~~~GUEST POST FROM ANNABETH LEONG~~~
Introducing my Literary Hottie
by Annabeth Leong
Neil Statham has devoted his life to the service of the pack, and hasn’t gotten much for it. His entire life is driven by duty, often at the cost of his own dreams. He’s toiled away at the lowest levels of Minor League Baseball for his entire adult life, refusing calls from the team to advance because it would mean leaving his pack. For the past few years, he’s used his strength to fend off all challenges to Darrow Gunby, the increasingly sick pack alpha, without claiming the role for himself. And then there’s the matter of love. Though he’s had feelings for Darrow’s daughter, Juli, since they were both small, Neil has always stayed away from her for fear of angering her father.
I’ve always loved the duty-driven type, and tend to swoon over a man who will go against his own heart’s desire in pursuit of what he believes to be right. Of course, often this sort of sacrifice backfires, and an overly dutiful man needs to learn to admit his own feelings once in a while. My heroine, Juli, gets the pleasure of helping Neil learn this important lesson.
As Not the Leader of the Pack opens, however, everything Neil wants is in conflict and upheaval. In particular, the pack leadership he believes he’s earned is going to Juli instead. Demanding to lead angers her and threatens to alienate her forever.
For all Neil’s loyalty and bravery, he doesn’t always choose the smartest path, which may be one reason he’s always been a beta. He’s not very diplomatic. In fact, with Juli, he’s got a pretty bad case of foot-in-mouth disease. He can’t manage to say the right thing to her, no matter how much he tries. Neil would rather tell her how he feels with his body, but Juli has had far too much trouble with him to accept less than words.
While this is a problem, of course, it’s also hot to me. I’m really turned on by a man who struggles to say the “L” word but is dying to express it with passionate love-making. It makes it all the hotter when he does overcome his reservations and finds his words.
Neil is a conflicted hero with a lot of flaws, but his heart is in the right place and he’s loyal to the death. He has his maddening moments, but he knows how to make up for them where it counts. I love him, and hope you do, too.
Not the Leader of the Pack
by Annabeth Leong
When Juli Gunby left Missoula, Montana, she didn’t intend to come back. Not to her exacting alpha werewolf father, and certainly not to Neil Statham, the beta who rejected Juli’s girlish advances. Her father, as usual, has other ideas, using his dying breath to pass pack leadership to his daughter. Juli resolves to carry out her duty to her father and her pack, but the one man she wants on her side has made himself her enemy.
After years of loyal service to the pack, Neil expects to take over as alpha when his mentor dies. As good as it is to see Juli again, he knows he can’t trust her. After all, she abandoned both him and the pack years ago and never looked back. Neil determines to fight for his rightful position in the pack, even if that means going up against a woman who fills him with an overwhelming urge to mate every time she walks into the room.
Someone needs to lead, and the more Neil and Juli fight, the more they attract interference from those who would control the pack and destroy the ties between them.
“Neil.” She lifted her big, blue gaze to his. “Since I have to stay to lead the pack, maybe we can talk later about... what happened between us years ago. If you want. If it’s something you regret.” Neil gritted his teeth. He remembered this look. She’d looked just this way the last time he’d seen her, the only other time they’d been alone together. One hand fluttered toward his. If she touched him, he’d be lost.
Neil pulled his hand away, shoving it into his pocket. The cab of the truck felt too damned small. “You’re not thinking clearly right now. How are you going to win the trust of the people you abandoned five years ago?” Then he threw his biggest pitch. “What are you going to do without me?”
She actually gasped. “Without you?”
“Without me. I’m not a possession, Juli. You don’t get to inherit me. I’m not going to be on your side.”
“What the hell are you talking about, Neil?” All the softness had gone out of her expression now.
He expanded his chest, knowing she would pick up on the animal body language. “Darrow should have named me alpha. We both know it. I could have taken it any time I wanted. He had no right to deny it to me after the respect I showed him.”
Her eyes widened. She barked a short laugh. “No right? Since when is it a rule that when werewolves are nice to each other, we give each other things? If you wanted to be alpha, you should have challenged him. End of discussion.”
“Juli, you don’t really want this.”
She folded her arms across her chest. “Try me.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Annabeth Leong has written romance and erotica of many flavors -- dark, kinky, vanilla, straight, lesbian, bi, and menage. Her titles for Breathless Press include Not His Territory, Not the Leader of the Pack, and a contribution to the Ravaged anthology. She enjoys writing about the tension between passion and control that werewolves embody. Unfortunately, when Annabeth loses control of herself, she does not gain the power to change shape. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Buy links for Not the Leader of the Pack:
All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-nottheleaderofthepack-1216512-149.html?referrer=5148b13c78ae0
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Not-The-Leader-Pack-ebook/dp/B00D3OUT4C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369993135&sr=8-1&keywords=annabeth+leong+not+the+leader+of+the+pack
Breathless Press: http://www.breathlesspress.com/index.php?main_page=product_free_shipping_info&cPath=13&products_id=452&zenid=nipaehvv20bbjv9041ico7epf1
Annabeth will be awarding a $10 gift card for Breathless Press to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.