Tamsyn McKiernan thinks her dreams have come true. She’s engaged to a dashing Key West bachelor and finally in her widowed father’s good graces. But in her heart, she knows something’s wrong. She loves the ocean and the quiet pleasures of nature—so what does the aristocratic life she’ll lead truly hold for her?
Mercenary captain Drake Ashton is neck deep in preparations for the Spanish-American War, running guns and other supplies to Cuban natives who want out from under their Spanish masters. He and his brother Freddie risk their lives daily, focused on saving his friends on the island. Nothing else matters but his mission.
A chance encounter with a spiny sea urchin brings the two together, and neither of their lives will ever be the same again.
It would be better if Drake was happy for Tamsyn’s good fortune. She’d not want for anything material as the wife of Winslow—no doubt, a beautiful house and gardens, a fine carriage, a husband whose future was financially secure.
His own fortunes lay along a much different path.
If Drake were to be caught by the Spaniards, it wasn’t likely he’d live to be tried for the crime back on the mainland. The Spanish were known for their quick tempers and sharp swords. The mercenary trade paid him well, for now, and if the buzzing rumors he’d heard on the Pickham veranda were true, war would come within the year. Guns were a prime commodity in time of war. He always carried rum when he returned from the islands, of course, and sugar and tropical fruits, to cover his real motives. He had not been interdicted yet. As young men often did, he played the odds and planned to beat them.
For the first time, however, that focus was shaken by thoughts of this woman.
What distinguished Tamsyn MacKiernan from the other women he’d met in a hundred different ports? Drake couldn’t put his finger on it. He just knew she appealed to his heart in a way that possessed him. She held an intriguing blend of strength and vulnerability, stomach ironclad in the face of blood yet timid as a lost waif left alone in the midst of the ball. He wanted to know her better.
But she was to be married. Even if he had been able to marry her, even though he had a proper home with a hired woman to maintain it, it was nothing compared with the empire Winslow would command in a few years. Drake knew he had no business thinking Tamsyn might prefer a lonely pirate to the golden boy.
A fated encounter. A familiar stranger. A storm of passion. Can Ondine release her fear, surrender to Marut’s power, and claim her own?
Marine biologist Ondine Ambrose has always felt at home in the sea. Orphaned at birth and raised by her grandmother on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, she has never really questioned her extraordinary affinity for the watery world.
When she encounters an attractive but arrogant engineer on her private beach, surveying the site for a prospective off-shore wind farm, anger is her first reaction. A casual touch, however, transforms that emotion to incomprehensible, irresistible, terrifying lust.
Ebony-skinned Marut has his own talents—aside from his uncanny ability to swamp Ondine with desire. He can control the winds and summon storms. When he insists that they are both more than human, and that she is his destined mate, Ondine responds with skepticism. She tries to resist the charismatic Haitian, but ultimately she cannot deny the evidence of her senses—and her heart.
She’d always taken her abilities for granted, figuring that perhaps they were some compensation from the universe for having snatched her mother at birth. Nevertheless, she didn’t flaunt her differences. When she dived with the other scientists from her team, she donned the unnecessary wetsuit, tanks and regulator. No point in encouraging idle speculation.
“So? What the devil does that have to do with you? With us?” Her harsh tone was a deliberate attempt to hide her uncertainty.
“I’m like you. Human, but with extra-human gifts. And you are my destined mate, Ondine—no matter how hard you try to deny the fact.”
Marut rose from the table, imposing despite the shabby robe that hung from his powerful frame. The garment gaped open, revealing the smooth ebony swell of his chest. Belted at Marut’s narrow waist, the faded terry hid his groin, but Ondine didn’t have to see the man’s magnificent cock to know it was swollen with desire, the same desire that had soaked the crotch of her sweatpants.
His mate. Ridiculous! And yet there was something mysterious and inevitable in her attraction to this stranger. Determined to fight that inexplicable desire, she turned towards the back door.
“I’ll go fetch your clothes,” she called over her shoulder. “I’ll be right back.”
The Wedgwood-blue morning sky and brilliant sun had disappeared to be replaced by masses of lead-gray cloud. The muggy air was thick as syrup, so heavy it was practically an effort to breathe. Marut’s jeans and shirt hung limply on the line, along with the laundry she’d hung before heading for the beach. With the humidity, Ondine feared they’d still be damp, but the earlier sun appeared to have done its work. Both articles were dry enough for her unwelcome visitor to wear. He could leave as soon as he dressed. Relief mingled with regret as she squeezed the clothes pin holding the T-shirt.
A sudden, brisk wind sprang up, tugging at her hair and whipping the stiff denim of the suspended jeans against her belly. Startled, she dropped the white cotton onto the sandy soil. The breeze caught the garment and whisked it away, a tumble of white, until it caught on one of the points of the picket fence. With a sigh, she padded barefoot across the yard to retrieve it.
She whirled to face him. She hadn’t heard the squeak of the old screen door hinges, yet there he was, tall and dark as a thunderhead—gloriously naked. His piercing eyes pinned her in place. His noble forehead arched up to the explosion of frizzy curls that framed his skull. His skin gleamed as though it had been oiled. He stood before her—no, loomed above her—his muscled legs parted, his arms crossed over his chest, sniffing for her all-too-obvious scent. His nostrils flared like a thoroughbred racehorse and his prominent lips curled into a confident smile.
