The Amazon Rainforest still contains a few secrets.
One of these secrets is a hidden village of women whose history is filled with the horror of conquering men. When the princess of the Amazons falls in love with a weretiger biologist, the tiny village will be changed forever.This collection contains the four previously published paranormal romance novellas in the Amazon Chronicles series: Jungle Heat, Jungle Fire, Jungle Blaze, and Jungle Burn.
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Kissa Press LLC
Date of Publication: October 14, 2013
Adara raced over the dense forest floor, trying to escape the shadow closing on her heels. Fear pumped adrenaline through her body as she ran toward her village through the darkness. Panic tangled with the sheer need to survive. If only I'd listened. What was I thinking, coming out alone?
She shot a glance over her shoulder. Her foot smacked against a tree root in the moment of distraction, pitching her body forward. The fall came in slow motion.
Cursing under her breath, she rolled onto her back. Dry leaves clung to her blonde hair. The subtle, musty scent of slow rot rose from the rich soil, mixed with something coming from behind her. The dark shadow loomed. Her gaze rose to take in her pursuer, wondering if the beast would be her doom.
The tall, broad-shouldered creature towered over her. Watching. It wasn't human or animal. The village wise woman had warned her of beings like this, but they'd seemed like fables. How could something so fantastical be real?
Even as she trembled with fear, this creature captivated her. The black and orange stripes covering his shoulders and arms evoked a distant memory, yet the design was uncommon in the Amazon.
His hair hung in straight, black strands like a human's, but his face had the nose, mouth, and eyes of a feline. His muscular, naked body reflected a splendid combination of both species. Sweat-shiny skin glistened through the inch-long fur that covered him. His white chest intrigued her, all the way to the patch of fur barely covering his groin. Leaves and branches framed his face with a lush green background. He crouched over her. His piercing golden eyes focused solely on her. His stare reminded her of a cat from her village staring at a small rodent before pouncing.
As he leaned down, she grabbed her kris from the garter on her thigh and pushed it against his stomach. She didn't want today to be the day she died. Her people needed her. She wouldn't let this beast deny them their princess.
The animal cocked his head at her. He brushed his lips over her throat, whiskers tickling her chin.
Her body stiffened. What is he doing? Bewilderment spread through her as his feline lips touched her neck. Instead of biting her, his canines grazed lightly, gently, from just below her ear down to her shoulder, almost as if exploring her flesh, instead of seeking to rip open her throat.
She tensed. Even with her weapon pressed against the beast's stomach, she still feared for her life. As an Amazon princess, she wasn't easily scared. But this feline made her heart pound. If only she had brought Rubia with her. She wouldn't be in this situation and could've stood a better chance against this feline.
Why does he persist in toying with me? Adara swallowed as a low burn started in the pit of her stomach. These feelings confused her.
A soft sniffing sounded in her ear right before his tongue scraped rough caresses on her skin. Other jungle cats marked their territory. Did this animal believe she was his? She didn't want to find out.
Without waiting for the feline's next move, Adara drove the kris deep into his stomach, meeting resistance as it plunged through flesh and muscle. She forced it further as his blood flowed onto her hands, making the hilt of the kris slick, weakening her grip.
He roared and leapt back with her kris still embedded in his abdomen.
She scrambled to her feet. His scream so near the side of her face made her ear ring. Bringing up a hand to her ear, Adara felt a trail of his wet blood drip along her cheek.
He straightened his spine and strode back to her, her kris still buried in him. It seemed as if it were nothing more than a minor annoyance to him. She clenched her hands into fists and dropped them to her sides.
The reality of what she saw struck her. She froze. How could he act so unaffected? He shouldn't have been able to move around so casually. It wasn't possible. How can I outrun something like that? This can't be happening. Her mother had always warned her to be careful when traveling through the forest. Why hadn't she listened? And how could she feel so drawn to this animal when he intimidated her?
"Who are you?" Gritting her teeth, she forced her voice to resonate with the commanding tones of an Amazon huntress, and fervently hoped it didn't betray the panic racing through her veins. Her people's beliefs restricted them from showing fear in front of strangers. Not that they saw many. But her tribeswomen were survivors in dangerous times. Their history brimmed with reminders.
