Rhyker’s Key (Orion’s Order Series) book 2 by M.C. Solaris
Book Title: Rhyker’s Key
Author Name: M.C. Solaris
Author Location: Southern California
Name of series and book number in series: Orion’s Order (Book 2)
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: M.C. Solaris LLC
Date of Publication: 12/21/20
Number of pages: 740
Word Count: 220,000
Formats available: ebook, paperback, hardcover
Cover Artist: Mayhem Cover Creations
Tagline: Sexy Shifters. Hot Vampires. Intriguing Immortals.
Rhyker, tattooed bad boy and lethal jaguar shifter, falls for the sweet and caring healer, Keena. Except, she’s determined to keep him in the friend zone… good thing he’s a predator that enjoys the hunt.
Together, can they heal their past and forge a future bonded with true love?
SECOND BOOK IN THE ORION’S ORDER SERIES
Orion’s Order returns in another addictive installment about their secret world of magic and mystery. A world where the most powerful words in the Universe are discovered in the fight against an ancient evil force.
I am haunted by my past mistakes. Mistakes that I have no idea how I even made. I am an educated mind and spirit healer after all. So how in the holy healer hell did I end up in a relationship where the male who I thought I loved…
Yeah, it’s probably best not to rehash those nightmares. But if I don’t dare open up that box to my past, then how am I ever going to be able to move on? Especially because I so want to move on with a certain sexy male. A male whose lips devoured mine in a darkened corner that one time. A male whose predatory piercing blue eyes practically track my every move. A male who I shouldn’t be fantasizing about every second of every day. Why? Because it would ruin me.
I’ve had my eye on a certain female for almost a year now. A female who is damn determined to keep me in the friend zone. A female who’s been hurt by her ex but refuses to open up to me about it. So, you could say I go through a lot of smokes… a f*cking lot.
Meanwhile, my pack of lethally trained and skilled hunters and I are gunning for an evil SOB who not only signed his death warrant the second he tried to come after my pack sister and mate to our alpha, but also the f*cker poses a threat to our world as we know it. Yet, said ancient powerful bastard has gone off the grid and is all but impossible to track.
Oh, and did I mention that the past seems to be mixing with the present? I mean, the f*ck is this? The revenge year of the shitty exes?
So, excuse me while I light up a smoke… or two.
Devour this addictive series at your own risk…
+ Happily Ever After
+ Sexy Paranormal Jaguar Shifter Romance
+ Multiple POV
+ Mature Content
+ This series is meant to be read in order for the best reading experience
RHYKER’S KEY is an adult paranormal jaguar shifter romance. If you like swoon-worthy males, heroines with feminine strength, an engaging plot, satisfying relationships, steamy love stories, happy ever afters, and getting sucked into a supernatural story, then you’ll want to immerse yourself in the world of species!
Book Blurb Youtube Video:
Books2Read Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/b6K8ME
Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/rhykers-key/id1539418078
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rhykers-key-m-c-solaris/1138115643?ean=2940162791867
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/M_C_Solaris_Rhyker_s_Key?id=k7QHEAAAQBAJ
Eden Books: https://edenbooks.org/product/rhykers-key-an-orions-order-novel/
Words. She needed to find words so she could respond because that was how conversations went. But words eluded her at the moment because she was still trying to recover from the debilitating tease from a moment ago when his lips were… Wait, you need to respond. But what did he say again?
“What do you use the second bedroom for?” he asked again in that curious feline way of his as he walked back toward her from the hall.
What do you use the second bedroom for? She had to slowly repeat his question in her mind in order for her brain to get with the program and understand what he was even asking. My second bedroom? Oh god, do I tell him what’s in there? She bit her lip in slight hesitation and he noticed, of course.
“What? Is that like your secret sex dungeon or something?” His lips turned up at the corners in a very feline way.
“Sex dungeon?” She laughed. “Of course that’s immediately where your mind goes.”
“Well, where else would it go when I’m with you.” He took a step closer to her. “In your home.” He closed the distance between them so they were separated by mere inches. “Alone.”
Her pulse quickened to a hummingbird’s pace and suddenly, she was back to being in the scorcher of desire.
Noticing her reaction, his mischievous grin transformed into his irresistibly sinful smirk.
