Who’s been sleeping in my bed?
For newly divorced advice columnist Ava Atwood, the answer is a resounding nobody. As the author of The Diva’s Handbook, a relationship manual for the suburban goddess, she has her hands full solving other people’s relationship problems. So when she retreats to her abandoned cottage, the last thing she expects is to find a large black wolf sprawled across her bed.
And the shocks just keep coming. It seems the wolf’s enigmatic master has been inhabiting the cottage in her absence. Everything about Devlin—from his elemental passion to his animalistic drive—stirs Ava’s long dormant libido. And then there’s his penchant for not wearing any clothes…
Ava’s content to ignore the nagging suspicions she has about Devlin and hang on while he takes her on the wildest sexual ride of her life. Devlin, however, isn’t the type of man who’s satisfied with a meaningless fling. But will Ava give him the commitment he seeks when his past forces her to face the truth about her mysterious house guest?
Read an Excerpt
Ava paused outside the bedroom and flattened herself against the wall. The door stood wide open. No sound came from inside—at least, nothing she could hear over the rampaging rain.
One… Two… Three!
She jerked her head sideways into the doorway and angled the beam of the flashlight toward the far wall where she remembered the bed being.
She’d been right. The bed was still in the same spot. Even the covers were the same ugly green and blue plaid her mother had loved. She could have sworn, though, that the massive black wolf that slumbered draped across the covers hadn’t been part of her parents’ interior decorating plan.
Highlighted in the neon burst of light she held pointed at its head, it looked like something out of a wildlife painting. Black from head to toe with the exception of a perfectly white stripe running from the tip of its nose to its forehead, the creature spanned the entire length of the bed. Its chest rose and fell slowly with the force of its breathing, the only indication that this beast was in fact real.
That realization smacked hard into Ava a moment before the wolf opened its eyes. It squinted against the bright light, but even through the narrow slits Ava could make out piercing sapphire orbs that seemed to look past the glare of the flashlight and gaze right into her soul.
Survival instinct broke through the shock permeating Ava’s body. She screamed, a sharp, high-pitched shriek that merged with the peal of overhead thunder. Her legs felt heavy, but she managed to back away, stumbling into the hallway.
The flashlight fell from her limp fingers and clattered on the ground. She clutched the umbrella in both hands and staggered backward, keeping the bedroom entrance in her sights just in case the wolf decided she looked tasty enough to be its morning meal.
Light seeped through the large windows encasing the room. It was gray and murky, but it allowed her to make out the contours of the furniture as she continued to shuffle toward the door. But to get there, she had to make her way through the open-concept kitchen, dining room and living area first. Oh boy.
“No sudden moves, Ava,” she murmured under her breath. Why hadn’t her editor ever asked her to write a column on how a Diva should deal with a predatory animal that looked twice as big as she was? Now that would have been fascinating reading for any Manhattanite.
The vinyl tiles squeaked against her socks. Heavy steps thudded.
The beast was coming for her. She backed another step. Then another. Her back collided with something curved and narrow. The refrigerator door handle.
From where she stood in the kitchen, the front door was at least fifteen feet away. Frantic, she eyed the hallway leading to the bedroom. A shadow fell across the floor.
She’d never make it.
Gripping the umbrella hard enough to send a sharp jolt of pain up her arms, she gritted her teeth and prepared for the fight of her life.
Something moved inside the hall archway. The shape loomed even larger than she’d imagined, as wide as the span of the doorway itself and nearly as tall.
Ava’s gaze darted to the floor. The first thing that registered were feet. Bare feet.
While her heart hammered so hard she feared it might break through her rib cage, Ava took in lean calves and muscular thighs. Her gaze drifted over a dark patch of pubic hair and a long, thick, quiescent cock. Even through the haze of terror that clouded her mind, she knew she wanted to linger on that delectable sight.
Still, she forced herself to keep looking up along the smooth planes and valleys of healthy, tanned skin—across a flat, rippling abdomen, higher still along the firm lines of a finely sculpted chest and into a face that made her heart skip a beat.
The beginnings of a scruffy beard bordered full lips and covered an angular jaw. A straight nose led up to bright blue eyes and a broad forehead unmarked by the slightest wrinkle. He couldn’t have been older than thirty, if that. Dark eyebrows and unruly brown hair that reached down to his shoulders completed the breathtaking visage.
This was no wolf.
He was all man from his toes all the way to the top of his head. Big too. As if towering over her five-foot-four frame wasn’t enough, he also looked strong. Dominating. Confidence seemed to roll off him in waves as he leaned against the doorframe and crossed his arms over his chest.
Ava blinked. He didn’t disappear.
She blinked again, faster this time, and swung the umbrella from side to side. Too little sleep, too little coffee and a brush with certain death had caused her to imagine things. Wonderful, impossible things.
When faced with their own mortality, some women had their lives flash before their eyes. She conjured up a handsome younger man to come to her rescue.