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Elizabeth Kelly Books

Rise of the Jaguar Book Eight (EBOOK)

Rise of the Jaguar Book Eight (EBOOK)

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What would you sacrifice for love?

It’s an ordinary workday. A little filing. A little scheduling. A little… murder.

Emerson runs, but the jaguar shifter gets trapped in a cabin with a man named Clay.

Except Clay is no ordinary human.

The teleporter is a ruthless mercenary who will stop at nothing to save his brother from Emerson’s deadly boss.

Even if that means sacrificing Emerson.

Understanding she’s not Clay’s priority, Emerson shouldn’t want him in her bed. But her jaguar has other ideas.

After Clay’s long-planned rescue of his brother goes awry, he reluctantly lies low with Emerson at the cabin. Not only is she the personal assistant of his brother’s kidnapper, she’s also the smartest, sexiest woman Clay’s ever known.

It doesn’t matter that he isn’t relationship material, not when she’s a shifter who can’t control her teeth and claws.

Though this attraction, he can’t ignore.

Especially when Emerson’s heat starts, and she needs his body for more than protection.

Unfortunately, they can’t hide out forever. Emerson’s boss is a danger to them, Clay’s brother, and the entire shifter community. For once, Emerson must trust a man with her life and her heart.

With hearts and lives on the line, can Clay rescue his brother… or will he risk everything to save her?



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Read an excerpt

He was big for a human. Big and – she could admit it – sexy as hell. Emerson watched the human over her glass of wine as Paula yammered on in her ear. He was wearing jeans and a long sleeve shirt that highlighted the broadness of his shoulders and the muscles in his upper arms and the fabric clung to his flat abdomen. She had no doubt that a very impressive set of abs were hidden beneath the black cotton fabric.

He looked dangerous, she decided. His thick dark hair and blue eyes, while attractive, weren’t what set him out from the rest of the males in the crowded pub. Nor was it the fact that he was the only human in the pub. It was the caged restlessness she sensed lurking just below his skin, the way his body seemed to be both perfectly relaxed and completely on edge at the same time.

He looked like a man who would handle anything life threw at him.

He looked like a man who would run headlong into danger.

He looked like a man who would make a woman scream when she climaxed.

Emerson’s jaguar trilled so loudly that Paula stopped talking, blinked, and then resumed her chattering.
Emerson nodded, only half-listening to her co-worker as she continued to study the human. His big body leaned against the bar and when he smiled at the bartender, Emerson wasn’t at all surprised to see her hurry over immediately. Emerson had only seen half of the man’s smile and her thighs had loosened.

The human really was on the big side. Maybe she could take him to her bed without hurting him.

Her jaguar trilled again. It was completely on board with the idea of bedding the human. Which was odd because, generally speaking, her cat favoured other big cat shifters or wolf shifters. Emerson couldn’t ever remember her jaguar being even remotely interested in a human.

She allowed herself a thirty-second fantasy of what it would be like to fuck him before averting her gaze and drinking the last of her wine. She was being ridiculous. She couldn’t take a human to her bed no matter how attracted she was to him. He might be tough but even the toughest human was no match for her claws and teeth. And her jaguar liked to scratch and bite during sex. A lot.

“So, then I said to Joanne that I didn’t care much for her tone and she said to me that I was being too sensitive. Can you believe it, Em? The woman who cries if you tell her the coffee was too strong, called me too sensitive. Em, are you even listening to me?”

Emerson smiled apologetically at Paula. She liked her co-worker and they had after-work drinks every Thursday night. In between ‘scoping for dudes’ as Paula liked to call it, the conversation was dominated by Paula’s gossipy revelations about their coworkers. Normally, Em was all for a good gossip session, but tonight she wasn’t feeling it. Maybe it was the long day at work, maybe it was her unsettledness at her jaguar lusting after a human, but she was calling it a night.

“Hey, Paula, I’m sorry but I -”

“May I join you, ladies?”

The low rasp sent shivers down Emerson’s spine and made her jaguar sit up and purr eagerly. She lifted her gaze to see the very human she was lusting after, standing next to their table.

Of course, he would have a voice that made her want to do naughty, dirty things to him.

He was balancing a glass of wine and beer in one hand and in the other hand, whatever fruity drink Paula had ordered.

“Of course!” Paula’s voice was breathless, and Emerson could smell her immediate arousal. Her jaguar hissed, it didn’t like Paula’s interest in the human one bit, and Emerson soothed it quickly.

She couldn’t sleep with the human, not without tearing his back to shreds, but Paula was a gopher shifter. She didn’t have to worry about seriously damaging the sexy human while she was banging him. It made sense that Paula would be the one who took the human home tonight.

Emerson’s jaguar hissed again, real anger appearing beneath the school-girl jealousy.

Knock it off, she scolded her jaguar as the man sat down beside her.

He placed the glass of wine in front of her and the fruity drink in front of Paula. “I thought you lovely ladies could use another drink.”

Paula giggled and before Emerson could stop her, took a large swallow. “You’re right, we could.”