And there, rising from its nest of inky fur, was the cock she’d caressed out on the beach, a proud cylinder of dark flesh with a slick, mauve cap. In their frenzied groping upon the rocks, she hadn’t really seen his organ clearly, but now…
She’d read that primitive cultures worshipped the phallus as the source of all power. Now she understood, in a most visceral sense, how this could be. She wanted to fall on her knees before this vision of male potency, to beg for a touch, for a taste. Use me, something in her cried, though in fact his beauty and vitality struck her dumb. Helpless, terrified, swamped by need, she waited for him to make the first move.
The strange wind blew around them. Marut’s eyes glittered like chips of hematite. He stared into her soul, asking questions she didn’t dare acknowledge. Unable to bear his scrutiny for more than a few moments, she dropped her gaze to his bare feet, graceful and strong as the rest of him, and waited for him to take her.
“Ondine.” Her name on his lips was moonlight on a tropical lagoon, a gentle surf kissing the shore.
Lisabet Sarai became addicted to words at an early age. She began reading when she was four. She wrote her first story at five years old and her first poem at seven. Since then, she has written plays, tutorials, scholarly articles, marketing brochures, software specifications, self-help books, press releases, a five-hundred page dissertation, and lots of erotica and erotic romance – over one hundred titles, and counting, in nearly every sub-genre—paranormal, scifi, ménage, BDSM, GLBT, and more. Regardless of the genre, every one of her stories illustrates her motto: Imagination is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
Welcome to Tena Stetler, with the latest entry in the Wylder West series from The Wild Rose Press!
Magic, the paranormal, and the unexplained have always been my wheelhouse. Even as far back as grade school, I wrote vampire tales for my friends. When I took the opportunity to write full-time, I polished one of my paranormal romances and submitted it. Lo and behold, I received a contract offer. Yippee! This was 2015, fifteen books, and six years later, I still write paranormal romance/mystery novels. But 2021, I strayed from my comfort zone and wrote An Angel’s Wylder Assignment for The Wild Rose Press multi-author Wylder West Series. While still paranormal, the book is also historical, western, time-travel, and a mystery. Whew, did I bite off more than I intended. Since I am a seat of the pants writer, and my characters drive the story. They took off on a chosen path, including a spirit quest, visions, and there was no looking back regardless of what research was required. What a Wyld ride! But also fun!
Because paranormal is anything I can imagine and have an overactive imagination, I can write anything I want and make it work. I love magic. So it was quite a change to have to do research. What was life like in 1878? What appliances were available, hot and cold running water? Not so much unless you were rich. Mode of transportation, horse and buggy or on foot? Then, the blacksmith craft my hero was saddled with in the assignment. Yes, there is magic. What a learning curve.
I made a few mistakes, i.e., 1878 Western language, and was immediately corrected. Don’t use “yummy” in dialogue for 1878. LOL I ran my manuscript by a couple of TWRP historical authors who also wrote in the Wylder series. A couple of their characters appeared in my book, and I learned more. Thank you, Laura and Kim.
Would I do it again? Probably. I have a story simmering for a couple of my secondary characters, Luke and Jilly, who are clamoring for their own story. So we’ll see.
I learned a lot and grew as an author writing this book. Stopping to research while I was writing was trying at times. I had a lot of fun discovering how life was in the Wild West of Wyoming Territory in 1878. I recommend every author try writing out of your comfort zone! My current writing endeavors are strictly paranormal, cozy mystery, and a sequel to Mystic Maples set in an Irish castle.
An Angel’s Wylder Assignment
A Wylder West Novel
by Tena Stetler
Genre: Paranormal Romance
It takes a Warrior Angel and Native American Shifter to save the past and create their future.
Angel Killian Dugan’s annual trip to the family castle in Scotland is shattered by the arrival of Legion Commander North. Killian’s skills are needed for an urgent time travel assignment. A rogue demon has escaped back in time. He must discover the why and where then stop the demon before it can damage the past and change the future.
Killian’s girlfriend Chinoah Grace, a Native American shapeshifter is included in the mission, which takes them to the wild west town of Wylder, Wyoming in 1878. She will have her hands full fitting in and making friends. Nothing is as it seems. They encounter visions, spirit quests, and a mysterious shaman. On top of it all, blending in as a blacksmith is more physically difficult than he imagined. But not as challenging as keeping his hands off his undercover wife. Will they complete their assignment or run out of time?
Tena Stetler is a best-selling author of award winning paranormal romance with an over-active imagination. She wrote her first vampire romance as a tween, to the chagrin of her mother and the delight of her friends. Colorado is home; shared with her husband, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-five-year-old box turtle. When she’s not writing, her time is spent kayaking, camping, hiking, biking or just relaxing in the great Colorado outdoors.
Her books tell tales of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Travel, adventure, and a bit of mystery flourish in her books along with a few companion animals to round out the tales.