A Wolf’s Love

A WOLF’S LOVE

Hi, Everyone! Welcome to A WOLF’S LOVE. This short read can be consumed in one sitting and sells for $.99. A WOLF’S LOVE, A Paranormal Romance, is a passionate, tender, standalone romance, featuring a wolf and a witch and is set in the world of Five Bridges and is part of the Flame Series. It follows A TOUCH OF FLAME.

Here are the buy links and details, with more links coming soon!

Amazon US // Amazon Canada // Amazon UK // Amazon Australia

An injured wolf. A witch with killing power at the tips of her fingers. A young witch in danger. Will Cole set aside his hatred of witches to help Lauren save a girl from certain death?

Excerpt:

     Cole shifted his stance. He’d never known a woman like Lauren, not before his alter transformation two years ago, not since.
     But she was a witch and in one terrible move, she’d proven how much he couldn’t trust her. The break had been final. He was still mad as fire.
     He crossed his arms over his chest. “I know you’re there. Show yourself, witch.”
            ~ A Wolf’s Love, A Paranormal Romance

About A WOLF’S LOVE:

Cole never wanted to see Lauren again. She was a witch who’d hurt him. Bad. Wolves and witches don’t get along. But when she asks for his help to rescue a teenage girl from a vicious drug lord, he can’t refuse. He’s a Border Patrol Officer in Five Bridges. He’s sworn to serve-and-protect. Yet when he sees Lauren again, his desire for her ignites once more. But how can he ever trust a witch who can kill him with the touch of her fingers? 

Lauren fell hard for the wolf. They’d dated for three sizzling months that she thought would go on forever. But when he broke with her because he believed she lied to him, she knows he’ll never come back. Asking for his help to rescue a kidnap victim was the hardest thing she’d ever done. But will being close to him break her heart all over again?

Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 1:

Chapter One

Frank Cole leaned against the door of his Border Patrol SUV waiting for an invisible witch.

It had been a long night, his knee ached up into his tailbone, and he hadn’t gone wolf in over a week. He needed to shift.

He’d gotten the call ten minutes ago from Lauren, but the last thing he wanted to do was set eyes on her again.

She’d said it was urgent.

He’d refused.

She’d begged.

He’d told her to forget it.

Then she’d told him the kidnap victim was a sixteen-year-old girl, taken off the front porch of her alter transition house. She’d only been in Five Bridges a month.

So, here he was with flashes of pain shooting up the back of his leg and spasming his lower back.

He’d chosen the meet-up spot to keep the conversation private, a place called Broken Bridge. He also didn’t want any of his fellow Border Patrol officers knowing he was seeing Lauren tonight. When he’d dated her for three months earlier in the year, few had approved his choice. There were more wolf-murders in witch territory than in any of the others.

He’d chosen the meet-up spot to keep the conversation private, a place called Broken Bridge. He also didn’t want any of his fellow Border Patrol officers knowing he was seeing Lauren tonight. When he’d dated her for three months earlier in the year, few had approved his choice. There were more wolf-murders in witch territory than in any of the others.

The sky was clear in late June and the intense summer heat had arrived. But the air was dry as a bone in Phoenix because the monsoon season hadn’t yet begun. The weather was balmy so late at night.

His patrol shift was over and he still had a couple of hours before dawn. He had time to help Lauren out, but he only said he’d listen to her. However, the thought of being this close to her again chapped his hide. He’d broken with her two months ago and had promised himself he’d never see her again.

A breeze blew across the wasteland behind him, a place called the Graveyard. The wind came from the east, and carried the scents of desert and death.

The Graveyard was located in the center of Five Bridges. It served to keep the five alter territories separate as did the massive bridges that allowed a careful flow of vehicles between them. The alter species didn’t do a lot of mixing-and-matching. They were just too different from each other. Battling usually followed proximity.

Broken Bridge was one of hundreds of smaller, makeshift bridges that had been built to span as many gullies. A brief war eleven years ago and a rocket launcher had torn the bridge up. It was surrounded by thickets of small, jumbled palo verde trees that never got enough water.

