Here is an un-edited excerpt of Soul Mate. Coming soon from Red Rose Publishing.
Kari Pearce lives the life of a lone werewolf. No one knows of her infliction, not even her sister. When she hears of a missing child up in the Sequoia's, Kari goes on the hunt to find the child and her abductor before tragedy can occur. Saving the child was easy, avoiding the FBI agent associated with the case, was not.
Nick Murdock knows he’s seen Kari before but damn if he can’t remember where. There’s one thing he knows for sure. Kari Pearce is hiding something. And Nick is going to find out what.
He tossed the menu aside and turned to face her. "I know how this sounds, but do I know you?"
She shifted and swallowed her mouthful of food. "No, I don't think so."
"Are you sure? I never forget a face."
"Now that sounds like a line."
Nick put out his hand, "Nick Murdock."
She wiped her hand on her napkin and reached for his. "Kari."
Small, soft and confident. Again, not the combination he was expecting. She couldn't be more than one hundred and twenty pounds but she shook hands like a Politian. She let go all too quickly, but not before he felt her pulse quicken. "Just Kari?"
"A girl can never be too careful, even to seemingly innocent men wearing FBI jackets in a Podunk diner. You must be here because of that missing girl."
Small, confident and smart. Nick was impressed. "Found girl."
"Oh, I didn't hear she'd been found. She's alright I hope."
"Safe with her parents as we speak."
Kari nodded and finished the last of her pancakes, which meant she'd be leaving soon. He hadn't placed her yet and didn't want her to leave. "So, you must be here on vacation."
"Maybe I live here."
Nick shook his head. "You called this a Podunk diner, your shoes are meant for walking on rodeo drive and not the trails of the forest, and you smell like expensive perfume. Not bug spray. No, Kari, I don't think you live here." Odd though, she wasn't wearing a ring and didn't have any trailing boyfriend or children at her side. Vacationing alone in the Sequoia's struck him as odd.
"This is a nice place to visit," she said reaching inside her purse. After removing a ten and placing it by her plate she stood up. "It was nice talking to you, Mr. Murdock. I'm glad the girl came back to you safe and sound."
Her smile was lethal, her laugh seductive. "I need to get back to Rodeo; Gucci is calling out to me."
His chest rumbled.
His eyes followed the gentle sway of her hips as she walked away. Damn she was something to watch.
Once she was out of sight, he turned in his seat and pulled his coffee to his lips. His eyes landed on the car keys sitting next to Kari's empty plate.
He smiled, covered them with his hand, and headed toward the door.
Outside he watched her fumbling through her purse standing in front of a four wheel drive rental car. Her blond hair hung in her face; she tossed it back in frustration and mumbled a curse.
"Looking for these?"
Her head shot up, eyes narrowed.
"You left them on the counter," he found himself explaining.
She took a step in his direction and reached out to take them from his fingers. Nick playfully pulled them out of her reach. She cocked her head to the side and dropped her hand.
"Have dinner with me," he said before she could say anything.
"What?" She looked at him like he was crazy.
"You know, dinner. Kind of like breakfast only later and with wine."
"Are you always so forward, Mr. Murdock?"
"Are you always so forward, Nick?"
"I believe in being direct."
She took another step in his direction and smoothed her hair back. Her tounge shot out and moistened her lips. The action had heat shooting to his groin. "I'm glad to hear that, Nick. I believe in being direct, too." She stepped closer and brought her hand between them. She had to tilt her head back to look into his eyes. Low lashes fluttered in a way which proved she knew her affect on him.
A small shock registered when she trailed a finger down his arm. "I think you are very attractive."
"That's a start."
"But," she sighed and walked her fingers down his arm. "I don't like being held hostage for a date." With that she grasped her keys from his hand and turned to walk away.