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Secret Passions: Forbidden Passions, #5

Secret Passions: Forbidden Passions, #5

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Secret Passions: Forbidden Passions, #5

Length:
152 pages
1 hour
Publisher:
Released:
Apr 8, 2018
ISBN:
9781386045113
Format:
Book

Description

Sometimes, Sara Beth Reynard hates being a fox. Her sensual animal nature draws attention whether she likes it or not, and she tries damned hard to avoid the spotlight. Humans are her number one hassle.
When a research scientist announces the discovery of human DNA with animal traits, Jeff Nichols, a sleazy tabloid reporter, decides Sarah Beth is a werewolf. Not only is that insulting to a fox, it’s laughable. Right up until some goon attempts to kidnap her from the job site on an important project.
Her alpha sends her to the wereeagles for help, where she runs smack into her childhood nemesis, Patrick Aquila. Patrick takes one look at the grown up version of the teenager he used to call Foxy, and knows he has to have her. Too bad things aren’t that simple.
He’s on a race against the clock to protect the woman he loves from the hunter who wants to kill her. Along the way, he has to convince her that he wants the same things she does, that they belong together. One couple. One mating. Forever.

Publisher:
Released:
Apr 8, 2018
ISBN:
9781386045113
Format:
Book

About the author

Loribelle is like the South she calls home. Hot and sultry. Languid and sexy. Magnolias and gardenias scent her silk lined boudoir, and men and children alike bow to her magnificence... Okay, maybe it isn’t quite that glamorous. She does have two smart and lovely daughters who give her a run for her money and a son that will one day be someone’s model of a romance hero. (She promises.) Her husband is a real life hero, and Loribelle just tries to keep up with the demands of military life. In between, she writes a book or two. She’s had every job under the sun, but haven’t most writers? That Army military police, bookstore manager, waitress, wedding photographer, website designer experience has to come in useful sometimes. As they say in the South, it all washes out in the end. She loves hearing from her readers and can be found at http://www.loribellehunt.com.


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Copyright

Loribelle Hunt

Copyright 2018 Loribelle Hunt

Discover other titles by Loribelle Hunt at

http://www.loribellehunt.com

All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.

This e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This e-book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite e-book retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Table of Contents

Copyright

Author’s Note

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

More from Loribelle Hunt

Author's Note

Welcome to Forbidden Passions! If you enjoy this story, please join my mailing list to be the first to hear about the next book in the series, or my reader group Delroi Oasis for additional information.

~ Loribelle

––––––––

Secret Passions

Though Sara Beth Reynard shuns the spotlight, her sensual animal nature always draws unwanted attention. On the rare occasions she leaves fox territory to supervise a construction project, humans are her number one hassle.

When the discovery of human/animal DNA makes her a sleazy tabloid’s lead story, Sara finds the whole thing laughable. Right up until some goon attempts to kidnap her. Worse, her alpha sends her to the wereeagles, clan of her childhood nemesis, for help.

Patrick Aquila takes one look at the grown-up version of Foxy, and wants to peel away all her layers of uptight and proper. His attempt to show her a night of lighthearted fun turns into an off-the-charts explosion of passion. But romance among weres is never that simple.

Patrick is in a race against time to convince Sara Beth they belong together, and find the snitch who is feeding information to not just one stalker, but two. The reporter who wants to hang her out to dry, and a hunter who wants to hand her over to her worst nightmare.

Chapter 1

Sara Beth Reynard had been on edge since leaving her house that morning. Her apprehension had eased when she reached the job site and was surrounded by the work crews, but as everyone began to leave for their lunch, the feeling intensified so much she decided she’d better finish and leave too, rather than be the last on site. She loved the house she’d designed and its country setting, but it had never felt so isolated before today.

It was that damned tabloid reporter’s fault. Somehow a handful of scientists had gained access to blood and tissue samples from werekind. Sara Beth didn’t believe for one second it had happened by accident—someone inside the community had to be responsible. The world’s shapeshifters had kept their existence secret far too long for a small group of humans to accidentally discover them. Most of the scientific and news communities had dismissed the findings, but Jeff Nichols, the crackpot journalist, was all over the story.

Worse, he’d identified her as a werewolf. A werewolf! The wolves were descendants of King Lycaon, who, along with his sons had been granted the ability to shift by the Greek god Zeus. They were completely unrelated to the foxes, who’d been created by ancient Germanic gods as warriors. Their common ancestor was Reginhard. As the legends and fables were passed from generations and crossed cultures, Reginhard became the surname of the werefox alpha, Reynard.

She had no idea how Nichols had stumbled on her, but he could at least get the story straight. She was a fox, dammit, not some overgrown, bad-tempered puppy. Her clan thought it was hilarious. The whole mess appealed to them. After all, foxes were known as pranksters in most mythology and felt honor bound to live up to their history. Of course, they weren’t the ones with their faces plastered all over those awful rags, were they?

