Within Reach Excerpt:

"I will not go with you." Her feminine rage came through the clenched words.

Amaya stood at the top of the stairs. The magelights lighting the street gilded her pale, fine features framed by her hood. The buildings cast shadows all around but her face seemed to glow. This must be how humans felt when they knelt before their goddess and prayed. She was mystery and hope. He ached to discover her, to suffer her every whim. Except that one.

"Amaya, come with me. Talk with me." He was so grateful that his voice was calm, but urgent. No quaver of need showed.

"Your chance to ask that of me died when you took my job away." She spat the words at him.

He ached. She didn't trust him yet. Moving toward the stairs to block her escape he paused on the bottom step, looking up at her. "I will help you find a new duty. Please, come walk with me."

"Walk?" her voice was full of scorn.

"Walk." He went up to the second story landing. "No work, no pleasure tonight, Lady. Walk with me, and talk."

She looked down at Kent in the street and his cat went wild in rage. He curled his hand into the banister, his nails scraping on the stone.

"It's more serious than a high-handed flirtation, love. I think you should go with him." Kent's encouragement didn't soothe his cat.

He moved up another set of stairs, until he was within reach. His cat settled, pacing. "Amaya. Do not fear me."

"Oh, I don't think fear is the right word."

The tear tracks glistening on her cheeks cut worse than her anger. "I know. It would have been kinder to stop you before you entered, but I needed you to know I am your path, now. There can be no question." She had to hear from them that there was no place for her in that business.

She grabbed the banister in front of her and shook it. It being stone, she ended up shaking herself.

He was a little alarmed at the feminine snarl that rose from her closed throat.

"Question! Question? There's an idea! Have you ever tried asking? Eledi learned it when she was two! I'm not a thing you can take, or a child to direct without choice! You took my belongings, you took my job, and you think I will accept you? Is this how you think "partners" work?" Leaning down, she bared her teeth at him.

They were sharp and smooth and gleaming in the shadow of her hood. He caught his breath to see them. Ached to know them. Anywhere on his body. His cat roared inside, rattling his brain so hard he almost missed her next word.

"Ass." The word whispered like a caress, then she hurried past him in a wave of Kent-scented woman.

He caught her arm and ducked her swinging slap. She pulled so strongly from his light grip that she stumbled on her long skirts and tumbled on the stairs. He leaped and caught her before she landed, his heart in his throat.

"Enough. You are going to hurt yourself." He bared his own teeth back at her, swung her up, kicking in his arms, ignoring her braced and pushing hands on his neck and jaw.

"Put me down! I'll scream for the guards!"

"We are the guards," Kent laughed.

Amaya panted as he came down the stairs.

"Never knew you were so woman-stupid, Ruse. Good luck."


Amaya's wail went right to his cock. She called another man's name?

"You'll be fine, love. He'll never hurt you." Kent went back up the stairs.

"He's carrying me away!"

"Ruse..." Kent paused, warning him, asking with his eyes if he had to watch out for Amaya.

Ruse's cat roared, but he recognized the man's honor. "I'll take her home. That's all I'm doing."

Kent nodded at him once. "Come see me tomorrow if you need to, Amaya."

Ruse spun in the street and roared with gut shaking fury at the threat.

Kent just laughed and bounded back up the stairs into the pleasure house.

Amaya struggled in his arms so fiercely he feared his firm hold would harm her.

"You don't control me! Put me down!"

He put her down. She staggered back and blinked at him, surprised.

"I just need to talk to you, Amaya. Don't. Run." His cat crouched, muscles twitching and flexing with hunger.

She swallowed. Huge eyes scanned his face. She'd worked with Truxet men for years. He prayed she knew enough not to--

Fuck. She ran. Her skirts were in her fists, her loose hair shining where the hood fell back. And everything would have been fine if he hadn't caught the wisp of her woman's scent from beneath her layers of clothing. Hot, rich, damp. The scent that came from a woman's core when she was aroused.

His dick went hard as a spike as every muscle in his body shivered to chase. He closed his eyes, willed himself to breathe. His claws pricked his palms in his clenched fists. He could control this...

Then she laughed. Throaty, taunting, pleased. "If you can catch me, we'll talk."

He turned and went the opposite way, rounded the corner, doubled down the pace and turned again. He slid like a shadow through a narrow gap between two houses. He heard her footsteps coming closer. They hesitated, then sped past his alley toward the main intersection.

He watched her, quivering, the blood beating in his dick so that it throbbed like a second heart. Shifting slightly into the light, he let his boot drag on the brick roadway. She whipped her jaw to the side and he again saw that perfect profile. The most beautiful woman in the world.

With a gasp, she hurled herself onto the busy street. She wove among the people, looking back. Not laughing now. Out of breath, she pushed a hand to her side, dodged into an alley across from him.

He briefly followed but cut straight across the throng into another side street. There was no doubt in his mind she would continue to work her way west, toward Eledi. His feet moved without thought as he slid into another dark alley. He heard her rapid footsteps, light but uneven, her sawing breath. He watched as she passed by his shadow. Took her scent deep into his lungs. Angry and thrilled. This wasn't the place, just off a major avenue. He rushed to get around her again. This time he blocked off a curving street by tipping a pile of crates, then hunkered down to wait, wrenching off the closest magelights with a mental flick.

