Dirty-Talking Cowboy (Kinky Spurs #1)

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Emma Monroe has returned to River Rock, Colorado, after the death of her grandmother. Now she’s inherited a farm full of abused animals and she’s working as a waitress at the local hotspot, Kinky Spurs. The last thing Emma wants in her life is a man, as she’s still recovering from a recent heartbreak. But when a sensual and powerful cowboy, Shep Blackshaw enters her life, Emma begins to want things she shouldn’t.

Shep knows sex shouldn’t be on his mind. He’s got a world of responsibility on his shoulders. He’s attempting to save his late father’s cattle ranch, Blackshaw Cattle Company, from foreclosure. But Emma’s heated reactions to his touch make ignoring her impossible. She’s the perfect distraction to make him forget that his father’s company is a sinking ship.

While their nights only heat up, soon emotions become tangled into the mix. Shep’s not only giving Emma the hottest nights of her life, he’s also healing her heart. With every encounter, she forgets her heartbreak. With every naughty adventure, she stops mourning the life she left behind. And with every dirty word whispered from Shep’s mouth, she stops thinking of all the reasons why she shouldn’t fall for him. But when the past comes to claim Emma, she’ll need to choose between the life she thought she wanted and the life she’s grown to love with Shep. How will she say no to forever with a dirty-talking cowboy.

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The Blurb- (1)

I received a free, advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my unbiased review.

This is the first time I had read this author and any of her books,but i can say wow!

As the first book of the series, this is a good way to introduce the characters.

For the main people in the book, and the story line, it is a wonderful and such a H-O-T way to meet.

The emotions of Emma and Shep was really something to read about. Yeah, the way the thought and how they are attracted to each other was so hot, but you can see how much Shep, cared for Emma. It was so effing sweet that there are times that it made me tear up. I especially love the lines. They were so full of knowledge, that somehow, if you were in their shoes, you will definitely understand where is person is coming from.

There might be a light BDSM, but, the focal point to the story is there. Trust. Once you have lost it, it would be hard to win it again. No matter how hard you tried, a broken glass can never be whole again. The cracks are there to remind us of the past mistake.

I look forward to reading the next book of the series.

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The Blurb- (4)

USA Today bestselling author Stacey Kennedy has written more than forty romances, including titles in her wildly hot Kinky Spurs, Club Sin, and Filthy Dirty Love series. Her books are about real people with real-life problems, searching for that special thing we call love…in a very sexy way. When she’s not burning up the pages and setting e-readers ablaze, she’s living her happily ever after with her husband and two young children in southwestern Ontario. She’s a firm believer that wine, chocolate, and sinfully sexy books can cure all of life’s problems.

Authors Links

Website: www.staceykennedy.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorstaceykennedy

Twitter: twitter.com/Stacey_Kennedy

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The Blurb- (2)

Emma spun on her heels, opened her mouth, then promptly closed it. All sadness fled in a millisecond.

Leaning against the doorframe, Shep wore only his jeans, no shirt in sight. Oh my fucking God. Dream Shep had nothing on the real thing. Anyone could tell that Shep worked hard for a living. He didn’t seem the type of man that would spend hours in the gym, indicating his job was the reason he was built for hard labor. His wide shoulders, squared chest, gloriously perfect six-pack with deep ridges made for exploring fingers—all of it was mouthwateringly hot.

His voice deepened into a low rumbly tone. “Darlin’, you really need to stop looking at me like that.”

She lifted her gaze to his potent stare. Heat rose to her cheeks. “I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry.” The side of his mouth curved, like he knew the power he had over her. “I happen to enjoy watching you eye-fuck me, but you’re making it hard for me to be a gentleman.”

Her knees weakened, heart raced. How tempting it was to engulf this fiery passion burning between them, not run from it. And how confusing was that? No more casual sex, wasn’t that what she said? She knew where relationships like that ended up, nowhere good. Yet, her mouth parted, and out came, “What if I don’t want you to be a gentleman?”

Something fierce crossed his expression then, darkening his eyes. He stepped forward, bringing all that strong manly heat in close. He smelled of rain and wood and all that was perfect in this world. He dipped his head, and all she had to do was reach out and touch him. “What exactly do you want from me, Emma?” His lips were right there. His naked flesh, right there. “Do you want me to take control of you and roughly take what’s mine for the night?”

His sexy smile revealed a horrible truth. She nearly melted into the floor. “Oh, dear Lord, I told you about my dream?” Please say no. Please say no.

He lifted his hand, gently dragging his knuckles across her cheek. “Ah, but I happen to like that dream you had and shared with me.” He slid his thumb across her chin, tilting her head up to stare deeply into his gorgeous eyes. “You still haven’t answered me. Do you want me to kiss you slowly, savoring every little bit of your mouth?” His thumb brushed across the plumpest part of her bottom lip. “Or shall I punish you with my kiss, making you regret that you ever turned me down?” The heat of his body sizzled against her as he leaned in closer, his warm breath across her mouth. “Tell me, Emma, shall I tie you up with my ropes like I already have? Do you remember what that felt like? Did you like it, sweetheart?”

“You know I liked it,” she managed, breathless.

His grin was pure sin. “You’re right, I do know that.” He dragged his knuckles over her flushing cheek again, seemingly touching her soul-deep. Her mouth parted, breaths became heavier when he ran the pads of his fingers slowly down her arms, the power he exuded like a wall of strength in front of her. “Tell me, Emma,” he finished.

The words nearly fell out of her mouth. She wanted to experience his brand of passion. She got the feeling if she let go with him, he’d deliver where others had failed. Almost as if he’d take away all the pain, all the confusion, and silence her fears.

Her mouth parted to say, Make me forget it all. The words died in her throat. Her fears were bigger and stronger than her desire. She’d been fooled by one man before. The icy cold reminder still splintered her heart, there and unavoidable. “I can’t,” she said softly.

“You can’t.” There was no disappointment in his voice, only firmness. “Then I can’t.”

He took her hand into the strength of his, and she slowly opened her eyes, her breath catching at the contained power in his expression.

Shep breathed sex and passion, and the danger of him presented itself to her. Causal sex was one thing, but she got the feeling Shep didn’t do causal sex. He was pure emotion, total connection, and all intimacy. He’d wrap her up emotionally and take everything she had, and when he was finished with her, he’d demand more.

With his eyes locked onto hers, he led her from the bedroom. Once in the hallway, he turned to her, leaned in, and placed a soft kiss on her forehead. “Good night, Emma.”

She could finally breathe again. “Good night, Shep.”

Then with that blazing-hot gaze pinning her to where she stood, he shut the bedroom door, leaving her, and all her thoughts, alone in the quiet hallway.

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The Blurb- (3)

 

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Darkest Night (Sons of Broad #1)

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34964932In this first novel in the explosive, brand-new romantic suspense Sons of Broad series from Tara Thomas comes a novel of deadly secrets and hidden danger. In the sultry streets of Charleston, one family, ruled by its powerful, take-no-prisoners sons, has risen to the top. But a merciless enemy is out to destroy them…and everyone they hold close…

SHE THOUGHT SHE’D LOST HIM FOREVER
Tilly Brock has learned—the hard way—how to take care of herself. Once a pillar of Charleston society, her family lost everything in the wake of a shocking scandal. And then Tilly lost the only boy she ever loved.

BUT NOW THAT HE’S BACK IN HER LIFE
Keaton Benedict is Charleston’s most notorious bachelor. But in spite of all his advantages—the money, the women, the family name—he longs for more: the heart of the young woman he still can’t forget.

THE DANGER HAS JUST BEGUN…
When Keaton re-enters Tilly’s life, after all these years, she is torn between feelings of doubt and desire. Can they put the past behind them and learn to love again? Tilly is willing to try. But Keaton is afraid that a vengeful enemy is watching—and waiting to destroy them. Can the rekindled flame of their love defeat the deadliest rival and light their way forward in the darkest night?

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The Blurb- (1)

This is the first time that I have read a book from this author, and I would like to thank Ms. Harrington for the chance to read the first book of the series.

The story line was actually simple but, ramifications surrounding the overall plot was something that I was not expecting. The same goes on with the speed of the event was written. The phase of the story was fast and I had to go back to the previous paragraph just to make sure I was on the right track.

However, that did not dither me from enjoying the book as a whole. The romance of first love, and the way Keaton held a candle to Tilly was sweet and romantic. I find it really good that all the brothers were in the same page.

The interaction of the other people on the book added a certain charm on the way the narration and how the story developed.

