A Taste For A Mate
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Redwood Pack Book 2
Jasper Jamenson’s only responsibility to being the Beta of the Redwood Pack, second son of the Alpha, is to protect the Pack from themselves and the human world. After a century of selfless service, his brother’s new found mating forced him into taking a good look into his life. He isn’t sure he wants a mate, but fate may have other ideas.
Willow Delton is a skinny, bakery owner – the type most woman love to hate. Being without family, she finds herself alone to the Greek god with green eyes who saunters into her bakery every morning. Her desire to follow him, to be with him, overrides every rational sense she possesses.
Jasper and Willow are drawn together, despite every nuisance that works against them. But evil beyond even Jasper’s supernatural compensation will make war against him, by going after the only thing in his eternal life he desires – Willow. Is Willow’s heart enough to overcome Jasper’s soul to save her life? A fight he cannot win, but to save her life – he must
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Nominated for Ebook Only Novel of the Year at Authors After Dark 2013
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and ARe Bestseller
Best Erotic Romance at the Sizzling Awards
“This story is full of fun, desperation, hot, passionate, steamy love scenes and one whopper of an ending! Once again, the lives of werewolves have stolen my heart, as Carrie Ann Ryan created another beyond 5 Book worthy novel. She combines all the passion, all the bonds, and the meaning of friendship and family into one incredible book. Bringing back all the characters from book 1, and adding in a few new ones, Ms. Ryan keeps the reader on the edge of their seat with the twists and turns, and keeps them ohhing and ahhing with the amazing, instant chemistry between Jasper and Willow. This is by far, my absolute FAVORITE series, and I can’t wait until April when book 3, Trinity Bound, Reed’s story releases.”
“Jasper as the hero is sweet and amazing- he definitely gives the book that extra kick! I really liked the romance between Willow and Jasper- it was sensual, even down-right erotic at times but so sweet, I was so happy when they could finally be happy together!”
“I just couldn’t get enough of it and wished there was more to read about!! I really liked the dilemmas that happened to Willow and Jasper, not because they happened but because of what those dilemmas did for the plot.”
“Carrie Ann Ryan has managed to write a very sexy shifter novel, filled with fantasy and action.”
“I really enjoyed the first story in the Redwood Pack series and I absolutely loved this latest installment … A Taste for a Mate is a romance, a mystery, an action-adventure, and a touch of horror all rolled into one.”
“Carrie Ann Ryan steps up the anti with A Taste for a Mate. With the appearance of a conjured demon, the Redwood pack could be in some serious trouble. Experience Ryan’s new and exciting twists in werewolf lore. She takes a darker than usual approach by adding magic and demons to the mix. I wasn’t sure how it was all going to come together at first, but I was very pleased with the result. A delightful world of magic and intrigue hidden within our own … Ryan brings her story to life with beautifully vivid imagery, witty humor, and lots of sexual tension. Sink your teeth into this exciting and sexy love story. You won’t be disappointed.”
“Carrie Ann Ryan has done it again for me with the wonderful world she has created. I adore her characters and have become very fond of two in particular (Adam & Maddox). I can’t wait for April when Trinity Bound comes out so I can see what happens next. Once again she has made me cry, but also made made me laugh through the whole book! Great job and I highly recommend this book and author.”
“The second installment of the Redwood Pack series is Jasper and Willow’s story. From the beginning I couldn’t wait to turn the page to find out what was going to happen, trouble was brewing right from the start. I enjoyed reading the romance between the characters and boy did it flourish! The story has lots of action both between the sheets and out of them. Romantic paranormal lovers will find this authors take on the battle between good and evil very intriguing. I cannot wait to read about the the next Jamenson brother!”
“A very exciting, emotional and sensual read that keeps you on your toes at every turn.”
“A Taste For A Mate packs quite a phenomenal punch for a paranormal lover like me!”
