POPSUGAR Love & Sex

The Claws Literally Come Out in This Paranormal Romance

Aug 26 2014 - 3:05am

Wanted: Wild Thing [1] by Jessica Sims is the final book in a series that follows paranormals looking for love through a dating service called Midnight Liaisons. We're sharing an enticing excerpt [2] from the paranormal romance. Keep in mind: if you wouldn't want your co-workers spying on you reading Fifty Shades of Grey, this excerpt should be considered NSFW. Here's a little bit about the book:

"Ryder is hiding a dark secret from her co-workers at Midnight Liaisons. Every time she's sexually attracted to a man, her dragon side breaks through. Not exactly man-bait! But she needs to lose her virginity before her 25th birthday, or she'll become a dragon forever. Her solution? Big, hunky Hugh, the appointed guardian of her chastity. He's clearly hot for her, but he has powerful reasons to resist Ryder. Can temptation — and love — possibly find a way?"

Read the excerpt below, and for more information on the steamy series, visit XOXO After Dark [3].

I took the world's fastest shower and just as quickly toweled off, tossing aside the small, rough towels as soon as I was dry enough. My hair was a wet, tangled mess, though, and I hated the thought of going in to work with it laying flat against my head. There was a hair dryer attached to the wall, so I pulled it off and flicked it on, aiming it at my hair.

The door to the bathroom slammed open and Hugh thundered inside, eyes wild.

I froze in place, staring at him in shock. "What is it? Who's here?"

"That noise . . . " He made a weird gurgle in his throat and fell silent, staring at the hair dryer.

I flipped it off, straightening. "Oh, I'm sorry. I must have panicked you. I —" I stopped, realizing that he was staring pointedly at the now broken door that was hanging off its hinges and avoiding looking at a very naked me. His face was bright red.

"Hugh?"

"You will put on a towel, female."

Oh. So it was my nudity that was bothering him? I smothered a laugh. The man was the biggest, most dangerous person I knew . . . and he was blushing like a schoolboy because I was naked.

"You're the one that barged into the bathroom," I told him. "You shouldn't be surprised at what you see if you do."

"I thought you were in danger."

"Only in danger of having flat hair, sweetie," I told him and put the hair dryer down. "You've seen me naked before, Hugh. Back when I transformed in the primordial lands, remember?"

He continued to stare at the broken door. "I did not look. I would not look. It is not . . . polite."

Oh, my Lord, this was cute. I tousled my wet hair with my fingers. "What do you think? Is this a
good look for me?" I teased him.

He refused to look in my direction, glowering at the wall.

"Or maybe I should pull my hair up. What do you think?"

"I think you should put the towel on."

"Really? Because I was thinking you should kiss me again."

He looked over at me then, and oh, his eyes were so dark that I could see no whites in them. He was close to transforming.

And God, that made my skin prickle with excitement.

"Put the towel on," he said, his voice flat. His gaze remained locked on mine.

"Give me a kiss and I will."

Hugh glared at me and spun around, storming out. I felt a twinge of guilt at his anger. Of course he was mad at me. I was blatantly trying to get him to break his vow. I was putting my needs in front of the needs of twenty-four men waiting for their mates . . . to say nothing of the women waiting for the men. Was I that selfish, truly? Could I continue with this plan knowing I was going to keep a faceless band of people from their happiness?

But . . . what about me? Didn't I deserve happiness, too? Biting my lip, I tamped down the guilt I felt and pinned my sultriest smile to my face, following Hugh into the hotel room. "Where are you going to go, Hugh?"

He had the same problem I'd had last night when I'd wanted to hide — there was no place to go. I trailed behind, my hands on my naked, slightly damp hips, and watched him.

Hugh had sat down in one of the two small chairs at the table near the window. I knew it wasn't comfortable for him; it was obvious in his body language and the stiff way he sat. He'd turned the chair toward the wall, as if that might somehow save him from my naked guerilla tactics.

I moved around to the front of the chair, ignoring the fact that Hugh's knees were practically pressed to the wall. "Nowhere to hide," I teased.

He blanched at the sight of me and my damp breasts moving closer to him. "Ryder, don't —"

I sighed, incredibly disappointed. "But you said you wanted to kiss me, right?"

"I do. But you know why I cannot."

"But it's just a kiss," I coaxed him. "It won't mean anything. And you need practice, and I, well . . . I want to stockpile the good things before all the bad stuff happens." And before he could protest, I sat in his lap.

Hugh's hands clenched the arms of the chair and he looked braced, ready to leap up and dump me on the floor.

"What's so bad about a kiss?" I asked him. "Can I help it if I want one more?"

"No."

I decided to tease him. "It's because I'm ugly, isn't it? I —"

I wasn't able to get another word out, because Hugh snapped. His arms locked around me, his hand going to the back of my neck, and he dragged my mouth against his, as if he'd been a drowning man and I'd been the breath of life. I gasped as his tongue licked into my mouth, all need and savagery, and then I moaned, leaning into him, my skin pressing against him.

His claws dug into my bare skin — which was quickly scaling over — and I took it as a sign that my own claws were okay, too. I raked my hand down his chest, ripping at the hard slabs of muscle there with delicious need even as his mouth savaged mine. He wasn't gentle with me. His mouth moved over mine hungrily, and I felt his teeth against my skin and lips — and I loved every bit of it.

I whimpered low in my throat, my tongue moving against his. My nipples were so hard that they ached, and I longed for him to touch me. I wanted those big, rough hands on my skin, the claws dragging against my scales. I wanted his fierceness. He pulled away from me just when I was breathing hard against him. And he looked just as dazed as I felt. "Your kiss is finished. Dress yourself." His voice was surprisingly calm.

"Thank you," I said breathlessly. "That was very . . . kind of you." I wriggled off his lap, feeling my pulse pounding between my legs. I felt weak in the knees, like all the strength had been kissed out of me. My claws touched my scaled breasts, and I looked over at him as he stood up.

Hugh was sporting a very large tent in the front of his pants, and there were no whites in his eyes when he looked over at me.

"Dressed. Now."


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