If you haven’t had a chance to step into this passionate and action-packed world of dark elves, fae, demons, vampires, shifters and hunters, then you can take the leap with the first book in the series, Kissed by a Dark Prince, which is only 99c / 99p until January 15th as part of her fantastic Winter Warmers special deals. Find all the deals and links to your favourite retailers at: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/paranormal-romance-ebook-offers.php
Here’s more about Hunted by a Jaguar, including an excerpt from this paranormal romance novel.
Kyter stood behind the bar of Underworld, rubbing a shot glass with his white towel, his gaze locked on the glass as it reflected all the different colours of the bottles that lined the back of the bar and the spotlights that rotated above him.
“You keep rubbing that glass, there’ll be nothing left,” Sherry said as she squeezed past him, snapping him out of his daze.
He looked at the glass, set it down on the black rubber mat laid out on the counter above the wine fridges in front of him and tucked his towel back into his belt. He scrubbed a hand over his tousled sandy hair and then around the back of his neck.
Sherry offered him a smile that reached her blue eyes as she took the glass he had been polishing to death and moved on, a bounce in her step that made her blonde ponytail sway as she approached the optics.
The gazes of several men on the other side of the bar followed her. She was always a draw, and was one of the few humans who worked for him.
She had been working twice as hard over the past week since he had been back, picking up his slack. Everyone had been and he knew they were all worried about him. Hell, even the regulars were beginning to notice he was off his game, his usual banter and smiles nowhere to be seen. He felt as if he was sucking the life out of the joint.
Cavanaugh, a big silver-haired male shifter, looked over the heads of the other bar staff to him, a concerned crinkle to his brow. Kyter waved him away, letting the male know that he was fine.
Sherry had probably snitched on him again.
She was the only human employee who knew what sort of creatures she worked with and every time she had caught him spacing out this week, she had gone straight to the only other cat shifter in his employment and told him about it.
She seemed to think that all cat shifters should stick together.
If she knew how many fights cats got into when they wandered into each other’s territory, she would think differently about trying to make him and Cavanaugh grow any closer to each other than they already were. She was lucky that the bigger male wasn’t a jaguar. They all were. Being in his prime, Kyter couldn’t stand other males of the same species being near his territory, let alone in it. For that very reason, there was a sign on the wall outside the club that warned other jaguars away.
Well. There was a plank of wood with his claw marks raked down it and his scent all over it.
The cat shifter equivalent of a sign.
He leaned his back against the bar and stared at his reflection in the mirror behind the bottles, spacing out again, the loud music and buzz of the nightclub fading into the background once more.
Did he look like his father?
His mother had told him that he was a secret. His father hadn’t known she had been pregnant when she had escaped him, fleeing back to her pride expecting sanctuary and finding a different world awaiting her, one filled with cold shoulders and dark looks, and blame for something that hadn’t been her fault.
He suspected that his father knew now and that what had happened at the village had been brutal retribution for keeping Kyter’s existence from him.
Kyter folded his arms across his chest and clutched the white sleeves of his shirt, tugging it into his fingers as he dug them into his arms, his coiled muscles like steel beneath the soft material.
If his father wanted to meet him, he was cool with that. He wanted to meet him too. He had been working on tracking him down since making it out of the rainforest, knowing it was down to him to make that meeting happen. His mother wouldn’t have told his father where Kyter lived, and the pride hadn’t known until she had used her dying breath to whisper to the head elder where to find his number.
Part of Kyter’s heart knew that she wouldn’t have wanted him to do this. She would have wanted him to remain safe and hidden, but he couldn’t do that. His father had taken something precious from him, and now he wanted to take something precious from the demon.
He wanted to look him in the eye and then take the bastard’s head.
The music changed track, the heavy beat a fitting backdrop to the satisfying images playing out in his head. The demon would pay for killing his mother. He would pay for everything she had suffered because of him. He would pay for everything Kyter had endured.
He felt Cavanaugh’s steady gaze on him again and shoved away from the bar, flicking the shifter a glance as he went back to work drying the glasses. It was all he was fit for right now, and he wasn’t even doing a very good job of it. They kept running out.
He dried and polished another dozen, setting them back with their matching glasses on the rubber mats dotted along the back of the bar. He hung a few wine glasses by their stems on the racks and paused again when he caught his reflection in the mirror behind them. He looked beyond himself to the other person who had snagged his attention.
