Tami Lund writes happily ever after, but she likes to ensure her characters overcome a few seemingly insurmountable obstacles first. She writes paranormal romance because her imagination cannot be contained by the “real world.” If you like witches, shapeshifters, vampires, and magic, it’s a safe bet she has written something that will appeal to you.
Gabriel Wilde stared at the child clutching his PR manager’s hand. The little girl gazed right back, unblinking, green eyes wide in a heart-shaped face. Her dark hair was pulled back into a ponytail sitting high on her head, ringlets framing her cheeks.
The kid looked nothing like him. Not the shape of her face, not her green eyes, not her tiny lips or high cheekbones or any damn feature. The only thing they had in common was dark hair, but hell, two-thirds of the dragon population had brown locks.
“How old is she?”
“Five,” Talia responded.
Five plus nine months … where the hell had he been almost six years ago? And with whom? The child didn’t strike a chord, didn’t remind him of any of the dozens of flings he’d had with nameless, faceless women who served a singular purpose. Not exactly the way a reeve was supposed to act, but then again, he hadn’t asked to be reeve for a bunch of unruly dragons, either.
“Are you sure she’s mine?”
Talia pursed her lips and crossed her arms. His PR manager was one of a precious few in this colony who wasn’t at least somewhat intimidated by him. Hell, half the time, he was afraid of her. If she had been shoved into the role of reeve with no warning and no training and no desire to play the part, she wouldn’t have needed a PR manager. She would have flourished all on her own.
She probably deserved a raise. And speaking of, how the fuck was she going to smooth this one over?
“Are you questioning my ability to do my job?”
He wasn’t sure what finding his illegitimate child had to do with her responsibilities as his PR manager, but even so, Talia wouldn’t lie to him. She’d also check every available source. Hell, Gabe wouldn’t be surprised if she’d had a paternity test run.
Yeah, the kid was definitely his.
The little girl shuffled her feet and adjusted the pack on her back. “Does she have a name?” he asked Talia. His kid. The words didn’t even sound right. First, an unwanted position as reeve. Now, an unwanted kid. Next, he was going to find himself stuck with an unwanted mate.
Exactly where he planned for his life to never, ever go. He’d never been one for long-term goals, and yet he was stuck with these for… how long did it take to raise a dragon offspring?
Too damn long.
“Ruby,” the kid said, speaking for the first time since she and Talia showed up on his front porch this morning. Too freaking early in the morning, frankly. It was entirely possible he was still drunk from last night. Probably shouldn’t mention that to Talia, who would scold him like a schoolteacher.
Wouldn’t be the first time, unfortunately.
“My name is Ruby. My mommy told me you promised to buy her a ruby, but you gave her me instead, so that’s what she named me.”
“Your mom sounds like a piece of work,” Gabe muttered. Even with that little clue, he couldn’t place the kid’s mother. If he’d offered to buy a woman a ruby, he’d been hella drunk at the time. “What’s her name? Your mom, I mean.”
Talia arched her brows, and he was willing to bet they were thinking the same thing. Sounded like a stripper name.
Shaking her head, Talia said, “You never fail to disappoint me, Gabriel Wilde.”
“And you never fail to act like my goddamn mother,” he snapped back, even though he usually accepted her jibes for the truths they were.
In that cool way she had, Talia replied, “Don’t you mean a mother?”
Goddamn it, she was right. Gabe didn’t have a mother, or at least not one he remembered.
“So you’re five, your mom is a strip—”
He clamped his mouth shut. Gritting his teeth, he blew out a breath and tried again.
“And you’re mine—apparently. How come I’m just now finding out about you?”
“Her mother left the colony shortly after the two of you hooked up,” Talia jumped in to explain. “It was right in the middle of Blake dying and you becoming reeve.”
Fucking lucky break that’d been. Otherwise the old geezers in the colony probably would’ve found some loophole to force him to mate with Ruby’s mom, a woman he couldn’t recollect no matter how hard he tried. But gods, there’d been so many, and especially at that point in his life, he’d been pretty damn fucked up more often than not.
“So where’s she been these past five years?”
He arched one brow when she opened her mouth then snapped it shut again. Talia never hesitated to speak her mind. Ever.
“There’s this colony, down in New Orleans…”
“Rojo dragons.” Gabe swore, ignoring Talia’s sour look when he did so. But damn it, no child, his or otherwise, should get caught up in that colony’s lifestyle. Those guys took human processed drugs and laced them with dragon blood, making that shit ten times more potent—and deadly. Especially to humans—their biggest clients.
