Collared for a Night by Susan Arden
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ORDER A COPY: Collared for a Night (Crimson Romance)
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Publishing Date: July 20, 2013
eBook: 206 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Diana Hambre’s body is blazing. For days this leopardess shifter has spun through a body-searing heat cycle. Alone. Her senses reel when Shawn Barclay, her boss, walks into her reserved room at the Downtown Den, a stud club for shifters. He gives Diana a choice: spend the evening with him, give into his every desire, and she’ll find out what it means to quench her heat-crazed thirst—or try her luck with a stranger, one of the club bangers.
Shawn hates when his back is against the wall. One sip of Diana’s pheromone-laced scent is enough to force his alpha hand. The tables have turned and it’s Diana’s back he wants up against a wall, or any other surface for that matter.
As the moon rises toward midnight, Shawn and Diana come to understand the difference between sex and bonding. For a night, neither of them resist their primal instincts, blindly giving into carnal desire. Her wild nature fights being subdued and she risks spontaneously shifting without warning.
Now, bearing Shawn’s bite marks, she can’t simply walk away from him; not when he has the means to teach her to harness her leopardess nature. Shawn accepts the challenge of training Diana to control her untamed cravings. Employing every method available in and out of the bedroom, he discovers he’s on the verge of ensnaring himself in the process.
Warning: Erotic scenes hot enough to peel paint.
Since her mate’s death a year ago, Diana has been sweating out her heat cycles by herself, but as time goes by, the ferocity of each cycles grows and she has reached a level where she can’t take care of it be herself. As her cycles grow stronger and more fierce, her inner leopard claws her way out making her almost feral. She is having a hard time controlling her shifts. If she doesn’t take the edge off her desires soon, she is in danger of losing control and running amok in front of the humans.
This has lead Diana to what she would consider a last ditch effort to control herself–seeking out a sex stud at a shifter only club, but with no mate, she has no choice. The last person Diana expected to come to her aid would be her boss at the advertising agency, Shawn Barclay.
Diana was unaware that Shawn is also part-owner of the sex club, and she is torn between embarrassment and lust being found in such a needy position by a man she admires and desires very badly. Shawn is unhappy to find one of his employees coming to the Downtown Den, especially Diana. Shawn has been hands-off the beautiful leopard for months now since he has a hard and fast rule about mixing business and pleasure and Diana’s work is too impressive to risk losing her over casual sex.
Shawn is angry at the decision he is being forced to make. Diana is in bad shape and he can’t risk her life and shifter secrets by tossing her out of his club, and he is not thrilled at the idea of allowing one of the club’s studs to service her needs. With no other choice, Shawn is about to break his own hard and fast rule and teach Diana to control her inner beast.
The one thing Diana asked for was to retain her freedom. She didn’t want Shawn to mate with her during their encounter, but once he has finally freed his control to indulge his lusts, he can’t stop himself from taking a bite of the delectable Diana.
Now it is a battle of wills, Diana wants to stop the mating bond and Shawn has decided he will have Diana at any cost but he only has until the end of her heat cycle to convince her that they are meant to be together.
This wasn’t a bad story if you keep in mind that it is firmly in the category of erotica. It had many, many sexy moments, but plot-wise it kept flip-flopping on me between who wants to be mated and who doesn’t want to be mated, now I do, now I don’t, that it left my head spinning.
There was a lot of going back and forth on the permanence of the relationship. In the reference to “Collared” for a Night, it referred to Diana being collared and chained to the wall so she wouldn’t go feral before the stud got to the room. She should have been wearing a collar to keep her from being mated by the stud while she was in heat. Hormones and lust seem to make it impossible to make rational decisions during the heat of the moment. Diana expressly requested that Shawn not give in to the desire to bite her and begin a mating process. Since she was in heat, their lust was ramped up and “things happen.” First he didn’t want to ruin his business relationship with her, then he gives in and has sex with her rather than allowing a stud to come in an take care of her needs. Although he promised her that he would not bite her and that he had no desire to mate, he of course bites her during the course of their encounter.
She wants her freedom, but he changes his mind and decides he wants to keep her as a mate, and he is trying to confine her to his home in the mountains. He also talked her into going to his mountain home so we could teach her more control over her beast, but he continually loses his control to his leopard, i.e. biting her, dominating her, etc. and any control training is done off page.
