Title: The Troublemaker
Author: Lili Valente
Genre: Sexy Romantic Comedy/Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Bootstrap Designs
Photo: Perrywinkle Photography
Release Date: April 23, 2018
They say Rafe Hunter is trouble with a capital T.
I sayâbring it on.
As long as Trouble comes in a package as delicious as Rafeâs, Iâm ready to climb on his Harley and ride all night longâand Iâm not just talking about his motorcycle.
I can hide out until the scandal with my evil ex blows over AND have a wild rebound at the same time. Besides, Iâve got no heart left to break. My ex made sure of that.
As long as Rafe and I keep our no-strings fling from our families, what can possibly go wrong?
This is so damned wrong.
I donât do drama, and this thing with Carrie Haverford has Bad News written all over it. After one red-hot kiss, I know I should cut and run.
Instead I take her home, take her in her car, take her to the beach and make her scream louder than the crashing waves. And then I take her so far into my heart I donât see how Iâm ever going to let her go.
The say the bigger and badder they are, the harder they fall. But when I fall for a girl with third degree love burns, how can I convince her that fire is a good thing?
This sexy Standalone romance will make you laugh, melt, and fall madly in love.
Lili Valente has slept under the stars in Greece, eaten dinner at midnight with French men who couldnât be trusted to keep their mouths on their food, and walked alone through Munichâs red light district after dark and lived to tell the tale.
These days you can find her writing in a tent beside the sea, drinking coconut water and thinking delightfully dirty thoughts.
Title: Son of Saint
Author: Kailee Reese Samuels
Genre: Dark Fiction
Release Date: February 14, 2018
An old lady from Delirium.
The president from Reckless Rebellion.
Merge. Between the sheets. One hot affair.
An unexpected pregnancy.
And the birth of a son torn between two clubs.
To be a ruthless outlaw or a charming gentleman, Deacon Cruz ignites a reaction everywhere he turns. From his childhood with his mother, Trudy, to running away at sixteen, he remains allied to both good and evil with his own brand of spiritual wickedness. His mother built him and his father defined him, but his friendship with Sal Raniero tests everything, forcing the uprising of a Deacon—playing for one—himself.
After meeting Deacon in RAW (Ride series book 3) travel back in time to his wild ways and discover the Son of Saint.
There is no romance here.
Expect the unexpected in this brash look at the two young men – Sal Raniero and Deacon Cruz – from their early days on the streets of New Orleans. Lots of kink, violence, and Sami-stylings.
KAILEE REESE SAMUELS writes dark dirty lit. Her words may cause increased heart rate, hand sweating, and other issues. You are strongly advised to enter at your own risk. Not for the faint of heart. May cause triggers in some. Others may choose to ride again and again. You have been warned.
Embracing diversity. Coffee addict. Mango lover. Blueberry fetishist. Sweet peach tea crazy. Red wine devout. Whiskey deviant. Tattooed & pierced. Loves shoes. Collects rosaries. Fanatical organizer/cleaner/list-maker. Never sleeps. Hermit and recluse.
KAILEE REESE SAMUELS has been spinning tales since she can remember. Her books are contemporary fiction with a no-holds-barred attitude. She adores listening to her character’s ramble and putting them into situations that push the boundaries.
Creativity is the way to change.
Title: Forbidden Attraction
Series: Forbidden Series
Author: Siera London
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 13, 2018
Recently divorced, Sarah Jones no longer looks forward to the cupid and candy holiday. With her shattered heart and designer swimsuit in tow, she plans a little vacation to Adventure Cove Resort and Spa. It’s just the respite she needs from inquiring minds.
Quiet and brooding, Deputy Lance Stevens wants to be left alone with the pain of his past mistakes, but his family has other ideas. This contrived vacation is another family intervention he plans to squash, that is until Sarah zips into his life.
What’s meant to be Sarah’s escape turns into a steamy attraction to a man who’s too young, and too determined to get what he wants-her. Lance is forbidden in more ways than one and Sarah is harboring a secret that could destroy more than their budding romance. What happens when Ms. Jones realizes there’s more than a Valentine’s Day fling going on?
Siera London is a bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She crafts stories of diverse characters navigating the challenges and triumphs to find lasting love. Intelligence, wit, emotion, drama, and sensual romance are between the covers of every Siera London novel. Siera lives in California with her husband, and a color patch tabby named Frie.
On Thin Ice, an all-new hilarious and romantic addition to the Bedroom Games Series of standalones from bestselling authors Piper Rayne is available NOW!