Talia nodded and now he felt like a heel, even though he hadn’t a clue his kid had been shoved into a lifestyle like that.
“So where’s her mom now?”
“She’s pretty messed up right now. She needs to get herself straightened out, and she can’t do that if she’s worried about Ruby.”
“If the kid’s been hanging out with the Rojo dragons, it doesn’t sound like her mom’s been much concerned for her welfare.”
Again with the disapproving look. Sometimes it felt like Talia didn’t like a damn thing he ever did or said.
“Which is why I stepped in and brought her here. The reeve of this colony will certainly be able to provide her with the tools she needs to succeed in this world. Keep her from following in her mom’s footsteps.”
Gabe eyed the little girl with the dark curls. Actually, if he claimed her, she could follow in her dad’s footsteps. Who happened to be a reeve, whether he wanted the position or not. And if he had an heir, maybe the biddies in his colony would finally get off his back about taking a mate. Not to mention, if he trained Ruby—rather, convinced Talia to train her—she could take over as reeve sooner rather than later. Sure, he might have to wait fifteen years or so, but that was better than fifty, or however long it took some other wannabe to topple him off a throne he didn’t even want in the first place.
This idea had serious merit.
“Why are alarm bells suddenly going off in my head?” Talia asked, narrowing her eyes and crossing her arms.
Gabe chuckled and flung his arm around her shoulders. “No idea. I’m actually really happy you brought her to me. Glad to see my prodigy is so cute, too. And you’re right; she will be better off here instead of wherever the hell her mom’s at now. But listen. I’m gonna need a favor from you.”
“What’s that?” Green eyes swirled with trepidation.
“I need you to help raise her. Which means you’re gonna have to move in with me.”
“Uh-uh,” Talia responded immediately, shaking her head so hard her hair whipped her in the face. One more reason he knew he could trust her to take on this job: any other woman in his acquaintance would have leapt at the opportunity, thinking it was a chance to audition to be the reeve’s mate or something.
“You’re my PR manager,” he reminded her.
“There is nothing in my job description that states I have to help you take care of your illegitimate child.”
“You’re the one who brought her to me in the first place.”
“That wasn’t because I’m your PR manager. That’s because I care about her welfare.”
Well hell. He raked a hand through his overlong dark hair. “Talia, come on. I…”
She arched her brow, a damn near perfect imitation of him. It was on the tip of his tongue to say, “I need you,” which was, well, totally out of character for him. Another one of Gabe’s missions in life: rely only on himself. Caring about someone else’s needs only got a person screwed in the end. And not the good, sweaty kind, either.
On the other hand, he really, kind of, sort of did need Talia. He didn’t have a clue what to do with a five-year-old child.
“I… shit, Talia, are you really going to make me say it?”
She blinked owlishly, like she really didn’t know what the hell he was thinking at the moment.
Son of a bitch.
“I need your help.”
Want to keep reading? This book is available on most e-book retailers:
Have you checked out the rest of the Bad Alpha Dad books?
And yes, Tami is working on the sequel to Dragon His Heels. Tentative release date is in January, 2019. Stay tuned!
If you love sexy shifters interspersed with laugh-out-loud humor, you need to read the Twisted Fate series!
The Twisted Fate Series
He’s cursed, she’s the last of her kind. He thinks they’re mates. She thinks he’s batshit crazy. Oh, and let’s not forget about the shifter war going on in the background.
Night Owl Reviews gave Of Love and Darkness a 4.5 star review! Here’s what they had to say:
Tami Lund does a fantastic job of making and detailing new shape-shifter storylines.
Of Love and Darkness is the first book in the new paranormal Twisted Fate series. I am looking forward to reading more in this series. I enjoyed the twists and turns the author put the reader through as she explained and built this new series. The characters were well developed and the storyline flowed well. The main characters steamed up the pages and made me laugh while the secondary characters were well written and leaves me wanting more. I am looking forward to reading more from the author in this series as the Light Ones begin to fight back against their enemies the Rakshasa and start to defend themselves to build a better future.
The second book in the series, Prim and Proper Fate is about Brandon and Prim. He’s a shifter, she’s a Fate, and he hates Fates. Until Gavin’s curse is lifted and Brandon is forced to work with Prim in order to bring him back to the pack. Maybe Fates aren’t so bad after all…
And the third and final book, Prisoner of Fate, wraps up this sexy, smart series.
