From Michelle M. Pillow:
There is something wonderful about the idea of a shifter. They're powerful and beautiful, and they tap into that most primitive instinct inside us all. In my book, Animal Instinct, the heroine is a woman dedicated to her work but unsure about everything else in her life. She doesn't know how to go for what she wants. Fortunately for her, she doesn't know her new best friend, a black panther who she tells all her deepest secrets to is really a shifter who hears and understands every word.
This book was part of an anthology series, Ghost Cats. The other stories include Mandy M. Roth's Best Intentions and Jaycee Clark's The Revenge.
Eve looked out over the moonlit landscape as she took the stone and dirt pathways around the prairie. The red silk gown clung to her body, brushing against her flesh in cool whispers. Her hair had fallen loose and now hung about her shoulders and back. A gentle breeze lifted the locks, sweeping them across her throat.
Eve knew she wouldn’t be able to sleep. Every time she closed her eyes, she would think of Midnight. She knew it would be nearly impossible to see the black panther in the dark, behind the railing and fences, but she tried to find him anyway.
The preserve was safe—safer than wherever the big cat had been before she found him, safer than the wild. Still, she worried. There was no sign as to how the human tracks got inside the restricted area, but that didn’t mean whoever had snuck in wouldn’t come back. When she stopped to think about it, she only became more worried. Was it teenagers pulling pranks? Poachers? Someone trying to set up canned hunts for bored businessmen? Just the idea of drugging a wild animal so some dumbass could shoot it caused a silent rage to well up inside her stomach. One of her cougars had come to her that way. Even with the cougar drugged, the amateur hunter had missed the kill shot and ended up permanently injuring the animal.
Eve crossed over a wood plank bridge with rope sides, absently running her hands over the small plaque that bore her family’s name. It was one of the few things her mother had done in support of her career. Unfortunately, it wasn’t out of love for Eve but because animals were the charitable cause that year.
Before her the wild grasses grew, rolling like ocean waves in the blue moonlight. The bridge led to a path in the woods. She knew the area well, but it wasn’t wise for even the seasoned staff members to go in there at night. No one had ever been hurt at the preserve, but she didn’t want to risk it. They liked giving the animals as much freedom as possible and that included plenty of space to roam and run.
Eve looked down at the creek flowing gently beneath the bridge from the woods. A nervous smile came to her lips as she thought of the handsome Russian. He was a stranger and yet she’d felt connected to him. Her heartbeat sped. She’d wanted to run home and tell Midnight all about him. Silly, really. She knew that.
Eve gave a nervous laugh. She needed to stop drinking. It was making her loopy. The last time she drank she’d been accosted by wild dreams. Maybe that was why she took a shot of whiskey before leaving the trailer. Tonight, when she went to bed, maybe her dream lover would reappear, only this time Mr. Dark and Dangerous would replace the unknown face above hers and his silken accent would be the one whispering in her ear. Her stomach tightened. On a basic, primal level, she had wanted the stranger to kiss her, to keep kissing her...
Summary from Publisher's Website:
The wild thing she saved is the man she’ll desire most.
A Ghost Cats story.
Eve Matthews, head veterinarian at Jameson Wildlife Rescue and Preserve, measures success by no one’s rules but her own—much to her rich parents’ distress. A life filled with animals means she’s rarely alone. Still, a little human contact of the male variety would be nice.
The only one in her life right now is Midnight, a black panther she brought back from the brink of death. She doesn’t think twice about bringing him home to keep an eye on him. Changing clothes in front of his golden eyes. Confessing her deepest fantasies to his alert ears. It’s not as if he’ll ever tell anyone her secrets.
Forced to watch her every move, listen to her every word, Viktor is in torment, trapped in panther form while he heals. He aches to fill her nights with the pleasure she craves, but to shift too soon risks death. Until the night she pleasures herself, and he can take no more.
They come together in a cataclysm too fierce to be a dream. But the shifter who left Viktor for dead is drawing near, determined to finish the job he started.
This book has been previously published
Available now from Samhain Publishing (ebook).
Note: This title is included in the list of giveaways for the ongoing contest.