Never trust a cat and never trust your heart.
First Heat by Jocelyn Modo
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Shifter lion Kissa Alassane has finally gone into heat and she has never been consumed by such raging lust. Too bad her lioness is demanding she mate with Venor Brun, a tortured and deadly male with a dark past.
Too bad she can’t keep her hands, lips, or any other part of herself off him. They must mate three times to complete their bond. Just once can’t hurt, she figures, just once to soother her aching need and clear her head.
When once becomes twice, Kissa flees to Austin, Texas, hoping to lose Venor and others tracking her in the big city. But a pride of rogue shifters is killing and turning humans in Austin, and Kissa finds herself thrust into a full-scale battle for survival. And while Venor may be the only male who can save her, he might be the biggest threat to her of all… Because if there is one thing she knows, it’s never trust a cat and never trust your heart.
Release Date: 9/28/10
Kissa skinny-dipped in the large blue lily pond outside the temple, trying desperately to soothe the burning fire of her first heat. Miun, or shifter lions, loved the water, and right now appeasing her cat was her top priority. Normally her human and cat sides stayed well-balanced. All miun learned how to stabilize their dual natures by the time they hit puberty, but in times of high stress or when emotions raged too high, they had to fight to keep their cats in check. And Kissa’s heat had unstrung her emotions and tangled them into knots.
Her muscles were in knots too. She breathed deep and dove down to the bottom, letting the cool water soothe her overheated skin. Being in the water reminded her of the many days she and Venor had spent swimming in the lake a couple miles away. She squeezed her eyes shut and kicked up to the surface. The moment her thoughts veered toward Venor, her eyes filled with tears.
She didn’t know if the rumors held truth, didn’t know if Venor had been disloyal. Cheating didn’t fit what she thought she saw in him or what her heart told her, but in the last two weeks since he had supposedly left to visit his home pride in France, he had not answered one of the ten calls she’d made while cloistered in the temple. Why avoid her if he’d done nothing wrong? And why lie about where he was going?
He was not in France. Worse, she’d discovered this wasn’t the first—or even the tenth—time he’d lied about his whereabouts. If he was going to lie, avoid her phone calls, then she simply could not trust him. She’d made up her mind, closed the door on Venor.
Letting the water wash away her tears, Kissa swam to the stone lip of the pond and pushed herself up out of the water.
Thank the Goddess for Tan. A friend since childhood, Kissa trusted him with her body, if not her heart. He is a good choice in a bonded mate, she reassured herself, letting the hot August sun dry her human body even while her mie—her cat—paced restlessly inside her, yowling her impatience.
As if he sensed her readiness, her sire, Latif, approached, her list of potential bonded mates rolled into a narrow tube in his right hand.
“I’m ready,” she told him, even while shaking her head at the irony of her statement. Up until five hours ago, the last word she would have used to describe herself was ready. But that was before her first heat had wrenched her from fitful sleep. Now her mie clawed at her insides. Ready or not, she had to choose her bonded mate.
With a nod of his balding head, Latif left to usher in the group of single shifter males who waited in the nearby parking lot. Unable to sit still, she rose on trembling legs and began to pace. Head down, eyes closed, breaths short, she pressed one hand over the pit of fire that burned low in her stomach, the other hand balled into a fist at her side. Her body screamed for release. Cursing, she clenched her pelvic muscles, trying and failing to clamp down on the relentless ache. The deep moan that escaped her lips was loud enough to cover the grass-muffled footsteps of the approaching males, but she could smell the group of twenty, smell their thick, almost suffocating sexual excitement as they circled her.
One male’s scent called to her over the others, drawing her in, triggering visions of what they would be like together. Feral heat spread through her already enflamed body, pulsing through her veins, contracting her muscles, taking her breath from her lungs, making her choke and gasp for air.