A Christmas Kiss
Jessica Raines would never willingly betray the people she believes in. But she did expose Breed secrets, and now someone wants her dead. Her protection is Wolf Breed Hawke Esteban—and he’s got the mating urge for a woman on the run.
Jaguar Breed Noble Chavin’s new role: bodyguard to Haley McQuire, a woman at risk after discovering a conspiracy against the Breed community. For Noble, being this close to Haley has brought out the mating heat, and she’s more than willing to stoke it.
Betrayed Kita Engalls, drawn into shady activities involving the Breeds, can trust only Lion Breed Creed Raines to help. But their mating passion reveals Kita’s fear that Creed may be guilty of the greatest betrayal of all.
About the Author
Lora’s family and her writing life coexist, if not in harmony, in relative peace with each other. Surrounded by a menagerie of pets, friends and a son who keeps her quick wit engaged, Lora finds her life filled with joys, aided by her fans whose hearts remind her daily why she writes.
Read an Excerpt
• • •
They were created, they weren’t born.
They were trained, they weren’t raised.
They were taught to kill, and now they’ll use their training to ensure their freedom.
They are Breeds. Genetically altered with the DNA of the predators of the earth. The wolf, the lion, the cougar, the Bengal tiger; the killers of the world. They were to be the weapons of a fanatical society intent on building its own personal army.
Until the world learned of their existence. Until the council lost control of their creations, and their creations began to change the world.
Now they’re loose. Banding together, creating their own communities, their own society, and their own safety, and fighting to hide the one secret that could destroy them.
The secret of mating heat. The chemical, biological, emotional reaction of one Breed to the man or woman meant to be his or hers forever. A reaction that binds physically. A reaction that alters more than just the physical responses or heightens the sensuality. Nature has turned mating heat into the Breeds’ Achilles’ heel. It’s their strength, and yet their weakness. And Mother Nature isn’t finished playing yet.
Man had attempted to mess with her creations. Now, she’s going to show man exactly how she can refine them.
Killers will become lovers, lawyers, statesmen, and heroes. And through it all they will each cleave to one mate, one heart, and create a dynasty.
Haley McQuire was hiding in Sanctuary’s extensive, beautiful library the night of the pre-Thanksgiving party. She didn’t do parties well, and she didn’t enjoy them. Jonas Wyatt, Director of Breed Affairs, had given her permission to peruse the extensive collection of first-edition classics, but he had warned her that if one of his enforcers caught her there, they would drag her back to the party.
If she was found, she hoped that it wasn’t by Noble Chavin. She smiled a bit at that thought. Noble loved books too, though. He would understand.
He was always at the library, choosing books she would never have expected him to read. Carpentry books, books on world history. He devoured them, it sometimes seemed. And when he returned them, she could quiz him playfully, and he always had the answers.
And he talked to her about the books. She liked that. Perhaps too much. And though he would probably talk to her, she doubted he would let her stay.
So when the door opened, she hid quickly. She expected the Breed entering the room to smell her instantly. She was a human, and fairly easy for a Breed to detect. Haley didn’t understand why she didn’t.
Maydene Brock was a Breed older, a nurse in the labs. With her graying brown hair and pinched expression, Haley had never really seen her as much of a caregiver.
And perhaps she might have sensed Haley if the men following her hadn’t overpowered the room with the scent of cologne.
Haley wrinkled her nose at the smell. Even across the room, hidden behind a low shelf as she peeked between the books, she could smell the obnoxious scents.
“Do you have payment ready?” Maydene snapped.
“We need the code,” Phillip Brackenmore, the head of Brackenmore Pharmaceutical Research, informed the nurse dangerously. “No code, no payment, Breed.”
Maydene sniffed. “We’ll meet you at the hotel with the code. We’ll slip it out when Dr. Morrey arrives at the party. Everyone will be busy with her,” she told them smugly. “When you transfer payment, we’ll hand you the code. I don’t trust the two of you as much as you would like to think I should.”
“As long as you’re there,” Horace Engalls, president and CEO of Engalls Pharmaceuticals, replied. “Don’t bother trying to betray us. We have our own spies watching you, Maydene.”
Maydene growled at that. “I know who your little bitch is. She can watch until hell freezes over. All we care about is the cash.”
“And all we care about is the information to complete our own research. The live trials on the Breeds you suggested aren’t working out as well as we had hoped.”
“I warned you.” Maydene’s voice was smug as Haley felt chills race up her spine. “Even Morrey isn’t responding as well as you had hoped, is she? I told you, you need us.”
“So we do,” Brackenmore drawled. “We’ll meet you at the hotel and transfer the money to your account, but we’ll see what we’re paying for first. Understood?”
“Quite well,” Maydene sneered. “Return to the party now, before you’re missed.”
