Please welcome Kira Shayde to my blog. Kira writes m/f erotic shifter romances. As readers can tell from my own shifter romance, Tribal Shift, I love animals, so I’m excited to see lion and hyena shifters in Desires at War. Take it away, Kira.
Today, I want to talk about species conservation in Africa and mention the Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary. Some of you may have heard of Kevin Richardson—the Lion Whisperer. If not, here’s a quick video introduction to his amazing, hands-on connection with African lions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAGC06VyJtc
Kevin doesn’t just work with African lions though. He’s also particular to saving the spotted hyena, a carnivore not as picturesque or renowned as the African lion. In fact, many folks think the spotted hyena is nothing more than an ugly scavenger, but these highly social animals are actually intelligent and capable hunters. Watch this longer video and I guarantee you will be loving hyenas too. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ni6yu1OCgks
But the spotted hyena is a direct competitor of the African lion on the Serengeti plains and their fierce battles for territory and prey led me to imagine a world in which these animals were human…shape-shifting humans. And it is here in Africa, with the lions and hyenas at war, we find my erotic paranormal series, Primal Shifters, and my new release, Desires at War.
Months as a POW leaves lion shifter Fix Ainran struggling to recover, but he can’t get the curvaceous Caryn Plumar out of his mind. Yet the beautiful daughter of the hyena Chairman only torments the disabled former soldier with heated trysts before pulling away.
No matter how much she desires Fix’s touch, Caryn’s obligations involve more than fighting for an independent hyena state in a land ruled by lions and fraught with war. She must sacrifice any chance of happiness and freedom by marrying within the clan to ensure her safety.
Unable to stay apart, Fix and Caryn defy societal rules and risk their lives as they battle enemies, search for the truth about his captivity…and fall in love.
Waiting for the others to leave the room, Fix gripped the conference table. His first official parliamentary assignment. Why did he feel so sullied? He should feel proud, not coated in the slime of tense deals and false friendship. When the last man had filed out, Fix wearily set his hands on his wheelchair’s push rims.
“Let me,” a familiar voice said.
He lifted his head as Caryn stepped behind him, her graciousness washing the slime and tension away.
“How about I show you the palace gardens?”
“I’d like that,” he replied with a smile, grateful for another chance to be with her.
She pushed his chair out of the conference room and down the hallway to a set of open French doors. A soft breeze carried in a floral scent, and they crossed the entryway into a sea of African violets. His wheels made a soft thump with each revolution on the brick walk.
Around the bend, bright yellow lilies framed a baobab tree. The straggly branches atop the thick trunk looked like tree roots. An old myth stated the gods gave the hyenas the job of planting the baobab trees, and the laughing hyenas planted the trees upside down.
Fix pointed to the tree. “Your family must have a sense of humor.”
Caryn chuckled. “My great-great-grandfather planted that tree in honor of his new bride, a woman who shared his sense of fun.” They turned another corner, and she inhaled deeply. “I love walking among the gardens. I know every flower species here. In fact, I probably spend more time weeding and pruning than the gardeners do.” She laughed again.
Damn, he loved the sound of her laughter. Rich, full. No delicate twitters like those of the simpering first-caste girls he’d known back in school.
He gestured to the flowers. “You should own a greenhouse or something.”
“I’d love to, but…”
Something about the unexpected melancholy in her voice made him want to stop in his tracks. He took control of the wheelchair so he could turn around to face her. “Then why don’t you?”
A bitter smile crossed her face. “My father wouldn’t view ‘small business owner’ as a suitable occupation for his eldest daughter.”
She raised her face to the skies. “I live a sheltered life, Fix. Privileged compared to most hyenas, but sheltered. My father tries to protect me from the harsh realities of a society controlled by lions. A society where all others are not even considered fourth caste, but untouchables, forbidden to live or even work on lion-owned lands.”
His jaw clenched. F***ing caste hierarchy. He angled his chair and wheeled toward a small private alcove surrounded by vines. “Come with me.”
Nestled in the vegetation, blocked from the outside world, he took her hand in his and drew her onto his lap. He inhaled her sweet lavender scent, more intoxicating than the flowers around them. “You are not untouchable,” he whispered, gently stroking her cheek.
He skimmed her long hair with the back of his hand and exposed the seductive curve of her neck. When he brushed a kiss along her pulse point, her body trembled.
“No, Fix,” she protested weakly.
But this time he didn’t let her go. Lush, sheltered Caryn Plumar needed to be shown just how touchable she was. Wrapping his hand behind her head, he slanted his mouth over hers and caressed her full lips. Lightning raced up his spine. How he’d longed for this. To hold her, to kiss her. To breathe in her essence. To feel her shudder in his arms.
Her mouth parted with a sharp intake of breath, and he darted his tongue in and found hers, his heart thudding against his rib cage. He eased back and licked her lips with slow swirls. Her sweet taste made him dizzy.
She arched into him, her breaths shallow and fast.
“Oh gods,” she murmured.
Her low, husky voice hit him deep in the groin.
Kira enjoys studying love, sex, and relationships, and has a weakness for shifters.
As a romance writer, Kira explores somewhat atypical pairings and settings and can’t help adding a twinge of societal awareness to her works, but the focus is always on the developing romance, passion, and happy endings. In her erotic romances, you won’t find any hard-core BDSM. Kira prefers her hero and heroine to share the power and share the love.
A former university research associate and wildlife rehabilitator, Kira is addicted to the Instagram accounts of conservation groups and sanctuaries and spends far too much time online looking at pictures of birds, big cats, wolves, chocolate desserts, and Jamie Dornan.
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