She knew he was just playing with her but before he could continue, she broke the erotic tension between them by taking a step back and saying, “Here’s my sex dungeon.” And she didn’t mean for it to come out as husky as it did.
She opened the door to the second bedroom and he peered inside. His brows shot up in surprise before refocusing back on her in a silent question.
She laughed. “No, this is not my sex dungeon. This is my therapy room.”
“Therapy. Is that what they’re calling it these days?” he drawled, walking over to the pole. Without warning, he gripped the pole and lifted his body effortlessly so he was completely parallel to the ground. He gave her a wink and she laughed. As soon as his feet touched the ground, he climbed up the pole with just his arm strength.
“Good thing I had that installed for the highest weight class or else you may have fallen flat on your face,” she quipped, trying not to notice the way his biceps flexed and tantalized her feminine essence.
“Don’t insult me. I always land on my feet.” As if in emphasis of his point, he let go of his grip at the very top of the pole and landed softly on his feet with feline grace.
“So not fair.” She shook her head, still smiling. “I’ve trained for years and yet here you go showing me up.”
“I’ll gladly be the judge of that.” He stepped aside and held his arm out to the pole in invitation for her.
“Is everything okay?”
“Yeah,” he said, unsure where that question was coming from.
“I can feel otherwise but I won’t push.”
He cursed under his breath. Of course she could feel his lethal mood and the emotional storm he had been trying to keep at bay regarding the whole fucked-up Cecille situation. He set all of that aside and focused fully on Keena. Lately, she was the only thing that was helping to get his mind off the past.
“It’s just our case,” he added in a tone that was clear he wasn’t going to say anything else.
She nodded. “Understood. I’m here if you want to talk.”
“What if I don’t want to talk?” he drawled, pressing in close to her and sliding his hand to the nape of her neck.
Her lips parted at the close contact. Suddenly, all she could feel was the heated desire between them. He leaned down and claimed her mouth in a slow, smoldering kiss that took her breath away.
“Rhyker.” Her voice was a little breathy.
“Yeah?” He playfully nipped at her lower lip.
Wrapping her arms around his neck, she went in for the kiss and it was anything but slow. She slid her tongue against his and, suddenly, she had her legs wrapped around him with her back pressed up against the wall. He broke the kiss only to move his mouth to her neck. Her hands drifted through his thick and silky black strands as she moaned. The sensual sensations of his tongue on her neck and his body against hers shot through her body and straight to the apex of her thighs.
“Wait,” she managed to get out with just barely more than an exhalation of air. She knew that if she didn’t stop this soon then she wouldn’t have the strength to stop this from going any further. She wanted it to go further—a lot further, but she also wanted to take things slow.
He immediately halted and looked at her in a way that let her know she was in complete control of how far this went.
She could see the fiery desire in his now glowing, piercing blue eyes. “I want us to take this slow.”
His smirk was sinful. “We can go as slow as you’d like, Fire Gem.” His tongue made the slowest ascent from the curve of her neck all the way to her ear where it flicked her soft little lobe.
“Is that slow enough for you?” he teased on a rough whisper.
She somehow managed to nod.
He repeated the motion. “I could lick you all day.” He smiled in satisfaction at the involuntary sound caught in the back of her throat. He slowly kissed his way back to her soft mouth and sucked on her bottom lip.
Using the last of his reserves, which were severely lacking when it came to this female, he allowed just enough space between them so she could slide down the length of his body until her feet were back on the ground. The friction and crackling desire pulsing between them had them sucking in heavy breaths.
“Does this count as taking it slow?” he drawled, putting his lips where his eyes had devoured her only seconds before. Their brief kiss ended with him sucking in her bottom lip.
Her laugh was all too breathy.
“What about this?” He bent his head and gave special attention to her neck with his mouth. “And this.” His hand slid up her body and cupped her breast. “And this,” he murmured, as sweet kisses traveled along her jaw to her mouth, only to end with a smoldering kiss that shot straight through her and landed in low, feminine places.
“Always so bad.” Keena chortled, while being met with his wicked grin. “Rhyker?”
“Yeah, Fire Gem?” he teased.
“Close your eyes,” she playfully requested. As soon as his eyes were closed, she was grinning. Because two could play the little game he started. She placed her hands on his chest and he allowed her to guide his body so he was pressed up against the wall. “No touching,” she ordered, silently pinning his hands to the wall.