The Winter Games have begun…
I’m the life of the party. A little loud and some buzz kills might say obnoxious, but if you’re around me I guarantee you’ll have a good time.
Unless your name is Demi Harrison.
If that’s the case, you’d act like I’m the devil incarnate and go out of your way to avoid me. Which makes zero sense because at the last Olympic Games I rocked her world.
Whatever though. I need to concentrate on winning gold anyway. I was at the top of the standings coming into the games, but since arriving in Korea I’ve lost my edge.
I was never one for superstitions, but I can’t deny that there’s only one difference between my previous medal winning games, and these ones—her.
I’ve pulled off amazing feats in the past, but getting Demi to agree to sleep with me throughout the games might require divine intervention.
Excerpt:“What was that?” Demi asks, unzipping her coat.
I lay back down on the bed. “Nothing. I'm here to pay my debt.”
She smiles, the one where her entire mouth opens and shows all her white teeth. The one I don’t get to see nearly enough.
“Yeah, sorry, I was just getting off the hill when you texted me. I have to shower quick. My mom, ugh, she just won't let me rest for a moment.”
“Pushing you, huh?” Guessing that we won't be getting down and dirty under the sheets for a while, I sit up and rest my back on her headboard.
She hangs up her jacket and then bends over to take off her boots. God, her ass is on point.
“She expects perfection, you know? Like I get it that she medaled in three Classics and that she's an excellent skier, but I have coaches. Coaches that are a hell of a lot more patient with me.”
Off go her socks, and then her shirt.
I sit back admiring the strip show she's giving me without her realizing.
Her thumbs hook into her yoga pants. “I mean, does she think I'm out there trying to fuck up? I'm flying down a hill at seventy miles per hour. I want to say yes, I did that move so I could straddle the line between paralyzation or death. UGH!” She stands there in only her bra and panties. A matching blue set that makes my dick twitch in my pants.
“Your mom just wants you to do well.”
She looks me directly in the eyes, her two hands reaching behind her back and then the blue fabric glides down her arms until she throws it into her hamper. “For her or me?”
Her nipples are hard and ready for me, and my mouth salivates, wanting so badly to lick the budded peaks.
“You. I'm sure it's for you,” I say when she doesn’t respond.
She shakes her head, her hands sliding her panties down as she steps out of them, throwing them to join her other dirty clothes.
“Come here.” I hold my hand out for her.
She takes the elastic out of her hair, the long reddish strands falling over her freckled shoulders.
“I'm dirty and I probably smell.”
I grab hold of her hand and yank her to me.
“Did you really think you could strip in front of me and I'd just sit here and wait for you to shower?”
Her million-dollar smile warms her face. “You could join me.”
“I was wondering when you'd ask.”
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Start the Series of Standalones Today!
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About Piper Rayne:Piper Rayne, or Piper and Rayne, whichever you prefer because we’re not one author, we’re two. Yep, you get two USA Today Bestselling authors for the price of one. You might be wondering if you know us? Maybe you’ll read our books and figure it out. Maybe you won’t. Does it really matter?
We aren’t trying to stamp ourselves with a top-secret label. We wanted to write without apology. We wanted to not be pigeon-holed into a specific type of story. Everyone has their favorite authors, right? And when you pick up their books, you expect something from them. Whether it’s an alpha male, heavy angst, a happily ever after, there’s something you are absolutely certain the book will contain. Heck, we’re readers, too, we get it!
All that, AND we thought it'd be a helluva lot more fun if we did this writing thing together!
What can we tell you about ourselves? We both have kindle’s full of one-clickable books. We're both married to husbands who drive us to drink. We're both chauffeurs to our kids. Most of all, we love hot heroes, quirky heroines that make us laugh, and lots of sexy times. Here's hoping you do, too!
Connect with Piper Rayne:
More Than Love You, an all-new sexy romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shayla Black is LIVE!
I’m Noah Weston. For a decade, I’ve quarterbacked America’s most iconic football team and plowed my way through women. Now I’m transitioning from star player to retired jock—with a cloud of allegation hanging over my head. So I’m escaping to the private ocean-front paradise I bought for peace and quiet. What I get instead is stubborn, snarky, wild, lights-my-blood-on-fire Harlow Reed. Since she just left a relationship in a hugely viral way, she should be the last woman I’m seen with.
