Monday, February 8, 2010

It takes a strong woman to love a beast

My novella Beauty’s Beast is available now from Resplendence Publishing


It takes a strong woman to love a beast.

After a planned week away goes bust, Mercedes Black takes to the road. Years of unexplained memory lapses have ruined her relationships with men and left her future uncertain. That is until a good-looking stranger appears along the desolate highway, and she offers him a ride. The moment he enters her car, an internal switch is turned on and her body craves his touch. Figuring she has nothing left to lose, besides her memory, she gives in to her impulses.

Nox Messina has never been the same after volunteering for what he thought was advanced medical research. For years he has been on the run. Tired of being hunted, he decides to take down the doctor who ruined his life, and to insure that no one will stand in his way again. His plan for vengeance gets sidelined when an exquisite beauty offers him much more than a ride, and he can’t refuse.

As their feelings deepen for one another, they discover the man Nox plans to kill plays a crucial role in their future. Not only does he want the beauty for himself, but he wants beauty’s beast out of the way for good.


For what seemed like an eternity, she waited in the car, her blinkers casting a faint red glow amid the fog. Her breath slowed. Why did he wait? Maybe it had been a mistake to stop and she should drive on. No telling what crazies walked around out there. Scenes from the horror movie replayed in her head.

A procession of heavy knocks against her window made her gasp. Hand to her chest she waited for her pulse to resume and rolled down the window. She almost convulsed at the deep green eyes staring back.

He squatted to eye-level. “Evening, miss. Are you lost?”

Her throat went all raw and cottony. She forced down several swallows before she could speak. “Um, no. I wondered if you needed help.”

“Nope, I’m good.”

“Are you sure? Because I can offer you a ride if you’d like.”

He shrugged. “I don’t mind the walk. It’s a peaceful night.”

The whiskey rough lilt in his voice sent thrills throughout her body and made her pulse speed up.

“It’s not very safe, with the fog and all,” she reasoned. “I read it gets really thick around here.”

His chuckle filled her with warmth. “I’m somewhat of a risk-taker. But I appreciate you stopping.”

“Wait. I-I’d like to give you a ride. Please?” Mercedes heard her own voice beg and wondered why it mattered so much to her that he got in the car. She’d never given a strange man a ride before. Why did this one make a difference?

He smiled and fine lines bracketed his eyes. “Okay, you convinced me. It couldn’t hurt to give my legs a rest. By the way, nice wheels.”

“Thank you.” She resumed breathing while he walked to the other side of the car.
He opened the door and ducked down. “Hope you don’t have a problem with me sitting up front. I find I get lonely in the back.”

She stopped herself from saying he could do anything he liked. “No, of course not. Up front is great.”

As the stranger situated himself in the seat she took in his rugged, handsome face. If a menu were drawn up for her to order the perfect man from, then she was looking at the ultimate feast. He was the epitome of every man she ever wanted. The man she’d dreamed up and never expected to find. Good-looking, strong, built like a steel truck. Powerful hands. Dark hair that hung to the peak of his shoulders, and a full mouth she wanted to be devoured by. There was more, though. Traits that went beyond the visual ones she could see. She was drawn to the signals he sent out. They were dangerous, hypnotic, and erotic all rolled into one with an energy that reeled her in and zapped away her inhibitions.

She moistened her lips. “How far did you want to go?”

He turned in the seat to face her, his eyes smoldering. “As far as you’ll take me.”

A shiver passed through her. An internal switch had been thrown and suddenly she was a cat in heat. Just bam. Soaked and ready to go.

(copyright 2010)

~Ann Cory

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