Curvy executive assistant Cadence is in Aspen for business, not pleasure. And it's the holiday season. But so what? Her workaholic boss won't let her slow down, and Cadence is fine with that. Hard work and long hours are easier than fixing her personal life. And finding time for a holiday romance? Yeah... Not going to happen.
But when billionaire Sawyer Haines strides into Cadence's life, all bets are off. He's arrogant. He's charming. He's panty-meltingly hot. He's also a snow leopard shifter who walks around half-naked when it's twenty degrees. And he can't take his eyes off Cadence. Worst of all, she's not sure she wants him to.
When the two fated mates are caught up in a kidnapping, sparks fly in the snowy Rockies. Can Cadence prove her innocence before it's too late? Or will the fated mates be torn apart for good?
SNOW LEOPARD MOUNTAIN is a steamy standalone book with no cliffhanger, no cheating and a super-loving HEA!
Publisher: Matrioshka Books
While I waited to turn left, a big cat leapt in front of the car.
A big cat. On a public highway. In daylight.
I hit the car horn as hard as I could.
But the animal didn’t startle. It just sat there in the road, a few feet from me. It seemed to tilt its head, watching me curiously. I couldn’t see any fear in its eyes at all.
What the hell was this animal, anyway? Was it dangerous?
I knew there were mountain lions in Colorado, but this had black-patterned markings all along its oatmeal-colored fur. Sort of like a leopard, or a cheetah. Not like any cougar I’d ever seen, that’s for sure.
But there aren’t any leopards or cheetahs in America, I told myself. It has to be a mountain lion.
Maybe it’s a new deadly breed of mountain lion. Maybe it’s a hybrid that attacks drivers randomly. Great.
Whatever kind of cat it was, it didn’t seem inclined to move.READ MORE
I honked the horn again. Then, I revved the engine.
Nothing. It just narrowed its eyes, making the same contented face domestic cats do when they’re being stroked. I half-expected it to roll over and purr.
“Oh, for crying out loud! Move, kitty!”
At that, the big cat stood up and approached the car. I jumped.
“Oh, no you don’t. Back to the mountains with you. I don’t have time for this shit. Seriously, kitty. Scram.”
I hit the horn again. Just like before, it had zero effect.
Then, it came right up to my window and peered in.
My hair stood on end. The car seemed to fill with the sound of my heart pounding.
I looked in all directions to see if there was anyone out there who could see what was happening. Maybe someone in another car had spotted the animal? Maybe they could scare it away for me, so I could get moving again?
Frustratingly, nobody seemed to be driving in a position where they could see me. Ahead, cars sped past the intersection. Behind, the road was clear. There was no way anyone had noticed my problem so far.
I couldn’t just drive away and risk hurting it. I knew I didn’t have it in me to mow down an innocent animal. Especially not when it hadn’t actually tried to hurt me. Yet.
But, I also wasn’t sure it was a good idea to open the car door and approach it. Yeah, I was an animal lover, but I was also unarmed. Going near a predator like that would be a bad move, unless you had something to defend yourself with. I never carried, although I was starting to think maybe I would if I lived out west. This situation was crazy.
Before I could make a decision, the cat darted away. It disappeared behind some scrub bushes on the side of the road.
I paused for a minute then looked all around. It really did seem to have gone.
“Thanks for going, spotty lion-thing,” I said out loud.
Then I practically leapt out of my skin again, because now a half-naked dude was wandering toward my car.
First a wild animal, now a crazy person. Great.
As he got closer, I realized he was a crazy, incredibly handsome person. Hmm.
The handsome crazy man held his hand up in greeting. In his other hand, he held a shirt and a pair of boots.
Yes, he was barefoot and naked from the waist up in twenty-five degrees of cold.
Was this what Aspen guys were like? Although, if they all looked like him… I couldn’t help staring as he got closer to the car.
“Hey,” he called, dropping the boots. He fastened his jeans with one hand and shook out his crumpled shirt with the other. “Everything all right in there?”
As he said this, he tapped my window and indicated that I should open it.
I frowned at him. Why would I open my window for a crazy person?
Then I opened it a couple of inches, because for a half-naked snow-dweller guy, I had to admit he didn’t look that crazy.
“I’m sorry? You’re asking me if I’m all right?”
“That’s right, ma’am.” He used very polite words, but there was a kind of mischief in his tone that annoyed me immediately.
“I’m not the one walking around half-nude in winter. Should you even be out alone? Do you have someone who looks after you?”
He laughed, a deep rumble that gave me goosebumps.
“No, I live in blissful solitude. Other people are a pain in the ass.”
He fixed me with his luminous, light green eyes. I’d never seen eyes like that before. He must have been wearing colored contact lenses. What a vain idiot.
Still, he had a lot to be vain about. The man was hot. Ripped and tall, with a cut-granite jawline and a kind of dark-chocolate warmth to his voice that I bet charmed the pants off a whole lot of women.
Not me, though. Nope. No way. I don’t form instant crushes on guys who just wander up to me at intersections.
“So, is the car in need of a little TLC?”
“Excuse me?” I blinked at him, baffled.
“You apologize a lot. There’s really no need.”
His eyes twinkled with amusement. I didn’t crack a smile.
“Oh, ‘sir’ is a bit formal. I’m Sawyer Haines. You can call me Sawyer.” He slid a hand through the gap in my window. I shook it awkwardly.
“Is this car dead, or are you just parking here for the view?”
I sighed sharply. “The car’s fine. I was trying not to hit a mountain lion. Or, any crazy-ass semi-naked guys who seem to have gotten lost on their way to Miami Beach.”
He laughed again. His joyful roar was infectious. I couldn’t help smiling a little.COLLAPSE