Deep in the heart of the Amazon Jungle, an ancient breeding race begins…
Ever since she was jilted by her lover, Aleta had been subjected to humiliation by her Jaguarundi tribe. Not anymore. She is determined to emerge from her final Cria unmated, and finally be free of tribal traditions and her overbearing father. Aleta has plans -- bigger plans than her father’s desire to see her marked by some oafish warrior in an outdated breeding competition. After the Cria she’ll move to the city and start fresh, leaving her clan -- and her broken heart -- behind.
Unfortunately, the past is unwilling to let her go.
Forced to abandon Aleta when he went into exile, Luiz knows that this Cria will be his last chance to reclaim what is rightfully his. When a surprise encounter doesn’t go exactly as planned, he realizes it will take more than a little seduction for Aleta to forgive the sins of the past. The race is on, and the battle of wills has begun. Everyone knows that in the Cria anything can happen, and with the stakes this high, all bets are off.
“My father doesn’t believe we’re in danger,” Aleta said.
“I told you he doesn’t believe me.” Luiz sighed. “Your father is too wrapped up in his own self-importance to see what is right in front of his eyes. He won’t accept us because he thinks our beliefs will weaken his tribe.” He reached out and brushed a stray hair from her face. “I promise you, what I told you is true. Our enemies are coming, and when they do, there will be war.”
Aleta closed her eyes. She was fighting the mating heat; he could feel it. Her arousal filled the air and increased his need. She leaned into him, whether consciously or subconsciously, he didn’t know. He wrapped his arms around her waist. His own mating heat flared up within him, making it difficult to think. It would be like this until her heat cycle was over. Who knew how long that would be?
Her eyes popped open, and she leaned back from his embrace. “You don’t understand. I had plans.”
He crooked his finger under her chin and lifted it to meet his gaze.
“I can’t.” She pulled her chin from his grasp. “For years my father controlled every aspect of my life. I’m not going to fall into that trap again.”
“Don’t change them, then. Just…delay them. Give me a few months to secure your safety. That’s all I ask.”
“I have plane tickets to the States. I’ll be safe there.”
Plane tickets? Luiz suppressed a shudder. He’d come just in time.
“They can follow you, and in the States you’ll be alone and unprotected.”
Luiz tried to be patient, but it was hard. Her mating heat called to him, and the pull ate away at the last bit of his sanity. He fought it back, knowing that she had to make this choice on her own.
“Okay. I’ll give you a month, but then I’m leaving.”
“Four and a half.”
She frowned. “Four.”
He breathed a sigh of relief and tightened his hold around her.
“That’s all I ask.”
He bent over and claimed her lips, barely holding back a roar of triumph as her body molded against his. He tightened his grip as she slid her hands up his back and dug her fingers into his skin.
Possessiveness spiraled inside of him, hardening his body. Despite what she said, he’d never let anything come between them again. His tribe needed her. He needed her. If only he could make her realize that her destiny was with him in Brazil, not in some faraway place.
She groaned against his mouth and the sound was like music to his ears. He slid his hands down her spine, gripped her ass and lifted her into the air. She wrapped her legs around him. A sense of urgency overwhelmed Luiz and he took two quick steps and braced her back against the wall…