3 Paranormal Romance Excerpts: Otherworld Challenger, Chaos and Moonlight, and When a Beta Roars

Today, I’m pleased to share excerpts from the following paranormal romance books:

These are excerpts we shared during tours when we were on Books That Hook. Because that website got deleted, we are trying to restore all of our content, in some fashion. Instead of posting the entire tour for each, which would no longer be relevant, we decided to just retain the excerpts for our readers to continue enjoying.

Some of the excerpts are long, so click the MORE button if you want to continue reading.

Excerpt from OTHERWORLD CHALLENGER by Jane Godman

“I’ll do it.”

The words had the same effect on the assembled company as a volley of bullets fired into the ornate ceiling of the vast banquet hall. Every head turned in the direction of the man who had uttered them. Lounging back on two legs of his chair, his broad shoulders against the wall and his booted feet on the round meeting table, he returned their stares with his customary nonchalance and continued munching on an apple.

“You can’t seriously be prepared to listen to him. He’d sell his grandmother to the imps if the price was right.” The words burst from Vashti’s lips before she could stop them.

“The Crown Princess Vashti is reminded of the Alliance’s fundamental principle of respect for all species.” The condemnatory voice of the clerk echoed around the room. “Moreover, all speakers must first be approved by Merlin Caledonius, Leader of the Council.”

Vashti felt a blush of embarrassment turn the heat of rage already burning her cheeks a darker shade of red. It didn’t help that he was openly smirking at her humiliation. “I withdraw my remark.” She spoke the words stiffly.

“Thank you.” Merlin Caledonius, or Cal as he preferred to be known, inclined his head in her direction before turning to address Jethro de Loix. “What will you do exactly?”

“Exactly what you want. Find the true King of the Faeries and bring him back here to challenge Moncoya for the crown.”

A murmur of interest rippled around the table and Vashti smothered her derisive exclamation by turning it into a cough. Couldn’t any of them see Jethro de Loix for the maverick he was? Even the way he was dressed flouted convention. Everyone else around the table respected the formality of the occasion. Not Jethro. His white-linen shirt was unbuttoned a little too far, the waistcoat he wore over it hung casually open. Those long, long legs were encased in a pair of well-worn black jeans and the battered boots that rested on the conference table looked like they had walked the length of Otherworld and back. Perhaps they had. With his overlong jet-black hair tied at the nape of his neck with a leather thong and his hawklike profile he was too—her mind searched for a suitable adjective and could only come up with swashbuckling—for this solemn setting.

Jethro bit into the apple again, his teeth startlingly white against the red skin of the fruit.

Several hands were raised around the table and the clerk, a pompous little elf, noted their names in his record book. “Prince Tibor wishes to address the Council meeting.”

The vampire prince rose, bowing his head slightly in Cal’s direction. Vashti could never see Tibor without being struck by two things. His stunning physical beauty and the fact that she had never met anyone who looked less like a vampire. Stella, Cal’s wife, had once remarked that he looked like a fashion model or a Scandinavian soccer player. Vashti, with her limited knowledge of the mortal realm, had no way of knowing what the comment meant, but she didn’t think either option sounded vampire-like.

“Esteemed Council Leader, fellow Council members, our Alliance is a new and fragile one. We have taken the decision to offer our individual dynasties democracy. Our people will soon get to vote for who will lead them and represent them at this table in the future. It was a brave and noble act on our part.” Heads nodded around the table. “We believe our dynasties will vote wisely…”

Do we? Vashti risked a glance around the table. Tibor might be secure in the vampire vote—his loyal followers were not about to overturn centuries of tradition—but there were others whose places at the table were not so secure. Anwyl, the wolf leader, fought a constant battle against Nevan, a ferociously ambitious alpha newcomer who sought to usurp his place as pack leader. And, of course, there was the reason they were all here today. The problem that united them all. Daddy dearest.

“…But there is one dynasty for which we all fear the outcome. If the faeries vote to confirm Moncoya’s place as their leader, Otherworld will descend once more into chaos. My friends, I fear there will be no return to order next time.”

“Garrick wishes to address the meeting.”

The elf leader stood. “You paint a gloomy picture indeed, Prince. Yet did this Council not, at its first meeting, request that Merlin Caledonius issue a warrant for the arrest of Moncoya as a war criminal for acts of barbarity against his own people? There is still time to do that. Then, should he attempt to return and take his place as leader of the faeries, surely his reign would be short lived? Not only would he face imprisonment, if he is found guilty it is likely he would be executed for his crimes. Even Moncoya’s arrogance would not lead him to take such a step.”

