Man-Eater, page 1
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Curvy Tigress + Sexy Alpha Tiger = Heat
Kendra has never set foot in a strip club before.
Now she’s going to put aside everything she ever knew…
Curvy, plus-sized Kendra is a tigress shifter with one tiny problem. Her heat. This time it’s hit her so badly she needs to get out of the city.
But when her car breaks down, Kendra finds herself in the middle of nowhere with little money, no way home, and an enormous repair bill.
However, an opportunity presents itself—the chance to dance at the local roadhouse.
Cyrus White is a powerful Alpha tiger shifter with problems of his own. Problems that mean he can’t afford to be with anybody. Not until his personal life is under control.
But from the moment Cyrus sees Kendra, everything changes.
Cyrus knows Kendra is the one, and from the moment they connect, their passion lights up the night. But despite their obvious chemistry, pulling it off for the long haul is going to take more than heat. It’s going to take courage.
Because it’s a jungle out there.
And before this tiger can claim his mate, they both need to face the demon from his past…
Join a curvy tigress shifter and her sexy Alpha on a sizzling wild ride tonight.
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BBW Paranormal Shifter Romance
Kendra Hall drove with no idea where she was going but every intention of getting there fast. She drove because of her heat. Her heat consumed her. Kendra was a tiger shifter, and when her tigress went into heat, little else mattered except that she find relief. But she didn’t want to find relief, not with a man, at least, so she drove. Away from the city, away from her problems, and away from temptation. Because if she stayed in a populated place, her heat would only bring her one thing. Trouble. It always did.
Kendra kept her eyes on the road ahead, flames from the oil refineries reaching high into the night sky. Shit. It wasn’t enough that it was a million degrees outside and humid as hell. It wasn’t enough that her body was burning with turmoil as her hormones raged, even the sky itself was on fire. The Southlands could be like that, she thought. Hot as the devil’s kitchen.
Kendra’s heart raced a mile a minute as she tried to push her heat down, to stifle it deep within her. Her heat had always felt like this, like a flame burning under her skin, a flame that took a conscious will to suppress. But as much as she tried to smother it, to starve it of oxygen, she could never put that flame out. Kendra had first experienced her heat many years ago, as an adolescent. Her mother, also a tigress, had shown her how to deal with it, and how, when there was no alternative, the best course of action was to remove yourself from the equation.
It had been a tough lesson for Kendra to learn and she had resisted her mother for years on that point. After all, Kendra was a big, curvy woman and proud of her body. If other people had a problem with her being the sexiest thing in the room, well, that was their problem. But as it turned out, from a practical perspective at least, her mother had a point. A tigress shifter didn’t go into heat more than a few times a year, but when she did, all hell broke loose.
Kendra’s ex was one manifestation of that hell. Kendra doubted she would have even gotten together with him if not for her heat. A few bad decisions later and that coward of a man ruled her life. So even though it didn’t feel fair, when her heat had hit this time, Kendra had chosen to leave the temptations of the city behind and drive.
With the flames of the oil refinery now behind her, Kendra saw nothing ahead but inky black sky. She patted her forehead with a handkerchief. The air conditioning had stopped working in her Volkswagen, and even though she wore a low-cut red dress and the window was down, the sweat still poured out of her. To make matters worse, no matter how hard she pressed her thighs together, the ache between her legs just grew and grew. Kendra was well aware of what she needed. She needed a man.
But there would be no man for her tonight. Her tigress may have had her body begging for one, but her human side refused to yield. She would pull over soon, take a quick nap, and then continue driving. Anything to get farther away from the city and the dangers of her heat. Kendra scanned through the stations on the radio. She found static, some talk radio, more static, and there it was—a little easy-listening music. But before she could turn it up, she felt a vibration run through her vehicle. Then she heard another sound. A bang, or more of a clunk. A second later, the dash of her car lit up like a Christmas tree. The power cut out. No throttle response. Nothing.
“Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me,” Kendra said to herself.
She rolled to a stop on the side of the lonely two-lane road. Steam rose from her hood. She tried the engine again but got nothing. Great. She checked her cell phone. No bars. But on the bright side, Kendra thought, at least there were no men. She was certain she wouldn’t be able to control her tigress if she ran into one tonight.
∞ ∞ ∞
Cyrus White drove the tow truck, one hand on the wheel. The call had come in from a passing motorist, not the driver of the disabled vehicle, so he wasn’t sure what he’d find at mile marker twenty-four. He did know that no one deserved to spend the night out there alone on that desolate stretch of road, not when it was almost a hundred degrees outside and so humid the very act of breathing the air nearly suffocated you.
Cyrus had been running the truck for about a week now, and this was his second or third night call. He was filling in for a friend who owned the business, and he was amazed at just how many stranded motorists needed his help. It was gratifying work, Cyrus thought. Not only did it do a tiger good, it let him get out of the house as well, and these days, Cyrus needed the diversion. He needed it badly.