The scent of cinnamon and sugar danced on the air as Willow Delton heaved opened the heavy oven door to remove her prized cinnamon rolls. The plump, buttery pastries were baked to perfection, and she set them on the counter to cool. The only thing missing was her thick and creamy frosting, but that would have to wait.
Willow stood back and stared around her commercial grade kitchen. She’d started her bakery from scratch, and it had grown into a successful, albeit small, business. Incredible, really. She’d never thought the day would arrive when she finally had a place to call her own. She was right where she wanted to be. Her favorite part of the day was being able to meet one-on-one with her customers. She loved the looks on their faces when they bit into her temptations, that look of ecstasy not seen on this side of the bedroom door that flashed across their eyes.
Of course, that particular look as the result of a man was long absent from Willow’s face. Too excruciatingly long.
She stood back and closed her eyes, conjuring the memory of her mystery man’s face. The image that filled her mind made her forget the lack of human contact. The thought of his deep, husky voice tickled her spine whenever he spoke. Green eyes caught her in his web with only a glance. She’d fallen for a stranger and didn’t even know his name. He’d come into her store every morning and ordered a cinnamon roll and coffee with only a few words. Then he ‘d pay cash before lifting up the corner of his mouth in a semblance of a smile and walking out of her store. Was it strange she worried he’d keep walking and never return?
A bell’s tinkle pulled Willow from her reverie and self-pity. As she turned to greet her customer, her heart leapt to her throat. Him. Her mysterious fantasy man. As she tried to regain her senses, she took all of him in. He had to be one of the tallest men she’d ever seen, easily over six and a half feet. The tight black T-shirt he wore hugged his biceps and cut into his muscular physique, while his broad shoulders stretched and strained the seams. His body tapered down to a narrow waist and hips as they met his thighs. His long legs she wanted to grip, encased in worn jeans lead to work boots. Hmm, construction perhaps? She glanced back up his body to his striking face.
He wasn’t beautiful, but he did have a face most women would dream about. A strong jaw and cheekbones gave him an aura of strength, the kind of strength that would be protective. His hair was midnight black and long enough to brush his shoulders, however, today, a band held it back, showcasing his face more. He studied her, his green eyes calm and calculating. Willow let out a surprised gasp at the sexual heat radiating from him. Could she possibly be imagining things?
Jasper Jamenson fought himself as he walked into the bakery that morning. This would be the seventh week in a row he’d come here, every day but Sunday. And that was only because the damn store was closed. As good as the cinnamon rolls were, and they were little tastes of heaven, it was the woman behind the counter that brought him there every morning.
Following a particularly bad night in the forest on a hunt, Jasper had been pissed and hungry. Another wolf had tried to play a dominant game, forcing Jasper to hurt him. The stench of the other’s defeat had remained on him, only angering Jasper that much more. The scent of the morning’s freshly baked goods pulled him through the quaint and welcoming door, and the slender goddess who served him brought thoughts of a different form of servicing to mind.
Slightly above average in height – he would guess about five foot seven – she was the perfect height to settle against his body. For someone who owned and operated a bakery, she was as skinny as a rail. However, if he looked close enough he could see the telltale signs possible of curves. And with just a little bit of his help and pampering she would gain some well-needed cushion. No matter what, she’d look amazing underneath him. Her long, light brown hair curled in a bun on the top of her head. His fingers ached to pull out the pins and watch it tumble down her back. Hazel eyes sought him and begged for his protection. Damn, he was willing.
Her look made the wolf within him perk up and growl.
“Mate? I want her.” His wolf paced beneath the surface of his skin, calculating the best way to quickly claim their mate.
What his wolf spoke of was a possibility. There were only a few women in the world through time that carried the scent to signal the potential mating. Unlike his brother Kade, who had met two women recently that carried the scent, Jasper had never in his one-hundred and three years come across a woman who brought forth the mating urge. However, if all encounters were like this one, Jasper didn’t know how others walked away. The urge rode him hard and he fought his wolf for control if only for a moment, something that hadn’t happened since he was a pup.
