Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Hi everyone –
I’m so excited to visit Splashes into Books today! If we haven’t met, I’m Lisa Kessler and I write paranormal romances that are full of emotion and plenty of action and danger galore.
I have a holiday story in a new anthology this year called, Christmas After Dark. My tale is THE LONE WOLF’S WISH and it’s a prequel to tie the Moon Series wolf pack to the new Sedona Pack series. You don’t need to have read any of the other books to jump in, but I hope it’ll entice you to try the rest of the series… 😊
The Lone Wolf’s Wish takes place just before Christmas in Sedona Arizona. Our hero, Shane, is a lone wolf. His pack has been murdered and he’s hunting the jaguar shifter assassin he believes is responsible. All Shane wants for Christmas is revenge.
But when he crosses path with his long lost love, Piper, he realizes she the Christmas miracle he never expected.
Here’s a little taste from Piper’s point of view:
As we entered the Tlaquepaque village, Shane took my hand and our fingers laced together like we’d never been torn apart ten years ago. Muscle memory was a strange thing. At least that would be the logical explanation. My heart seemed to believe I’d never “fit” so well with anyone in my life.
I glanced up, smiling at the wonder on his face.
This was my second Christmas season in Sedona, but the magic of the Red Rock Fantasy still wrapped me in its mystical spell. The courtyard was a mixture of candlelit luminaries and twinkling Christmas lights. Last year, I’d had a similar reaction. I’d never seen anything like it, a blending of old and new traditions. The light basked us in a warm holiday glow.
Shane glanced at me, shaking his head. “It’s beautiful.”
“Right?” I squeezed his hand. “And we only get polite snow here.”
He grinned and, damn, I forgot how good it felt to see him smile at me. “Okay, what the hell is polite snow?”
“It falls at night, and it’s just enough to make everything look pretty, but not enough to require a shovel.” I bumped him with my shoulder. “See? Polite.”
“Didn’t know such a thing existed.” He shook his head, chuckling. “Man, I can’t remember the last time I laughed.” He met my eyes. “Thanks for bringing me here.”
“Oh, we’re just getting started.” I glanced down at his leg. “Are you too sore?”
“No.” He lifted my chin. “I forgot all about my leg. You’re magic.”
His lips parted, and my heart raced with anticipation. He didn’t close the distance between us, but the temptation sizzled like electricity.
His gaze wandered over my face like a caress. “I can’t stop thinking about kissing you.”
I ran my hand up his chest, my voice suddenly a raw whisper, each word a puff of fog. “What are you waiting for?”
A playful gleam sparked in his dark eyes, and suddenly he was on the move, gripping my hand as we wove through the people toward a dimly lit archway.
He stopped underneath and pointed up. “Finally found some mistletoe.”
I laughed as he kissed me. I wrapped my arms around his neck, and the rest of the world melted away. Christmas carols faded into the background, drowned out by the pounding of my heart in my ears as he held me tighter. Even with our jackets on, his body warmed mine, making me ache to be closer.
His lips were warm, coaxing my mouth open. I hummed into the kiss as our tongues tangled in a sensual dance that had me yearning to get him naked. The realization cut through the haze of lust.
I broke the kiss, resting my forehead against his. “You’re still the best kisser.”
“You make me want to be.” His crooked smile had butterflies fluttering in my stomach.
“We’re supposed to be finding Christmas spirit.”
“I’m feeling pretty spirited.” He raised an eyebrow full of innuendo.
How could he be so cute and sexy all at the same time? I laughed, my heart melting in spite of my efforts to keep my head with him. “Come on.”
I took his hand, and together we walked down the uneven tiled corridor. The luminaries cast our shadows across the ground in front of us, our joined hands as natural as breathing. We browsed through shops, took a couple selfies with the giant Christmas tree, and found another sprig of mistletoe to kiss underneath.
Shane bought us a couple of hot chocolates and we settled on a bench with a view of Santa in his sleigh, greeting kids and families for photos. I sipped the cocoa and studied his profile. Ten years ago, I’d been so head over heels in love with this guy. He’d been a big burly teen back then. His face had thinned a little, bringing out the angle of his strong jaw, and his lanky body had filled out in all the right places.
He took a swallow of his hot chocolate, his eyes on Santa. “What’s on your mind?”
I chuckled, forcing myself to face forward. “Just trying to wrap my brain around my first love being a werewolf.”
He glanced my way. “Have there been others?”
“Others?” I raised a brow.
“Yeah. Did you fall in love again?”
I wrapped my hands around the cup, keeping them warm as a cold breeze blew past us. “I had a boyfriend in college, and I dated a guy when I first got to Sedona, but love?” I shrugged. “Not really.” I took another sip and asked, even though I wasn’t sure I wanted to know. “How about you?”
“No.” He looked at me, resting one hand on my thigh. “I did date, trying to find the woman my wolf recognized. We’re raised knowing there’s one mate for us. When I couldn’t find her, dating seemed pointless. One night stands are pretty empty when you’re looking for forever.”
“Okay, that’s super romantic.” I covered his hand. “But we’re not kids anymore. What if I told you to hit the road and leave me alone?”
His eyes met mine. “Do you want me to go?”
“No.” I answered way too quickly. “But this mate thing is almost as crazy as shape shifters being real. How does it work if your mate doesn’t have that instinct and doesn’t want you stick around?”
“That’s the kicker for a werewolf. If we can’t win our mate’s heart, you either go through life alone, or settle for a relationship that will never fill the empty hole in your soul.”
He lifted my hand to his lips, kissing the back, his eyes never leaving mine. “I’ll never settle, but I will respect your wishes, Piper. You’re not stuck with me.” He broke eye contact, staring at the kids climbing up on Santa’s lap. “You’ve got a life here, and I’ve got one last mission to finish for my Pack. I can fade away again if I need to, and I will, if that’s what you want.”
I squeezed his hand until he looked at me again. My emotions were so jumbled up that I couldn’t find the words I wanted.
So I kissed him, long and slow, and when we came up for air, he tipped his head back searching the stars for what…I had no idea.
I frowned. “What’s wrong?”
A grin stretched over his delicious lips as he continued his search with a playful shrug. “Just checking for mistletoe.”
I laughed. “That kiss was all me.”
He set his hot chocolate aside and cupped my face in his warm hands. “We don’t need mistletoe.”
His lips met mine, my mouth opening, eager to taste him. His fingers slid into my hair, tightening as he deepened the kiss. My toes curled in my shoes, and heat swirled low in my belly.
I broke the kiss, breathless and no longer cold. “I’ve had enough Christmas spirit. How about you?”
“No offense to Santa, but let’s get the hell out of here.” The hunger in his eyes stoked my yearning for much more than a kiss.
Hope you enjoyed the teaser! I love Christmas time and I had such a blast writing this holiday werewolf romance. You can find out more about the rest of the Sedona Pack and all of my books at: http://Lisa-Kessler.com
From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!
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Thank you so much for your post, Lisa – your remain the Queen of Tease as far as I’m concerned! I’ll admit that I’ve been and downloaded a copy of the ‘Christmas After Dark’ book and look forward to reading it all, including Lisa’s story!
Lisa and her books have made quite a few appearances in posts on my blog . . . . you can access them from: