Character Interview from THREE HEARTS by Grace R. Duncan

Thank you to Áine for sharing her blog space today! I’m happy to share a short interview with the boys from Three Hearts. I hope you enjoy!

 

Please welcome Liam and Mason today. Thanks for joining us guys!

Mason: No problem. I’m just glad we could take a short break from the pups.

Liam: Oh gods, yes. I love them, but things can get to be a little crazy at times with them.

I bet! So, let’s get right into the questions then. So, tell me first, about the first time you saw each other.

Mason: Well, I wasn’t in on his interview, so I didn’t get to see that. But our employee resources department is right next to one of the conference rooms and I happened to be in there the day he started. One look and one sniff had me in a rather embarrassing situation. *laughs* He’s always been gorgeous to me and that day was no exception. I knew in that moment I had to get to know him.

Liam: *rolls eyes* You’re crazy.

Mason: *grins* About you, baby.

Liam: *shakes head* Right, so, it turns out I saw him in the conference room that same day. Of course he turned my head. I don’t think he realized then—or now—half the company wants in his pants. If they’re interested in men, they do.

Mason snorts.

Liam: *shrugs* He doesn’t believe me, but dear gods, he was sex on legs—well, I couldn’t see his legs, just his face and upper body but damn. *fans himself* I started crushing on him back then. Of course, being on separate floors, I didn’t get to see him much, but any chance I could get to get a glimpse, I took it.

*laughs* You two are funny. Liam, what was the worst part of your pregnancy? And Mason, what was the hardest thing to see from him?

Liam: Oh gods, not seeing my feet. Or peeing all the time. I think that was the worst; I had the bladder capacity of a teaspoon. Every time I thought I’d get a break, one of the pups would move and sit right on it. And then, of course, there was the fact that I had to sit to do it. I couldn’t see my dick enough to aim. That drove me nuts. I’m a guy! One of the best parts of being a guy is being able to stand to pee! And yet, there I was, having to sit…

Mason: *kisses Liam’s temple* I am so glad I’m not the one carrying them. *Liam elbows him.* Oof! Seriously, though. I am, but at the same time, I would, if it meant he didn’t go through everything he does. Anyway, the hardest thing for me was when he was hurting emotionally. I know it’s his hormones, but watching him cry is so hard, especially knowing I caused it.

Liam: *kisses Mason* You’re forgiven.

Mason laughs.

So, one more, then I’ll let you get back to the pups.

Liam: That’s okay! Really! I don’t mind the break.

Well, perhaps you can use the quiet time for something else then.

Mason: *grins* I’m sure we can come up with something.

Liam blushes.

*laughs* Anyway, so… you both knew you wanted a big family. How big did you imagine? And did you picture the number you ended up with?

Mason: Oh hell no. *both laugh* Seriously. I guess I figured maybe something like my parents had? There are eight kids in my family. I thought maybe that big, but I certainly didn’t expect as many as we ended up with.

Liam: *shakes head* Me either. I mean, big to me would have been four kids, since it was just my dad and me. I wouldn’t trade them, though. They’re all different, all ours. It can be chaotic a lot of the time, but we’ve got a system down and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

Mason: No, we wouldn’t.

I’m glad to hear it. Thanks for spending time with us. Now go enjoy the rest of your quiet time.

Mason: Oh we will. *waggles eyebrows*

Liam: Yeah, I can get with that…

 

Want to know how many pups Liam and Mason end up with? You should go read Three Hearts to find out. *winks* Thanks again to Áine for sharing her blog space. Hope you enjoyed it!

 

three-hearts_450X674

Published by Grace R. Duncan
Release date: March 3, 2017
72k Words
Cover artist: Jess Small
M/M Paranormal/shifters

Blurb:

Liam Scott is sick. That’s not supposed to be possible. As a wolf shifter, he’s supposed to be able to heal. The omega gene he was born with means he’s capable of carrying shifter young and Liam is worried that whatever is wrong will mean his one-day hope of having pups will be dashed. But despite the fears keeping him away from the doctor until now, he knows he needs to go.

It turns out the sickness is temporary, but the treatment causes a whole other problem.

Mason’s alpha gene means he’s one of very few wolves who can impregnate an omega male. For two years, he’d been watching Liam, but things kept getting in the way. When Liam shows up in heat, Mason recognizes the opportunity he needs and doesn’t hesitate make to Liam his mate and the father of his pups.

But Liam has old wounds and fears to work through which the pregnancy is only making worse, and Mason isn’t sure how to get past them to show he’s serious about making a life together as loving mates. It’s not until a female wolf decides Mason should be hers that Liam makes his biggest worry known—and Mason can finally put the fears to rest.

Buy Three Hearts at:

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I am also celebrating my 4th publishing anniversary with more giveaways and even a full scavenger hunt! See below for more

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Link: http://www.grace-duncan.com/4thanniversary

 

noh8Author Bio:

Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

Website FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoodreads

Website: http://www.grace-duncan.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GraceRDuncan2
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GraceRDuncan
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/djserani/videos
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/10546257-grace

4.5 Drops Review: DARKNESS RISING by Dirk Greyson #BlogTour #excerpt #giveaway

 
Title: Darkness Rising
Author: Dirk Greyson
Series: Yellowstone Wolves (Book 3)
Genre: M/M, Paranormal Romance, Shifters
Release Date: Feb 6, 2017
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
The last thing Tobias, alpha of the small Greenview Pack, expects is to find a lost human asleep in his storage building. As soon as he sets eyes on Pete, Tobias knows they are destined mates. But he cannot act on his attraction, no matter how much he feels compelled. Exposure to the human world could mean the end of their way of life, so he decides to help Pete get a room until he can reunite with the tour group he separated from.
 
But Tobias’s disgraced half-brother, Zev, has other ideas. He takes a liking to Pete and decides he wants what Tobias has—both his position as pack leader and his mate. Tobias can’t let that happen, but protecting Pete means keeping him close, which only increases the mounting tensions between them.
 
Duty, protection, desire, and secrecy clash as the darkness within Zev rises to the surface, and only Tobias can save his mate—even if he never plans to tell Pete that’s what they are.
 