His eyes remained closed but his grin was a mile wide at the command laced with sinful games.
Before he could speak, she pressed her lips to his and then dashed for the door as fast as she could. She barely made it one step out of the room before Rhyker playfully wrapped his arms around her from behind. As soon as he pounced on her, she was laughing with pure delight. Even if it was just a few seconds of chase, it was entertaining.
“I didn’t know you’re a fan of hide and seek,” he drawled with an idea suddenly coming to mind.
“Me neither.” She peeled away from Rhyker’s playful hold. It looked like he was about to protest but her stomach took that moment to make itself known by letting out a low growl.
“You’re hungry.” His voice held a hint of concern.
“And you’re astute,” she teased.
His lips twitched in amusement.
“I’m going to go take a shower… by myself,” she added that last part with a smile when she saw that mischievous look in his eye that said too much.
“I’m already sore from last night and this morning,” Keena began. “And my legs are like jello. I don’t know how productive this training session is going to be.”
Well, didn’t that have both him and his jaguar puffing up their chest in pride and purring in pure fucking delight.
“You’ll do fine. Besides, I have a little post-training plan in mind,” Rhyker drawled.
“Really? And what might that be?” Keena said with a flirty smile.
“It involves a hot bath and a rub down.”
“I think I can get behind that.”
He drew up close behind her and pressed his body close to hers. “Actually, I’ll be the one behind you,” he murmured in her ear and kissed the crook of her neck.
She let out a little moan and the sensation had her clenching somewhere low and deep. “If you don’t stop that then we’re going to be late.” Her voice was a little more breathy than intended.
“Do you want me to stop, Fire Gem?” he drawled, slowly licking the length of her neck.
“Yes.” Although, her voice was more of an encouragement to continue rather than an affirmation to stop.
“Very well.” He flicked his tongue over the sensitive spot on her neck.
She moaned in protest as he pulled away.
“Come on. Or else we’ll be late like you said.” His smirk was sinful and full of wicked promises.
Holy healer hell. What that male could do with his tongue. She shivered at the memories that decided to resurface at that thought.
“Okay, I did my best work but I’m tappin’ out.” She laughed a little as she held up the white flag, or in this case, the ice cream cone with less than a quarter of the Dark Ambrosia left on a partially eaten cone. At this point, it actually just looked like a mini ice cream cone of sorts.
“You did good, female,” he grunted in approval and meant it. The damn cones were huge. Of course, it was nothing that his bottomless pit of a stomach couldn’t handle. He took her sweet offering and with hooded eyes said, “I’ll happily lick up the last of your ambrosia and savor every taste.” With smoldering eye contact, his tongue licked the cone in the slowest ascent to only slightly suck at the top.
Her lips parted on a breathy exhale as the juncture between her thighs responded in the most feminine of ways. Suddenly, the memory of his mouth on hers slammed into her mind. The silky sensuality of his emotions rubbed up against her skin and it sent a shiver down her spine. She unknowingly licked her lips while staring deep into his piercing blue eyes. His deceptively lazy, feline smile was full of dark promises. A heartbeat later, he proceeded to walk down the path as if they did not just share the erotically electric moment.
Putty. Her legs were putty. And it was a miracle that she wasn’t a melted pool of the Dark Ambrosia on the park path right now. For a moment, all she could do was watch that wicked male saunter down the path in that easy-going way he had of moving his big body.
Walk. Right foot. Left foot. Right foot. Left foot, she mentally commanded and—hey, what do you know? Her body seemed to be on board with following that male. It took her a few steps to catch up to his long, lazy strides and when she did, she looked over at him. He was already done with the mini cone and her eyes fell to the corner of his mouth.
Cute, she thought with curved lips, seeing that a smudge of chocolate ice cream had escaped and took up residence at the cross streets of his lips and chin. She could tell by that smug, satisfied expression on his face that he wasn’t even aware of the offending sweetness. She looked at the chocolate smudge again. Was the Universe being cruel or giving her a gift, wrapped in chocolate?
Are you really going to do this? She bit her lip because she already knew the answer. And screw it. She already passed the line. So, why hold back now? Hell, the line was so far behind her that she didn’t even see it anymore.