Kyter slowly turned and fixed his gaze on the hunter.
The dark-haired male had his back to Kyter, one arm propped casually on the black bar top and his black shirt blending into the wood. There was nothing casual about him though. He had his pale green eyes locked on Cait where she danced at the fringes of the Saturday night crowd, gyrating in time with the beat, her arms thrown above her head. The position lifted her corset-top up to flash her midriff and her leather trousers caught the lights, changing colour in time with them.
Kyter jammed his towel back into the belt of his black slacks and kept an eye on the hunter. He knew what Cait was and he suspected that Owen did too, being a hunter who specialised in shifters. Hellcats were rare, but extremely powerful. If the hunter thought he could tangle with the little kitty and not get burned, he was heading for trouble, not a trophy.
Cait continued her mesmerising dance, drawing hungry eyes her way. He had seen her a few times in his club. Cat shifters were drawn to Underworld because he regularly visited the fae towns to get a one hundred percent effective witch-brewed version of the sort of calming plug-in diffusers that humans bought for their feline pets. He pumped the pheromones out through the air-conditioning and it stopped them from wanting to fight and shift. It normally kept him pretty mellow too.
Not tonight though.
He studied Cait as she ran her hands up her body and her fingers through her long dark hair, lifting it away from her neck. She was doing her best to act casual, but she was giving off a bad vibe, and he hadn’t failed to notice that there was another hellcat in the club.
That one was a big male who only had eyes for Cait. It seemed the little kitty had gotten herself into some sort of trouble already, and was looking to make it worse.
Or maybe drag Owen into things.
He had no love for hunters, but Owen was a regular and he knew better than to hunt on Kyter’s turf. Kyter had made sure of that a long time ago, when Owen had first come here with his father. A tenth generation Nightingale on his first foray into the shifter underground. Owen had been nothing but a whelp. Now he was a man, and he was watching Cait a little too intently.
Kyter leaned over the bar and clamped his hands down on Owen’s shoulders. The human male stiffened, muscles flexing beneath Kyter’s grip.
“I’d reconsider if you were thinking of doing something stupid in my club,” Kyter said over the pounding music, making sure Owen heard him loud and clear. “I’m not in the mood to see a fellow cat get her tail pulled. I won’t be held responsible for how it will end for you.”
He released the man and Owen slowly turned to face him, his pale eyes enormous. “I swear, I’m off duty.”
Kyter didn’t believe him. Hunters were never off duty.
Cait bounced up to the bar and flashed a smile in his direction. Kyter caught the scowl Owen aimed at him and raised his right eyebrow at the male. What was the hunter’s deal? Was he jealous?
He wasn’t about to trust Owen near Cait, but she slid the hunter a look filled with dark heat, a corona of blue fire around her dilated pupils, and Kyter backed off and left them alone. Cait was a big girl and she could handle herself. He wouldn’t step in unless she needed him.
Besides, Owen didn’t look as if he wanted to kill Cait. He looked ready to drool. Kyter shrugged it off. It was his funeral.
He turned away and caught Cavanaugh staring along the length of the bar at Owen and Cait, an odd look of longing in his dark eyes.
It wasn’t the first time he had seen the big male watching a couple with that same look in his eyes. He had tried to get closer to Cavanaugh over the years they had known each other, but the snow leopard preferred to keep to himself and they had ended up stuck on sometimes-awkward surface-level conversation for the most part.
Kyter headed for the silver-haired male, gliding past Sherry as she dealt with a rowdy group of young human men, and drawing the gazes of several women along the way. They all clamoured for his attention but he paid them no heed. He wasn’t in the mood tonight. He hadn’t been in the mood for entertaining them since he had returned from the rainforest.
If he was feeling honest, he hadn’t been in the mood for female attention since the elf prince Loren had been in his club with his mate around a month ago. Seeing the two in the midst of forming their bond had left a sour taste in Kyter’s mouth that no amount of Hellfire, a black potent liquor designed to overcome the most powerful of fae constitutions, could douse.
Cavanaugh took an order from a pretty little redhead who smiled and flirted to no avail, even reaching over the bar to run a hand down his white shirtsleeve and lightly squeeze his muscles through it. When the bigger male turned away to get her drink, Kyter fell in beside him.
“She’s pretty,” Kyter said, and she was throwing off pheromones like there was no tomorrow, leaving him in no doubt she wanted to tangle with the handsome barman.
