4 STARS: "Jane Jamison has made a fictitious town so real you can almost expect to find it listed on a map. I'm not sure I would want to live there as is seems a bit dangerous for mere humans, but I sure would like to meet and get to know Miss Earline. She sounds as though she would have a grand story to tell. Mallory Quinn and her friend Mike "Kid" Shorter are animal activist that have come to the Triple X Ranch to get proof that the owners are treating their cattle inhumanely. They are caught by the owners, Rick and Gunner Northman, while painting slogans on the cows. After an exchange of accusations the Northman’s invite the two activist to stay at the ranch for a few days and to check their operation out to prove to them that Malory's source lied. This is something Mallory quickly agrees to. Gunner and Rick just want Mallory close. These two werebears have a long road to haul. They need to keep the secrets of Shatland, TX from Mallory and Mike and look for whatever is responsible for all the animal killings taking place. Plus even more importantly they need to convince Mallory she is their mate and tell her they are not just men. Mallory has tons of principles, but does she have the courage to believe the unbelievable. Rick, bad tempered and quick to attack has to fight his natural instincts and learn to handle one feisty female who is determined to have her say. Gunner is the perpetual peacekeeper who is ready to blow a gasket over the two most stubborn people who mean the world to him, his mate and his brother. It was great watching to see if love would take hold and grow in the near war zone. The fighting over Mallory could have her running for the hills. I am looking forward to book three in the series, Caging Her Bear Lovers, and perhaps reading more about Mike in a future book, he is such a sweetheart. These are standalone stories, but you will want to read them all to better understand the dynamics of the bears and the town of Shatland, Texas." -- Delanna, Night Owl Erotica
One look around told her what she needed to know. None of the animals appeared neglected. If anything, they looked healthier than most she’d seen on other ranches.
“As you can see, we take care of them. We make sure they get the best feed and the medications to help them stay healthy.” He pushed his hat back and found her eyes. “I love my cattle, but I understand that they’re not pets. Cattle ranchers supply a necessary service to help feed people, but we make sure their lives and their deaths are handled the right way. Got any questions?”
The only questions she wanted to ask were about him. She couldn’t do that. “No. Not yet.”
If she’d dared, she would’ve asked him if he felt the same sizzle that she felt. But if he did, then what? Did he feel the same urgency? An urgency to grab hold and make him kiss her until her legs gave out? Did he feel the urgency to thrust her chest against his and fondle her breasts?
She wanted him and his brother more than she’d have thought possible. It didn’t make any sense, but the compulsion was there. It went crazy inside her. If they’d given her half a reason, she’d have let them strip her clothes, leaving her naked and vulnerable. Even with Kid standing nearby.
The world swayed around her as another flash of energy—is it lust?—swept over her. She had no choice but to reach out for anything—him!—to keep from falling over. Her hand fisted in Rick’s shirt as her hand disobeyed her mind.
Somehow, she’d ended up in his arms. Her heart pounded in an uneven rhythm. Her breath hitched in her throat. Her knees still felt weak, barely able to keep her standing.
“Are you all right?”
She lifted her gaze and found his mouth. His lips were firm, yet she had reason to think they’d be soft at the same time. She wanted, hell, needed to kiss him. Like a deep sea diver, she needed his kiss like it was air to breathe.
It wasn’t until her eyes found his that she lifted her other hand and took a hunk of his hair. Tugging his mouth to hers wasn’t professional, but to turn him loose wasn’t an option. If she didn’t have his lips on hers, she had no doubt she’d die.
His groan echoed the yearning inside her as his mouth crushed against hers. The groan flowed inside along with his tongue. He yanked her into his arms, forcefully molding her body to his. Answering him with a moan of her own, she nibbled on his lower lip until he tilted her head and deepened the kiss. The breath his kiss had given her was gone in the next moment as he stole it away. She welcomed his tongue inside, skimming hers over his to draw up more of his taste. Strong, girder-like arms enveloped her, bringing her onto her tiptoes. She reached up even more and bent him low over her body.
She thought she knew how to kiss and be kissed, but she was wrong. Until Rick had put his mouth to hers, she’d only been fooling herself. Other men’s kisses paled in comparison. What she’d believed to be desire before now diminished into a child’s fantasy. This was so much more, yet she couldn’t find a word that could describe it. Rick kissed her like a woman should be kissed, with power and control dominating her until she wanted to beg him to kiss her between her legs. She had to have more kissing and, God help her, more everything.
At first she didn’t recognize her own name. Rick had called her Mallory and now nothing else seemed to fit. She was lost to him, ready to sacrifice the life she’d known for a few more moments of his kiss.
Someone cleared their throat and she dismissed it. Who cared what else was going on around them? Who cared if anyone else was alive?
“Are you having fun, man?”
At once, her body and mind was at war. She wanted Rick, craved him, and yet there was another she yearned for just as much. Could she have both of them?
It was Rick who finally broke the kiss and held her away from him. A rush of emotions overwhelmed her. Disbelief gave way to disappointment, and anger came and went in blistering speed, to be replaced with humiliation.