This third installment in the Yellowstone Wolves series does not only live up to its predecessors, it makes me wonder what else Dirk has up his sleeves. Tobias is powerful, resourceful, determined, and… an idiot when it comes to his human. Pete is so sweet and just wants to do what’s right for everyone, but he’s been hurt before so trust of the heart doesn’t come easy. Then you add in Zev and well, things just don’t go well. Oh, and the taint of Anton just won’t leave these poor wolves alone, or will it?
 
When Tobias finds Pete, he finds more than just a lost human, he finds his destined mate. But, what’s he to do with him? The wolves are so reclusive that they never tell humans what they are. Ever. It’s too dangerous. Right? But the Goddess wouldn’t give him a mate he couldn’t have, would she? If you’ve read the first two books (and if not, why not?!) you know she wouldn’t do that. So really it’s a matter of Tobias believing he can’t have Pete, nothing more. But there’s also Zev, Tobias’s half-brother who not only wants Pete, but seems to be bent on some kind of dark path. When Pete returns to his home in the city, danger follows. It’s up to Tobias to overcome his fears and protect his mate. Oh, and let him know he even in a mate. So no big right? LOL
 
If you love shifter stories where the men are hot, the story is solid, the passion is off the chart, and the HEA is both earned and deserved, then this is a must read. I have loved this series from the beginning and can’t wait to read more. (Hint hint… what’s next Dirk?)

 
 

Pete closed his eyes as he checked the outer pocket of his bag and found a flat, small, giveaway flashlight he’d received from some conference or other. He pressed the button and the tiny light came on. It wasn’t much, and the rain and gloom swallowed most of its glow, but it was enough to see a few steps ahead and that was all he needed. Pete figured he’d go a little farther and hoped he’d find shelter, because hope was all he had left. He slung his pack onto his back once again and wove around the trees and brush.

He was watching the ground and nearly face-planted into the corner of a structure. It was wooden, rough-hewn, and probably quite old, but Pete didn’t care. As long as it wasn’t a cougar den, he could deal. Slowly Pete made his way around it. His flashlight flickered,
and he managed to find the door and push it open, and used the last of his light to take a look around.

It was some sort of old storage building. There wasn’t much inside, but the building seemed solid and dry enough. The back was stacked with sacks from floor to ceiling, and that took up almost half of the structure’s volume. The rest was empty except for some tarps lying on hay.

Pete knew hay meant that someone used this as a barn. But he hoped they wouldn’t mind if he crashed here. He swept the loose hay together with his foot and spread one of the tarps over it to help soften the floor a little. Then Pete dug into his wet pack and pulled out his spare clothes. The plastic bag enclosing them was intact, so he stripped out of his soaked things and dressed quickly. He wrung out his clothes in the open doorway, then closed the door and laid them to dry over a board, knowing the owner would not thank him if he got the hay wet.

Pete pulled out his last bottle of water and a granola bar, ate it and drank half the water, then set the rest aside. How in the hell did he get into these situations? He lay down on the tarp and used another as a blanket. He was still cold, but it helped some. At least he was dry, and he could listen to the rain as it beat on the roof overhead rather than onto his face. He’d had something to eat and drink. For now he was dry and safe enough, and that was all he could hope for. At first light he’d leave his shelter and make for the hill so he could get some reception and hopefully call someone to rescue his sorry butt.

Lightning flashed, illuminating the space through the single small window beside the door. Thunder rolled and wind whipped around his shelter. It sounded as though Mother Nature was letting out all her fury tonight. Pete huddled a little deeper under his tarp blanket, hoping the building remained in one piece.

Pete was weary as hell, but the storm kept him awake. Once it abated, the strange sounds from outside—including the calls and answers of wolves—scared the living hell out of him. The noises weren’t near the barn, but that didn’t mean very much. After the cat and now wolves, Pete would be happy to get the hell out of here and back home to New York, where he could stare at the walls for all he cared. He was never leaving the safety of the city again, writer’s block or not. Writing nothing was better than losing his life and being ripped to shreds by whatever was out there.

More lightning flashed and the thunder shook the barn around him. Small bits of hay floated down from the rafters. Pete wanted to cover his head, but the tarp wasn’t the best-smelling thing he’d encountered. He shook a little and prayed the storm would lessen or move on.

Unfortunately, from the sound of it, the storm seemed content to stay where it was, and more little bits floated down from above as clap after clap of thunder tried to shake his shelter apart. Pete curled into the fetal position, comforting himself as much as possible. He’d been so dumb, thinking he knew what he was doing. Even as the wind rattled the door and whistled outside, he was in much better shape than if he’d still been outside.

“Roger, if I get out of this alive, so help me, I am going to slap you silly the next time I see you. ‘Go out west. Have an adventure. See things. It will spark some ideas for your next book.’ Bastard!” He clenched the tarp as another peal of thunder rattled the building. They were supposed to come on this trip together. But no. Roger managed to get mono, probably from kissing every man in New York. In his raggedy, sick voice, the asshole had urged him to go on his own.

“The point of this trip was so you could get ideas and stop moping around. It’s a tour of Yellowstone. You’ll meet people and have fun.” Those words rang hollow now. He had met people and gotten separated from the group. This whole thing was turning into a nightmare, and the least Roger could have done was be here to suffer along with him.

After what felt like hours, the storm moved off and it grew quieter outside. Pete rested his head on the tarp and closed his eyes. If he got a little sleep, it would help him in the morning.

Being out of the weather made Pete relax, and finally, even on the hard floor, he closed his eyes, tried to picture himself at home in his warm, soft, queen-size bed, and eventually dozed off.

 

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Dirk is very much an outside kind of man.  He loves travel and seeing new things.  Dirk worked in corporate America for way too long and now spends his days writing, gardening, and taking care of the home he shares with his partner of more than two decades.  He has a Master’s Degree and all the other accessories that go with a corporate job.  But he is most proud of the stories he tells and the life he’s built.  Dirk lives in Pennsylvania in a century old home and is blessed with an amazing circle of friends. 
 
 
Other Works by Dirk Greyson
Yellowstone Wolves Series
Day and Knight Series
Standalone Titles
 

** eARC received from author in with the hope that I will leave my Unbiased Opinion. I was not required to leave a review, positive or otherwise, and my opinions are just that… My Opinions. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising". **

Three Hearts by Grace R. Duncan – Now Available for Preorder

 

Three Hearts
By Grace R. Duncan
Cover by Jess Small
72k words
M/M Paranormal/shifters

Pre-order available now: Amazon

Release date: 3/3/2017

three-hearts_450X674

Liam Scott is sick. That’s not supposed to be possible. As a wolf shifter, he’s supposed to be able to heal. The omega gene he was born with means he’s capable of carrying shifter young and Liam is worried that whatever is wrong will mean his one-day hope of having pups will be dashed. But despite the fears keeping him away from the doctor until now, he knows he needs to go.