As I write this review, I am almost 40% of the second book. For those who read this, there must be some questions, on Knox reaction to Bea being beaten. You have to read the next book to know why.

The narration might be fast, but it does not lessen the effect nor the overall story or plot. Good book, and this is a series that I am really glad to voluntary read.

~This voluntary take is of a copy sent from the publisher. My thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair. ~

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The Blurb- (4)

Tara Thomas

Tara Thomas’s love of books and writing started as a child and though she wanted to be an author, she decided a degree in science was more practical. After fifteen years in the pharmaceutical industry, she returned to her first love and hasn’t looked back since.

She writes erotic romance as Tara Sue Me. Her Submissive Series novels have been on both the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller lists. Her novel The Master earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was awarded Best Romance of 2016 from Best Book Awards.

SOCIAL LINKS:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tarasueme
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TaraSueMeBooks
Website: https://thetarathomas.com

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The Blurb- (2)

 

Two scantily clad women strutted out onto the stage.

Keaton was too far away to see details. All he could make out were tiny bikini tops and even tinier thongs. Blondes. And pretty enough to make any red-blooded man fantasize about ripping the scraps of fabric off them. A movement to the side of the stage caught his eye. A server. He only saw her profile, but there was something about her.

He slid off the barstool to get a closer look.

“Hey, man,” Michael called after him. “Where are you going?”

Keaton didn’t reply.

“Where’s Benedict going?” he heard someone ask. “He’s interested in a dancer? Here?” someone else asked.

Keaton shook his head; it wasn’t a dancer that captured his attention. He wasn’t a stranger to the numerous clubs around the city that catered to wealthy men and their carnal needs. However, he’d never singled out any particular woman while at one. After all, he’d al- ways said, one half-naked woman was just as good as another. As made evident by the number of times his picture was in the society pages, but never with the same woman twice.

And yet, here he was, eyes fixed on the petite waitress at the side of the stage, currently trying to blend into the background and not take away from the duo on the stage. It was a horrible failure. He wasn’t sure why the management even felt the need to put anyone onstage with her working here. How could anyone look at those two with her in the room?

She moved with a grace that made the two blondes look like ducks swimming alongside a swan. She stretched out her hand to pass a glass to a man sitting on the far inside of a booth. Everyone in her vicinity turned to watch her lithe body.

“Drooling over a topless dancer?” Michael asked, coming up behind him. “I have to say, I’m a bit surprised. They look a bit rough.”

“Not a dancer,” Keaton let slip before he could stop himself.

Michael moved to stand beside him and followed his line of sight. His low whistle signaled he saw the woman in question. “Hot damn. Wait until a certain blonde hears about this. I’m sure Miss Elise Germain will love the fact that her intended is drooling over a half-naked barmaid.”

“Shut the fuck up.” Keaton didn’t shift his attention from the goddess taking drink orders. “I’m not engaged.” “Please,” Michael’s voice dripped with sarcasm. “You two have been promised to each since you were what? Fifteen?”

Keaton mumbled a curse under his breath, but right now, he couldn’t focus on anything other than the serving siren. It sounded so crazy, he couldn’t even verbalize it, but he thought he knew her from somewhere. Some- thing about the way she moved called to him. Pulled him forward for a better look.

He took another step toward her.

She was magnificent. And the way she moved continued to captivate the audience near her. Keaton’s eyes traveled over her body, taking in as many details as possible: her light brown skin, the curve of her hips, and the slope of her breasts covered by a tight cropped shirt. He knew they would be oh-so-soft to touch. His eyes drifted higher at the same time she turned her head his way and he froze.

Tilly.

He couldn’t breathe. It couldn’t be.

What was she doing in Charleston? The last he’d heard, her family had moved to Texas. Granted, they’d both been fourteen at the time, but he’d never forgot- ten the day he’d got home from school, walked into the eerily quiet kitchen, and discovered his life had changed forever.

Tilly always came over to his house after school to help him with his homework. Usually her mother would come over with her and gossip with his mom. But there was nothing that day. He’d looked out the back door to get a peek of their house and gasped. There were men all over the yard, carrying furniture.

He’d run back inside and up the stairs to his mother’s room and, with a stomach filled with dread, asked where Mama Ann and Tilly were. His mother arched a perfectly shaped eyebrow. She didn’t like that her children called their neighbor Mama Ann, but every- one called her that. It was just her personality. She was so kind and loving, the name came naturally.

“They’re moving to Texas,” she said, and his world shifted out of focus.

“Why?” he managed to croak out. Texas was so far away. It made no sense why they would move away from their family like that and so suddenly.

“It’s been discovered that Mr. Brock has been embezzling money from your father.”

“What?” He couldn’t believe it. Not Tilly’s dad. He was stealing from them? Something didn’t sound right. His mother gave him a sad smile. “I’m afraid he was caught red-handed. The Brock family’s basically ruined now. Best they move and try to start over.”

His parents had always joked that he and Tilly would get married one day. Everyone talked about it and he didn’t even care because Tilly was smart and pretty. The week before, he’d kissed her for the first time. Her lips had been soft and sweet, and he’d looked forward to kissing them over and over. How could he kiss her if she were in Texas?

“Your father’s going to promote Howard Germain.

Isn’t his daughter in your class, too?”

Elise. Tilly’s best friend. Or was. He felt sick. He mumbled a half-intelligible answer to his mom and ran down the stairs to the living room. He had to call Tilly. Had to talk to her, even if it was only to say good-bye. But their phone had already been disconnected and when he went to their house, the men moving all the furniture told him they’d already left.

Tilly Brock put on her best plastic smile and muttered a soft, “Excuse me, please,” to the man blocking her path to her customer. She recognized the move for what it was: an attempt to make her reach across him. Two more months. Two more months. She grit her teeth and made sure the men saw just enough of her cleavage as she handed the drink to the waiting customer.

“Thank you, darling,” he said, eyes firmly planted on her chest, never once looking her in the eyes. “Why ain’t someone as pretty as you up onstage?”

Like she didn’t hear that ten times a night. Her mother might not roll over in her grave at the thought of her daughter serving drinks at a gentlemen’s club, but Tilly knew she’d come back from the dead for the sole purpose of telling her how disappointed she was if she even thought about dancing topless.

“Two left feet,” she told the guy instead.

“Trust me.” His laugh gave her chills. “It ain’t your feet we’re interested in.”

Two more months. I can do two more months.

Onstage, the dance was almost over. One of the blond twins glared at her and in doing so, tripped and almost fell. Several men booed. The other twin shot her a look that told Tilly they were blaming everything on her. Oh well, what else was new. It wasn’t a day that ended in “y” if she didn’t piss off the Wonder Twins.

She gathered several empty glasses and nodded as a few drink orders were given. Her tray was heavy, but she thought she could make it back to the bar. She turned that way and suddenly felt someone’s eyes drilling holes into her from the back of the room. Out of habit, she lifted her head to try and find who was watching her so intensely.

She scanned the crowd, but no one looked out of place. Then she saw him, standing slightly off to the side, watching her with an easy confidence, but with a tilt of his head that somehow seemed familiar. He recognized her at the same instant she recognized him.

Keaton Benedict.

Her tray and glasses fell to the floor.

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The Blurb- (3)

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Baby, I’m Howling for You (Alphaville, #1)

Baby Im Howling for You coverby Christine Warren

WELCOME TO ALPHAVILLE, where the she-wolves and alpha-males play. . .for keeps.

Renny Landry is a wolf on the run. Pursued by a shapeshifting stalker and his slobbering pack of killer coyotes, she is forced to flee her job as a librarian to find sanctuary in the wooded hills of Alpha, Washington. A well-secluded safe space for troubled shifters, Alpha is Renny’s last hope. But the first person she meets there is a gorgeous alpha male with fiery eyes, fierce tattoos, and one ferocious appetite—for her…

Mick Fischer thought he left his past behind when he moved to Alpha. But fate has a way of biting him in the tail when a female wolf shows up on his property. Wounded, desperate—and disarmingly hot—Renny brings out the snarling, protective alpha beast in Mick like no other woman he’s known. Can these two haunted, hunted wolves manage to mate for life…even as the deadliest past demons howl at their heels?

Buy Links:

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The Blurb- (1)

The first book of the series, and it like woh!

It opens up to a chase and a very unlikely meeting between Mick and Renny.

Honestly, I wanted to smack Mick. What happened to him was so heartbreaking, but it is not an excuse to treat Renny the way he did on the first couple of chapters. Well, he did redeem himself, but man oh man! What are the odds of him having a second mate, that was connected to the pack he left behind?

