Claw by Ellen Mint
Book 1 in the Coven of Desire series
General Release Date: 16th March 2021
He’s not your typical werewolf-next-door.
Layla hadn’t counted on a sex demon appearing in her living room. Nor did she expect to find she’s a witch, tasked with protecting the mortal realm. And now her friend, fellow nursing student and impossible crush could be a potential killer?
She’s silently lusted after Cal for a year, knowing a guy that hot, sweet and kind wouldn’t look twice at her. All their flirting was innocent and went nowhere, until Ink—the incubus bound to her—ran into her life and bed. Next thing she knows, Cal’s growling at her while Ink flirts, and women are being ripped apart by wild animals. Couldn’t the murder monster mystery wait until after finals?
She wanted to be a nurse, not a paranormal investigator, but Layla has no choice. Apparently only witches can stop these creatures that she didn’t even know existed a month ago. But the deeper she digs, the more it looks like Cal’s deep in the middle of it all. How can she save her friend from the claws of a cult, keep her sex-craved demon happy and find a way to let both into her heart and bed?
Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, peril, near death, blood and gore, and on-page death. There are references to a cult and inadequate parenting.
Author's note: Everyone who buys a copy of Claw will receive the short story Retail Hell free. Set between the events of Ink and Claw in the Coven of Desire series, Layla's workday from hell is interrupted by her personal sex demon.
An edge exists between the living and the dead, the celestial plane and the mortal realm, reality and its reflection. Upon that sliver of existence is where the witch—
“Damn it!” I gasped, nearly sending the book flying from the rash of tickles prickling across my stomach. “Ink…”
Breath hotter than brimstone twisted against the back of my ear as two hands caressed down my sides. I bit my lip, the ticklish nerves transforming to a different tremble. He pressed the full breadth of his palm to my jittery belly, working his way under the Bellpeppers uniform top.
Two weeks ago, I would have returned from work, tossed away my pants and fallen to the floor to dig into my nursing homework without a second’s pause. Having a personal incubus forever lurking at my elbow was going to take some getting used to, however. Ink’s attentions grew in fervor, the man slipping his fingers under my panties. He brushed back my hair with his other hand so he could place a kiss to my neck.
“I thought I was supposed to be studying,” I said even while losing to his demonic sway.
He grazed his teeth along my throat. “That’s not what you truly desire.”
Coming off a ten-hour night shift hauling cargo for the Friendliest Big Box store in the Midwest, I’d thought I’d only desired a quick meal and sleep. But my attempt at microwaving ramen had been foiled by the spell book left sitting on the kitchen table. It had demanded my attention like an obstinate cat about to break a vase if it didn’t get what it wanted.
A yawn rounded around my mouth, aching for its release, when Ink dove his coy fingers right to my clit. Holy shit! My body was wide awake now.
“Why don’t you sleep on me?” he said, tipping back onto the living room floor and splaying me on top of him.
All the while, he continued tantalizing my clit with a speed usually reserved for a ‘neck massager.’ I ramped up to orgasm in record time, Ink arching his hips against my lower back to press his monolith erection on me.
Breath sputtered from my lips, my exhausted body springing to life as I ground against him. “Aren’t you supposed to be teaching me witchcraft?”
“Interesting,” Ink mused in his melodic baritone. “You desire me in a tweed jacket and…carrying a yardstick?”
The flittering thought of Ink as the strict professor having to punish his one student crashed into a pool of guilt. I kept forgetting he could read my every desire, no matter how minute, the second it popped into my head. And he was more than happy to lean into the depravity.
“Tell me, Ms. Leeland.” He startled me from my inner turmoil. “What is the counter-ward for the acidic saliva of a manticore?”
“A…a pentagram with—”
“Wrong!” Ink shouted and slapped my inner thigh. It wasn’t hard, but loud enough that I jumped in shock. Ink didn’t remove his palm, but strained my leg to the breaking point while he caressed and threatened another slap up and down my inner thigh.
“What is the plant that ensures the dead stay six feet under?”
My brain sputtered smoke. I had read something about plants. But then there were all the pharmaceutical questions I’d studied for my real job. Witch hazel? Belladonna? Quinine? Foxglove? Pacific Yew?
“We need an answer, Ms. Leeland,” Ink ordered, his voice crackling with a growl as he traced his nails up and down my skin.