Good God, had all of Paula’s brain cells flown out the damn window? In what universe did a woman accept a drink from a stranger? He could have added anything to it. Emerson gave Paula an Oh my God, stop drinking that drink, you moron look.

Not surprisingly, it didn’t register. But in Paula’s defense, it was hard to convey that kind of sentiment with only a look.

Up close, the human seemed even more dangerous. Maybe it was the dark stubble that lined his jaw or maybe it was the hardness in his gaze even though he was smiling. Whatever it was, all the things about him that should have sent her screaming for the hills were, instead, making her fantasize about all the very naughty things she might do to him.

“I’m Paula!” Paula held out her hand and the human shook it. Emerson’s jaguar hissed again, this one more of a pout than jealousy. It wanted to touch the human too.

Shut it. You’ll get your chance, her inner voice said.

“And you are?” The man smiled at her, an easy smile that almost made it to his eyes.

“Emerson,” she said and shook his hand. Her jaguar purred loudly at the innocent contact and then purred again when the man’s gaze dropped to her mouth. The smell of his arousal washed over her and she caught her breath.

Oh shit.

Beside her, Paula made a low sound of disappointment. She’d caught the scent of the human’s lust as well. Before she could look too crestfallen, a second man approached their table. He was a fox shifter, Emerson could tell by his scent, and he bowed lavishly before grinning at Paula. “Care to dance, beautiful?”

“I would love to,” Paula said. She jumped up, took the fox shifter’s hand, and was crossing the crowded pub to the miniscule dance floor at the back without a second look at Emerson.

Emerson needed to have a serious talk with her about pub safety etiquette.

“You have a beautiful name, Emerson.”

She realized she was still holding the human’s hand and she pulled her hand free. “Thank you.”

“A beautiful name for a beautiful woman.”

She held back the eyeroll with herculean effort. If she had a nickel for every time she heard that line…

The man suddenly laughed, and goosebumps shot up on Emerson’s skin. Good God, how could a laugh be that sexy?

“Too cheesy, huh?” he said.

“Yes,” she said.

“I’ll try better with you in the future,” he said.

“Cheesy and cocky,” she said. “Not a great combination.”

He laughed again. “I like to think of it as confidence.”

“I’m sure you do,” she said.

“I’m failing to impress you, aren’t I?”

“Spectacularly,” she said.

“To failing spectacularly,” he said and held up his beer.

She clinked her wine glass against the beer bottle, watching the way his Adam’s Apple bobbed as he took a long swallow. He had a sexy throat.

Sexy throat? Jesus, Em, get it together.

“You’re not drinking your wine.” He indicated the glass she’d set back down on the table.

She just shrugged. After a few seconds, understanding crossed his face. “You think I drugged it.”

When she stayed silent, he said, “You’re right to be cautious. A man like me could do all sorts of things to a woman like you.”

Emerson, it is time to leave! Her inner voice was standing on the table and shouting into a bullhorn.

But her jaguar… her jaguar was purring like crazy and urging Emerson to imagine just exactly what sort of things the human might want to do to her.

He suddenly grinned at her, a boyish one that breached the barrier to his eyes and completely transformed him. She sucked in a breath, any idea of leaving buried under a tidal wave of lust so strong it made her panties wet.

She could smell her own arousal covering her like a thick blanket as the man picked up her wine glass and took a healthy swallow before setting it in front of her.

“Am I more trustworthy now?”

“Marginally,” she said.

Her throat was as dry as a dusty road in Georgia and she reached for the glass, ignoring her urge to turn it until her lips touched the same spot his lips had. She wasn’t a lovestruck teenager for God’s sake.

The wine washed over her tongue and down her dry and dusty throat. She toyed with the stem of the glass as she stared at him. “You haven’t told me your name.”

“Clay,” he said.

“Tell me, Clay, what’s a human doing in a pub that’s known to be full of shifters?”

He studied the crowd. “I’m new to town, didn’t know this was a shifter’s only kind of place.”

“It isn’t, technically,” she admitted. “But not many humans come in here.”

“Is that why I’m getting so many looks?”

“Partially,” she said.

“Is my handsomeness the other reason they’re staring?”

She laughed. “Sure, we’ll go with that.”

“You find me handsome, admit it.”

She cocked her head and pretended to do a slow perusal of his entire face, like she hadn’t already memorized every damn feature. “Handsome isn’t the word I would use to describe you.”

“No?” He didn’t seem pissed. “What word would you use?”


He thought it over before nodding. “It’s an apt description.”

“You’re not doing much to help your chances of me going home with you tonight.”

Emerson! her inner voice admonished.

That boyish grin returned, loosening her thighs and making her nipples pebble into hard points. She could smell his arousal thickening and it intensified her own need.

He leaned forward, his gaze evaluating and appraising, “You know I’m dangerous, but you’re not afraid of me. Why is that?”

She took another sip of wine. “Maybe I’m dangerous too.”

His gaze shifted to her mouth again. “Maybe you are.”

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