Renny, on the other hand, is a very brave. I lover her determination and her outlook in life. There is a certain quality of hers that I like..its her survival instinct. Whether we are talking about books or in reality, we should always have that mind set. No matter the obstacle fate give us, we should always look forward to the future.

I am excited to read about the other people in Alpha. What stories do they hold, and how did they end up with the town.

I enjoy this book, because Ms. Warren’s writing when it comes to the world of Others are vastly different from the Gargoyles. There is a certain charm each time I delve in to this world. I am happy to read more books from this series.

~This voluntary take is of a copy sent from the publisher. My thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair. ~

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Christine B&WAUTHOR BIO:

CHRISTINE WARREN is the bestselling author of The Others series, including Wolf at the Door, Big Bad Wolf, Born to Be Wild, Prince Charming Doesn’t Live Here, and Black Magic Woman. Born and raised in coastal New England, she now lives as a transplant in the Pacific Northwest. (She completely bypassed those states in the middle due to her phobia of being landlocked). When not writing, she enjoys horseback riding, playing with her pets, identifying dogs from photos of their underbellies, and most of all reading things someone else had to agonize over.

Social Links:

Twitter – @ChristineWarren

Facebook– @ChristineWarren

Author Website

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The Blurb- (2)

Chapter One

The valiant old Nissan ran out of gas thirteen miles short of her destination. Renny would ponder the irony of that number some other time. Right now, she needed to run, and run fast.

She jumped from the car the minute it stopped moving, abandoning the vehicle on the shoulder of the two-lane highway. Before she reached the tree line, she was already tearing off her shirt, ignoring the chilly bite of the pre-spring March air. She threw the garment aside and immediately reached for the button of her jeans. She continued to hop forward as she struggled out of the confining denim, but the minute that last restriction fell away, she shifted.

Fur replaced skin, arms became forelegs. Between desperate breaths, humanity slid away, and in the place of the panicked woman, a sleek red wolf began to weave through the trunks of the trees.

Her claws dug through the lingering patches of wet, heavy snow and soft leaf litter to the soil of the forest floor, flinging small clumps of mud into the air in her wake. She needed to put as much distance as she could between herself and her pursuers. She might not have seen them on her tail from the highway, but it wouldn’t take much longer. They were the reason she hadn’t been able to stop for gas for the last couple of hours. They’d already chased her across two state lines and more than five hundred miles, and that was just this time. Somehow, she couldn’t picture them giving up now.

She didn’t bother to think about what she’d left behind on the roadside. If the pack caught up to her, it wouldn’t matter whether or not someone ransacked her car and stole all of her worldly possessions. She didn’t think she’d need a good book or many changes of clothes in the afterlife.

If there was such a thing. Frankly, Renny wasn’t all that anxious to find out.

Keeping her head down and her feet moving, she continued to track north and west from the roadside, calling up the map in her head to guide her in the right direction. The last road sign she’d seen had put the Snoqualmie Pass about twenty-five miles northwest by the highway. Heading directly north instead should put the town center of her destination somewhere in that thirteen-mile range, so she had to keep running. Just a little farther.

Alphaville, or die trying.

The town of Alpha, Washington, had shimmered like a mirage on her horizon for years now. As a pup, she’d heard stories—everyone heard stories—of the northwestern town founded and run by shifters as a haven for those of their kind with nowhere else to go. Wolves driven from their packs, bears with injuries and scars inflicted by careless hunters, lions who couldn’t control their shifts, leopards who needed to change their spots—they all went to Alpha, and they all, eventually, got better.

Surely a town like that could provide a safe haven to one small wolf with a teensy-tiny little stalker problem. Right?

Please, Goddess, let her be right.

Renny’s ears swiveled back and forth as she ran, their extra-large proportions helping to catch and funnel in the sounds of pursuit. And damn it, she thought she heard the first indications of it already. They’d found the car, and even if the muddy snow weren’t perfect for holding tracks, they knew she would have fled into the forest. That was what wolves did, after all.

She poured on another burst of speed, paws barely seeming to skim the cold ground as she flew toward sanctuary. Or what she prayed was sanctuary, anyway. If she was wrong, she wouldn’t live to regret it.

The first staccato bark confirmed her fears. One of her pursuers had picked up her scent trail and was alerting the others to the location. Now it was only a matter of time before they found her. All she could do was run and pray she made it to safety before they all caught up.

If just one came at her, she could handle it. In a fight between a lone wolf and a single coyote, the wolf almost always won, even a smaller and lighter red wolf like her. Which was why Geoffrey had sent five of them after her. No way could she beat those odds. Five trained male enforcers of any species against little ol’ her? She’d need to be a polar bear to survive that.

Branches snapped behind her, urging Renny to move even faster. If the coyotes on her tail weren’t worried about making noise, then they wouldn’t bother choosing a clear path to follow her. They’d plow through anything to take the straightest line right to her. Clearly, her nemesis had instructed them not to mess around anymore.

A sharp yip of anticipation gave her a single instant of warning, and that will to survive made her dip her shoulder and twist into a sharp right turn. She dove into the underbrush, ignoring the clumps of snow that plopped onto her head and the way the thorns ripped through her thick fur to scrape at the skin beneath. She could warm up and lick her wounds later, when she was safe.

If she managed to save herself at all.

The unexpected maneuver may have gained her a few inches of distance between herself and the lead coyote, but that didn’t last. She could feel the enforcers closing in again, harrying her as if she were some kind of prey animal, like a wounded deer on the way to becoming the pack’s next meal.

The comparison fit way too close for comfort.

She tried to calculate how far she’d traveled in the last frantic minutes, but all she could do was guess. Running flat out, she could probably manage thirty-five miles an hour, but she couldn’t keep it up for more than a few minutes. Already, burning muscles and oxygen-starved lungs begged her to drop down to something more reasonable. So where had her panicked flight left her in relation to shifter Shangri-la?

Not fricking close enough. If she was lucky, she’d covered eight of the thirteen miles between her and safety. Nine, if the Goddess happened to be looking out for her. It wasn’t nearly enough.

Then something changed.

A new smell cut through the atmosphere of pine needles and wet soil, rocks and wildlife. Something heavier, muskier. Male. Wolfish. Alpha. The realization almost made her slide to a terrified halt.

Shit. She’d just stumbled into someone else’s territory—another shifter’s, by the scent of it—and that could be either good for her or very, very bad. A wolf shifter might take her side against a pack of coyote goons, or he might decide to kill her himself for trespassing on his territory. There was no way to tell.

Maybe now would be a good time to dedicate herself to serving the Goddess and a life of prayer?

She sent one up, hastily but earnestly begging the Moon and all Her Sisters for a miracle. Something, anything to get her out of the reach of the coyotes, who would drag her back to Sawmill, California, and her death at Geoffrey Hilliard’s brutal hands.

Zigzagging through the underbrush, Renny spotted a pinpoint of light in the distance and made a beeline for it. Maybe the prayer had worked, and the light represented the town of Alpha, or at least its outskirts. Town meant people, and a town like Alpha meant people capable of holding off a small band of coyote enforcers long enough for her to beg for help.

It meant a spark of hope.

She called up the last of her reserves of strength and flew toward the light, but the attack came so fast, she didn’t even have time to second-guess that whole prayer strategy. She’d gotten too busy bleeding.

She yelped as a set of fangs sliced into the back of her hind leg.

The pain jolted through her, but her attacker had missed the big tendons, so at least she didn’t fall or lose the use of her limb. That would have ended things fast. But Renny could keep moving, for the moment. So she did.

Stubborn, desperate determination welled up within her. Damn it, she had not lived this long, come this far, or run this hard to let herself be caught now. She refused.

With a frantic yip, she leapt forward toward the clear pool of moonlight she could see through the branches. The beckoning light reflected off a patch of snow dead ahead, just a few hundred yards away. If she could get there, this would be over. One way or another. She’d have reached safety or not, and in either event, she’d be out of options.

She broke out from a thicket of salal bushes, almost blinded by the glare of moonlight off the lingering puddles of white snow, but it didn’t slow her down. She didn’t need to see to know she had to keep moving.

Run or die.

Heart pounding, lungs burning, muscles screaming, Renny raced ahead, no chance to take a breath, no chance to scream, no chance to think. She just focused on that light as it flickered closer.

Almost there.

Almost—

He hit her from the side this time, a cannonball of momentum that knocked Renny clean off her feet and sent her skidding through the detritus of slush, twigs, and leaves covering the forest floor. The shock left her dazed, but she still recognized the stink of him. Bryce. Geoffrey’s beta and one of his closest friends.