It turns out the sickness is temporary, but the treatment causes a whole other problem.

Mason’s alpha gene means he’s one of very few wolves who can impregnate an omega male. For two years, he’d been watching Liam, but things kept getting in the way. When Liam shows up in heat, Mason recognizes the opportunity he needs and doesn’t hesitate make to Liam his mate and the father of his pups.

But Liam has old wounds and fears to work through which the pregnancy is only making worse, and Mason isn’t sure how to get past them to show he’s serious about making a life together as loving mates. It’s not until a female wolf decides Mason should be hers that Liam makes his biggest worry known—and Mason can finally put the fears to rest.

Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1

Liam

When the alarm went off, I smacked it into submission, then burrowed farther into my pillow. The last thing I wanted to do was get out of bed. Despite knowing I had to have slept, I had absolutely zero energy. I didn’t remember waking up overnight at all, and I knew I’d lain down by ten and fallen asleep pretty fast.

I gave in to a moment of self-pity. As a wolf shifter, I wasn’t supposed to be sick. I wasn’t supposed to be able to get sick with common things. And if I got sick, I was supposed to be able to recover within a day or two. Our injuries never lasted more than a day or two, and that was only if it was severe. We didn’t get diseases, especially human ones. And if we did manage to contract some kind of bug that attacked wolf immunity, our bodies killed it quickly.

There were rumors that a form of cancer had started hitting the wolf population. That scared me more than a little, especially recently, with whatever was wrong with me. It was one reason why I hadn’t yet gone to the doctor. I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear what they’d tell me.

Because I was also not a typical male shifter. I was one of a rare type the Idiots That Be named “omega.” I didn’t know if they found it ironic or what when they borrowed the name from the humans’ faulty knowledge of wild wolves. But omega was definitely a misnomer. It used to mean “weak.” The bottom of the totem pole, as it were, in a wolf pack. I was on the smaller side, but that was no more indicative of my strength than my light brown hair was.

Omegas are as strong as most other wolves, as fast as any of them. We’re not looked down on—for the most part—by other wolves, or made to be the last to do or get anything. Sure, there are always some who insist we’re inferior. I suspect it’s mostly jealousy, though that wasn’t always easy to remember when I was the one being picked on.

No, what made us unique was that omegas could carry and give birth to our young.

Like the female wolves, omegas went into heat once a month, usually for four days around the new moon. Sometimes more or less; it was as individual as human females were. We wolves, omega and female alike, took a form of birth control that suppressed our heat. I had no idea how it worked with our metabolism, but apparently the shifter scientists knew a lot more than me. So, as the new moon approached, I took a pill twice a day and voila—no heat.

Which was good because going through heat sucked.

It was the worst horniness imaginable. I could jack off constantly for that four-day period and it didn’t relieve me. I could stuff my ass full of dildos and nothing helped. The only thing that would was the one thing I hadn’t let myself do—find an alpha male to breed me.

Yes, we had alphas. It was a genetic marker in their blood, not much else. Most of them were a bit bigger than the rest of us, some a bit stronger. But it wasn’t a huge difference. And I hadn’t yet met an alpha with the kind of asshole attitude that’s so frequently portrayed in fiction. They got named alpha because they were discovered first. Alpha males were the only ones who could impregnate an omega, which was probably because of that genetic marker. And while the scientists understood it, I didn’t.

The rest of the wolf population didn’t have a specific designation. If you weren’t an alpha or omega, you were just a plain ol’ wolf.

But even though I wasn’t ready to mate yet, I did want to have pups someday. So I was scared to death of what a doctor would tell me. What if something was wrong and I couldn’t have them?

I was going to have to put aside my fear, though. It’d been going on for two months now. Despite shifting on the full moon—we had no choice; we were forced through the shift—and exercising when I could, running at other times, I hadn’t gotten better.

I was exhausted. All the time. I got cold at the drop of a hat.

And I’d been forgetting shit. Stupid little details, that were driving me crazy. It had to stop.

About Grace

grace_nohateGrace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

Find Grace here:

Website FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoodreads

THE SCHOLAR’S HEART by Antonia Aquilante: 5 Drops #Review, #Excerpt, & #Giveaway

Title: The Scholar’s Heart The Scholar's Heart (Chronicles of Tournai, #3)
Author: Antonia Aquilante
Genre: M/M Fantasy Romance
Series: Chronicles of Tournai
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Release Date: May 30, 2016
Length: Novel (294 pages)
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Purchase Links: Dreamspinner Press ebook | Dreamspinner Press paperback | Amazon | AllRomance | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Apple

Youngest son of a royal duke, Etan is a scholar at heart who juggles his work for the prince with his studies of the history and legends of Tournai, something of particular interest to him because he shares the magical Talent that runs in the royal bloodline. Etan’s peaceful world turns upside down when his best friend—the man he secretly loves—unexpectedly marries a woman. Though Tristan values his friendship with Etan and has always been attracted to him, he is a dutiful son, raised to shoulder responsibility for the family business one day. That day comes far sooner than anticipated, and he makes a deathbed promise to his father to marry the woman his father chose and become head of the company and family.

A year later, Tristan is a widower with an infant daughter and a mother who demands he marry again quickly—something Tristan resists. Circumstances throw Etan and Tristan together, and even as they succumb to the desires they’ve always harbored, Etan battles his feelings, wary of being cast aside again. When Tristan’s daughter is kidnapped, Etan and Tristan must come together to find her, find the person responsible, and support each other through the ordeal… and maybe beyond.

The Scholar’s Heart was… in a word, wonderful. It is a story of love, pain, redemption, friendship, learning, and so much more. It is also one that teases the reader. It made me want to demand, when is book four coming? The author graciously has informed me that we only *cough* have to wait until November/December for the follow-up, and trust me, you will want it.

This is not just as story of romantic love, but one about family. Tristan has a baby daughter and has lost his wife tragically. While he didn’t love her, he did care for her, so this is a hard thing for him. His mother doesn’t make things easier for him. The blurb doesn’t do justice to how pushy and bullying his mother is about the idea of him remarrying.