He was breathing lightly, crouched on a loading balcony when she came by, still hurrying, in a patter of footsteps and swishing skirts. He launched himself in a full extension off the deck to land soundlessly in front of her. His midair twist put him face to face with her, a bodylength apart. He rose slowly from his crouch.

"Amaya." He let warning infuse his voice, but his aching dick thrummed in his leathers. Run, he thought.

She whirled and he leaped again, somersaulting over her to land facing her once again.

Her breath shuddered on a sob. "Don't do this!"

"You ran."

"I--I--of course I did!"

"You're wet. I can smell you. And you laughed."

"I--Ruse! I don't want this!"

Liar. He didn't say it, merely shifted in his crouch to give more room to his dick. "You want Kent?"

She moaned. "I want to go home to Eledi."

"I want you both to come home with me."

She took a step back.

The rejection made his cat snarl. The movement just irritated him. "Don't!" He quivered. "Amaya, if you truly don't want to be fucked, here and now, you need to just sit. Sit right where you are. But if you run, you are saying "yes.""

She panted, her fists crushing her mist-gray cloak.

Do it. "You control yourself, woman. Because if you take one more step from me I will take you, and you will understand that it will not be rape." His cat crouched inside him as well, utterly riveted. He loved warning her, daring her. "I want to fuck you so deep. I want to roar over your bare spine, ramming so hard I leave the shape of my dick inside you. I'm starving to know how we fit, to sting your ass with my hips."

Her knuckles paled with the force of her grip, her breathing now equal to when she was running. Her shoulders slumped. She gave a sob, and then fell to her knees on the cobbles.

Disappointment burst. Running his tongue over his still-human teeth, he wrestled his cat back. She meant no. He let out a long breath. "Shhhh. Shhhhh, Lady." Adjusted his stance again, body relaxing. "We'll just sit here a moment..."

He cut off when she awkwardly gathered her skirts up and turned on her knees away from him. "Amaya..." he warned her more firmly this time, a rumble in his voice.

Then, then... he couldn't even understand it for a moment. She drew her skirts up to her waist, revealing leather shod feet, bare legs, rounded hips. The globes of her ass, deliciously plump for her slender frame, were separated by the tiniest bit of black lace that curled around her hips. Then she bent, widening her legs, laying her forearms down on the street. Her whisper carried straight to his heart.


More Reviews:

Bitten by Books (Nicole) 5 Tombstones

"Mima does it yet again. The vivid descriptions and tantalizingly sensual scenes are a delight. The emotions that a single parent feels, the trust of a child, the need to protect others are just a few examples of what this paranormal tale holds in store for the reader. If you love a hot steamy tale of love and romance, where the women are strong yet feminine, this is a series for you!"

Two Lips Reviews (Julianne) 4.5 Kisses

"I am still reeling from reading this book. Mima has written another fantastic book in the world of the Beasts. Within Reach is fast paced, full of action and emotions, not to mention the fabulous hot sex for which Mima is known. ... I was a little shocked by the outcome of the battle, but I think it's also what made this story so heart wrenching. ... I am so looking forward to the next book."

Just Erotic Romance Reviews (Laura Scott) Rating: 5

"This is an emotional, powerful love story between three people. There is the erotic love story between Amaya and Ruse and the tender caring they both share for her daughter Eledi. I really enjoyed and was very moved by the depth of feeling the author conveys in these developing relationships. Amaya is a strong woman who faces the reality of her situation in a straightforward manner but has not become bitter or jaded. She recognizes the inner integrity in Ruse and the genuine caring he shows for the two of them. She struggles to make a decision that is best for both her and her daughter. Ruse can be a little high-handed in making decisions for her but it is because he wants to take her away from difficult circumstances and just love her. How could you not like a character like that? The other supporting characters from Ruse's clan are warm and accepting of Amaya and Eledi and make you wish you could be part of that clan. The sex scenes are both tender and erotic and are well detailed and varied. They include anal, a ménage and some public sex. If you enjoy a very emotionally moving love story, I think you will find Within Reach well worth your time."

My Book Cravings (Robin Smith) 5 Flowers

"This is a story so full of life it draws you in. It is a poignant tale of life, loss, love, family and hope. It shows the trials of a true family through pain and sorrow to acceptance and a love that is so strong it lifts you up. I love a story that can make you smile or cry with and for the characters, and this was beyond anything I expected. The vivid descriptive powers of Mima make a world of fantasy come to life and allow you to enjoy the journey she takes you on. My only complaint on this is that the journey through Ruse and Amaya's time wasn't longer! I thoroughly enjoyed the hilly rollercoaster ride of emotions that this tale evokes and highly recommend it for anyone who wants to be swept away into another world!"

Joyfully Reviewed (Lisa)

"A deep and pure love of partner and family gives Within Reach a wonderfully unique perspective ... packs an emotional wallop!"