On second thought, we can help each other…
I need a steady, supportive “girlfriend” for the court of public opinion, not entanglements. Harlow is merely looking for nonstop sweaty sex and screaming orgasms that wring pleasure from her oh-so-luscious body. Three months—that’s how long it should take for us both to scratch this itch and leave our respective scandals behind. But the more I know this woman, the less I can picture my life without her. And when I’m forced to choose, I’ll realize I don’t merely want her in my bed or need her for a ruse. I more than love her enough to do whatever it takes to make her mine for good.
More Than Love You is a sexy and emotional standalone novel in the More Than Words Series.
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2ED8AOX
Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/MoreThanLoveYou
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2DRYaK5
About Shayla:Shayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than sixty novels. For nearly twenty years, she’s written contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances via traditional, independent, foreign, and audio publishers. Her books have sold millions of copies and been published in a dozen languages.
Raised an only child, Shayla occupied herself with lots of daydreaming, much to the chagrin of her teachers. In college, she found her love for reading and realized that she could have a career publishing the stories spinning in her imagination. Though she graduated with a degree in Marketing/Advertising and embarked on a stint in corporate America to pay the bills, her heart has always been with her characters. She’s thrilled that she’s been living her dream as a full-time author for the past eight years.
Shayla currently lives in North Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband, her daughter, and two spoiled tabbies. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading, and listening to an eclectic blend of music.
Connect with Shayla:
“Look, lady. I’m not one of your pretty boys.” Blake cleared his throat and breathed in a steadying gulp of air. Too bad Reese’s scent filtered through as she glided around the desk, seducing his senses with the knowledge of how she smelled.
Clean. Like soap rather than fragrance. The intimate realization made him want to know what her hair smelled like too. Hell.
“No. But variety spices things up, don’t you think?” She leaned against the desk and cocked her head. “Take off your clothes.”
He stepped back and crossed his arms, shock rippling through him. After a moment, he managed to unclamp his jaw and say, “Not happening.” She pouted and made a noise that sounded more amused than sympathetic. “Too bad. I can’t “hire” you without an audition. So, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got work to do.”
His feet stuck to the floor as she brushed by him. Her hand landed on the doorknob before the truth hit him. She wanted him out of here and had no intention of letting him go undercover in the club. She’d made it impossible on purpose. To hell with that.
He could impose his will, but then he’d jeopardize any chance at building rapport with her, a critical tool of his undercover work.
He pulled his gun belt out of the back of his pants, placed it on the chair and whistled, making her head snap around. When her eyes fixed on him, he tugged his T-shirt from his jeans, lifting it slowly, inch by inch, the air conditioning making his abdominal muscles contract. When the tee reached shoulder height, he pulled it off and tossed it at her feet.
There. She wanted a show, and he’d give her one.
Reese sucked in her cheeks, her gasp filling him with pleasure, strong and tart. Had she thought he’d back down? She’d learn, soon enough, he didn’t run from challenges…ever.
At last her mouth closed, and she stepped closer, chin raised. “Not bad.
Why’d you stop?”
“Because you can’t handle seeing the rest. Trust me.”
One eyebrow arched, and she gave him a speculative stare. “Didn’t peg you for the shy type. Guess a job here won’t work out after all.”
His head jerked back. She wasn’t letting up on this little game. She believed if she pushed him hard enough, she’d get rid of him completely.
He set his jaw.
If she wanted more, he’d sure as hell give it to her.
His fingers fumbled with his belt before yanking it loose and dropping it to the floor. He hesitated a moment, his hands on his zipper.
Now or never.
He slid the iron teeth apart and turned on his heel, dropping his jeans and boxer briefs so they pooled at his feet. The air slid across his bare skin, her sharp intake of air the only sound in the room.
He planted his feet far apart to give her some bonus footage and peered at her over his shoulder.
“What’s the verdict?”
Her mouth worked silently, her eyes saucer-sized.
“Want me to turn around?” He bit back a chuckle, enjoying this sexy cat-and-mouse game.
“Hell, yeah,” she breathed.
Title: In Harmony
Author: Emma Scott
Release Date: Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Tagline: “The root of all madness is an unbearable truth...”
The root of all madness is an unbearable truth…
At seventeen, Willow Holloway’s life was torn apart. The happy, driven girl is gone, and she is left wracked by post-traumatic stress her body remembers even if she does not. When her father suddenly uproots the family from their posh penthouse in New York City to the tiny town of Harmony, Indiana, Willow becomes more untethered and lost under the weight of her secret. On a whim, she auditions for a part in the community theater’s production of Hamlet and unexpectedly wins the role of Ophelia—the girl who is undone by madness, and her love of Hamlet…
Isaac Pierce is from the ‘wrong side of the tracks.’ The town bad boy. Girls pine for his attention and guys are in awe of him. That he’s an acting prodigy only adds to his charisma. Isaac utterly disappears into his characters; the stage is the only place he feels safe from his own traumatic home life. He wants nothing more than to escape to Broadway or Hollywood, and leave Harmony behind for good.