Haley peeked over the top of the books that lined the shelf she was hiding behind. She could barely see them, and as the door opened, she eased back down carefully, certain that if Maydene looked back, she would sense her.
She waited. She waited so long. She could feel her muscles cramping, feel the sweat that eased along her spine, but she could still feel the danger.
She looked up at the vent above her and inhaled slowly. Was that why Maydene hadn’t smelled her? The vent pulled the air out of the library and circulated it, while another vent fed dry air into the library to protect the expensive books. That combined with the scent of men’s cologne must have hidden Haley’s scent.
But Maydene must have suspected that someone was in the room. As Haley began to consider the risk of peeking over the books again, she heard movement, a doorknob turning, a muttered curse.
She took a chance and watched as the Breed made her way from the library.
Just a few more minutes, she told herself. If Maydene was suspicious, she might watch the door from outside. She might be waiting for whoever she had sensed.
My God, what were they talking about? Drugging Breeds? Selling information? She had to find Noble. The Breed enforcer would know what to do—he would know how to handle this. She had to find him before Maydene and whoever was helping her managed to slip from the estate.
Carefully, she moved from behind the shelf, thankful that someone had made the little hidden reading nook that Merinus had shown her a few weeks before. It had possibly saved her life.
Now, to sneak out of the library and get to Noble.
What People are Saying About This
Praise for Lora Leigh’s Novels of the Breeds
“I’m a huge fan of Lora Leigh’s Breed books.”—Nalini Singh, New York Times bestselling author of Archangel's Shadows
“When I’m in the mood for steamy romance, I read Lora Leigh.”—Angela Knight, New York Times bestselling author of Love Bites
“Another powerful and highly erotic saga of the Breeds...Highly charged...and carnal.”—Fresh Fiction
“It is phenomenal.”—Joyfully Reviewed
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I read all of these when they were first published. Loved them then...still love them. I wish she still wrote her stories on the raw side like her earlier books from Ellora's Cave. Gritty, sexy, erotic and so emotional. They just drew you into the story and you didn't want to leave! The Breeds are my favorite...but I love all her books. :-) I absolutely encourage anyone to read Ms. Leigh, she's a gifted writer. Her stories are awesome. Ms. Leigh... go back to the way you used to write...please!
Love this writer, love this series. Hope she continues. writing them
Another 5 star adventure!
I enjoyed these three very hot and steamy Breed Novellas. I previously read them, but it was a long time ago. It was nice to re-read the novellas and experience the Breed magic again. I will say if you have not read the series you may not understand or find these novellas entertaining. Fan’s will enjoy. The series is very juicy, steamy, and sensual, so be prepared for hot sex. Christmas Heat - Rated: 4 Stars Originally featured in 'The Magical Christmas Cat' anthology. This one takes place near Sanctuary. We have Haley a human librarian and Noble a breed. They have been friends, but both feel more for the other, yet they don’t show it. When Haley’s life is endangered Noble is going to protect her and confront his feelings. It was a sweet, sexy, hot and entertaining Christmas Novella. I enjoyed watching these two finally come together after denying their feelings for each other. A Christmas Kiss - Rated: 4 Stars Originally featured in 'Hot for the Holidays' anthology. This one takes place at Haven. We have Jessica a human who betrayed the breeds, but not because she wanted too. Her father concocted a drug that forced her to do this and she didn’t know. She has lost so much. Hawke a Breed and Jessica’s mate. He’s known for almost 2 years that he’s her mate, but he had to stay way to prove her innocence and to protect her from the mating heat. He knows if he can’t tell her soon that he will lose her for good. This one was heartbreaking. I felt for Jessica and her loneliness and everything she lost. She’s drifting. Besides these two working out their issues, we have someone on the inside trying to destroy the Breeds. It was sexy and hot. I enjoyed seeing this couple celebrate their first Christmas together and with the other Breeds at Haven. Primal Kiss - Rated: 3.5 Stars Originally featured in 'Primal' anthology. This one takes place at Sanctuary. We have Kita a human and air to a pharmaceutical company that use to help the Council that hurt Breeds. Then we have Creed a wolf Breed who does covert undercover work. He’s been hired by Mr. Engall’s, Kita’s father, to protect his daughter. Everyone wants Kita: the Breeds, the Council, and the Human groups all because they think they can get her father to give them information on the Breeds that has been hidden away. This story gives you information pertaining to the Phylip Brandenmore storyline. There's much more going on then Kita or Creed know about. It was a hot and sexy novella. Very quick and good to have a storyline wrapped up.
I love the breed books by Ms. Leigh. Although, I purchase other books by other authors they don't compare. I love the story lines in all her breed books. I wish you would write more breed books.
Couldn't put it does .