Tuesday, April 22, 2014

*SPOTLIGHT* Paige Tyler- Her Perfect Mate


USA Today Bestselling Author
"Hunky Heroes, Kickbutt Heroines, Unforgettable Romance!"
 


Title: HER PERFECT MATE (X-OPS Book One)

Author: Paige Tyler

Genre: Romance - Military/Paranormal/Romantic-Suspense

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Release Date: May 6, 2014 (Available for Pre-Order)

Blurb:
He's a High-Octane Special Ops Pro

When Special Forces Captain Landon Donovan is chosen for an assignment with the Department of Covert Operations, he's stunned to find his new partner is a beautiful woman who looks like she couldn't hurt a fly, never mind take down a terrorist.

She's No Kitten

Ivy Halliwell isn't your average covert op. She's a feline shifter, and more dangerous than she looks. Her feline DNA means she can literally bring out the claws when things get dicey. She's worked with a string of hotheaded military guys who've underestimated her special skills in the past. But when she's partnered with special agent Donovan, a man sexy enough to make any girl purr, things begin to heat up. He doesn't think she's a freak-and he's smokin' hot. Soon they're facing a threat even greater than anyone imagines...and an animal magnetism impossible to ignore.





Excerpt:
Landon expected Todd and Kendra to take him to another conference room, so he was surprised when they led him into what looked like a workout room. Mats covered the floor and a heavy bag hung from a hook in one corner. Weights and workout equipment filled a good portion of the room. A woman was seated cross-legged in the center of it, her eyes closed, her hands loosely resting on her knees. At their entrance, she gracefully uncurled herself from the floor and got to her feet.

She was wearing a pair of black workout pants like his ex-girlfriend used to wear when she went to yoga class, and a form-fitting tank top. He couldn’t help but notice her curvy, athletic body, expressive dark eyes, and full lips. With little makeup and her long, dark hair pulled up in a
ponytail, she looked like the girl next door. Only more exotic than any girl he’d ever lived next door to, that was for sure.

He didn’t care how tired and irritated he was, this was a woman he definitely wouldn’t mind stopping to appreciate. Hopefully, one of his new training officers would introduce them before she left to give them the room.

“Landon, meet Ivy Halliwell, your new partner,” Kendra said. “Ivy, Captain Landon Donovan, Special Forces.”

They were going to have to pick his jaw up off the floor because Landon was damn sure that’s where it was after hearing that announcement. No way this walking wet dream was his partner. She looked like she  
couldn’t hurt a fly, much less do any kind of covert ops. They had to be messing with him.

“Your first mission is to put her on her ass,” Todd said.

He’d had some big what-the-hell moments in his life—most of them within the past twenty-four hours—but this had to be the biggest.

Landon narrowed his eyes at the man. “Excuse me?”

“Take her down.”

Was this guy serious? This was his new partner and they wanted him to kick her ass? Ivy was about half his size and looked like she should be walking down a fashion runway somewhere, not trading blows with a trained combat killer.

Landon shook his head. “Forget it. I’m not going to take a swing at her, much less put her on her ass.” He folded his arms across his chest. “You want entertainment? Maybe I should put you on your ass.”

Kendra must have thought that was funny because she hid a smile behind her clipboard.

Ivy wasn’t so subtle. She laughed outright. And damn if it didn’t have a sexy sound to it.

“That’s chivalrous of you, Donovan,” she said. “You putting Todd on his ass is something I’d like to see, but he isn’t going to let us leave this room until you learn the lesson you’re here to learn. So, let’s get this over with.”

She didn’t wait for a reply, but instead slowly circled around Landon on her bare feet. He instinctively turned to follow her. She moved with the sure-footed grace of a cat, making him think she was probably well-trained in one or more martial arts.

“Well?” she demanded.

He assessed her stance. “You’re not ready.”

Ivy rolled her eyes. “Tell you what. I’ll make it easier on you. I’ll hit you first. How’s that sound?”

“That implies I’d let you hit me.”

She shrugged her slim shoulders. “Oh, I’ll hit you all right.”

He laughed, but the sound was cut short as she twisted in a blur and her leg came around in a spinning heel kick that would have taken off his head if he hadn’t backed away just in time.

“Shit,” he muttered. He was way too tired for this crap. “Stop screwing around, okay? That kick would have done some damage if you landed it.”

Ivy didn’t heed his warning, though. Instead, she immediately followed up with the same kind of a kick, this time in the other direction. Landon quickly backpedaled to avoid her foot, only to smack against the wall. He dropped to one knee, instinctively thrusting out with his hands to
both knock her away from him and put some space between them. But instead of falling back, she moved out of the way, avoiding his hands. For a moment he didn’t realize what she’d done. Then it struck him. She’d darted sideways while she was in mid-kick. That shouldn’t even be
physically possible.

Ivy landed lightly on her feet, a smile curving her lips. “I knew I could get you to take a shot at me, even if it was lame. Then again, I didn’t expect much from another oversized grunt like you. I don’t know why they keep pairing me up with guys like you all the time. Can’t they find anyone with a brain?”

Landon rose from his crouch and moved to the center of the room. When she came at him again, he didn’t want a wall getting in his way.

