Today we’re pleased to have an exclusive excerpt from Grace R. Duncan’s latest release, Devotion, book one of her new Forbes Mates series from Dreamspinner Press. Enjoy and pick up your copy today!
Finley Cooper is tired of waiting for his destined mate to be ready to claim him. In deference to human laws, he’s already agreed to wait until he’s eighteen. But now his birthday has come and gone—and his mate has a new set of excuses. Finley doesn’t understand it any more than his wolf does, and he’s beginning to wonder if fate made a mistake.Tanner Pearce wants nothing more than to claim his mate, but he worries that Finley is too young. Tanner will never forget what happened when his best friend mated at Finley’s age, only to have that mate end up feeling trapped and breaking their bond. While rare, it can happen, and the fallout Tanner witnessed as his best friend tried to deal with the break has haunted him for years.
When Finley finally has enough, he threatens to find someone who will claim him if Tanner doesn’t, and Tanner realizes he needs to come to terms with his fears or risk losing his mate forever.
“Okay, hey, isn’t that the new family?”
Tanner sniffed, noticing a new scent. He turned with his dad to see who’d come in, and the smell that greeted him nearly knocked him off his feet. Pine trees, warmth, and sunshine. Something deeper and masculine woven into it.
Tanner blinked at the lanky young guy walking with the new family. He was the same height as the older guy with him—probably his dad—but where his dad had brown hair, he had solid black. And as they got closer, Tanner saw the most amazing bright green eyes. A wide smile split the young face as he looked around the clearing.
His dad said something, but Tanner couldn’t even begin to pay attention. The man in front of him—the young man in front of him—was his mate. As soon as he took another breath, his cock went painfully hard, and right on the heels of that, his vision turned to grays, his claws extended, and his teeth dropped. It took everything he had to keep from spontaneously shifting the rest of the way right that very second.
The guy looked over, nostrils flaring, and stared right back at Tanner, mouth hanging open. He blinked, and his own eyes bled black and teeth extended at the same time. Tanner didn’t have to look to see if the man was hard, he could smell the arousal from ten feet away.
Tanner felt something form between them, linking them and realized it was the beginnings of the bond between destined mates.
“You’re my mate,” Tanner blurted, then immediately blushed.
The guy blinked at him again, face darkening. With the black-and-white vision, Tanner couldn’t see the red, but he was pretty sure his mate was blushing. “Uh… hello?” the guy said, glancing at the two older people with him.
Tanner finally remembered there were people other than his mate standing there. His own cheeks darkened, and it took all his effort to wrestle his wolf back into place. He cleared his throat, and his face got hotter at the looks of amusement on all four parents’ faces. “Hi,” Tanner finally managed to spit out.
They all laughed, except the two little girls with them.
“Mommy?” the shorter one said. “What’s so funny?”
“Nothing, Beth. We’ll tell you later.”
She stomped a foot. “You always say that.” She crossed her arms and looked up at her brother. “Fin? What’s so funny?”
“Mom and Dad are laughing at what my… m-mate just said.”
Beth’s eyes went wide. “Who’s your mate?” She looked around like she was missing someone.
Fin pointed at Tanner. “Apparently, that’s my mate. Uh, Mom and Dad? I’m gay.”
Tanner’s mouth dropped open, his eyes widening as he realized he’d just outed Fin to his parents. “Oh sh—uh, crap.” Tanner corrected himself at his dad’s growl. “I’m sorry!”
Fin’s father just laughed and waved his hand. “Finley, we’ve known for years.”
He blinked at his dad. “You have?”
His mom answered. “Yes, honey. You’ve always thought boys were cuter than girls. When you didn’t grow out of the ‘girls are gross’ stage, we kind of figured it out.” She chuckled at Finley’s blush, then turned to look at Tanner. “Well, something tells me it was no coincidence you got that job here, hon,” she said, glancing at her mate.
