Welcome to the Alpha Male Diner. My name is Deborah (grabs red crayon and writes name upside down on paper tablecloth so you can read it) and I’ll be your server/cook today. Here at the Alpha Male Diner all of our dishes are prepared exactly you your liking, but you should be aware that everything on the menu is hot and spicy.
Brandon Merrick (Dragon shifter)
recipe created by Deborah Cooke
Ember's Kiss (Dragonfire series Book #8)
1 toned and tan cut of Australian Beef
seasoned on a surfboard
1 dark secret
equal portions of power, gentleness, thoughtfulness and passion
tattooed to perfection
1 talented mouth for kissing
dash of romance and earthly extract
Serve this taste sensation on a Hawaiian beach with a sunset on the side, although you can opt for a naked midnight swim instead. We recommend you try him on the night of the eclipse, when the sparks of the firestorm light every moment of your meal.
Caution: Looking for his forever mate
The soft crunch of approaching footsteps made her eyes fly open, and she sat up in bed. Liz crept to the sliding door to her room, the one she had left open to the ocean breeze. She saw the silhouette of a man on the path that wound through the bushes beyond the patio outside her room.
Liz might have been alarmed, but an orange glow lit her fingertips, surrounding her hand. It was just like the light she’d thought she’d seen when Brandon approached her on the beach. It sparked and burned, brightening with every passing moment, in defiance of every scientific law she’d ever learned.
Liz smiled, knowing who had come to find her.
And honest enough with herself to be glad.
Who said wishes didn’t come true?
When she looked up from the radiance, Brandon had stopped in the path, as if waiting for an invitation or an acknowledgment. The moonlight and the sparks between them made anything seem possible.
Even a happy future with her returned powers.
Brandon raised a hand and saluted her, a spark flying from his fingertips to collide with her own.
“Want to go for a walk?” he asked, his tone soft and teasing. He did have an accent, and she was sure it was Australian.
Liz smiled at him. His appearance when she’d been thinking of him, the steady indigo radiance of his aura, and her own reaction to him made it easy to forget the glimpse she’d had of him in that dust. It made it easy to dismiss her earlier trepidation.
He was just a man, a gorgeous man who wanted her.
This was the chance she’d wanted to have.
And she wasn’t going to let it slip away.
She opened the door wider and walked toward him, giving him a moment to look. The lace top of this nightgown left very little to the imagination, and she was glad she’d chosen to wear it. She felt powerful and sexy, glittering with allure. She felt beautiful. The sparks between them burned more brightly, turning from orange to yellow, then sparking off Brandon. The light in his eyes told her that he liked what he saw.
She was amazed when the glow between them lit to paler yellow. It would be a white-hot fire soon, and she wouldn’t be able to stand it. Already her knees and her resistance to him were dissolving. Her skin was tingling, and her body was pulsing with desire. She was warm despite the breeze, and wide awake.
“No, I want another kiss instead.” Her voice sounded huskier than usual, and he smiled. Liz stopped in front of him, watching that golden radiance grow so bright that it pushed aside the light of the moon. She frowned at it, unfamiliar with the specific magic that would cause such an effect. Was this a new manifestation of her own powers? Or had Brandon caused it? “What is this? Do you know?”
Brandon grinned and reached for her hand. His touch was warm, the feel of his skin against hers making Liz’s mouth go dry. He laced their fingers together, holding their palms an inch apart. A golden light shone there, shining so vividly that Liz could hardly look at it. “Destiny,” he said with complete conviction. “A sign that we were meant to be together.”
Liz smiled despite herself. “Tonight?”
Brandon was completely serious, his gaze intent. “Longer than that. For good. It’s a sign that we were meant for each other, that this was meant to be.”
Liz had to indulge her scientific skepticism. “Maureen could have chosen another restaurant. Then what?”
“Then my friends would have, too. It was fate that we’d meet tonight, Liz.” He was so certain of it that Liz wanted to believe it, too. “And that’s bigger and stronger than either of us.”
“You can’t believe that,” Liz protested, even though she loved the romance of the idea and wished it could be true. Once upon a time, she’d believed in destiny and karma and the overwhelming power of good.
“I do.” His conviction tempted Liz to take another step closer.
“But we can’t know already that there’s anything permanent in this,” she protested, the conviction fading from her words. “We don’t even know each other.”
Brandon tightened his grip on her hand, looking so determined that it sent a shiver through her. “No, we can’t know that, not by ourselves. That’s why we have to trust the flame of the firestorm.” His smile was confident, his gaze so unswerving that Liz chose to believe. “The firestorm knows, and I believe.”
The firestorm. It was the perfect name for this sizzling lust that had filled her body at the sight of him, the perfect term for the overwhelming tide of desire that distracted her from everything other than Brandon.
Maybe it was Hawaiian magic. It was certainly Brandon’s magic. Liz could dig up the details later. She didn’t want to lose the mood of the moment, not when those flames were licking and dancing and driving her crazy, not when they were lighting Brandon’s face so he looked golden and powerful.
“Is the firestorm always right?” she asked. She put her other hand on his chest, smiling at the flurry of sparks that exploded from the point of contact.
“Every time,” he vowed, his other arm sliding around her waist to pull her closer. “A force of nature can’t lie.”
Liz smiled at that truth. They stood staring at each other for a long moment, the light dancing between them, the heat building to a crescendo; then she stretched up and touched her lips to his.
That was all it took.
A DRAGONFIRE NOVEL
For centuries, the shape-shifting dragon warriors known as the Pyr have hidden themselves from mankind, defending the earth’s treasures in secrecy. But as the final reckoning with the Slayers—who are determined to eradicate both humans and the Pyr who protect them—heats up, even the most ancient secrets will be revealed.…
Brandon Merrick is determined to banish his shifter nature forever. The charismatic tattooed surfer is on the cusp of the ultimate challenge—to prove himself on the whitecaps of Hawaii and secure his future as a pro surfer. But his dragon isn’t prepared to be tamed so easily....
One look at marine biologist Liz Barrett ignites the spark of a firestorm: Liz is his destined mate and his chance for happiness. While Brandon sees their first night together as just the beginning, his dragon seizes the upper hand. Awakening in the company of a raging dragon challenges Liz’s ability to believe her own eyes. Can Brandon accept his inner beast in time to make it work with Liz?
Neither one realizes Brandon is caught in an ancient Slayer’s scheme to enslave him. When the deadly plot ignites, the very island will be at risk...and Brandon and his mate could be the ultimate sacrifice.
|photo credit: Michelle Rowen|
Deborah makes her home in Canada with her husband. When she isn't writing, she can be found knitting, sewing or hunting for vintage patterns.
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