Jessica Coulter Smith

Bringing you Happily-Ever-Afters and Knights on White Horses

 

 

 

Brianna is a successful businesswoman who prides herself on being practical… until Logan comes into her life. When she’s attacked one night and a wolf comes to her rescue, she has no choice but to believe in the unbelievable. Admitting Logan is a werewolf is one thing, but is she ready to be his mate?

Amazon

 

 

 


EXCERPT

Brianna woke up in a cold sweat. The dream was the same as it always had been—her running through the woods. Someone, or something, was chasing her, crashing through the underbrush, tracking her, hunting her. Her heart raced and pounded so loudly she could hear it. A deep growl came from behind her and right before she was attacked, she woke up. In all of her twenty-four years, she had yet to see what, or who, was attacking her.

She pushed her short blonde hair out of her eyes and stared at the clock on the bedside table. With a curse, she leapt out of bed and ran for the bathroom. It was already after nine o’clock and she was late for work – again! On the plus side, she was her own boss. The downside was that if she didn’t open the store at ten o’clock, she would have angry customers griping at her all day and lose some much needed business.

Jumping in the shower, Brianna quickly washed her hair and body. Any other morning she’d have enjoyed the hot water and would’ve been loath to get out so quickly, but there was no time for luxuries this morning. Turning off the water, she quickly dried off and threw on a pair of khaki Capri pants and a pink knit top.

Brianna looked at her reflection and fought her inner demons. She hated her hair when it dried naturally, but did she really have time to dry and style it? Biting her lip, she decided to forgo fixing her hair and grabbed a clip. It would just have to do for today.

After pulling out her make-u, she applied a light layer of blush to her cheeks, some neutral eye shadow to her lids, and a little mascara. Her eyelashes were long, but they were so pale you couldn’t see them if she didn’t put on mascara. Applying some sheer pink lip-gloss, she put her make-up away and washed her hands.

The woman staring back at her looked better than she had fifteen minutes ago, but there were still days she’d like to change things about her appearance. Her nose was a little longer than she liked, but it went well with her prominent cheekbones. She had a strong jaw and a small chin. Her eyes were large and expressive, with gracefully sweeping eyebrows. She was a little pale, but summer was just beginning. Once she got the initial sunburn out of the way, she’d turn a nice golden brown.

Sighing, Brianna turned off the bathroom light, slipped on her brown sandals and grabbed her purse. It was a good thing her apartment was above her store or she’d never have made it to work on time. As it was, when she reached the bottom of the stairs and let herself into the store, she had less than half an hour to get everything prepped for the first customers of the morning.

Storing her purse in the backroom, Brianna rinsed out the coffee pot and started a fresh batch. It not only helped get her going in the mornings, but the customers always enjoyed a fresh cup as well. She knew it was a gamble to allow people to drink in her bookstore, but so far, the accidents had been few and far between. Usually it was the floor that took the hit and not the books on the shelves.

Once the coffee was percolating and the Styrofoam cups were out on the table with the sugar and creamer, she went into the back to take the money out of the safe. She always set up her drawer the night before, which made it easy to get the register going in the mornings. Pulling the money from the safe, she carried it up front.

The register drawer was already open. Her small store had been broken into the first month she was open. They hadn’t taken any money because the register had been empty, but they hadn’t known that at the time. Now she left the drawer open so everyone could see there was no money and would hopefully refrain from breaking in again.

Slipping the cash into the drawer, she closed it. Brianna grabbed the duster out from under the counter and quickly dusted the shelves and flat surfaces around the store. She liked cleaning the doors and windows before the day started, but there just wasn’t enough time this morning. Glancing at the clock, she saw that it was five minutes to ten—time to unlock the front door. After flipping the “Closed” sign to “Open,” she turned the lock and propped open one of the doors. The mornings were still cool enough that the slight breeze felt rejuvenating, at least until one o’clock, when the afternoon sun started beating down, melting everyone in sight.

