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burn for the Dragon (paperback)

burn for the Dragon (paperback)

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Southern Dragons Series Book 2

Vampires and dragons are forbidden to mate…

When a local reporter with fiery red hair and fearless gray eyes marches into his vampire bar, Hawke's first instinct is to bite her tempting lower lip. His second instinct is to get her the hell out of there, sooner rather than later. No matter how sweet her scent or beguiling her smile, his job is to protect his coven, and it's a responsibility he does not take lightly. However, he soon finds this particular human isn't so easy to forget. Something about her has flicked a switch inside of him. One that was better off left alone.

Everly Taylor isn't sure what to expect the first time she walks into a local bar run by the supernatural, but Hawke sure isn't it. His intense gaze notices more than it should, and his carefully poised confidence hides a vulnerability she senses more than sees. Though her body immediately reacts to him, his dark presence is daunting. But Everly refuses to let it intimidate her. She needs his help. Parasupe has kidnapped her brother, and she has no idea why, and no one else to turn to.

But when Hawke discovers Everly is a dragon shifter, she becomes more than a distraction. She becomes a threat. And it will take an act of complete sacrifice to convince him she is worth the fight.

Main Tropes

  • He's a Vampire
  • She's a Dragon (but doesn't know)
  • Deaf Heroine
  • Touch Her and Die Vibes
  • Forbidden Romance

Synopsis

Vampires and dragons are forbidden to mate…

When a local reporter with fiery red hair and fearless gray eyes marches into his vampire bar, Hawke's first instinct is to bite her tempting lower lip.

His second instinct is to get her the hell out of there, sooner rather than later. No matter how sweet her scent or beguiling her smile, his job is to protect his coven, and it's a responsibility he does not take lightly.

However, he soon finds this particular human isn't so easy to forget. Something about her has flicked a switch inside of him. One that was better off left alone.

Everly Taylor isn't sure what to expect the first time she walks into a local bar run by the supernatural, but Hawke sure isn't it.

His intense gaze notices more than it should, and his carefully poised confidence hides a vulnerability she senses more than sees. Though her body immediately reacts to him, his dark presence is daunting.

But Everly refuses to let it intimidate her. She needs his help. Parasupe has kidnapped her brother, and she has no idea why, and no one else to turn to.

But when Hawke discovers Everly is a dragon shifter, she becomes more than a distraction. She becomes a threat. And it will take an act of complete sacrifice to convince him she is worth the fight.

Chapter 1 Sample

Dust clouds formed behind Everly’s tires, quickly dispersing in the wind behind her as she pulled into the dirt parking lot of The Caves. It had been unusually dry the last few days, especially for spring, when Texans counted on a deluge of rain before the droughts of summer. But she was glad the temperature had warmed up a bit. At least for today.

She threw the car into park, and her eyes were drawn to the sky. Dusk was her favorite time of day, and the vibrant bands of pinks, blues, and oranges that made up a Texas sundown was a sight she’d never tire of. Everly sighed at the unfathomable beauty of it, and with some effort, refocused on the building in front of her. She’d never been to this particular club before. No one was allowed inside without an invitation. So, she’d come early, hoping to speak to the owners before customers started showing up. The place appeared empty. For now. But she knew as soon as it got dark, it would fill up fast with every lonely heart in a twenty-mile vicinity. Its notorious reputation was wide-spread, as were the rumors of the type of clientele they served.

Stalling for time to get her nerves under control, she flipped down the sunshade and checked her appearance in the little mirror, pulling her unruly hair forward to cover her ears. There was really nothing else to fix, as unlike most of the other women at the newsroom, she found anything but minimal makeup to be a waste of her time. She’d just sweat it off in the heat half the year or it would get washed off in the rain in the other. When her appearance was as good as it was gonna get, she closed her eyes and forced herself to take a few deep breaths. She’d been fighting for this assignment for months, ever since the night she’d walked outside of her house to do a little moon gazing…and saw the outline of a prehistoric creature flying across the sky. 

Only now, she had an even bigger reason to come to this particular bar. 

Her boss thought she’d lost her mind when she’d pitched the idea to him, but Everly knew there was a story behind what she’d seen that night. And she was ninety-six percent sure it had something to do with this club, and the mysterious people who owned it. 

She was one hundred percent sure he’d finally given her the go ahead just to shut her the hell up and get her out of his office. 