And almost as evil as the alpha coyote himself.

She scrambled for purchase, trying to halt her slide and get her feet back under her before the other four caught up to them. If she let them surround her, it was over. She had to keep them off her back.

Bryce snarled at her, lips curling back to expose fangs that dripped with anticipation. At least she knew he was anticipating her death, not her rape and then death, as Geoffrey would. Bryce wanted only her blood, and in the heat of the moment, she suddenly wondered whether he’d bother following his leader’s orders. Tearing her throat out himself would bring the big coyote a lot more personal satisfaction than hauling her ass back south and watching while his alpha did the honors after a day or two at Geoffrey’s mercy. Bryce had performed the hunt, now his beast would want the kill.

He positioned himself between her and the light she’d tried so desperately to reach. He held his head low and forward, his hackles raised as he stared her down with his malicious yellow gaze. He was waiting for her to move, knowing she was already injured, knowing that if he remained patient long enough, either she’d come at him and expose herself to a counterattack or his buddies would reach them. Five against one would see her dead or captured in the space of a heartbeat.

Renny didn’t like either of those options.

Her ear flicked backward, catching the sound of the others gaining on them. She had seconds, if that, to find a way out of this. It wasn’t as though she had much choice. The only way open to her was up.

She crouched down, mirroring the coyote’s attack posture, but she didn’t bother going for his throat. She knew that even if she managed to take him down, the others would be on her before he started bleeding. She wouldn’t get out of this by fighting. She had to take a leap of faith, literally.

Powerful muscles coiled and released with a shocking force, launching Renny into the air and toward her enemy, but she hadn’t aimed for him. She’d aimed for the space over his head, behind him, and she’d almost cleared Bryce’s tail before he realized what she was doing. He jumped up, teeth flashing, and caught her in the side, slashing a deep, bloody furrow over her ribs.

She screamed, the sound emerging from her canine throat as a sort of high-pitched howling yelp, but she didn’t bother to assess the damage. She just ran straight toward the light.

Behind her, Bryce gave a yip-howl of rage and frustration and leapt after her. She could practically feel his hot breath stirring the hairs at the tip of her tail, and that only made her run faster.

She’d broken through another stand of trees before she realized that the distant light she’d prayed was the outskirts of Alpha wasn’t quite so distant, and it wasn’t anything like her long-sought sanctuary. The light shone from a single spotlight mounted in the apex of the peaked roof of a lone, otherwise darkened cabin.

A cabin that smelled so strongly of wolf, she was surprised the siding hadn’t sprouted fur.

Her heart barely had time to sink before a distinctive metallic rasp caught her attention. The sound was almost immediately followed by the sharp, echoing report of gunfire.

Bryce yowled, and suddenly Renny couldn’t sense him at her back. She chanced a look over her shoulder and saw the coyote spin on his heels, making a diving retreat into the cover of the trees. Drops of blood sprayed the snow and mud behind him.

In front of her, a tall figure stood on the porch of the cabin, almost hidden in shadows. The stock of a rifle remained braced on his shoulder, his head bent toward the barrel as he sighted for another shot.

Huh. After all these days of running and fearing her death might be just around the corner, Renny had never even considered the end might hit with the impact of a bullet. Who’d have thought?

Her paws stumbled over the uneven ground at the edge of the cabin’s yard, and she felt her knees buckle. Her hind leg throbbed in time to her racing heartbeat, and the gash in her side felt like a burning stripe of fire. She could feel blood streaming from both wounds and thought it almost didn’t matter if the man fired again. A bullet in the head sounded like the better choice when compared with bleeding to death in front of a stranger, and either was preferable to what Geoffrey planned to do to her.

That was her last (semi-)coherent thought.

She folded like a cheap card table, collapsing onto the wet ground with a low grunt. Her head bounced once before darkness claimed her, and in that last dizzy moment, she could have sworn she heard another wolf growling.

It sounded a lot as though he’d just muttered, “Shit.”

* * *

Sitting alone in the light of the dying fire, Mick decided he made a damned pathetic sight. Here he sat, home alone on yet another Friday night, nursing a warming beer and trying to keep his mind clear of old, familiar memories. So far, he was failing miserably.

He swallowed more warm, bitter liquid and stared into the glowing coals in his living room hearth. Nights like these, when spring had begun to stir and his latest project was packed off to his publisher, sleep became sadly elusive, and he found himself right here on his battered sofa, trying not to think.

Actually, he could have slept if he’d tried, he admitted. He just didn’t make the effort. Sleeping opened the door to dreaming, and lately every dream led back to the same place. His wolf seized control and steered them straight back to their dead mate. It wasn’t what Mick would call restful.

Fuck. It had happened more than eight years ago, he reminded himself. You’d think he’d be over it, that he’d have done his mourning, let go of the past, and settled into his new life here in Alpha.

But you’d be wrong.

Maybe the eight years was the problem. Few wolves survived losing a mate as suddenly and traumatically as Mick had. Most followed the other half of themselves into the darkness and never had to endure the passing of time. He still didn’t know why he hadn’t, but after all these years, he wondered if his wolf was maybe coming unhinged from the loneliness.

He snorted, disgusted with himself. One more sleepless night and look at him—he was getting fucking maudlin. Maybe it wasn’t loneliness at all, maybe he was just losing his damned mind.

A scream of canine pain hit him like a sucker punch to the back of his head.

Mick jumped to his feet, his hand already reaching for his rifle before his mind could grasp what was bothering him. He’d lived out here in these woods long enough to have become used to the sounds they made at all hours of the day and night. He could tell a gust of wind from the rustle of the underbrush, the step of a buck deer from the footfalls of the rare moose calf.

He also knew which of the locals had the balls to run and hunt on his property in the middle of the night, and none of them had given him a heads-up about their presence. Which meant that somewhere outside his small house, he had some uninvited guests.

Cursing under his breath, Mick almost put down the rifle and flung open his door bare-handed. If the teenagers of Alpha were daring one another to play chase in his woods again, a bullet would probably be overkill. Most of them were so scared of him, he wouldn’t even have to raise his voice to send them scattering like frightened bunnies. Seeing a gun in his hand might make the little shits pass out, and then it could be hours before they got the hell off his property. Besides, that scream had indicated someone was injured. He couldn’t shoot a wounded kid, no matter how much they’d pissed him off.

A distinctive bark-howl cut off that line of thinking and had his fingers tightening around the barrel of the weapon. He recognized that sound, as out of place as it was, and it had the hair on the back of his neck standing on end. That was a coyote calling his pack to the hunt. Last time he’d checked, they didn’t have any coyotes in Alpha, let alone a pack of them. So what the hell were they doing in his woods?

He shifted his grip on the rifle and checked through the front window before opening the door and stepping out onto his unlit front porch. The room behind him remained illuminated only by the fire, but something had triggered the motion sensors that activated the spotlight near the roof. It shone onto the hard-packed dirt of the drive, but the glow managed to extend a little way across the scattered islands of lingering snow toward the edge of the woods to his right.

Mick faced that way and peered into the darkness. At first, he couldn’t see worth a damn, but his eyes adjusted quickly and his ears were already picking up the sounds of flight and pursuit through the dense northwestern forest. Two more short, sharp cries answered the first bark-howl, followed by a third and a fourth. Definitely a pack, or at least a hunting party. But what were they doing here, in Alpha, on his land?

And what the hell were they hunting?

He got his answer an instant later. A sleek, fur-covered form launched itself from the trees into the cleared area around the cabin. Reflex had the rifle to his shoulder, but instinct kept him from pulling the trigger.

The calls he’d already heard had him thinking coyote, and if the animal hadn’t landed near enough to the edge of the light, he might have kept thinking it. But something about that shape bothered him.

It looked on the large size for a ’yote, maybe seventy or seventy-five pounds, and sturdy as much as lithe, too substantial for the average coyote. Its ears seemed out of proportion to its skull, too large for the breadth of it. Then the light caught its fur, and he could see the russet coloring around its ears and neck, a rusty shade that seemed to darken to near black along its spine. That same rich red also decorated its flank near the site of a bloody tear in the muscle.

That was no coyote. It was a wolf, or a hybrid at best, half wolf and half coyote. He should recognize one when he saw it. Instinct had him drawing in a breath, and the scent cleared up his confusion. His yard had been invaded by another wolf shifter, a red wolf, he realized, and she was badly injured.

