Authors: Tianna Xander
Tags: #Ménage, #Paranormal, #Erotic Romance, #Shapeshifter
When Gabriella’s muse deserts her and she fails to write her newest romance novel, she heads out to the local diner only to find that she’s about to live one, instead.
When Gabriella decides to stay in Paradise after her plane crashes, she didn’t expect to fall in love with one man, let alone two. Now that she’s established herself as the local loony writer, can she stop herself from dreaming up plots with herself as the heroine and her two hotties as the heroes in her own hot romance?
Vincent and Corbin first arrive in Paradise a week before Halloween. They can’t believe they found not only a town full of shifters, but their long-awaited mate. Can they convince the beautiful and talented woman to claim them and leave her new home in Paradise?
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Halloween In Paradise
Copyright © 2013 Tianna Xander
Cover art by Latrisha Waters
All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.
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Halloween In Paradise
Gabrielle stared out at the forest beyond her office window and sighed. When she headed out this way, she had fully intended to write a piece about Paradise. Shifting her gaze back to her screen, she sighed again. The blank page stared back at her, the cursor blinking as though mocking her inability to come up with something different, something more than ruining this town with her original tell-all idea. Now that she knew these people, she couldn’t just throw them under the bus like that.
Reaching down, she rubbed her leg. It didn’t hurt. It just ached on occasion. It was just enough to remind her that she owed them for a lot more than giving her a place to stay. They had saved her life. Gunter and Quinn, the two men who had pulled her out of a burning aircraft that had just crashed to the ground, could have left her to burn. Instead, they pulled her out, saving her life while risking their own and risking the exposure of Paradise.
No. She refused to do that to this town. If there was one thing she had learned since she moved here, it was that this really was a paradise.
Besides, where would she go once she wrote a story exposing this town and the people who lived here? No one would take her seriously. It would end her career because, she was certain, everyone would think she had lost her mind.
Who in their right minds would believe that there really was a town full of shape shifters almost smack dab in the middle of the country?
No one would. A story like that would end her career. That was when Gabby finally decided that if she planned to write stories on fantastic things, she should call it fiction and write a novel.
She stared back at the blank screen. “Argh! I can’t take this anymore.” Standing, she grabbed her purse and headed for the front door. If she couldn’t write, she could go into town. She needed milk and bread anyway. Maybe something would spark while she was out and give her an idea. “A girl can dream, can’t she?”
Ten minutes later, Gabby found herself wandering into the local diner. She needed coffee, and lots of it. If she was lucky, the manager, Sarah Browning, would have a fresh pot on and she could suck it down and feel sorry for herself all at the same time.
She didn’t wait for Sarah to acknowledge her. She simply slid into her favorite booth, pulled a menu out from behind the sugar and opened it to the lunch menu.
“How are you doing today, Gabby?” Sarah asked as she pulled a pencil from her tight bun and licked the lead.
“I’m fine.” Gabby gave the older woman a smile. “I just can’t seem to come up with an opening hook.”
“Opening hook?” Sarah gave her a quizzical look.
“It’s the first few lines of a story that grabs the attention of your reader. They say—whoever
are,” Gabby said as she rolled her eyes, “that you have to grab your reader by the first few lines, or they move on.” She made a face. “I don’t see anyone ever reading a book
“I would dear,” Sarah said, reaching down to pat her hand. “Most of us here in Paradise would read it. Don’t you let that blank screen discourage you. You’ll find your opening hook and when you do, nothing will stop you from writing that book. Now…are you ready to order, or do you need a minute?”
Gabby almost laughed at that. Leave it to the Colorful Sarah Browning to put things into perspective. Nothing was too difficult and nothing would stop Sarah from helping her next customers, who had just walked through the door.
“I need a minute. Oh, and Sarah?” Gabby bit her lip as the older woman stopped to look at her. “I don’t know who did it, but someone’s been messing with the sign again.”
Sarah’s brows turned down. “I’ll get those Gibson boys if they don’t stop changing the name of this diner.” She leaned down with a grin, looking just like a proud mama. “What did they change it to this time?”
“Now that’s an unlikely name for a restaurant.” Corbin said with a chuckle as they pulled into the parking lot of the local diner. “Somehow, I’m thinking that
Eat The Cock
the correct name.”
“You’re probably right,” Vincent agreed as he removed his seatbelt. “Well, I’m starved. I don’t know about you, but I’m willing to eat here as long as they don’t pull a bobbit on me and attempt to whack mine off and serve it on a platter.”
“Platter? You forget. I’ve seen that thing. They won’t need much more than a desert plate for it.”
“Fuck you.” Vincent strode around the car and punched him in the arm. “At least they don’t need tweezers and a magnifying glass to find mine.”
“Ouch!” Corbin said as they made their way to the door. “That was harsh.”
“Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it, asshole.”
Opening the door, Corbin held it for his best friend. Following him into the diner, he took a deep breath. “Something smells good.”
“Yeah, it does.” Vincent leaned against a sign. “It says
wait to be seated
.” He gestured to the older woman talking to someone in the back. “She’s busy. I’m going to run to the toilet while you get us a table.”
