Wild Within Excerpt:

"Throat." The Owl Alpha hissed the demand. Rylan immediately rolled to his knees and bent his head back. Grif folded, took Rylan's voicebox in his jaws, clamped down and gave his head a shake.

Rylan's head jiggled limply and after a further minute, the Alpha released him and stood, leaving the clear red imprint of his teeth, but no blood. "You are not in the human Dark, to go your own way now. You will follow our ways. Never attack a brother Trux. That you did so when you have what you wanted disgusts me. Go to the wall, and you will stay there until after everyone has walked out of this room. If you move from it, I will demand balance from you and submission before the Clan. Do you recognize this order?"

Rylan's eyes flew to KarRa's and she saw despair. Still panting from the brief clash, she stretched her neck. Ignored the beat of pleasure his worry gave her.

{Yes} he gestured. Smoothly rising to his feet without using his hands he went to the far wall. He shone against it like a golden flame, strong and proud.

KarRa noted there were bloody scratches on his arms and quickly turned to scan Merk. The wolf had scratches as well, deeper.

Grif asked him, "Would you like to go heal?"

Merk shook his head disdainfully, wiping at the blood and smearing it thinly down his arms. "I'm fine." Turning to KarRa, he said, "You are well?"

KarRa had just one scratch, and perhaps a bruised shoulder. She nodded, took a steadying breath. Irritation flared at the memory of him sharing her most private hurts with the Council, but then a sense of wonder rose. "What you said to Rylan... You would have been one of my choices? You're a spirit match?"

Merk rounded his shoulders. {Apology} "Words without meaning, KarRa. You are a soulmate." He flicked a glance at Rylan, who crossed his arms.

Merk walked up to her, his dark gaze so different than Rylan's. "All is not final, KarRa. Tomorrow night, you declare your choice. Even though you have only one mate choice due to the soulmatch, you can still choose to refuse him. It would result in your leaving Vladaya, and returning to the Seven Cities, although we certainly wouldn't dump you back into the fringe of Fourth City. If you cannot join with Rylan with a clear spirit, we-I-will make sure you are able to start a new, better life in a City."

KarRa stared at Merk for several heartbeats. A new life? Not with Rylan? Dazed, her eyes traveled to Grif. The Owl's Alpha scowled at her. She moved her eyes to Rylan, rigid against the stone a few paces away.

Rylan took a deep breath. "KarRa, I love you."

It was impossible to prevent the small twitch of her lips at the burst of happiness those words always, always caused inside her, even as gut-sharp as she was toward him now.

"Nothing would bring me greater pleasure than to have you by my side, and in my bed, from this night on. I recognized that wish the morning I lay with you after Grif's visit. I have always wanted it in my heart, but never dared to allow myself to think it.

"When I knew I could now come to you as a mate and not just a friend, I wanted to give you time. I wanted to prove myself as a Trux warrior to you. I've been moving so slowly, being so patient. Yet here we are, and I can tell you are surprised. KarRa, I know you want me. All you have to do is come to me and I am yours. We are KarRylan."

Her breath caught in an audible sob at this last.

He finished softly, "We belong together. You have always known this and fought to make me see it. Finally, I am in a place where I am ready to accept it without fear. I am sorry you had to wait." He looked over at Merk, annoyed. "I am sorry you are in this position because of my choices."

She heard the implied bitterness at having to argue his right to be with her.

His gaze poured over her features with desperation. "KarRa, you can't really consider leaving. Please, won't you stop this?"

KarRa carefully moved in between Merk and Grif. Turning back to Rylan she whispered, "I think... I need to hear the spirit paths that are opening before me. You cannot bear it that I consider another future?" Rylan's face tightened but she continued.

"Rylan, I have lived with you going from lover to lover for years. And I could have lived with it for the rest of my life. It might hurt, but you can survive it. If I so choose, you will live with me leaving. You trained me well, Ry. You trained me to exist without you, and now I want to think about where that existence might take me.

"You were all I had. No one but you can understand that."

Rylan's lips peeled from his teeth in a silent snarl.

"You left. No one but you can understand that."

He clenched his fists.

The shudder that shook her body was audible as she sucked in a breath, dizzy at giving her rage voice. "You made me strong enough to fight my way out of anything. I'm just not sure I'm strong enough to trust you again."

Even as she felt Rylan reeling in pain from her words, KarRa acknowledged the flash of satisfaction, of righteousness that swirled through her. Rylan wanted to fuck her? Rylan wanted her to be the mother of his children now that they were in a safe world? Rylan wanted her instant and adoring acceptance? I think not.

More Reviews:

Bitten by Books (Nicole) 5 Tombstones

"She draws you into the story immediately, and the characters are so full of vitality that you can't help but love them. The tale of KarRa and Rylan will make you cry in sympathy, laugh aloud at the hilarity of a situation, talk to the characters as though they can hear you, and sizzle your blood and imagination with erotic images."

Joyfully Reviewed (Indy)

"The brilliance in this world of shifters, the intricate way they lived and loved made for a story that was actually pretty mind blowing. KarRa and Rylan's relationship isn't a pretty one; it's rife with extreme situations to overcome from the darkness of the world they lived in...you will finish anticipating the next installment of a world that is refreshingly innovative and one I hope Mima continues to explore."

Mrs. Giggles 85

"...a very enjoyable and most fascinating fantasy tale ... of how one can find love amidst such a violent and sexually-charged setting."

My Book Cravings (Coale) 5 Flowers

"Once again Mima has succeeded in a story that enthralls! Before the end of the first chapter I was in tears. I was up all night reading, unable to put the book down simply from wondering what would happen next. By the end I sighed in contentment. The story's richly detailed characters and world are a joy to behold. Wild Within captures the imagination with the vividness of the descriptions of a world different from our own. It tugs at the heart- strings for the trials that the characters must face to continue on their journey. It is a definite must have for the collection, because it is a story that you will want to read time and time again."

Just Erotic Romance Reviews (T.S. Peters) Rating: 4.5/5

"This was one of the most exiting and moving stories that I have read in a long time. Ms. Mima created a new world that is harsh and deadly, while at the same time it is mysterious and beautiful. KarRa is a strong, caring heroine who isn't afraid to stomp a hole in someone when necessary. Rylan, in his own sweet, misguided way, is very supportive of her. I love that they are both ALWAYS honest about their feelings toward each other. While the two are dependent on each other and open about their relationship, the sexual tension between the two is explosive. I was very impressed with how Ms. Mima handled the various sexual situations and the inherent emotions. The characters are all complex. Their emotions, personalities, and attitudes made them all feel very realistic and endearing."

The Naughty Bits (TeddyPig) Grade A

"(I) fell in love with MIMA’s writing. Here is a fantasy world lush with detail and the deadly Trux warriors with their rituals and culture are strange and mysterious. ... Thank you MIMA for being not only a talented writer but an intelligent one. ... This first book gets a Grade A for getting me hooked on the series. The whole series in fact is an auto buy for me..."

A reader review from T. Hawkins:

"This is the first story I've read by Mima, and I didn't know what to expect. Wow, was I surprised at how much I enjoyed it! I really cared about KarRa and Rylan, and I ached for them to find happiness. ... The main couple, as well as the secondary characters in this wonderful story, are portrayed realistically, and I was happy to learn that this series has nine more books for me to read. I enjoyed the magic, the friendships, the love, and even the pain on the way to the conclusion. I see myself becoming a loyal reader of Mima's stories, if this one is any indication."