Brianna had just sat down on the stool behind the counter when her first customer walked in. It was one of her regulars, Mrs. Jones. She always came in first thing in the morning on Tuesdays to see what new releases were out. Thankfully, Brianna had put them out the previous night before heading home; otherwise, the “new releases” area would still have the titles from the previous week.

“Good morning, Mrs. Jones. How are you today?” Brianna asked the woman with a pleasant smile.

“Good morning, Brianna dear. I’m doing just fine. I thought I’d see what new books came out this week.”

Mrs. Jones was in her sixties at the very least. She was shorter than Brianna’s five-foot eight-inch frame, but she was on the stocky side. From the previous stories Mrs. Jones had told her, she knew the woman had been a dancer in her early years. Mrs. Jones had laughed and fondly patted her round stomach one day and said that thirty years of marriage to her Mr. Jones had added on the extra pounds, and she didn’t regret a single one.

“I put all of the titles out last night,” Brianna told her. “Help yourself!”

As Mrs. Jones perused the new books and then moved on to the mystery section, Brianna looked at her reflection in the mirror across the room. She didn’t consider herself a raving beauty, but she thought she was pretty—tall, blonde haired and blue eyed. Her shoulders were a bit broader than she’d have liked, and she was a little heavier than she preferred, but she wasn’t fat. Her height helped her carry the extra weight well. Prior to owning her own store, she’d gone to the gym almost daily. Even then, she hadn’t had a six-pack or anything, but she’d been more toned. She vowed that she’d get back to the gym one of these days, but never seemed to have the time.

Past, Present, and Future, her bookstore, had been open for over a year now, but Brianna still had a ways to go before she could take a lot of time off. She had two teens who helped her in the evenings and on weekends, but while school was in session, she had the days to herself. Thankfully, school would be out in a few more weeks, and she’d be able to hire a third teenager to help run the store so she could have free time.

The two girls currently working for her, Misty and Becca, had been with her for a few months now. Out of the two, Misty was the most responsible, so Brianna had given her a key and allowed her to open the store on Saturday mornings. That gave her a morning of much needed rest.

Pulling out a stack of papers from the under the counter, she looked through the applications she’d been accepting for the past two weeks. There were a few college kids who had applied, but the majority were high school students looking for a summer job. If her business continued to do well over the next few weeks, she hoped she could hire two more people. She knew that Misty and Becca would both want some time off to spend with their families and friends during their summer break, and she couldn’t blame them.

“Excuse me.” A deep voice interrupted her thoughts.

As Brianna looked up, and up, she saw the most beautiful brown eyes she’d ever seen. The rest of the guy wasn’t too bad either, she noted as her gaze roamed over his short-cropped brown hair, tanned face, and full luscious lips…the kind that you just knew would be excellent at kissing.

“May I help you?” she asked a little breathlessly.

“I was hoping you’d have the latest John Saul book,” he said with a grin, having noticed her appraisal.

Her cheeks heated, sure sign she was blushing. “Yes, of course, it’s right over here,’.” Brianna got up from her stool to guide him to the new releases. Picking up the title in question, she handed it to him.

“Thank you. I think I’ll look around for a minute and see if anything else catches my eye.” If the twinkle in his eye was any indication, he’d already found something else of interest – her!

Brianna plastered a smile across her face, fighting the urge to reach out and touch him, wanting to know if the muscles under his shirt would feel as strong as they looked. “Of course, just let me know if you need anything else.” Full frontal body massage, blow job, mind-blowing sex…

“I’ll do that.” His gaze travelled down her body and back up to her eyes after resting briefly on her C cup breasts, which were displayed rather well in her v-neck top.

Brianna smiled and headed back to her stool, where she’d have a premium view of the delicious stranger. She hoped he paid with a credit card so she’d at least know his name and prayed he’ld return soon. She could use some eye-candy like that on a daily basis. The man was positively drool-worthy.

From her perch, she watched him. If she had to guess, she’d say he was about six-foot three inches tall. His broad chest sent delicious thoughts careening through her mind. The tee he was wearing accented his washboard abs and trim waist. His muscles had muscles. Brianna could easily picture herself wrapping her long legs around him, holding on for the ride.