So plot wise this book was a bit jerky, but if you are looking for some paranormal erotica, this was certainly a sexy story.
Received an ARC from the publisher. Thank you.
She couldn’t help flinching when he pushed off the frame unexpectedly. Her heart skittered at the sound of the door closing. Locking. His entry into the closed room charged the atmosphere. their gazes snapped together. A smoldering awareness unfurled between them–time slowed.
Her mouth went dry. Not knowing why, she stepped backward, the chain dragging against the floor. Her eyes darted from his muscular form toward the metal-barred window. His male leopard scent overpowering her.
“I understand you’re in heat and alone.” His stalking voice completely severed her last bit of confidence. “I’m here to help.”
“You? You’re the stud…” She couldn’t finish speaking. Her knees weakened. If she didn’t do something fast, her legs would buckle. She grabbed at the wall, clawing and digging. He moved too fast to perceive.
He encircled her with his forearms, anchoring her against the hard plane of his torso. “Diana,” he whispered, “I could take you right now. But I’ve much better plans for you.”
The voice in her head screamed in protest. No no. Don’t do this. She ignored it and molded her body against him. She shimmied her hips, moving from instinct, and curled her fingers around his arms. A growl rumbled deep within his chest. His scent filled her head. He bent his head over her throat, nipping the skin at her neck.
She pushed against a wall of muscle. “No. Shawn, tell me what you’re doing here.”
Barely able to get the words out, she fought a throbbing ache to let him fuck her. Not pretty romantic sex, but down-and-dirty rutting, with him pulling her hair and bending her to his will. She didn’t care if he threw her on top of the futon or up against the wall. The smell wafting off his skin charged her hunger, urging her to unzip his pants. She’d experienced this type of hunger once in her life. This man had the power to bring her to her knees. Her eyesight sharpened, a sign the leopardess within her was ready to leap.
His voice drew her focus. “Suffice to say, Matrix is involved with more than designing the Den’s logos and ads. I’m part owner of this club. I saw your name on the list of solo shifters. I couldn’t turn you out or give you over to some stud willing to bang your brains out. I believe there’s a third choice, if you’re interested. Even so, I’m confused why you, of all people are here.” He squeezed her hips.
She stared at his angular face, taking in the way his jaw squared below a mouth that curled up at the corners. The spark from his golden eyes sent arcing shivers up her spine. He released her, barely stepping back more than an inch or two.
“I agreed to come here because of the Den’s impeccable reputation. This is my first solo venture into joining.” Her gaze never left his face. She was drawn to him, yearning wildly for his mouth, his hands, his body.
“Do you want to join with a stranger, or with someone who knows what he’s doing with a leopardess?” His seductive voice and body pressed her back into the wall. His cock rubbed against her belly, sending a wave of hungry spikes lancing across her skin.
Unabashed, she lifted her face. “Kiss me,” she murmured.
His gaze clashed with hers, sending a jolt to her chest. He wrapped his hands around her hips. “First, answer my question. Are you interested in spending the night with me? A one-word answer will do. Yes or no?”
“This is a little bit more than deciding on scrambled or poached. I didn’t expect to see you here as my…my date.” She bit her lip. In the next second, she’d have no control. She was a step away from hurling herself at him. This was harder than joining with a stranger. She signed up for wham-bam-thank you. Not see-you-on-Monday with her boss.
He pulled her against him, heat pouring from his core. The leopardess in her sensed the tenuous need in him. She was not alone in wanting to fee him thrust his length deep into her.
A snarl issued from his lips. “You’ve got ten seconds.”
She rubbed herself all over his body, molding herself to him. Slow. Deliberate movements. When she spoke, she answered breathlessly, “Without a doubt, I want to spend the night with you.”
“Damn, I thought you’d never answer.”
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“I love to laugh. More than anything in the world, humor is food for the spirit.”
Susan Arden is a third generation Floridian. Previously, a teacher in the field of special education and biology, now Susan pursues her dream of writing fiction with several releases this year. Crafting sweet and spicy tales, she writes hot love stories across romance genres including contemporary erotic, Western, and fantasy/paranormal. Susan also writes under the name of Susan D. Taylor.
Susan currently lives in TN along with husband, two cattle dogs, two crazy cats, a gecko and a corn snake. A mother, RYT200 Yoga Alliance (registered yoga teacher), and avid gardener.