His supposition was confirmed when another shape crashed into the yard, this one lighter and leaner, looking almost delicate when he compared it with the wounded shape. This one was pure coyote shaped, and the dark, wet stains around its muzzle identified it as the cause of the female wolf’s injuries.

He squeezed the trigger almost before the reality finished registering and felt the rifle’s stock nudge back into his shoulder. The bullet grazed the side of the coyote’s shoulder, making it yelp in pain and surprise. Its head swung around, yellow gaze fixing on him for an instant before it turned tail and dove back into the cover of the trees.

Mick waited for a minute to see if any of the others in the hunting party felt like trying their luck to get to the she-wolf. Driven by the instinct to kill or mate, a regular coyote might press its luck, but a shifter would think twice. When no other animals appeared, he slowly lowered his gun and stepped down into the yard.

The female was unconscious, but her sides still heaved as if she’d been running a marathon. The sharp aroma of blood hit him first, and he knew from the way it almost overwhelmed her natural scent that she was losing a dangerous amount of it.

He also knew from one more deep inhalation that he’d been correct in identifying her species. She was more than a rare red wolf; she was a red wolf shifter, and she was in serious trouble.

“Shit.”

He muttered the word even as he crouched down beside her, setting his rifle near his feet within easy grabbing distance. A swift rake of his gaze took in her condition—good muscle tone, healthy size, but clearly exhausted—as well as the extent of her wounds. In addition to the gash he’d noticed on her rear leg, he could see blood saturating the cream-colored fur of her belly where her side pressed against the ground.

He rolled her gently over and muttered an even stronger curse. The wound on her flank had looked ragged and bloody, but the damage to her side made it seem like a love bite.

Fangs had torn deep under her fur and opened a laceration almost as long as his forearm. It extended from just behind her shoulder, across her rib cage, and nearly to her groin. The ugly slash had been ripped open by her exertions and it continued to bleed heavily under the layer of mud and debris that now clung to the surface. Shifter or not, it looked deep enough to need stitches.

Damn it, he’d have to make a phone call.

But first things first.

He scooped the limp wolf into his arms, catching his rifle in his fingers as he rose. She flopped in his hold like a sack of grain, but he’d hauled heavier burdens on one shoulder, so the weight didn’t bother him. What bothered him was her stillness and the way she didn’t even twitch when he lifted her.

It took just a minute or two to carry her into the cabin and kick the door closed behind them. After depositing her on his sofa, he returned immediately to bolt the door and engage the security system he’d installed the first day he’d moved in. If those coyotes decided to try for her again, Mick wanted some advanced warning.

Secured inside, he strode into the hall to grab a stack of clean towels from the closet. On the way, he snagged his cell phone from the coffee table and dialed a familiar number.

“What?”

Mick ignored the annoyed tone of the greeting, filled his arms with terry cloth, and returned to the sofa. “I need you out at my place. Now.”

Zeke Buchanan muttered something foul under his breath. “It’s fucking three o’clock in the morning, asshole, and I’m not on duty. Call the office.”

“I’ve got an injured shifter in my living room, and I just shot the coyote who was trying to kill her. Only grazed him, but it sounded like he had friends, and I don’t know how determined they might be. Get out here. And send an ambulance.”

He didn’t bother to listen while Zeke swore again. The snap and rustle of fabric and the squeak of mattress springs told him what he needed to know. The sheriff’s deputy would be here as soon as he got some pants on. In the meantime, Mick needed to stop the she-wolf on his sofa from bleeding to death until help arrived.

His knees hit the floor, his hands reaching to press a folded towel to the more severe of her wounds, when the air around her wavered and fell out of focus. While he blinked, the figure of a wolf blurred and shifted, leaving a petite, naked, and badly injured woman passed out in his living room.

A very attractive naked woman.

Shit.

He told himself to avert his eyes, but damned if the damage hadn’t already been done. His man and wolf had already both sat up and taken notice. He could almost feel the twitch of a whiskered black nose in the back of his head as the beast pushed itself forward to take in her scent.

She smelled amazing. Under the sweet coppery note of her blood, he could detect notes of citrus and green leaves and something deeper and spicier that simply reminded him of home. He hadn’t smelled anything like it in more than eight years, not since—

He cut that speculation off at the knees—not boarding that train of thought, thanks—and made himself focus on assessing the female’s wounds.

Her change of shape had jump-started her shifter ability to heal quickly, but it would take more than one trip from fur to skin to close a wound as serious as the one on her side. The ragged gash now covered a swath of milky skin from just to the side of a pretty, pink-tipped breast, all along her torso to the crease between her hip and thigh on the right-hand side.

Dirt still clung to the torn and bloody flesh, which Mick almost found a relief. It helped pull his attention away from all the uninjured bits he could see and focus it where it needed to be—on helping her, not ogling her.

Gritting his teeth and fixing his gaze on the injury, Mick pressed a towel hard against her ribs with one hand and used the other to tuck more towels under her opposite hip where he’d seen the less serious laceration. Her weight should provide the necessary pressure to stop the bleeding on that side, but he had to lean into the deeper wound. Thank fuck she remained unconscious, because if she’d been awake, she’d probably have been screaming from the pain.

He lost track of time while he knelt there applying pressure and waiting for help to arrive. Even if Zeke floored it all the way from town, it was at least a ten-minute drive out to Mick’s place, which left way too much time for him to get a good, long look at his uninvited guest.

It made him feel like a pervert, staring at her while she remained completely out of it, but he couldn’t help himself. Something about her drew his gaze like a magnet, and he really wished his subconscious weren’t so anxious to needle him about what it was.

Her wolf looked like Beth.

A corner of his mind gave thanks that she had shifted back to her skin, because it cut the resemblance considerably, but when he’d first seen her burst out of the forest, he’d thought for one wild, insane second that his mate had come back from the dead. It had nearly stopped his heart.

The two animals had the same delicate build, the same pointed muzzles, the same creamy coloring on their chests. Beth had been a little taller, a little more muscular, but she’d been mistaken for a red wolf more than a few times in her shifted life. She hadn’t been just a hybrid—half gray wolf like him, half coyote like her father—but her looks in her furred form bore a strong resemblance to the woman who had almost died tonight in his front yard.

That was an image he had never wanted to see again—a woman bloody and broken, torn apart, and left for him to find. He’d left that nightmare behind him, buried it in California before he’d moved north and settled here in Alpha. Not even the devil himself had the power to drag him back to the town where he’d been born. Not on the coldest day in hell.

A pounding fist shook his front door in the frame, jerking Mick back to the present. His wolf sprang to attention, ready to tear out the throats of any coyote who tried to get inside his home. It took a second for him to realize that it had been long enough for Zeke to have arrived. He opened his mouth to call for his friend to come in, then remembered how he’d double-locked the door as a precaution. He’d have to go open it himself.

A quick check at the underside of the towel revealed way too much red soaked into the cotton, but the active bleeding appeared to have slowed to a trickle. At least it looked safe enough for Mick to step away for the seconds it took to disarm the alarm system and flip a couple of locks.

Zeke pushed inside almost before Mick released the dead bolt, and the aggressive move ripped a snarl from his wolf before he managed to get hold of himself. He’d known who was on the other side of the door from both the knock and the smell, but the night’s events had riled up his beast, and the wolf didn’t like another male forcing his way into its den, even if he’d been invited.

Mick smacked the animal down and stepped back to let the other man enter. “C’mon in.”

Zeke grunted and moved aside to reveal a second, much smaller form standing behind him. Molly Buchanan smiled and waved with one hand. In the other, she carried a large plastic case like her brother’s favorite tackle box, only this one was bright yellow and had a big red cross emblazoned on the lid.

“Hey, Mick,” she chirped, bouncing on her toes as if it weren’t the middle of the night and she hadn’t been dragged from her bed minutes ago to come racing out into the woods. “You called for the cavalry?”

Mick supposed that, as an EMT, racing places in the middle of the night wasn’t so odd an experience for Molly. He waved her inside. She might not be in an ambulance, but she rode in one most other nights. She’d be able to help the she-wolf.

Molly stepped inside while her brother laid a hand on Mick’s shoulder and squeezed.

“Okay,” Zeke grumbled. “Why don’t you tell me exactly what the hell is going on? Injured shifters? Coyotes? And you shot one of them? What the fuck, Mick?”

“Yeah, Mick. What the fuck?”