Evil shifter Matteo Connor’s been a prisoner of the Fates for a thousand years. It’s been a pretty boring existence … until he meets the innocent Chala, Lily Gallow. Is it possible this fiesta yet naive beauty can set him free, both literally and emotionally?
Want more shifters? Give the Lightbearer Series a read!
This series is about magical people called Lightbearers and the shapeshifters who hate to love them. After all, they’re supposed to be enemies, not lovers…
Night Owl Reviews reviewed both First Light (4.5 stars) and Into the Light (4 stars) and named First Light a “Top Pick”! Here’s what they had to say:
Tami Lund has created a new and diverse world in her new Lightbearers series. This book was a fun, quick read that was very enjoyable. This book is the prequel to the Lightbearers and has strong characters and an interesting storyline as beings finds out their strengths against an enemy that would kill them all. I am looking forward to reading more from this author as she has the ability to tell an amazing story.
The series, in reading order:
First Light (free series prequel)
Meet Sabine, the Lightbearer who refuses to cower to the evil shifters, and James, the king who falls in love with her spirit and confidence. And let’s not forget Xander, the shifter who makes her question everything about herself and her life.
Broken Light (prequel #2)
Xander returns in the second prequel, and this time, he may have found a shifter to love…except she wants him to kill a human for her. Xander’s a changed man, and he’s not so sure killing is going to solve Adelle’s problem, anyway.
Fast forward to the current century, where shifters and Lightbearers have returned to being mortal enemies, at least until Tanner Lyons rescues the Lightbearer princess, Olivia Bennett, from his own father. Now he has to return her to the safety of her home…without falling in love.
Cecilia Druthers and Finn Hennigan hate each other. Or at least that’s what they’re trying to convince themselves. But then they fall into, er, a closet together and things really heat up. Problem is, someone’s trying to kill Cecilia, and if Finn wants to keep her in his bed, he’s going to have to figure out who–and stop them.
Carley was the Lightbearer king’s favorite chef, until she ran away from her abusive mate. Problem is, she ran away from the coterie, too. And now she’s in Chicago, and she’s met Reid Hennigan, a shifter who doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with a Lightbearer and shifter hooking up. He might feel differently if he knew she was still mated to another, though…
Rachel’s human. Josh isn’t. In fact, he’s a shapeshifter pack master, but she doesn’t know that. She has to seduce him in order to live to see next week, which isn’t a hardship, although pretending she doesn’t care sure becomes one. And let’s not forget that she doesn’t know her lover isn’t human…And neither is the guy who’s threatening to kill her if she doesn’t do exactly what he says.
No, Cupids aren’t toddlers with wings who go around shooting people with bows and arrows (Cupids have lousy aim), but they do help people find their happily ever afters. What they aren’t supposed to do is fall in love themselves. Especially not with their assignments.
Tami Lund’s vampires are deliciously, wickedly sexy.
Resist is Anya and Cam’s story… about how a human who hates all vampires can overcome her prejudice and fall in love with one who’s as reluctant as she.
Eternity is Abby and Parnell’s story… about a vampire who was so obsessed with his human consort, he set her free. But now she’s in danger and he has to figure out if he can save her without falling all over again.
Get ready to fall in love with the world of the Blood Courtesans…
When you’ve had your fill of vampires, here’s a witch who’s a reluctant coven leader:
All’s Fair: Love & Warlocks
If you like witches, steamy encounters, and deception, you want to grab your copy HERE (It’s only 99 cents!)
Friends to lovers never read so funny. Especially when you toss in a cheeky old gypsy woman, her supposedly-enchanted mirror, and a jack-o-lantern with constantly changing features…
A compilation of Tami Lund’s paranormal short stories & novellas, including Gift of the Gods, which isn’t available anywhere else!
Releasing: December 3, 2018
Pre-order at any of these ebook retailers:
Keep up to date with the latest and greatest, as well as enjoy doses of Tami’s quirky sense of humor by liking her Facebook page: Tami’s Facebook Page.
Tami is also a member of the Wolf Pack, which is a facebook fan club for a bunch of PNR authors who have banded together to bring readers a steady stream of super awesome paranormal romance books–not to mention discounts and freebies and prizes, too.
Click HERE to join the pack!