You know the story: Wicked ruler who feels power threatened orders loyal henchmen to take a trusting innocent out into the wilds to kill her . . .
Steely NOPD detective Charlotte Caissie lives to see justice done, but she’s always felt an inexplicable attraction for the most unlikely man, Max Savoie, the right-hand hit man for mobster Jimmy Legere whom she believes had her father killed. Max was rescued as a child by the wily Legere who uses his unwavering loyalty and shape-shifting talents to maintain his control of the New Orleans docks. But when Max shows more than a passing interest in the pesky detective, Jimmy decides its time to put his devotion to the test.
Here’s what would happen in my By Moonlight world if Snow White and the Huntsman were played by my heroine and hero:
The big town car eased to a stop, its tires crunching on the oyster shell shoulder. Light filtered through the canopy of live oak branches as if the sun was strained through heavy gauze. On all sides, there was nothing to see but tangled wilderness.
Max got out and came around to open the other rear door.
“We’re here.” His voice was low, as deep and dark as the surrounding bayou.
Charlotte stepped out, ignoring the hand he offered as she warily assessed the situation. “Here, where?”
“Walk with me, Detective.”
Without waiting for her response, he started along a barely visible path that was quickly swallowed up by crowding branches and overgrown ferns.
Max could hear her following, her movements not silent like his own as she stumbled in her impossibly sexy shoes over the rough, uneven ground. But she kept up. They pushed through smothering humidity as the buzz of insects replaced conversation and civilization became a distant whisper.
Finally she called to him in an impatiently breathless voice. “Just how far do we have to go to meet with this informant?”
He didn’t turn. “We’re not meeting anyone.”
More cautious now. “You said you had important information for me.”
“I believe what I said was I wanted you to come with me for an enlightening ride.”
More silence as he imagined her processing that in her coolly clever cop brain until she reached the proper conclusion. She stopped walking. Despite the ripe smell of the swamps, her scent enveloped him, a sultry tease of Voodoo Love that never failed to cast its spell. Contrarily, her words were as sharp as a knife’s edge.
“Did Jimmy ask you to take me for this ride?”
Even though she hid it well, alarm shivered through her voice. His reputation for seeing Legere’s dirty deeds done wasn’t exaggerated. He’d killed at his mentor’s command more than once, and always without hesitation. It’s what he was, what he did. But the thought of Charlotte on the other end of that order unsettled him, giving him pause when he should have been planning.
There was no place for uncertainty in Max’s linear world. Jimmy spoke, he obeyed. That’s how it would always be. He’d only deviated from that narrow path once before, when he’d broken all the rules to save a bold young girl from a terrible situation she didn’t deserve. That girl, who had no memory of her savoir, was as fearless then as the woman she’d become was now.
“Jimmy believes you’re too dangerous,” he told her, moving his hands away from his body in a non-threatening manner, “that you can’t be reasoned with or ignored.”
A grim laugh. “He’d be right about that. So tell me, Max. Was this ride supposed to be round trip or just one way?”
Then he turned toward her, not surprised to find her in a defensive stance, her police issue in hand and aimed at his mid-section. He smiled at her bravado. “I haven’t decided yet.”
Her stare narrowed at his matter-of-fact honesty. “I could shoot you. That would settle things.”
His smile widened into a toothy grin. “You could,” he agreed, not bothering to tell her that the rounds in her pistol couldn’t do him any permanent damage. “But that wouldn’t really settle anything.”
“You could tell him I overpowered you and got away.”
A laugh exploded from him at that unlikelihood. “I could, but he wouldn’t believe me.”
“So,” she mused softly, “where does that leave us?”
“In a dilemma, I agree.”
His fingers had closed about her wrist and the gun was plucked free by his other hand before she even registered the movement. He heard her quick intake as he closed the distance between them to uncomfortably personal, but still not as intimidating as it should have been. Her pulse thundered beneath his grasp, yet her uplifted glare was darkly dangerous.
“Back off, Savoie,” she growled in warning.
“Sorry, sha. I’m afraid I can’t.”
