Trancing the Tiger
Chinese Zodiac, Book 1
by Rachael Slate
eBook ISBN: 978-1508519652
Print ISBN: 978-1508519652
[ Fantasy Romance ]
Delve into a world steeped in tradition and superstition…
After her parents become infected with the Red Death, Lucy Yeoh flees to Malaysia seeking answers. Everything in this closed-off section of the world is paradise—from the lush tropical climate to her sexy new neighbor, Sheng…who just might be delusional. He claims the Plague God unleashed the Red Death and only a circle of Chinese Zodiac spirit animals can cleanse the Earth. Even more, he insists she’s one of them: the Rabbit. Long furry ears and fluffy bunny tail included.
He’ll show her how to fight to save the world…
As the Chosen of the Tiger, the burden of restoring balance to the world has fallen onto Li Sheng’s shoulders. When he discovers that the ally he’s long awaited, the Dragon, is actually just the Rabbit, Sheng is quick to dismiss Lucy. If only she’d stay dismissed. Lucy’s Rabbit refuses to cooperate, undermining the authority of his Tiger at every turn…and seducing him to the limits of his darkest desires. He’s not supposed to want her. Not when he needs the spirit circle complete and she’s their weakest link.
She’ll show him a love worth fighting the world to save…
Sheng’s enemies draw closer, and not everyone wants Lucy alive. Together, they’ll have to navigate a treacherous world where a line between duty and their hearts has been drawn between them. They must either sacrifice one, or find a way to surrender to both.
Sheng grappled for control that seemed as fleeting as his sanity. Lucy was off-limits. He’d reminded himself a thousand times tonight. Yet when Tiger had pinned her to the ground, Sheng would have taken her. Right then, right there.
If not for the intrusion of his friends.
Worse, she’d melted right into him the moment she’d realized his identity.
She trusted him and didn’t even bloody know why. Once he got her somewhere safe, he’d enlighten her with the logic fueling her instincts.
Tiger puffed out in supreme satisfaction. He almost hadn’t caught her; she was so swift. If not for the inclined tree trunk providing a bounding point, he might have missed.
Sheng’s shoulders tensed, on alert for more of Snake’s “friends.” Penang Hill—behind them—served as the boundary between the Hai San and Ghee Hin territories. The Gardens were the gateway to the Ghee Hin Kongsi’s residence in the Batu Feringghi—the stretch of posh beaches on the north coast of the island. He had to get Lucy out of here before Snake caught sight of her and realized what she was.
Where she might have argued with him, she simply obeyed. Her light footsteps padded behind him. That blind obedience concerned him more than her bolting. She shouldn’t trust a stranger with such ease, certainly not one who looked like him.
He raked his hands through his hair to stop from lashing out at her…or drawing her into his arms and shielding her. He wasn’t sure which instinct would win.
Even more reason to hold his tongue.
He straddled his motorcycle, unclasped the helmet, and offered it to her.
She approached him, her golden eyes wide and wary. Great. Now she chose to be cautious. “Who were those men?”
“You wanna stay and find out?”
Her nose twitched. “Do you work for my uncle? Are you my bodyguard? Where are you taking me?”
“Get on.” He dismissed her questions and waved the helmet. No time for this, not here.
Her hands trembled as she accepted it and secured the strap around her chin. Without questioning him again, she slipped onto the bike behind him.
“Hold on tight.” He reached back, seized her wrists, and clasped her hands together around his waist. “I don’t do slow.”
He revved the gas, the tires squealing while they pivoted around and peeled away. Her body slammed into his, her grasp cinching tighter as they sped through the streets. Lucy’s slender fingers spread across his abdomen, causing his muscles to tighten and his cock to throb. Was she purposefully teasing him with her velvety touch?
She slid her fingers beneath the hem of his t-shirt and his abs jerked as though sparked by a live wire. He growled once, in warning.
“Sorry. My fingers are cold. Do you mind?” Her murmur against his ear spiked his blood.
Was she actually cold or did he detect a sultry note to her voice? Did she suffer the same raging attraction he did?
With his concentration on navigating the streets and his hands gripping the handlebars, she had him at a disadvantage against the fanning of her fingers.
Her warm fingers.
They rounded a corner, and her body crushed against his. She didn’t draw back, and the imprint of her full breasts branded his back. He swore he could even feel her tight little nipples rubbing against him. He fought the urge to swing around and take her on the motorcycle. To hell with crashing—as if they’d even notice. They’d both survive.
Your fault, Tiger. The beast practically heeled at her side. Like a bloody dog.
Was it Rabbit or Lucy, herself, driving them both to madness?
They squealed to a halt in front of a warehouse at the pier. He stiffened as he removed her hands from his waist and plucked her off the bike.
She regarded him, one hand grasping her opposite wrist while she scanned the dockyard and the scattered people milling around—mostly couples out for a midnight tryst or teenagers looking for trouble.
“Helmet.” He stretched out his hand.
She unclasped the strap and removed his helmet, shaking out those long, wavy locks. Tendrils curled over her breasts and down to her waist.
He licked his lips, his throat suddenly dry. His nostrils flared, inhaling her sweet, floral fragrance. Even caked in dirt, she was the most delectable woman he’d ever scented.
The helmet slipped from her fingers to his. The slightest brush of contact between them made him bite back a groan.
A knowing sparkle glinted in her eyes. Oh, yeah. She hadn’t missed his hard-on earlier and likely deemed she possessed an edge of power over him.
Foolish little Rabbit. Didn’t she know?
No one toyed with Tiger.
Rachael has explored forgotten temples in Cambodia, kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland, and stood inside the Roman Coliseum. She loves studying people and cultures, current and ancient. Her appetite for romance began with Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, which she later nurtured with a healthy dose of Jane Austen.
As an author of scorching hot fantasy romance, Rachael blends the lines between mythology, reality, and fantasy. In her worlds, you’ll encounter strong, sexy alpha males and the capable women who challenge them. If her heroines can’t meet their heroes toe-to-toe, then they’ll bring them to their knees.
No matter what torture she puts her characters through, true love will always prevail. Love is, after all, the most powerful force on Earth, and beyond.
Rachael holds an Honours BA in anthropology, as well as a CELTA. Her secret indulgence is her passion for baking, which she offsets with her addiction to running (she’s completed four marathons). She resides on the West Coast of British Columbia, Canada, with her husband, two children, and cat.
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