12/29 Christmas Flame On Its Own!!!

000 Caris Roane - Author Photo 2Hi, Everyone! Welcome to CHRISTMAS FLAME, featuring a werewolf and a vampire. CHRISTMAS FLAME is a paranormal romance holiday novella set in the world of the Flame Series. The story takes place well into the future in the series, but definitely after BLOOD FLAME, AMETHYST FLAME, DARK FLAME, and AMBER FLAME!

This story was originally in the box set ALPHAS UNWRAPPED, but is now available on its own! Yippee!

CHRISTMAS FLAME is a standalone story with no cliffhangers. It’s a passionate, hot, paranormal romance, featuring a vampire and a werewolf set in the urban world of Five Bridges. Here are the details!

Bella Media ManagementOn Christmas Eve, vampire Officer Kyle Drake has finally persuaded the shy wolf shifter, Verena, to go on a first date. His plans include a little mistletoe and a lot of seduction. But when a call comes in that a teenage girl has been abducted and Kyle and Verena go in pursuit, he fears the dangers of their world will once again force Verena back into her no-dating-ever mode…

I hope you’re enjoying the Flame Series. I’ve had a wonderful time developing a world inspired by my love of bridges and of course, for hunky alter warrior types! Enjoy!
A vampire border patrol officer pursues a shy shifter…

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And now for an excerpt from Chapter One!

CHRISTMAS FLAME
A Paranormal Romance
By
Caris Roane

Chapter One

“YOU LOOK AMAZING.”
Kyle Drake stood outside Verena’s front door, dumbstruck. He’d been chasing her for months and she’d finally agreed to a date. She’d dressed up, put on make-up and he loved it.
He’d only seen Verena at work in her jeans and snug t-shirt. He loved that look on her as well. In fact, he loved everything about her.
But seeing her in a skin tight black dress tore every rational thought from his head. The dress had a silver trim that outlined a gorgeous cleavage he’d never seen before. Every wicked fantasy he’d ever had about her flipped through his head and threatened his resolve to take it slow tonight.
Verena smiled, blinked a couple of times then met his gaze. She was shy for a shifter, but relatively young for a wolf, having gotten hit with the alter serum only two years ago.
She’d curled her long thick blond hair and had a sparkly clip off to the right side. She carried a small black purse and even wore black stilettos, which put her at a solid kissing height given that he was six-five.
“You look pretty great yourself.” Her voice got to him. The wolf alter transformation had affected her vocal chords and the resulting low gravelly sound always hit him straight in the groin.
Who was he kidding? Everything about Verena Seward lit up his cock.
A woman appeared behind her in the doorway. Drake recognized her as Verena’s roommate, Joy.
“Move it aside, roomy. You’re blocking the way.”
Drake knew that Joy’s bark was a leftover from previous military service, a time before she’d become an alter witch.
Verena pivoted away from the door. “Joy, what’s going on?”
The shorter woman, also dressed up in club gear, jostled Verena as she headed to the swing on the nearby front patio. She carried a bottle of vodka in her hand.
She sat down and leaned her head back. She then pushed off with her legs and set the swing in motion. “You two have fun.”
Drake had only met Joy twice and didn’t know her much at all. Clearly, she wanted to be alone.
He was about to offer Verena his arm, when she turned toward her roommate. “Don’t do this.”
“Not your business, shifter woman. Besides, this isn’t a crime. I’ve changed my mind about going to the party, that’s all.”
“But Jacob will be there. He invited you. He’s expecting you.”
“Then lucky for him I’m not going.”
Sensing Verena’s concern for her friend, Drake felt his evening plans start to slip away. He knew Verena. She wouldn’t want to leave her friend like this.
He mentally cursed then felt guilty for being selfish. But he’d spent a long time coaxing Verena to go out with him, as in months, and he had high hopes for exactly how this night would end.
Hell, he’d decorated a Christmas tree because he was sure Verena would like it. He also had at least a dozen candles around the living room ready to be lit. Champagne chilling. He’d even bought some chocolate dipped strawberries. He’d thought the idea lame, but every woman he’d asked made cooing sounds, so he’d gone for it.
He’d given his housekeeper a big tip as well just to be on call to light the candles for him the moment he was heading back to his house. He wanted the evening to go just right.
But Verena’s attention had already shifted away from him. Joy was despondent about something. Maybe she’d had a fight with this Jacob guy.
He moved closer to Verena and put his hand at the small of her back, giving her a hint they should get going. She glanced at him, brows raised, but gave a small shake of her head.
With that small gesture, his hopes went up in flames. Verena had a heart as big as the night sky, and he loved that about her. But not tonight, dammit. He wanted that big heart focused on him.
She took a couple of steps toward Joy. “I hate seeing you like this.”
Joy offered a tight smile. “Verena, I love you like a sister, but I need to be alone right now. Me and this lovely hand-crafted liter. Go. And I mean it. Otherwise you and I will have a fight.”
Joy had a hard light in her dark eyes. Drake had no idea what had happened, but something had set her off. Her short spiky black hair was styled and her eyes were made up. She was dressed to kill in a purple shimmery dress which meant something had happened to kill her clubbing mood.
Verena’s shoulders fell and he felt her resignation. “All right. If that’s what you want.”
“It is.” But Joy had tears in her eyes.
Verena moved to the swing. When she was directly in front of Joy, she leaned down and kissed her on the cheek. “See you later.”
Drake’s hopes rose once more. He mentally lit all the candles and wondered how soon he should call his housekeeper to have her set out the strawberries. Would Verena enjoy them more at room temperature? Or icy cold?
When Verena turned toward him, she dipped her chin in his direction, then fixed her gaze on the street. He could feel her sadness like a beacon pulsing from her entire body. Every step she took appeared as though she was making a monumental effort.
Drake blew the air from his cheeks and his hopes crashed once more.
He knew Verena well. She wouldn’t be able to shake this off as easily as other people could. When she cared about her friends, she was all in.
He walked with her until they were on the cement driveway in front of the garage. Once out of Joy’s line of sight, he caught Verena’s arm and forced her to stop. He switched to telepathy. What’s going on with Joy? I thought she was excited about the party.
Verena turned to face him, tears in her eyes this time. She was, Drake, but… She paused.
But what? Tell me.
Joy doesn’t want it known.
Can you make an exception because if I don’t know what’s really happening here, I won’t know how to help. Not that I can make a difference, but I want to try.
She tilted her head. You’d do that?
He opened his mouth and knew he was frowning. He wanted to be honest with her, but he could hardly say he needed Joy to stop cock-blocking him.
He finally chose the most diplomatic path. Bottom line, I want you to be happy tonight and I suspect you’ll be anything but with Joy drinking herself into a pit while you’re out partying.
She released a heavy sigh. You’ve said it exactly right. I can’t believe you know me this well, but I’m glad you understand. You’re a good man and I really appreciate that about you.
His lips grew twisted. Don’t make me out to be more than I am. My end goal is still the same. I want time with you tonight, a real date.
She smiled and caressed his face. I know. Truth? Me, too…
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I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from the opening of CHRISTMAS FLAME. And just for fun, here’s a full love scene!

Bella Media ManagementOnce more, here are the links to CHRISTMAS FLAME!

Christmas Flame

A vampire border patrol officer pursues a shy shifter…

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And now, have a wonderful day and an even better night! For more information about my books, keep scrolling!

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Caris Roane is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty paranormal romance books. Writing as Valerie King, she has published fifty novels and novellas in Regency Romance. Caris lives in Phoenix, Arizona, loves gardening, enjoys the birds and lizards in her yard, but really doesn’t like scorpions!

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