By: April Bostic
I stole a glance at him while he looked at the river. He leaned back casually on his elbows, and I couldn't help but admire his six-pack abs and toned chest. Little, brown moles spotted his torso, and I imagined playing connect-the-dots with my tongue. His skin enticed me, and I wanted to run my hands all over it. A lustful feeling washed over me, and I swallowed thickly, averting my gaze.
Riley chuckled low in his throat, and I knew he caught me staring. His hand touched my lower back, and I looked at him over my shoulder. A grin spread across his lips as he tugged the shirt hem.
"This is my shirt, isn't it?" My eyes widened, and I whipped my head around. In less than two seconds, my face flushed with heat.
"Um, yes," I mumbled. "Sorry. I borrowed it, because Quinn's clothes were too small for me, and I didn't feel comfortable browsing through Celia's wardrobe." The latter reason was a lie. I was just determined to cover myself with his clothes.
"No worries. I don't mind," he soothed. "You can borrow whatever you want. What's mine is yours, love."
I turned my head slightly to peek at him, grateful his focus was still on the shirt. I recalled the words he spoke earlier. "Let's say hypothetically I did stay here with you. How would we be together when I'm human and you're a wolf?"
"If you're referring to us being biologically compatible, Máni and Freya blessed us, so we can breed with humans."
His foot brushed against mine under the water. It came back a second time and then a third. He sat up and scooted closer to me, until our thighs were touching. I looked over at him and almost fell into his seafoam pools. I had to regain control before I did something I would regret...like lean over and kiss those bee-stung lips.
I was lost in Riley’s eyes and struggled to find my voice. "You said you wanted to claim me." My face scrunched. "Do you mean like property?"
He grinned and looked at his lap as he scratched his head. "I know it's archaic, but yes. I would announce to my father I intend to claim you as a mate. If he gave us his blessing, we could make love, and I'd mark you."
He made it sound so simple, but I knew there had to be more to it. "Mark me? How?"
"It's a special bite."
My eyes went round, and I put up a hand to stop him. "Whoa! Okay, I kind of understand the whole male possessive thing, but I'm not feeling the biting." Riley chuckled. "Biting hurts!" He laughed louder. "If you bite me, will I turn into a Varulv? Can you turn humans?"
He shook his head. "No, the only way to make a Varulv..." he leaned over and whispered in my ear, his breath warm and teasing, "…is to make love." I gasped and pulled away, only to see him giving me a charming wink. "It's not a normal bite. When we're making love, a sexual hormone becomes concentrated in my saliva. There's a gland on the roof of my mouth..." He paused and tilted his head back. Then, he opened his mouth and tried to talk as he pointed to the gland. "It's...right...there." I leaned closer to peer into his mouth, but all I saw was his long finger. When he closed his mouth, he continued. "So, when I bite you, the hormone enters your blood stream and intensifies your—"
My hand flew up, again. "Okay, I get it." I chuckled and shook my head. "You've marked someone before?"
His voice lowered. "No, I've never had a mate, but I've been taught how to mark and what happens."
I wasn't expecting us to have this type of conversation so soon, but there we were, sitting on the riverbank while discussing Varulv sex. He didn't seem embarrassed to talk about it, and I was getting more curious.
"Have you ever made love to a human?" I asked timidly. My ears felt hot, and I looked at him through shy eyes. I hoped I wasn't overstepping the boundary of personal information.
He answered quietly. "No."
His revelation came as a surprise, but I was still curious. "What about a wolf?" I don't know why I asked. I knew there was no possible way this extremely attractive man was a virgin.
He hesitated this time. Seconds ticked by before he replied, "Pack law states we can only make love after we claim a mate and the leader recognizes our union."
His indirect answer caught me off-guard, and I couldn't keep the sarcasm from my words. "You're not one to follow the rules, so I'll take that as a yes."
I looked away and lifted my feet out of the water. With my legs bent, I pressed my knees against my chest and wrapped my arms around them. I thought the conversation was over, but Riley was determined to have my attention. His fingers grasped my chin to turn my head toward him.
"That's probably the only law I haven't broken."
Our gazes locked, and he almost stole my breath, again. "Why? I know abstinence can't be easy for you."
His voice was almost a whisper. "Not anymore."
I noticed his green irises had flecks of amber in them—the same color as his wolf eyes. That's when I realized our heads had moved closer.
Riley's warm breath caressed my face, and it smelled of hickory and clove. "I'm not interested in any she-wolves in the pack."
Paige Donovan is an ambitious college graduate who aspires to reach the top of the corporate ladder. She’s climbing fast when given the promotion of a lifetime at a prestigious fashion magazine in New York City. Her bright future comes to an unexpected halt after news of her father’s death. She inherits his old cabin in the Colorado Rockies, and just when she thinks her luck couldn't get any worse, she has a car accident in the mountains and awakens in the small, remote community of Black River.
Soon, she’s engulfed in the mystical world of Varulv---wolves descended from 13th century Scandinavia and blessed by Norse gods with the ability to appear human. Paige is desperate to return home, but never expects to fall for her rescuer, Riley Gray, a charming young werewolf from England who offers her an alternate future with his pack.
Now, she must choose between the career she’s always wanted and the love she’s always dreamed.
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/16WjjdE
Meet Author April Bostic:
April Bostic is a New Jersey-based, Adult Romance author who enjoys unleashing her creativity and letting her imagination run wild. Her love of romance books inspired her to become not just a reader, but also a writer. In December 2008, she self-published her first novel, a contemporary romance with a supernatural twist entitled "A Rose to the Fallen".
Her first short story, "Right Here, Right Now", released in January 2012, is an erotic romance with a dash of S&M. The following year, she released two more short stories: a romantic urban fantasy inspired by the Greek myth of Eros and Psyche entitled "Eros, My Love", and a sexy romantic comedy entitled "Love Addiction".
After five years, she released her second novel, "The Howling Heart" in August 2013, a paranormal romance that delves into the mystical world of werewolves and Norse gods. To end her busiest year in publishing, April will release her fourth short story in December 2013, an 18th century paranormal romance entitled "A Dark Scandal".
One Grand Prize of one digital $10 Amazon or B&N gift card (winner's choice), and one digital copy of The Howling Heart in EPUB or PDF format (winner's choice).
Please see the Rafflecopter widget for Terms & Conditions.
Tour Stops: http://events.litconnect.com/paranormal-romance-virtual-tour-the-howling-heart-by-april-bostic/a Rafflecopter giveaway