The feline bared pointed white teeth. "Call me Rei." His husky voice reverberated like a deep growl.
He launched into the air and, before she could react, flattened her to the ground. Air whooshed out of her lungs. Her eyes widened and locked onto his.
He pinned her arms next to her head and pressed his feline lips to hers. His tongue scraped across her lower lip, causing nips of pain to cut through the alluring sensation.
She shook her head hard, breaking the kiss. Her breath rushed out short and quick. Never before had she kissed anyone. His mouth on hers created fiery stirrings within her body that felt almost too good. Her racing pulse only spread the warmth throughout her body that much faster.
Twice a year, her tribeswomen associated with Indian men. The younger girls were forced to stay in a hut during those visits, although Adara had snuck out once with Rubia in a fit of rebellion. She'd spotted one of her kin pressing her mouth against an Indian male's. Could this be what happens?
But men weren't to be trusted. Her kin had learned that the hard way many, many years ago.
Her mind flashed to the tales she'd heard from the wise woman. Horrible reminders assaulted her, memories of the men from long ago, enslaving her kind, killing them ruthlessly with diseases and swords.
She could imagine the cruelty of the conquering, pillaging men as vividly as if she had been there herself, so strongly had the wise woman spoken. It had taken weeks for her to sleep soundly after listening to that story.
Sudden panic swept away the lust that burned inside her. This creature could do the same. He's chased me, after all.
"What do you want from me?" Adara asked, trying to sound forceful, but instead her voice came out husky. She cleared her throat and returned his gaze.
Talking with an animal! Rubia would be jealous. Her tribeswomen would never believe this story... if she survived the encounter.
Rei smiled, warmth emanating from him. "You." His chest rumbled, and he rolled the word off his tongue like an exotic purr.
Rubia Costa tied down her hammock in a peaceful spot where she went to get away. She'd told no one of this spot, and yet she was within yelling distance of her people. Help would come if the need arose.
She didn't dare venture far from her village. But these days, her village wasn't as calm and mundane as it once had been. So far, she wasn't sure whether that was good or bad. Life and traditions were changing, and she couldn't hold back confusion as pieces of what she'd been taught now unraveled around her.
She climbed onto the hammock and gazed at the trees above her. The hammock swung gently, lulling her into the relaxed state she so desired. She closed her eyes and sighed softly.
The dream world rose up to greet her. The sound of dry leaves crunching underfoot forced her back to alertness. Her eyes shot open to see a tall, dark-haired man staring at her.
She lunged for her spear, stuck in the ground nearby. Gradually, the realization dawned on her who this man was, and she settled back, her nerves still tense and ready to fight.
"Some reflexes you have there," Kyle Reynolds said. A grin stretched across his lips, brightening his face. At ease, he leaned against the tree near her feet while she admired his broad, muscular shoulders that narrowed down to a slim waist.
She rolled her eyes and crossed her arms, unwilling to show the impact his presence had on her. "What are you doing here? How did you find me?"
"My sense of smell isn't as acute as other animals', but it's good enough to find where you went. I wanted to make sure you're not out getting in trouble."
His grin turned into a smirk, and he pushed off from the tree.
"What? Like my friend..." She grimaced. Although they still talked, Adara had so much going on. They didn't spend as much time together as they had before, especially now with Rei in Adara's life.
"I don't know what you're talking about." He winked and sat next to her in the hammock. It tilted enough that she slid closer to him.
Her hip bumped his, and her nerves tingled. She crawled away. Unfortunately, he must have taken that as an invitation to come closer, since he lay next to her. "What are you doing? Get out of my hammock." She scooted farther away as her body started to slip toward his once again.
Kyle grabbed her wrist and kissed her knuckles. His gaze held something she'd seen in glances between Rei and Adara. Those kinds of emotions were unfamiliar to her. Vaguely, she realized their meaning, but why would Kyle project that toward her?
He trailed his lips over her wrist and slowly moved up her arm. His warm breath tickled her flesh. She couldn't drag her gaze from his. Her voice escaped in a whisper. "What are you doing?"
