This one I'm really excited about! To celebrate its 10-year anniversary, New Concepts Publishing is putting together an anthology to be released this fall. I don't know who all the authors are, but I know who at least one of them is.
The Wolf of Cnoc Meadha is a contemporary erotic romance set in Ireland. Connor mac Finnbheara, the son of Finnbheara, the powerful king of the Daoine Sidhe, is sent on an errand by his mother to locate MacKenzie MacCallum. The queen is concerned about Mackey--the young woman had been a favorite at the king's court many, many years before. A favorite wolfhound, that is. The queen had discovered the king in yet another dalliance with a flighty young fae woman, and in retaliation she turned his favorite hound into a woman. In anger, the king banished Mackey to live in the human realm, never to return to the land of the Fae.
The queen thinks to ease two burdened souls at once: Connor will find Mackey and convince her she's better off as a woman, and Mackey will soothe the prince's troubled heart.
There's just one problem. Centuries before, Connor had been cursed with lycanthropy and, under the full moon, will attack anything Fae. Is Mackey human enough to be safe from harm?
Connor watched her weave a special kind of magic over the crowed, drawing strangers close together so they shared their own stories of faery magic, then she invited people to stroll along the grounds, taking in the ruins of an old chapel and stone fortification along another hilltop two kilometers away. "We'll serve a late lunch," she said, "at about two o'clock, so please come back to the main house for that."
She gave a few more instructions that Connor didn't really hear. His thoughts were filled with images of them together in a variety of carnal activities, all of which involved them getting naked. He wanted to strip those ugly denim pants off her and taste her, needed to bury his rod deep inside her.
Waiting until the tourists had wandered off, he approached her. "This is nice, that the owners open up their property like this."
She turned to face him, the smile on her face faltering before her lips curved once more. This time, though, her expression was clearly forced, which made him wonder out loud, "Do we know each other?"
"No." The deep breath she took plumped her breasts, drawing his gaze to the cleavage visible in the v-neck of her knit top. When she gruffly cleared her throat, he looked back up. A muscle flexed in her jaw. "Feel free to look around with the others, Mr. …?"
"Connor. Connor mac Finnbheara." Watching closely, he saw no spark of recognition in her gaze, although she may have got over the initial shock and was doing better at masking her emotions. He held out his hand and she slowly placed hers within his grasp. When her skin touched his, her brown eyes widened and a pulse in her throat started thrumming, making him want to put his mouth there to feel her heart against his tongue.
He saw her tight nipples pressed against her soft top and decided he'd prefer to have his mouth there. Cocking his head to one side, he tried to picture her naked breasts, wondering if her nipples were the pink of the first hint of sunrise, the soft blush of a fresh peach, or something darker, like rich, ripe berries.
Connor was determined to find out. And seeing the proof of her arousal sent more blood surging to his lengthening cock.
She tugged at her hand, but he held onto it. He'd not had a reaction to a woman like this in a long time--maybe never--and he wasn't about to let loose of her just yet. "And you are …?"
Still trying to get him to release his hold, she muttered, "MacKenzie McCallum."
"Ah, the owner. I'd no idea you'd be so young," he said. "Although I can't shake the feeling that we've met before." Connor searched her face for something--anything--that would shake out a memory.
"You're mistaken," she said, her voice still soft but shot through with a thread of steel. "I'd like my hand back, please."
"And I'd like to hold it awhile yet," he returned, grinning at her deepening scowl. "Did anyone ever tell you you're beautiful when you're angry?"
Her lips tightened, but she didn't respond.
"Oh, come now, lass, it's not that big a thing I'm asking of you, is it? Letting a man hold a beautiful woman's hand, standing under the bright sun on the greenest grass this side of Cnoc Meadha." Because he was watching her so closely, he saw the slight dilation of her pupils. His cursed wolf sense caught the acrid odor of rising panic as she began tugging on her hand again.
What was it about him that would cause such a reaction in her?
Thinking he'd get more answers out of her if he wasn't antagonizing her by holding onto her hand, he let go just as she gave a hard yank. With a startled squawk, she flew back and landed on the grass, flat on her rump in the middle of the faery ring.
"For the love of …." Connor stepped between her splayed legs. So much for not antagonizing her. "MacKenzie, are you all right?" This close to her, he could smell the sweet scent of honeysuckle and roses of her perfume, and the vinegary odor of her irritation wafted to the nose of his wolf. There was an underlying aroma that made him lean in closer.
"Are you sniffing me?" She scooted away from him.
She'd put distance between them too late. He recognized the sweetly spicy scent for what it was. She was aroused. By him.
A growl rumbled from his chest and he trapped it in his throat. She was skittish enough as it was. If he started growling at her, she'd slip through his fingers like melted butter. He held out one hand. "Here, let me help you up, lass."
Her brown eyes narrowed. "I've had about all the help from you that I'd like, thanks all the same." Ignoring his offer, she started to get to her feet.
Shaking his head at her obstinance, he bent and cupped her elbow. With a low snarl, she pulled her arm away, losing her balance in the process. Trying to keep her from falling again, he made a grab for her and missed.
This time, when she sprawled on the grass, she was flat on her back and had him on top of her.
Copyright ©2006 Sherrill Quinn. All Rights Reserved.
May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night, and the road downhill all the way to your door. ~ Irish Blessing