Grin and Bear It: Blackhaven Manor, Book 4 is live a little early on Amazon! As always, it's available to read with your Kindle Unlimited subscription.
Thorne McIver is no ordinary bear shifter. He’s the monster whispered about in the dark, the beast feared in battles, and for hundreds of years, he’s used his formidable gifts to protect the royal families of the paranormal world. So, when he’s tasked with escorting the elven prince to a council meeting at Blackhaven Manor, he figures it’s just another assignment.
Until he meets a stunning human who fills in all the pieces he didn’t know were missing.
When he’d first started working at the hotel, Wren Covey had been a mess. He’d known almost nothing about Otherlings, their culture or rules, and everything had terrified him. Barely a year later, there’s not much he hasn’t seen, and hardly anything fazes him. Or so he thought, because nothing could have prepared him for being the mate to a genuine living legend.
When an attack on the hotel tests his already divided loyalties, Thorne finds himself torn between love and duty. Though honor-bound to protect the prince, his instincts will always be to put his mate first.
Now, he’ll have to find middle ground and figure out how to do both, or his happy ending will be over before it even begins.
Tired from the journey, annoyed about his argument with Orrin, and frustrated over the situation with Wren, he grunted when he heard the knock at the door. Shutting off the water, he exited the shower, grabbing a towel and wrapping it around his waist as he stomped out of the bathroom.
Ten feet from the door, his steps slowed, and his anger at being disturbed abated when a bright, earthy scent hit him like a wrecking ball. It reminded him of rain in early spring, when the days were still slightly chilled, and the winds gusted, sweeping away the last remnants of winter. There was only one being on earth who carried such an alluring fragrance, and he was the last person Thorne expected to be standing outside his room.
He took a deep breath, groaning quietly as the scent invaded his nose and made his head swim. Then, he arranged his expression into a mask of indifference before opening the door. “Can I help you?”
Wren stared up at him, his mouth slightly open, and his eyes so big they dominated his round face. The tip of his tongue darted out to wet his lips, and he looked down, only to jerk his head back up to meet Thorne’s gaze again. Though it looked like he might several times, he didn’t speak, but his shoulders rose and fell with every shallow breath.
His heart pounded frantically, the sound loud enough that Thorne probably could have heard it even without supernatural senses. A thin sheen of perspiration coated his brow, and the scent of anxiety soured his natural scent until it was the only thing Thorne could smell.
Putting it all together, he mentally sighed. His mate was absolutely terrified of him.
Abandoning all hope of remaining neutral, he softened his expression and let his lips curl into a subtle grin. “Wren, right?” He spoke quietly, trying to be as unintimidating as he possibly knew how. “What can I do for you?”
“I, uh…” He swallowed hard, his gaze raking over Thorne’s bare chest, all the way to his hips before snapping back to his face. “I’m…supposed to…”
When he trailed off and made the same trek with his eyes again, Thorne had to fight back a chuckle. “Would you like to come in?”
“No!” Wren practically shouted at him. Once he realized what he’d done, his eyes grew impossibly bigger, and the look of abject horror on his face was borderline comical. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that. I—”
“So, you do want to come in?”
“Yes.” He shook his head. “I mean, no.” He stopped again, frowning. “Can you please put some clothes on?”
Thorne couldn’t stop himself that time. He laughed. “All the indecent parts are covered.” It was an interesting development. While his mate still wreaked of nervousness, Thorne also detected subtle notes of desire. “Please, come in, then you can tell me whatever you were sent here to tell me.”
When Wren didn’t move, he reached out, keeping his movements slow and unthreatening. Placing his palm against the back of his mate’s shoulder, he applied a gentle pressure, encouraging rather than forcing him across the threshold.
“There,” he said, closing the door to prying eyes, “that’s better, right?”
Wren huffed. “Not really.”