Heart Mates (Pull of the Moon Book One)
by Mary Hughes
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Heart Mates (Pull of the Moon, Book 1)
Witch plus wolf? They’re allergic. Except no one told their hearts.
Shifters and witches? Forbidden on pain of death. Might as well stick a fork in a light socket. Yet those are the kind of sparks witch princess Sophia Blue feels when she meets wolf shifter Noah in her aunt’s bookstore.
But Sophia is stuck. Her aunt is missing and Noah, the last person to see her, is Sophia’s only hope. If not for that and her aunt’s new, cute little doggie, Sophia would run as far as she could from the sexy, hard-hewn alpha.
Noah’s stuck too. Before disappearing, the aunt hit him with a hex gone horribly wrong—he’s the doggie. By day he’s fifteen pounds of yippity-yip, and with five anti-alpha wolves nipping at his heels, that’s deadly dangerous. Only Sophia can help him, but she has lost her magic.
Then an evil mage from Sophia’s past shows up with murder on his mind, and all Noah’s instincts shout to protect the woman his misguided heart thinks is his mate.
Warning: Sinfully sexy alpha thrown together with a hot witch in a small town. Sass, sparkle, a meddling aunt, snafus, growling, fighting, and oh yeah, sex. Might want to get up to date on your shots.
Enjoy the following excerpt for Heart Mates:
Sophia, looking for her missing aunt, seeks alpha wolf Noah at beta Mason’s garage.
“I don’t know where Noah is. How could I?” Yet even as Sophia spoke, that snarl of awareness curled up her nape.
Mason said, “He phoned just a minute ago. Said you named him Kin—”
“—someone to help,” a bass voice thrummed from the dark depths.
Sophia spun. That masculine voice, vibrating with power, plucked a long string of deep, throbbing need.
A man emerged from the blackness, gliding into the sharp white light. Her entire belly turned inside out.
Crane-her-neck tall. A smooth prowl, all muscular grace, extraordinary strength and endurance. A fall of black hair over a high, regal brow. He was total alpha—powerful, deadly and sexy as hell.
Her eyes widened, her jaw dropped and her heart beat hard against her ribs as her hormones plonked “Endearing Young Charms”—and then exploded. Not really, but the full-body shiver and the rush of hot need through her veins was anything but mild.
He stopped a few feet from her, standing with breathtaking stillness. Werewolves were usually ruled by their aggression, so the man’s cool composure was even more striking.
Definitely a were, though. His honed jaw was textured by the rough black morning-after-sex stubble all male wolf shifters seemed to have. Her body splashed with a hot me want of desire.
Their eyes met.
Power shows in the eyes. This man had power, and to spare. She was stunned by irises of pure silver around pupils which opened to her like velvety black pools. She fell in and happily drowned.
“Noah, finally,” Mason said. “I found Marlowe, but he’d already gotten rid of the…” He cut Sophia a glance. “The thing. I read the kid the riot act, made him do some work around here and sent him home.”
“Good.” Noah’s answer was for Mason but his gaze was still locked on Sophia. He took a step nearer, his eyes flashing. “You’re Linda’s niece.”
“Yes.” Nervously, she fingered her pearls. Those gleaming silver eyes knocked her off-balance, drilling into her very thoughts. She sucked in a breath, got a lungful of hot male and nearly imploded when her body zinged like every hormone she had was shouting alleluia.
Damn it, no. He was a shifter. Worse, he was pack alpha, bound to be mated. An ex-witch slavering after a mated alpha?
Smiting was happening for sure.
He glided another step closer, his muscles sliding easily under his skin and clothes. He raised his hand and caught her fumbling fingers, stilling them.
The warm pads of his fingers pressed against her skin were stunningly sensual. Her lips fell open because she was having trouble breathing. She blinked at him.
He lifted her hand from her pearls and brought it to his nose. Finally those remarkable eyes closed as he inhaled. A tiny, appreciative smile curved his lips, as if he were enjoying the bouquet of a fine wine. “You smell amazing.” His voice rippled with a low, sensual growl.
Her body responded with “Endearing Young Charms”. Boom-boom.
When his lids lifted, his gaze had gentled. The wolf within was very strong, but the man controlled it utterly.
A half step closer, him or her, she wasn’t sure who. Their auras kissed. A thousand butterflies jigged inside her. Pure male heat rolled over her skin, edged with virile, wild magic. A tremor hit low in her belly. If she leaned in a fraction of an inch, she’d touch him, flesh-on-flesh…she swallowed hard. Touching him might be like completing an electrical circuit, and she’d be the one fried. “Look, I’m trying to find my Aunt Linda.”
His gaze dropped to her mouth as she spoke. “She owns the bookstore.”
“Yes.” Under that silvery gaze, her lips felt too full, throbbing. The word was hard to form. She licked.
His pupils dilated until his eyes were pure black, riveted to her mouth. “You’re the gor—the woman in the picture.”
What had he been about to say? Gorilla? Gourmand? Gorgeous? “What picture?”
“Your aunt has a photograph of you.” He released her hand to slide a finger under her chin.
All her breath expelled. Without oxygen, she let him tilt her face to one side, then the other. The throbbing in her lips intensified.
His lids lowered, lazy with promise. “Your nose is longer than I expected.”
Wow. Just what a woman wanted to hear. “Thanks.”
