Sheer's Choice [Pridelands 3]
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by Jade Buchanan
Category: Erotica/Erotic Science Fiction/Science Fiction
Description: The youngest Steinsson is missing, and Durai's pride has spread out into Muncho Lake Provincial Park in search of him. Just when the pride is more splintered than they have ever been, a group of new arrivals makes things a little more complicated? Rabi'a Asher never wanted a mate of her own. She has a daughter, and a purpose among her people, and that's just fine with her. Unfortunately, fate doesn't agree. Placed in unfamiliar and dangerous territory, she is torn between two men who are both determined to have her and each other. Only, Rabi'a isn't going to sit down and let any man determine her future. She has claws of her own, and Tigris Sheer Ma'at and Leo Rais Steinsson are about to feel them.
eBook Publisher: Changeling Press LLC, 2008 2008
eBookwise Release Date: March 2009
61 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [101 KB]
Reading time: 59-83 min.
"Jade Buchanan has once again crafted a wonderful tale in Sheer's Choice. Not only does Sheer's Choice have a bit of chaos mixed with super hot love scenes, but it also contains suspense..."--Raine, Joyfully Reviewed "If you enjoyed the previous of the Pridelands series, The Pridelands 3: Sheer's Choice will have you laughing and overjoyed for the characters destined to find heart mates. Jade Buchanan is a natural at creating believable characters and stories that reach out to the reader." 5 Nymphs!--Scandalous Minx, Literary Nymphs "Jade Buchanan has always had a talent for building strong characters and intriguing worlds and Sheer's Choice is no exception... I love Jade Buchanan and I love all the books in the Felidae and Pridelands series and Sheer's Choice is one of my favorites." 4 Angels!--Hayley, Fallen Angels Reviews
"Did we do the right thing? Coming here?" Rais Steinsson sighed, looking out into the forest in front of him.
It was an unfamiliar sight, and one that he was quickly becoming sick of. There were too many trees, too many sounds he couldn't place, too many clouds in the sky ... it was just too different. He didn't want to be here on Earth; he wanted to be back home on Felid, surrounded by the rest of his people.
His oldest brother turned to glance at him. "I cannot regret any of it." Durai's face was serene, calm.
It just served to piss Rais off. "Even if it means we lost a brother to gain you a mate?"
Durai narrowed his gaze, remaining silent, simply staring at him. Rais snarled softly, lowering his head. Durai was his eldest brother but he was also his pride leader, and because of that his word was law. Despite that, he could still annoy Rais faster than any of his other siblings.
Rais still couldn't believe Durai was mated. For a Leo pride leader to find their destined mate, they had to share a mind connection. Durai had discovered his connection to Darren Coleman upon their arrival on Earth and the two men were now almost inseparable. Darren was human, different from the Felidae Rais was used to, and one of the reasons they were still on this primitive planet.
It seemed nearly impossible that so many changes had taken place recently. It was almost mind-boggling when he tried to think about how they had ended up here at this moment.
Rais sighed heavily, his chest aching even more. He used to complain about Achan, whenever the cub did something to annoy him. He had always been in the way, butting his head into everything his older brothers did. Rais was ashamed now to think of how he used to snarl at the young one.
Achan had always been so curious about the world around him. When he found out he could come with them to Earth he had been so excited, his joy infectious. Rais felt sick inside, thinking of his brother. He'd give anything to have Achan standing beside him, asking the same question for the hundredth time. He'd gladly answer anything Achan wanted to ask him, gladly show him anything he wanted to see. He wanted him back.
When they'd arrived on Earth, they had met Darren immediately. Durai had been drawn to the other man, and in an effort to give them privacy, Rais and his siblings had gone off exploring.
They'd quickly learned that some worlds posed a danger to them. It was still disturbing for Rais to think of an entire planet that had no knowledge of the Felidae. The only fur-covered beings they had encountered here had walked on four legs instead of two. They had been primitive creatures, unsettling for Rais to see. It had been like looking into his ancestors' eyes, and seeing that wildness looking back.
Even more disturbing had been when they'd discovered the humans on Earth hunted the creatures for sport. The one they'd come across had been killed within their hearing, chased through the forest and slaughtered for fun--not sustenance. It was a horrifying ordeal, and they'd known immediately that they couldn't stay here. It wasn't safe for any of them.