He hadn’t made a conscious decision until that second about which trip he was taking her on: A fatal one-way or a foolish all the way. Until her lips parted and her wide-eyed gaze clouded with confusion instead of fear, providing him with the only possible answer. After risking everything to save her once before, how could he do less this time?
Even if it meant his own life.
His arm slipped about her waist as she swayed toward him against her will, against all reason. And he bent to take what she offered.
Tasting of impossible hopes and unspoken dreams, Charlotte relaxed in his embrace, returning his kiss, sweetly willing to explore both things. He lost himself in that unguarded moment as long held fantasy became, with one silky stroke of her tongue over his, an exquisite reality.
Max groaned and crushed her to him, reveling in the feel of her strong, curvy body as she moved against him with seductive purpose. Her arm curled invitingly about his neck, drawing him down to her. Her leg wound about his, rubbing, tightening.
And with one swift move, all sense of balance was gone. He was on his back, smacking the ground hard enough to drive the breath from him in a surprised rush.
Charlotte sat astride him, her red mouth swollen from their passion. She pushed off him with a groin-twistingly lusty glance, and drawled, “Now you can tell him I got the drop on you,” before darting into the thicket.
Chuckling, Max came up onto his elbows to shout after her, “Don’t go too far. There are dangerous things out there.”
“More dangerous than you?” she flung back at him as she ran.
“Probably not, but it’s a long walk back.”
“See you later, Savoie.” A quickly fading taunt.
“Yes, you will,” he murmured as he stood to brush off his pride.
His driver glanced over the seat in question as Max slid in and restored his impenetrable dark glasses.
“Drive. We’re done here.”
As he settled back against the leather seat, Max sampled the taste that lingered on his lips, and smiled.
Maybe done for now. But things between him and the detective were just getting started.
Just released, BOUND BY MOONLIGHT, the fourth installment in my dark paranormal By Moonlight series for Pocket Books concludes Max and Charlotte’s romance arc, but the series continues featuring new heroes and heroine with HUNTER OF SHADOWS, November 29, 2011. He’s a dedicated Shifter cop with a hidden agenda and she’s a fearless assassin determined to get in his way both professionally and intimately.
Nancy would like to offer two (2) copies of her latest release, Bound By Moonlight to two lucky winners!
They swore they’d be together forever
Detective Charlotte Caissie is suddenly sharing drawer space and making media news with her shape-shifter lover Max Savoie.
Knowing the reformed mobster is determined to be accepted by her peers, how can she ask him to return to his criminal roots to help her solve a complex case?
But those they trust the most . . .
Going undercover to find the vicious serial killer who kidnapped a colleague’s daughter, Cee Cee is caught between the partner whose integrity she relies on and her fiercely possessive lover. In calling on Max to use his preternatural talents to aide a hated enemy, she crosses a line that strains their relationship to its limits.
Will do anything to tear them apart
With his secret spreading beyond those he can trust, Max is forced to make dangerous alliances to protect his family and his clan. The only certainty he has is his love for his human mate, until the loyalties that define them threaten to divide them forever.
- Two Winners
- Open to US Only
- to enter, Leave a comment letting me know what you think of the story.
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Ends September 7th, 2011
With over 50 sales to her credit since her first publication in 1987, Portage, Michigan author Nancy Gideon’s writing career is as versatile as the romance market, itself. Her books encompass genres from historicals and regencies to contemporary suspense and the paranormal. Her works have been published overseas in Romanian, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Danish, German, Icelandic and Chinese, among other languages.
The mother of two grown sons, one married and proud producer of her grandson and the other shanghaied into being her assistant, she also works full time for the law firm, Redmond, Redmond & Yokom.
While the pace is often hectic, Gideon, a Gemini, enjoys tackling diverse projects. One month it’s researching the gritty existence of 1880’s Texas Rangers only to jump to modern themes of intrigue and possibly a legal thriller or two. Then, it’s back to the shadowy netherworld of shape shifters, vampires and movie serial killers. When not working on her latest plot twist before sunrise or arranging medical depositions, she enjoys indulging in Netflix, hosting her critique group, and feeding a variety of wildlife on her fourth-floor balcony including a yearly family of raccoons. And, of course, reading.
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