Etan has loved Tristan for years now, as we all know. He however, pulled away when Tristan married. I can’t blame him, I would have too. But fate, tragedy, and maybe even their friends intercede and before long, they are faced with the truth. But has too much happened, too much time, too much pain, too much hurt. Can Etan trust Tristan? Can Tristan relegate himself, body and heart, to one man? And can they save Tristan’s daughter?

Thankfully, The Scholar’s Heart is an HEA, so yes, but it wasn’t easy getting there. And the things we learn…. The things we are teased with possibilities about…. The world building is again excellent and the characters well developed. The plot twisty enough to be enjoyable, the sex hot enough to require a fan or two, and the romance sweet and tangible enough that my heart hurt, squeezed, and raced for Tristan and Etan. Definitely a ReRead.

Several people milled around the small entrance hall, all strangers to Etan except Adeline, Amory’s sister. She moved gracefully around other people and dropped into a curtsy in front of Philip and Amory. The others in the room noticed the action and the princes in their midst and made their bows and curtsies as well. When Adeline straightened, Amory embraced her and Philip kissed her cheek.

“It’s good you’re here. I know Tristan will be glad to see friendly faces,” she said, reaching out a hand to Cathal and Etan, and then Flavian.

“How is he?” Amory asked. Etan was secretly happy he did, because it saved Etan from having to ask the question.

“A little overwhelmed, I think. With the arrangements, and between his family, Da
riela’s family, and the baby.” She shrugged. “I’m trying to help as much as I can.”

“You’re a good friend, Adeline,” Amory said, smiling and squeezing his sister’s hand.

“Oh, hush. Come, I’ll take you to him.” They followed Adeline’s slim figure, clad in a gown so dark a gray it was nearly black, as she walked farther into the house. People bowed or curtsied when they passed. Etan trailed at the back of the group, still flanked by Cathal and Flavian.

While conversation had been quiet in the entrance hall, it was hushed in the room where the coffin was, so much so that the quiet weeping of the older woman who was likely Dariela’s mother was clearly audible. She was in a chair in the corner, a small cluster of women around her, trying to comfort her.

The poor woman had lost her daughter far too young. But still Etan’s eyes sought out Tristan. He stood near the coffin. Etan was used to him shining with his bright blue eyes and his gleaming gold hair. Today Tristan seemed dulled, dragged down by fatigue and grief. Etan ached to make it better, to take some of the burden from his shoulders, to hold Tristan and comfort him, but he couldn’t. He steeled himself against the urge to do so.

They filed past the coffin on their way to pay their respects to Tristan. The woman lying there had been undeniably pretty in life. Etan didn’t know much else about her. In the months they had been married, Etan had done his best to spend as little time with Tristan, with or without his wife, as he could. Self-preservation on his part, giving himself the time to get over his grief and put away his love for Tristan. He hadn’t managed to get over all the hurt yet. And now she was dead. As much as he wished Tristan hadn’t married at all, as much as he wished Tristan returned the feelings Etan had had for him, he never would have wanted that for this poor woman. Etan’s unrequited feelings, his grief, hadn’t been her fault.

And he felt wrong standing at her coffin with her mourners after doing his best to avoid her for so long.

“Etan.”

Tristan’s voice brought Etan out of his thoughts. The musical quality was muted now, but his voice still made Etan’s insides swoop around dizzyingly. As it always had. He ruthlessly ignored the feeling.

“Tristan, I’m very sorry for your loss.”

Tristan nodded. “Thank you for coming.”

The words were stiff, formal, completely different from the words they used to exchange back before Tristan had married. Back when they had been close friends and Etan had reason to hope for more someday.

“Of course.” Yes, of course, Etan would come today to pay his respects after Tristan’s wife died, but Tristan couldn’t have known that, not after he had distanced himself from Tristan and their friendship as much as possible in the almost year of Tristan’s marriage. Guilt stirred inside him, just a little.

As Tristan stared at him, Etan struggled for the polite words he should say in this situation, but he couldn’t seem to find them. He’d been brought up to know what to say in every social situation, but all of that training failed him now. Not that he thought Tristan was waiting for meaningless social niceties. No, Tristan had to expect something more from someone who had been his friend, and Etan should give him that because it wasn’t Tristan’s fault Etan’s heart was broken, not really. But Etan couldn’t find the words.

Thankfully, Amory stepped up, filling the silence with all the words Etan couldn’t conjure up. And that was best. Amory had been Tristan’s closest friend since childhood, was someone Tristan had probably been more than a little in love with. Maybe still was, for all Etan knew.

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The Prince's Consort (Chronicles of Tournai, #1) The Artist's Masquerade (Chronicles of Tournai, #2) The Scholar's Heart (Chronicles of Tournai, #3)

Antonia AquilanteAntonia Aquilante has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and at the age of twelve, decided she would be a writer when she grew up. After many years and a few career detours, she has returned to that original plan. Her stories have changed over the years, but one thing has remained consistent – they all end in happily ever after.

She has a fondness for travel (and a long list of places she wants to visit and revisit), taking photos, family history, fabulous shoes, baking treats which she shares with friends and family, and of course reading. She usually has at least two books started at once and never goes anywhere without her Kindle. Though she is a convert to ebooks, she still loves paper books the best, and there are a couple thousand of them residing in her home with her.

Born and raised in New Jersey, she is living there again after years in Washington, DC, and North Carolina for school and work. She enjoys being back in the Garden State but admits to being tempted every so often to run away from home and live in Italy.

She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the New Jersey Romance Writers, and the Rainbow Romance Writers.

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads


Kaitlin's Tale by Christine Amsden

Title: Kaitlin’s Tale
Author:
Christine Amsden
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: May 16, 2016
Publisher: Twilight Times Books

Kaitlin Mayer is on the run from the father of her baby – a vampire who wants her to join him in deadly eternity. Terrified for her young son, she seeks sanctuary with the hunters guild. Yet they have their own plans for her son, and her hopes of safety are soon shattered.

When she runs into Matthew Blair, an old nemesis with an agenda of his own, she dares to hope for a new escape. But Matthew is a telepath, and Kaitlin’s past is full of dark secrets she never intended to reveal.

Matthew couldn’t help it. He reached out one long hand, just brushing a silken strand of hair that she had missed when she’d done her earlier hair flip. Her breath caught, and so did his. Her heart was pounding, echoing within his own chest.

