Thursday, January 14, 2010

Shifting Priorities: Mating Frenzy by Anne Kane

Shifting Priorities: Mating Frenzy
by Anne Kane
cover art by Reneé George

ISBN: 978-1-60521-329-3

Genre(s): Futuristic, Paranormal, Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi

Series: Shifting Priorities

Length: Novella

Mykael knows that his co-pilot is also his bond-mate, but she refuses to acknowledge it, and his patience is running out. Megan doesn't want to settle down, but she has no problems using the Imperial Were-Panther to sate her sexual urges. When their ship malfunctions they are forced to land on a primitive planet, where they find themselves exploring more than the unique landscape.

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Megan ran her fingers through Mykael's thick black fur. She loved the sound of the deep rumbling purrs emanating from his immense chest as she sat on the galley floor beside the massive black panther, finger-feeding him his dinner.

She selected a chunk of raw meat and held it out on the palm of her hand, marveling at how such a large creature could be so gentle. Mykael grasped the chunk between two front teeth, and tossed it up in the air, opening his jaws to let the tidbit fall into his waiting mouth.

Megan reached for another chunk and they repeated the process until the plate was empty. After their first solar cycle together, Mykael had admitted he'd invented the need for her to feed him chunks of raw meat to accustom her to his panther form, but by then she'd grown to enjoy the intimacy of the shared ritual and they'd decided to continue it.

"All gone, you big glutton." She ruffled the fur behind his ears, and tossed the empty dish into the recycler. "Time for some exercise. Let's see if an old fellow like you can keep up with me."

Mykael snarled, showing off a mouth full of sharp white teeth, and Megan laughed. "Yeah. I know. You're not old. Prove it, then. On your feet."

Megan enjoyed their daily runs together. They jogged the decks of the ship, he in his panther form and she as human. The exercise kept them both fit when they had to spend extended time in the close confines of the ship.

Mykael let her set the pace tonight, loping along beside her like a giant house pet. She glanced down, admiring the way his sleek muscles flowed smoothly under the black pelt. His massive head came level with her waist and he nudged her gently from time to time as they ran. They worked their way from the bridge deck down to engineering, and were almost back up to the bridge when the ship lurched suddenly to the left, throwing both of them to the deck.

Megan landed heavily on top of the panther, grateful for his quick reflexes, which allowed him to position himself to break her fall. She rose shakily to her feet, leaning on the wall for support. The deck still listed on a sharp angle beneath them, and she looked down at Mykael. "What the hell was that?"

His dark eyes reflected her confusion for a second before a wave of magic washed over him, obscuring him from her view while he shifted form. His naked body emerged from the shimmering cloud, and Megan admired the thick ropes of muscle that covered his chest. He was far from being the decrepit old man she liked to tease him about. Following her line of sight, Mykael glanced down and waved his hand impatiently, conjuring up a tight uni-suit.

Megan struggled not to laugh. Completely covered, he looked even sexier than he had standing there naked.

The metal plating of the deck shuddered beneath them as the ship lurched for a second time, and the sound of the engines rose to a shrieking crescendo.

Megan raised her eyebrows. "Well, don't just stand there. Make yourself useful and go fix whatever it is that's making that Goddess-forsaken racket. You don't think I keep you around for your looks, do you?"

He had the audacity to laugh. "Actually, I do. That and the fact that I let you run your fingers through my fur." He swaggered off in the direction of the drop-tube that led to engineering. "You can go clean up the galley and I'll see what the problem is."

Megan licked her lips as she watched his tight butt disappear around a bend in the corridor. She played a dangerous game, balancing her craving for his touch with her fear of losing her independence. Lately, it had been getting harder and harder to resist the sexy were-panther. If she wasn't careful, she might find herself agreeing to the whole bond-mate thing and to hell with her own needs.

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