. She doubted she was the prettiest woman in the room, or the sexiest. But right then, she felt like she was. It was hard not to, the way he was looking at her. It was a dangerous game to be playing.
“You’ve gone all quiet on me,” he said, ducking his head to get her attention back. “Don’t you like hearing that you’re sexy?”
“Every woman likes to hear that.”
He pulled her tighter still, and she felt the distinct telltale bulge in his pants against her stomach. Reaction shot between her legs, making her core muscles clench and her pussy throb.
“There’s something about you, Erin,” he said, his gaze traveling over her face. “Damned if I know what it is, but it’s turning me the hell on.”