Rough (The Bear Chronicles of Willow Creek Book 1)
by Julia Keith and Emily Minton
Ethan Artair lived his life happily in Willow Creek. Living among shifters, he was able to live free and allow his bear to do the same. Everything changed, the day a reporter came to his little town and made everyone’s life a living hell. As mayor, he had no choice but take a human wife to disprove the reporter’s claim that no outsiders are allowed their town. Disgust filled Ethan when he met his new wife, but his disgust quickly changed to something he never thought he could feel for a human, lust.
Amelia Calder is forced to live with the scars of her parents’ death. While growing up in foster care, her only desire was to see her younger sister be happy. Knowing her minimum wage job would never be enough to care for her sister, she made the only choice she could. She decided to move to a town she had never heard of and marry a man she had never met. Fear filled Amelia when she finally met her new husband, but her fear quickly changed to something else, something she's never felt before, lust.
Can lust turn into love, between a human and a bear shifter?
*Rough is an erotic shifter novella. If you don’t like insta-lust that turns into insta-love, a sex starved bear shifter, a virgin heroine that craves her mate, or tons of smoking hot sex this is not the book for you.
Her brown hair reminds me of the earth after a long rain, beautiful and rich. Her skin is like porcelain, with a few freckles sprinkled across her nose. The scar on her face doesn’t take away from her natural beauty. She’s small, barely above five feet in her sandals. Her body is curvy, with luscious hips and succulent breasts. It’s all I can do not to take her on the floor in front of everyone. My bear is desperate to claim her in front of everyone, making it known that she is taken.
“You’re mine.” I growl out, looking into her jade green eyes.
Taking a step back, a frown instantly mars her beautiful face before she murmurs, “Excuse me?”
Ignoring her question, I grab her hand and pull her through the airport at a swift pace. My eyes roam the space, looking for somewhere, anywhere we can get a minute of privacy. Finally spying a bathroom, I jerk her inside and shout at the men standing at the urinals. “Get the fuck out.”
Within seconds, zippers are up and the men are rushing out the door. Letting her go, I place her at the back wall. “Stay right there.”
Pushing the doors open to each stall, I make sure they’re all empty, before pushing a trashcan in front of the door. As soon as I’m done, I turn to look at the human woman shaking on the far side of the wall. Again the thought “mine” crashes through me and my bear goes wild, clawing my insides in his need to get to her.
She places her hands flat on the wall behind her, never taking her eyes off me. “What’s wrong, Ethan?”
“Not a damn thing.” Walking towards her, I can hear her heart beating in a quick rhythm and smell fear radiating from her. Above that though, I can smell her need for me. She’s in heat, and I’m going to take care of her. I’m going to make her mine forever.
Reaching her, I place my hand on her cheek. My large hand covers the entire side of her face, threading into her dark hair, making her appear even smaller than she is. Tipping her head back, I look down into her eyes and say, “I need you right now, Amelia. I’m sorry, I can’t wait.”
Her green eyes meet mine, and they are filled with both trepidation and excitement. “But we’re not married yet.”
I nearly tell her that I only need to mark her once and we are more than married, we’re mates. Instead, I gentle my voice, “You were mine the minute you got off that plane. A piece of paper isn’t going to change anything. I need you now.”
My eyes are drawn to her slender throat, her pulse beating erratically “We’re in a bathroom. I don’t want my first time to be in a bathroom.”
Her words take a second to register in my brain, and I can’t stop myself from crushing her against my body. She’s mine, only mine and completely untainted. I will be the only man to ever feel the pleasure her body can bring. I take a minute, attempting to control my need, before responding. “I won’t take you here, but I need to mark you.”
She wiggles in my arms, looking up at me with a look of confusion. “Mark me?”
Shit, this is where having a human mate is going to be tricky. She doesn’t understand what I need as a bear shifter. Even after I explain what I am, she may never understand. Taking in a deep breath, I lean forward and run my beard-covered cheek over her scar, letting know it doesn’t bother me. “I want to smell myself on you. No, I need to smell myself on you.”
“What did you just say to me?” she asks, her body shaking with a mixture of both need and fear. Her head may be telling her she should be afraid of me, but the rest is urging her to take me any way she can get me.
Moving my hands to her hips, I pick her up and press her upper body into the wall, forcing her to wrap her legs around me. “I’m gonna lick your pussy, until your taste is the only flavor on my tongue. Then, I’m gonna pull out my cock and come all over you.”
Her eyes flare with indecision. “Uhm… I’ve never. I uhm...”
Cutting her off with a deep kiss, I get my first taste of her as I carry her to the sinks. I continue to explore her mouth, sliding my tongue along hers, while placing her on the counter. Finally pulling back, I go to my knees, spreading her legs apart. Pushing her dress up, I take in her cotton-covered pussy. Rubbing my nose over her mound, I can’t help but breathe her essence in deep. “You smell so damn good.”
If I'm being totally honest I was first drawn to Rough based on the cover and title alone... And once I read the blurb? I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book! For the most part I really enjoyed this one but it wasn't exactly love like I was expecting it to be.
Ethan and Amelia are both in a situation where marriage can help them out... Ethan because he has to keep his shifter town safe from discovery and Amelia because she needs to have a place for her and her sister to live when her sister turns 18... And it's by luck alone that they both happen to find the mail order bride website that'll put them on the path to finding each other.
Of course they both have their reservations but it's lust at first sight and let me tell you... Ethan's growly "mine" as soon as he sees her?! Smoking hot!! And the bathroom scene seconds later? Even hotter! Personally, I need erotic shifter romance like I need my next breath and Rough did not disappoint in that regard but if you're looking for a book with more story and less sexy times you might wanna skip this one... Of course that's just my two cents!
I really liked Ethan and Amelia and being a huge fan of insta-love, Rough was right up my alley. My issue with this book comes from the writing alone. I had a hard time looking past a few things which made really getting into the story a little difficult... I think if I could have connected with the writing a little more or I could look past the grammar that was driving me crazy, Rough could have been a four star read for me.
That said, I will definitely be checking out the next book in this series as well as other books from these authors!
USA Today Best Selling author, Emily Minton is a Kentucky native. She is proud to call the Bluegrass State home. She claims she bleeds blue–Wildcat Blue! She has been married to her husband, David, for over twenty years. They share two wonderful children. Emily loves to read and has more books on her kindle than most people could read in a life time, but she intends to read every single one. She has published nine books, but there are many more are floating around in her head. She hopes to get them all on paper before long.
Connect with Emily Minton
Although Trapped With An Alpha is her first published novel, Julia has been a part of the Romance community for years through blogging and reviewing. Her love of Paranormal Romance inspired her to start some of her own stories and after sharing one with her now Co Author Emily Minton, she decided it was time for the world to meet the characters she had grown to love so much.
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Disclosure: I was provided with an ARC of Rough in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.