Gunner and Kid stood in the shade of the barn, staring at her. She would’ve expected Kid to be stunned at her behavior, but he wasn’t. Like Gunner, he had on a knowing smile that changed into a smirk that said “I told you so”.
“Hell, yeah.” answered Rick. He tipped his hat at her in a “thank you, ma’am” kind of way and stepped back from her.
“You’re all right, aren’t you, Mal? You didn’t like inhale too much horse shit and have a stroke, did you?” At her narrowed eyes, Kid attempted to cover a chuckle with a cough.
She wasn’t about to stand there and let Gunner and Kid make fun of her. Putting her head down, she marched past them. “Come on, Kid. Let’s get moved into our rooms.”
Yet when she was halfway down the middle aisle of the barn, she couldn’t help but overhear Gunner’s teasing words.
“Would you like my brother to meet you in your room and finish your, um, research?”
She didn’t dare turn back. If she did, he’d seen the blush on her face. Instead, she did the only thing she could think to do. She lifted her hand in the air, then stuck her middle finger toward the ceiling. Their laughter followed her all the way back to the van.
Rick grabbed Mallory’s arm and yanked her to him. The force of his hold swung her around until she bumped against his chest. He inhaled, drawing in her sweet aroma, and let the whirling spin of his lust wreak havoc in his body and mind. Restraining himself a minute longer wasn’t an option. Having done so for most of the day had been hard enough on him. If he didn’t have her soon, he’d break apart.
The soft “oh” she made as he spun her around was like a siren’s call to his inner bear. The beast inside him growled, then burst outward. If he hadn’t expected that to happen, he wouldn’t have been able to hold it back. Even then, it was like standing in front of a fast-moving semitruck and holding up a hand to stop it.
He held her arms, her body flat against his as he gazed into her brilliant green eyes. Her eyes were unique, smoldering orbs of emerald that took hold of his cock and sent it straight into an erection. Her body was warm against his, radiating a heat that only his intended mate could give him. She trembled and it delighted him.
“What are you doing?” Her whisper was breathy in an urgent seductress way.
He shook his head, determined not to let her talk him out of it. “Don’t talk.”
He should’ve known she wouldn’t obey him, but that was part of her charm. He’d always liked spunky women who had minds of their own. Crushing his mouth to hers, he cut off her attempt to speak, no doubt to argue.
Had anything ever tasted so good? She was like his favorite food, his need to breathe air, the wine he loved in the evenings all rolled into one. He devoured her mouth, craving more and more of her flavor. She was a sex kitten and a wild cougar combined into the form of his intended female.
She pushed against him, but it wasn’t forceful enough to convince him that she meant it. If she’d fought against him, really fought against him, he would’ve turned her loose even though he feared it would kill him. Instead, when she didn’t fight, he pulled her even closer. If he could’ve made her body sink into his, he would have done just that.
She moaned, another sign that she didn’t want to resist. His hand slid to her rounded butt, then cupped it to shove her crotch against his legs. She was short, but he’d solve that problem easily enough. Taking her under her arms, he lifted her and moved forward, driving her back against the house. She broke their kiss, her eyes wide with alarm, until he couldn’t stand to see the fear any longer. But that didn’t mean he’d let her go. Instead, he buried his head against the curve of her neck. He nibbled as his hand found its way to her legs.
Wrap them around me, he silently urged.
The fact that she did sent his bear roaring its glee. The animal clawed at him, tearing him from the insides out, but he’d never give into it. At least not all the way. Keeping all the shift back was an impossible feat. The tips of his fangs burst through his gums to lengthen his teeth. And yet, somehow, he managed not to sink his fangs into her neck and claim her.
Claiming her would come later.
He heard the pain of burning desire in his brother’s voice, but he didn’t care. To stop, to let his brother have his share of her, wasn’t going to happen. He was too insane with his lust for her. Like the connection that had brought them together, his need couldn’t be broken.
He yanked on her T-shirt, pulling the material away from her body so he could slip his hand under and feel the softness of her belly. Her bra gave way and he found her breast. Pain from the pressure of his cock against his jeans seared into him, but he didn’t care. That pain was nothing to the agony he’d experience if he didn’t have her.
“Damn it, Rick. Share.”
He growled at Gunner’s intrusion, then almost let his beast go free to attack when Gunner put his hand on his shoulder. He lifted his head, met his brother’s amber-flecked gaze, and groaned. Keeping her next to him, he turned around and put his back to the wall.
She gasped, her body jolting when she felt Gunner’s hand grip her shirt and tear it away. The sound of the material ripping sliced into the air along with the first sign of her refusal.
He met Gunner’s eyes and saw the same answer he’d give her. They weren’t going to let her go. Not unless she demanded it more forcefully.
He lifted his head, ready to see the fear in her eyes and the unspoken demand to put her down. Instead, his heart skipped a beat as he saw blatant lust written all over her face. She wanted them as much as they wanted her.
In the next moment, he’d torn her jeans, ripping the front of them away from her, then shoving them down over her bare feet to fall to the wooden floor. His brother snagged her panties before he could, getting rid of that barrier to her treasure.
Her mouth was parted, her breaths coming hard and fast. And still she didn’t make them stop.