Cyrus was a thirty-one-year-old tiger shifter, an Alpha, and he liked to think, an all-around good guy. Tiger shifters were a lot like humans. Sure, they lived longer, healed faster, and were generally larger and stronger, but all in all, the differences between him and his human brethren were much smaller than all the things they shared. Well, maybe with the exception of one thing. Mating. Once a tiger shifter found a mate, he almost always kept her for life. Which was, Cyrus supposed, part of the reason why this current chapter of his life was so complicated.
Cyrus drove with the window halfway down, hot, humid air rushing past. He liked it that way, the breeze rushing past his skin. The drive not only gave him time to think, it lent his tiger the freedom of the prowl. But then Cyrus smelled something in the humid night air. Not swamp gas, nor methane, nor the odors of the refinery so common in these parts. He smelled something else. A tigress. Her heat. The first whiff of her nearly knocked him over. Just the briefest scent coaxed an immediate involuntary reaction from him. It made him hard. Damn, Cyrus thought, to respond like that without even seeing her? Th
Maybe he should just turn the truck around. Yeah, that would be best. After all, he hadn’t gotten a call from the vehicle’s owner. He was on this lonely road as a courtesy and that was it. The whiff of heat got stronger in the night air, and Cyrus felt his animal pushing him forward even as his human side warned him to turn back. Sixty miles an hour, seventy, eighty. Cyrus’s human side struggled to take control. He snapped out of his delirium.
When a tiger shifter smelled a female in heat there was one thing he wanted to do and one thing only. Mate. But Cyrus couldn’t afford to do that thing. Sex, that feral rush to penetrate, was out of the question. Given what he had going on in his personal life right now, he couldn’t afford to succumb to his tiger’s instincts. His animal would have to do without. Cyrus knew he needed to turn the truck around. It was the only course of action that made sense. But when he crested the hill, he saw the blink of hazard lights. Damn it. It was the stranded vehicle at mile marker twenty-four. Cyrus couldn’t turn around now. He couldn’t leave her there. Despite the circumstances, it wasn’t right.
∞ ∞ ∞
Kendra watched in the rearview mirror as a tall, broad-shouldered man approached in the darkness.
“Can I offer you a tow, ma’am?” the man’s gruff voice purred.
Hell yeah, Kendra thought. You can offer me a whole lot more than that, and in the state I’m in, I guarantee you I’ll take it. Kendra’s human side struggled to push down her tigress. She had driven out here, far from the city, precisely to avoid this problem and look at her now. She couldn’t even see the stranger through the wash of his headlights, but she already knew she wanted him. She wanted him bad.
Kendra wasn’t worried about her personal safety. She was a tigress shifter, after all. On the contrary, what she was worried about was keeping her animal in check. Heat did something to shifters, and for tigress shifters it was the worst. It made her want to drop everything and mate. Here. Now. But Kendra had controlled herself in the past, and she knew she needed to control herself again. Her animal side may have been strong, but it wasn’t unstoppable. In fact, so far, Kendra thought, she had done a good job of keeping her desires in check. She had to. That was the price of a shifter living in the human world. Besides, the tow truck driver may have been broad-shouldered, but he was probably a long way from attractive. No doubt he was out of shape from sitting in the cab all day, his muscles gone to flab from lack of exercise and too much pie.
The wind shifted, the slightest breeze picking up from the east.
He was a tiger.
Kendra now knew all bets were off. He would be able to scent her heat just as she had scented him. At that point, nature would run its course. The molten heat running through her veins would find its release, regardless of her attempts to stop it. Even as her human side battled for control, it would ultimately lose to the baser drive of her animal. It always did.
“Pardon me?” Kendra said.
“I said, Would you like a tow?”
“A tow sounds good,” Kendra said to the driver.
It did sound good. And not just the tow. When the tow truck driver walked into the light, Kendra knew she was in even more trouble than she thought. The driver was tall as all tiger shifters were, with a broad chest, a strong jaw, narrow nose, and cheekbones you could cut glass with. But what struck Kendra were his eyes. Even in a sidelong glance, his clear blue eyes bored through her like the beast he was. They burned a hole directly to her core, and beneath the clear blue, she saw the cat’s glow. Just the sight of it made her own cat itch to get out, and she pressed her thighs together to quell the ache she felt there. The tiger’s scent was heavy and musky to her tigress. His very presence made her hot.
“Let me just hook you up,” the tiger said.
Hook me up, indeed.
He didn’t bother introducing himself, but he didn’t have to. She knew what she was dealing with and so did he. The big question was just how far they’d be able to make it down the road before their cats got the better of them.