Kaitlin licked her lips, her thoughts racing, but not entirely in words. He won’t kiss me, she thought, it’s too soon. And I don’t want him to, do I? Talk about being attracted to a bad boy!

Cassie always said I had terrible taste in men, and doesn’t this just prove it? And it’s not just me I have to worry about now, it’s Jay. But oh, her body loved the idea. It’s been so long, and I almost thought that part of me was dead. It isn’t. It so, so isn’t. She practically tingled. Like a teenager with my first crush.

Or was that an echo? Matthew suddenly realized he was having trouble keeping her thoughts separate from his own. He’d felt this way before, but never so soon.

His hand moved from her hair to her upper arm, and he scooted towards her several inches. Her eyes were on his lips; her mind half-hoping, half-disbelieving.

Any minute now, I’m going to wake up, she thought.

Not if he could help it.

Christine will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.

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The Cassie Scot Series

Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective (Cassie Scot #1)

•Amazon   http://www.amazon.com/Cassie-Scot-ParaNormal-Christine-Amsden/dp/1606192752/

•Barnes and Noble  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1115049717?ean=9781606192757

•Audible.com  http://www.audible.com/pd/Mysteries-Thrillers/Cassie-Scot-Audiobook/B00FA89FZ8/

Secrets and Lies (Cassie Scot #2)

•Amazon  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FX4C0YM/

•Barnes and Noble   http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secrets-and-lies-christine-amsden/1117158667?ean=9781606192771

•Audible   http://www.audible.com/pd/Teens/Secrets-and-Lies-Audiobook/B00HFDO8BC/

Mind Games (Cassie Scot #3)

•Amazon  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JLRNZ3C/

•Barnes and Noblet  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mind-games-christine-amsden/1119167384

•Audible  http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Mind-Games-Audiobook/B00L2E9YTQ/

Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot #4)

•Amazon  http://www.amazon.com/Stolen-Dreams-Cassie-Scot-novel-ebook/dp/B00LAC7MTY/

•Barnes and Noble   http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stolen-dreams-christine-amsden/1119871871

•Audible  http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Stolen-Dreams-Audiobook/B00MNJBF32/

Madison’s Song (a Cassie Scot Companion)

•Amazon   http://www.amazon.com/Madisons-Song-Christine-Amsden-ebook/dp/B010RIJA46/

•Barnes and Noble  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/madisons-song-christine-amsden/1122235072?ean=2940151110457

•Audible  http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Madisons-Song-Audiobook/B019R3O7Z4/

Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, which scars the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. In addition to being a writer, she’s a freelance editor, mom, and foster mom.

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Please follow the tour and comment—the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

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NO REASON TO HIDE by P.H. Turner

Title: No Reason to Hide
Author: P.H. Turner
Genre:  Romance Mystery

Evil knows your name,

Navajo cop Jessica Akee finds the body of a young male sprawled in the weeds behind a convenience store on the Reservation. What at first looks like just another gang killing is a far more disturbing murder. On loan from the Phoenix PD, top cop Charlie Stone partners with Jessica to find the killer. She harbors a dark secret, but Charlie isn’t going to let her keep it…

he extends his hand,

Jessica’s younger brother runs with a Native gang, dabbles in rituals best left alone, and ignores Jessica’s pleas for him to turn away from the razor’s edge between good and evil.

and charms you into the abyss.

When her brother lifts the veil between the two worlds, the Shadow Warrior slips in seeking revenge. All that is human of Ricky is stripped away, and Jessica believes the last card has been played, but the Shadow Warrior turns his vengeance on her. Can Charlie save her before the demon claims Jessica as his own and returns to the bottom of the abyss?

Continue reading “NO REASON TO HIDE by P.H. Turner”

#BookBlast: The Dawning of Scarlett by Jennifer Osborn

Title: The Dawning of Scarlett
Author: Jennifer Osborn
Publisher: Indescribable Publishing
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Release Date: April 28th, 2016
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Buy Link:
Amazon

As a pale revenant—the vampire faction believing all life is sacred—sixteen-year-old Scarlett Ellis has learned to hide in the human world. She goes to night-school, works at a coffee shop, and her uncle Chasem trains her in martial arts. No matter what, she has to be prepared, because when she turns seventeen, she’ll be of Dawning age—and her biological father Apollo vows to see her dead first.

Expecting her Dawning to be impossible, she accepts the fact that she will become a rogue, forever hunted by revenant renegades and outcast by her own people. Scarlett thinks she’s prepared for this—until the curly-haired Nicholas Lightener walks into her life and asks her out on a date.

Torn between her feelings for Nick and the danger of the revenant world, Scarlett’s strange life is turned inside-out when she’s kidnapped and forced to do the one thing she swore she’d never do. Plus, she has no idea whose memories keep appearing in her dreams, or if they can even help her. Determined to free herself from a death sentence, Scarlett must fight to become who she was born to be.

He moves so fast it’s almost a blur. I force myself to quit thinking, quit reacting to every action and strike, but I do succeed in keeping him from hitting my body. After a few minutes of the blistering attack, I find my strength flagging. I become slower, and Chasem takes advantage of it, hitting me hard on the shoulder, and I drop one of my Kali sticks. Chasem drops both of his and reaches out, lifting me by the neck toward the wall, pinning me hard against it.

"Never, ever give up! Do you hear me? Never!" he screams, his hot breath on my face. I squirm and struggle to get free of his grip but find I’m stuck.

His gaze is fierce, his lip curled up in a snarl. "Fight!" he screams again, but it’s as if I can’t convince myself that I can get free. My visions starts to darken from the lack of oxygen, and Chasem releases me. I collapse in a puddle, heaving hard and coughing, trying to suck air into my lungs though my burning throat.

I see Chasem pace for a few moments with his hands on his hips, like he doesn’t know what to do. All around him, the mirrors tremble slightly, as if they’ll shatter at any moment. Chasem reaches for his water, takes a quick drink, then hurls the bottle toward the wall. I’ve never seen him like this. He’s usually so contained—tough, but contained. Now, he seems like a caged lion.

He turns towards me and leans down. "You can’t be like this, Scar. You can’t. You have to keep fighting, no matter what. Do you understand? It will be a matter of life or death. Never surrender, do you understand?"

