Rebel Dragon (Pearls of Desire Book 1)By: Anna Lowe
Aloha Shifters: Pearls of Desire
Can this rebel dragon learn to play by the rules when his destined mate’s life is on the line?
Off to Maui for a relaxing vacation? Hardly. Surfer Jenna Monroe is on the run from a stalker who lusts after her blood. Instead of combing the beach for lost treasures, she’s forced to venture deep into the terrifying world of shapeshifters. There, even the good guys are hard to trust — all except for the hot-blooded rebel she can’t get out of her head.
Connor Hoving and his band of Special Forces shifters were planning to leave trouble behind by moving to Maui, but destiny has other ideas. His whole future — and that of his brothers — depends on acing his new job as head of security at an exclusive seaside estate. But Connor can barely get his inner dragon to focus with alluring, off-limits Jenna around. Can this rebel dragon learn to play by the rules when his fated mate’s life is on the line?
The closer Connor and Jenna become, the higher forbidden passions blaze. The more they give in to simmering desire, the more impossible love seems. And the more secrets they uncover, the closer their enemies creep. Vampires and ruthless dragons lurk in the shadows, and it’s impossible to tell whose side fate will take. Only one thing is certain: great heroes don’t get to pick their destinies — only the choices they make.
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Jenna’s fingers were shaking so hard, it took her three tries to buckle her seat belt. Then she peered out the airplane window, watching the last streaks of sunset paint the sky the color of blood. A red light flashed at the next gate, dragging her gaze to the right. Beyond it, shadows danced over unlit areas of the terminal, and she squinted at every one.
On instinct, she reached down as if to scratch her ankle, then stopped. Shit. The knife wasn’t there. Of course, it wouldn’t be. She’d had to pack it in her luggage for the flight.
She took three deep breaths and glanced around the plane, counting rows to the next exit. Then she watched baggage handlers thump the last suitcases onto the cargo belt. Which was fine, right? The likelihood of her needing that knife in the next six hours was close to zero — or so she hoped.
You’ll probably never need it, her sister Jody had said when she’d handed over that frighteningly sharp blade. It’s just in case. You know how it is.
Jenna fidgeted with the bangles on her wrist. Up to a few weeks ago, the you know part would have made her draw a blank. Like most people, she’d grown up believing vampires and other supernatural creatures were only legends. Her sister Jody had too. But after Jody’s fateful trip to Maui, everything changed.
You need to be careful. The monsters who attacked me might come after you, Jody had said when she’d last visited California. She’d taken Jenna over to a quiet corner of Old Town Park and explained.
Apparently, those weren’t just a bunch of harmless legends. They were real — and any one of them might come after Jenna for a taste of her blood.
Jenna shivered and hugged herself.
Yes, there really are vampires, her sister had said in a hushed and scratchy voice. And other evil creatures. You need to keep your eyes open, okay? Not that I’m aware of a specific threat. It will probably be all right.
At first, Jenna had thought it was all an elaborate joke, but the fear in her sister’s eyes was real, and it had jumped over to her. Especially when the stalking began.
It started with one text — then another and another.
Dear Jenna. I know we are meant for each other. I am your destiny, and you are mine.
The mystery texter would ask her to meet, and he’d follow up afterward, sounding hurt that she hadn’t come. At first, she’d ignored the messages, but the tone had gone from relatively harmless to dark and threatening.
My dearest Jenna. We’re meant for each other. Don’t you see, my pet?
She held her head in her hands, desperately wishing she could go back to her old life. Helping her dad at home and in his shop, surfing or beachcombing in her free time, and generally putting off the serious stuff in life. And why the heck not? She’d felt a decade older than her true age for a long time now, so she’d given herself license to live a simple, carefree life for a while.
But here she was, jumping at shadows, suspicious of everyone.
The texts were followed by little gifts and trinkets. Flowers delivered with unsigned notes. Seashells with little hearts scratched into them left on her locker near the beach. An antique music box — all of which meant the stalker knew where she lived, where she worked, and where she surfed.