Unnatural Allies (Shifting Alliances, #2 by Shari Elder
Genre: M/F Paranormal Romance
Release Date: April 28, 2017
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer
Thank you so much for hosting me on Compelling Beasts. My newest paranormal romance Unnatural Allies, Book Two in the paranormal romance series, Shifting Alliances, released from Evernight Publishing on April 29. Although part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone novel.
In Unnatural Allies, I added an anti-hero secondary character, named Cyn, I’m totally in love with. Today, I’ll share what I think are the top five characteristics of a great anti-hero, then hopefully show what these (or some of them) look like in practice with an excerpt from the story provided further down in the post.
- Ambiguous allegience—you don’t know what side they are on, because their focus is preserving their own skin. In fact, they may help both sides.
- Painful backstory—their scars run so deep, they bust their skin and are worn on the outside as well as the inside.
- Unpleasant to deal with—they can be nasty, as their bitterness stains all their interactions.
- Unique, usually complex, moral code. Only the anti-hero knows that code, and it may have nothing in common with society’s rules and regulations.
- Realistic to a flaw, often losing hope in the potential goodness of others.
Did I miss any key ones?
A World in Transition
Violent fae encroachment on shifter land is heating up. With death tolls rising, the impossible becomes necessary – an alliance among predator and prey shifters.
An Inconceivable Love
Nicca Baron, lone wolf and wolf clan beta, finds herself under the command of Evan Grant, the rat alpha. In different circumstances, he’d be dinner. Or so her wolf keeps reminding her. Evan proves to be a perceptive leader, a skilled fighter and irresistible to her lonely heart.
To rule the rats, you have to rule the pack. Evan is a whiz at managing people and groups. Until he finds himself leading a mission made up of every single large animal that thrives on rat flesh. And not the kind between his legs. The only bright light is Nicca. Her storm gray eyes miss nothing, her brilliant mind comprehends everything and her succulent curves offer the perfect place for a rat to nestle.
An Impossible Future
In each other’s arms, Nicca and Evan discover love and a new perspective in an off-kilter world. But a wolf cannot mate with a rat, no matter the strength of the human attraction.
Background: Our hero and heroine are locked in a fae prison cell. Cyn, our fae anti-hero, is their guardian. In this scene, Nicca has distract him from Evan who is working on something to facilitate their escape.
. “Hey, Cyn. Can you let me out of here for a minute?”
“Just you, doll? I knew a rat couldn’t keep your interest.”
The door evaporated. She winked at Evan before stepping into Cyn’s lair. The door immediately reappeared, without the window.
“Yum. You’re wet enough to sate ten fae guardians,” Cyn said without preamble as his gaze strolled up and down her body. “You mostly just talked in there, and he got you this juiced. Maybe Amaris was right to want to fuck the rat.”
Swallowing down the green monster trying to come out as a snarl, she focused on something that confused her. “What’s a fae guardian?”
“Protectors, mediators, peace keepers. I think that’s enough synonyms to get the picture.”
He didn’t say warriors, soldiers, fighters, which was what she had immediately assumed. Cyn kept throwing out competing images. He was either trying to confuse her or, like with the cards, tell her something.
He walked around her slowly, his body brushing against her like it was copping a feel. She shuddered, part unsated desire, part revulsion. At least she was buying Evan time.
He sniffed her hair and down her neck. “A wolf and a rat—who’d have thunk it?” He licked along the edge of her ear, and she swallowed a gag. “It won’t last. When your bed gets cold, think of me. I’m always available, and I’m sure you don’t get too many offers coming your way.”
“What woman could resist that proposition? A fae and a shifter—who’d have thunk it?” She inched away, grabbing distance from all the weirdness.
“I want hot, sweaty sex games. No commitments.”
“What do you know about the fae in the unclaimed territories?” she asked, trying to change the conversation, but not really expecting an answer.
Cyn’s stare drilled through, and her whole body trembled as if he were groping around in her soul. “You created them. They’re yours to deal with.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Shifter, you need to get your head out of your ass and see the world beyond your door. Stop pretending like you’re separate and apart. There is a price to all walls, especially the ones in your own head.” Anger vibrated through the air, tearing through her like a tornado. Her trapped wolf howled.
Cyn shook himself, as if trying to gain control. In that moment, she knew she saw the real Cyn. The rest was bluff, blunder, and misdirection.
“I tire of your narrow mind. Get back in your cell and occupy yourself with these if the rat bores you.” He pushed the cards into her hands so hard, the edges cut into her flesh.
Hello, I’m Shari. By day, I crawl out of bed, mainline coffee, walk the dog, get my kid off to school, hop on the metro, and save cities within the four walls of my office. Usually by email.
At night, the other Shari emerges. I take off the suit, curl up on the couch and let my imagination play, with words and images until stories take shape (while periodically checking on my teen-ager, hiding out in the bedroom and plotting world domination with her furry minions). As my alter ego, I save cities in a cape and spangled tights, wander space and time on a surfboard, fly over the Himalayas on feathered wings, make six-toed footprints in indigo talc snow on the sixth planet in the Andromeda galaxy or eavesdrop on Olympian gods while pretending to whip up a bowl of ambrosia.
In all these wondrous worlds, romance and passion blossom. I can’t resist a happy ending. And I am particularly prone to writing happy endings for those who have given up on ever getting one. That gives me immense satisfaction.
Join me on my journey. The best ideas emerge from team work.
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