How long can she ignore mutual hunger?
Marcy Wright hopes her new job at Bear Bones Construction will provide a fresh start and help her leave the past behind. Her plan to keep her love life and work life separate becomes difficult when the sexy company CEO, Austin Morgan, takes an interest in her and makes her blood sizzle.
Despite being successful, handsome and rich, bear shifter Austin Morgan knows something is missing. When his business partner Bern hires a curvy and attractive accountant, he realizes what he’s been longing for: his perfect mate.
With obstacles in the way and trouble brewing, can he convince Marcy that she’s his sole desire? Or will she insist on staying in her comfort zone of being alone, and thus, put herself in unwitting danger when her past comes roaring back?
Targeted Audience: adults over 21 only paranormal romance readers
Rayne Reilly is from Eastern Canada originally. After living in England for seven years she and her British husband moved to B.C. Canada. She works full-time as an author, writing paranormal romance.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I have been writing since I was a teen but never thought about publishing until the last few years. Since I enjoy reading paranormal romance books myself, it seemed natural that I would be drawn to write about what I love to read.
Read more, including a sample from the book
Sample from Book:
Walking along a narrow trail through the woods, the crisp night air filled her nostrils and sent a slight chill through her. A twig snapped somewhere behind her. Turning quickly, she saw a man headed straight for her. As he neared, she saw the rage in his eyes… She tried to scream, but her voice was gone…She swallowed, opening her mouth again to release her voice. Nothing came. The only sound was the thud of their bodies, hitting the ground. He was suddenly on top of her. Overcome with fear, she tried and failed to summon the courage to fight him. It was then that she heard a loud sound crashing through the forest…It was coming closer. Turning her head in the direction of the sound, she heard a loud growl. The ground rumbled under the heavy footfalls as the sound came closer. Suddenly standing over them was a huge brown bear. With one large paw, the bear swung at the man. Her attacker flew through the air, hitting a large tree before crumpling to the ground. The bear turned toward her, his golden eyes gazing upon her. She finally managed to scream…
The dream faded as Marcy jolted awake, shaking slightly. Gazing at the clock, she sat up. “Damn it,” she hurried out of bed cursing the fact that she was about to be late for her first day at a new job. There was no time to think about the nightmare she’d just woken so abruptly from. She’d been awake most of the night worrying as it was.
Quickly, she realized that she only had half an hour to shower, apply some makeup, fix her hair and get dressed. To save time, she tied her hair up in a quick twist style that allowed just a few strands of bouncy brown curls to fall gently around her face. After a quick rummage through her closet, she settled on a blue sheath dress. She hoped it would look professional enough as well as hide some of her curvy figure. Her hand shook slightly as she applied her eye make-up. Her mind raced with thoughts of what it might be like working at a new company and having more responsibility. When she was told the details of the position, she knew she was going to fit in perfectly. The man that interviewed her seemed to have a lot of faith in her because of her previous experience. Her aptitude for numbers and joy of working on her own told her she would do well.
At last, it looked like her career was finally starting to go somewhere. This was her first job where she would be in charge of other people and though it was a great step up on her career path, it also scared her a little. Like so many things seemed to these days. She knew that she had a tendency to be shy around new people at first and hoped that she would overcome that in the right environment. Being somewhat introverted, it was going to be a big adjustment running her own department.
She was lucky she’d landed the new job. If she hadn’t of overheard a couple of women talking about the position being open, she wouldn’t have even known that the company was hiring. As a trained and certified accountant, she’d spent her years since university working for a small business in town. She liked being an accountant, but couldn’t stand how she was treated by the owners of the business. At twenty-nine, she was the youngest woman at Boyd and Harvey Accounting. She was never given credit for the work she did. In fact, often times one of the partners took the credit when customers asked who had done such a good job for them. She’d even overheard him once or twice, blaming her for mistakes he had made. When she asked him about it, he told her it came with the territory. She wasn’t really sure what that meant. He didn’t apologize, which only infuriated her more. Staying at that job was never going to allow her to move forward in her career and she knew it. Her attempts at speaking up for herself at her old job were always met with ridicule or humiliation. When she quit, her boss acted like she owed him something. It was a big reason for finding a new job and now that she had, she wasn’t going to do anything to lose it. Her old boss didn’t care what her reasons were for leaving the job and she was glad she never had to go back there again. Best of all, she was going to be a boss. At least she knew what NOT to do, to motivate her staff. The other reason for moving on from Boyd and Harvey had to do with her personal life, but she didn’t want to think about that right now. Not today. Today was about a fresh start and she was about to be late for her first day!
