After dealing with the flu and missing her flight to spend the holidays with her family, Nessa thought she'd be alone for Christmas. When her mate Ben shows up at her door with the intention of giving her a holiday she won't soon forget, she knows this Christmas will definitely be the best yet.
Praise for Holiday Paws
"Selena Illyria's HOLIDAY PAWS brought a smile to my face from the very first page... a fun read that delivers a feeling of happiness."
- 4.5 Blue Ribbons from Chrissy, Romance Junkies
"I just adore Ben and how much he loves Nessa. They're so in love with each other... which makes this hot read a beautiful romance as well."
- 4 Stars from Mistletoe, Long and Short Reviews
White Hot Christmas: Holiday Paws
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2011 Selena Illyria
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Scratch. Scratch. Scratch. The noise was faint, and yet she heard it loud and clear. Her inner wolf wanted to pad to the door to investigate, but Nessa refused. There was no way in hell she was being a horror movie victim, going to peek at things rumbling around in the basement. Nope. She'd stay right where she was -- on the couch, under a blanket, with a book and a mug of tea with lemon on the coffee table nearby. If a monster came barreling through the door, he'd get a willing victim. Her bout of the flu might be over, but she was still feeling lethargic.
The undoubtedly ugly, slimy, furry, hairy, sharp-toothed thing from a lagoon in outer space wouldn't find a better meal. Her wolf hated it but she couldn't care less. All she'd wanted for Christmas was to catch a flight to see her family. Instead, she'd overslept and tried to hack up a lung while her brain wanted out through her nose. Werewolves don't get sick, her ass. Oh, they get sick all right, because people can't cover their mouths or use hand wipes and tissues. She'd been suffering a week.
Now there was something wanting in her door. She sighed and went back to reading. Scratch all you want but you won't get in. At least, she hoped it wouldn't. Scratch. Scratch. Scratch.
A scent drifted under the door, a sweet, minty smell which perked up her senses and made her salivate. Underneath the sweetness was an undertone of meat.
She pushed back the blankets and shuffled over to the door. That smell could only be one thing -- Cynn's Minty Chocolate Holiday Delicate cupcakes. It was a dessert that melted in your mouth. They were filled with the smoothest, white chocolate ganache filling while giving you a nice punch of mint, a pinch of vanilla, and the most decadent chocolate you've ever tasted. "Cupcakes! And steak?"
She slid down to the floor and sniffed at the cupcakes through the keyhole. Nessa felt like an idiot but she didn't care. It had been ages since she'd had any sweets. Her doctor had forbidden it. To top it off, her mate was off doing Pack business.
So here she was, sick, lonely and dealing with temptation on every street corner. And now some inhuman monster was trying to get her to open the door, using cupcakes and steak as bait. She whimpered.
"Nessa, honey, you okay? Are you in pain?" Ben's whisky-smooth, southern drawl drifted through the wood as if there was nothing between them. She groaned as her pussy clenched. She'd missed that voice so much. Nessa could practically feel his body heat seeping into the wood. Closing her eyes, past the immediate smell of cupcakes and steak, she could smell his distinctive woodsy and spicy scent with just a hint of wolf musk, tea, lemon and a dash of cardamom. Ben. She sighed and sagged against the door. For the first time in weeks, she felt at peace.
"Nessa, babe? Answer me, sugar, or I'll have to break down the door." The stern warning only ignited her arousal. She could picture him just beyond the door, adjusting his glasses, his thick shoulders filling out his simple, red plaid shirt to the limit, wearing worn jeans that fit him like a second skin, and simple boots.
"Nessa." Her name may have been a warning, but to her it was a sexy command, demanding she be ready to do anything he wanted sexually. All thoughts of illness and food fled as the need to come together with her mate, to feel him skin to skin, took over.
"Ben," she sighed.
"Jesus, Ness! Are you all right or not?" There was a scratching at the lock, and the door opened. "Oh, I see."
She gazed at him hungrily. He was yummy to look at, classically handsome with a square jaw, strong cheekbones, and beautiful green eyes framed by long, dark lashes.
There was just so much he didn't understand.
Although he was a twenty-five-year-old second-in-command for the Pack, who managed every aspect of their lives and cleaned up their messes, she didn't need him to save her. No matter how many times she'd told him that, it didn't sink in. She was thirty-one years old and had been taking care of herself since she was sixteen.
"What?" He hadn't moved, and she was wondering what he was thinking. Sometimes she wondered if he thought she was another mess he needed to clean up, an obligation he needed to take care of for the pack. She'd never voiced those thoughts, but they still came up. They had sex, and he did stop by to check on her, but she got the distinct feeling that sometimes he just didn't know why he was there.
"It's Christmas. I just wanted to stop by and see how you were and share a meal with you. Spend some time with you.