Just when they were getting ready to leave the planet and go back home, Achan had disappeared. For some unfathomable reason they couldn't get a lock on his scent. They had tried to follow his scent trail when they first discovered him missing but it had faded quickly, blending in with the other smells in this confusing world, erased as if it hadn't existed at all.
Durai had taken Darren, Rais and Khalid with him, searching the north for their brother, while Lev had taken his own mates and the Bolen brothers south.
His sister, Zula, had stayed behind, left alone with another of Darren's human relatives. Rais hadn't liked it one bit, but there was only so much he could focus on at a time. Once they found Achan, then he could ensure Zula was protected.
Only a few days had passed between the time Durai had met Darren, and their brother's disappearance. They had all known eventually Durai would find his mate; he was such a great man that Rais knew if anyone deserved a mate it was Durai. It was just such horrible timing.
In his mind, it was all wrapped up and connected, and he couldn't stop the feelings of anger toward the small human. Then he would just feel guilty, which made him even angrier. "Tell me, Durai. If you had to choose, would you save Achan or Darren? Our brother, our pride ... or your mate?"
Durai growled softly, turning away from him. "Do not think to rile me, Rais. I know what you are doing."
Snarling, Rais paced away, turning and coming back to his brother. He wanted a fight, damn it. He needed a fight. It was the only way to ease the pressure inside him before he went crazy from it. "You know nothing."
"I know enough, brother. Stop it."
Rais growled, baring his teeth. Placing both hands on Durai's chest, he pushed him hard, forcing Durai to take a step back. "That is so easy for you to say. You're always the one making the decisions. Your word is law, is it not? And what of the rest of us? Are we supposed to just sit here on this backward planet and hope for rescue? Do you not think our ship has been detected by now? It's not as if we can hide it. What is preventing some human from stumbling upon it and risking all of our lives?"
"Those hunters are still out there. Have you forgotten? The ones who killed the creature so much like us when we first arrived. The ones who shot her down like vermin, without a care, treeing her using beasts that ran on four legs like her. They are still out there somewhere. Our brother is missing. Our sister is stuck, completely defenseless, at a cabin with some strange male and all you can think of is when you next get to fuck your precious mate--"
Durai stepped forward, his canines an inch away from Rais' face. "Do you dare to insinuate I am not thinking of this pride?"
Refusing to back down, Rais narrowed his eyes, staring back at his older brother. Sensing Durai's weakness, he decided to pounce. He was so damn frustrated from all of this that he needed a release. Now. "What is wrong, brother? Do you think you are doing your best for the pride?"
"That is enough!"
He couldn't stop the words from pouring out of him. The anger filled him until it was all he could feel. "I am sick and tired of your word always being the last one. I have always followed you, always. But this time, brother, we are in over our heads. This is so much bigger than anything we have gone through before. This time, we made a mistake and the one that is suffering is Achan. He could be ... we do not know what could be happening to him at this very moment. You did this. This is all your--"
Rais choked, trying to breathe around the massive hand that came out of nowhere to squeeze his neck, constricting his breath.
"Enough, Rais. Do not do this. You will regret it when you calm yourself." Khalid's whisper came from behind him. His fingers tightened in warning. Khalid was stronger than him, stronger than them all. If he seriously wanted to hurt Rais, there was no way he would be able to prevent it without killing them both in a fight.
Khalid was roughly the same age as Rais, although they hadn't grown up together. The first half of Khalid's life had been spent on Himalay living with his Tigris mother, and it definitely showed. He was quieter than the rest of the Steinssons, more apt to seek solitude than stay among his boisterous siblings. He was bigger than the rest of them too, a blend of his Tigris mother and his Leo father. He even looked different than the rest of them, a complete blend between Tigris and Leo. Tawny fur covered his body, and a sparse mane surrounded his bold features. Faint stripes wrapped around him, a shade or two darker than the rest of his fur.
Khalid's fingers opened slowly, releasing Rais.
Coughing, shrugging his shoulders, Rais lowered his head, refusing to apologize. They shouldn't have come here and they all knew it. Achan was lost in this strange world and it was all their fault. He was too young, the baby of the family. He shouldn't be alone right now. Hell, he could be ... No, he was still alive. Rais could feel it. He had to be all right.