Authors: Tianna Xander
Tags: #Adult, #Erotic Romance, #Paranormal, #Shapeshifter, #Menage
What does a frumpy forty-something woman do when she meets two hot, young men determined to change her life?
When Nadya agrees to leave the carnival where she has made her life for the last twenty-five years, to live with her two best friends, she will be giving up one way of life for another. However, it doesn’t prepare her for finding the men in Paradise so hot, or the lifestyle they led there so tempting. How can a frumpy forty-something wife and mother wannabe face the fact that she’s attracted to two men who look young enough to be the sons she never had?
The moment Luc and Gabe saw the woman across the diner they knew she was their mate. They can smell her. Even more telling is the mating heat that hit them as they watched her from across the room. Who knew that three women could come to town and be mates for three different sets of friends? How could they have known they would fall so completely for their mate, the first time they scented her—not to mention that she would so thoroughly turn their lives upside-down.
The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.
Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Promise of Paradise
Copyright © 2014 Tianna Xander
Cover art by Carmen Waters
All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.
Published by eXtasy Books Inc or
Devine Destinies, an imprint of eXtasy Books Inc
Look for us online at:
www.eXtasybooks.com or www.devinedestinies.com
Promise of Paradise
To everyone, everywhere who has ever felt less than perfect. You are, and have always been, the perfect you.
Nadya followed the trucks as they headed toward Paradise. Alexa sat nervously, twisting her hands in her lap as she, no doubt, thought about leaving the carnival and finally making a life for herself. Nadya knew the tempting thought had crossed
mind more than once.
“How much longer before we get there?” Alexa kept her head turned, looking through the passenger window.
Nadya didn’t answer, mostly because she wasn’t sure. She just watched the road and the trucks ahead of her.
“I can’t tell you how glad I’ll be to actually stay in a motel for a night and get to take a long, hot shower.” Alexa sighed.
“You could use my shower, you know.” Nadya kept her eyes on the road. “It’s not like I’d pay extra for the water or the electric to heat the stuff.”
That much was true. Usually, they ran off generators. However, if they were lucky, the small town or farm where they stayed would allow them to hook their campers into the electric. Apparently, Paradise was one of those generous hamlets.
She caught Alexa’s shrug from the corner of her eye. “I just don’t want to be a burden on anyone.”
Nadya patted her hand. “I’m serious. In fact—” Pausing, she cleared her throat.
How did she break this to her friend? What if it wasn’t as she suspected and Alexa didn’t feel the same? Nadya wasn’t sure she was brave enough to set out on her own the way their friend Milla had. “I’ve been thinking about leaving the carnival myself. It’s not the same without Milla and, well…” She shrugged. “I’m kind of tired of the life. I look at the families who come to the carnival and wonder what it would be like to have a man who could love me, who would help me pay the bills. Don’t you ever wonder what it would be like?”
“All of the time.” Alexa seemed excited at the prospect. That was a good sign, wasn’t it? “We could call Milla and ask her where she’s at. Maybe we could all throw in on an apartment together, find
jobs and start saving for a better life.”
Nadya smiled at the idea. She liked it. It felt
The best thing about it, was that neither of them would have to go off on their own the way Milla had.
It hadn’t taken long after Milla left to feel as though something about the
was off, as though something other than their friend was missing. Maybe she was just getting too old to travel around like a gypsy. Maybe she was just getting tired and wanted to settle down.
Alexa pulled out her cell phone with a frown. “No signal.” She sighed. “We’ll have to wait until we get to a town to call her.”
Not to mention, they wouldn’t have to have the time to call her. They would be busy at their next stop. She had a niggling feeling that Perry, the person who ran the carnival, planned to sneak into Alexa’s trailer. Why, she had no idea, but she knew his reasons wouldn’t be good ones.
“I’d say do it from Mason, but we’ll be too busy shopping. We have to do this after the next set-up. I promised that asshole, Perry, that I would keep an eye on the ticket booths for him. Apparently, he plans to take a couple of days off while we’re there.” She gave a one-shoulder shrug. “He’s probably going to go search for Milla. I don’t know why the jerk can’t just leave her alone. Their affair has been over for a couple of years.” She glanced at Alexa with a frown. “Do you think he’s one of those nuts who doesn’t want a woman, but doesn’t want anyone else to have her either?” She wouldn’t put it past the crazy bastard.
“Who knows?” Alexa shrugged. “The nicest thing I can say about the man is that he is a
piece of work.”
“Ha!” Nadya shook her head. “That’s an understatement if ever there was one. That man is an asshole, through and through.”
“I was trying to be nice.” Alexa giggled, her hand covering her mouth.
“Why be nice to that jerk? He’s never been nice to you. And if he ever starts being nice to you, I’ll kick your ass. I happen to know that he’s only nice to the women he’s sleeping with and he’s only nice to
as long as they hold his interest.”
An hour and a half later, Nadya sat in her truck watching Alexa’s trailer. She sent Alexa into the store alone. She couldn’t let that jerk sneak into her friend’s place and steal something—or worse. He could put something magical in her trailer. In the years she’d spent with the carnival, she’d seen a lot of strange things and magic was at the top of that particular list.