“It’s a good nose. Honest. Elegant. I like it.”
Instantly the throbbing was back, but she pushed it away, mirrored it by stepping back. “An honest, elegant snout is still a snout.”
He followed her. “Your nose is unique, like your scent. Exotic. Deeply enticing.”
He was right on top of her. She stared up into eyes glowing between lids slit, not in suspicion, but heavy-lidded with intent.
The intent to kiss her.
Any words forming in her brain never made it to her mouth as his lips claimed hers.
Male. Exciting. He dazzled all her senses, the scent of crisp cotton and fresh outdoors, the taste of dark and wild magic. His lips caressed her, soft and sweet, while the spear of his tongue blazed. Her sighs were underscored by his pleased growls.
Awash in him, her heart thudded and her blood sang. Bursts of pleasure sparkled like firecrackers. She lifted on her toes for more.
His kiss slanted and deepened, the wild taking of the wolf but also the mastery of the man, one who knew how to give a woman what she wanted. Her mouth opened and his tongue plunged. His fingers threaded in her hair to pull her closer. Their bodies melded like two candles dripping hot wax.
Mason cleared his throat.
Noah stiffened. Lifted his head with a soft sigh.
Without the liquid caress of his hot, expert mouth, Sophia’s sanity returned. What had she done? Witch and shifter…no, not, never. She gathered enough tattered willpower to step out of his arms.
“I’m sorry…” Her voice was breathy. Damn singing hormones. She tried again. “I’m sorry that happened.”
He stepped back too. “Why?” He crossed his arms, his biceps and pecs bulging. “I’m not.”
She swallowed her tongue, totally forgetting why she should be sorry. Oh yeah, shifter/witch taboo—but he wouldn’t know she was a witch. And even if he did, he wouldn’t care. Most shifters pretended the Witches’ Council didn’t exist.
“Hey,” Mason said. “I didn’t want you two to stop. I just wanted to let you know that if you’re going to get friendly—” Mason’s grin was so big Sophia wanted to punch him, “—I’m heading out now. There’s a couch in the office. Lock up when you’re done.” He lumbered off.
“Stars,” she said. “What was that all about?”
“He’s encouraging me to find a wife.” Noah grimaced.
Noah wasn’t mated. Yes. No. None of her business.
But poor Noah. He had his own Aunt Linda, nagging for the pitter-patter of little paws. Although with the confident way he stood there, bigger and badder than anything, it was hard to feel too sorry.
Noah thrust his hands in his pockets. It framed all that was glorious. “I should go too.”
“Wait. I wanted to talk with you.”
“Why? Um, well, the reason I wanted to talk with you is…” What had she wanted to ask? Are you dating? What’s your phone number? What size condom do you wear? She rubbed her eyes. “My aunt. Linda.” She dropped her hand and met his silver gaze. “I think you were the last person to see her. Do you know where she went?”
“I’m sorry, no. She left the bookstore when I did, but she didn’t share her plans with me.”
Disappointment gnawed Sophia’s gut. “Can you at least tell me if she was okay?”
“Yes.” His response was immediate and reassuring. “Don’t worry about your aunt. She was fine. A little flustered, but fine.”
He’d seen her worry and didn’t hesitate to comfort her. He must be a very good alpha.
“I’m relieved to hear it. What about that boy my aunt called you in for? Was he still in the store at that point?”
“Marlowe? The boy is my responsibility. I can assure you he will be punished and your aunt reimbursed. In fact, if you want to get repairs going, I’ll personally vouch for the funds.”
“Thank you.” All that muscle, and responsible too. Some little she-wolf was going to be very lucky someday. “But that’s not what I meant. I’d like to talk with him. Do you know where he lives?”
Something shuttered in Noah’s gaze. “The boy left before I did. He knows nothing.” The reply had “back off” stamped all over it.
As if that would stop her. She gave a mental shrug. She’d have to get the boy’s address another way. “I’d better get back to the bookstore. If you think of anything, come see me, okay? The sign will be Closed, but I’ll be there.”
“You and me. Alone.” His molten gaze ran over her, chasing a shiver from her head to her toes and back again, lingering on her lips so long she had to work not to lick them. Finally he said, “Let me get this straight. You want me, a stranger, to come to the bookstore, where we’ll be alone—after what just happened between us?”
Put like that, reinforced by his hot all-over gaze, it sounded like an invitation to ravish her. “Uh…yes?”
He shook his head, more disbelief than a no. “You’re temptation on a stick. I’m not quite that masochistic.”
“Me? Have you been chewing Viagra?” She considered herself, banker chic in navy-blue pants suit, pumps and pearls. “I’m no cover model.”
“I’ve never cared for eau de airbrush. Believe me, your real beauty is far more alluring.” His eyes fired white-hot on her, a beastly hunger that was pure wolf.
That look promised instant ravaging. Hot, hard, animal sex.
She swallowed all the way to where she was wet. She wasn’t completely certain she’d stop him.
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As a girl, Mary Hughes spun romantic, happily-ever-after stories to get to sleep. A husband, family, two degrees, and a blackbelt later, she's delighted to spin them for readers.
She has lived with love and loss, in bright times and dark, and learned we can all use a break from reality now and then.
So join her for action, sparkling wit and red-hot love. Strong men. Stronger women.
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