No one can play Hamlet but Isaac, and when the director pairs him with Willow in acting class, they clash again and again—neither willing to open their hearts to anyone. But clashing leads to breaking, breaking leads to the spilling of terrible secrets, and soon Isaac and Willow find Shakespeare’s words mirroring their lives. When they are cruelly torn apart, neither know how this play will end—with madness and heartache? Or healing, love, and the discovery of who they are truly meant to be.
In Harmony is a standalone NEW ADULT love story, and is intended for readers 18 and up. PLEASE NOTE, this book contains sensitive material such as physical abuse, and the aftermath of sexual assault (off the page). Reader discretion is advised.
“I’m so…not into being with someone right now,” Willow said with a nervous lilt to her words. “Not for a while, anyway.”
I heard a whisper on the breeze, or ever again. A heaviness in her eyes hinted she had lost something and had almost given up trying to find it.
She hasn’t given up, I thought, a fierce admiration welling in me. That’s why she’s doing the play. To find it again.
In that moment, I vowed to try to cut out all the egotistical bullshit and jealousy over Justin. The dance was out of range now anyway. I couldn’t ask her to go even if I wanted to. Which I didn’t. My job was to help her find what she was looking for in Hamlet, however I could. Even as it dented my eagerness to get the hell out of Harmony.
Willow shielded her eyes from the sun and squinted at me. “So what about you?”
“What about me?”
“Do you like anyone?” she asked, her voice a half tone higher than usual. She laughed. “That’s such a high school thing to ask.”
“No,” I said. “If all goes to plan, I’m leaving Harmony, remember? Stupid to start something now.”
“Sure. Makes sense.”
A silence fell.
“Yeah, so I probably won’t go to the dance,” Willow said. “I’m not good in that kind of situation anymore.”
“What kind of situation?”
She shook her head. “Never mind. I should get back.”
Willow started to scoot down off the block. I held my hand out to her to help. She hesitated for a fraction of a second and then took it. I held my other hand out and she took that too. I steadied her as she hopped down and then we were standing face to face. Close enough I could see her pale blue eyes had lighter shards of blue in them, like a topaz. Close enough to smell the sweetness of her breath—coffee tinged with sugar. Close enough to dance if we wanted.
“Thanks,” Willow said, gazing up at me.
“Sure,” I said.
I still held her hands. She didn’t let go.
“So,” she breathed, still not moving.
I glanced down at our hands. I hadn’t touched something this soft and good in ages. The sleeve of her coat bunched up and I spied a black mark on the inside of her forearm, close to her wrist. Willow drew in a breath as I turned her hand over. An X, about the size of a quarter, was stark on her pale skin.
She tugged her hands away. “I really need to get back.”
Every instinct cried out to take her hand again, to ask her what the X meant. To lick my thumb and erase it off her skin. I didn’t know what it meant but the sight of it made my stomach feel heavy.
“I doodle when I’m bored. I told you that.” Her voice was sharp but her smile wobbled. “Let’s go.”
We walked the short distance back to town wordlessly. Back in front of the theater, Willow shouldered her bag and glanced around. “Thanks for today. I think Martin would be happy with our progress.”
“I do too.”
God, would he, I thought.
“So, I guess I’ll see you Monday?” she said.
“You have a ride home?”
“Oh, uh…” She still wouldn’t meet my eyes. “I was thinking of walking.”
“To Emerson Hills?” I said. “That’s a mile and a half and it’s getting dark soon.”
She raised her brows. “I’m not allowed to walk in the dark?”
“You’re allowed,” I said, “but I don’t want you to.”
About the Author
Emma Scott writes romances with flawed characters, characters with artistic hearts: builders, poets, and writers of various makes and models. And love always wins. Always.
Where to Find Emma:
COVER SERIES REVEAL!!
The Luminai Series by Sloane Murphy
Storm Born #1
Releases April 30th
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Cover Model: Autumn Jones
Cover Design: Steam Power Studios
Three sisters born of strife,
Brought into the world taking a life.
One of nature, light and wind,
One of darkness, shadow and sin.
Lastly, one born of flame,
Cast in a life full of pain.
Each alone can bring pain and sorrow,
Joined as one, will destroy tomorrow.
