Already Freakn’ Mated (Freakn’ Shifters, #3)

Lucky him, he found his mate. Just one teensy, tiny problem. She was already married to someone else.

Book 3

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Genre: Paranormal/Shapeshifter Romance

Meeting the woman of his dreams would have worked a lot better if she didn’t already belong to another man. But Chris wasn’t about to let something like ‘until death do us part’ keep him from claiming his woman. He’ll do anything to win his mate, including throwing his attractive cousin at the pesky husband.

Despite the danger, and her marital status, Jiao can’t help falling for a handsome wolf. Honor says she should stay away, but her curious inner cat is flexing her claws and demanding they claim their man.

But Jiao isn’t the only one falling in love. When her husband finds himself head over heels with a she-wolf, will Sheng do the right thing and end the marriage sham? Or will the past catch up first and bite them?

Freakn’ Shifters series (each can be read as a stand alone):

Excerpt (18+):

The door swung open and the smell hit him first. Flowers of some sort with a hint of animal, cat he’d wager, but blended into something exotic he’d never scented before. It tantalized, but not as much as the underlying musk of the woman to whom it belonged. Toe-curling, cock-hardening woman.

Damn, that’s one freakn’ delicious aroma. Not just his man side reacted to the smell, his wolf did too, stirring in his mind with a rumble of excitement. Lick her. Bite her. His wolf had a list of things it wanted to do to the as yet unseen woman, most of them naked.

Uh-oh. That could only mean one thing.

Whirling, Chris gaped at the petite female in the doorway. His mate. Or so his yipping wolf seemed to think. Not even reaching his chin, she appeared of Asian descent, with dark, slanted eyes, high cheekbones, black hair twined atop her head in a bun, and rosebud lips, rounded into an ‘O’ of surprise.

Welcome to the club. Of all the things Chris expected to encounter today – hard to please client, a naked blonde, a late night burger at Al’s – he didn’t count on meeting the woman he’d spend the rest of his life with.

Inhaling her scent, Chris fought an urge to gather her in his arms and taste her mouth. Would she think him presumptuous if he pinned her against a wall and devoured her luscious lips? Or even better, dropped to his knees and worshipped her with his tongue. Or… Damn, the list of things he wanted to do went on and on. Best to find out her name now so he knew what to yell later when he got her into bed. Girls really hated it when you called them by the wrong name.

“Who are you?” Chris asked, pairing his query with his often used, panty dropping smile. Some guys opted for come-on lines. Chris preferred a naughty grin. And it worked every time.

“Taken,” growled a male sporting the same Asian complexion as he came up behind the woman and placed a hand on her shoulder possessively. Chris noted the glint of gold on the man’s finger and inwardly groaned.

Ah, freakn’ hell. She’s married. That would make things complicated.

 *

Jiao blinked at the imposing figure in front of her. Reeled actually, as his scent, a masculine thing comprised of wild animal and a sharp soap, tickled her nose. Roused her senses. Made her feline stir with ear pricked interest.

Who is he? What’s happening?

Through the cacophony in her ears – caused by her inner cat which yowled in excitement and clawed to get out – she thought she heard the stranger ask who she was. The smile he bestowed in her direction brought a tingle to parts south of her waist and she fought an urge to purr under his admiring gaze. Her cat, not restrained by human habit, didn’t hesitate, flopping down in her mind to contentedly rumble and roll in pleasure at the attention.

Who am I? he asked. Yours, came to mind as a reply, but thankfully didn’t pass her lips. Luckier, she managed to stifle the meow of her cat before it left her lips. Before she could recover from the overwhelming presence of the stranger, or think of something intelligent to say other than ‘Um’, Sheng’s heavy hand came down on her shoulder and he rumbled, ‘Taken,’ as a reply. She tucked her hands behind her back lest she give in to her wild side’s impulse to swipe at Sheng for his rude answer.

Disappointment clouded the stranger’s face, a quick lapse that he instantly recovered from, his expression smoothing into a jovial smile. He took the news well. Too well, and it miffed her feline half. Even odder, Jiao found herself somewhat disappointed too. Surely she didn’t crave this unknown’s attention?

Gently, but firmly, Sheng tugged until Jiao stood behind him. Yet, because of the stranger’s great height, she could still clearly observe him at the door. Towering over her, which really didn’t take much with her short five foot three stature, he possessed sun-streaked brown hair, hazel eyes framed by dark lashes, impossibly wide shoulders, a friendly smile, and a scent she found much too interesting.

Of course, while she admired all this, Sheng gave the guy, the contractor he’d called for the basement, a hard time.

“You’re the handyman?”

“Yup. I’m Chris of Howling Good Reno’s at your service. You called me about getting the basement converted into a home gym.”

Ah yes, Sheng’s brilliant plan to placate her. Since he wouldn’t let Jiao shift and exercise her cat outside, he’d decided to give her a private option to morph inside. Given the amount of work involved, and Sheng’s ineptness when it came to power tools, he decided to hire outside help. The most highly recommended guy for the job stood at their door. He was also the most handsome man she’d ever met and the first to ever intrigue her cat.

Jiao’s teeth tugged at her inner cheek. If Chris got the contract, he’d end up at the house every day, working on the basement for as long as it took to complete the job. Weeks probably. Plenty of time to explore the strange reaction he evoked. If it were up to her, Jiao would hire him on the spot, but she said not a word, knowing Sheng would do the opposite if he knew of her interest.

A frown marred Sheng’s face, a look she caught when he briefly glanced back at her. “I expected someone older.”

Someone married, Jiao thought with a sigh. Sheng seemed determined to keep her away from men, all men. Single, married, young or old, fat and even human, he did his best to keep her secluded. Protecting her, he claimed. Keeping them both from discovery. He didn’t seem to understand they couldn’t live in hiding forever. Lies could only carry them so far.

Eventually – sooner rather than later if Jiao got a say – things would have to change. For six years they’d run and hidden from those who would take them back to their cloistered life. Frantic years spent looking over their shoulder, not trusting anyone. Relying only on each other without a friend, other than Patricia, an RCMP officer and shifter they’d befriended during their escape. Jiao tired of the subterfuge. Tired of living under the radar, in the shadows, never experiencing life.

But Sheng knew best. He’d gotten them this far after all.

Chris didn’t seem daunted by Sheng’s skepticism in his skills. “I’ve got years of experience. And references too, if you want them.”

“You did come highly recommended,” Sheng admitted, but grudgingly.

“What do you say you show me the space? Tell me what you need. I’ll do up a quote and then we can go from there.”

Sheng appeared torn, something about Chris setting off his radar, but then again, everybody set off his paranoia meter. Placing a hand on Sheng’s arm, Jiao said, “He’s one of us and Patricia approved him.” Sheng trusted Patricia. After all, she was the one who gave them a new life, new identity, and more.

Lips tight, Sheng shook his head. “Sorry. But I don’t think you’ll do at all.”

Then, her husband slammed the door in the contractor’s face.

*

Poor Chris is in love with another man’s wife. Talk about freakn’ awkward.

Editor: Brandi Buckwine

Line Editor: Amanda L. Pederick

Cover Artist: Amanda Kelsey – www.razzdazzdesign.com