Today’s Fantastic Fable comes from A.C. Arthur. Passion’s Prey is the third novel in the Shadow Shifters series and is now available from St. Martin Griffin/Macmillan. Temptation Rising and Seduction’s Shift are the first two books in the series.
One lucky reader will win a Team Shadow Shifter tote bag. This giveaway is provided by A.C. Arthur.
Beauty and the Beast is one of my all-time favorite Disney movies. The way that Bella sees through the Beast’s surly demeanor and finds the compassion deep within him has always touched my romantic heart. It’s no wonder when I wrote Passion’s Prey I decided to bring together a beautiful heroine and a tattooed, emotionally scarred shape shifter. It was as if Xavier Santos Markland had once walked the same path as the Beast, finding his happily ever after with a female worthy of Belle’s strong and loyal character.
I took some time to think about how Xavier would have reacted to Belle when she first entered the castle, thus invading the dark space he’d reserved for himself. Here is what I came up with:
“Why are you here?” he asked, his nocturnal vision afforded him the luxury of taking in every seductive inch of her body.
She was dressed in a cloak and probably a dress beneath, but her curves could not be hidden. Her scent was intoxicating, wafting through the air, almost choking him with its allure.
“You do not belong here,” he continued because it was imperative that all he’d gone through, all he’d struggle to become not be for nothing. He could not stray from his path. His future as a Shadow Shifter Enforcer depended on his ability to remain objective. His past, which had been filled with darkness and pain, could not dictate what happened next. And yet, it did.
“I’m lost,” was her simple response.
She looked at him as if she could see, as if she wanted to see beyond the shield he’d cast around himself. He knew he wasn’t cover model handsome, his tattoos playing an integral part in helping with the façade. But she did not blink or turn away. Instead she moved closer, lifting a hand to cup his cheek.
He pulled away quickly, turning his back to her when all he really wanted to do was to keep staring at her, keep scenting her, keep feeling her soft touch.
“You should go away. Leave while you still have the chance!”
“What if I want to stay?” Her question was a dare, one he didn’t want to act on. She was beautiful, from her silky dark hair to her large brown eyes and heart shaped lips. It was then that Xavier realized he wanted to kiss her.
The growl emanating from within was loud and shook everything glass in the great room. She gasped and he turned immediately to see if she’d been harmed.
“I’m not afraid,” was her instant reply, even though she’d taken a couple of steps backward and was now clenching her fists at her side as if she were trying to decide whether to stay or to leave.
“You’re going to regret ever telling me that,” he spoke slowly, intently as he moved closer to her, cupping her chin, then taking her lips in a heated kiss.
Like Belle and the Beast, Xavier has met his match and while the road to happiness is hard fought, in the end he learns it was well worth it.
Artist C. Arthur was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland where she currently resides with her husband and three children. An active imagination and a love for reading encouraged her to begin writing in high school and she hasn’t stopped since.
Working in the legal field for almost thirteen years now she’s seen lots of horrific things and longs for the safe haven reading a romance novel brings. Her debut novel Object of His Desire was written when a picture of an Italian villa sparked the idea of an African-American/Italian hero. Determined to bring a new edge to romance, she continues to develop intriguing plots, sensual love scenes, racy characters and fresh dialogue—thus keeping the readers on their toes!
Want to read more from A.C. Arthur?
This giveaway is provided by A.C. Arthur
One lucky reader will win a Team Shadow Shifter tote bag
Available March 26, 2013 from St. Martin’s / Macmillan
About this Book:
They live in the shadows—half human, half beast—a powerful breed of shape-shifters who protect the civilized world from the deadliest of their kind…
Caprise is tall, beautiful, exotic. A goddess in the flesh. A dancer, when Caprise takes the stage, she feels the power she holds over men—especially the man known as X. He watches her night after night. He follows her with hungry eyes. And he knows her deepest, darkest secret—her true animal nature…
And falling in love with a Shadow Shifter is the most dangerous game of all.
Xavier has always lived for the thrill of the hunt—and the pleasure of the kill. But now, as a shifter working for the FBI, he is dedicated to keeping a leash on the world’s most savage predators. Keeping an eye on a gorgeous creature like Caprise is part of his job. But when a deadly new breed of half-human killer marks Caprise as his mate, Xavier must fight tooth and claw to save her—or risk losing the most sensual and exciting woman he’s ever known…
Click here to read an excerpt
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