Skylar Fairweather always knew she was a witch, destined to be the next Regent of the Luminai Coven, but nobody ever asked her if she wanted it. Living in a world full of light, fighting the shadows, having knowledge that there really is more to life than the mundane, but never really knowing who to trust.
As things start going awry on her eighteenth birthday, Skylar is faced with an alternative and discovers she's more than anyone ever told her.
When secrets are kept to keep you safe, and the truth could be the thing that destroys everything you thought you knew, what would you do when given the choice?
Pre-order your copy here: https://www.books2read.com/StormBorn
Fire Born #2 - Releases June 2018 Shadow Born #3 - Releases August 2018
Meet the Author
Hi everyone! I'm Sloane *waves*. I'm 27, a total book nerd with a penchant for travel and I probably use the words Dude & Awesomesauce far too often in real life.! I write mainly Paranormal Romance NA & YA, but I'll be branching out into other Romance genres too.
I was born and raised in Peterborough, England along with 2 sisters, 2 brothers and a plethora of cousins, I come from a REALLY big family! I'm one of the clumsiest people you'll ever meet, but I try to stay on my feet *haha*. I still live here with Mr M & our fur baby Arya.
Please don't be afraid to come and say hi! I don't bite I swear :)
ETERNAL MOURNING is available today - you don't want to miss getting your hands on Walker and Aimee's story! Read the first chapter below and pick up your copy today!
About ETERNAL MOURNING
Releases February 13, 2018
In the seventh book of the Talon Pack series from NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan, a Healer is forced to come to grips with the idea that he can’t save everyone…including the woman he loves.
Walker Brentwood vowed to the moon goddess that he’d protect his Pack and Heal with every last ounce of his power. He’s watched his siblings and cousin battle the worst circumstances to find love and is now afraid that the one woman who could be his might not have much time left. The rules of mating have changed, and Walker will do what he has to in order to protect the bonds that have eluded him for so long.
Aimee Reagan knows there’s something wrong with her. She’s known since the first time she found out shifters were real and magic existed. When the Talon Pack’s enemy sets his sights on her, her battle to survive becomes even harder.
Walker and Aimee must turn to each other when the powers around them change and the paths that had been laid before them are no longer clear. But when their passion threatens a curse far older than anyone dreamed, they’ll only have one chance to save something worth more than a mating bond. Their future.
Get your hands on ETERNAL MOURNING!
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Read the First Chapter of ETERNAL MOURNING
Walker Brentwood let out a slow breath, figuring as long as he didn’t growl or brood like any of his other family members he’d do okay. The rain began to pick up around them, the drops hitting the leaves of the tall trees with little splats and sputters. The sound was almost soothing, as if it could rock the pups to sleep. The scents of ozone and forest filled the air, soothing his wolf. His family would probably find that idea weird since he was generally the calmest of them all, but he was still a wolf.
Because their wolves had scented rain in the distance, the mating ceremony had been moved to the wooden archway of one of the large den buildings. Given how deep the deck was, and the fact that, thankfully, there wasn’t any wind, no one would get wet, and the mated couple could be blessed by their Alpha in peace.
Mitchell and Dawn truly deserved that after everything they had gone through to mate. Though most mating ceremonies happened soon after the couple completed their bond, his cousin and Dawn had decided to wait a bit since the world had almost crashed down around them right when they finally cemented their union.
Walker frowned as he remembered everything that had happened around the time the two had marked each other. He didn’t know the specifics of their relationship or why they had decided to wait, but he’d been there when they were forced to save each other in the end.
The Pack had almost lost Dawn when the fire witch took her, but the outcome of that had brought Mitchell’s new mate into the Talon Pack as one of their own. She was a Central Pack wolf no more, and no longer alone. She had the Talons.
And from the shy smile on her face when she looked up at her growly mate, Walker had a feeling she was just beginning to understand that.
Gideon, Walker’s brother and Alpha, stepped up onto the bottom step that led into the house, so he stood just slightly above everyone else. Despite the fact that Gideon wasn’t one of Walker’s triplet brothers, his Alpha still looked a lot like him. They all had thick, dark hair that curled at the ends if it got too long— though their sister Brynn’s was only slightly wavy. And the whole lot of them had the Brentwood blue eyes. A color he figured came from their Irish ancestors, who had traveled over to the western side of the continent a century before the rest of the world had figured out how to make the trek without dying. Wolves were strong for a reason, and keeping themselves secluded and spread over the land was only one of them.
Even Mitchell and Max— brothers themselves yet cousins to Walker— looked like the rest of them. Their paternal line was dominant in their genes, and sometimes, Walker wondered what their maternal line contributed.