Another breeze. Another scent, only this one was fully Lauren, a blend of citrus and tropical fruit. They could have made margaritas with what this woman gave off. When they’d been lovers, he’d teased her about it, then used his tongue to grab as much of her flavor as he could.

He shifted his stance. He’d never known a woman like Lauren, not before his alter transformation two years ago, not since.

But she was a witch and in one terrible move, she’d proven how much he couldn’t trust her. The break had been final. He was still mad as fire.

He crossed his arms over his chest. “I know you’re there. Show yourself, witch.”

When she emerged from her protective shield, she was only eight feet away. He grew grimmer still as this evidence of her level of power made itself known. But for a moment, her beauty struck him hard all over again.

She had a heart-shaped face with molded cheeks and full lips. She wore her thick light brown hair in layered waves just past her shoulders. Her brows were arched over eyes an unusual shade of violet. Tonight, she wore her favorite get-up. Jeans, snug t-shirt and running shoes. The sight of her curves, which he knew well, hit him in the gut.

The time he’d spent with her had felt like forever.

Then she’d ruined it with one touch of her killing power.

He launched in. “I didn’t say I would help. Not sure it would do any good. You might want to take this to Alpha Warren or Alpha Fergus. Each has clout in Savage Territory. I’m just a patrol officer. I’d never be able to find the girl, even if you were sure she was in Savage Territory.”

As she took several steps toward him, he could sense her distress. Her violet eyes were red-rimmed. “The young woman’s name is Vickie. I’d been working with her for the past two weeks, helping her get acclimated to her new surroundings. She was incredibly sad about her transformation, but she was making progress. Her case worker said she barely survived the alter process.”

Children below the age of twelve never survived the alter serum that had changed all of their lives so completely. Teenagers had an especially rough time of it. He’d heard different statistics about the survival rate, the latest being fifty percent under the age of eighteen.

The alter serum had resulted from the creation of the flame drugs, now rampant in the US. Five Bridges was one of the headquarters for cartels manufacturing the drugs. Most of his job as a Border Patrol officer was designed to stop the flow of drugs out of their cordoned-off area. The serum was outlawed in the United States proper, but there were always scum making up batches and infecting the food and drinks of the nation.

Phoenix wasn’t the only prison for alter species. Every major city in the US had a designated ghetto, surrounded by tall cement walls and barbed wire. Border Patrol bridges controlled the flow in and out of each ghetto.

He looked away from her. It was damn hard being this close to Lauren. He hadn’t stopped loving her. He just couldn’t trust her. “You shouldn’t have wrecked my knee.”

She drew in a shaky breath. “I know you don’t believe me, but I did it to save your life. Why won’t you let me heal you?”

He flashed his gaze back to hers. “Because I don’t want you touching me ever again. If my knee hurts, it’s a good reminder to stay away from your kind.”

She released a sigh and shifted her gaze out onto the Graveyard. “I can see Maeve’s Jeep in the distance.”

Maeve was a witch with a rescue operation that saved lives every night. Her refuge was called Hard Landing, though most called it the Landing. The cartels and sex club owners dumped bodies in the Graveyard at will, though mostly in the early hours of the morning. It was a pitted, cactus-infested place where a number of large battles had erupted over the years.

The dead were hauled away at dawn by Tribunal clean-up squads and cremated. But Maeve searched the entire area night after night hunting for any who lived. Many of the discarded victims of their world were still alive when they were left in the Graveyard. Once the sun rose with its horrendous devastation on most alter skin, those who still breathed would perish before a couple of hours had passed.

He was lucky. He could tolerate the light of dawn and sunset. Most alters had to be indoors or underground by the time the horizon showed the smallest sign of gray. Crescent Territory, with its population of vampires, shut down completely an hour before dawn.

Yeah, he’d set the meet-up close to the Graveyard as a reminder of how unforgiving their world could be. Lauren would do well to remember that.

~ ~ ~

Lauren didn’t know what to do. Vickie’s plight had broken her heart all over again. She hated Five Bridges and she despised being a powerful alter witch.

