This week, it is Charlie Richards whose Wolves of Stone Ridge and Kontra's Menagerie series are a favorite of shifter readers. Here is a blurb and excerpt from her newest book, Silver-Tipped Justice and a link at the bottom of this post from Amazon to buy it.
Kontra Belikov has been searching for his mate, Tim Laurent, for nearly sixty years, ever since he missed his chance by giving the just-of-age teen time to experience life. While heading back to his gang, he’s surprised, but grateful, to discover Tim in a small town. When Kontra pursues Tim, their chemistry is explosive, but right after, Tim pushes him away. Tim doesn’t believe they’re mates and feels guilty accepting affection since his lover of almost twenty years passed away just six months before. Frustrated, Kontra gives Tim his space, all the while vowing to get through to his mate. Space, once again, seems to be a mistake when the next morning, Kontra discovers Tim has been kidnapped. Can Kontra rescue Tim, find out why his mate’s old flock is trying to keep them apart, and convince Tim they are meant to be together?
Kontra led the way down the street to the corner, then crossed and strode into the bar. His sight adjusted nearly instantly to the dimmer light, and he headed toward a back corner booth. Payson made a stop at the bar, most likely to order a couple of beers.
Settling on the seat, Kontra stretched out his legs and relaxed, sighing deeply. The short walk and real seat felt nice after riding his hog for ten hours, with only the occasional stops for fuel to break the monotony. The corner of his lip curved up slightly as he watched Payson head his way with a beer in each hand.
Payson set one in front of him, then slid into the booth, moving halfway around the U-shaped seat so his own back was toward the wall and he could look out. Kontra picked up his glass and clinked it against Payson’s.
He took a healthy swig, then hummed his pleasure as the cold, dark brew slid down his throat. “Very nice,” he murmured appreciatively.
His buddy winked and took a large gulp of his own beverage. They sat in companionable silence as they perused a tall, narrow card listing offered eats on one side and drinks on the other. It was typical bar fare, fried onion rings, hot wings, potato skins, and greasy burgers. Kontra licked his lips. Perfect!
“Hey, gents,” a waiter greeted him. “What can I get for you?”
Kontra glanced at the man, taking in his broad shoulders hidden under a black t-shirt, his engaging smile, and the friendly light in his brown eyes. He might have been surprised the man didn’t appear wary of him, but the guy stood around six three and looked like he could handle himself. Their waiter, and most likely the owner of the joint, if Kontra didn’t miss his guess, probably didn’t run into much he couldn’t handle on his own.
Returning the guy’s friendly smile with a slight curve of his lips, Kontra said, “I’d like a double cheeseburger with bacon, heavy on the pickles, light on the mustard.” He tapped his menu and added, “How about some potato skins, too.”
The human grinned. “You won’t be disappointed.” He turned and lifted a brow at Payson in silent question.
“I’ll take the same on the burger, but add mushrooms and jalapeños to mine,” Payson replied.
Their waiter nodded. “You got it.” He glanced between their half-finished beers. “Gonna need refills with the meal?”
“Maybe even before that,” Kontra replied, finally giving the human a true smile. He liked an attentive waiter.
The man laughed and nodded. “I’m Shep. Just holler at me when you want it and you’ll have it in a jiff.”
“Thanks, Shep. We’ll do that.” Kontra lifted his mug and tipped his head in thanks before taking another swallow.
Their skins came quickly, along with another round of beers. Dipping the greasy, tasty morsel in sour cream, Kontra brought it to his mouth and took in half. He moaned in delight. Delicious! Seconds later, he swallowed the other half.
“Oh, that’s good, boss,” Payson muttered around a pleased groan.
Kontra chuckled. “Maybe you should take a plate or two of those back to the room this evening,” he teased.
Payson snickered. “Think they’d let me?”
He tilted his head toward the front where a white plastic bag sat, the distinctive shape of to-go boxes filling it out. “They seem to offer take-out.”
“Nice,” Payson crooned, following Kontra’s gaze.
Shep arrived at their table and placed plates holding massive burgers and heaps of waffle fries. “Thanks,” Kontra said while Payson just grinned and dug in.
Kontra was halfway through his meal when a sweet, tangy smell tickled his senses. Looking up, he surveyed the room, trying to determine the source of the scent. His eyes narrowed as he watched a lithe man stride toward the bar, the sway of his slender hips catching Kontra’s eye.
The way Shep grinned at the stranger had Kontra fighting back a growl.
“Hey, Tim,” Shep greeted the man. “How’s your day going?”
Tim? Kontra inhaled again, and this time, the way his dick reacted, pressing painfully against his fly, made sense. “Holy shit.” After all this time, Kontra had found him.
“Oh, he’s cute, boss,” Payson said, following his attention. “You gonna try to go for him?”
Kontra turned and looked at Payson. From the way his pack mate cocked his head and frowned, he knew stunned shock must have been clearly etched on his features.
“You okay, boss?” Payson asked, his brow creasing in concern.
He had to swallow hard before he could answer. Finally, he managed to croak, “That’s my mate.”