Today I am so pleased to welcome Rien Gray to Joyfully Jay. Rien has come to talk to us about their latest release, Her Wolf in the Wild. Please join me in giving Rien a big welcome!

 

Excerpt

I’m politely shooed away in the direction of the lake, and any worry of getting lost vanishes when I catch sight of the water.

Micah.

She’s facing the moon, calloused hands working soap through the pale flare of her hair. The tattoo on the side of Micah’s neck is in full view, cup-like flowers etched in vibrant purple ink, with a spray of sharp green leaves nesting underneath. Muscle stretches taut in each shoulder, carved deep into her back, tapering to the solid presence of her hips where Micah’s body ends and the water begins. At this hour, it’s too dark for me to see through the veil of the lake, but that’s for the best—I don’t want to be caught leering.

Micah dunks her head in the water and emerges a long breath later, shaking her head to dry off the excess. The move is so wolf-like that I almost laugh, but the sound freezes on my lips when she turns around to face me.

Clear rivulets drip down the sharp line of her jaw, past the tattooed column of her throat. One particularly bold drop slips past the frame of Micah’s collarbones and between her breasts, tracing the sculpted lines of her stomach like a caress. There’s a narrow line of white hair there too, spreading out like an arrow the lower it goes.

She’s so gorgeous I can’t even come up with an excuse for staring at her.

“Did they send you out here to clean up too?” Micah asks.

No hint of shame or hesitation shows on her face. Royal must have been telling the truth; I’m the only one who’s flustered here. Which, for the record, is totally and utterly unfair.

“I can’t blame them,” I mumble, summoning every ounce of restraint I have to keep my eyes above her shoulders. “The bar doesn’t smell great at the end of the day to me, and my nose isn’t anything like yours.”

“Get in the water.” She invites me with a come-hither gesture. “The lake feels perfect at this hour, once the sun goes down.”

A blush settles in my face as I strip, but after gawking at Micah, it feels silly to ask her to look away. After taking the band out of my ponytail and leaving my clothes in a pile next to hers, I dip a foot into the water. It’s cool but not cold, and enough heat lingers in the park tonight that the contrast is an immediate relief. The bottom of the lake is nothing but smooth stones and fine sand, and the deeper in I go, the lighter I feel.

“This is selling me on living in the forest,” I say, needing to dispel the silence between us. Something about the quiet is too intimate, urging my heart to beat faster. “If you get to do stuff like this every day.”

“It’s nice,” Micah murmurs. “Do you want me to get out? I don’t want to…”

I’m not sure what stops her short, but I lose my words too under the intensity of her stare. Even without the wolfish glint in Micah’s eyes, her gaze traps me in place like amber, and I’m far too aware of every inch of space between us. Too aware of how a single step could close the gap, and the water lapping at my back as if urging me forward.

“What don’t you want?” I whisper.

Her jaw tightens, muscle working there like a diamond under pressure. “I would be lying. And I don’t want to lie to you.”

That final step brings me close as can be, although I have to tilt my head up to meet her eyes again. My fingers flex under the water, fighting the urge to reach out and trace Micah’s skin, to feel the heat and strength she radiates in waves. Her nostrils flare, eyes averting, and every tendon in her neck goes tight. She’s fighting too, struggling against something I can’t see, but I don’t want her to hurt, not when I’m so close.

“Micah.” I want her. I want this. “It’s okay.”

When she looks at me again, those bright eyes fall to my mouth, desire written all over her face. It’s raw, unfiltered, and completely intoxicating.

I press up onto my toes without thinking, pressing my lips to hers in a firm kiss. Her mouth is warm and welcoming, exactly what I need. I have to grasp at Micah’s shoulders to keep me steady, but the second I touch her, a wall shatters between us. A growl of need escapes between her teeth as she returns the kiss, too eager to resist.

Something in the world shifts, making my heart ache. Nothing has ever felt so right, not like this.


Blurb

The Hounds of God MC live outside the law and protect their own. They only have three rules:

(1) look out for each other

(2) obey the club president

(3) never show a human your werewolf form.

Christiana Arjean needs to get out. She tried to fix her relationship, but making a break for it is her only shot. She almost doesn’t make it, until a butch biker with a shock of white hair tosses Christiana on the back of her bike. Micah is as mysterious as she is attractive, and Christiana wants to know what’s under that tough exterior.

Micah Nubilo knows a little bit about keeping secrets. Rescuing Christiana is a bad idea, and letting her hang around is even worse. But there’s something calling to Micah: an impossible bond no werewolf should ever feel for a human, even one as beautiful as Christiana.

Their growing intimacy is threatened when they realize their pasts are connected in ways they never could have imagined. Christiana and Micah must fight against threats both outside the pack and inside themselves for a chance at putting it all behind them and finding a way forward—together.


Bio

Rien Gray is a queer, nonbinary author focused on F/F and F/NB romance. They enjoy romantic suspense, monster romance, and currently have an ongoing series starring a nonbinary assassin, starting with Love Kills Twice. They enjoy weightlifting, video games, and a good dark cup of coffee. You can find them on Twitter @riengray.

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