Fire Season by Lex Valentine
Tales of the Darkworld Book 3
erotic shape shifter (dragon) m/m romance
length: novel (55,000 words)
Black dragon Holden Antaeus isn't looking for a mate. His life is filled with family, work, and dating. Women adore him and he's never short of offers for sex, but a relationship isn't something he's interested in. When Holden's brother Sean hires a new executive for Antaeus International, Holden's whole world, and everything he's ever believed about himself, is blown to bits. Garret Renquist is a green dragon, intelligent, witty, bi-sexual, and hot for Holden. Despite the fact that Holden is positive he's heterosexual, the moment he meets Garret, something happens inside him. What follows is a journey through stereotypes and ingrained beliefs as Holden struggles with the fact that his destined mate is a man.
Holden watched Sean close the meeting. An odd glow of triumph lurked in the golden depths of Sean’s eyes. Holden’s dragon senses pinged. A triumphant Sean wasn’t necessarily a good thing for the members of his family. He jerked his attention from his brother and gathered up his things, fury propelling him out of the board room. Fuck Sean. Maybe he’d just not show up at the retreat. That would teach his brother.
The scent of spearmint caused his nostrils to flare. He turned his head to find that Garret Renquist had followed him out of the board room. His frown deepened.
“I gather you’re unhappy about being paired with me.”
Visions of a cool woodland waterfall flitted through Holden’s mind at the sound of the British accented baritone. Holden didn’t know why it hadn’t dawned on him that Garret was British. The man had come from a British based company.
Holden stepped into his office and Garret followed. Holden shut the door and waved the financial whiz kid toward a chair. As he sat down behind his desk he noticed that Garret’s green eyes flickered over the wall of certificates, awards, and degrees. For a moment, Holden again had the sense that he knew the man. The spearmint scent apparently came from Garret. Holden’s office smelled like a bottle of mouthwash.
“You’re the General Consul.” Garret’s clipped British accent made the words sound almost accusatory, though Holden knew that wasn’t his intent.
With a nod, he gestured toward the wall of plaques. “I went to Harvard Law School. I wasn’t top of my class, but close.” He smiled a little and joked, “All the Boston beauties kept me from studying too hard so I missed out on the top three spots.”
Garret’s eyes glowed a little and his mouth quirked up in the same smile he’d displayed in the board room. “I’ve been to Boston. There are a lot of good looking women there. It’s a very academic town, isn’t it?”
Holden nodded absently. Something about the spearmint scent bothered him, but like the sense of familiarity he had when he looked in Garret’s eyes, he couldn’t quite place it. He studied the man before him more closely. They had similar builds and were about the same height. Garret stood perhaps an inch taller and he appeared to be a little leaner than Holden. His chestnut brown hair was cropped close around the back of his neck but fell over his forehead with a wave in front. He had a boyishly handsome face, but his reserved demeanor made him look rather stern. Holden wondered if the golden boy of the stock market ever had any fun. He certainly looked all business.
With a mental shrug, Holden studied the man’s very green eyes. They held an open expression, but Holden felt sure that behind that expression, Garret Renquist was quite guarded. Had he been the new guy, he’d be totally on his guard.
“I’m not unhappy about being paired with you. I’m unhappy about the whole weekend,” he explained, reaching out to grasp his pen, twirling it absently in his fingers. “For one, my brother Sean likes to play at being the puppet master, making us all dance on strings. For another, I had plans.”