Release Date: 3/28/11
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Series: Avalon , Book 1
Publisher: Summerhouse Publishing
Part time diner waitress and hotel manager, Gwen’s days are filled with serving locals and making sure the sleepy back-road motel doesn’t have a crisis of epic proportions…like running out of clean towels. She’s a woman with a routine, a cleaning roster and that’s the way she likes it.
But Gwen is a woman with a past. A past which involves guns, knives and a whole lot of weird shit like vampires and werewolves. A past she gave up three years ago for the mediocrity of normal life.
She’s not sure she’s ready to go back to it but then a mysterious customer turns up in her diner. Hot and sexy as all hell, he sparks all kinds of erotic fantasies in Gwen’s sex-starved brain.
When she finds him bleeding from a were’s claws, can Gwen walk away? Or will she give into her carnal urges and risk being pulled back into her old life?
There are things that go bump in the night. At one time or another I’d seen and hunted all of them, vampires, shape-shifters, demons and ghouls to name but a few. My lips pursed as I swiped viciously at the tabletop in front of me. These days my weapons were antibacterial cleaner and a wet cloth.
The stubborn marks on the surface of the booth table were no match for my mad cleaning skills and within seconds the table—like its companions in the small diner—was as clean as a new pin. Or how I’d always expected a new pin to be that was…if tables were small and metal coloured. Actually, I had no freaking clue what a new pin looked like but if I did, then my tables looked like ‘em.
I should introduce myself. I’m Gwen, technically Guinevere, but only my mother ever called me that. There’s another name which goes with that, but it’s not one I like to admit to. At one time I was a hunter, a slayer of anything dark and paranormal, but that was a long time ago. These days I manage Betty’s Diner off the main route into town, and rent a room in the motel at the back. Not much, but for a woman who’d spent her life on the road, it was as tied down as I was comfortable getting.
Packing up my trusty spray bottle and cloth, I headed for the counter. It was, as always at this time in the afternoon, a little slow. The evening rush wouldn’t start for a while. Until the cook, Bob, showed up it was just me on duty, in charge of everything from cleaning to cooking. I shook my head, amused with myself. Real high flyer, wasn’t I?
I tucked everything away and hurried to my purse for my book. The benefit of taking the afternoon shift was a chance to catch up on some reading. And as I was at the beginning of what promised to be a satisfyingly steamy scene, I anticipated getting back to it.
Fate was not to be so kind. As soon as my fingers latched onto the purse the door opened. Head buried under the counter, I closed my eyes and swore under my breath. Who the feck decided to eat at this bloody time of day? Didn’t they know I had better things to do?
Bouncing up from behind the counter like a jack-in-the-box, I plastered a bright smile on my face. Only to have it slide right off again. There, standing in the middle of the diner, was the most gorgeous man I’d ever seen.
Dressed in plain denim jeans and a T-shirt, he was a little rugged around the edges. The fuzz of stubble decorated his jaw, and his spiky crop was a little mussed, but all that did was invite feminine fingers to rearrange and put it in some kind of order.
All that faded as I clocked his eyes. A combination between blue-green and brown, they speared right through me. A shiver ran down my spine. I’d always had a thing about men with pretty eyes, and this guy had them in spades. My gaze slipped down a straight nose and collided with a pair of sensually full lips. Instantly my imagination fed me an encyclopaedia of erotic images centered around those lips.
All in all, the man was a walking, talking reason to thank God for being female. If he could talk. Since he hadn’t uttered a word yet, the jury was still out on that one.
“What can I get you, sweetheart?” Startled out of my usual composure, I slipped a little and my voice bore traces of my real accent, which, since I’d been born in England, was definitely not local.
His attention flicked from the menu on the board to me, and he smiled slowly. My ovaries whimpered. Oh, this one was a charmer for sure.
“Coffee would be good, thanks, darlin’. Pie, if it’s any good.”
I could have gone into rhapsodies over his voice. Low with a rough cut, gritty quality, it hit me right where it counted…yeah, should have mentioned that. I have a thing for male voices. And a good back…good arms…good ass…nice smile. Okay, I admit it there isn’t much on a guy I don’t like. I’m a tart, through and through.
I smiled back. Not that there was any likelihood I had a chance with a guy like this, but my feminine pride (and whimpering ovaries) wouldn’t let me at least give it a shot.
“Since I didn’t make it, I’d say there was a good chance it’s great. Wanna take a seat for me, handsome? I’ll bring it over.”
I waved in the general direction of the diner as a whole. Since we were empty, he had the pick of any seat in the house. I watched him out of the corner of my eye as I busied myself slicing pie and making coffee.
He walked with a small swagger, and just the right amount of arrogance. The T-shirt clung lovingly to broad shoulders my fingers just ached to explore. I couldn’t help it. My gaze dropped to his ass. Oh yes, tight as all hell from what I could see in the somewhat loose fit denim.
I bit my lip to stop me complaining out loud. Loose fit on a guy built like that? There had to be at least seven federal laws against it, possibly more. Did the guy not realise what a crime against women it was to conceal an ass like that?
He chose the booth in the corner, and slid across the seat until his back was to the wall. Good choice, the hunter in me mentally applauded. If the shit hit the fan, he didn’t have to worry about anyone sneaking up behind him, and the window to his left ensured he had an escape route if the situation went to hell in a hand-basket.