Cal cast an apologetic glance in Vashti’s direction. He knew how hard it was for her to listen to accounts of her father’s atrocities and maintain an outwardly impervious manner. “I am reluctant to take such a step at this stage. Although the battle for control of Otherworld drove Moncoya into hiding, it did not topple him from his throne. He is still the King of the Faeries and there are many who wish to see him return openly. If the faeries elect Moncoya as their leader, we will have to tread carefully. The fae population is one of the largest in Otherworld. We cannot risk alienating them by taking an inflammatory action against the leader they choose. If they choose him. Princess Vashti, perhaps you can aid this discussion by telling the Council the mood of your people?”

Cal had warned her in advance that he would ask her this question today. Rising, she was conscious of all eyes upon her. So why did the intense gaze of Jethro de Loix, who wasn’t even part of this Council, bother her more than any other? “I wish I could give my fellow Alliance members a definitive answer to that question. Sadly, I cannot. If the faeries were asked to vote tomorrow, indications are there would be an even split with half voting for Moncoya—” she had schooled herself not to refer to him as ‘my father’ in this setting “—and half evenly split between the other opposition parties.”

Prince Tibor raised his hand. “The princess’s words raise the real possibility of Moncoya taking his seat at this table in the near future.”

The clerk gestured to Anwyl the Wolf. “I will not be part of an Alliance that includes Moncoya.” Several heads around the table nodded in agreement.

So it begins. Moncoya’s return would destroy all the good work they had done. Otherworld would descend once more into the constant battles that had threatened to tear it apart before the Alliance had been formed. Vashti met Cal’s eyes briefly and she knew he was thinking the same thing. “Anwyl, the sentiments you express are the reason why it is so important for us to find the true heir to King Ivo, the faerie leader who was killed by Moncoya in the bloody coup through which he seized power. The current opposition parties, all well-meaning, do not offer the faerie race a viable alternative to Moncoya’s strong rule. King Ivo was deeply loved by his people. If we can produce his heir, I believe that will sway their vote.”

Anwyl, still on his feet, looked skeptical. “What proof do we have that this so-called heir even exists?”

“We have the word of the leader of the Dominion, the fourth choir of angels. We also know that the Goddesses of Fate summoned Princess Vashti’s sister, Tanzi, to them at the palace of Gladsheim recently and spoke to her of the true heir. Our biggest problem lies in the fact that the identity of the heir has been so well hidden he himself is unaware of it. The goddesses told Tanzi that the answer lies on the Isle of Avalon.”

Anwyl’s noble features remained mistrustful. “The Goddesses of Fate delights in interfering.”

The clerk cleared his throat in preparation for another reminder about respect, but Cal spoke before he could intervene. “While that may be true, the goddesses are not able to lie. If we are to find the heir, someone must go to Avalon in search of him. It is a journey that is both perilous and unprecedented. We have only one offer to make the attempt. That offer has come from Jethro.”

Everyone in the room knew Prince Tibor hated Jethro and had sworn to kill him for the perceived crime of stealing the vampire leader’s human servant from him. Even so, the prince’s words, when he turned to speak to the necromancer, were polite. “You would do this? Knowing the dangers, you would be prepared to go to Avalon in search of the faerie heir?”

Jethro’s smile—the piratical one, the one Vashti loathed with every fiber of her being—dawned. “For the right price.”

“And what is that price?” Cal’s voice was razor-sharp. As the Council leader, he was scrupulously fair. He would offer no favors just because Jethro was a fellow necromancer and a close friend.

“One million mortal dollars.”

Excerpt from CHAOS AND MOONLIGHT by A.D. Marrow

“It was several minutes before Sarah realized she wasn’t dreaming. The tall guy in her room, the creepy guy on the stairs, all of it had been real. After about five miles of telling herself to wake up, then looking at the tall guy who was driving, then pinching herself, then telling herself to wake up again, then looking at the tall guy some more, reality and the promise of a full-fledged panic attack set in.

“I swear, if you let me go, I won’t tell anyone, okay?” Sarah finally found her voice. She had a moment where she thought that maybe this was a dream again, judging by the way the driver of the car looked. He was dark and mysterious, chiseled from head to toe—she should know, she all but crawled into him when they were running away from that other guy. She couldn’t make out much in the dark of the truck’s cab, but even in the faint light of the street lamps, something about this guy made her feel different. Maybe it was his voice—that deep, gravelly, slightly British voice. Maybe it was the smell that came off him, that man-mixed-with-leather-and-aftershave smell.

“Who are you?” Her damned voice box rebelled against her and her question came out in a whisper.

He was focused on the road, his eyes never leaving it as he maneuvered the giant diesel truck in and out of the one a.m. traffic. “I’ll explain everything when we get to where we are going. In the meantime, just sit back and try to relax, okay?”

“Relax? Okay, yeah. I was taken out of my bed in the middle of the night by some guy I don’t even know, and then I was chased up the stairwell by a Sherman tank of a drag queen, and you tell me to relax? Yeah right, pal! Listen, seriously, whatever ransom you’re asking for, I can pay it. Just bring me to an ATM, and you can have whatever you want, okay? Just let me go.”

