Series & Title: The Wolves of Hemlock Hollow, Book 1: Once Bitten
Author: Heather McCorkle
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Publisher: Entangled Publishing: Select Otherworld
Release Date: April 24, 2017
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
One night was all it took to change everything. One moment of weakness, and now I’m becoming. Werewolves were supposed to be things only seen in movies, not things that exist in real life. Instead of med school and homework, my life is filled with a laundry list of things that were once impossibilities. Groups fighting over whom I belong to. The possibility of dying if I don’t learn everything before the next full moon. Figuring out how to survive in a world I never knew existed. But the biggest danger? Ty: history professor, super sexy Viking werewolf, and the man who’s been assigned by the Council to teach me how to survive becoming a werewolf.
“What’s so funny?” I asked.
“I am about to shift into a wolf, something you did not even know was possible a few weeks ago, and you cannot take your eyes off my goods.”
Some of the tension eased out of me. “Your goods?” I laughed, not derisive or making fun of him, but because the phrase was far too cute for such a hulk of a man to utter.
He stalked up to me, passing close enough that our shoulders brushed. As our skin touched he leaned down and whispered in my ear. “Would you prefer I use the word cock?”
A thrill of naughty pleasure shot straight down to my tightening core.
He let out a small, deep laugh. “I was merely trying to maintain our attempt at being a gentleman and a lady.”
The temptation to lean into him overwhelmed me, but he moved past me before I could.
“I think that went out the window the moment you stripped naked in front of me, again,” I said, brows rising on the last word.
I turned to keep him in sight as he crossed the open space of the yard, stopping beside a tree. Eyes on his face, I secretly reveled in all I could see out of the edges of my vision. Telling myself the ver›a made me feel this way didn’t reduce the power of my desire one bit. It should have, but it didn’t.
“The first rule of shifting is to make sure humans cannot see you. That means knowing your surroundings,” he said, chin lifting to indicate the tree line.
His words worked like a splash of cold water in my face, dousing my desire in an instant. Some small part of me resisted the possibility of shifting, even though my fangs and claws had already proven it to a point. Instead of thinking about that, I tried to focus on the lesson of the moment.
“You moved over there so the trees hid you from the house across the lake,” I said.
“But it’s too far away for them to see anything.”
He shook his head. “Not in this day and age. Do not ever underestimate the nosiness of others. Always assume everyone is trying to watch you, and always keep satellites in mind. It is the only way to stay safe and keep the secret of our kind.”
Fear danced across my skin as though it possessed the razor-sharp claws of a newborn kitten. As if worrying about shifting and going insane weren’t enough…
“How do I do it?” I asked.
“Decide to shift, and you will. Your skin will grow hot, vibrate for a moment, then you will flow from a human into a wolf, like water moving from one glass to another.”
The right side of my lips lifted. “You make it sound so poetic.”
“It is, really.”
“Will I still be able to think? Will I still be…me, inside the wolf?” I couldn’t bring myself to ask if I’d go mad. He’d only say no to make me feel better, anyways. The truth was, neither of us would know for sure until I shifted.
The lecture on shifting put his desire on the back shelf, as was evident by his lowering erection. It bounced as if my gaze on him alone stirred him. I squeezed my eyes shut and tried to focus. The delicious distraction of his chiseled body was working well to ebb my fear of shifting. A plan of his, no doubt. The fear of going insane, well, nothing was going to reduce that.
“Of course, just with fewer inhibitions. It is a bit like being drunk in a way, that carefree feeling, but with your senses and reaction times improving instead of decreasing.”
“That doesn’t sound so bad,” I said. My eyes drifted downward. “All right, I’m ready.” It was a loaded statement considering my underwear was wet with my desire for him, but to his credit, he didn’t take the opening.
Some force I felt on a gut level pulled my eyes up and his gaze snagged mine.
“There is nothing to be afraid of,” he said. Then he shifted.
Heather McCorkle is an award-winning author of paranormal, steampunk, and historical fiction. When she is not writing, or editing she can be found on the slopes, the hiking trails, or paddleboarding. As a native Oregonian, she enjoy the outdoors nearly as much as the worlds she creates on the pages. No need to travel to the Great Northwest though, you can connect with her on her blog and her many social networking sites. You can also find her the first Monday night of every month at 6:00 pm Pacific Time on the #WritersRoad chat on Twitter, which she co-created and moderates. Entertaining readers and uncovering stories and points of view that haven't been covered are two of her greatest passions.