The Mercenary and the Shifters
Only twelve more days until August 27th, the release day of our newest paranormal/urban fantasy romance book The Mercenary and the Shifters: Book Four in The Turning Stone Chronicles, from Soul Mate Publishing. Yeah!
One of the hardest things to do when creating a long-running series is keeping everything the same from one book to another. If we neglected to put something in our world book, and we are guilty of that, we’re constantly searching the series’ other books– The Promised One, Blood Brothers, or Son of the Moonless Night– to make sure we haven’t changed something. With multiple plot lines and two love stories in every book, keeping things straight can be a challenge. This book was no exception. Thank goodness for the Word’s search and find function!
To celebrate the upcoming book, we’re giving SMP readers a sneak peek of a tiny bit of the action in this newest book. We hope you like the excerpt and that it makes you want to dash over to Amazon and hit the pre-buy button.
So without further fanfare, here’s a sneak peek at The Mercenary and the Shifters.
The Mercenary and the Shifters
When mercenary soldier Michael Corritore answers a desperate call from an ex-military buddy, he finds himself in the middle of a double kidnapping, caught in an ancient war between two shape shifter factions, and ensnared between two female shape shifters after the same thing … him.
Shape shifter Fiona Kayler will do anything to keep the shipping company her father left her, including getting in bed with the enemy. But when she believes the man trying to steal her company is involved with kidnapping her nephew, she must choose between family, fortune, and love. The problem is … she wants all three.
Mike Corritore wheeled up the circular drive of the impressive house on Lakeshore Road and cut the engine on his motorcycle. After a quick glance around, he shouldered the bags containing his clothes, ammo, pump shotgun, and talwar sword. Then he headed for the carved front door. The doorbell echoed inside indicating the mansion had a cavernous entry hall. He searched the entrance stoop for security cameras and found none.
What the heck had he gotten himself into? A rich bitch, with no security on her home, mixed up with a bad syndicate spelled major trouble. With this chintzy level of security, it would take more time than he originally anticipated to make her house and business secure.
After a couple of minutes the door opened.
“Can I help you?” asked an attractive redhead.
“I’m Mike Corritore. Here to see Fiona Kayler. Will you tell her I’ve arrived?”
The redhead looked him over, then braced her legs shoulder width apart and crossed her arms over her curvy bust. “Do you have identification, Mr. Corritore?”
Mike returned her once-over. Her porcelain complexion blushed pink at his bold examination, and she tossed her mane of wavy, mahogany hair defiantly.
Damn, she was gorgeous.
If she thought her insolent pose enough to keep him, or intruders out, she’d better reconsider.
“Hugh sent me.” He stepped forward but she blocked him.
“A driver’s license for your very expensive motorcycle will suffice,” she said, wiggling her fingers at him. When he didn’t comply, she stepped back and reached to the side of the door.
The distinct cachung of a gun cocking sent him flying to the right of the doorway.
“Identification, Mr. Corritore. Please,” she said as she leveled a pistol at him.
Mike dug in his rear pants’ pocket. “Hugh lied,” he said as he held out his driver’s license. “You don’t need protection.”
After inspecting his identification, she lowered her weapon and waved him inside. “For my business, Mr. Corritore. I’m capable of protecting my home, but I can’t draw my gun just anywhere.”
“You should get a conceal and carry license,” Mike said as he entered.
She put the safety on the gun and stashed the weapon in the table beside the front door.
“I take it you’re not the help,” he said, glancing around the entry hall.
She held out her hand. “Fiona Kayler. Nice to meet you, Mr. Corritore.”
“Mike,” he said, taking her hand. Her palm, warm and soft, told him she lived a life of leisure. But her strong grip screamed, No patsy. He held her hand a bit longer than he should have. She wriggled free and waved him to the left.
With a nod, she led him toward a sumptuously decorated room. He followed, his eyes taking in the soft curves of her rear as she sashayed across the marble-tiled floor. Mike’s body reacted to the seductive wiggle of her bottom. She walked as sexy as she looked.
Keep your mind on the job, Corritore. He shifted his gaze away from temptation, searching the ceiling and corners of the entry for security cameras. If she had them, they were well hidden.
The measured click of her high heels on the hard marble tile floor disappeared as they stepped on the thick, white carpet of the living room. This room appeared cozier than the entry. A huge gold, gilt-edged mirror hung over the fireplace reflecting the scene outside the oversized plate-glass window.
She motioned to a seat beside the fireplace. Mike chose a location less exposed to the exterior, where he could watch the entrance to the room. Fiona dragged a side chair across the room to where he sat, positioning it at a right angle to his seat. Two vertical furrows appeared in the carpeting, bisecting their shoe impressions and the vacuumed paths in the thick fibers. Apparently, she didn’t use this room much.
“So, Ms. Kayler—”
“Fiona,” she corrected.
“Fiona, exactly what do you need me to do?” As he said the words, he had a lurid vision of what he’d like to do to this lovely woman. He shook it off. She was Hugh’s friend and in trouble. He had no business screwing around with damsels in distress. They were needy. The last thing he wanted.
“A couple of years ago I had a problem with smugglers. They brought in some hazardous materials which got me in trouble with Homeland Security and the FBI. They cleared me, but my business took a pretty big hit. To keep things afloat, I’ve had to get in bed with some rough characters recently.”
At the phrase get in bed with Mike cocked his eyebrow at her.
“Not literally,” she amended quickly, as a dusky pink blush crept over her pale complexion. “I need my security beefed up so I don’t have a replay of two years ago.”
“Any good security company could upgrade you.”
“I also need someone I can trust implicitly. Hugh vouched for you, and I trust Hugh.”
“We should start with your home security. I didn’t see surveillance cameras at the door.”
“My home is perfectly safe. It’s my business I’m concerned about.”
Fiona crossed her arms over her chest, her body language closing off to further suggestions. Mike followed her motions. As he did, he spotted a red dot on her chest. The dot wiggled.
“Get down!” Mike shouted as he dove for Fiona.
The Mercenary and the Shifters (The Turning Stone Chronicles Book 4)
Pre-order the eBook at: https://amzn.com/B01I01W2JC