M.C. Solaris’s life took an unexpected turn during the super blood moon eclipse on January 20, 2019. She woke up and began writing bios for her imaginary friends that she met that day. As soon as the pen hit the paper (or fingertips to the iPhone), she couldn’t stop. It was kind of like one of those fire hydrants, spewing copious amounts of water all over the place. The characters and their stories just flowed out of her. She is honored to be the scribe, getting to share her friends’ stories. You can read all about her gifted friends in the Orion’s Order series (Book 1 is Calypso’s Heart).
On a personal note, M.C. Solaris is actually the pseudonym of Marina Schroeder, women’s health enthusiast and lover of all things paranormal romance (PNR) and happily ever after (HEA). When she is not curled up on the sofa with her partner’s oversized hoodie, a PNR novel, peppermint tea, and one of her three cats, you will find her either at the ocean with her toes in the sand or in a forest hugging a tree. Well truthfully? There is one more place you might find her: trolling the aisles of Whole Foods for a satisfying combination of salty and sweet while hiding in her partner’s hoodie… like any proper PNR-writing introvert.
Want to get the latest scoop, sneak peeks, and short shares all about her imaginary friends? Go to www.mcsolaris.com/newsletter and sign up for the newsletter.
Welcome to The Order!
Author web links:
Author Interview Q&A
● Q: Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
○ A: Hands down, the characters in my head definitely hold the reins. I often just feel like a scribe, writing down the stories I see in my head that play out like scenes in a movie. That is actually how I began writing the Orion’s Order series, starting with Calypso’s Heart. I woke up one day and began writing bios for my gifted imaginary friends that I met that day. I absolutely love sharing their stories and the magical species world!
● Q: Where do your story ideas come from?
○ A: Honestly, I can’t logically explain it. The words and scenes are in my mind and play out like a movie. I know it sounds weird but the stories just… come to me. Some come in vivid dreams. Some come right when I wake up (in that magical state of mind between sleep and awake). Some come when I’m at the grocery store or in the middle of a workout or in meditation. Of course, I take inspiration from everyday life but the stories and characters seem to have a mind of their own and are definitely in the driver’s seat, calling the shots. There’s no plot planning or storyline strategizing for me. Instead, the stories are just in my mind, playing out like a movie and I just write them. I often joke that I just feel like a scribe writing down whatever the stories and characters show me. 😉
● Q: Have you written any other books that are not published?
○ A: Does Book 3 of Orion’s Order count? 😉 It is currently in editing and will be released as soon as editing and formatting is done! I also have several stories that are outlined or have the first few chapters written. They are marinating, not quite ready to be finished being written yet. And I am super excited for when the day comes to share these stories with you all!
● Q: Do you use Pen/paper or computer/phone to write your notes?
○ A: Shout out to the Notes app on the iPhone! Seriously, I have about a zillion notes in there that house alllll sorts of things to help keep this crazy mind of mine somewhat sane… somewhat being the key word there. 😉 Random story ideas, scenes, characters, words and conversations, etc. come to me at all hours of the day. I immediately write them down in the Notes app. Then, at some later time, I transfer the notes to these word documents that I refer to as my author bibles. Oh, and I should also give an honorable mention to those ancient inventions called Sticky Notes and a pen for those times I am quickly jotting down a random as hell note about something one of the characters decided to show me when my phone or laptop are not nearby. 😉
● Q: Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
○ A: Three words: Tattooed. Bad Boy. Still not convinced? 😉 Well, Rhyker is a sexy as sin, black jaguar shifter with a side smirk that rivals Ian Somerhalder. He’s dangerous. Wears all black. Has black diamond stud earrings. Smokes indigo (a species plant). And his piercing, predatory, electric blue eyes are dangerously gorgeous. He’s got that tall, dark, and handsome thing down along with a good dose of muscled strength and wildness (in more ways than just his lethal feline within).
○ Still not convinced? Although, I struggle with understanding how that can possibly be. 😉 Rhyker has his eye on Keena, a sweet and caring mind healer, who has been determined to keep him in the friend zone. Because, if she were to be with Rhyker and it didn’t work out? Then it would ruin her. The only problem is that she already knows what his kiss tastes like. What his big, rough hands feel like on her body. What that sexy smirk of his does to her. In fact, her mind won’t seem to stop reminding her of that one time they shared that hot as hell kiss in a darkened corner of a club.