Jennifer will be awarding a digital copy of The Dawning of Scarlett via iBooks to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

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After working in the legal and technical fields for many years, Jennifer Osborn took the plunge into full time writing in 2015. She is the award-winning author of The Shilund Saga and The Sentinel’s Insurgency. When not writing, she listens to a different muse and creates paintings and collages of all sorts.

She lives in the Cincinnati area with her husband, three dogs and two cats.

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5 Drops Review: THE 13th HEX: A Hexworld Short Story by Jordan L. Hawk

Title: The 13th Hex
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: A Hexworld (Short) Story
Publisher: Widdershins Press
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Genre: Paranormal, M/M Romance, Historical, AU
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Buy:
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Romance. Magic.

Murder.

Dominic Kopecky dreamed of becoming a member of New York’s Metropolitan Witch Police—a dream dashed when he failed the test for magical aptitude. Now he spends his days drawing the hexes the MWP relies on for their investigations.

But when a murder by patent hex brings crow familiar Rook to his desk, Dominic can’t resist the chance to experience magic. And as the heat grows between Dominic and Rook, so does the danger. Because the case has been declared closed—and someone is willing to kill to keep it that way.

Note: The 13th Hex was originally published as part of the Charmed & Dangerous anthology. Only minor details have been altered for this reissue.

If you’ve read my reviews, then you know I don’t usually review shorts. I don’t hate shorts, I simply don’t find enough in them to manage a review (unless it’s going to be one line or so :/ ) much less a read. However… Jordan L. Hawk is one of my favorite PNR authors and one that managed to drag me into historicals—kicking and screamin’, lol—and when I read the blurb and saw it was the beginning of a new series, well, I had to grab a copy. Boy, am I glad I did.

Now, as it’s a short, the plot it’s as in-depth or complicated as I’m used to from Ms Hawk, but she only had 13k words to write the romance, build the world, and solve the crime. But it was well crafted, description and emotive intense, and left me seriously hungry for the next story (which is a full-length novel!) in the series.

What if you took the real world but overlay a world where the witches have a full police force as well. Then add one skilled Hexman that’s dreamed of being a witch since he was 14 (but failed the magic tests) and an unattached crow shifter / familiar. What you wind up with is a series started that well, starts with a bang. I can’t wait to see where it goes.

And don’t forget, if you preorder HEXBREAKER, you save 40%!

Will a dark history doom their future together?

New York copper Tom Halloran is a man with a past. If anyone finds out he once ran with the notorious O’Connell tunnel gang, he’ll spend the rest of his life doing hard time behind bars. But Tom’s secret is threatened when a horrible murder on his beat seems to have been caused by the same ancient magic that killed his gang.

Cat shifter Cicero is determined to investigate the disappearance of one friend and the death of another, even though no one else believes the cases are connected. When the trail of his investigation crosses Tom’s, the very bohemian Cicero instinctively recognizes the uncultured Irish patrolman as his witch. Though they’re completely unsuited to one another, Cicero has no choice but to work alongside Tom…all the while fighting against the passion growing within.

Tom knows that taking Cicero as his familiar would only lead to discovery and disaster. Yet as the heat between them builds, Tom’s need for the other man threatens to overcome every rational argument against becoming involved.

But when their investigation uncovers a conspiracy that threatens all of New York, Tom must make the hardest decision of his lif
e: to live a lie and gain his heart’s desire, or to confess the truth and sacrifice it all.

Coming May 6, 2016! Pre-order your copy at:
Amazon | ARe | Smashwords | Kobo | iBooks 

Jordan L. HawkJordan L. Hawk grew up in North Carolina and forgot to ever leave. Childhood tales of mountain ghosts and mysterious creatures gave her a life-long love of things that go bump in the night. When she isn’t writing, she brews her own beer and tries to keep her cats from destroying the house. Her best-selling Whyborne & Griffin series (beginning with Widdershins) can be found in print, ebook, and audiobook at Amazon and other online retailers.

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Widdershins Knows Its Own (Group)

#GuestPost by Dirk Greyson, Author of Darkness Threatening

Title: Darkness Threatening
Author:
Dirk Greyson
Series:
Yellowstone Wolves
Genre: M/M, Paranormal Romance, Shifters
Publisher:
Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Feb 3 2016
Available In: eBook & Print
Book Links: Amazon |
Dreamspinner Press | ARe

Fredrik is back from college and trying to stay out of his power-hungry brother’s way, until his brother takes a prisoner for his pleasure. Unable to tolerate his family’s cruelty, Fredrik overcomes his fear to help her escape back to her pack. There, he meets Christopher, and their instant attraction tells him Christopher is the one. However, since the threat of his brother remains, Fredrik is reluctant to pursue a relationship.

Christopher is still figuring out his place in the pack and has been living on his own to avoid making waves with his brother, Mikael. Now he’s met his soulmate, and he’ll do anything to take care of his love, including rejoining the pack.

With coaxing, Fredrik accepts his feelings, and Christopher’s pack gives him the home he’s never had. But Fredrick soon realizes he should keep running. His brother is on his tail and will stop at nothing to obtain the power he craves, especially when he realizes the source of the power could be Fredrik himself.

Is it hard to write such viscous men? You are the total opposite, how do you ‘get into their heads’?

It’s surprisingly easy. I will admit that I think of myself as a nice parson and I know I have a good heart. But all of us have a darker side and we’ve all experienced the darker sides of life. For me, when it comes to writing darker and more viscous characters, I channel some of the people I knew when I was younger. There were plenty of people who were mean and cruel to me and others when I was growing up. I had a high school bully and more than once I’ve used him in a story as the model for the villain. I’ll also admit that there are times in my life when I’ve had to be cold and calculating. Sometimes it’s just a requirement that we make tough decisions.

Now I will say that I can write tough and even viscous characters, there is nothing more satisfying than when they get what’s coming to them in the end. That part is particularly satisfying for me.

“Let’s go for a run. I need to hunt something,” Juneau said as Fredrik reached the door to his room and went inside. He closed the door as silently as he could and stood stock-still, trying not to breathe so he could hear them.

The front door opened and closed. Fredrik hoped they had all gone, but it was likely one of the dipshit twins had been left behind. He listened at the door and then opened it slightly, scenting for anyone in the house. He could smell fear and hear soft sobs from the room next door, but that was all. He stepped out of the room as a chair scraped on the floor. Just as he suspected. Squaring his shoulders, Fredrik walked back toward the open central room.