But right now, she wished more than anything she hadn’t fallen in love with a wolf. Seeing Cole again was heaping salt all over again in a still-fresh wound. Yet, she’d come to him because she knew he could help. As a witch, she had few contacts in Savage Territory, yet she had good reason to believe Vickie had been brought here.

If she’d had any other recourse, she wouldn’t have come here tonight. Though she’d wept for the lovely young woman, she was also in real danger of losing it again because she missed Cole as much as she did. She had a damn hole in her heart only he could fill.

They’d been lovers for three extraordinary months. When she’d tried to protect him by using her witch killing ability, he’d broken with her for good.

He had no idea how sexy he looked leaning against the Border Patrol SUV. He was all in black: Tank, leathers and heavy boots with buckles, the typical uniform for the alter men and women who served on each territory’s serve-and-protect force. He wore his gun as well.

He had light blue eyes, a strong jawline and angled cheekbones that gave him a don’t-mess-with-me appearance. He was lean, worked out, and was amazingly cut. His shoulders showed each built muscle.

He wore his long, thick, dark brown wolf hair with two forward braids, then the entire mass pulled back with a clasp. When they’d been lovers, she’d spent time working out an intricate braid for the right side of his head. Women dating wolves often did that. It was an alter thing.

At the time, Cole had loved the attention. She’d loved doing it. She’d loved all the ways she’d engaged in an intimate relationship with him. The sex had been profound, earth-shattering and oh, God, she missed being with him.

She steeled herself against her personal grief, however, and refocused her thoughts on rescuing Vickie. “I considered contacting the lead Alphas of your territory, but both Warren and Fergus have too much on their plates to take this on. I know it and you know it. They’re both trying to figure out what to do about Julio Mendez.” Julio was a powerful wolf and the current, main drug lord in Savage Territory. “I’ve asked for your help, because I trust you and because you know me. Together, I think we could get this done. In fact, I know we could.”

“You’re way too optimistic. Do you even know where she was headed? Kidnapped, as you say she was, she could be in any of the five territories.”

He wasn’t going to like what she told him. “I recognized the wolves who took her. They work for Julio.”

Cole scrubbed a hand over his face and blew the air from his cheeks. A growling sound followed.

Besides his drug business, Julio also owned several sex clubs on the Savage Strip and had made it clear he intended to own several more.

In recent months, he’d also taken over two of the lowest packs in Savage and combined them into a single, large pack known as El Lobo Grande. What no one yet knew was how he’d done it, though rumors abounded he possessed an inexplicable wave power that could subdue hundreds of people at once.

Lauren suspected Julio was in league with a wizard. She didn’t possess any kind of ‘wave’ ability herself, but she knew some of her fellow witches had a similar though modest capacity.

She didn’t give voice to these thoughts. Instead, she offered a plan. “I’ve put in a call to Ralph. If anyone will know where this girl is, he will.”

Everyone in Savage knew Ralph. He was a warlock of limited ability who owned one of the Strip sex clubs. He’d made a home in wolf territory because he had a thing for wolves. He even had a live-in, wolf girlfriend.

Despite his inclinations, he was well-connected and knew the goings-on in every club in the area. It was also rumored that he helped at-risk wolves escape the more brutal club owners.

“I told Ralph about Vickie and her abduction from Elegance. He was appalled, even angry. He may run a sex club, but he takes good care of his workers. He said he’d find out where she’d been taken. But he also said that’s all he could do. He can’t take overt action.”

“I know he can’t. He’d disappear, otherwise.”

By ‘disappear’, Lauren knew he meant that Julio would have him killed. “You don’t need to protect me. Remember, I’m a therapist who treats Maeve’s rescues. I’ve heard every horror story possible. Julio will kill Ralph outright if he learns Ralph has crossed him.”

She drew a deep breath. “When Ralph finds out where Vickie is, I want you to go with me to get her out of whatever club she’s in. Maeve has already said she’ll take her into her refuge permanently.”

Cole scowled. “You’re forgetting. Julio knows every Border Patrol Officer in the force. His men would know me the moment I showed my face at the club. I’d be dead if I tried to remove one of his workers.”

“Not if he can’t see you.”

She watched his blue eyes flash. “What do you mean? Wait. No. You’re kidding, right? Do you honestly think I’d trust you to make me go invisible?”