The third figure to appear in his front door caused the greatest surprise. John Jaeger had dropped by Mick’s house on precisely two previous occasions. The first had been a thinly veiled evaluation when he’d first arrived in town. As mayor of Alpha, Jaeger took his duty to protect and manage his town seriously. To have a new, lone wolf move in but refuse all attempts from the locals to integrate him into their community had raised an alarm for the mountain lion shifter. He had wanted to ensure that Mick didn’t intend to make trouble.

The second visit had been harder to anticipate but infinitely more entertaining. Jaeger had dropped by to return a pair of boxer briefs he had found in his truck bed after the woman he’d been seeing had borrowed the vehicle to “move some furniture.” The only thing that had gotten moved were the bodies in the bed of the pickup when she’d invited Mick out for a moonlit picnic. The boxers came with an offer to let Mick keep the woman, too, but as it turned out, neither he nor the mayor had much keeping in mind for the woman in question. They had all gone their separate ways, and the two men had never spoken of the incident again.

“Jaeger.” The growl rumbled up in Mick’s throat before he could stop it. Adrenaline still rode him enough that his beast was expressing its displeasure at both the man’s unexpected appearance in his territory and the deputy’s belligerent manner. “What are you doing here?”

The man lifted an eyebrow and jerked a thumb toward the woods behind him. “Zeke told me you had some trouble out here tonight. Something about injured strangers, coyotes, and bullets. I came to make sure it wasn’t the kind of ruckus that called for shovels.”

“Not yet.”

Molly cleared her throat loudly. “Um, not to inconvenience anyone, but I heard someone was bleeding around here. Would any of you big, strong men like to point me in that direction before the patient runs out of the red stuff? You know, if it’s no trouble.”

The lioness might be a head shorter than the smallest male in the room, but such an insignificant detail never had done much to hinder that smart mouth of hers. Mick gritted his teeth and swallowed another rumble of displeasure. His wolf seemed ready to go on a tear.

Of shifters’ throats.

“She’s in here.” He turned on his heel and led Molly and the others into the living room.

The lioness strode to the sofa and crouched in the same spot where Mick had been kneeling. In seconds, she had her fingers on the woman’s pulse and her kit open on the floor beside her. She nodded to herself, then snapped on a pair of bright blue gloves before she briskly and competently began to examine the unconscious woman’s side.

“Her temp’s a little low, but it’s cold out tonight, so I imagine that will come up on its own. That last snowfall just won’t go away, will it? The wounds look messy and painful, but not life-threatening,” Molly proclaimed, poking gingerly at the lacerated tissue. “Not for a shifter, anyway. I can clean it up and bandage it, but it should heal on its own.”

Mick scowled. “No stitches?”

“You know stitches just piss shifters off. They itch like crazy, and they pull at all sorts of weird angles when we try to shift. Bandages are better.”

She didn’t bother to look up, just reached for a bottle of clear liquid and a handful of gauze. She began irrigating the wound, washing away the mud and debris that had contaminated it when the wolf collapsed. Her calm manner and sure movements seemed to calm Mick’s wolf, and he felt himself take his first deep breath in what felt like hours. It had probably been less than twenty minutes.

Jaeger shifted his weight and stepped forward, peering over Mick’s shoulder at the injured woman. “Who is she?”

Mick shrugged one shoulder, the movement still short and tense. “No idea. She just showed up in the yard, bleeding like a butcher’s hog, and keeled over. Didn’t stop to exchange pleasantries.”

“And at what point did you find yourself shooting at strange coyotes?”

“When one of them came after her with her blood on his jaw and a few friends at his back.”

The mayor looked grim. “You sure you hit him?”

“I saw blood in the snow, and it wasn’t all hers. He yelped, too. I figure I at least grazed him.”

“It was a male?”

“The one I saw was. I didn’t see any others, but I could hear them coming through the woods. They must have backed off when they heard the gunshot.”

Zeke didn’t look up from the small pad where he’d been jotting down notes. “They were definitely shifters, not regular coyotes?”

“Like I said, I only saw the one, but I got a look at his eyes, and I got a whiff of him. He was Other, which means his buddies probably were, too.”

Jaeger agreed. “Most likely. We’ve got our share of coyotes in this state, but not many in the area around Alpha. They know they can’t compete with the bigger predators we have roaming these woods, so they tend to give us a pretty wide berth.”

“Right.” Zeke snapped his notebook shut and shoved it into a pocket. “I’m going to take a look around outside while Molly bandages up the victim. I’ll need to ask her a hell of a lot of questions, but they can wait till she’s conscious.”

“You’ll get better answers that way,” Jaeger said, mouth curving.

The lion shifter shot the mayor the bird on his way out the front door. The other man just chuckled, then turned back to Mick. “So.” He rocked back on his heels and hooked his thumbs into the front pockets of his jeans. “It’s three thirty in the morning, you have an unconscious and wounded female on your sofa, an EMT patching her up, a deputy nosing around your property, and a mayor in your living room who’d be willing to consider performing several illegal acts for a good hit of caffeine. Ideas?”

Mick rolled his eyes. “I’ll make coffee.”

He spun around and stalked toward the kitchen, Jaeger hot on his heels. What else was there to do? Molly was treating the she-wolf, Zeke was playing cop, and his wolf had no intention of letting him sleep anytime soon. Not with that intriguingly scented female currently passed out in his living room.

Might as well drink a pot of coffee. He’d take it black, like his mood at having all these uninvited guests in his den. So much for his wolf feeling lonely.

~Copyright © 2018 by Christine Warren in Baby, I’m Howling For You and reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Paperbacks.

Thanks Fur Last Night (Fur #1)

34964956by Eve Langlais (Goodreads Author)Milly Taiden (Goodreads Author)Kate Baxter (Goodreads Author)
Enter a world of smoldering shifters in this scintillating anthology headlined by New York Times bestselling authors Eve Langlais and Milly Taiden with brand-new, never published novellas! 

Bearing His Sin
Cole should have killed Anja the moment he realized she was his mate. Instead, he let her live and now they’re on the hunt, chasing the morons who think they can force her to marry another man. Like hell. And while this shapeshifting bear might have his share of sins, he’s not going to let little things like murder and mayhem prevent him from having the woman meant to be the keeper of his heart.

Bought by the Bear
Josilyn Martinez just needed the money to help raise her nephew. That’s it. There’s no other reason she would take a job posing as a shifter’s mate so he can assure his grandmother he’s settled down. There’s no reason to stay at his place so they learn “more about each other.” And there’s definitely no good reason she should get involved with the hard, hot, and handsome shifter that’s hired her.
Xander just needs a fake mate for a week to get his grandmother off his back. But what’s a bear shifter to do when the impostor mate he hired turns out to be his actual mate? All sweet, luscious curves and a heart of gold, Xander’s not going to let his mate get away. Now all he has to do is show her that they belong together, one kiss and touch at a time…

The Alpha and I
Devon Kincaid is happy with her new life in Lowman, Idaho. Her little bar on the outskirts of the tiny, isolated town is doing well, and she’s not even interested in finding a man. But when she finds a bleeding man—a hot, hard, handsome, naked bleeding man—in the snow one night, Devon brings him home to care for him. He’s definitely not like any man she’s ever met before, but what she doesn’t realize is that he’s not just a man…
Liam Murphy isn’t simply a werewolf. He’s the Alpha. In a heated battle with a deadly bear shifter, he’s moved his pack to the Sawtooth Wilderness in order to draw danger from them. He was hoping to escape his problems—but the last thing he expects to find in the isolated Idaho wilderness was his mate. Fragile and unfamiliar with the violent supernatural world, the only way he can protect Devon is to make her what he is: a werewolf. He only hopes that in the process convincing her to enter fully into his world, that he doesn’t drive away the one woman he can’t live without.

~~~~~~~
The Blurb- (1)
This is another anthology from a set of lovely sets of authors.

Bearing His Sin by Eve Langlais

~Is a bit confusing, fast phased and funny. The narration was confusing, with the way the characters were ,throwing line with abandon. It was a bit hard to keep track of the conversation. But if you analyze everything, it really amusing to read the way they interact with each other.

Bought by the Bear by Milly Taiden

~is your normal woes of a parent…well an aunt that has to raise her nephew, that is being hindered by the nephew’s grandmother. This is actually a good story, what are the chances that you will meet your actual mate? And I love how this turned out to be.

The Alpha and I by Kate Baxter

~Somewhat is a bit different in the terms of this anthology. For one, this has the most actions, and the second, Liam is a werewolf, not a bear. Yeah, he is being chased by a bear, but heck! It’s a good addition to the series.

