Sunday, January 08, 2012

Wild Things: Fanged by Jocelyn Michel

Wild Things: Fanged
by Jocelyn Michel

Cover art: Karen Fox
ISBN: 978-1-60521-731-4
Genre(s): Paranormal
Theme(s): Vampires, Werewolves
Series: Wild Things
Length: Novella
Page Count: 37

Cassidy's searching for mythical monsters in Romania, but she has no clue Andrei, her guide, is just what she's hunting!
Cassidy Kerrigan has reluctantly left her computer to assume the role of host for a brand new prime-time monster hunt called Wild Things. Relying heavily on her hunky guide/cameraman, Andrei Dinu, she crosses the ocean to explore the mountains of Romania.
Her assignment? Prove or debunk once and for all the werewolf myth. But the weather doesn't cooperate, and when rain drives them into a cave, Cass begins to suspect that Andrei is more than he seems. Can mutual passion overcome her fears? And what will happen when the werewolf of myth proves to be much, much more?
Wild Things: Fanged
Jocelyn Michel
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2012 Jocelyn Michel

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I slowly turned, overwhelmed by my exotic surroundings. Instead of the smog, pricey boutiques and crazy traffic that were LA, I saw intricately carved barns, restored peasant houses and a castle straight out of a Dracula movie. Romania. Wow. It was hard to believe that barely a month ago, I'd sat across the desk from a couple of producers at Earth Broadcasting Network, pitching my idea for a new series that I'd called Wild Things. The concept? A rugged male hunk of a host would tramp all over the planet in search of world myths to prove or debunk them. Since there were already primetime monster hunts out there and EBN preferred an R rating, I'd stipulated that his only companion must be a sexy female guide/photographer. If our pair had the right chemistry, our targeted demographic would watch every week just to find out whether or not they'd hooked up.
How could I have guessed that the network CEO, my estranged father Sean Kerrigan, wouldn't green light the pilot unless I took on the role of host? Me, the klutz who'd never even slept in a backyard tent. A chauvinist in the throes of a midlife crisis, Dad had dumped my mom for a younger model eight months ago. I'd ignored him ever since -- no visits, no phone calls, no texts. And if we passed each other in the hall, I kept my shoulders squared and my eyes straight ahead. Was this his way of getting back at me for all the cold shouldering? I was sure of it. Could I have simply blown him off? Not with my rent, car payment and credit card debt. I was overdue for a killer idea, and this was definitely it. So now I fumed, even though I stood smack in the middle of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
"Cass! There you are." My prissy director, Beau Truman, motioned for me to join him in front of the castle, which I knew dated from the twelfth century. Yeah, I'd done my homework and might actually have appreciated this incredible opportunity just a little if I hadn't known my jerk of a dad was behind the scenes, yanking my strings.
I walked over. "Morning, Beau."
"How are you feeling, luv?"
"Fine, so far." I lied, of course. At the moment I didn't have butterflies in my stomach, I had bats -- big ones -- which made sense, I guess. Transylvania was just a stone's throw away.
"Good. I want to introduce you to your gorgeous guide." Though Beau winked, he looked at me a little anxiously, probably because I'd confided my doubts about surviving in the wild. Not that I wasn't physically fit. I was, thanks to another bill that had to be paid -- gym membership. I also had camera skills, a result of my college degree. But I didn't have a clue how to find and protect myself from wolves, or in this case werewolves, the terrifying myth that was my first quest. Just getting to Romania had been challenging enough. I'd have to rely heavily on my guide to get me where I needed to be and keep me safe.
Beau led me to a tan Land Rover that had definitely seen better days. The driver's door stood open. Behind the wheel sat a good-sized guy with one weathered boot planted on the ground. From the back, I could see that he had shaggy dark hair, wide shoulders and long legs. He wore what I'd call safari gear, as did I -- khaki pants with lots of pockets and a button shirt with the kind of sleeves that I could push up and secure with a tab. Mine was OD green; his was red. I liked his better.
"Andrei, this is Cassidy Kerrigan. Cass, Andrei Dinu."
My guide got out of the vehicle and turned to face us. Nothing could've prepared me for his eyes -- glacial blue with long, thick lashes. I'd have killed for peepers like that. Mine were almost as black as my hair. Not unusual for the "Dark Irish," but definitely not the blue-eyed blond look I'd always admired.
As for the rest of Andrei Dinu -- the tall, well-proportioned, muscular rest of him -- well, my pussy zinged to life. Annoyed, I ruthlessly quelled my lust. If there was ever going to be a time to ignore my sexual impulses, this would be it.
I offered my hand. "Nice to meet you."
Andrei shook it, checking out my French-tipped nails. Feeling dwarfed by his height and slightly intimidated, I jerked my hand away and stuck it behind my back. His expression never changed, but I got the distinct feeling he disapproved. His cool appraisal, which started at my ponytail and traveled to the toes of my snazzy new hiking boots -- pink camo, no less -- pretty much proved it. That rankled. Though I was only five-three, I had as much heart as he did, and no woman on the planet had ever been more determined to succeed.

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