Besides, it was a good thing she’d stayed to keep watch. Perry skulked around the outside of the fifth-wheel, but he never once tried to gain entrance that she could see. She’d given Alexa a list and some money to pick up the things she would need while she stood watch over the other woman’s home.
She didn’t know why she had the feeling. It wasn’t as though she was psychic. Nadya only knew that she had a lump in the pit of her stomach every time she thought of leaving Alexa’s trailer without a guard.
Nadya wasn’t psychic. Not in that way, anyway. That had always been Milla’s area of expertise. In
opinion, she didn’t have much of a
So what that she could tell when someone lied about their height or weight? It might have saved lives where she worked on the bungee platform, but it would have been so much more awesome to be able to tell someone’s future, the way her grandmother had once done.
The thing she couldn’t figure out about Perry, was Alexa and the feeling that she couldn’t shake. Alexa had no gift. Not yet, anyway. Why would he want to break into her trailer? Was he just looking for a new piece of ass?
Whatever his reasons were, they couldn’t be good and Nadya wanted to be sure she could thwart his plans. It was bad enough Perry had somehow managed to cheat the rightful owners out of their livelihood. He wasn’t taking advantage of another one of her best friends on
“Why aren’t you in shopping?” Perry asked as she sat staring through the windshield at Alexa’s trailer.
Nadya jumped. “God’s teeth, Perry, you scared me!” She held her hand to her heart and glared at the man.
Speak of the devil.
“Well?” The jerk was so tall he had to lean down to rest his arms on the edge of her truck’s window.
The motion brought his face closer to her than she liked and she frowned. He smelled of mouthwash and the dime-store cologne he loved so much. Nadya thought it was nasty. “I sent Alexa in with a list. I didn’t feel like going in.” She wrinkled her nose, trying not to take a deep breath. “I don’t like these big box stores. There’s too many choices for me and it takes too long to make up my mind which brand to pick.” She pinned him with a stare. Why do you care?”
She knew why he cared. Her staying with her truck put a kink in his plans and he didn’t like it. He probably hoped to bug her enough that she would leave her truck and go in search of Alexa.
“I just didn’t want you having to spend more money at some small mom and pop place, that’s all.” He shrugged his broad shoulders and smiled down at her.
Nadya barely managed to keep herself from shuddering. God, she hated it when he paid attention to her. Every time he smiled at her she felt as though she needed a shower.
“Well, now you know that everything’s been taken care of you can go back to checking on everyone else.” She leaned over and opened her glove box. “I’ll see you at the site.”
Obviously realizing that she had effectively dismissed him, Perry gave her a small salute. “Don’t lose us when the guide gets here. From what I understand, this next town is a bear to find if you don’t have someone leading the way.”
“I guess Alexa and I will have to be careful then.” She pressed her lips together in what she hoped passed for a smile. She didn’t like the man, and she was afraid he knew it.
Luc strode through the empty store, checking the shelving placement. He wanted the place to resemble the inside of an old, dry-goods store. He loved nostalgia, he always had. Maybe he liked it so much because he was just as old as the type of old-west general store that he and Gabe planned to create.
He missed the good old days when people cared about each other, helped each other and were generally good people. That was why he liked Paradise so much. It was a throwback town to better, simpler days. He had hated leaving when things got bad, but leaving was what kept them all alive.
They had taken as many innocent women and children with them as they could. They had purchased them new identities and managed to hide most of them from the old council who would have used and abused the females and brainwashed the males.
He glanced toward the huge picture window and wondered when the sign guy would come and paint the thing. The sooner the guy came, the better, in his opinion. They would have to finally make up their mind what to call the damned place.
“Hey,” called a familiar voice from behind him. “Where do we want this again?” Gabe stood in the middle of the wide back door a fifty-gallon wooden pickle barrel on his shoulder.
“Over there at the end of the counter.” He pointed to the spot he’d purposely left vacant. There were a few stools situated at one end where people could sit while they waited their turn or have a drink of the birch beer that they planned to have on tap. He loved birch beer. He had since his first taste as a boy.
Some thought they should have real beer. However, he and Gabe agreed that while they would sell it in twelve packs or cases, they would not serve alcohol on the premises. It just didn’t feel right.
“Okay.” Gabe set the barrel down and slid it into place. “That’s all we have to carry in for today.” He took off his hat and swiped his plaid-covered forearm over his face. “What say we call it a day and go get some lunch?”
“We have to stop by Adam’s office. He wanted to talk to us about security while the carnival is in town. He wants this year’s faire to go off without a hitch.”
“I can imagine.” Gabe grinned. “I can’t imagine what happened that first year when he was in charge and they found that half-drowned woman up on the mountain.”
“They handled it, but you know him. He doesn’t like surprises. I think he has an inside track on something that might go down while the group is here. I saw him talking to Mel a couple of hours ago and he didn’t look happy. In fact, that was when he asked if we would join the council in a meeting about it.”