Why a Cougar Shifter? Caridad Pineiro on “Night of the Cougar”

 by Caridad Pineiro, author of Night of the Cougar (Harlequin Nocturne Cravings, June 2012)

I love animals of all kinds, except possibly the ground hog that keeps on destroying my vegetable garden.  But of all the animals around, I have to confess to being fascinated by cats.  From your basic house cat to the King of the Jungle, I just find them fascinating.

We have a cat at home named Osiris.  She’s totally black, including the pads of her feet and her whiskers.  I love watching her stretch and wish I could be as flexible.  She has gorgeous silky black hair and when we brush her, she purrs and sounds like a little motor.

I imagined the hero in my story, Galen Hawke, purring like that as his love deals with him when he shapeshifts into his cougar form.  There is fascination in Jamie as she strokes his thick tawny fur and the lean powerful muscles of his flanks.  There is also fear at the strength that can just as easily hurt her if Galen cannot learn to control his were-cougar state.

Why a cougar?  Well, I wanted to set the story in the Northeast and even in New Jersey we’ve had some cougar sightings.  Scary thought, but it inspired me to play around with having a different kind of shifter in a very different kind of story.

I hope you’ll take a moment to check out Night of the Cougar, a sexy story of two reunited lovers who are snowbound together and must deal with a passion that may not survive because of Galen’s new life as a shapeshifter.


Reporter Jamie Morrison got the scoop of a lifetime when she snagged a meeting with bestselling author Galen Hawke, but their rendezvous didn’t end with an interview. Their immediate attraction led to a wicked night together and a plan to meet again—until an accident left Galen changed forever….

Now, one year later, Jamie is sent to interview Galen once more. When a snowstorm strands them together in his remote mountain lodge, they are both eager to explore their reawakened passion. But will Jamie stay by Galen’s side when she discovers what he’s become?

Excerpt from Night of the Cougar:

It had taken nearly half-an-hour to reach it from town along a paved logging road that led to a large stone and iron gate that declared the boundaries of Galen’s property.

“This is beautiful,” Jamie said as he led her through the massive hand-carved wooden doors and into a large room that was clearly a renovation of something quite old.  The open living space was filled with comfortable couches and seats situated around a massive stone fireplace.

“Definitely beautiful,” he murmured and tucked a stray lock of her hair behind her ear.  “Let me get the fire going.”

She wanted to tell him it already was from just that one guileless touch, but she held back.

He pushed off ahead of her, powerful strides carrying him to the fireplace where he tossed in kindling and wood.  By the time she walked over, the tinder had caught and the first fiery crackle shot into the slight chill in the room.

He had ripped off his shearling jacket and tossed it on a chair.  While he tinkered with the fire, she walked over and grabbed hold of his jacket to place it on the pegs by a hallway where another coat hung.  The jacket held his warmth and his smell. Something piney like the forest around them and totally masculine.

Like the kindling, desire burst into life within her.

She hung his coat and placed hers beside it, rubbing her arms with her hands to ward off the chill, although the fire had really caught and was beginning to throw off some heat.

Galen was on one knee before the fire, tending it and she walked to where he kneeled and raked her fingers through the tousled strands of his hair.

“The fire feels good already.”

He grunted a response and rose, once again stirring her with his sheer size.  She dropped her hand to the nape of his neck and he shivered.

“Your hand is cold.”

He reached up and grasped it gently, joined it with her other hand between his palms.  “Let me warm you up,” he said and rubbed her hands briskly, although that was far from how she had envisioned him chasing away the chill.

Still, she liked that he wasn’t rushing to jump her bones.  It spoke volumes about the kind of man he was.

That only made her want to jump him right then and there.

Easing her hands from his, she said, “I have a better idea for how you can warm me up.”

Before he could protest, she quickly slipped her hands beneath the black knit sweater he wore.  “Way cold,” he murmured again, but chuckled as she worked her hands up his body to cup the thick swell of muscle on his chest.

“But getting warmer,” Jamie teased and leaned closer.  The very obvious ridge of his erection beneath his jeans brushed against her.

“Let me check on that,” Galen replied, easing his hands beneath the thermal fabric of her shirt.  She jumped at the chill of his hands and the sexy roughness of his palms.  She liked men who worked with their hands and as he dragged them upward to cup her breasts, it left a trail of heat along her body.

In one smooth move, he undid her bra and yanked her shirt over her head, baring her to his gaze.  “So very gorgeous,” he said and covered her with his hands, stroking the tight nubs of her nipples with his thumbs.  Building the heat growing inside of her much like that of the fire that was beginning to warm their bodies.

“No fair.  I’d like to see also,” she kidded.  He bent a bit so she could pull his shirt over his head and then explore the broad plains of his shoulders and chest while he continued to caress her with his hands.

“So big,” she thought to herself and wondered if his cock would be as impressive, but as he shifted one hand to the small of her back and pressed her close, she had her answer.


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2 Responses to Why a Cougar Shifter? Caridad Pineiro on “Night of the Cougar”

  1. I purchased this book and I can not wait to read it. I wish their were more hours in the day. Caridad’s books do not disappoint. I am definately a fan. I like the fact she has a black cat. I have 3 black cats myself. Every witch needs a black cat I have 3 what does that say about me. LOL—Rachel

  2. And now we have three stray black cats, including a little kitten that have shown up in our backyard. We’ve been feeding them and delighting in the antics of the kitten. Thanks for dropping by!