Cavanaugh shrugged and mixed her cocktail in a martini glass, his back to her the entire time and his eyes on his work.
“I’ve never seen you take up a single offer from a woman since you started working with me.” Kyter had a feeling he should have taken his own advice about not pulling on the tail of a cat when Cavanaugh turned on him, baring fangs on a low growl, the centre of his irises turning silver.
“Keep your nose out of my business.” Cavanaugh shoved past him, set the glass down in front of the woman, and stalked towards the other end of the bar where it was darker and quieter.
He probably needed a moment in the playroom out the back. Kyter kept it stocked with plastic barrels, tyres and logs. The sort of things shifters loved to take out their aggression on when they couldn’t ignore the urge to transform.
The bigger male stopped at the end of the bar though, his shoulders heaved beneath his white shirt on a sigh, and he turned, propped his hip against the bar and folded his arms across his broad chest.
Stormy grey eyes slid Kyter’s way.
No trace of aggression in them. Only an apology.
Kyter rubbed his neck and approached him, leaving Sherry and the others to tend to the customers. When he reached Cavanaugh, he leaned opposite him and adopted the same pose, crossing his arms.
“Sorry,” Kyter said and Cavanaugh shrugged it off.
“You made any progress?” The snow leopard shifter relaxed and unfolded his arms, pressing his palms against the edges of the bar behind him. The position caused his shirt to stretch tight across the impressive width of his shoulders and chest.
It was Kyter’s turn to shrug. “I have a lead. Nothing big.”
It was hard to play it cool when Cavanaugh was looking at him so intently, as if he could taste the lie in the air.
Maybe Kyter’s lead was more than nothing. Maybe it was big.
Kyter had spent the whole night wondering whether the answer to the non-stop hunt for information he had begun the moment he had returned from Brazil was finally within his grasp. He felt as if he had done nothing over the past week except search for a clue as to his father’s whereabouts and mull over the information he had managed to find.
He sighed and rubbed his tired eyes. He certainly hadn’t slept and he had barely eaten. His entire life had become dominated by the one male he had vowed he would never give a damn about.
The bastard was the only thing he cared about now.
Cavanaugh slapped a hand down on his shoulder, jerking him back to the bar. “You should follow it up.”
Kyter knew that. It was going to eat away at him forever if he didn’t, and hadn’t he vowed to his mother that he would make his father pay for what had happened to her? He had a duty to do as Cavanaugh suggested and see if this lead actually led him somewhere.
He looked over his shoulder at Underworld, scanning the heavy crowd as the colourful lights flashed across them in time with the pumping music.
“We have this,” Cavanaugh said, as if reading his thoughts. “Nothing will happen to the club if you take a little time off. Family should come first.”
Kyter turned a black look on him. “My only family is dead.”
He meant that too.
A deep recess of his heart that refused to die whispered that he didn’t. He didn’t only want to avenge his mother by taking his father’s head. He wanted to show the pride that he was one of them. He was a warrior as fine as any of the ones they valued as part of the pride.
He growled under his breath, hating the fact that he still needed their validation. It made him feel like a cub all over again, desperate to be accepted, when he thought he had hardened his heart to them and shoved them out of it forever.
Cavanaugh smiled knowingly. “We can try our best to separate ourselves from our family, but it doesn’t change the fact that they are family.”
Kyter had the feeling that the snow leopard was speaking from the heart for once, letting him see past the barriers, and that they had more in common than Kyter had ever thought possible.
Broken ties with their bloodlines.
“Go.” Cavanaugh shoved his shoulder. “You’re no use here if you can’t concentrate for shit anyway.”
Kyter smiled. “True.”
He had served people the wrong drink more times than he could count and had given up serving people two days ago when he had managed to get nine orders in a row wrong. He hadn’t wanted to shoot for double figures.
“You got this?” The thought of leaving Underworld in someone else’s hands didn’t sit well with him, but Cavanaugh had come good on his promise to take care of the joint when Kyter had received the call that had taken him to the rainforest for two whole weeks.
The first time off he’d had in decades and it hadn’t exactly been a vacation. He knew that whatever lay ahead of him, it wouldn’t be a vacation either. If he did find his father, he would be lucky to come away from a fight against him in one piece, but he had to do it.
He had made a vow and he meant to keep it.
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC for “Hunted By A Jaguar” and my review can be read here 😀