He mentally spoke to his wolf. “We are not ready for a mate. And a human no less. She knows nothing of us. If, and that is a big if, we chose her to be our mate, we will have to go slowly into this. I don’t want us to scare her. But she is beautiful, no?”
His wolf growled in response.
“Do you want to scare her away? Let’s get to know her first, see if she is a good match, other than that incredible cinnamon scent. I’ll talk to Adam and find out everything I can about her. I am the Beta; I cannot put my Pack in jeopardy.”
God, he really sucked at this. This time he needed to put on his big wolf panties and actually ask her out.
“Then we could mark her.”
He snorted at his wolf. Yeah, that was taking it slow.
Jasper shook himself from his inner thoughts and looked into those hazel eyes. The spot of flour on her cheek begged for his hand to brush it way. He fought the urge. No need to freak her out. Her chest moved slowly, her small breasts rising and falling. The cinnamon scent of her filled his nostrils and he took a deep breath, the aroma going straight to his cock. The slight gasp that escaped from her kissable lips almost broke his control, and he fisted his hands to regain it.
“Good morning.” His voice lowered an octave and became a growl. He cleared his throat and started again. “I come here every morning and I don’t think I ever gave you my name. Let me rectify that.” He closed the distance between them so only the counter separated them. “I’m Jasper Jamenson. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” He held out his hand in hopes of touching her skin.
Willow blinked up at him and seemed at a loss for words. Her lips opened slightly, begging him to lean down and taste her.
“Uh … yeah … I’m Willow Delton.” She shook her head, gave him a small smile and placed her slender hand in his. He’d been right – her skin was incredibly soft and made him want to take a bite.
“Yes, I know, you own this place.” He gave her hand a squeeze and released her.
“So, Jasper, do you want your usual?” The sound of his name on her lips hardened his cock. Without waiting for him to respond, she turned back to her work-table to ice her cinnamon rolls.
“Sounds good.” He watched as her hands moved swiftly and confidently across the baking sheets. “What time do you get off?”
“Smooth, Romeo. Why don’t you just ask her to bend over the work table for you?”
Ignoring his wolf Jasper continued, “I thought that we could grab a bite to eat tonight and go see to the arts fest they have running in town.”
Oh dear Lord. Why didn’t he ease into this?
“Oh, are you asking me out on a date?” She wrinkled her brow and looked utterly confused at the prospect.
“Yes, I am. I’ve been in here for over a month every morning, and as much as I love your food, I had an ulterior motive.”
Surprise flashed across her face before her eyes lit up with excitement. “I’ve never been to the arts fest in town. I didn’t want to go by myself and didn’t have anyone to go with me.” Her mouth snapped shut at her revealing statement.
Laughing quietly, he shook his head. “So what time do you get off?”
“You really need to stop putting it like that; it gives me ideas.” Again, he ignored his wolf’s sarcasm.
“I close at four and should be done cleaning up by five. It’s only me here today so it’s going to take me an hour to close.”
“What do you say I come back at six and we go to dinner from here?”
Her smile almost blinded him as she nodded before taking off her apron. “Okay. Sounds good. Here’s your breakfast.” She handed him his black coffee and a small brown bag with a pink logo.
Taking everything from her hands, he set them down along with the cash to pay for it. Giving into temptation he leaned over the counter to brush the flour from her cheek.
She jumped and a flash of alarm raced across her face.
Chuckling under his breath, he reassured her. “Just some flour. I’ll see you at six, Willow.” He grabbed his breakfast and walked to the door, taking one last look behind him at the woman who was his mate. He was one lucky bastard.
Whistling a jaunty tune, he walked toward his Jeep, unconcerned and happy while leaving his mate to do her work. The hairs on the back of his neck lifted, and his wolf came to attention. The street was empty but for a few people; nothing looked out of place. Jasper took a deep breath but didn’t detect another presence. With one last look toward his slender brunette, he shrugged off the uneasy feeling and continued to his Jeep.