Hello all! Today is the day of the Give Us Your Best Excerpt paranormal romance blog hop -- a fun little event where authors such as myself post some excerpts of our work to tantalise and engross fans of all things romancey and paranormal!
I've chosen a snippet of a scene from my latest serial novel The Alpha's Concubine, a historical shifter romance set in the wild and tribal antiquity of ancient Europe somewhere between the end of the neolithic period and the advent of the bronze age. The first part (which contains this excerpt) is available to download for free at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, ibooks, and various other retailers!
From the blurb:
Taken from her people. Claimed by an alpha. Forced into a new life.
In a time before tools of metal and houses of wood, tooth and claw rule the wild places of the world.
The Moon People have been enemies to Netya's kind for as long as the stars can remember. They are monsters, demons, men and women who take the shapes of beasts. The murderers of her father.
An outsider taken as a prize by the pack, Netya must overcome suspicion, rivalry, and the division of her own heart, as she grows to realise that monsters wear many different faces.
Among the Moon People, she uncovers the potential of a life she never knew existed. The chance for a woman to become something more than a prize, or a mother, or a concubine. But as the alpha and others vie for her heart, the powerful huntress Vaya seeks to purge Netya from her pack.
Before Netya can decide where she belongs, she must endure the trials of love, hatred, and heartbreak. The girl taken as a trophy must become a woman.
- - - - -
"Has Fern made you welcome?" The deep voice of the alpha reached her ears. He was seated across the room from her, half in shadow, upon what Netya could only describe as a throne. It was adorned with the full pelt of a bear, enormous and snarling, its jaws hanging inches above the alpha's own head.
"Yes," she said, her voice sounding very quiet compared to his. "She has treated me well."
The alpha rose to his feet and stepped into the light, his broad frame looming even larger than the pelt of the bear behind him. He was dressed as he had been the evening before, bare-chested with a kilt of furs.
"Good. You are to be treated as one of our own while you are here, for however long that may be. If any of my pack mistreat you, they will be punished."
"I am thankful," Netya said, edging a little farther into the room. "Am I not to be your prisoner, then?"
"You are here by my will, not your own. But whether that remains true, we shall have to see."
Netya frowned at the cryptic answer, then forced herself to ask the question that had been drumming in her mind for the past hour. "Then why did you choose to bring me here?"
The alpha approached her, his eyes taking in her body without a hint of reserve. He took her by the lower arm, running his free hand over her pale skin from the inside of her elbow to the palm of her hand. The touch of his rough fingers against the sensitive area made her shiver, and as her heart jolted in her chest her lower body began to tingle with warmth.
"Perhaps Fern has told you. I have no mate, and so I have no heir. I will take you as my consort." His eyes met hers, and in them she saw an unspoken question, a silent expectancy as he waited to gauge her response.
Her breath shuddered as she inhaled deeply. "Why not one of your own people?"
The alpha smiled at that. "None of my pack would dare to ask me such a question."
"But you are not of my pack," he continued. "And that is why, when I saw you at our mercy last night, I chose to bring you with us."
"I don't think I am suited to be the consort of a great leader," she said. "What about the den mother? She is far more beautiful than I."
The alpha's expression hardened. "Do not speak to me of Adel," he said firmly. "I have no need of hearing her name voiced in here."
Netya almost wilted under his fierce gaze, but she forced herself not to look away. Perhaps bravery was foolishness, but the stirring pulse of her blood prevented her from giving in to fear. She was walking the tightrope of her curiosity into the unknown, where she had dared to venture with Layon the night before, and secretly longed to explore more of. The allure of danger was too tempting.
"You are young," the alpha said as he reached over her shoulder to admire her braid. "How many times have you lain with a man?"
The alpha nodded. "You will come to my bed tonight. No other male will be permitted to claim you."
Netya's skin warmed. The subtle scent of his body reminded her of fur and salt water. "I do not know how to be with a man," she said.
"Your body will know the pleasures of a woman. You will learn to listen to it, and then you will know what to do." He placed his hand at the nape of her neck and shoulder, allowing his fingers to rest across her throat, then drew them slowly downwards, caressing her skin until they slipped into the cleft between her breasts. Another sensitive ripple ran through Netya's body, and the tug in her lower belly seemed to urge her toward him.
"Do you feel it?" he said.
She nodded shakily.
"Then I was not wrong in choosing you. What is your name?"
"Netya. Are you unwilling to be my consort?"
She hesitated, unsure of what to say, or even think. She was anxious. Perhaps even afraid. But unwilling? She had no desire to flee or plead her fate. She wanted to understand the things her body seemed to be telling her. The alpha's appearance and scent and powerful voice awakened all the feelings she had begun to notice in herself since becoming a woman, and for once she had the opportunity to explore them.
"A man who takes an unwilling female to his bed is no man at all," the alpha said when she did not respond.
"I am not... unwilling, no," she whispered, the words catching in her throat.
"Good." The alpha moved his hand back up her neck, sliding his fingers through the hair at the base of her braid.
It was strange for her to be so close to an unfamiliar man, to have him touching her in this way. It was not like being touched by anyone else. His hands slid over her body as if she were an immaculately crafted ornament, seeking out the fine details to make them more real through his touch. He tilted her head back and pulled her in with an arm around her waist, bringing his lips to hers for a kiss.
Netya expected the same soft warmth she remembered from Layon's kiss, closing her eyes and opening her mouth gently to savour the soft feeling of the alpha's mouth against her own. Instead of giving her gentle pleasure, he took her breath away.
The alpha's firm grip tightened around her hips, the hand on the back of her head steadying her as he kissed her hard and deep, his tongue plunging into her mouth and curling around hers, bearing down with passion and power. Netya's whole body tightened as she found herself crushed against his broad chest, putting up her hands to steady herself and finding only his muscular body to cling to. A low whimper sounded in the back of her throat, and she reeled with a heady rush of desire as the alpha's lips continued to work against hers, like a wolf devouring his prey.
- - - - -