YOU GUYS! Today we have Lauren Dane visiting with us. Yes, the Lauren Dane! Believe it or not I actually emailed her about this fifteen months ago! (Um… have I ever mentioned that I like planning in advance? It’s totally not as if I’m scheduled well into 2014 or anything…) >.> Anyway – point being! I heart Lauren Dane like whoa. Oh and yanno, her books are pretty good too. 😉 I haven’t read all of them – but what I have, I give a big thumbs up to. But you’re not here to read my babbling. You’re here for the post!
It’s been done before. Most of it anyway. In a zillion ways. What isn’t old is how much we love to watch the process of two people falling in love. To me, that’s the heart of any romance. Who these people are and what about them makes the other person’s heart speed.
Sometimes they know right away. They meet, sparks fly, they date and bam there’s love. Other times there’s a slow fall into love. There are things that may threaten their relationship directly like an ex or something. Or outside forces that work to tear them apart (the world ending, for instance, LOL)
In Beneath the Skin, Gibson de La Vega is the Bringer for his jamboree. He’s responsible for meting out justice and for keeping the cats in line. His family is powerful, as is his connection to them.
Mia Porter has done two tours in Iraq. She’s a pilot, it’s what she loves most in the world. But upon her return home she was attacked, nearly killed and that’s sent her reeling because her injuries may prevent her from doing what she loves best. She’s not a fragile flower. She knows how to use a weapon. She knows how to deal with bad guys. But it’s not her life anymore. She wants a quiet life and a good job. Maybe settle down and have some babies in a few years.
What she doesn’t need is another bossy alpha male in her life who wants to tell her want to do at every turn. She’s already got two brothers and a father.
She’s back in Boston, looking for a job, going to physical therapy and trying to plan her future when Gibson’s life slams straight into hers and holds on.
Thing is, despite the heavy duty physical and chemical attraction between them from the start, they’re not for each other. Porters and de La Vegas have been at odds for three generations.
So there’s an undeniable spark there between them and despite their best efforts (well maybe) to resist, they soon find themselves hot and heavy, as things on the outside begin to break down as well.
Gibson and Mia aren’t necessarily opposites, but he’s most certainly an alpha, bossy male. She’s got to push back a lot, which annoys her and also, deep down, comforts her. But she’s alpha enough to push back. And he is annoyed right back, but also deep down is comforted by.
There’s give and take, push and pull and a lot of family dynamics. Shifters aren’t humans after all, so Mia and Gibson’s way of problem solving isn’t always as polite as you might see in one of my contemporaries, but in the end, they find a balance because love makes you do that 😉
Here’s the first time they clash (though not the last!)
“Where are you?”
His savior came back with a shirt and some sweats.
“Where am I?” he asked her as he pulled the sweats on.
She rattled off an address that he didn’t bother relaying to Max, who’d have heard it the first time.
A fact his brother underlined when he began to give orders in the background before turning his attention to Gibson again. “Sending a car now. We’ll have a doctor for you. Do you need the hospital? Who are you with?”
“She’s one of ours. A cat.” He turned his attention back to the woman. “You never said what your name was. At least not while I was conscious.”
She looked him up and down as she decided to tell him or not. “Mia Porter.”
“Did she say Porter?” Wariness edged Max’s voice.
She sighed. “Yes, that Porter family.”
“How do you know she’s not part of it?” his brother asked.
The brown of her eyes went amber as her cat rose close to the skin. He liked that. Though the look on her face was scary enough that he’d give her some space.
One hand on her hip, she snarled in response to Max, and Gibson was glad he got to see the glorious fury of this female. “You’ve got some nerve to make accusations while your brother’s blood is all over my sheets. Get this straight, asshole. My family may not love yours, but if I wanted anyone dead, I’d come straight on and do it so you knew it was me.”
Gibson liked some moxie in a woman. This one had that in spades. Too bad she was a Porter. “He didn’t mean it like that.”
She rolled her eyes, totally unimpressed by his name, or Max’s, for that matter. “Of course he did. Your grandpa wasn’t all that. Just a serial cheater with a swelled head. Not rare and not special. Dumb assholes getting shot and when you help them they accuse you of being part of it. How do I know you didn’t need getting shot anyway?” When she pointed a finger in his direction, her breasts jiggled a little bit. Enough for him to lose his train of thought a moment.
Max cursed in the background. He wasn’t usually this clumsy when it came to dealing with the cats in his jamboree, but he’d touched a nerve and Mia Porter was one pissed-off woman.
He tried for a sexy smile, most likely watered down by the blood. Though she was a shifter so maybe not. “I probably do merit it.” He spoke to Max again. “But this is Bertram’s doing. I scented his cats before I went down. I’ve got my men on it. I’ll be over in a bit.” He hung up and took in the wreck of her room before he went back out to the living room in her wake.
She favored her left side but was clearly right handed, and he remembered the freshly healed spots on her chest and arm.
“I’m sorry about that. He didn’t mean it, not the way you think. He’d have asked the same thing of any other person who happened to be around.”
“Clearly you seem to think I’m unaware of how your family runs things. I know how he meant it. Just like I notice he didn’t ask the question until he heard my last name.”
He sighed but didn’t argue because she was right in part.
“Did I hurt you?” He tipped his chin to indicate her right side.
Something passed over her features for long moments before she put it away. “No.”
I’m giving away a copy of BENEATH THE SKIN to one commenter to this post! International entries welcome.
Giveaway guidelines, and end dates/drawings can be found here.