Bear Bones Construction was located right in town, in a huge restored building that used to house an old movie theater. The front of the building had a stepped parapet and was made of red brick. This gave the place an authentic and historic feel. The inside of the building had all the character and charm that one would expect. Wiping a little sweat from her brow as she entered, Marcy quickly introduced herself to the receptionist.
“Hello, I’m Marcy Wright. I'm supposed to start working here today,” she wheezed slightly.
“Good Morning Miss Wright. I’ll call Bern to come down and get you,” she said as she dialed an extension.
“She’s here,” she said into her headset. She looked in Marcy's direction, “He’ll be right down. Have a seat,” She smiled.
Marcy nodded and walked over to a large sofa to take a seat. She hoped that the man who’d hired her would be forgiving of her being so late. She’d been interviewed and hired by Bernard Langstaff, one of the company’s owners. When she’d met him at the interview she was surprised that he was so young. He looked like he was just three or four years older than her. That made her feel more at ease right away. His down to earth manner helped as well. He was warm and friendly with her throughout the half hour interview. Most people who lived in Pleasantville knew about Bear Bones Construction and its two owners, Bernard Langstaff and Austin Morgan. Marcy had only met Bern at her interview but hoped Austin was equally kind. She hoped that this job would be better than her last one and after meeting Mr. Langstaff, she was sure it was going to be. Fidgeting nervously, she placed her hands in her lap and took a couple of deep calming breaths. Looking around the reception area she smiled to herself. The atmosphere beat the stuffy office building she worked in before. She was startled a little when she heard a male voice from the other side of the reception area.
"Miss Wright?" he asked. Marcy made a less than graceful attempt at getting up from the comfortable sofa and stumbled forward a little. She quickly composed herself and smoothed her dress with both hands. Mr. Langstaff smiled at her. He was dressed casually in blue jeans and a pale blue dress shirt. She suddenly felt a little self-conscious and hoped she looked okay in what she’d chosen to wear for her first day. Smiling awkwardly, she stepped toward her new employer. They shook hands and Marcy couldn't help but feel a little nervous.
"Mr. Langstaff. Sorry I’m late."
"Call me Bern. No one here calls me Mr. Langstaff. Don’t worry about being late, it happens. Just don’t make a habit of it." He winked and motioned for Marcy to follow him. "We have a meeting to attend but I want to introduce you to a few people first,” he said as they walked, “As I mentioned in your interview, we have been short staffed for a while now. We’ve been trying to keep the accounts up to date, but have fallen a little short. Business has been increasing faster than we can keep up.”
“That’s good news…that business is good I mean,” Marcy said awkwardly.
“Yes, it is. However, I'm afraid you’ll have your work cut out for you. Like I said on the phone, the reason I’ve brought you on board…and why I think you are perfect for the job, is your years of experience. Not to mention your desire to move forward in your career. You’re just the type of person I had in mind for the position when we created it. I think you’ll be able to whip us into shape in no time. The staff working with you are eager to be of assistance and I think you’ll find them a nice crew of people to work with. You will come to know a lot of people through the company. We have contracts all over the state as well as here in town," he said.
The pair walked down a long hallway past a few offices. Some of the doors were closed but several were open with no one seated at their desks. Marcy smiled as she watched Bern peer into several of the empty offices. He had a slight grin on his face as he looked back toward her.
“Maybe we’ll save the introductions for later after-”
He was interrupted by a deep male voice several feet behind them. Marcy turned to see a well-built man, slightly taller than Bern. He looked directly at her, his face was stern but his eyes weren’t. She watched him eye her up and down quickly before he turned his gaze to Bern. Her heart began to beat a little faster. She rubbed her palms slowly down her dress to remove the sweat that had started to build in them. She wondered if this was Austin. If so, he seemed a little…well, scary. Now she knew why some people were intimidated by shifters, herself included apparently.
"You coming to the meeting?" he demanded. He looked at his watch. Bern nodded at him and put a hand at Marcy's back. She felt grateful for the reminder that he was next to her. The man in front of them looked angry or frustrated.
"Yes. I was just showing our newest staff member around," Bern said happily.
