To Mate an Assassin by Ceri Grenelle
Publication Date: July 28, 2015
Love is her enemy…until his beast sets her free.Cymbeline Kendall’s life is quiet, solitary—until a letter appears in her P.O. box. Then she becomes an Incendiary, a human chosen at birth to be trained to strike like lightning to take out the most dangerous of the Werekind, then fade back into the shadows. She is a weapon only to be used by the leader of North American shifters. But when she learns the Alphar was unseated three years ago, she sets out to find who’s been pulling her trigger. Kerrick Masterson has borne the burden of leadership for only a short time, yet he already feels the Alphar power tempting his soul toward the insanity that destroyed his predecessor. He has no time for the woman who breaks into his compound claiming to be his Incendiary, but his beast insists he make the time—for his mate. In one searing, soul-consuming breath, everything Cymbeline was taught to believe is ripped away. Yet the mystery of who’s been sending her orders remains…and finding the answer could lead to all-out war.
Warning: Contains an assassin who doesn’t tolerate those who hurt the weak, and a shifter leader determined to unlock his new mate’s repressed emotions—even if that puts his balls at risk. Explicit sex, violence, and references to abuse that could be rough on sensitive readers.
“Is she really your mate?” Rhiannon asked, crossing her arms and looking down at the insentient woman with open disdain. “She’s so...” Her head tilted to the side in perplexed curiosity. “Itty bitty.”
Anyone else and Kerrick would have shot them down a peg or two at the impertinence of the question. After finding their mates, shifters were aggressive and possessive, and as the Alphar, he would be even more so. But this was Rhi, and she was family. She was also a nosy Fox shifter who needed to have her curiosity satisfied and would annoy the hell out of him until he capitulated to her will.
“Yes. My Beast recognized his mate the second she came into focus.” His eyes trailed over the woman. His mate. If she accepted him, the chances of him going crazy from the Alphar power would be minimalized exponentially. If she accepted him, and things weren’t looking very positive after she thought running from him was the better option.
“Kerrick,” Rhi said, not looking him in the eye but at Cymbeline. “She attacked the guards.” She took a deep breath and glanced at him, confident in her opinion, but knowing what could happen if she angered an Alphar regarding his mate. “She’s dangerous.”
“Stop hesitating and just tell me, Rhi.”
“She came here to attack you and she injured ten of our soldiers. I understand she’s your mate, and I know what that means. She comes first. But you are in a delicate position, Kerrick. You’re not a regular alpha or just some dominant, you’re the Alphar. The people of this territory need you and the example you set. The health of the land you rule depends on you and your power. If she turns out to be an enemy...” Rhiannon looked away, her lips a thin line as she struggled with what she had to say, what Kerrick knew he needed to hear. “You can’t abandon your people for her, Kerrick.”
Kerrick stood and held his hand out to Rhiannon, beckoning her to his side of the bed. She came swiftly, never once losing the self-possessed grace she was so well known for. But as she crumpled into his chest, burrowing her head and breathing him in deeply, Kerrick was reminded that he wasn’t the only one who had sacrificed and suffered to bring about change for the territory. Rhiannon may be a stubborn bitch at times, caustic and sarcastic to those close to her, but Kerrick knew her as a child and watched as she left her family to train with him in England. They’d forged an unbreakable bond, Aaron included, and he would never abandon them.
“I’m not going anywhere,” he whispered, nuzzling the top of her head, giving the affection even the most solitary Weres needed.
“You can’t leave your mate.” She looked up at him, confused and in anguish for him. “What if she was contracted by Mara to attack you?”
Kerrick framed her face, comforted by the concern Rhiannon felt for him. “Stop worrying when we don’t even know the situation yet. We’ll cross those bridges when we get to them.”
Rhiannon nodded, pulling away from Kerrick and squaring her shoulders. Her eyes lit devilishly as they looked back up at him. “Your mate kneed you in the balls.”
Kerrick growled, knowing that was not going to be forgotten anytime soon. He liked that his mate hadn’t been afraid of him, knew he needed a woman with strength. He just wished she’d aimed somewhere else. “And she ran from me. Have you ever heard of someone running from their mate after meeting them?”
“I would have run away from your scary face too.” She huffed, using the touch pad on the bedside table to send an order for food down to the kitchen.