○ Oh, there’s also an ancient evil who The Order, Rhyker’s pack of lethally skilled hunters, is tracking so they can avenge their alpha’s mate and make good on their pack’s sole mission: to rid the evil in their world.
● Q: How long does it take you to write a book?
○ A: Good question! As a brand new author, I feel like the answer to this question will morph slightly as I continue to write, learn, grow, and get into a natural rhythm that works for me. Also, I think it might be helpful to call out that the books I’ve written thus far are quite longer than the standard (clocking in around 700 pages each book).
○ With that in mind, I wrote Calypso’s Heart in 5 months (but boy the editing process was a long learning process!). I wrote Rhyker’s Key in 6 months (editing process was a little less). And I wrote Orion’s Order book 3 in 7 months (and I’m hoping the editing will be even better this time around too). Soooo, 5, 6, and 7 months…. Here’s to hoping this numerical trend does continue in that direction lol! 😉
● Q: What are some of your writing/publishing goals for 2021?
○ A: I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot. As a brand new author where Calypso’s Heart was my first novel, to say I’ve learned a lot about writing and publishing books is an understatement (and yet, there’s still so much to learn). One thing I’ve learned is that writing the book is really the just beginning and there’s a lot that happens behind the scenes before getting to the glorious step of pushing the publish button.
○ Another thing I’ve learned is that balance is important. And this is something I’m currently focusing on and will be one of my main goals for 2021. In fact, I may nominate the word “balance” to be my theme word for the year. So, here’s to finding some balance, a nice groove, and rhythm with writing and publishing books.
○ On a more specific level, I am going to play around with the goal of publishing 1 book per year in all formats (ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook) while leaving room to allow inspiration to take shape in the form of writing and/or publishing extra bonuses like short stories, novellas, or even more full blown novels.
○ Even more specifically, next year, I plan on publishing Book 3 in the Orion’s Order series and set a goal to finish writing Book 4 in the series.
● Q: What do you like to do when you are not writing/being an author?
○ A: Reading romance novels (duh!), eating yummy foods (double duh!), walking on the beach (while listening to audiobooks, of course), and swimming in the ocean (unfortunately, haven’t figured out to listen to audiobooks while in the water but I’ve certainly tried and ruined many earbuds lol!). Oh, and playing with my fur-babies (3 cats who love to run around with a random spurt of energy at 4am lol 😉 ).
● Q: Do you see yourself in your characters?
○ A: In some ways and with certain characters, yes, I do see some relatable similarities. But there are also many qualities and characteristics that are wholeheartedly not me too. For example, in Calypso’s Heart, Caly and I both love music, morning drinks, and romance books (Oh, and we both love the hot alpha wolf, Blake! 😉 ). And in Rhyker’s Key, we learn about just how much yoga, dance, and mindfulness play an integral part of Keena’s life—which I most certainly relate to. On the other hand, both Caly and Keena live alone, which I’ve never done nor do I foresee myself ever doing! And without giving away their stories, I think both Caly and Keena make some decisions that I don’t think I would ever do. 😉
● Q: Are any of the characters based on real people you know?
○ A: I would say that overall there are some characters and events that are definitely inspired by things in the real world, including similar characteristics, tendencies, experiences, etc. However, one of the characters in particular, Starr, does share quite a bit in common with my sister and best friend, Marchesa. They aren’t the same person in my mind and they don’t share everything in common but certainly the strong similarities between them exist. Not only is Starr’s physical characteristics based on my sister but they are also both fiery and independent alpha females that are unapologetically blazing their own way through the world. My sister is most definitely aware of this and we often joke about it all the time—to the point where I often call her Starr-chesa whenever she says or does something that I feel is just “so Starr.”
● Q: Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?
○ A: A big, fat, teary-eyed THANK YOU!!! Seriously, thank you! And somehow those two powerful words full of love and gratitude don’t even feel like enough. Thank you for your support, encouragement, inspiration, interest, excitement, emojis, gifs, comments, reviews, smiles, laughs… all of it and more! Oh, and of course, thank you for all of the incredible conversations and messages all about the Orion’s Order crew of sexy as sin males and awesome females and of course the resident fur baby Felix, and the supernatural world of species So, in case I haven’t said this enough, THANK YOU! The crew and I love each of you very much! 🙂