"Something I've wanted to do for a while now. You don't make this easy for me, Rubia." He rolled over carefully. His body hovered over hers, and he pressed his lips against her shoulder and then her neck.
Sensations of pleasure spread between her legs, warming her body to a fever pitch. What were they doing? Panic rose up within her, and she shoved hard at Kyle's chest, throwing him off balance. The hammock tilted, and air rushed by just before her body hit the ground with a thud.
Pain throbbed throughout her back, and a groan welled from her throat. She blinked her eyes open.
Kyle knelt next to her. Concern etched soft lines at the corner of his mouth. "Are you okay?"
The ache in her back sharpened, and she fought not to wince. Instead, she pushed against Kyle's chest. "I'm fine. I can walk."
Kyle stared at her with a raised eyebrow. He shook his head. "I'll carry you. It's no trouble."
Great. She didn't want her tribeswomen to see him carting her around as if he was her protector or had... claimed her. Let alone the state she was in. They might worry she'd been injured, which wasn't far from the truth since she wasn't feeling too well at the moment.
She shoved against him, but it was like trying to move a solid tree trunk. He didn't budge an inch. Her people had studied the werecats, since they lived in such close proximity, but she had a hard time getting used to one being so close. She wasn't sure she wanted to be intimate with Kyle.
Something about him was alluring, but she couldn't dream of becoming tied to the werepumas' leader and shirking her responsibilities as an Amazon. She wanted to lead a peaceful, simple life. Those words were foreign when Kyle was involved.
He stood just out of sight from the village's catwalks, and she wriggled in his arms.
"Set me down. Right now." She lowered her voice and glared at him. If only he didn't have such a solid grip on her spear, but there was no chance she'd be able to wrestle it away from him. Not if he didn't want her to.
Determination set in his jaw, but he gently placed her feet on the ground. "Fine. Go show everyone how strong and brave you are." He muttered under his breath, "Silly woman."
About the Author:
Sarah Mäkelä loves her fiction dark, magical, and passionate. She is a paranormal romance author, but she’s written all over the romance spectrum with cyberpunk, sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy...even a sweet contemporary romance!
A life-long paranormal fan, she still sleeps with a night-light. In her spare time, she reads sexy books, watches scary movies (and Ghost Adventures), and plays computer games with her husband. When she gets the chance, she loves traveling the world too.
The Amazon Chronicles contains four novellas that are a quick and fun read. It tells both the perspective of the characters which is enjoyable.
Jungle Heat: Tells the story of the Amazonian princess Adara and Rei's meeting. How Rei desires Adara as his mate. The feelings for the both of them grew quickly despite Adara's reluctance in the beginning. She may be naive but she has a strong character and Rei is quite a patient weretiger. Although they have to overcome an obstacle from the werepumas who is jealous of Rei and Adara's mating.
Jungle Fire: Tells the story of Kyle, the leader of the werepumas/ Rei's friend and Rubia, the childhood friend of Adara. In this story, Kyle wants Rubia as his mate and Rubia has conflicting emotions were Kyle is concerned. Although that doesn't stop Kyle from pursuing her until trouble starts brewing within the werepumas because of Kyle's pursuit.
Jungle Blaze: Tells the story of Eduardo, the second-in-command of the werepumas and Sol. Sol wants to find a mate in the werepumas like the other Amazonians but she feels that she is of no importance and the were puma who has captured her attention doesn't even noticed her until one evening and when he finally noticed her, Eduardo didn't want her as a mate. Eduardo has his own secret which makes him doesn't want to be in a relationship until he meets Sol. Unfortunately, despite ignoring what he feels for Sol, his beast know what it wants especially when he needs to overcome his fear to mate in order not lose Sol.
Jungle Burn: Tells the story of the children of the previous couples. Sabina, the daughter of Adara and Rei; Tiago, the son of Kyle and Rubia; and Rafael the son of Eduardo and Sol. Although it focuses more on Sabina's and Rafael's feelings for one another despite it being unknown to them until an opportunity for Rafael opens up. The fourth novella actually makes me crave more despite it being the last installment of the series.