“No, I’m guessing not. I’m your mate’s father. Jacob Cooper,” he said, holding his hand out.
“Uh, Tanner Pearce. I’m the alpha’s son. Nice to meet you.”
“I was wondering when you’d get around to remembering your manners,” his dad grumbled.
“Noah! He just met his mate. Give the boy a break!” his mom said, shaking her head. “Why don’t you two go talk a little before the moon rises?”
“Thanks, Mom,” Tanner muttered, then turned to… his mate. “Hi, uh, would you like to go talk?”
Finley turned to look at his parents.
Mrs. Cooper waved at him. “Of course!” she said before he could speak. “Go! I’m so excited and happy for you!” She hugged him, then pushed him toward Tanner.
“Okay.” He turned and smiled up at Tanner a little sheepishly. “Hi. Uh, that’d be nice.”
He turned away and held a hand toward one of the logs away from the other pack members. When they took a seat, Tanner found himself suddenly, completely tongue-tied. “Uh… hi.”
That made Finley smile. “Hi yourself, uh, mate. I… didn’t expect to find a destined mate,” he murmured.
Tanner shook his head. “Me either. I thought, because I was gay….”
“Yeah, me too. Guess not, huh?”
Tanner laughed. “Yeah, I guess not. Um… how old are you, if you don’t mind me asking?”
Finley chuckled. “You’re my mate. I’d think you should know everything about me.”
“True,” Tanner said, feeling himself relax. Well, all but his cock, which was still hard from smelling his mate.
“I’m sixteen,” he said, tilting his head. “You look quite a bit older than that.”
Tanner scowled without heat. “I’m not that old. Twenty-two.”
Finley shook his head. “Definitely not old. Too hot to be old.”
Tanner’s face heated. “Um… thanks. Glad my mate thinks I’m hot.” He let himself run his eyes over Finley’s body. Young maybe, but he already had some lean muscle and, if the lump in the jeans was any indication, was well-equipped. He tore his eyes away and back up to Finley’s amused expression.
“Like what you see?”
Tanner heard the slight tremble in the question, and reached out, running his fingers over Finley’s cheek. “Very much so. I think I won the mate lottery.”
The smile on Finley’s face turned blinding. “I’ll have to disagree. I did.”
Tanner grinned. “We might just have to argue about that sometime.”
“Maybe.” He glanced up at the sky. “I don’t think we have time now.”
“Would you like to run together tonight?”
Finley nodded. “I’d like that very much.”
“Me too. It looks like we’ll have to talk more later.” Tanner glanced up, then back at Finley. “May I kiss you quickly before we shift?”
“I’d like that even more,” Finley whispered.
Tanner leaned in and caught Finley’s mouth with his own. The link he felt earlier seemed to thicken and gather them even closer. Without realizing it, Tanner pulled Finley into his arms and ran his tongue over Finley’s bottom lip. Finley opened to him, and he slid his tongue into the warmth of Finley’s mouth with a soft moan.
Finley tasted amazing. There was something sweet, downright decadent about the way he tasted. Tanner had a feeling if he lived to be a thousand years old—not that they were that long-lived—he’d never get tired of it. He explored Finley’s mouth, savoring the feel of his mate responding to his kiss, thrilling in the soft moans Finley let out.
When he finally managed to gather his wits and pull back, he realized his vision had turned gray again. He had to find a way to calm down. As excited as he was that he had found a mate—his destined mate—he had to slow down. He couldn’t very well grab Finley, strip them both, and take him then and there. For a lot of reasons, not the least of which they just met five minutes before.
Still, he let himself brush the backs of his fingers over Finley’s cheek, smiling when he saw Finley’s eyes were still closed.
“That was about a thousand times better than I ever imagined.”
“Hmm?” Tanner asked.
Finley opened his eyes. “My first kiss.”
Grace R. Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.
A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.
As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art. You can connect with Grace on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Goodreads, and Grace-Duncan.com.