Everly grabbed her pen and notepad from the passenger seat and got out of the car. It took her two tries to close the heavy door of the old, green Buick, due to the large dent near the front end (totally not her fault). Bending her knees and putting her full weight behind it, she finally managed to get it shut. Not bothering to lock a car no one would want to steal, she smoothed down her pencil skirt, plucked imaginary lint from the black cotton, and checked that her fitted blouse was tucked in and no buttons had come undone. Then she picked her way carefully over to the building, catching herself just in time to avoid a twisted ankle when her four-inch heel slipped on some gravel. She stared at the sign displaying the name of the club in large, bold letters across the solid steel door. No windows anywhere meant she couldn’t try to peak inside before she went in. 

Grabbing the door handle, she swung it open and marched into the air-conditioned, dimly lit interior. Although the sign outside said they didn’t open for another twenty minutes, music already vibrated across the dance floor toward her, loud enough to rattle her teeth. She took a deep breath as her vision adjusted to the lack of light, and when she could focus, she found two pairs of male eyes watching her from the bar. A woman with hair nearly as wild as Everly’s stood in front of them with her back to the rest of the club, but she turned with a ready smile on her gorgeous face when she noticed their diverted attention, her hand resting lightly—but possessively—on the knee of the man with the visible tattoos on his neck and hands. 

Everly stayed where she was as a few words were exchanged between the two men, and then the non-tatted male got up from his stool and approached her. Well, at least he had none that she could see. She forced herself not to fidget as he strode forward with long, powerful strides, his sharp gaze never leaving her face. Dark hair fell forward to cover one eye as he passed under an air vent, and he pushed it back off his forehead with an impatient hand. The sides were buzzed close to his head. His face was perfect. Too perfect. Even under the short beard and moustache she could see that. Strong jaw. Lips just full enough to be deliciously kissable. Straight nose, but not too narrow. High-ish cheekbones. Deep, intense eyes under dark brows…

He stopped in front of her, just a little too close for comfort. Sensing his nearness for what it was—intimidation—she resisted the urge to step back. It was hard. From the time he’d gotten off his bar stool until this moment, he’d never broken eye contact, and if anyone asked her later, she knew she wouldn’t be able to recall a single detail of what he was wearing. His lips moved, revealing a hint of straight, white teeth. 

“Can I help you with something? We don’t open for a few minutes yet.”

She watched his mouth as he spoke, and it took her a few seconds for his question to penetrate the cloud of intoxication muddling her brain. He smelled unbelievably good, in a dark kind of way, and a jolt of surprise went through her when she had to fight the sudden urge to grab his arms and wrap him around her body like an obscene cloak. 

Everly stuck out her hand a bit awkwardly. “My name is Everly Taylor. I’m a writer at Capital Press. I’m doing a story on local businesses in the area and I was wondering if I could ask the owner a few questions.”

His eyes narrowed the slightest bit as he studied her, and although her cheeks burned, Everly lifted her chin. She knew why he was looking at her like that, but she refused to let him cow her or make her feel she was less than just because she talked a little funny. She worked on her voice and her speech constantly, but on occasion, someone with a sharp ear caught her “accent” for what it was—a hearing impediment. 

A few seconds later his expression cleared as understanding dawned. However, rather than the pity she was used to seeing, she thought she saw a glint of respect in his dark eyes. He took her hand, his palm warm against hers, and shook it firmly, yet she had the strangest feeling he was handling her with kid gloves. “You can talk to me,” he said. “My name is Hawke. May I get you something to drink?” He held her hand just a bit longer than was proper before he released it and motioned toward the bar behind him. “We have a wide selection of choices, including non-alcoholic if you prefer. Since you’re on the job and all.”

“I’ll have a bourbon. Neat. Top shelf,” she told him with wide, innocent, eyes. 

If he was surprised by her request, he didn’t show it. He indicated for her to precede him over to the bar where another man had joined the group. The new guy was nearly as good looking as the first two—he reminded her of a young Richard Gere—but she saw right away that he lacked the animal magnetism of the other men. A magnetism that ol’ Hawke here had in abundance, judging by the effect he was having on her respiratory system. 

She joined the others at the bar and smiled hello but kept a professional distance. After brief introductions were made, Hawke stepped behind the bar and fixed her drink himself, sliding it across the smooth surface to her like a professional, then asked if she’d like to go into the office to talk, as they’d be opening the doors for business soon. Everly agreed and, drink in hand, followed him down the hallway to the left of the bar until they came to a locked door. Pulling a key from the front pocket of his slacks, he opened it and flicked on the lights before stepping back so she could enter first. 

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