He knew the answer, of course, but that only made him frown harder. Each of them had a gentler side that had been beaten out of them over the years under his father’s rule as Alpha. Only his cousin Max had been able to keep his sense of innocence throughout the years. Technically, Max was older than Walker and his fellow triplets, Kameron and Brandon, but to them, Max had almost seemed younger with his exuberance and thirst for life. But the wolf had lost any sense of who he was before when he lost his arm and so much more during the final battle of the Unveiling over a year ago.
“If you keep frowning like that, you’re going to scare Dawn and her little friends away,” Kameron whispered low enough that not even the wolves close to them would hear. As shifters, they had sharper senses than humans and used that to their advantage to not only survive but also thrive. They could see longer distances, even in the barest of moonlight in the dark, and they could detect prey from miles away if the wind caught the scent just right. They could also hear sounds across the spectrum from a great distance. It took willpower and training to learn to live peacefully with so many sights, sounds, and scents bombarding them on any given day.
Walker forced his thoughts away from what had almost cost his family and Pack everything and schooled his features. He was truly happy for Mitchell and Dawn, and it was only the direction of his thoughts that had made him look like a brooding bastard. He’d do well to think of what angered him later when in private, rather than worry Dawn or any of the humans who accompanied her.
He gave Kameron a tight nod as Gideon began speaking about the newly mated couple and forced his gaze from them and the three small humans who stood at Dawn’s side. This wasn’t a human marriage ceremony, so there was no need for pomp and circumstance. The ceremony itself was what cemented the bond within the Pack, though even that wasn’t truly necessary. Some couples didn’t need the entire Pack around them when they vowed their love, devotion, and pledges to one another. This time, however, with Dawn’s past— or rather, the past of her Pack— the Talons had wanted to make sure everyone knew she was accepted within the den.
Walker’s attention snagged on one of the three standing by Dawn, and he did his best to keep his wolf in check. Curious by nature, his other half needed to know the whys of existence and truth, yet Walker had a feeling this urgency within him when it came to the pale blonde at Dawn’s side wasn’t just curiosity.
Dawn had kept her wolf’s existence a secret within the human world, even after the Unveiling where the idea of shifters— at least wolves— was revealed to the public. She had three human friends who she had become truly close to over the years, but she had only recently been forced to reveal who she was to them.
The three women, Dhani, Cheyenne, and Aimee, had surprised them all when they turned out to be stronger-willed than many of the wolves he knew within the Pack. They’d done their best to prove to Dawn that they would stand by her no matter what, and Walker was pleased that Dawn wouldn’t truly be alone in a new den. Not that these three were Packmates, but they were welcome guests within the wards when they chose to visit.
And the fact that his attention kept snagging on one of them in particular? Well, that was just something he would have to unravel later when others weren’t watching.
The world had been shown the magic of wolves and witches, yet they were still in the dark when it came to some magics, such as demons and now… cat shifters. Walker wasn’t sure what else was out there, and as a man who thought he knew the depths of what existed outside of humans, the idea that he truly had no clue worried him.
Then again, this wasn’t the place to worry about that. Not when the couple in front of him was vowing their love to one another. He still wasn’t quite sure how Mitchell had fallen so hard and fast for the quiet wolf standing by his side, but then again, fate and the moon goddess had their own plans when it came to the goddess’s children.
“I promise to honor who we are together and who we can be,” Dawn said softly. Walker wasn’t watching her, however, as he still had his eyes on the pale blonde. The dark circles under Aimee’s eyes were more pronounced, and she seemed to be listing to the side every so often until one of the other women brushed against her gently, causing her to stand straight again.
He held back a frown as she blinked hard a few times as if trying to keep herself focused and awake. There was something wrong with Aimee, and his wolf needed to know what it was. She might not be of his Pack, but she was close to one of his own.
But if he were honest with himself, he knew it was because of something more than that. She called to his wolf in a way he didn’t quite understand. And it was something he knew he wanted to figure out.
He wasn’t like his brothers or cousins. When they found their mates, it seemed to him that, other than his sister Brynn, each of them had fought the pairing. None of them had been in the right mindset to find mates, yet the moon goddess had blessed each of them.
Gideon had found his mate in Brie, a submissive wolf from another Pack. The two of them had carefully taken their steps down the path to mating to not only tighten their connections but also those between the Talons and the Redwoods. Brynn had been the one searching for her mate, and when she found it in Finn, she’d almost broken along the way. Ryder hadn’t been looking for his fate when he found Leah, a water witch who had saved their den more than once. And Walker’s fellow triplet, Brandon, had thought he’d not be long for his world but had ended up mating not one but two wolves— Parker and Avery.
