Mona Lisa Betwining
A USA Today bestseller
PEARL Award Winner, Best Paranormal Anthology
Release Date: August 7, 2007
Monére, Children of the Moon Series#4
On the make. On the scent. On the edge.
On the prowl…
Alpha and Omega by Patricia Briggs
The werewolf Anna finds a new sense of self when the son of the werewolf king comes to town to quell unrest in the Chicago pack-and inspires a power in Anna she’s never felt before.
Inhuman by Eileen Wilks
Kai has a secret gift of sensing thoughts and desires. What she senses in her neighbor Nathan could be dangerous. Because he has a secret gift too, and it’s about to be let loose…
Buying Trouble by Karen Chance
A Lord of the Fey crosses paths with a fiery red-headed mage named Claire in a New York auction house. But in this strange underground society, the rarity up for sale is Claire herself.
Mona Lisa Betwining by Sunny
Among the children of the moon, Mona Lisa is of mixed blood-part Monère, part human, and destined to be alone. Until she meets a man who could be her salvation-or her downfall.
“It would be tough to find a more intriguing quartet of novellas than this stellar bunch served up by these outstanding authors. That three of these amazing stories are continuations or new offshoots of previously published books kicks the enjoyment factor up a notch. Run, don’t walk, to get your copy.”
— Jill M. Smith, Romantic Times, 4-1/2 Stars
“MONA LISA BETWINING is equal parts romance, suspense and erotica. This highly entertaining story captured my attention from the first sentence. Sunny draws the reader into the heroine’s struggles within herself and the world of the Monère. This is the first MONA LISA story that I have read and I will certainly be reading the rest of her exciting tales. It is obvious that Sunny’s exceptional writing ability will keep her multitude of fans coming back for more.
ON THE PROWL is an extremely well-written anthology containing stories by four authors with tremendous talent. All of the stories are entertaining and exciting while being completely different from one another. If by chance you are not familiar with any of these fine authors, this is a wonderful way to be introduced to them and become a fan. I have been a fan of Briggs, Wilks and Chance for a while and now count myself a fan of Sunny. These ladies are amazing wordsmiths and ON THE PROWL is an excellent illustration of their writing skills.”
— Robin Snodgrass, Romance Junkies, 5 Blue Ribbons
“I cannot say enough good things about the amazing Monere series from Sunny. Each story is impeccable and brilliantly crafted. MONA LISA BETWINING is an engaging mixture of suspense, romance, paranormal and erotica…The plot line to this story was incredibly interesting. Some of the new characters incorporated into this story will have readers imagining a whole new world of stories from Sunny. The romance in MONA LISA BETWINING is heartwarming, heartbreaking and engaging all at once…Mona Lisa is truly the heroine to beat for any new authors. Very high praise to Sunny for creating such a mind boggling world of adventure, politics, love, romance, steamy sex and above all else…hope. I can’t wait to read the next story very soon!”
— Amanda Haffery, Romance Junkies
“ON THE PROWL is an anthology written by four of the hottest authors today.”
— Stacy Cooper, Romance Designs, Overall 9 Rating
“Amazing collection of paranormal novellas.”
—Mandy Burns, Fresh Fiction
“Mona Lisa Betwining is part of the On the Prowl anthology and is the fourth story in the Children of the Moon series. Fast moving and infused with sexual tension, this is a scorching paranormal read. Sunny weaves a mystical tale of the hopes and fears of a Queen who wants more for her people than the controlled lives they’ve led in the past. Intriguing and over way too quickly, this page turner will wet your appetite for the author’s next captivating installment.”
— Vickie Denney, ReaderToReader.com
“These are four fascinating romantic fantasies that sub-genre readers will fully appreciate and seek similar novels in the respective authors’ universe.”
— Harriet Klausner, 5 stars
“While these four stories are all very different – some more urban fantasy, others romance – they are very complementary and blend to create a fabulous book.”
— Jackie, A Romance Review, 4-1/2 roses
The night breathed with life—the rustling of leaves blown by the wind, the hooting of an owl, the chirping of crickets in song, the swoop of wings, the splash of water in the distant bayou. So alive. Every sensation so sharp, every sound so clear. It felt as if I were coming back to life, emerging from deep hibernation. A painfully long one, away from my love. More than two long weeks since he had left me, though he had done so at my bidding.
Rule for me. Be safe for me. And return to me whenever you can. And he had.