He hadn’t forgiven her for using her power to take his knee out and she could see he was still in a lot of pain. But he’d refused to believe her when she’d said a dark witch was trolling the area that night and they were in danger. They’d gone for a walk not far from Lauren’s home. She’d spied the witch’s gold aura, a sign she was hiding behind an invisibility shield.

Lauren knew the dark witch well. Her name was Monique and she engaged frequently in sacrificial killings. She’d also been after Lauren to join her dark coven from the time Lauren had arrived in Five Bridges. If Monique had found a wolf in Elegance, she wouldn’t have hesitated to take him out.

Cole had started to argue with her since he couldn’t see the aura. Knowing how stubborn he could be, she’d zapped his knee to keep him from exposing their position behind a bank of tall oleander bushes. She’d also clamped a hand over his mouth to keep his pained groans from alerting the witch.

To this day, she knew in her heart that if she hadn’t wounded him so that he stayed put, Monique would have slaughtered him.

The fight that had ensued had shaken their relationship to its core and ruined any chance of them making a future together.

She’d had two months now to review the events that had led to the break-up as well as the way he’d ended their relationship. She’d come to question his level of rage about what had happened as well as the reason for his complete rejection of her. She had her own opinion about what was at the bottom of his anger and stubbornness. But because he’d refused to talk to her, she wasn’t able to share her thoughts with him.

She had no expectation of having a talk anytime soon. Her only reason for being here was for Vickie’s sake. Cole was simply a reliable wolf she trusted and the best means of getting Vickie safely back to Elegance Territory.

It would have helped a lot though, if he wasn’t so damn handsome.

When her phone vibrated, she withdrew it from her pocket and saw that Ralph was calling. She took a step closer to Cole and hit the speaker button. “Hi, Ralph. I’ve got Officer Cole with me. What’s the news?”

“You were right. Julio has her. Your girl is in the Furred Up and Ready Club, three doors down from mine.”

~ ~ ~

Chapter 2

Cole stared hard at Lauren. She’d asked for his help and he’d refused. She’d asked him to meet her here and he’d agreed. He’d listened to her request and her arguments against asking more powerful alphas for assistance. Now she held the phone between them and heard the despair in Ralph’s voice, but he wouldn’t be manipulated. The whole situation pissed him off.

She shouldn’t be in Savage Territory and she shouldn’t have asked him for his help.

Ralph continued. “Glad you’re here, Cole. That particular club has a bad reputation. Because she’s a witch, they’ll use her up then dump her in the Graveyard. If she hasn’t been violated yet, they’ll sell her to the highest bidder for a rape-fest. I’ve seen it a hundred times. You’ve got to help her, Lauren. Cole. Please. If there’s anything you can do to get this young woman out of that place, you’ve got to try.”

The plea had the effect of stalling-out Cole’s protests. Now that he knew the girl really was in Savage, he had to seriously consider helping out even if he didn’t want to.

He ground his teeth then moved away from the vehicle. But damn if another round of pain didn’t shoot up his leg and pull his tail-bone into yet another tight spasm.

He grimaced and leaned over trying to get some relief.

Lauren had done this to him. He had to remember that, despite the concern in her lovely violet eyes.

Worse, from the moment she’d made herself visible, all he’d been thinking about was the first time they’d made love. He’d taken her to his home, his belowground den. She’d never been in a wolf’s burrow before and he’d been able to tell by the rise of her tropical-citrus scent that she’d loved being there.

He’d had plenty of wolves in his bed, but never a witch and never someone like Lauren. When she looked at him, it was as though she saw him, really saw him.

She’d also been up front about everything she wanted physically from him, which had been more wolf than witch. He’d given her what she’d asked for and then some. It had been some of the best sex he’d ever known.

Seeing her in front of him, he wanted her with the same force of that first night. Having sex with Lauren, however, wasn’t something he ever intended to do again despite the runaway nature of this thoughts.

He reined in his lust and forced himself to focus on the situation at hand. He needed to make a decision about the kidnapped girl and helping out.