Dimitri sat at the table, staring off into space. “What are you up to? Juneau said I was to stay here and keep an eye on you and his present.” He grinned like an idiot. “But I was thinking that maybe you could be my present.” He stood. “A hole’s a hole, right? Besides, I bet you’d like what I got for you.”

Fredrik swallowed hard. “I don’t think so. You aren’t my type.”

“I ain’t, huh? I’m a guy and you like guys, so I figured I could see what all the fuss was about.” He stepped closer, and Fredrik took a small step back. Dimitri stomped his foot and then laughed. “I ain’t gonna soil myself with the likes of you. You can stop looking like you’re gonna jump through the roof.” He walked to the small table near the old sofa, yanked open the drawer, and pulled out a deck of cards. He began shuffling again and again, the snap and thump sounds filling the small space.

Fredrik’s throat was bone dry, so he pulled open the refrigerator door and got some water. Inge had left too, so it was only Dimitri and him. His gaze kept going to the door of Juneau’s room. There was a girl in there frightened half to death. The scent was enough to turn his stomach again. He opened the bottle, rinsed his mouth, and spat into the sink. Then he took a long drink, the liquid settling in his stomach with a hollow thud. He closed the door and opened one of the kitchen drawers. He needed a weapon, anything at hand, if he was to have a chance against Dimitri. The guy was smaller than Yuri, but Fredrik was no match for him physically. Hell, he wasn’t a physical match for anyone in his family. His father had always called him his runt pup.

“What are you up to?” Dimitri didn’t even look up from his game.

“Just getting some water. You want some?”

“Nah. Get me a beer, though,” he said and played another card. “I got eyes in the back of my head. I’ll know if you pull anything.”

Fredrik opened the refrigerator again and got a beer. As he closed the door and pulled open the drawer next to it, he had to keep himself from whooping for joy. He’d found the knives. He picked out one and then carried the beer over to Dimitri and set it on the table.

“I know what you’re doing,” Dimitri said and grabbed his hand. “I know everything, and you’re just some runt. So don’t be thinking you’re going to try anything so you can get away. If I let you leave, Juneau will have my nuts, and I want them right where they are. And the only way you’re getting out of here is if I let you leave.”

“Is that so?” Fredrik jerked away and plunged the knife into Dimitri’s neck before pushing him forward onto the table. He managed to get out of the way of the blood, but it sprayed all over the floor. “You may think I’m small, you piece of shit, but I’ve got fight in me,” he said to blank eyes as Dimitri went completely still.

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clip_image006Dirk is very much an outside kind of man. He loves travel and seeing new things. Dirk worked in corporate America for way too long and now spends his days writing, gardening, and taking care of the home he shares with his partner of more than two decades. He has a Master’s Degree and all the other accessories that go with a corporate job. But he is most proud of the stories he tells and the life he’s built. Dirk lives in Pennsylvania in a century old home and is blessed with an amazing circle of friends.

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5 Drops Review: Darkness Threatening by Dirk Greyson

Title: Darkness Threatening
Author:
Dirk Greyson
Series:
Yellowstone Wolves
Genre: M/M, Paranormal Romance, Shifters
Publisher:
Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: Feb 3, 2016
Available In: eBook & Print
Book Links: Amazon |
Dreamspinner Press | ARe

Fredrik is back from college and trying to stay out of his power-hungry brother’s way, until his brother takes a prisoner for his pleasure. Unable to tolerate his family’s cruelty, Fredrik overcomes his fear to help her escape back to her pack. There, he meets Christopher, and their instant attraction tells him Christopher is the one. However, since the threat of his brother remains, Fredrik is reluctant to pursue a relationship.

Christopher is still figuring out his place in the pack and has been living on his own to avoid making waves with his brother, Mikael. Now he’s met his soulmate, and he’ll do anything to take care of his love, including rejoining the pack.

With coaxing, Fredrik accepts his feelings, and Christopher’s pack gives him the home he’s never had. But Fredrick soon realizes he should keep running. His brother is on his tail and will stop at nothing to obtain the power he craves, especially when he realizes the source of the power could be Fredrik himself.

Let me begin by saying that I loved book one, Challenge the Darkness. This book picks up not long after Challenge ends. Unfortunately for Fredrik, his brother—the new ‘alpha’ is unstable, cruel, and possibly even sicker than his father had been. When he makes the split second decision to rescue a young girl and escape at the same time, Fredrik’s world is turned around and on its ear all at the same time.

The life Christopher wants isn’t working out so well. He’s returned from college, he’s the pack alpha’s brother, things should be smooth sailing… right? Unfortunately, no. He can’t find his way or his place, until the younger brother of the sworn enemy of the pack shows up with their missing pack member.

The writing is smooth, the plot grabs you and won’t let go, and the characters…. The world is rich and fully realized, the characters, both main and secondary, are well developed and thought out, and the logic and reasons for everything are solid. I found myself up half the night, refusing to put the Kindle down until I had devoured every page and then had to go back and reread book 1 just because I wanted to relive the alpha couple’s story thanks to seeing them again so much.

This is a sold and passionate shifter story with bite and love. If you like your romance to have some kick-ass men and to steam up your sheets, then this is the perfect story and series for you. A must read!

“Everyone, let’s get back to the compound,” Alpha Volokov called, and the pack members moved toward the other vehicles. It was a tight squeeze, but everyone got in. Fredrik wasn’t sure where he should ride, but Alpha Volokov motioned to the front of a Volvo wagon, so he got inside.

“Was Anton really your papa?” a boy of about eight asked from the backseat, sitting next to his brother, Fredrik guessed.

“He was, but he was never much of one,” Fredrik answered honestly.

“He was a bad wolf,” the pup said.

Fredrik turned. The pup had his arms crossed over his chest as though he were daring anyone to argue with him.

“Alexi. Fredrik is a guest,” the alpha corrected him gently.

“Okay, Alpha Mikael. But Anton was still bad.”

“I take it you’re an alpha in training,” Fredrik said to Alexi, who nodded and kept his expression serious.

“He is.” Alpha Volokov kept looking over at him as he drove, probably keeping an eye on him.

“My father was mean and cruel to everyone,” Fredrik said to little Alexi. “I guess I was lucky because I had a mother who wasn’t like that.”

“Anton defeated Alexi and Misha’s father in a challenge,” Alpha Volokov explained, and Fredrik nodded. He’d met plenty of wolves who felt as Alexi did.

