HAPPY RELEASE DAY SARA HUMPHREYS!
He’s the man of her dreams
A long time ago, Zander Lorens was cursed to walk the earth stripped of his Dragon Clan powers. Every night, trapped in a recurring nightmare, Zander relives his darkest moment. He can hardly believe it when the dream changes and a beautiful young woman appears. Zander believes she’s the key to ending his torment. Finding her in the real world is one thing, but how will he convince her of who—and what—she really is?
She’s the end to his nightmare
Rena McHale uses her unique sensitivity as a private investigator, touting herself as a “human divining rod” and finder of the lost. By day she struggles with sensory overload, and by night her sleep is haunted by a fiery dragon shifter. Nothing in her life makes sense, until the man from her dreams shows up at her door with a proposition…
Sara Humphreys is the award-winning author of paranormal and contemporary romance including shapeshifter and vampire stories, and contemporary romance about firefighters, police officers, and K9 cops. A public speaker and speaker trainer, Sara lives with her husband and four sons in Bronxville, New York.
A flicker of jealousy flashed when Rena thought about some other woman tending to Zander’s comfort. She ran her fingers over the smooth paper and, for a split second, thought about using her gift to take a look at this Lana chick. But when the front door clicked open, she immediately thought better of it and quickly slapped the note onto the counter.
She spun around and clasped her hands behind her back awkwardly just as Zander stepped inside. She was going to make a smart-ass remark but the sight of him momentarily made her lose the ability to speak. Or at the very least, her mind went totally blank because all she was capable of for that minute was soaking in the sight of him.
He was dripping wet. Water sluiced from his leather jacket, which he promptly hung up before kicking off his boots. His jeans were wet too and clung to his long, strong-looking legs.
Were the pants coming off next?
Rena swallowed hard when she let her gaze skim over his ass as he leaned over and peeled off his socks. Jeez. Even his bare feet were sexy. The dark T-shirt he wore was damp and clung to every dip and curve of muscle in his back. His ropy, well-defined arms flexed as Zander turned to face her and pushed his shaggy, wet hair off his face with both hands. His damp skin glistened in the soft, yellow light of the cabin. Zander’s chiseled features seemed even more defined than before. His jaw was covered in the dark shadow of scruff, and those haunted eyes of his peered at her intently beneath dark eyebrows.
The two of them stood there for at least ten beats of her heart. Neither one said a word. Only the sound of rain pelting the roof and their breathing filled the cabin. The space that only moments ago felt open and spacious had shrunk in size the instant Zander stepped into it.
The man was like a walking flame, and it was as if all of the oxygen had been sucked from the air the instant he slipped inside. Suddenly, each breath was more labored than the last. The plan, the one she was so proud of, now seemed like a stupid idea. This man wasn’t one to be toyed with.
A flicker of self-doubt niggled in the back of her mind.
What if he really didn’t want her?
Maybe he really had only kissed her because she reminded him of Arianna?
Rena sucked in a shuddering breath as he returned her bold stare. The simmering heat in his unwavering gaze seared into hers. Warmth seeped into her chest and her entire body shimmered beneath his inspection.
It was now or never.
Her heart raced and her tongue flicked over her lips before she finally worked up the courage to say something.
“Your Lana,” she sputtered and jutted her thumb over shoulder toward the counter. “I—I mean someone named Lana left you a note.”
Rena’s cheeks flamed. The hint of a smile played at Zander’s lips and he moved slowly toward her. Her befuddlement amused him? She tucked her hair behind her ears as he sidled closer and picked up the paper. Even with the barstool separating them, his towering form was close enough that his body heat, even more intense than it had been earlier, wafted over her, reminding her of the flickering flames of a fire.
She half expected steam to rise off his damp skin.
Rena leaned one elbow on the island and studied him while he read the note.
“Who’s Lana?” she asked with as much nonchalant innocence as she could. “She sure is thoughtful to come over and set the place up for you.”
“She’s a friend.”
Zander crumpled the paper and tossed it over Rena’s head into the tall, white garbage can in the corner. The movement brought him even closer, and his musky, leather scent filled her head. She breathed deeply and fought the sudden lust-ridden urge for her eyes to shift.
His arm dropped to his side and that piercing gaze flicked to hers, melting her insides bit by bit. Rena’s steely resolve to seduce the big, bad dragon wavered as she gazed into the limitless depths of his haunted eyes. Swimming behind the cool facade were the lingering effects from centuries of pain and loneliness.
A kindred spirit, lost in the dark but seeking the light.
The knot in her chest, the core of her steely self-sufficient resolve, loosened. Rena knew, better than anyone, what it was like to drift through the world alone and unwanted. Zander might have been a dragon all those years ago, but he wasn’t a monster.
He was a man deserted, cut off from both the human and the supernatural world.
Rejected by both. Belonging in neither. Just like her.