He shook his head and growled. There wasn’t a real decision to be made. He was a Border Patrol officer and his duty was to serve and to protect. Besides, it was in his nature to do what he could. Once they’d gotten the girl to safety, he could leave Lauren in Elegance and return to his home with no harm done.

He met Lauren’s gaze and though he knew he was scowling, he gave his answer. “Ralph, we’re heading over to the Strip now.”

A look of relief and gratitude swept over Lauren’s pretty face. She mouthed the words ‘thank you’, which dropped his gaze to her full lips. A powerful rush of desire hit him hard all over again. He wanted to kiss her. Bad.

“Wait.” Ralph spoke abruptly. “You’d do better to go to the club no more than an hour before dawn. I know the security over there. When the club starts to thin out, Julio’s men get lazy. Half of them take off before they’re supposed to.”

“Got it. We’ll do what we can in an hour. But I’m making no promises.”

“It’s only important you try.”

Lauren spoke into the phone. “Talk to you later, and thanks, Ralph.”

“Thank you for doing this, witch.”

Lauren’s smile was lop-sided. “Any time and I mean it.”

She ended the call and returned her phone to her jean’s pocket.

Cole didn’t want to take Lauren back to his burrow. He didn’t want the witch anywhere near his home again. “What do you suggest we do? We can meet back here in, say, forty minutes if you want.” The less time he spent with her the better.

She gave her head a quick shake and huffed a sigh. He realized she was nervous. “Listen, Cole, the only way this works is if you can enter that club with me in an invisible state. But it’s not a simple thing to do. What I suggest is that you come back to my house and we work on the spell together. Since your shift just ended, you’re probably hungry. I can make some sandwiches.”

Yeah, he was starved. “Fine.” His voice sounded too clipped and harsh. He eased up on his tone. “A sandwich sounds good. Thank you.”

~ ~ ~

I hope you enjoyed the excerpt! Let the Flame Series and A WOLF’S LOVE become a new journey for you!

More links coming soon!

Amazon US // Amazon Canada // Amazon UK // Amazon Australia

And now, have a wonderful day and an even better night! For more information about my books, keep scrolling! Live the fang!

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Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorBlood Rose 5 – EMBRACE THE NIGHT

Mastyr Vampire Jude has kept his distance from all women because he lost his wife and daughter to an enemy attack a hundred years ago. He won’t go through that kind of loss again. And he won’t jeopardize another woman’s life while the deadly Invictus wraith-pairs still pose a threat in the Nine Realms.

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Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorBlood Rose 6 – EMBRACE THE WILD

Mastyr Vampire Malik has only one goal: to serve the realm he loves. Battling both the dreaded Invictus wraith-pairs and an element in Ashleaf Realm that wants all innocent wraiths dead, Malik can’t afford to get distracted. But Willow has already become an obsession as he lusts for the powerful fae whose blood he craves.

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Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorBlood Rose 7 – EMBRACE THE WIND

Mastyr Vampire Zane didn’t want another woman in his life not after the dreaded Invictus killed his wife five years ago. He serves Swanicott Realm, the land he rules, and doesn’t want anything to interfere with his war against the enemy.

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Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorBlood Rose 8 – EMBRACE THE HUNT

Mastyr Vampire Ian never wanted to see Regan again. He blamed her for the massacre at Raven’s Overlook, an attack that killed his sister and her children. He’s convinced Regan enthralled him, using her extensive fae powers to keep him by her side. If he’d been in his realm that night, he could have saved 200 people.

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Caris Roane Paranormal Romance AuthorLove in the Fortress: Blood Rose Series 8.1

Mastyr Vampire Griffin hates his enslavement in Margetta’s fortress. He sought death a thousand times because of it, but was denied when the Ancient Fae brought him back repeatedly, forcing him to train her evil army. When a beautiful fae-slave, Sandra, tells him to live, he begins to believe his life could have more meaning…

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Caris Roane is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty-nine paranormal romance books. Writing as Valerie King, she has published fifty novels and novellas in Regency Romance. Caris lives in Phoenix, Arizona, loves gardening, enjoys the birds and lizards in her yard, but encourages the scorpions to inhabit elsewhere! Her motto: Live the Fang!

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