The tall dark-brown haired man pressed his lips together and stared at her for a moment. She could tell he was processing what Bern had just said. Does he even know that Bern hired me? she thought when she saw the look of surprise on his face. He nodded once and turned to storm back down the hallway. She thought he seemed a little put out. She worried that his first impression of her was now ruined. Marcy wanted to roll her eyes, but she looked at the floor instead and let out a breath. She hoped that she hadn’t made a mistake choosing to work here. The last thing she needed was another bully in her life.
Bern had told her in the interview that the environment was casual and that the staff was easy going. The dark stranger she had just encountered did not seem easy going or casual. Unlike Bern, he’d been wearing dress pants and a dress shirt with a stylish tie. She looked in the direction he’d stormed off in. Bern looked at Marcy apologetically but said nothing. He headed down the hall in the direction of tall, dark and grumpy. Marcy followed. Her stomach felt a little sick at the idea of sitting in the same room as the dark stranger who seemed so impatient and angry. This wasn’t what she had hoped for at all.
Seconds later they stepped into a large meeting room. In the center of the room was a large wooden table surrounded by chairs that looked a little uncomfortable but functional. She took a seat next to Bern when he held the chair out for her. She quickly searched her purse for a pen and paper, just in case she needed to take notes. She pulled her chair in and placed the pen and a small piece of paper she’d found, in front of her on the table. Because they were already late to the meeting, her anxiety level was through the roof.
When she finally had the courage to make eye contact with the other people around the table, she saw several smiling faces. There was also a slender, pretty blond woman that looked a little older than her and was giving her a look that Marcy interpreted as disdain. She tried her best to ignore the feelings of insecurity that were threatening to make her run out of the room, screaming.
"This is Marcy, our new accounting manager," Bern announced.
"Welcome," several male and female voices said in unison. The blond woman didn’t say anything and turned her head away at last. Marcy nodded back at the others; one by one everyone in the room introduced themselves. She could feel herself shaking slightly and kept her hands on her lap so no one would notice. She was glad she didn't have to shake hands with anyone at the moment. Marcy tried to pretend there wasn’t a hole burning into her right side, as the man at the end of the table stared at her. When the introductions were finished, Marcy smiled and looked to her right. She dreaded what he might say and hoped he wouldn’t humiliate her.
At the end of the table sat the man with the deep voice that she'd seen in the hallway. His face looked a little less intimidating now that she could see him more closely. He was by far, the most handsome man she'd ever seen. He had an air of confidence to him that she found enviable. She unconsciously swallowed and licked her lips, as she gazed upon his perfectly square jaw. Moving her eyes across his face, they met incredible amber colored eyes. She held her breath. Was she actually drooling over a guy?
In her peripheral vision, she saw the blond woman across from her moving in her chair uncomfortably. Marcy glanced at her and caught the woman glaring back at her.
"I'm Austin," the handsome man said, his voice smooth as silk.
Marcy turned to face him again and let out the breath she'd been holding, "Nice to meet you." She pushed a few curls off her forehead and looked down at the note paper in front of her. Her face glowed several shades of red. Awkward. Austin began the meeting, updating everyone on new and ongoing projects. He made sure to announce for Marcy’s sake, that meetings were held every Monday at nine a.m. sharp. He looked at her as he said it and Bern cleared his throat. Bern obviously wasn’t at fault, since she’d arrived for work ten minutes late.
Marcy listened throughout the meeting as she took a few notes on things that pertained to her new department. Every time she tried to steal a glance at Austin, he was looking back at her with an almost puzzled look on his face. She decided it was safer to avert her eyes to the dark wood grain of the large meeting table instead. She admonished herself for so blatantly gawking at him. Especially when the blond woman was sending her daggers with her eyes. She hoped that he wouldn’t override Bern’s decision and fire her before the end of her first day of work. The meeting lasted nearly an hour and Marcy learned what had to be dealt with by accounting as soon as possible.
As the meeting wrapped up, Bern stood and turned to face her, "Let’s do those introductions I mentioned earlier, then I’ll show you to your new office."
"Great," she said as she picked up her paper and pen. She noticed the blond woman walking over to Austin. Marcy could hear her whispering something to him but couldn’t make out what it was, nor his response. He looked a little angry as he looked at the blond woman, before turning away from her. Marcy hurried out of the room feeling embarrassed at the very thought of someone like Austin taking any notice of her. Men like him only dated beautiful models, not plus-sized, five-foot-five-inch, twenty-nine-year-old accountants.