These big dogs usually get what they want, but will their mates accept what they are?
Serviced: When Ren’s forced to care for a blind woman, the last thing he expects is the straight-laced librarian who reads him like a book. Marguerite knows it isn’t going to be easy living with the service animal. This one comes with a handler whose husky voice and wild, sexy scent enflame her…
Guarded: Wade is stuck guarding the owner of the escort service he frequents. He doesn’t count on the sexy as hell woman tying him in knots. Jetta still carries scars from a dog attack. She’s given up on men — but she wants this one.
Protected: Victoria buries herself in the kitchen of her restaurant to hide from the world. When the brooding, sexy stranger appears, she hides what she is under a cloak of deceit. No longer able to fight her natural desires, she aches to give herself to him. She waits patiently for his arrival; he will come.
Controlled: Elle Naylor’s caught his scent and can’t get it or Harm out of her mind. Strong and stubborn, Elle knows she’s found the one man who can make her life complete. Harm is an alpha in training who embraces his ability to be man or dog. Elle loves dogs! But will she love him when she finds out that’s exactly what he is?
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2021 J. Hali Steele
Excerpt from Serviced
Bounding down the steps, he joined his brothers in the office to discuss business and anything else that might be pressing. They owned and operated Shepherd’s Watch, an elite company that provided professional protection and guard dog services to the rich and famous — or infamous, depending on how you looked at it.
Max eyed his watch. “Ren, how many times do I need to remind you we start at nine?”
“Christ, it’s ten after.” Wade slouched across from him, his mouth a slash, his eyes barely slits.
What the hell was going on? “I was looking for something. Let’s get started.”
“What?” Ren peeked under the table. “Aww, fuck.” He still wore his slippers. “Hell, now you’ll rag me about how I dress for meetings.” He glared at Wade. “What’s your problem?”
“Screw you, Ren.”
“You’re both acting like someone died or something.”
Max gritted his teeth and the sound skidded across Ren’s nerves. Shit. Something was up. Maybe his brother had good reason to be irritated this morning.
“There was an accident last night with one of the rotties guarding the senator.”
“Damn, I keep telling you those guys are rough around the edges. Who was handling?” Some of the human employees had a tough time with the stronger dogs. Rots and pits only went out with experienced controllers because of their inherently rowdy nature.
“He’s one of the best.” Ren turned to Wade. “Guess you know what happened since Dag’s a friend of yours.”
“What does his being my friend have to do with anything?” Wade’s eyes remained lidded, his voice gravelly.
“Don’t go all defensive, tell me what happened.”
“Senator Gardner hugged some lady, she dropped her purse and when she bent to pick it up, she lost her balance.” His eyes cast down. “She fell back into Dag and the dog went berserk.” Wade cleared his throat. “The rot slammed her face-down on the pavement.”
“Shit, is she okay?” Ren swallowed hard.
“Dag’s at the hospital with the senator now.” Wade’s voice cracked. “The rot’s dead. Daggett broke his neck pulling him back. Everything happened so fast and he feels responsible.”
Shepherd’s Watch had lost dogs before. Clients, too, for that matter. Why was this one different? “Accidents do happen.”
Max stood and walked to the open bay window. Curtains billowed in the morning breeze. “The woman is the senator’s niece; he raised her like a daughter.” Turning back to the table, he said, “He’s pretty upset.”
“She’s going to be okay, right?” Senator Jack Gardner was actually a good politician and a nice person. He had connections everywhere, even Hollywood. He’d recommended clients, and Ren didn’t want to think what could happen if he pulled his business from the Watch.
A heavy sigh floated on the breeze. “She’s blind. Doctors aren’t sure how long it will last or if she’ll ever see again.” The chair thudded on the floor when Max sat down. “He wants us to supply a guide dog and a handler to help her adjust.”
“We can’t, everybody who’s capable of that kind of service is on assignment. We don’t have time to train a new dog.” Wade and Max continued to stare at him in silence. Finally, it hit Ren like a ton of bricks. “No. Fucking. Way.” Coffee cups clattered in their saucers when his fist hit the table. “I’ve got an assignment. I’m not babysitting some blind chick. Find someone else, man.” The chair scraped loudly across the floor as he stood.
“Wade will cover the concert.” Max slid an envelope across the table. “You’re all we got and… uhh… you can handle both roles. After all, she’s blind and won’t see you shift. In here is everything we know about her, where she lives and works, even what she likes to read.” His fingers tapped annoyingly on the envelope. Ren opened his mouth and Max’s hand flew up. “You’re it. I’ll do everything possible to get you out of this as soon as I can. We can’t lose the senator’s contract.”
Ren’s growl circled the room, bouncing from the walls. He ripped his clothes from his body without a care and fell to his knees. The long velvety snout was already forming and his hands twisted into gnarled paws. Ren didn’t even feel the fleeting pain associated with the change as a hunch pulled his shoulders up. Sucking in a draft of air, he slammed his front paws to the wood floor. Toenails scraped beneath his weighty body.
Raising his head, he loosed a howl that would have made a wolf proud.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A multi-published author, J. Hali Steele wishes she could grow fur, wings, or fangs, so she can stay warm, fly, or just plain bite the crap out of… Well, since she can’t, she would much rather roam where her fictional big cats live — in the high desert of California. Discovering a new love of contemporary male/male erotica has flipped a switch she can’t turn off, so she hopes eventually it drifts back into her otherworldly realm.
When J. Hali’s not writing, she can be found snuggled in front of the TV with a good book, a cat in her lap, and a cup of coffee.
Growl and roar — it’s okay to let the beast out.