“Guys like me? You’re trying to insult me now? Think that’s going to get me to take a punch at you? What are you, a masochist?”

Her smile broadened. “I already got you to do that. And I’d only be a masochist if you ever got your  
hands on me.”

He snorted. “Lady, that wasn’t a punch. You’d know it if I wanted to hit you.”

“All talk and no action,” she scoffed. “Isn’t that the Special Forces motto or something?”

Landon knew what she was trying to do and it wasn’t going to work. She must have figured it out, too. She gave up on the verbal jabs and resorted to real ones, coupled with those damn spinning roundhouse kicks again.

He stripped off his camo overshirt and threw it across the room, so he could get down to serious business.

He blocked most of her strikes with his hands and the others with his shoulders, biceps, and thighs. He sure as hell felt them, but he got the feeling she wasn’t hitting him nearly as hard as she could.

His plan was to lure her in close enough to get his hands on her. That way, he could put her down without being forced to throw a serious punch. She might be agile as hell, but if he connected with anything real, he’d break something. His best bet was to get his hands on her and
pin her to the floor so he could end this stupid game.

That was easier than it sounded. Ivy was faster than lightning and could twist her body into a pretzel to get out of his grasp. He had her in a perfect jujitsu take-down position several times only to have her spoil it by not going down like she should have. He even planted his knee in
her stomach and yanked her backward with him in a throw that should have landed her hard on her back, groaning in pain. Instead, she turned the move into some kind of gymnastic flip and came down as softly on her feet as if she stepped off a street curb.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the two training officers taking notes as they watched. Kendra was actually smiling. Landon clenched his jaw. What a couple of asses.

On the other side of the room, Ivy spun around to face him. Eyes narrowing, she ran directly toward him. He automatically braced himself for another blow, but at the last second she darted to her right, jumping at the wall and rebounding off it like she was an extra in some Jackie
Chan movie, then ricocheting back at him, her right leg coming around in a roundhouse kick.

Instead of getting out of the way like any sane person would have, he moved closer, getting underneath her swinging leg and grabbing her shoulders. He avoided her foot, but ended up taking a knee to the left side of his rib cage. It hurt, but it got him inside her defenses. He was
going to get a grip on her, and this time she wasn’t going to get away.

That’s when he realized her kick had only been a distraction. He’d been so busy watching her feet he hadn’t even noticed her open hand coming toward him. He did a double take. She was going to slap him? His mind registered surprise for half a millisecond before her hand angled down to sweep across the front of his T-shirt.

Landon felt the fabric tug and swore he heard a ripping sound. He even felt a sting. But he ignored it. Tightening his grip on her shoulders, he spun them both around, letting the momentum from her rebound take them down to the floor.

He twisted at the last second, taking the impact of the floor on his right shoulder before yanking her to his chest in a bear hug. If he’d been trying to kill her, he would have crushed a hell of a lot harder. Instead he squeezed just enough to let her know he could hurt her if he wanted to.

They came to a stop with him on his back, Ivy pinned to his chest. She didn’t fight him, simply laid there with her face close to his neck, breathing deeply. Landon couldn’t help but notice how soft her body was against his, and how nice it felt to have her on top of him.

His cock noticed, too.

Shit. This was going to be embarrassing.

“Okay, you two,” Todd said. “I think we’ve gotten everything out of this demonstration I intended.”

It took a moment for the words to register—probably because all the blood had left his head to rush to another part of his anatomy. Landon reluctantly loosened his hold on Ivy. He waited for her to get up, but she stayed firmly planted on top of him, which alarmed him. He thought

she would have jumped up the moment he released her. God, he hoped he hadn’t hurt her with that take down.

He gently tilted her chin up with his fingers. “Hey. You okay?”

Ivy blinked at him, her beautiful eyes filled with something that looked almost like wonder. Then she gave herself a little shake. “I-I’m good. You?”

“Yeah. Fine.”

“Good.”

She gazed at him for a moment longer, then quickly pushed to her feet. She crossed the room to slip on a pair of flip-flops she had left there. When she turned back to him, her face was the perfect mask of composure he’d seen when he first walked in.

“No hard feelings, I hope?” she said as he stood. “That’s just the way the DCO likes to introduce me to my new partners. I don’t know why.”

He knew why. The DCO realized the fastest way to get a man to appreciate the talents of his female partner was to have her kick his ass. At least she hadn’t done it to him.

“Not at all,” he said. “I suppose we can call this match a tie.”

Her lips curved. “You think so?”

Reaching out, she flicked his shirt with her fingers, then turned and walked away.

Remembering the bizarre open-handed swipe she’d given him across the chest, he looked down to see four diagonal tears in his T-shirt. He pushed the material aside, frowning when he found four identical scratches on his chest. If he didn’t know better, he’d think he got scratched
by a cat—a big cat. They weren’t deep or bleeding, but there was no mistaking what had made them—fingernails. Ivy’s fingernails. Not exactly standard-issue hand-to-hand combat technique. He got the feeling nothing about this place was standard issue. Especially his new partner.


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1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing! You girls rock!

    *hugs*
    Paige

    ReplyDelete