"A dynamic three-way relationship always fascinates me, and the one between Patch, Otto, and Sam definitely isn’t one of the easy ones. Patch, the ocelot shifter, has been rejected by Otto, Sam, a lion shifter, moves in to pick up the pieces, and hates Otto automatically for what he has done to Patch, and Otto, the unwilling alpha, just sits there like an alpha, ahem, deer in the headlights and cannot figure out what to do to fix the situation. He does do his best, but nothing works. Luckily, things aren’t always what they seem. But this all gets interrupted when an old villain makes an unexpected appearance and other things go wrong – in other words, there is enough chaos in this volume to keep the characters busy and me entertained. Patch is Jude's (from the previous book) twin brother, and I was very curious about his story, especially after finding out that his mate rejected him. I was very angry at the idiot. Well, in this book I found out why Otto did it, and even though I cannot agree that it was right, he had his reasons. It takes Patch (understandably) a lot longer to see reason, but when he does, boy, do the sparks fly! Actually, they start flying the moment Patch meets his other mate, Sam. Sam is on a mission from the council of elders, trying to warn Otto that his insane father has escaped from prison and probably up to no good. The last thing Sam expects is to find his mate. He has no problem with ocelot shifters, much to Path's relief, and is immediately on Patch's side concerning Otto and his perceived misdeeds. I loved him for that, Patch needs all the support he can get after what he's been through. Otto, while seemingly a bad guy, struck me as a victim from the very beginning. He has been set up by guess-who, and cannot seem to figure out how to get back on Patch's good side. I smiled at his courting attempts, basing his efforts on a "list" from his beta. He makes some inroads toward softening Patch's resolve, but it takes some real communication and a common enemy before he can make true progress. This book, like the previous volume, is filled with humor, hot man-on-man-on-man action, and some openly evil machinations. Patch finds two mates and a home, figures out who was really behind the abuse he has suffered, and between that and three shifters trying to figure out how their relationship works, I was extremely happily entertained. If you like a paranormal ménages between different species of shifters, if you like seeing a villain get his comeuppance, and if you enjoy hot bedroom interludes with everyone's emotions all over the place, then you will probably like this novella." -- Serena Yates, Rainbow Book Reviews
“Come on, Patch. Open the door.”
Patrick “Patch” Mason rolled his eyes as he turned away from the window to glare at his bedroom door. There was something about a locked, closed door that his twin brother just wasn’t getting. Patch didn’t want to talk to anyone, not even Jude.
He was pissed the hell off and had been for the last two days. He had every reason to be upset. If that meant locking himself in his room until he could figure a way out of his nightmare, then so be it.
“Please?” Jude whined. “There’s so much to do, and I really need your help. The council approved a sanctuary for us…” Patch smirked when he heard his brother pause. Jude was probably sucking in a lungful of air so he could continue talking. “The local alphas have donated the land for it. It’s going to be great, but I need you to help me plan it.”
Okay, that caught Patch’s interest. He and Jude had been searching for a very long time for a sanctuary where they could just live their lives peacefully without having to watch over their shoulders constantly. It seemed like they had been searching for just such a place since the day they were born.
Logically, Patch knew it had just been a few years, ever since the day they transitioned and discovered that they were not the big, fierce jaguars of the great Panthera Onca species, like every other member of their pride.
No, they were ocelots, dwarf leopards. When in shifted cat form, they were on average about thirty inches long and weighed thirty-five pounds. They had sleek, smooth fur and rounded ears. Granted, they were one of the largest of the generally dainty Leopardus wild cat species, but they were still dainty. There was just no getting around that fact.
Even in human form, Patch didn’t stand over five feet seven inches. He was small in every form—human and shifter. And that sucked on so many levels that Patch didn’t even want to think about it.
Life in general had sucked for the last four years. It wasn’t until Jude found his mate not long ago that things had started looking up. They had a roof over their heads, food in their stomachs, and they didn’t have to cringe in fear at every shadow.