“I’m sorry,” Fredrik said to both boys. He was at a loss for words otherwise. What did you say to the pups of someone your asshole father killed in his blind rampage for power? Hallmark sure as fuck didn’t make a card for that.

“We live with Alpha Mikael now,” Misha said. “He’s like our papa, but he isn’t our papa. Not really. So is Alpha Denton.”

Fredrik wasn’t sure what to say about anything. He sat silently and just rode, wondering what he’d gotten himself into.

When Alpha Volokov turned, the road got rougher for a few miles, and then they turned once again and parked in front of a large, rustically-sided house. The other cars and trucks pulled in behind them. Everyone piled out, and more wolves joined in the celebration.

“All right,” a female voice said, cutting through the din. “I have plenty of food. Let’s all go inside.” She had to be the alpha’s mother.

Wolves filed inside, and Fredrik got out of the way. Alpha Volokov remained behind, and a wolf almost as large joined him. They stood close together. They weren’t talking to each other, but they seemed to be communicating. How he knew that, he wasn’t sure; maybe it was the way they stared at each other.

Fredrik turned away when the men embraced and then kissed—hard. Arousal and the scent of passion filled the night. Fredrik stepped back at their intensity. He tried not to become aroused himself, knowing they would be able to scent it. The last thing he wanted was to come between two Alpha mates.

“Fredrik,” Alpha Volokov called after they broke apart. The two of them stood together, still touching each other as though they needed it. Fredrik wondered what having someone like that would be like. “This is Denton, my mate. Denton, Fredrik rescued Jane from his brother.”

Fredrik shook the much bigger wolf’s hand. “I’m sorry my bloodline has caused you and yours so much trouble.”

Both of them stared at him. “That’s an interesting phrase,” Alpha Denton said.

“I know. You would use the term family. Except what kind of family do you think my father had? It wasn’t a family. More like a pack of hyenas, each after what they could get for themselves and always scouting around for someone they could use.” He stepped back. “Look, if you’ll tell me where you want me to stay, I’ll go there and get out of everyone’s way. And if you could arrange to get me to the nearest airport, I’ll get a flight somewhere and be out of your hair as fast as I can.”

“Come on,” Alpha Denton said, motioning to the door.

When Fredrik went inside, he stopped as everyone burst into applause. He looked behind him, and then Jane, now dressed in her own clothes, took his hand and pulled him forward.

“You’re a hero. You saved me.” She actually leaned in and kissed him on the cheek, and a cheer went up once again.

Fredrik blushed fiercely and tried to figure out how he could get out of there. This was way more than what he deserved. Yes, he’d gotten Jane away from his brother, but he’d also been able to escape himself.

“This is my mother,” Jane said, directing his attention to the Amazonian woman he’d seen earlier. She had a hard stare even when she was smiling.

“We appreciate what you did.”

“Everyone, let’s eat before the food gets cold,” Mikael called.

That seemed to be the signal, but everyone waited, staring at the bowls and platters of meat. Fredrik stepped back and waited for the others.

“You’re supposed to go first,” Jane told him.

“Why? I’m not important enough.”

Jane stared at him. “But—”

“Don’t you eat by pack rank?” Fredrik asked.

“Excuse me?” Alpha Volokov said from behind him, and Fredrik jumped slightly.

“The higher-ranking pack members eat first, and then the others follow behind. I was always the lowest-ranking member of the pack because I’m….” He looked down. “Small and not able to fight like the others. So I always got what was left.”

“No,” Alpha Denton said. “We don’t act that way. Everyone is equal and they get what they need. Yes, Mikael and I are the alphas, but what kind of leaders would we be if we always put ourselves and what we wanted first? This is a pack, a family, not a kingdom, so go on and get something to eat.” He smiled.

Fredrik nodded and did as he was told. The food smelled amazing. His stomach growled as he slowly filled his plate. One of the pups stood next to him, grinning when Fredrik looked down at him as he held his plate with both hands. “You want some of this?” He nodded, and Fredrik put some of the potato salad on his plate. Then he took some himself. The rare-grilled beef had his mouth watering and his wolf salivating. He took a piece and gave the pup some as well. He kept smiling, and on second look, he recognized him as the pup from the car, the one who’d been quieter. “Are you Misha?”

“Yes, sir,” he said. “Can I have some corn too?”

“I’ll help him,” a pretty woman said as she hurried over.

“It’s okay. We got to know each other a little in the car.” Fredrik pointed to the macaroni, and Misha nodded.

“Thank you,” Misha said and hurried away to find a place to sit.

Fredrik turned to find an out-of-the-way place for himself. There was a chair near one of the corners, so he sat there, eating quickly.

Conversations between people who knew and cared deeply for one another went on all around him. W
hen he was half done with his food, a group of pups in wolf form raced through the room and ended up in a happy pile.

“Pups,” Alpha Volokov said gently as he opened the door, and they took off outside. “Stay close.” He got yips in response as he closed the door.

Fredrik tried to remember being that happy and carefree. The sad thing was, he really couldn’t. Even at that age, his father had held sway over everything and everyone.

He returned to his dinner and was just finishing when the most amazing scent curled around him, drawing him in like the heat from a flame in the middle of winter. Fredrik looked around, sniffing the air multiple times, trying to figure out where that smell was coming from, but he saw no one new, and it didn’t seem as though anyone had joined the group. He set his plate aside and followed the scent while trying not to look as though he was tracking game, because this was so much better than that. His heart beat a little faster and sweat beaded on his forehead. His eyes shifted to seeing black and white, and his canines descended.

Fredrik had no idea what was happening to him, but he hadn’t lost control of his wolf since he was ten years old and his brother Cass had nearly killed him. His father had been so proud of Cass that he’d taken him away and left Fredrik to try to shift to heal himself. It had taken him hours, and he’d needed the help of his mother to keep from getting stuck in his wolf form.

 

clip_image006_thumb[1]Dirk is very much an outside kind of man. He loves travel and seeing new things. Dirk worked in corporate America for way too long and now spends his days writing, gardening, and taking care of the home he shares with his partner of more than two decades. He has a Master’s Degree and all the other accessories that go with a corporate job. But he is most proud of the stories he tells and the life he’s built. Dirk lives in Pennsylvania in a century old home and is blessed with an amazing circle of friends.

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