Thirty and single? Well, getcha ass to the Gathering! As if hitting thirty wasn’t enough, unmated Scarlet Wickham is summoned to this year’s Gathering. As a woman Marked to be the mate of an Alpha pair, she’s not going to find happiness anywhere other than in the arms of two Alpha werewolves. So, off she goes with her sisters in tow. ‘Cause yeah, she’s one of the plump Wickham triplets, and they’re all being carted off to werewolf speed dating.
Keller and Madden, Ruling Alpha pair, can’t believe their luck. They’ve found their mate, and she’s more than they could have ever hoped for. She’s feisty with spirit to spare, and lush curves that they want to trace with their tongues. They can’t wait to solidify their bond and get to know the beautiful woman who is to rule at their side. But first, there’s the minor inconvenience of a challenge to the death…
Kindle | Nook | ARe | Kobo | Smashwords
ALPHA MARKED: SCARLET – EXCERPT
Scarlet continued clicking down the wide, marble-tiled hallway, passing boutique after boutique of overpriced souvenirs and gifts. Nearing a store boasting high-end purses and accessories, she paused, pretending to look over the offerings. In reality, she took a peek at Mr. Gun Guy in the glass’ reflection.
He didn’t even pretend he wasn’t watching her. No, he stood eight feet back, hands behind him, and flat-out stared at her.
Well, she wasn’t about to have him follow her to dinner. She turned and faced him head on. “Is there a reason you’re following me?”
“Yes.” His voice was a low baritone, but it did nothing for her.
She waited for further explanation but didn’t get anything. “Okay, why?”
The man’s look remained bland. “Because the Ruling Alphas ordered your protection.”
She rolled her eyes. “Well, we’re back to why.”
“It was ordered.”
Scarlet huffed. “Do you know why and you’re not telling me, or are you simply a drone doing as he’s told?”
That earned her a quick twitch of his lips, and she knew he was trying to suppress a smile. “A little in between.”
“Fine. God forbid we complain about the Ruling Alphas and their high handedness. This is because my sisters and I got into it in the ballroom with Garron and Quentin, isn’t it? Keller and Madden tattled to them. It wasn’t our fault, you know.” Then again, the assholes had been tossed from the Gathering, so it made sense that the head honchos needed to be informed. “Well, if you’re gonna follow me around like a puppy,” she winked to take some of the sting out of her insult, “you might as well walk next to me.”
Scarlet gestured for the guard to approach, but the man stood still, his body frozen in indecision.
“Come on, I promise not to tell the big bad Ruling Alphas you actually talked to me while you acted as my guard. Hell, who knows when I’ll actually get to meet them. I’ll probably forget you by then.” She winced. “Not that you’re forgettable, I—” She huffed. “Just talk to me.”
“I don’t think—”
“Well, I do.”
She stomped toward him and tugged on his arm, ignoring the sting that accompanied touching a male not meant for her. Stupid Mark. Now that she’d met her mates, pain would accompany any contact she had with other men, human or wolf. At least until she completed her mating with Keller and Madden. Thankfully she wasn’t alone in the ouchy department. It was the same way for the guys.
“Yes, Alpha Mate.” The man grumbled but relented. Aw, her males had already spread the word about their connection. That had to be the reason she’d been upgraded from simply “Marked” to “Alpha Mate” by the guard. How sweet. Sweet-ish. She sorta wished they hadn’t jumped the gun, but Alphas were Alphas.
As uncomfortable as the wolf appeared, she didn’t bother trying to talk to him further. She simply felt better that he wasn’t following her and making her feel like a stalked chubby gazelle.
In less than a minute, they strode into the restaurant side by side, the maître d’ quickly leading them toward the back. Together, they wove their way through the room, sliding around various tables, and she noticed most were occupied by two men and a single woman.
Well, it looked like quite a few were already performing the Test of Proximity. Although she had a feeling the test was all for show. Much like the dinner she was about to enjoy.
Before long, she stood before her two wolves in the very back of the restaurant, and both men rose upon her approach. It was Madden’s growl that broke the sweet moment.
She needed to remember he was the more aggressive of the two, and apparently he didn’t like other men close to her.
Hoping her mother’s teachings had been correct, she stepped in front of the guard, redirecting the wolf’s attention. “Madden?”
The rolling sound cut off the moment his eyes met hers, the last of his air hissing from his lungs in a sigh. “Scarlet.”
She waved behind her. “The Ruling Alphas said I needed a guard. No need to get testy.”
Madden furrowed his brow. “Wha—”
Keller cut him off. “I’m sure they want to keep you safe.” He smiled and stepped around the table, drawing her forward with a hand on her lower back. The seductive scents of heated wood, raw power and man surrounded her, and she melted into his side. “You already know how to handle our Madden.”
She chanced a look at the wolf in question and noted his smile. “Perhaps.” She turned her attention back to Keller. “I’m not sure how to handle you, though.”
“I doubt that’ll be a problem, sweet. I’m like any other wolf. Give me something to snack on and you’ll have my attention.” She didn’t miss Keller’s not-so-subtle innuendo.
“Right,” she drawled.
Keller pulled out the chair and she sat between the two men. His heat warred with the inferno that flowed from Madden. Two sides of the same coin, so alike, yet so different.
The guard that had accompanied her took up a post in front of the table. He and four others essentially made a wall-o-wolves, cutting them off from the rest of the diners. Talk about overkill.
I really liked this book. It was fast paced and well written. My only problem with it was the length. I knew going in it wasn’t a full novel, but I wasn’t ready for it to end when it did. I just got to know Scarlet had a strong core that she used to hide her vulnerabilities. That she loved and was very loyal to her sisters.
The Alpha pair that turn out to be her mates, Keller and Madden, came across as very alpha and hot. There were hints of their tender, caring sides toward Scarlet but the story ended before that could be completely explored. The “claiming” (read sex) scene was oh so very hot and made me really wish to be Scarlet for a night.
In short my only problem was the length and my desire for it to be longer. I always seem to feel that way about Celia Kyle’s work.
Celia Kyle is a paranormal erotic romance author and would like to rule the world and become a ninja. As a fallback, she’s working on her writing career and giving readers stories that touch their hearts and *ahem* other places.