Patch thought they were going to be just about perfect until he learned one horrible fact, and it had sucked out every ounce of joy he had felt over everything that had happened the last few days.
Patch’s chest heaved as he sighed deeply. He could hear the desperate tone starting to fill Jude’s voice, making it tremble, and knew his brother was starting to lose it. Jude, bless his little heart, didn’t handle emotions too well.
Well, maybe it was that he handled them too well. He could be very emotional. And he was becoming upset, which meant that any moment, his mate would come running to his rescue and—
“Patch, damn it,” Tripp Van Buren shouted as he pounded on the door. “Open this fucking door before I break it down. You have Jude in tears.”
And there he was.
Patch shook his head as he unwound himself from his cocoon of blankets and walked across the room to the door. While the man generally drove him crazy, he was glad that Tripp cared about Jude so much. The man might be human, but he was just as fierce and protective as any shifter Patch had ever seen when it came to Jude.
Patch turned the lock and opened the door. Just as he suspected, Jude stood there, tears swimming in his cornflower-blue eyes. His lower lip was caught between his teeth as if he was chewing nervously on it.
“Well, it’s about damn time,” Tripp snapped, shaking a finger in Patch’s face. “Don’t upset your brother like that again.”
Eyes rolling again, Patch stood back and allowed Jude and Tripp to enter his room. The second they did, he closed and locked the door. He might be forced to talk with them, but he drew the line at anyone else in the house. Being in Hugh Marshall’s house, let alone his territory, was part of Patch’s problem.
“Look, guys, I’m sorry if I upset you.” When Patch spoke, his voice wavered. He felt like throwing his hands up in the air and asking the powers that be what else could go wrong in his life. He was starting to think it was just one bad joke after another. “That wasn’t my intention. I just needed some time.”
“Time for what?” Jude wrinkled his nose as he pushed his glasses back up.
“Why didn’t you say that then instead of freaking your brother out?” Tripp asked at the same time.
“Oh.” Jude turned to Tripp, his hand smoothing over the edge of Tripp’s jaw as he looked up at the taller man. “I wasn’t freaked out exactly. I was just worried and—”
“And you were freaked, angel.”
Patch smiled sadly as he watched the play between his brother and his mate. He wanted that, and he was never going to get it. That was why he locked himself in his room. Well, that was one of the reasons anyway.
He didn’t even want to think about the other reason, although that seemed to be all he had been doing for the last two days. He felt like his brain was stuck on autopilot. It seemed to just circle around and around through the same pattern of thoughts and emotions.
His mate was near.
His mate rejected him.
His mate tried to destroy him.
Intense burning anger.
The loop never seemed to stop. And Patch was at a loss of how to get off the fucking emotional merry-go-round he was riding on. He was going around in circles so fast his head was starting to spin.
At this point, he’d almost be grateful if the damn thing crashed.
“Sam, do I seem like a reasonable person to you?”
Sam’s mouth dropped. Where in the hell was this line of questioning going, and how much trouble was he going to end up in? “Um, well, yeah, for the most part.”
“Then believe me when I say that I want you to claim me. Yes, I fear being rejected. After what I’ve been through, who wouldn’t? But more than that, I want to be connected to you. To have that bond that mates are supposed to have. I want to be a part of something, a part of you.”
Sam just had no words for that. Patch was saying everything that was inside of his own heart. His lion was snarling and pacing the cage of his mind, ready to pounce out and sniff at Patch. His lion was ready to claim their mate.
“Don’t break my heart, Patch.”
Instead of saying more, which would have been pointless since they both wanted the same thing, Sam leaned forward and brushed his lips across Patch’s. Knowing what Patch had been through, he wanted to take things slow. He didn’t want to scare him or do anything that would upset him.
He wasn’t in the least bit prepared for Patch to come on like a locomotive. Before Sam could do more than gently kiss Patch, he found himself pushed back onto the floor, his mate hovering over the top of him.