She heard a truck crank up and—glancing out the window—saw it drive away. She finished washing the grout off her hands and hurried upstairs. The house was almost finished. She’d come to see how the final stages were progressing and had been roped into assisting with tiling the kitchen backsplash. Truthfully, she didn’t mind. It was the kind of thing she loved and also the reason she’d got degrees in architecture and design. After school, she’d joined the family construction business. She’d only been in charge of the residential side of the company for three years, but she’d been working in it since she was a kid.

The stairs opened onto a large landing that had been designed at the client’s request as a library/lounge area. The second story had natural teak floors, which contrasted nicely with the crisp white built-in bookcases that surrounded the landing. The bedrooms on either side of the library differed only in color. She went through the guest room before moving to the opposite end of the landing to the master suite. She’d given the client exactly what he wanted and had to admit the man had good taste.

The back wall was all windows and French doors that led to a balcony, which stretched the length of the house. The room had a sitting area in an alcove that managed to feel private even though it was open, and the bathroom was to die for. She took her time checking it out. It was done in warm earth tones, had a huge walk-in shower and a tub she was convinced would hold four. It was positively decadent. Sighing, she flipped off the light switch and went back downstairs.

In contrast to the traditional upstairs, the first story looked like something out of a slick urban magazine. The floors were polished concrete and the front half of the house was an open living, dining and kitchen area. A small guest bath was tucked into a short hall which led to the final room. The house featured the first studio she’d built for a working artist and so far it was the least-finished room. Only the floors and walls were complete. She had an appointment with the artist later in the week to discuss work surfaces and storage areas.

She heard the front door close as more of the guys left and hastened to follow them. As soon as she stepped outside, she felt watched. Damn, she was getting sick of this. She let her fox side rise to the surface and sharpen her vision, but she didn’t see anything or anyone who didn’t belong when she looked around. Was danger really lurking or was she just paranoid? It seemed ludicrous to believe someone was watching her, but she couldn’t shake the feeling. She decided to swing by her parents’ house. One of her brothers was bound to be there for lunch. It would be easy to rope one into having a look around.

She stepped off the porch to the sidewalk, giving the area another visual sweep. Nothing looked suspicious. There were a couple of guys getting in a truck and another couple on the far side of the yard, packing up the tools by the new retaining wall. She waved as she headed toward her own vehicle. She’d arrived late and had to park a bit down the street.

It was broad daylight, bright and growing chilly as the first storm of the season moved in. She felt like she was walking through town alone at night, though. She dug her keys out of her pocket, eyeing the tree line beside her, and activated the remote when she was in range. By then her senses were screaming. She took a deep breath to test the air. At first all she scented was woods, the last honeysuckle of the season and fresh cut grass. Then there was the faintest hint of man. When the scent’s owner stepped out from behind a tree, she cried out, more from surprise than fear.

She was damned glad she had when she met his gaze and took another deep breath. His scent was putrid in a way she’d learned to associate with violence. Malevolence. His eyes glittered, his expression anticipatory. He was several inches taller than her, bulky the way bodybuilders were, balding and scary as hell. Then he lunged for her. Her heart thudded in her chest and she backpedaled, just managing to stay on her feet and pivot to run away. She had agility and a shifter’s heightened speed on her side, but if the last two guys on today’s crew—both werewolves—hadn’t been so close she would have been caught. She felt something sting her shoulder through the thin long-sleeved shirt she wore. The two shifters, raced toward her in human form, yelling her name. She made it another couple of steps before her knees went out and her vision dimmed.

*

The yelling woke her, but it took several minutes before the conversation sounded like more than jumbled syllables. The words came together slowly, one here and there. Attack. Daughter. Tranquilizers. She frowned—at least she thought she did—as she struggled to make sense of the fog in her brain. She forced her eyes open and then turned to shield her face from the glare of the overhead light. The room reeked of fear and fury, and it took a minute to get her bearings. She was in her old bedroom at her parents’ house, and they weren’t yelling as she’d thought. They stood by the door talking with Michael, the werewolf alpha.

Shit. What had happened? She sat up, ignoring the dizziness that rushed over her, and struggled to remember. She’d been checking out a house that was almost complete. No, she’d been leaving and a man had stepped out from the trees and had tried grab her. She rubbed a sore spot on her shoulder and remembered feeling a sting before she passed out. Someone in the room had mention tranqs. Had the man attempted to drug and kidnap her? It wasn’t the skeevy reporter. She’d recognize him. Maybe it was just a random incident. She knew it couldn’t be, though, and dismissed the idea about the time the others noticed her sitting up. Scents assailed her. Anger, relief. Fear. She groaned. Well, hell. She was so screwed. It had taken years to wrest her independence from her father.

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