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Kate Rudolph

Wolf's Temptation

Wolf's Temptation

Guarded by the Shifter Book 5

Your book will be delivered on January 6, 2024

Regular price $4.99 USD
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No one will keep him from his mate.

When a rescue mission goes wrong and Erin Jackson is abducted by a mysterious enemy, Jericho Gibson will stop at nothing to bring her home. But reuniting her with the rest of their pack is easier said than done when dark magic hunts them on their journey up the eastern seaboard.

Erin and Gibson have spent years denying the pull between them. He's too old for her, he's her boss, they can't be together. But with emotions running high, and no one there to run interference, there's no avoiding the inferno of passion that threatens to consume them. 

But passion is not their problem. A dark force is stalking them, and if they don't find it's source, no one will be safe.

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Gibson traced the condensation on the beer bottle clutched between his hands and wondered what the hell he was doing at some hipster bar in Brooklyn. He’d never heard of the brand he was drinking and was a bit disgusted at how delicious it was. Pretentious things weren’t actually supposed to be good.

But it was Owen’s birthday, and he had to make an appearance. Hell, even the rock star had shown up, though she was hiding in a corner wearing an obnoxious baseball cap that wasn’t doing much to hide the fact that millions of people bought her records.

He was the old fart sitting at the bar and bringing down the mood. He swirled the liquid in the bottle and figured he could sneak out in ten minutes and call it good. Owen was celebrating with his arm around his mate, and Gibson didn’t think he’d ever seen Stasia smile that broadly. The doctor was good for Owen, and maybe he was good for her.

“The party’s over there,” Erin Jackson said as she slid onto the barstool next to him.

Even in the crowded bar he caught a hint of her scent, something floral with a tinge of the ocean underneath it. He tilted his beer at her in greeting but didn’t let himself fully turn to look at her. He knew what he’d see: blonde hair held back in a tight braid, wide blue eyes that hid a hint of mischief that no one seemed to notice, curves that made his blood heat no matter how much he tried to ignore them. Tonight she wore a short dress that kissed the top of her thighs.

If he looked at her, he wouldn’t be able to hide the hunger.

So Gibson kept looking at the bar. “No one needs the boss ruining a good time.” He offered her half a grin and a shrug, as if the wall he kept between himself and his people never bothered him. Gibson didn’t regret taking responsibility for his strange little pack of wolves, but sometimes the chasm between them was just as impossible to breach as that between officer and enlisted.

“You’re more than our boss.” She said it quietly, and it was enough to make Gibson look over, but Jackson had flagged down the bartender and wasn’t looking at him.

He was fooling himself if he thought he heard something more when she spoke. He was on the wrong side of forty, she was more than ten years younger than him, he’d been an officer while she was enlisted, and he was her god damned boss.

This impulse he felt, the need to reach out and feel her soft skin against his, was impossible. Jackson didn’t want him, didn’t need him.

“Shouldn’t you be over there with the rest of them?” Owen let out a shrieking hoot that had half the bar glancing his way.

Jackson gave him a look that said more than words ever could. “He threatened to order shots. Not exactly my scene.”

“No?” He didn’t ask her what she did like. That way led to danger.

“Not really.” She sipped her own glass of beer. “I know Owen’s happy you came. He wanted the whole… you know, all of us, to be here.” She tripped over the word pack.

Gibson understood. If anyone tried calling him an alpha, he wasn’t sure what he’d do. They were just a bunch of unfortunate soldiers; none of them had signed up for this werewolf shit. “I should get going.”

“Or you could play me in that giant Jenga game over there.” She nodded towards a quieter corner of the bar, far away from Owen and his threatened shots.

He knew he shouldn’t. Every moment spent with Erin Jackson left him craving more. It was something he could ignore on the job. There, they had a purpose. But here? Cut off from the rest of the group and playing a game made it feel a bit like a date.

Still, he found himself sliding off the barstool and following her to where the tower was already set up.

“Did you plan this?” he asked. “Are you some sort of Jenga genius?”

Jackson laughed, and the sound went right to his gut. “You caught me, I’m a Jenga prodigy. Now, are we going to make this interesting?”

“Hell no. I’m keeping my money safe from you.” The banter came easy, even if his instincts were screaming at him to walk away.

“That’s not the only way to make it interesting.” She grinned, then her eyes widened and she clamped her mouth shut.

But she said it.

And he heard it.

And he knew.

Erin Jackson wasn’t flirty. She was the most professional member of his team, except maybe for Andre. She always said what she meant and she didn’t play around.

Gibson wanted to say something back, wanted to crowd her up against the wall and see how she reacted when their bodies pressed tightly together, the need clear in every breath of his being.

Instead, he forced himself to ignore the taunt. “Let’s play.”

Her comment wasn’t forgotten. It lay over them with every move, but as the blocks dwindled and their tower became more and more precarious, Gibson let himself get lost in the game. When he played, he played to win.

But not this time.

The tower was perched on one block, and it wobbled every time someone stepped too close to the table. He didn’t have any good options to remove, and Jackson was staring at him with a triumphant gleam in her eye, clearly convinced the she was about to win.

Gibson circled the table, trying to find the one block he could remove without crashing the whole thing down around them. He ended up right next to Jackson, who didn’t budge from where she was standing, probably to make it harder for him to remove his block. He poked at it, carefully displacing it, not daring to breathe as it moved millimeter by millimeter out of position.

He thought he had it. The thing was almost completely out, and all he had to do was move it the final little bit.

But something went wrong, and between one breath and the next, the entire tower was crashing towards them. On instinct, Gibson flung his arms around Jackson and pushed her back.

Her own arms went around his, her body flush against him, soft in all the right places and so damned tempting that he almost threw all caution to the wind and captured her lips with his own. He could do it. He could probably even call it an accident if it blew up in his face.

He could feel her fingers curl into his jacket, the edges of her knuckles resting against his back.

What would it feel like if her nails were scraping down his back?

Gibson looked down. Jackson looked up. Their eyes locked, and the rest of the room fell away. All he could see, all he could hear, all he could smell was her. Her scent wrapped around him, alluring as hell and so damned perfect that he had to bite back a groan.

Jackson’s tongue darted out to wet her lips and her mouth opened, so close and inviting he could practically taste it.

All one of them had to do was lean forward. One kiss and it would end this suffering, this clawing need he couldn’t slake.

One kiss and they’d ruin everything.

Gibson stepped back, nearly tripping over a fallen block but righting himself before he fell flat on his ass. “Good game,” he said. “Tell Owen I had to take off.”

And he left without looking back.

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