As for Mitchell? Well, he too had fought the mating bond for reasons of his own. But he had given in when he fell in love with Dawn. The moon goddess gave each of her wolves potential mates that they could find during their long lives. Sometimes, there was more than one, but the wolf and the human would decide if that person was their true fate. Walking away would hurt, a pain beyond agony, but sometimes, it was the only choice. Once the mating bond was made— a bite mark for the wolf, and sex for the human— none of the people involved would ever feel another potential mate as long as the mating bond stayed in place.
Walker had only heard of one mating bond being broken by anything but death, and he was pretty sure the terror that had come with that dark magic hadn’t been truly worth it in the end.
Yet Walker, the one who was ready for a mate and wanted that connection, couldn’t seem to find his. He’d been searching ever since Gideon became Alpha and their father’s tyranny ended. He held back a shudder at that thought as he always did. His father had been a horrible man, a worse Alpha, and had truly scarred each and every one of his children to the point that it had shaped not only their lives and futures but also the way they found their mates.
But, no matter how many humans, witches, and wolves he met, Walker hadn’t felt that tug, the pull that would tell him whether the other person was his mate.
Then Shane, a former human soldier who had been partially turned into a wolf thanks to a human torture experiment gone wrong, had been brought into the Pack, and mating bonds had changed yet again. Shane had been on the verge of dying and Gideon had been forced to make the decision to save his life. No one had known the ramifications of that act, but now Shane had two mates who would forever be thankful for what had happened, and the Pack had survived because they had a new member whose secrets had led them through the darkness.
Now, it was beyond difficult to tell who was your mate or not, and it took getting to know the person or persons as a human before the wolves were able to reveal who they could be. And even then, sometimes it didn’t work. Each couple or triad was different, and finding the true path to mating didn’t seem like it would get any easier anytime soon. Walker was afraid that some would lose out at finding their mate because there were so many obstacles.
He’d been happier when mating bonds were set in stone. Now, everything seemed so up in the air. Shifters had spent centuries finding their other halves one way and now having to find them another way meant that their world might forever be altered. It was shocking that anyone could find their mate.
Hence why this mating ceremony between Mitchell and Dawn was so important. This proved that mating bonds could still happen, even if it took a little more work. Dawn’s eyes were bright, and Mitchell looked like a new man, a small smile playing on his lips as if he had a secret that only the woman standing in front of him knew. And as Mitchell bowed his head and took his mate’s lips in a passionate kiss, Walker hoped that there was a way to find a potential mate that didn’t end in pain and suffering.
Walker was a Healer, the Healer of the Talon Pack. It was his duty and honor to Heal those under his care from physical wounds, just as it was his triplet, Brandon’s, responsibility as Omega to heal their emotional ones. Through his connection to the Pack, he was able to Heal injuries that were life-threatening, as well as simple cuts and scrapes. It physically hurt him not to use his energy and powers to help people.
And the idea that there were wolves— and now cats— out there who might be missing out on finding their mates because of a change to the Pack structure that wasn’t their fault hurt him, as well.
“As Alpha, I bless this union as the moon goddess instructs me. I wish you both long, healthy lives as you find your true calling as mates.” Gideon’s deep growl ended on a howl, and Walker threw back his head, joining in on the song of his people.
The other wolves around him howled as well, and even the few witches who had been mated into the Pack and helped strengthen the wards joined in. The only three who didn’t were the human women who had come with Dawn’s brother and parents. Walker lowered his head and opened his eyes to watch them as they glanced around, laughter in their eyes. He had a feeling Dawn hadn’t mentioned this part of the ceremony, but thankfully, none of them looked put off. If anything, they appeared as if they might have wanted to take part, but weren’t sure how.
Given how much time they were spending with the Talons, they just might have their chance to find their places within the den wards at some point— even if they weren’t Pack. There were a few humans in the Pack, but it was through special circumstance. In order to live as long as the wolves, they had to be changed. Only witches were able to truly tie their life forces to the Pack’s without the change, though some of them did anyway. So, having these three humans within the den wards was… interesting.
And from the way they looked at Walker and his family, he had a feeling they thought it was interesting, as well. He wasn’t like some of his family who heard the moon goddess’s whispered words and spoke prophecy, but he had a feeling the lives of these women and his Pack would be forever entwined.
How that would happen, and what it would mean, he wasn’t sure.