“I won’t break, Sam,” Patch growled right before his lips slammed down on Sam’s. In the blink of an eye, Sam was transformed from a man trying to go easy on his mate and take things slow to a predator ready to hunt.
Heart thudding so hard he could feel every vibration, Sam fisted his hand in Patch’s raven-black hair and took the kiss deeper, brushing lips together before forcing his tongue inside to explore and conquer.
Patch moaned and pressed closer.
Sam slid his hand down Patch’s back until he encountered the soft curve of his ass. He gently stroked his hand over the rounded globe, increasing the strength of his touch when Patch groaned and started to squirm.
“You like that, don’t you, sweetness,” Sam stated as he leaned back to watch Patch’s face. He wanted to see every reaction as he loved on his mate.
Patch was glorious.
Patch’s face was close. Sam could feel hot breath against his face as Patch panted. He sucked in his bottom lip and groaned when Sam slid a hand down the inside of his pants and cupped his bare ass cheek. When Sam found the crack of his ass and pressed a finger between them, Patch’s eyes fluttered close, small whimpers falling from his plush lips.
“Oh, yeah,” Sam murmured as he watched Patch’s face flush with pleasure, “you like that.”
Patch moved against Sam like cool silk against his skin. The man was made for sex. He was made to be touched, caressed, to have his body worshipped. Sam could already foresee hours upon hours spent just loving on Patch.
Hell, he might not let the man out of bed…ever!
Sam wrapped his arm around Patch’s waist and sat up. He chuckled when he saw Patch’s eyes flip open, surprise washing over his flushed face. Instead of explaining his actions, Sam simply lifted Patch in his arms and stood up.
Patch’s legs instantly wrapped around him like an octopus. Sam winked at his mate when his hard cock pressed between his legs. “I like this position, sweetness.”
The flush on Patch’s face deepened, and he ducked his head. “Me, too.”
Sam carried Patch over to the bed pushed up against the wall. It wasn’t a huge bed, no bigger than a full size from what Sam could tell. But it would do for what Sam needed. He gently leaned over it, laying Patch down on the colorful quilt.
“Time for show and tell, sweetness.”
Patch’s head cocked to one side as if he had no idea what Sam was talking about but more than willing to find out. Sam reached down and unbuttoned Patch’s pants then started pulling on the legs. Patch seemed to suddenly understand and lifted his hips.
“Sweet jesus.” Sam gulped. “Do you go commando all of the time?”
“Yeah, sort of.” Patch chewed on his lips for a brief moment. “Underwear makes me feel like I’m suffocating.”
“Hey, don’t change that on my account,” Sam quickly replied, not wanting Patch to get the wrong idea. He dropped Patch’s pants on the floor and reached for the cock standing up so proudly from his groin. “I love the idea that I have such easy access.”
Patch’s long, needy groan echoed through the bedroom, his hips shooting up, driving his cock through Sam’s fingers. Sam watched the pleasure play across Patch’s face as he stroked his hand up and down Patch’s long length.
“Oh, I am going to have such fun with you, sweetness.” Those hours Sam imagined they would spend in bed playing just turned into months, maybe years. Patch was the very image of everything Sam had ever fantasized about. He was perfection in the flesh.
Sam slowly pulled Patch’s shirt up over his head, wanting to torture himself just a bit by revealing every inch of flesh inch by inch. He wasn’t disappointed. Patch was a little thin, but he had good definition.
Sam had the strong urge to lick his satiny skin.
“Lay back, sweetness.”
Sam had trouble not swallowing his tongue when Patch stretched out on the bed, his arms extending up over his head. He had one leg slightly bent, and his torso arched up into the air as he moved.
“Sweet jesus,” Sam whispered as he hungrily ate up every sensual movement, every breath of air that moved Patch’s chest up and down. Hell, the pulse beating rapidly at the base of his throat was sexy.
Everything about Patch was sexy.