~~~In retrospect the three stories are nice. I know, I know….nice is not a good word. You need to remember, in every new series, the 1st book would carry the expectation of the readers. Hence, I am not going to judge this book in a bad way because I like reading it. In spite of the ups and downs of it, it will all come down if you enjoyed reading it, which is I did.

Another series to look forward to! Keep it coming!

SOMETHING TO HOWL ABOUT (Alphaville, #0.5)

The Blurb-

Something to Howl About coverWELCOME TO ALPHAVILLE, where the she-wolves and alpha-males play. . .for keeps, in a brand-new paranormal romance series from New York Times bestselling author Christine Warren.

Dr. Annie Cryer has been called many things: Genius. Child prodigy. Scientific wonder.

Wolf Shifter.

Banished from her pack years ago, Annie’s lone wolf wandering has brought her to Alpha, Washington, home to all shifters who don’t quite fit in in the “normal” shifter word. Now Annie has the chance to go back home…if only she can make good on a favor her alpha owes the mayor of “Alphaville.” But it’s not much of a favor when you’re helping the hottest shifter in town…

Grizzly shifter Jonas Browning has a clan in trouble. They haven’t had a child born in over a hundred years…and their clan faces going completely extinct. Genetic scientist Anne Cryer has been sent to help save them. But what Jonas doesn’t count on is being irresistibly drawn to the small wolf shifter, and his bear isn’t about to let her go…

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The Blurb- (1)

This is a very good way to start a series. It might not have the names of the other people of the town, but I was really glad to read the names of the other characters from her “Others” series.

There is not much to say, but I am happy that I get to read another one of her books.

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The Blurb- (4)

CHRISTINE WARREN is the bestselling author of The Others series, including Wolf at the Door, Big Bad Wolf, Born to Be Wild, Prince Charming Doesn’t Live Here, and Black Magic Woman. Born and raised in coastal New England, she now lives as a transplant in the Pacific Northwest. (She completely bypassed those states in the middle due to her phobia of being landlocked). When not writing, she enjoys horseback riding, playing with her pets, identifying dogs from photos of their underbellies, and most of all reading things someone else had to agonize over.

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The Blurb- (3)

 

Macmillan

B&N Nook

Google Play

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Ebooks.com

iBooks

The Scot Beds His Wife (Victorian Rebels #5)

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The Blurb-

 

The Scot Beds His Wife is the next lush, captivating Victorian romance in the Victorian Rebels series by Kerrigan Byrne.

They’re rebels, scoundrels, and blackguards—dark, dashing men on the wrong side of the law. But for the women who love them, a hint of danger only makes the heart beat faster.

Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne, is a notorious Highlander and an unrelenting Lothario who uses his slightly menacing charm to get what he wants—including too many women married to other men. But now, Gavin wants to put his shady past behind him…more or less. When a fiery lass who is the heiress to the land he wishes to possess drops into his lap, he sees a perfectly delicious opportunity…

A marriage most convenient

Samantha Masters has come back to Scotland, in a pair of trousers, and with a whole world of dangerous secrets from her time spent in the Wild West trailing behind her. Her only hope of protection is to marry—and to do so quickly. Gavin is only too willing to provide that service for someone he finds so disturbingly irresistible. But even as danger approaches, what begins as a scandalous proposition slowly turns into an all-consuming passion. And Gavin discovers that he will do whatever is necessary to keep the woman he has claimed as his own…

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The Blurb- (1)

~ARC from the publisher.~

This is actually the 5th book in the series. And this is the first time I read this Author.

I must say that I love how the lines are said. So are the twist each time you turn a page.

I am actually having a hard time describing my thoughts on this book. It actually ran from irritation, to amazement, from awe to, an overwhelming sense of relief and love.

Irritation due to the arrogance of Gavin the first time he met Sam, and the way his thoughts ran. I would gladly want to shoot him myself. Amazement, for the sheer determination of Sam to live. And she is one fearless woman, in the this book. I really like how she handled the situation she was put in.

Awe on how much Gavin love his mother, then again, after everything that happened to them; who wouldn’t.

I think the tipping point of this book was when everything was revealed. I felt that everything was falling apart and there was nothing they can do about it. Then the people around them did something none of them expected. It was such a heartfelt action.

The past may mold you, but the emotions that you had with the person, will still be there.

I look forward to reading the next book in this series.

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The Blurb- (2)

Chapter Two

Union Pacific Railway, Wyoming Territory, Fall, 1880

Samantha Masters squeezed the trigger, planting a bullet between her husband’s beautiful brown eyes.

She whispered his name. Bennett. Then screamed it.

But it was the woman in his grasp she reached for as he fell to the ground.

Though they’d known each other all of twenty minutes, she clung to Alison Ross as though the younger woman were the most precious soul in the entire world, and they sank to their knees as their strength gave out.

Alison’s hold was just as tight around her, and their sobs burst against each other’s in a symphony of terror, shock, and abject relief.

What in the hell just happened?

Not twenty minutes ago, Samantha and Alison had been no more to each other than amiable fellow passengers on an eastbound train, chugging across the wintry landscape of the Wyoming Territory.

What were they now? Enemies? Survivors?

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” Samantha repeated the words with every short, sobbing exhale. Though she couldn’t have said who the apology was to, exactly. To Alison? To Bennett? To whoever had been shot on the other railcars?

To God?

This morning she’d been the irate, disillusioned wife of a charming and dangerous man. An insignificant and unwilling member of the outlaw Masters Gang.

This afternoon, she’d been the new acquaintance and confidant to Alison Ross, commiserating over childhoods spent on secluded cattle ranches.

This evening, because of what she’d just done, of what they’d all just done . . . chances were good that she’d be hanged.

This train job was supposed to be like any other. Each of the Masters boarded on the last platform for miles and miles. To avoid detection or suspicion, Bennett, Boyd, and Bradley Masters would each take a seat in separate passenger cars.

Samantha would be placed in the least populated car, usually first class, as it was also the least dangerous. Once civilization completely fell away, the signal was given, and the men would strike, rounding up all passengers into one car.

This was done for the safety of the passengers as much as the Masters, themselves, as the gang didn’t generally rob people. Cash, jewelry, and personal items were never as valuable as actual cargo. The Union Pacific Railway didn’t only deliver citizens across the vast American continent. It delivered goods, sundries, and often . . . federal funds.

Even in these modern times, when it seemed all the gold had been mined from the rich hills of California, American currency was still minted in the east. Which meant everything from company payrolls, to government bonds, to cash and precious metals were transported by transcontinental railways.

And the Masters brothers, aspiring entrepreneurs, had decided that if the government wouldn’t allow them land, nor the banks grant them loans . . .

Then they’d take what they needed.

This was supposed to have been their fifth and final train job. It was supposed to have gone like the others.

No one harmed or robbed. Merely a bit inconvenienced and perhaps a little shaken. The Masters would escape with a few bags of money that the government could simply print again, a “frightened” female hostage as played by Samantha herself, and the papers would have an exciting story to publish in the morning.

The signal, both to each other and to the passengers, was one shot, fired at the ceiling, and then a command to disarm, get moving, and a gentle promise that all this would be over before they knew it. Samantha’s job was to act like any other passenger, and incite them to obey. Then, if necessary, act as the hostage to force compliance.

“People are sheep,” Boyd had always said. “They’ll follow a sweet thing like you to their doom.”

On this job, Samantha had been more comfortable than any other. At this time in October, with winter settling in but Christmas still a ways off, travel wasn’t foremost on the mind of the average American.

Her railcar had only two occupants other than herself. Alison Ross, a lively, bright-eyed San Franciscan socialite, and a well-dressed businessman more interested in his paper than conversation.

At first, Alison’s friendly overtures had vexed Samantha, as she found it hard to concentrate on responses when her blood sang with equal parts anticipation and anxiety. But, she realized, to not engage would be suspicious, and before long she’d found herself enjoying Alison’s company.

She’d not known many women her age, least of all friendly ones.

Samantha imagined that in another life, she and Alison could have, indeed, been friends.

Had she not been about to rob the train.

Had there not been more gunshots than were agreed upon . . .

Had Boyd and Bradley not bailed with the money, leaving Bennett to come after his wife, his white shirt and dark vest splattered with blood.

Oh God. What had they done?

Over the deafening beat of her heart, she’d heard Bennett say something about federal marshals. About someone taking a bullet in the shoulder. Boyd? And then a shootout.

Through vision blurred with tears, Samantha glanced at the businessman, dead-eyed and bleeding.

Her fault. All her fault.

Bennett had shot him without a word or warning. Then he’d grabbed Alison and put his pistol to her temple, because he’d known.

