Book Review – Surrounded by Woods (Woods Family Book #1) – Mandy Harbin

Holy freakin wow! This was such a steamy read…short but oh so steamy! And did I mention its free on Amazon?!

So Mikaela Patterson is a lawyer. She takes on a client who demands that no single women be allowed on his property. Mikaela has recently broken her engagement but figures no one needs to know that little secret. What she doesn’t realize is, the client and his sons are mountain lion shifters whose instincts to mate with any available woman can turn deadly. So Mikaela unknowingly goes to her client’s property and the first person she meets is his eldest son Josh…

I saw Joe Manganiello the entire time I was reading about Josh. He’s arrogant, alpha male and hot as hell! I like how when he was pissed off he would roar and when he was sated 😉 he would almost purr (Incidentally mountain lions are more like the domestic cat than the actual lion…file that in the you-never-know-when-you-might-need-this-tidbit cabinet 🙂 )

The book is very fast paced as its a novella. Mikaela and Josh are immediately drawn to each other and the sex is off the charts steamy! I felt like the end was a bit rushed, her finding out he’s a shifter and all. I have to complain that the book is so short. I really wanted to spend more time with Josh and Mikaela.

But oh well…it was fast, it was steamy and just what I needed.

Amazon: Surrounded by Woods (Woods Family Book #1) by Mandy Harbin



Some info on the rest of the series: Book #2 (Surrounded by Pleasure) and book #3 (Surrounded by Temptation) are already out! And of course I added them to my TBR list!


That’s not all! Book #4 (Surrounded by Secrets) comes out today!!! Check out the cover and an excerpt!


Chapter One

Jack stared at the photo he’d taken from his father’s desk weeks ago, when he’d stumbled upon it during a conference call with Lillian Caldwell. He’d been verbally sparring with the infuriating—and mesmerizing—neighbor about her desire to work for his family’s tree business full-time, rather than contracted as needed, when he’d discovered this picture of Lina Woods.


She was frozen in time with several other people he hadn’t recognized. She looked beautiful, though. Timeless. Of course, he’d always known she was a captivating woman. Up until her death, Lina’s presence in any room commanded attention. And his father, Thomas, was always putty in her paws. They were mated, and a mated pair’s bond was an unbreakable force fueled by love and respect, a lesson that had only been reinforced by watching Jack’s brothers mate with their females.

His parents had never discussed the dynamics of their mating because it was a personal experience meant to be shared with no one. Besides, talking about mating and their heritage was pointless because Thomas’s parents had died when he was young, the history of their kind dying with them. It seemed Jack and his brothers would be doomed to struggle with the possibility of mating on their own. But Josh, Toby, and Rob had beaten the odds. They’d all found mates who loved them. Eric’s story was another matter entirely. He’d taken a mate against her will, and they’d fought to the death.

Jack figured if he were ever to be lucky enough to find a woman who wanted to spend her life with him, it would go one of two ways.

Thankfully, the compound Ariel had created seemed to be working. Now. Krista had coerced her sister into coming onto the land, and once she fussed around with the mood recipe to where Jack could stomach it, he’d been doing well on it—though he’d never truly forgive himself for stopping the meds and almost raping his brother’s mate. He had a lot to prove to his family after that major fuckup.

And to himself.

Sighing, he put the photo away in his nightstand and grabbed his worn work boots. He needed to talk to Josh about that photo, but the timing just never seemed right. Jack knew the real reason he’d avoided the conversation before was he’d been keeping his nose down, focusing on his work, hoping it might make it easier to face his family. Though hiding behind that mistake was just an excuse. Failure wasn’t something he was accustomed to, but he needed to be a man and not a chickenshit. He wasn’t known as the hard-ass around here for nothing. Besides, trying to constantly make amends had opened up a whole other can of worms.

Because Lillian Caldwell was getting her wish.

Today was her first day as an official employee of his family. And hell if that didn’t make his life even that much more problematic. She was fucking beautiful, a true vision of all that he’d ever thought made up the physical appearance of his ideal woman, curvy and blonde. Damn, he was in some serious trouble now. All those conference calls with her had done nothing but worn out his right hand for hours. He’d thought that after attacking Ariel he’d be a cold fish, but oh no, he couldn’t be that lucky. His dick still knew what it wanted, and his lion still yearned for a mate. But his brain knew better, and this had catastrophe written all over it. Not only did he get to see his personal siren in the flesh, but he got to work with her. Rather, she got to work for him. Indefinitely. God, the last thing he needed to add to his mistakes was a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Lillian Caldwell, in all her physical perfection, was off-limits. His dick, and his lion, would just have to get over it.

* * * *

 Lillian looked in the mirror. Red thong? Check. Matching red bra? Check. She cupped her breasts and shook her head. Lordy, her boobs were too big. It’d be nice if she could walk into Victoria’s Secret and buy off the shelf, but unfortunately, she had to get her bras at the big-girl store. At least she’d found a sexy one. Knockers this size usually required her to wear a grandma bra. But that was unacceptable for today. She needed something sexy in case the hottie with the body got her clothes off. Jesus H. Christ, but Jack Woods was sex on a stick.

And come hell or high water, she’d have him in her bed. It wasn’t often she set her sights on a man, but there was just something about Jack that got her body humming. It’d been too long since she’d been truly pleased by a man, and she was long past due for a righteous big O.

There was only one real reason Lillian had strong-armed the Woods clan into giving her a permanent position with their tree farming business, and she wasn’t too much of a flake to admit that. She wanted to see the hottie with the body nekkid.

