I started this series as a shifter dating cruise which was connected to the Refuge Island which is an island paranormal creatures go to for sanctuary. Silver/Scarlett's sister, brother, mom and pop are actually in hiding on this island and Silver goes to work for a cruise line as a way to escape her psychotic ex-fiance. This was adapted from the dating cruise idea to an action packed, page turning adventure of a man falling for a girl and risking his life to save her from marrying the wrong man. Going forward the series will focus on patrons of the supernatural cruise ship and Refuge Island.
I also decided to try cat shifters in this novella because I polled my reading club and they mentioned cat shifters would be an interesting change. I really enjoyed writing the purr-fect romance for these two characters and I think you're going to finish the book and feel good about the romantic story and the adventure.
Check out more from me on the novella in this video.
Here is an excerpt for this adult paranormal shifter romance. I hope you enjoy the story.
Scarlett Jennings is on the run from a sadistic ex-fiancé. She takes refuge on a supernatural cruise liner as a dancer. She doesn’t make plans for her future because she knows he will find her someday. Brock Martin is part of an order of assassins. He hops on the supernatural cruise to kill his next target but is intercepted by a red-headed tigress. After one kiss he makes plans to take out his mark and spend the rest of the week courting the beautiful dancer. There’s only one problem with those plans, his Scarlett has a hefty price on her head and he’s been dispatched to collect.
Scarlett Jennings caught a movement out of her peripheral vision as she was working through the new choreography for the coming night’s performance backstage. Damn cat vision was more of a curse than a blessing. Being the only one scheduled for the stage for the next thirty minutes the appearance of another person was suspicious. The hair that rose on the back of her neck had her running softly after the intruder when she landed from her leap across the stage. Something wasn’t right. If she was smart she’d call the cruise line’s security team, but she and authorities didn’t mix well and she’d feel idiotic if she called the cops on a fellow dancer that was simply getting ready for his scheduled time on the stage. It wasn’t the best way to make a first impression with whoever the stranger was, and she couldn’t afford the drama that might come from narking on a colleague who wasn’t doing anything wrong. Without this job, she only had one other option and sanctuary wasn’t the right move at the moment. It would put those she loved in danger. She needed this dancing gig far more than she’d ever admit out loud.
Her slippered feet padded silently across the floor as she followed the shadowy figure that went deeper into the unauthorized area of the ship. She was pretty sure this intruder wasn’t a fellow performer and began to rethink her pursuit. The cat that shared her mind warned of danger and flooded her body with adrenaline. The instinct to turn and escape was strong, but the urge to chase prey was stronger. The cat and human were at odds, and once again the tigress would win the battle for control. Her speed picked up as she continued to follow the mysterious figure further into the ship.
He, (she assumed he was a he because of his build), took a left down a restricted hallway. She continued her stalking, and was taken by surprise when strong arms snaked around her waist and slammed her against the ship’s wall. “What the…” the impact took her breath away and his dangerous looks robbed her of her second breath.
His hand covered her mouth as he moved closer to her neck and whispered, “Why are you following me?”
Her heart beat double time. Her eyes grew large, pupils dilated as fear flooded her system. She felt a primal need to escape, but another, deep down, wanted to stay. This wasn’t the same fear she felt in Joshua’s presence. This was different. She tried to talk, but his large hand muffled her words. “Mrph um mph.”
“I’m going to remove my hand. If you scream, I’ll break your neck, understand?”
Scarlett nodded. His words should’ve chilled her to the core, should have, but they didn’t. His intensity excited her. Something was obviously wrong with her mind. She’d never felt so many mixed feelings. Her first inclination was to fight the man, and her second was to kiss his rugged lips. Everywhere he touched a spark lit in her nerves and sent her brain into panic mode. Her fight-or-flight instinct should take over, only, instead, she wanted to curl up in the man’s lap and purr.
Slowly, he moved his hand from her lips, but kept his other hand on her waist, fingernails digging softly into her flesh holding her against the wall, and keeping her from fleeing even if she wanted to, which was the farthest thing from her thoughts in that minute.
“Why are you following me?” The snarl in his voice was far from scary, more sexy and primal.
Gods, Scarlett. Pull it together, she chastised herself silently. “I saw you backstage and was curious,” she lied.
“So you put yourself at risk out of curiosity?” He sounded irritated with her. Why? He was the one doing suspicious things.
She shrugged. “You know what they say, ‘curiosity kills the cat’.”
Uncomfortable silence spread between them as he stared into her eyes, like he could see into her soul and read her thoughts. Finally he said, “I suppose you’re going to tell me you’re a cat shifter.”
His grip on her waist eased up, and she felt sad at the loss of pressure from his hand. She never liked the bad boy types, probably because her ex-fiancé was the worst of the devils, but something about this man made her ignite. “I’ll share what I am if you’ll reciprocate.”
A tiny tick started in his cheek, just below his dimple, and his mossy green eyes narrowed on her with distrust. “Panther.”
“Tiger,” she replied, thankful he gave in enough to share his alter ego with her. “What are you doing down here? It’s restricted.” She whispered loudly.
He readjusted the strap to the shoulder bag she just realized he was carrying. The action caused a lock of his black hair to fall into his eyes. She resisted the urge to reach up and brush it back. It had been too long since she’d found comfort in a man’s arms. It was the only way she could describe the feelings whirling around her body like a tornado.
“Do you make a habit of asking strangers questions that could get you killed?”
The bluntness of his words were like a kick to the gut. The man had already threatened to break her neck and now he was implying her actions could get her killed? She’d seen danger all her life, her home was virtually a warzone. It was why she couldn’t go back. She couldn’t lose this job because far worse hazards waited for her there.
“If threatening a girl is your usual pick…” her words were cut off when his lips pressed against hers. At first, she denied his advance, but the slide of his tongue along her lips tempered any resistance, and she opened up to him and the pleasures he was offering. He didn’t hesitate to deepen the kiss. His grip on her waist tightened, and his other hand eased into the red curls at the nape of her neck forcing her head back allowing him more control.
She’d never been kissed by a handsome stranger before, and she intended to enjoy the moment. His tongue took authority and rolled over hers like an ocean wave driving her desire up a notch, stealing her breath away. Tension tightened in her middle and grew needy as his hot, ready body pressed her harder against the cold metal wall of the ship. They began the primal dance pressing their bodies together at the center and grinding to a silent rhythm that made them want more.
Her leg rose of its own accord and wrapped around his waist pulling him harder against her as he masterfully thrust his hardness against her. His fingers on her waist moved to her thigh and she felt a pleasurable sting as his fingernails bit slightly into her flesh. Desire and want rose in her and threatened to send her soaring into the sky like one of the jumps in her dance.
“What are you two doing in here?” The harsh tone of a security guard hissed at them, washing over Scarlett like a cold shower.
The bastard kissed me to keep from getting caught! They broke from the kiss, both short of breath, staring oddly into each other’s eyes. A connection was made, no doubt. What that connection was she couldn’t say with her mind all jumbled and confused.
He grinned, and with inhuman speed, picked her up and held her in his arms. “Sorry, officer, we just got married and were looking for a little privacy.”
Married? She didn’t even know the man’s name, and she was suddenly his alibi for some sort of criminal activity, she was sure, but the passion he lit in her from a single kiss kept her from saying what her brain knew was right. She simply blushed – blushed, and allowed him to carry her off as the security guard escorted them out of the restricted area.
Grab the full story on Amazon here for only $0.99. I hope you enjoy the romance between these two characters and their story. Have a wonderful week and thank you for reading.