5 STARS: "Caden Drummond was relieved when his mate was human but Lia's pregnancy throws everything into question and stirs up the pride with far reaching repercussions in this thrilling paranormal romance. Lia stays out of her mother-in-law's way usually, but the woman has taken things a little too far and interfered in Lia's marriage for the last time. The reader can't help but get caught up in the all the sparks and fiery clashes that take place during this story when the pride tries to come between Lia and Caden. The chemistry between them is scorching hot with some very steamy sex scenes and their love is strong enough to stand up to anything and everyone (sigh……) especially all the changes turning Lia's world upside down, and they only grow stronger during all the mayhem. The characters are strong, compelling and capture the heart while the fast paced and smooth flowing plot keeps readers on their toes with lots of suspense, turmoil and romance. Lots of tension and excitement is set into motion by Caden's mother and a lioness who wants Caden for herself which steadily builds throughout the story as the chaos they started brings about some difficult changes and choices for Caden and Lia. The well written scenes and details capture the imagination and bring the story to life while the well-orchestrated events draw the reader in and refuse to let go. Some unexpected twists also keep everyone on their toes. The author has created a mesmerizing world full of intriguing lion shifters with an uptight culture and some interesting elements that make for a very entertaining domain. I was completely caught up in the story from the very beginning and couldn't put it down until I had read every last page. I sure can't wait to read the next one." -- Evampire, The Romance Reviews
“Don’t turn your back on me, Eloise. I said we need to talk and we do.”
“There are repercussions for Chloë’s behavior. I need to deal with them. Not nursemaid you.”
“I don’t need you to nursemaid me. I’m quite capable of looking after myself, thank you very much! Are you going to speak to the police about Chloë?”
Eloise turned back to face her. The sneer on her face was a punch to Lia’s already stretched control. “We deal with things differently here in Anchor.”
“Apparently so, if you’re not going to take that psycho to the police. She’s a danger to the goddamn public. Especially if, like you said, she’s done it before.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Maybe not, but I know what I heard. You covered up something she did before, and if you cover this up, she’ll do it again and again until somebody stops her. That’s the way people like that work. I wasn’t calling her a psycho to be a bitch.”
“Stop wasting my time, Lia. I have things I need to do.”
She could have walked away then, could have waited to ask Christopher who was far more amenable than his wife, but for some reason, Lia needed to hear the words from Eloise.
“When you told Chloë to go, you weren’t just saying the words, were you?”
“What do you mean?” Eloise hedged.
“I mean, you were telling her to go, but you were doing something as well. You were pushing her out.”
She scoffed, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“I think you’re lying. You were doing something, urging her to leave in more than just your words.”
For the first time, Eloise turned to look at her. Properly. Eye to eye.
She was as pristine as ever, just like the woman she had chosen to be her son’s “mate.” Dressed in an expensive outfit that was a clone of Chloë’s, hair perfect, nails manicured, not a smudge to her make up. And all this, even though she’d been with Caden at the clinic, and had just raged—with more emotion than Lia had thought her capable of—at someone who had drugged her son.
It was enough to make anyone feel a mess. But Eloise seemed to specialize in that where Lia was concerned. No matter how careful she was, Lia could never match her mother-in-law’s elegance. Maybe that kind of thing truly was in the breeding.
“What makes you say that, Natalia?” Eloise finally asked, after she’d studied Lia and seemed to find an answer to a question she hadn’t actually posed.
“I felt it.”
“You felt it.” Eloise studied her a little harder, then turned and headed toward one of the uncomfortable yet attractive sofas—a perfect juxtaposition for her own personality. She perched on the edge and then spoke. “Caden has told me you’re pregnant.”
Lia chose to remain standing. Eloise hadn’t invited her to sit, but she could. She was more than a guest in this house. She didn’t have to abide by the same strictures as people like Chloë did. Eloise probably wouldn’t agree with that, but it was tough. It was bad enough sharing a house with Eloise sometimes, without being on eggshells all the goddamn time as well.
“Yes, I am.”
“I don’t suppose you realize that he’s sterile.”
At that, Lia blinked. It took her a second to process Eloise’s remark and dismiss it. “Rubbish.”
Eloise shook her head. “It’s the truth. When he told me, I asked him if you’d cheated on him.”
“You had no right to do that.”
“From the information available to me, I was perfectly within my rights to ask such a question. How can a child be conceived when one of the parents is sterile?”
“There’s been a mistake with Caden’s testing. I haven’t slept with another man since I met him. Unless sperm can get through double glazing, this child is Caden’s.” Eloise’s pleasant smile faded at her crudity, but Lia ignored it. “I have no reason to cheat on my husband. No reason whatsoever, and you putting up roadblocks wherever you can won’t diminish our relationship. It can’t. We’re too strong.”
“Very Romeo and Juliet,” was all she said. Then, after a few seconds of silent deliberation, she said, “Do you want to see him?”
Lia blinked. “Of course I do. They wouldn’t let me into the clinic, said non-residents of the town can’t.”
She waved a hand. “I can make them admit you.”
“Then why didn’t you? He wants to see me, dammit!”
“Because I didn’t want to.” The simplicity of her statement, the basic truth of it, had Lia hissing with irritation. “However, I’ve changed my mind. I’ll let you visit him if you agree to a blood test.”
“It’s a little early to be having a DNA test, isn’t it? I’ve only been pregnant for the last six weeks!”
“I didn’t say I wanted a paternity test. I said I wanted you to have a blood test.”