He’d known the second he’d seen the horror and denial on Samantha’s face at the blood on his shirt, that she wouldn’t have gone with him. That, while she’d have stayed married to an outlaw, she could never love a murderer.

“Come with me, Sam,” he’d ordered tersely. “Come with me now, and we will go to Oregon.”

It was in that moment Samantha had known he lied to her.

They’d fought about it the night before, when he’d said Boyd wanted to go south to Texas or the New Mexico Territory instead of north to Oregon like they’d planned. That oil towns were the new gold rush.

She’d railed at him. It wasn’t the life he’d promised her. They were supposed to go to the sea to make their fortune in lumber. He was going to build her a grand house on a cliff and make love to her while serenaded by thunderstorms. They’d only just escaped their desolate life on a cattle ranch in the high desert. She didn’t want to go back to bleak sweaty days beneath the harsh, unrelenting sunshine. She wanted pretty green hills, trees, and meadows. She wanted to live somewhere she could wrap a shawl about her and listen to sea storms toss rain against her windows.

Last night, she’d been shrill, and Bennett had been cruel.

But he’d awoken his charming self, randy as he ever was before a dangerous job. And she’d lain beneath his thrusting body, unable to relinquish the churning of her resentments and worries enough to appreciate his affections.

Then it was time to wash, and dress, and commit a crime.

Bennett had promised to revisit the issue. To make her smile again, to fulfill her dreams.

Problem was, Samantha had already lost faith in Bennett Masters’s charming promises. A part of her had begun to accept what she’d long feared. Bennett would never go against his brothers, brutal and backward as they were. If Boyd decreed the family was going south to work in stinking, desolate oil towns, then there was no other option but to do exactly that.

Boyd had once whispered to her in secret that, while Bennett might love her, he feared him more, and fear was always more powerful than love.

“He’d let me fuck you, if I wanted,” Boyd had threatened once when she’d been mouthy. He’d grabbed her through her trousers, his fingers digging painfully against her sex. “You’d best keep that in mind.”

She’d never forgotten that night five months ago. Because she’d told Bennett of Boyd’s behavior.

And, as Boyd predicted, he’d done nothing.

Now, when Bennett held his pistol to this helpless woman’s head, and ordered Samantha to open the door to the railcar, she’d looked into the eyes of her husband of four years.

And seen a stranger.

“You’ll let her go,” she’d reasoned evenly. “You’ll let her go, and we’ll get out of here.”

She’d opened the door. Bradley had the horses keeping pace with the train as it slowed around the McCreary Pass bend. She motioned to him, and he spurred his ride faster. They’d get off the train, and she’d figure out just what the hell had happened before making any hasty decisions.

“She’s seen us.”

Bennett’s words had frozen her blood as she realized that he wasn’t wearing his bandana.

“People have seen us before,” she’d said over her shoulder.

“Not like this, Sam. We can’t leave witnesses. She has to die—”

Samantha had reached across her body, drawn her Colt single-action, turned, and shot him between the eyes in the time it took him to pull back the hammer of his highercaliber, slower-action Smith & Wesson.

Only now, while clinging to a stranger on her knees, did she have time to think about what she’d just done.

She’d killed a man. Not just any man.

Her husband.

“Thank you,” Alison said ardently against her ear.  “Thank you. I know he was your man, but I wasn’t ready to die.”

Pulling away from Alison, Samantha noted the mark that Bennett’s recently used gun left on her pale temple. He had to have killed before, hadn’t he? He just . . . murdered that innocent man like it was nothing to him. He didn’t even hesitate. And then to even consider executing a slight and lovely girl like Alison?

Her husband of four years.

God, had she ever known him at all? Wood paneling splintered above them as a bullet pierced the wall, and Alison screamed, lifting her arms to cover the green silk hat perched above a wealth of mahogany curls.

Bradley.

Samantha’s head whipped around to see that he’d gained on their car, and had witnessed the entire thing. Luckily, of the four of them, Bradley was the weakest shot and only the second-best rider.

The distinction as the best, of course, belonged to her. Boyd was the gunslinger.

Samantha dimly remembered Bennett saying that Boyd had been wounded, and with any luck, those wounds would be fatal.

Bradley’s mount galloped closer, and Samantha realized that if he gained on the train, he’d be coming for her, and only one of them would survive the encounter.

She’d found her gun where she’d dropped it, but Alison stayed her hand. “I know a way to keep your neck out of a noose,” she said, her blueberry gaze surprisingly steady through the tears. “But we’ll have to . . . to get rid of the body.”

Samantha’s racing heart shriveled, but she and Alison stayed low as they rolled Bennett’s limp body the few feet to the door.

“You’re dead, Sam!” Bradley, unable to reload his pistol on horseback, was reaching across his saddle for his rifle. Which gave the women no time to pause. No time to hesitate.

Together, they pushed Bennett through the door, and the force of the train, the wind, and momentum pulled him sideways down the iron steps. The broken sounds his body made when he hit the earth nearly killed Samantha, but Alison slammed the door just as Bradley’s rifle had found purchase on his shoulder.

Samantha could tell his shot went wild, and waited a few eternal seconds for another.

Alison gathered her wealth of skirts and knelt on a seat, peeking through the window. “He’s stopped.” She breathed in obvious relief. “He’s stopped for your—for the body.”

It was only then that Samantha began to shake. Great, bone-rattling tremors coursed through her. All warmth leached out of her, and she slumped into a seat knowing her freezing limbs wouldn’t hold her weight for much longer.

Resolutely, Alison Ross claimed the seat across from her. A bone structure as sharp and perfect as hers was only accentuated by pink blush and rouged, full lips. Emeralds swayed and twinkled in her ears, catching the light as she leaned toward Samantha.

“He called you Sam,” she noted in a sweet voice that contrasted with her sharp tone. “That’s your name?”

“S-S-Samantha,” she managed through rattling teeth. “H-his brothers. T-they’re going to kill me. I’d rather hang.”

“You told me you grew up on a cattle ranch. Was this the truth?”

Samantha nodded, wondering if she’d ever be able to breathe again. Assaulted by the picture of Bennett’s handsome face marred by a perfectly round hole between his eyes.

“You can shoot, obviously. Can you ride, herd cattle, work figures?”

She nodded again, before the absurdity of Alison’s question registered. “W-why are you being kind to me? My—my husband almost—” She couldn’t bring herself to say it. It was too horrible.

In spite of everything, a corner of Alison’s painted mouth lifted at Samantha’s expression. “Where I come from, in my country, saving a life is no small debt. Also, in my savage part of the world, from the time we’re very, very young one law is paramount to all others. Tha an lagh comraich.”

Comraich?” Samantha blinked rapidly at the lovely, obviously wealthy woman. Either she’d gone mad, or Alison was speaking in tongues.

“It means sanctuary.”

Shaking her head, Samantha tried to understand the woman. That word had no meaning to her. What was Alison talking about, her country? She didn’t look or sound at all like an immigrant. Was she not American? Had she not said she had a fiancé in San Francisco? That her family had been wealthy ranchers and she was forced to travel east to settle a land dispute?

“I don’t know what you’ve been through, or what has happened to bring us to this place, but I think we can help each other,” the elegant woman was saying.

“I’m lost,” were the only words Samantha could conjure. Hopelessly, incredibly lost. Adrift. Misplaced. In every conceivable way.

Alison’s gaze gentled. “Tell me, Samantha, have you ever been to Scotland?”

Copyright © 2017 by Kerrigan Byrne and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Paperbacks.

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The Blurb- (3)

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Books a Million

Indie Bound

Powells

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The Blurb- (4)

Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast. Her Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter – @kerrigan_byrne

Facebook – @Kerriganbyrneauthor

Pinterest

Instagram – @kerriganbyrne

Mating Bite (Bite, #2)

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ARC from NetGalley.

This is the story of Carter after Isabella gave her blood to save him.

I like how the revelations pop up one after another. Being in Lauren’s shoes, it is a mite overwhelming. From being dead, then suddenly craving of blood, after wards seeing a werewolf, only to become a mate of one. It too much.

I understood the need to be human. We ran away from the things that we cannot comprehend, and sometimes we also destroy it. This a good example of it. Her fear made her stop in killing, her humanity is still there. I love how the moral values of this book was portrayed.

If book one centers on belief of each person, then this one centers on how humans react to the sudden changes that happened in their lives. From how Lauren’s reaction to Carter’s determination to protect and his undying love.

First comes lust, then something more. . .

I look forward in reading the next book in this series.