∞ ∞ ∞
Cyrus liked what he saw. The tigress in the seat beside him was all sensuous curves and silent smiles. Come-hither smiles that spoke volumes. He especially liked her curves. Ample, fleshy, and fresh, she wasn’t as tall as some of the tigresses he’d met, but those curves would give him something to hold onto. Something to keep him warm at night. Not to mention her soulful brown eyes and the adorable curls in her long blond hair. Just the sight of those curls laying lazily over her mocha-brown shoulders stoked the fire that he already felt burning within him.
But even though he could immediately tell she was perfect for him, he knew he couldn’t have her. Not now. Not ever. Cyrus tightened his grip on the steering wheel and redirected his gaze to the road ahead. Still, he couldn’t help but sneak another glance at her. Everything about her called out to him. And that low-cut dress, if he wasn’t careful he’d drive right off the road.
Cyrus used every ounce of his willpower to keep his gaze planted squarely ahead, mile markers slowly passing them by. But even then, even without the visual of her curves, her scent called to him, hot and heavy. It was irresistible, like a scent you didn’t just want to smell. Like a scent you wanted to eat, to lap up until you were full. He didn’t know what she’d taste like, but he could guess. Cyrus bet the vision beside him tasted like honey. Sweet, wild honey. Damn. He was rock hard and he knew she knew it. But he couldn’t be with her. Under no circumstance could he be with that curvy angel of a tigress, so he stared straight ahead, hands gripping the wheel.
“You from around here?” she purred.
“Born and raised?”
Come on don’t talk to me. Please don’t talk to me, Cyrus begged silently.
Just the purr of her voice was enough to make him lose it. And he couldn’t afford to lose it. Not tonight. All he could afford to do was drop this ridiculously beautiful tigress off and never think of her again.
∞ ∞ ∞
The tiger wasn’t much for conversation, Kendra thought. He was avoiding her. Avoiding her heat. She could sense it in his reticence, in his obstinate avoidance of eye contact. Why would a tiger shifter do that? It wasn’t as if he didn’t want her. She could tell without even looking at the bulge in his pants he wanted her badly. She averted her eyes.
You’re going to get yourself in trouble, girl.
But it made no sense. A tigress in heat was such a draw to the average human male that they fell over themselves trying to get near her. To a tiger? The attraction would be stronger. It would be nearly impossible for a tiger shifter not to succumb to her. So one thing was for certain. This tiger tow truck driver had a will of steel. And not just a will, by the looks of him. She trained her eyes on the road ahead.
“How far is it?” Kendra asked.
“How far is what?” the tiger said.
“Where you’re taking me.”
“Just up the road.”
Wow. He really didn’t want to talk.
“Is there a motel there? Somewhere I can spend the night?”
“Yup,” he said.
“Great. What’s your name, anyway?” Kendra asked.
There was a long silence. “Cyrus,” he finally growled.
“I’m Kendra,” she purred, a little more sexily than she intended. “You been driving this truck long?” He just stared straight ahead. Didn’t even give her a sidelong glance. Kendra tried again. “I said, Have you been driving this truck long?”
“No,” he replied simply.
Kendra clucked her tongue. “You don’t want to talk to me, do you?”
He seemed to think about it. “Under the circumstances, I think it’s better we don’t exchange many words. In fact, I think in this particular situation, it’ll be safer for both of us if we don’t exchange anything at all.”
Kendra’s human side knew he was right, but something about the way Cyrus held himse
“I think you know.”
“I do what?”
“It’s your heat,” Cyrus growled. “I can’t be around it.”
Kendra got that. She could barley stand it herself. At least he was talking now, her tigress thought. They crested a rise in the road and Kendra saw the purple light of an old neon sign. Cyrus pulled the truck to a stop in a dark, weed-infested parking lot. He shut off the engine. Kendra pushed her cat deep down inside her and fought her every animal instinct to pounce all over him. Instead, she opened the door and got out of the truck.
“Motel’s on the right,” Cyrus said.
“So my auto club membership will cover the tow?” Kendra asked.
“Yup. Your car will be here for you in the morning,” Cyrus said.
“And what about you?”
“What about me what?”
“Where will you be in the morning?”
“Excuse me for being blunt, but I think it’s better for the both of us if I’m nowhere near you.”
“You sure about that?” Kendra asked in spite of herself.
“Not even close.”
Cyrus’s eyes glowed bright and Kendra felt his longing. His need was as strong as hers, maybe stronger, but he didn’t give in to it. Instead, he pulled his eyes from hers and drove to the rear of the lot, leaving her standing alone.
Kendra stood alone in the hot, humid night. She was surprised by the depth of Cyrus’s resolve. Not only had he succeeded in getting away from her, he’d gotten away from her without much of a fuss. It was strange because there was no doubt he found her attractive. When a shifter’s eyes glowed like that, that was their inner fire. It was an involuntary reaction, something they couldn’t control, and it meant he wanted her as badly as she had wanted him. Hell, if she looked in a mirror she was sure she’d see her own tigress’s eyes glowing bright, too.
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