“Why the hell would you want me to have one of those?”
“I have my reasons. Do you agree or not?”
She wanted to say no, but she wanted to see Caden more. The idea that he was hurting, tucked in a ward somewhere she couldn’t reach, just gnawed at her insides. She wanted to check in. Wanted to cosset him, and kiss him. Pour him some frickin’ juice. That wasn’t a lot to ask, was it?
Sighing, she grumbled, “I agree.”
“Good. I’ll contact the clinic. You can see Caden after you’ve had the test.”
“Can I ask, what do you expect to find, Eloise? My blood won’t tell you if I’ve been cheating on Caden. Only my word will tell you that, and you don’t have any faith in it. So what can my blood show you?”
“You’d be surprised, Lia. Go now. By the time you reach the clinic, everything will be organized. Tell Christopher he can come home, too.”
“I always wondered why you used to say that to me. About how good I smelled. Now I know.”
He grinned as he mock-bit her breast. “You smell like mine, Lia. Of course you smell good.”
She whacked him on the back. “You’d better smell like ‘mine’ when I get my superpowers.”
Caden chuckled even as he took her mouth with his own. He was gentle at first, needing her to know that he might be half-lion, but he was still a man. And hers, at that.
She moaned against his mouth, and the instant her lips parted, he slipped his tongue between them to graze against hers. Her hands ran down his back, caressing the bare muscles he’d exposed to the elements earlier. Her nails sank into his skin, scraping down over the length of his spine when he began to thrust his tongue against hers, and when he slid a hand between them to cup her breast before continuing down to grab her thigh.
He caressed her leg as he lifted it against his hip. He took a moment to trace the strong length of her supple limbs against his fingers. When he reached her shoe, he shucked it off and trailed a finger down the center of her sole. She shuddered against him, a gurgle of laughter exploding from her mouth. He grinned against her lips, enjoying her as he always did.
“Stop!” she gasped. “You know I’m ticklish.” Lia mock-glared at him, then scraped her nails harder into his back, making him hiss.
He shuddered. “You know that turns me on, right?”
“Maybe,” she retorted, and with a bit of fidgeting, rucked her skirt higher over her legs, and slipped her other thigh up and against his hip.
The movement enabled him to rest his weight against her. The instant his cock brushed against her panty-clad pussy, he growled, and buried his face in her throat. Nibbling on the tendons there, he reached for a fleshy part and bit down harder. Her groan brushed against his ear, and he slid his hands between them to unfasten her shirt. He tore off her bra, thanking Lea for the invention of front clasps, and cupped her breasts between his eager hands.
Slipping his mouth down, he bit at one nipple, taunting it with his teeth, raking it a little, before sucking down. When she cried out, he sucked harder and with his free hand, he nipped at the bud with his fingers, pinching and squeezing. He moved downward, pressing open-mouthed kisses to her belly, sliding his tongue along the gentle curves that would soon expand with his cub.
The thought made him groan, and he heard her breath hitch when he continued downward. Tugging her panties to the side, he pressed his nose into her groin, another pulse point loaded with her orgasmic scent. He nuzzled his nose there, reveling in her essence, but he was urged on when eager hands grabbed his head, and tugged at his hair.
He smiled against her skin, then slid his mouth over the tender lips of her sex to suck down on her clit. He was a patient man, but where his mate’s pleasure was concerned, he was impatient. He wanted her release, and he wanted it now.
He lashed the nub with his tongue as he plunged two fingers deep inside her cunt, grunting as her juices eased his path. His cock twitched against his leg, hungry for the same welcome, but he forced himself to keep on this path.
Carefully, with his teeth, he nibbled down, enjoying her shrieks and the sudden pain as she dug her heels into his shoulders. “Oh God, Caden, Caden!” she cried out, repeating his name over and over again in a way that truly satisfied his lion.
He flicked his tongue over her clit, lashing it in a way that had her mewling, before sliding down and pulling at her labia with his lips. As he licked the silky channel that led to her slit, her legs clamped down about his head, making him smile.
Her cries of pleasure echoed around the clearing, identifying to anyone with ears that someone was there, fucking. Did he care? Did he fuck.
The instant her climax had her cunt tightening about his fingers, he pulled them out, making her moan harder. But not for long. He pressed his cock against the weeping entrance to her body and pushed home.
The instant his shaft was welcomed into her hot depths, both man and beast were at peace. With slumberous, heavy-lidded eyes, he looked at the wanton position of his mate. Her breasts were bare to his gaze, the nipples taut and moist from his caresses. Her hair had spilled free from its clasp, pouring the locks around her flushed face. She looked up at him with eyes as heavy as his own, her lips parted with pleasure as he slid as deep as his cock could go without hurting her.
The muscles of her belly rippled as he settled there, pelvis to pelvis. Her tits quivered with her panting breaths, and he bent down to grasp one of those tempting nipples between his teeth. She shrieked when he bit down, but when he tried to release the nub, she gripped his head in a silent demand.
“Suck!” she ordered, seconds later, and he obeyed, grunting as he did.
He moved his hips, gently at first, knowing she’d still be sensitive from her first orgasm, but as she began to writhe underneath him, he moved faster, enjoying the slick sensation of his shaft being greeted and cosseted by her cunt.
When ecstasy rocketed through his body, he let go of her nipple, flinging his head back with a roar as he began to pummel her with his dick. Making sure she took his every inch, he fucked her hard and fast. Taking her higher as he forced himself to hold back. His lion demanding that she come with him, that only then would he be satisfied.