“Whatever.” Corbin watched as the woman leaned down and said something to her customer, a wicked gleam in her eyes and a smile on her face. For some reason, he couldn’t look away from the two women. He didn’t know what it was about the customer, but her dark brown hair caught his attention.
Red highlights shone in the afternoon sun. Her hair gleamed and looked so soft, he fisted his hands when he felt himself reaching out to touch it. He frowned. What in the hell was the matter with him?
The waitress straightened, smoothed her already perfectly groomed hair and smiled at him. “Hello, sugar! You’re new to these parts, aren’t you? What do you prefer, a booth or a table?”
“A booth.” He gave the restaurant a quick once over. “The one in the far corner, if you don’t mind. My friend and I would appreciate the privacy.”
The more distance between themselves and humans, the better. The last thing either of them needed was for someone to overhear one of their conversations and think them lunatics.
“Of course.” She glanced at the woman sitting alone. “Though Gabby is harmless. She’s an author.” The woman winked. “Who knows, maybe she could put you in one of her books.”
That’s what I’m afraid of, lady.
She led him past a long bar with stools. The most delicious scents wafted from behind the wall separating the kitchen from the dining area, and they all came from that little window. It wasn’t any wonder he hadn’t caught that the waitress had the scent of a shifter at first.
It also wasn’t surprising that he didn’t catch the scent of the woman sitting alone until he was right next to her.
Stopping, he stared at the woman for a minute. He wasn’t sure if he could say anything or not.
Get your ass out here and meet our mate, Vince. She’s sitting in the diner all ripe and waiting for us to eat her,
he said through their mind link.
All shifters had telepathic ability, at least as far as he knew. They could communicate with the community on a common link and with family on a private link. Mates had a link all their own. It was that
he used to talk to Vince.
You heard me. I said, our mate. She’s small, with hair the color of sable and eyes like two purple violets pressed into her face.
He felt his cock growing hard and immediately thought of complex math in an effort to get it to behave.
“Hello, there,” he said to the woman when she looked up. No doubt she had wondered why he stopped at her table and stood drooling over her as though she was a rare steak and he a starving lumberjack. “Why is a beautiful woman like you sitting here all alone? If I were your husband, I wouldn’t let you out by yourself. There’s too much of a chance some lone wolf would come and sweep you off your feet.”
Gabby looked up into the face of a devil. The man was too perfect to be anything else. Dark hair brushed broad shoulders. A muscular chest tapered down to a narrow waist and hips. She turned her head, her face burning. He had a hard-on!
“Never mind about the booth, ma’am,” he said to Sarah.
“If that’s what you want, and the lady doesn’t mind.” She glanced at Gabby who was dumb struck by the too-handsome man staring down at her. “I’ll go get the three of you some water, then,” she said as she shook her head and walked toward the kitchen.
“Do you mind if we join you?” He slid into the other side of the booth without waiting for her reply. “You didn’t answer my question.”
“I wasn’t sure I should dignify it with one.”
“Why not?” His eyes widened. “I was being sincere.”
“I’m sure you were,” Gabby said with a smile. She couldn’t quite meet his gaze. He had to know she had seen his erection, seeing that it had been at eye level and all. “But all of you guys here in Paradise are always saying stuff like that.” She gave him a bigger smile to reduce the sting of her comment. “I’m sure you mean it, but when you’re all doing it, it kind of takes the novelty out of it.”
“I think it just means that the men here are intelligent.” He leaned forward, his elbows on the table. “So, then, tell me why you’re here alone if all of the men are saying these pretty words to you that you don’t quite believe.”
“Because they’re all mated.” She shrugged. “Well, most of them are married, and the ones who aren’t just don’t take a real interest in me.”
He leaned further forward, his black eyes staring deep into hers. “What if I told you that I have a real interest in you?”
“As do I,” said another deep voice as a man slid into the seat beside her, crowding her.
Gabby slid toward the wall in an attempt to put distance between them, but it just wasn’t happening. The man was huge—body builder huge. He took up most of the seat. His hot thigh pressed against hers and his upper arm pressed against her left breast.
Her nipples grew hard just thinking about the two men, about what they could do if only she were their mate. She knew the odds of that were slim, but it didn’t stop her from dreaming—from wishing.
It wasn’t difficult to see that every woman here in Paradise was blissfully happy with her man or men. Lately, the town had seen an influx of shifters coming home after some horrible thing that most people didn’t want to talk about anymore.
Their penchant for having two men for one woman was one of the reasons she had stayed here after the plane crash. That, and the fact that these people had welcomed her with open arms. They had found her a place to stay. They had provided for her when she couldn’t provide for herself and, she had been ashamed to admit, if only to herself, that she had sought this town out to expose it and their unorthodox practices to the world.
Her headline would have read,
REPORTING FROM PARADISE
. However, she found that she couldn’t write the story. This
paradise in every sense of the word. They had virtually no crime and no domestic violence. The men treated the women here like goddesses and they cherished their children, as they should.