Sugar and Splice: Book 1 in the Hybrid Hearts Series
Can Jenna tame Noble, the half-man/half-lion with an insatiable appetite for more than pastries, or is their sizzling chemistry a recipe for disaster?
As Noble’s mentor in the bakery, I never expected to be whisked away by a lion-man who craves more than just my yummy treats. His fierce loyalty and tantalizing presence are ingredients for passion. Can I resist his beastly charm, or will my primal hunger make me risk it all for a taste of his forbidden love?
Recently released from the cage where I was genetically engineered, I can’t deny the hunger roaring within me when Jenna is near. Her delicious creations and sweet smile leave me lusting for more than just dessert. Can I master my animal urges, or will I risk everything to devour the delectable heat simmering between us?
Join Jenna and Noble as cupcakes and claws collide in this book about a purr-fect match.
USA TODAY Bestselling author Alana Khan combines romance and spice in these fun romps with hybrid splicers. This forbidden workplace romance has no cheating or cliffhangers. Just lots of fun and steam.
For readers 18+
Sugar and Splice
“Tonight, you’ll meet the first cadre of males deemed ready to take the next step toward the ultimate goal, which is to integrate into society.”
The Colonel pauses and a stream of soldiers enters the same door he arrived through. Instead of looking casual in camo like the Colonel, these men are wearing body armor, clear face plates, and carrying guns.
I scrunch up on the couch, my heels on the seat in front of me, as if that will protect me from whatever is coming next.
“We’ve prepped these males every way possible, but they’ve never met a female before. Never smelled one. In the facility we rescued them from, in their barracks in Area 51, as well as here, they’ve only interacted with males.”
“We think they’re ready, but are prepared for any eventuality.” He makes a sweeping gesture toward his men as if that will provide reassurance.
“Good to know,” Riley whispers, not sounding optimistic.
There must be thirty armed soldiers ringing the periphery of the room, all tense and ready for battle.
“Let’s have our first meet and greet. Shall we?”
The door opens and a wolfman springs in. He’s terrifying. And large. Definitely taller than anyone else in the room. His face is covered in fur, his ears are pointed. To complete the surreal picture, he’s wearing khaki pants and a flowered Hawaiian shirt.
His ludicrous choice of clothing becomes even more of a juxtaposition of incongruity when he leans his head back and howls, then comes prowling closer to the row of couches filled with terrified women.
“Warren!” the Colonel scolds. “We just reviewed the expectations. Remember the five-foot rule.”
The beast lifts his head in a half-nod, edges backward about two feet, then stalks from one end of the semicircle of couches to the other. If I had a measuring tape, I would bet the $25,000 I just earned that he’s exactly sixty inches from the women in the front row.
I’ve been so focused on the wolfman, I didn’t notice the others filing in. For long moments, my attention is fully captured by the naga as I watch him glide into the room, take up a spot near the side, and assess us all as if we were the exotic beasts instead of him. I guess we are. Is it possible these males have never seen a woman in person before?
I tear my hands from Riley and Amber and clutch my shins, pulling them closer to my body as I cower against the back of the couch, unable to pull my gaze from the males.
A ginger with a fluffy tail who must have been spliced with a fox makes a direct line to one of the women I haven’t met yet. In between inhaling huge gusts of her scent, he’s talking a steady stream of praises. The words “beautiful,” “delicious,” and “perfect” float to my ears. Is he crushing on her, or does the word delicious signal something far more nefarious? Do half of these males consider us food?
All at once, he slides down his fly and directs a stream of urine directly in front of her feet. The Colonel’s booming voice, even though it’s aided by a microphone, doesn’t drown the woman’s shocked and offended shriek.
“Forrest! You just earned yourself time out. That’s unacceptable.”
When two soldiers approach him and grab his upper arms, he shakes his head as if his thoughts are coming online. It seems he only now realizes what he just did.
“Sorry. Sorry.” He sounds genuinely contrite as he’s pulled from the room. The words, “just wanted,” and “mark my territory,” float to my ears.
I don’t have time to contemplate exactly what he meant by that, because I’m too consumed with watching the rest of the newcomers.
The other males have placed their backs against the far wall as if they, too, are fighting the impulse to slide into their beastly selves. I don’t even want to imagine the urges they’re contemplating.
It’s only now I get that prickly feeling that tells you someone is staring at you. I scan the males from left to right, trying to calm my racing pulse as I remind myself there are thirty armed soldiers here to protect me.
The males lined up against the wooden wall are chuffing, barking, and snapping their teeth at each other.
“Excuse their behavior,” the Colonel says, his jaw tight. He’s obviously disappointed, bordering on pissed. “We’ve been practicing for this, but these males have animal DNA. There are still moments when it takes over. Don’t be afraid. They just need to get used to you.”
“Yeah,” Riley whispers. “Get used to us, or develop a taste for us? I hope my door has a couple deadbolts that lock from the inside.”
I’m about to agree when I locate the source of that eerie feeling I’ve been experiencing. There’s a lion-guy to the right of the door. He’s not pretending to look around the room, nor is he making a pretense of assessing everyone here.
Nope. He’s focused directly on me.
Some of these males are quite human, with traces of animal in their carriage, or extra tufts of hair, or ears that are too high on their head. Other males are as animal as they can get and still walk on two feet.
The lion-guy’s face is fairly furless, but the rest of him, except for what’s hidden by the incongruous green-and-fuschia Hawaiian shirt and khakis he’s wearing, is covered in fur. He’s got rounded lion ears, a tail, and, if I’m not mistaken, whiskers.
His amber eyes are staring at me and his flat, feline nostrils widen on every sniff as he leans toward me and tries to catch my scent. I can tell the moment he smells me as his eyes widen. Then he slips his tongue between his lips and wags it, using it to taste me in the air.
He makes certain I’m looking at him when he mouths something to me. I should ignore him, but it’s sheer force of habit when I tip my head and ask, “What?”
When he repeats it, his mouth full of sharp teeth exaggerating the word, I can read his lips clear as day.