“You haven’t touched me,” I whispered as we walked, so close, a hairbreadth away from each other, but without that final contact.
He turned his head, looked at me then, and my breath caught. His eyes burned that rich yellow-gold, the color of his beast. What he had been named for—Amber. The color of his eyes whenever he was moved with passion or with power. Or both.
“If I touch you now, I will not stop.” His voice was deep and dark and so rich in timbre that it vibrated the air. “And the cottage is yet a mile away.”
“I don’t want to wait,” I said huskily, feeling my own eyes dilating, expanding, so that everything came to me even more sharply, clearer.
“You must,” he said, and I blinked at the hard command, the quiet arrogance in those words. He was changing, my Amber. Becoming more confident, more…dominant.
I almost purred. “Must I?”
He slanted a look at me, eyes narrowed, a tiny smile lifting his lips. “Yes,” he said deliberately, “you must.”
Oooh. He wanted to play. Or rather, he wanted to dominate.
I licked my lips and his eyes followed the gesture, darkening. My clothes were suddenly too constricting, my skin too sensitive, my breasts too full, my nipples too peaked. I unzipped the dress and stepped out of it, leaving the discarded, hateful dress on the leaf-covered ground, and kicked off my shoes. Cool air teased over my skin, wisped through the blush-colored lace of my bra, the triangle of my panties.
Now it was Amber’s turn to catch his breath, to run his hot eyes over the unclothed paleness of my skin. For his nostrils to expand and inhale in the rich ready scent of my softening body. My turn to tease him by running a hand down my neck, between my breasts, and trail tantalizingly lower. “Are you sure?” I asked in a slow, languid drawl.
He growled. And I laughed.
In a blink, my laziness slipped away. “Catch me if you can,” I challenged. With my eyes aglow, I leaped away. And large predator that he was, dominant male that he was becoming, he gave chase.
I made him work for it, truly fight to get what he wanted—me. I ran like the hounds of hell were behind, chasing me. I ran like the wind. A blur of soundless speed that whipped the air with my passage. So fast that had a human seen us, he would not have seen anything, only sensed the stirring of movement through the rippling air currents left in our wake. And he was right behind me, as fast as I, his form bigger, stronger, even more powerful. He caught the heel of my foot, tumbled me to the ground. I rolled, went with the momentum, kicked out of his grasp, and bounded away again, my trailing laughter teasing him like a ghost.
I darted among the trees, under overhanging branches, deliberately using my greatest advantage, my smaller size, to my benefit. I glimpsed him to the left of me, running parallel, cutting his own course through the forest rather than follow my height-challenging one, and flashed him a glimpse of my white teeth before veering sharply to the right, leaping over a bushy shrub, then cutting right yet again. He put on a burst of speed and intercepted me. His large arms wrapped around me and brought me down, his big body like a safe cocoon around me as we rolled and rolled until we had safely stopped.
“I’ve caught you,” he said in a gritty rumble, his voice rough, his yellow-gold eyes gleaming. “Now yield.”
“No,” I said. Grinning, I bucked him off me, leaped to my feet, and sprang away. But he was on me again, magically fast. He caught one of my wrists, mid-leap, and swung me against a thick tree trunk, my back against smooth bark. He captured my other wrist, pinned them both above me. Heaving, straining with effort, I slowly pushed my hands away from the tree, lifting them away from the bark against his resistance…one inch…then two. Amber’s eyes widened, expressing both our surprise. “You are getting stronger,” he murmured with wonder, just before his head swooped down and he captured my lips.
I melted at the first taste of him, his sweet dark flavor like roasted chestnuts, and he pinned my arms once again above me. When he drew back, both our breaths were coming faster, mingling together in the cool air in frosty puffs. Taking advantage of my pliancy, he shifted his grip so that both my slender wrists were anchored firmly in just one large broad hand. His other hand he placed like a victorious raider on my pale skin, sweeping it with low rumbling pleasure across the wings of my collarbones, up the lifted vulnerable undersides of my arm. Back down.
“Not fair,” I gasped, that deliberate stroke up and then down tingling my skin. “You distracted me with that kiss.”
“All’s fair in love and war. Is that not one of your human sayings?” he asked, his breath puffing warmly against my ear as he hunched his big body over my smaller one, pinning my legs down with his great weight. I was surrounded by him, weakened by my desire for him, and not really wanting to escape. Captured, at his mercy. But with that brutally harsh face above me, hard with male excitement and purpose, he didn’t look like he had any mercy.