He cupped my chin in his hand, twisting it until I caught his eyes. Flames danced in his irises, and his lips nearly pressed to my cheek. “Nice try, but very wrong.”
With demonic speed, he parted my legs using just his knees and thrust his cock inside me. With one hand, he pinned my hip back against his body so I could feel every thrust from his pelvis cradling my ass. Roughing out of my hair, Ink reached up to grab my hand and pinned me by my wrist.
“Shall we play a new game?” he asked. My body strained at the breaking point, balanced upon the demon dick inside me. Thunderous energy pounded in waves from my heart up to my throat, leaving me clenching my bare toes into the rug while Ink pressed on both of my thighs.
“What…what game?” I gulped, the blood pooling in my head and nether regions with alarming speed. If this lasted any longer, I was liable to pass out…or worse.
Ink brushed the length of his sharp nose from the hollow of my jaw up to my ear. “For every answer you get right, you receive a thrust of eternal bliss.”
Fuck. I squirmed in anticipation, flexing my fingers inside his grip. But the fact that I’d barely had two seconds to do more than crack open my spell book in days cooled my blood. “And if I get it wrong?”
He released a rumble loud enough to be heard at the end of days. “You shall see,” was Ink’s response and he drew a single nail across my thigh. “What is—?”
The first five bars of White Wolves of Winter blared from behind me. Without a second’s thought, I snaked my hand from Ink’s fading grip and grabbed my phone. It took a moment for me to read it, fuzz blanketing my brain.
Dana was calling.
“Oh shit!” I shouted. In one deft move, I rolled off Ink to my knees. “I completely forgot.” I kept narrating while cramming back on my shitty dark gray jeans. What else did I need? Book bag? Did I load it last night before work?
Of course I didn’t. I never plan ahead.
While shoving my mass of books worth the cost of a used car into a flimsy messenger bag, I glanced at the man left lying on my rug. Black hair thicker than a bear’s lay in curly waves surrounding his head. A treasure trove of the same caressed down the dangerous muscles of his body, but parted at the monstrous erection prodding free.
Ink wore nothing but a smile when he wandered around my place, no doubt much to the delight of the random saleslady who’d dropped her catalogs for seventy-dollar micro-cloths and run for the hills when he answered the door.
Tearing my eyes off the man ready to pound me to heaven wasn’t easy. “I have a study date… With Dana and Fariah.”
Curling a hand under his high cheekbone, Ink twisted onto his side to watch me. I kept dashing about the apartment, trying to not glance at his ass. Do not give in to the bubble, Layla. This is important.
“We have a test coming up,” I kept explaining as if Ink was my keeper, but he wafted a hand through the air like a Roman emperor dismissing a servant.
“Yes, yes, go on to your university issue.”
I clung white-knuckled to my backpack. Despite him being an incubus, a literal sex demon that gained energy by fucking, the second I needed to get away he let me go. No questions. No complaints.
If I had any lingering doubts that he could be a human, the sight of him with a giant erection—nearly at the point of no return—and not a single challenge to my exit proved that was impossible. Fisting my keys between my fingers out of habit, I turned to the door.
“What will you do?” I began, my gut boiling as I spun back to the man with a sequoia in his lack-of-pants. “While I’m gone, I mean?”
That delectable and devious smile returned. Ink hopped to his feet, his hands grazing the carpet before he rose to stand before me. The flames had doused in his eyes, leaving only the amber shine behind. “I will wait for you.”
A blush burned on my cheeks and I felt like a teenager who just had the hottest guy in school look at her from across the cafeteria. Why did I even think that he’d…? Never mind. Shaking my head, I undid the lock on my apartment and moved to slip out without anyone peeking in.
“My bond,” Ink called to me. He stared me straight in the eye and curled a hand around his cock. “When you return, the game will resume.”
Fuck! Blushing so hard that my black hair turned red, I ran from my apartment and the incubus contained within.
About the Author. . .
Ellen Mint adores the adorkable heroes who charm with their shy smiles and heroines that pack a punch. She recently won the Top Ten Handmaid's Challenge on Wattpad where hers was chosen by Margaret Atwood. Her books, Undercover Siren and Fever are available at Amazon as well as a short story in the Lucky Between The Sheets anthology. Married, she lives in Nebraska with her dog named after Granny Weatherwax. Her hobbies include gaming, painting, and halloween prop making. The basement is full of skeletons because they ran out of room in the closets.
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