She hadn’t lied when she told them there weren’t that many jobs around here, but they were right in that she didn’t need the money. They had offered her dad plenty of money for his land. She’d tried to stop the sale at first, but her dad really did need a break. He seemed so distracted lately, so she hoped unloading the responsibility of their tree farm would help him. It definitely freed up his time.

He had flown out yesterday to visit her grandma for a couple of weeks. Thankfully, when she’d told him she’d taken a full-time position with the Woods family, he hadn’t seemed that upset. Actually, he was almost happy for her. Little did he know that selling their land had opened up another, more physical, opportunity for her, too.

An opportunity she was going to grab by the balls.

Not that she didn’t have other offers. Lillian had broken up with her ex-boyfriend a few months ago, but the dickhead was still hounding her about going out again. Maybe she would if David knew how to please her sexually, but he was a little too passive in between the sheets. The notches on her belt were limited to just a few men since she was incredibly choosy, but David had been a major disappointment. He was tall with dark blond hair and green eyes. Muscular. Tanned. Gorgeous. But when it came to sex, he was a little too submissive for her liking. Ugh, and when he came, the sounds he made were a total turnoff: whiny, whimpering, weak. Such a contradiction to his strong, manly presence out of bed. Jack wouldn’t sound like that. She just knew it. He’d growled at her several times during their arguments, and each time her panties got wet. He just oozed sexual dominance.

And that was just what she needed.

She slipped on her tight jeans, put on a lacy shell, and then donned a fitted flannel shirt, leaving the top few buttons undone so the camisole, and her cleavage, peeked through. She shifted. Thongs weren’t really work attire, but she’d deal with the discomfort. She was on a mission.

No pain, no sex.

She slipped into her boots. She’d considered trading them out for something a little more fashionable, but she was going to be there to work. Wearing new shoes was a rookie mistake, so if she wanted to be taken seriously, she’d have to wear her old work boots. Besides, blisters were not sexy, and new shoes had to be broken in before being acceptable as work-wear attire.

Lillian grabbed the keys to her four-wheeler and trotted out. She didn’t need to bring a purse or anything else since she’d faxed her driver’s license and Social Security card to them last week. And since she lived next door, she wouldn’t have to pack a lunch.

She climbed onto the wheeler and started it. After revving it a few times, she kicked it into gear and headed down the trail to the Woods estate. Within a few minutes, she’d passed the gate that had been left open and made it through the clearing. Surprisingly, she wasn’t feeling nervous at all.

Under normal circumstances, she didn’t chase men, but for some reason, she knew she’d have to make the first move if anything were to happen with Jack. And that helped her resolve.

There he was. Standing next to a large pine tree that started a section of new growth stood the hottie with the body. She pulled right up to him and killed the engine. Okay, so there were some butterflies swimming in her now because, holy Christ, he was way hotter in person.

“Lillian.” He nodded to her and took her hand as she started off the wheeler.

His voice was like rough silk. She loved hearing him talk over Skype, but that paled in comparison to hearing him speak now. And the feel of his hand sent electrical sparks arcing through her. Oh yeah, she was going to fuck him. Tonight.

“Hello, Jack.”

Once she was clear of her four-wheeler, he let go of her hand and stepped back while he slid that hand through his hair. His gorgeous blue eyes held her.

He cleared his throat and shifted. “I apologize for being so difficult about you working here. I shouldn’t have—”

She waved her hand, dismissing the comment. “No need. I’m here.” She took a step closer. “Now where do you want me, Jack?”

She smiled at him and raised a brow, knowing her comment was borderline suggestive, and hoping like hell he thought so, too.

He looked to the right and indicated the nearest patch of trees. “I figured I’ll show you around the farm and tell you the years when each section is to be harvested and replanted, make sure you know your way around before setting you loose.”

Hmm, he didn’t even flinch at her suggestive tone. And she had her hands on her hips, thrusting her bodacious tatas in his direction. She wasn’t used to playing the vixen. Maybe she was doing it all wrong. A panicked thought of her making a fool of herself in front of her new boss almost paralyzed her. Then she chastised herself. She wouldn’t know if she didn’t try. But she needed to take it down a notch. This was just going to be harder than she’d thought.

Lillian nodded and tried to seem nonchalant. “Sounds good. I’ll just follow you on my wheeler.”

When she turned to her four-wheeler, she noticed a tic in his jaw. Odd.

“You shouldn’t wear perfume to work. It can attract insects,” he practically barked at her.

At that, she had to laugh as she straddled her ride and looked over at him. “Don’t worry, big guy. I know the drill. I don’t wear perfume. There’s nothing artificial about me.”

Heat flared in his eyes before he quickly banked it. Well, well, well, maybe this wasn’t going to be so hard after all. Time to sink or swim.

“Since this is my first job outside of my family business, I think drinks are in order tonight. You can pick me up at eight.”

She started her wheeler, not letting him answer. She saw the warring in his eyes. He was going to try to turn her down.

Good luck with that, hottie with the body. Tonight, you are mine.


This entry was posted in Erotic Romance, Erotica, Paranormal Romance and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Book Review – Surrounded by Woods (Woods Family Book #1) – Mandy Harbin

  1. divinecaroline says:

    ok, this is going on my to read list!

  2. mrichards327 says:

    Well, you talked me into it. i picked up my copy from Amazon just now. I always love to here what you’ve been reading, so keep those reviews coming. Thanks

  3. Thanks Madeline…I enjoyed this one 🙂 Would also love to know what your reading 🙂

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