Title: Begging For Forgiveness
Author: Astrid Cielo
Series: Pinewood Creek Shifters #2
Published: September 17th 2013 by Astrid Cielo
Page Count: 192
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Shelf: Review Copy
Skylar just wanted to forget his last assignment, so like he had for the past six months after he was forced to execute yet another shifter he stopped at the little restaurant a town over from his apartment to lose himself in good food. He never expected to lose himself in a female. He took the beautiful Aspen to bed the moment he caught her scent, his wolf beside itself wanting to claim its mate. But after it was over he knows he's made a mistake...because he's already mated. So, he runs and hopes he can beg his mate for forgiveness.
Xavier had never felt a betrayal as deep as when Skylar slid into bed beside him smelling of a female, not even when his old pack had nearly beat him to death. But soon that feeling of betrayal faded to confusion, then surprise when he realized that whatever female his mate had taken was also his mate.
Now Skylar and Xavier will hunt for their missing mate. But little do they know, Skylar's last assignment has a loose end that's just waiting for the right moment to strike--and it's set its sights on Aspen.
Can Aspen accept the man who left her pregnant and doubting mating all over again? Can Skylar and Xavier convince her to mate with not one, but both of them? Will Aspen survive to forgive?
The tantalizing mix of jasmine and forest made his mouth water, but he'd never smelled it quite from the source, having never met Aspen in person before. He was totally unprepared for the immediate connection he felt with her when her particular scent reached him in the passenger seat of Sky's Tahoe. The subtle scent of her sadness only enraged him and his wolf to the point he didn't know who he was anymore. Before he could piece together his intentions, he'd ripped Aspen from the unknown male's arms and punched him in the face. His wolf howled in satisfaction, even as his human side gloried in the satisfying crunch of a broken nose he'd dealt. No one touched his mate.
Someone tackled him, taking him to the ground. His first instinct was to growl, but familiar lips claimed his, familiar but rough hands pinned his arms above his head and soothed his beast in the way that only Skylar knew how. Xavier's wolf whined with need--not only of Sky, but of the tantalizing cat whose scent still teased his nostrils.
"What the hell is going on here?"
Skylar relinquished his lips, but the firm grip on his arms, and the firm way Sky's hips held him to the ground mixed with the stern look in Sky's eyes had Xavier nodding, agreeing to an unasked question. Xavier went loose and pliant underneath his mate.
Xavier looked up at the bare-chested male with brown hair and golden-brown eyes who stood in the middle of what Xavier could only describe as chaos. Xavier looked to the porch and found Aspen, her face pale and tears tracking down her cheeks. She'd curled herself into a ball, and even from this distance, he could see the terror in her grey eyes. Xavier knocked Skylar to the side with ease and would've made it to his mate had three men not tackled him.
"Calm the fuck down, Xavier!"
"Get your friend under control or I will take care of this!" The bare-chested male stated.
Xavier continued his struggle, his only goal to hold his Aspen who so obviously needed him. The scent of her pain and sadness were torture to both him and his wolf, and his wolf howled in protest.
"What's going on?"
A petite brunette sat on her knees, pulling Aspen's head into her lap, soothing Xavier somewhat, especially when Aspen clung to the unknown female. Xavier stopped struggling, and worked at getting his wolf back under control. He ignored those around him, listening to the petite brunette speak to his Aspen.
"Aspen, sweetie, what's wrong?"
"I...my stomach hurts-"
"Oh my god! Caleb we've got to get her to the hospital now! Andrew!"
Xavier found his voice, his wolf struggling against him to reassert control.
"What is wrong with my mate?"
Xavier felt Skylar release him to move toward Aspen and the bare-chested male intercepted him, taking him to the ground. Xavier's wolf howled and his control snapped. There was no way anyone could watch two mates in trouble.
"I don't see how anything gets done with you men! Stop this instant! Aspen needs help now!"
Xavier's wolf whined, but relinquished his control over Xavier as the petite brunette's words reached his brain. She was right. They needed to stop fighting and focus on Aspen. He swallowed a growl when the male known as Andrew stepped onto the porch and bent to look at Aspen.
"Andrew! You're bleeding!"
"It's alright, Sis. Just a broken nose, I'll be okay. Now, Aspen, tell me where do you hurt?"
"In my stomach."
"I'm going to need you to point to it, okay. Great. Now, we're going to load up and go to the emergency room. I'm sure it's nothing since I didn't see you receive a blow, but better safe than sorry with your condition. I'll call Dr. Sanchez on the way in. Okay."
Xavier breathed a sigh of relief as he watched Aspen's face regain some color. He stepped cautiously towards her and when she would've gotten up by herself, Xavier stopped her.
"Let me carry you."
Aspen's pupils dilated as she took in his scent and he knew the moment she knew.
"Yes, sweetheart, let me carry you."
Aspen bit her lip as she looked toward the petite brunette.
"It's up to you, sweetie."
Aspen took a deep breath and her grey eyes returned to his. He'd never believed in love at first sight, even with Skylar he'd fallen in love weeks into an intense courtship, but with Aspen something inside him shifted into place, something he'd not realized he'd been missing. He was undeniably in love with this woman.
Cielo is an explicitly detailed author who goes the extra mile to draw her audience fully into the heart of her story. As a reader you can visualise each and every aspect of the novel while still having the leeway to use your imagination and let it run wild (and believe you me, it will). Cielo has not only developed a uniquely racy supernatural tale, she has also created a fully rounded, heartfelt story. This novel may have had my pulse racing (more than once), but it also brought tears to my eyes.
I absolutely love the variety of shifters that Cielo brings into play in this novel, as well as the large variety of personalities that we get to know. Characters are fully developed without becoming overdeveloped. I also really appreciate the fact that couples remain individuals and part of a team, rather than becoming a single inseparable entity as one sees with many shifter matings.
I definitely can’t wait to read more from this talented author, both in the Pinecreek shifters series and her other works. I fell in love with this world all over again with this novel and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this novel to anyone who likes to spice it up a little.
About the Author:
Astrid began writing when she was a child her stories featuring a variety of characters (including her imaginary friends). When she was in high school she wrote her first completed story and was published twice in poetry anthologies. Gathering her courage, Astrid self-published her first book, Surrender Serenity, Salin's Salvation, Book 1 and enjoyed every minute of it.
Now she balances her time between being a nurse (which she loves) and writing down the scenes that play out in her mind. She also plays World of Warcraft (which all of her friends think is weird)!