Kameron tugged on his arm, pulling him out of his thoughts, and he followed his triplet inside where the maternal females and submissives had set up a feast for everyone to celebrate Mitchell and Dawn’s joining. He’d been tasked with setting up a few of the long tables, but he hadn’t helped as much as the rest of his family since he’d been called away to help with a pup who had accidentally found a bush with thorns while chasing after a ball.
His family and Pack had welcomed Dawn in much smoother than some of the previous mates. Change was always hard, especially after their Pack had spent so long fighting for the right to exist, so he was glad the elders and the rest of the Pack had seemed to lighten up when it came to Dawn and her former Pack’s past.
“I need to head out to do another run along the perimeter,” Kameron said softly. “I’ll swap shifts with one of the soldiers who couldn’t come to the ceremony. That way, they can at least be part of the reception.”
Walker nodded and picked up a cup of punch, handing it over to his brother before taking another for himself. Though their metabolisms as wolves worked much faster than humans’, they could still get drunk after a while. And since Kameron was about to go on duty, and Walker was always on call as Healer, they’d stick to punch. He nodded to Leah, his brother Ryder’s mate, and held up his cup. The water witch was his assistant in Healing, though her powers were much different than his. But, hopefully, she would understand that she could drink if she wanted to. However, since she had a young pup in her arms, he wasn’t sure she’d want to indulge.
Their family had grown so much over the past few years, it was almost hard to keep up. But Walker would. Each and every member of his Pack and family were a part of him, soul deep, and he’d do anything to protect them.
Walker turned to his brother. “Anything I can do to help?”
Kameron shook his head. “We’re on routine shifts right now since we’re not sure who the fire witch was working for.” He gave Kameron a look. Oh, they knew all right, but there wasn’t anything they could do about it yet. Their new enemy was too good at keeping the blame off him and held far too much power.
Even working with the Redwoods, the Talons weren’t strong enough to take on Blade and the Aspens yet. And even if they were, Walker wasn’t sure it was the Aspens who were their new enemy, or just an Alpha gone rogue. And for an Alpha to go rogue… well, that was something that could change everything.
Walker inhaled the sweet scent of a woman who made his wolf curious and turned as she stumbled into him. He caught her, pulling her soft body to his to keep her steady.
“You okay?” he grumbled, his voice lower than he’d intended.
“I’m fine. Just clumsy.” Aimee pulled away, and he released her, aware that she was much weaker than he was, and he’d been taught not to let the humans realize that they weren’t as strong as the wolves with everyday things.
“If you’re sure.” Kameron let out a sigh behind him, and Walker ignored his brother. He’d have to deal with the questions about his intense… whatever this was at some point.
“I’m fine,” she repeated. “Thank you for catching me.” She turned away then, going back to Dhani’s side, and Walker did his best not to stare.
It wasn’t only the Healer and wolf inside him that was drawn to this woman, but he wasn’t sure if it was something more. His wolf wouldn’t tell him if she was his mate or not, and with the new rules of mating that weren’t actually rules at all, Walker wasn’t sure he’d ever know.
But no matter where his mind went with potentials and fates, Walker knew one thing.
There was something wrong with Aimee.
And he was afraid there wouldn’t be enough time with her on this Earth for him to find out what their connection was… or could be.
About Carrie Ann Ryan
Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.
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A FEMALE GUARDING HER HEART . . .
Hot-tempered, agile, and jaded, Jordan spurns the match her father is pushing between her and the swaggering mammoth, Raider. She'd happily let one of her fawning sisters have him, but her packmates are taking bets on who Raider will ultimately claim. Jordan wants nothing to do with the insufferable beast . . . until he saves her life.
A MALE CARRYING THE WEIGHT OF HIS PACK . . .
All brawn and no brains, that's what most male shifters think when they see Raider. The females treat him as a strong, attractive prize they want to sink their claws into. Only one female avoids him, which is fine with him until they are paired up for patrol. The hot-blooded she-wolf doesn't have to like him, but she'll have to find a way to perform her duties.
ENTANGLED IN A WEB OF DECEIT . . . AND DESIRE
When Jordan's life is threatened, along with several packmates, the mating games take a dangerous turn.
Something sinister is happening in Wolf Hollow and outside forces threaten the impassioned bond forming between two shifters fated to be together.
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Nikki Jefford is a third-generation Alaskan now living in the Pacific Northwest with her French husband and their Westie, Cosmo. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys nature, hiking, and motorcycling. Nikki is the author of the Wolf Hollow Shifters series, Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter, and the Spellbound Trilogy.
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