“It’s not that simple, Dr. Bridgeman.”

“The hell it’s not. Look, just let me out, and anything you want, it’s yours. Cross my heart, I won’t tell a soul you took me.” She made a little crisscross motion over her heart.

“Like I said, Dr. Bridgeman, it’s not that simple. I don’t need your money. I need you to do a job for me. That Sherman tank drag queen apparently wants you to do the same job. I think, circumstances being what they are, you might want to consider working for me.”

“Work, my ass.” Sarah mumbled to herself. “Who the hell are you, anyway? And what job could I possibly do for you? I’m a medical researcher, you dickhead.”

He didn’t bother looking at her. He took in a deep breath and let out a long sigh.

“My name is Taris. I’m an eight-hundred-year-old vampire, and I need you to use your medical research to help me stop the slow yet brutal extinction of a race of people who really do exist but are made into horror movie villains and romance novel heroes.”

When he was met with silence, he glanced over to see her passed out cold in the seat.

“I knew it wouldn’t work.”

Excerpt from WHEN A BETA ROARS by Eve Langlais

He was all male, all the time, and dammit, a man used a barber, not a hairdresser. Even if she was cute.

“Suit yourself. I’ve got more than enough men to take care of—”

Was that his cat growling?

“—without adding a pompous one to the list.”

“Pompous?” Even if she’d pegged him right, it didn’t stop his indignant glare.

A glare she chose to ignore. She crossed her arms over her chest, plumping her cleavage—ooh, pretty, shadowy cleft. His curious nature drew his eyes to the mysterious and beckoningvee until she cleared her throat.

“My eyes are up here, big guy.”

Caught. Good thing he was a cat. His kind had no shame, nor did they apologize. He shot her his most engaging, boyish grin. “My name is Arik. Arik Castiglione.”

She didn’t react to his smile or titles, so he elaborated, “The CEO for Castiglione Enterprises.” He stretched his lips wide enough to engage his deadly dimple.

And still failed to impress.

She raised a brow. “Is that supposed to mean something?”

Surely she jested. Within his mind, his poor lion lay down in a traumatized heap and crossed its paws over its eyes.

“We are the largest importer of meat in the world.”

Her shoulders lifted in a shrug. “I don’t check the label to see who brings me my steak. I just eat it.”

“What about our chain of restaurants? A Lion’s Pride Steakhouses.”

“Those I’ve heard of. Decent, I hear, but overpriced. I can get a bigger plate of food at LongHorn. And according to my girlfriends, the male waiters are cuter too.”

For once, Arik found himself at a loss for words. His lion on the other hand? His mane was definitely ruffled—and itching.

Arik had already gone two weeks longer than usual for this haircut because of an overseas business trip. Time to get back to his highest priority. “How long until Dominic is back?”

“A week, maybe two. I told him to take his time. Granddad doesn’t often take time off, and he’s getting up there in years.”

A few weeks? He’d look like a wildebeest if he waited that long. “That’s no good. I need a cut. Are there any male barbers available?”

“Afraid to let a girl touch your precious hair?” She smirked. “I can peek at the schedule and see if we can squeeze you in this afternoon.”

“I don’t have time to come back. I need it done now.”

Usually when he used the word now, people jumped to do his bidding. She, on the other hand, shook her head.

“Not happening, unless you’ve changed your mind and are willing to let me cut it.”

“You’re a hairdresser.”

“Exactly.”

“I want a barber.”

“Same thing.”

Said the girl without a Y chromosome. “I think I’ll wait.”

Arik turned away from her, only to freeze as she muttered, “Pussy.”

If she only knew how right she was. But, of course, she didn’t mean the feline version.

Pride made him pivot back.“You know what. On second thought, you may cut my hair.”

“How gracious of you, Your Majesty.” She sketched him a mock bow.

Not funny, even if accurate. He glared in reply.

“I see someone’s too uptight for a sense of humor.”

“I greatly enjoy comedy, when I hear it.”

“Sorry if my brand of sarcasm is too simple for you to understand, big guy. Now, if you’re done, sit down so we can get this over with and send you and your precious hair back to your office.”

A woman giving him orders? Not uncommon when a male lived surrounded by them. But actually obeying, that was new – and in this case, unavoidable.

Head held regally high, Arik took the proffered seat, putting his back to the female, but he could still watch her in the mirror and track her by scent. Coconut lotion, fabric softener, and musky woman. All woman.

My woman. Want to taste.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading these paranormal romance excerpts. If you’d like to read more excerpts, there are some author pages that have them, and all of our posts with excerpts can be found in our main menu under ‘Features’ and ‘Excerpts.’

About Jen Schaper

In addition to being a book blogger, I am a mother of three children, a retail backroom coordinator, and a wannabe writer (when I make time to do it).
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