Love Letters from Our Romance Book Heroes

Love Letters

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, the day of LOVE, Bookalicious Babes Blog asked a few of its favorite authors to compose love letters from the book heroes we LOVE. Prepare to SWOON at these smoldering and sweet love letters, and fall in love all over again with your beloved romance book heroes and heroines.

*** Click on the book covers for purchase links. ***

FOLLOW ME BACK – A.L. JACKSON

An intense, sexy stand-alone romance in the FIGHT FOR ME series from NYT & USA Today Bestselling Author A.L. Jackson . . .

Dr. Kale Bryant is gorgeous, compelling, and married to his job. The only thing he has time for are one-night stands and short-lived flings.

Until the first time he sees Harley Hope Masterson sitting across the room. He wants her in a way he hasn’t wanted anyone.

Harley Hope doesn’t have time for another complication – one arrogantly beautiful doctor included.

When he begins to pursue her, her walls begin to crumble.

He’s irresistible.

One touch is fire.

One kiss, and they’re spinning out of control.

But taking this single-mom won’t come without consequences. Especially when he finds out he’s her son’s doctor.

Now Kale must decide if loving her is worth risking it all.

But sometimes even hope needs a hero . . .

Love Letter _AL Jackson


SUGAR – MANDI BECK

Country’s hottest bad boy.

That’s what they call me. My label ate it up until I became “too bad” for the good folks of country music. That’s when Hard Candy Records picked me up and took a chance on me. Probably not their smartest move, but I won’t tell them that. Especially when they’ve assigned me a babysitter to try and keep my ass out of trouble. One smart-mouthed, unimpressed, sexy as homegrown sin, Addy Mae Masterson.

She likes to pretend that she doesn’t like me and I like to let her.

I may have a past that haunts me and she may have a habit of getting attached, but damn if I don’t want to show her just how good this bad boy can be.

Purple rose and blank greeting card over wooden table. Top view with copy space

BROKEN – J.L. DRAKE

My name is Savannah Miller.

My father is the mayor of New York. One day after my twenty-seventh birthday I was grabbed from behind. A cloth sack was quickly pulled over my head, and I was taken from everything I’d ever known.

I was beaten, starved, treated like an animal, and forced to live in a room with no windows. With no sense of time and no dignity left I finally gave up hope and made a promise to myself to end it all. Unfortunately, it was going to be a slow process.

Then one night an elite group of US Army soldiers came to my rescue. I was brought to a safe house and given two options:

One—Stay under their protection and follow their rules or…
Two—Leave and be guaranteed to be returned to the savages within a week. 

I chose option one.

As I work with a therapist and begin processing my hellish ordeal things slowly begin to surface. With the help of new friends and a potential new love I fight to get my life back and make choices that will forever alter my future.

This is my story…

Love Letter _JL Drake

Love Letter _JL Drake2

Love Letter _JL Drake3

HURT TONIGHT – M. PIPER

He deserves heartbreak. That’s just what I’ll give him.
Christopher Manners has stole my heart one too many times. His promise of acceptance of my lifestyle has always ended in heartbreak until two years ago when I finally had enough. Now he’s back with the same old words he’s used so many times in the past. He says he’s changed, but I know him. Christopher Manners doesn’t change his ways for anyone. Unfortunately, my body reacts to him in ways my mind refuses to. He’s relentless and now I’m out for revenge. I just need to remember to keep my heart out of it so I don’t end up hurt in the end.

I’m in love with a girl that hates me…
Years ago I met a girl and she stole my heart.
Then, I stupidly crushed hers…over and over again. 
It’s been years since I’ve touched her, but I haven’t stopped thinking about her. I’ve been giving her time. I love Bex Houston, and though she claims she hates me, her eyes tell a different story. She needs to leave the past in the past and realize I’m not the same boy she grew up with.
I know Bex needs variety, but if it means I can call her mine I’m willing to share. It may not be ideal for most people, but I’ve lived without her for too long.
I’m willing to do anything to get my girl.

White work table with notes, smartphone and laptop


HOT MESS – EMILY GOODWIN

My life is a hot mess.

Single, working, and raising two daughters, it’s a miracle I get us up, dressed, and fed every morning. Forget about dating—nobody’s got time for that. Even if love hadn’t left me jaded, I’m not settling for anything less than perfect this time around. 

Lucky for me, the perfect man just happens to work in my office. But there’s just one small problem: he’s my boss, and is totally off limits. But hey, if it’s meant to be, it’ll find a way, right?

Then a night out with friends turns into a night in with the walking-talking bad boy cliche of a bartender. It’s just one night. No harm, no foul, right?

Except when the hot bartender turns out to be my boss’s trouble-making brother, who wants more than just one night with me. The more I resist the spark between us, the more I find myself wanting him too. Which puts me in the middle of what could be the biggest sibling rivalry of the century.

Life is messy. 

And love? 

Well, love is even messier.

Love Letter _Emily Goodwin


SUMMER LOVE – J. LUM

TOBY
Spending the entire summer with my father wasn’t in my plans. I hated him. I was angry and resentful, and it made me feel out of control.

Until I met her.

Casey is carefree. She lives life to the fullest, without regrets, and to a guy like me, she was hope. We only had the summer, and I knew better than to get wrapped up with her, but I couldn’t help it.

And now? Now, I don’t know how to let her go.

CASEY
I’d never been in love. At fifteen, my life was filled with books and family expectations. Love was not something I had time for. 

And then, he saved me.

Toby is a boy from California, so you would think he’d be easygoing, but he isn’t. He’s the definition of self-control; everything has to be “just so.”

But when we’re together, living each day with reckless abandon, I realize that life is so much more than fairytales within the pages. 

I’m pretty sure he’s my soulmate. But what good can possibly come from falling so hard when you’re this young? How can this ever work?

A promise. That’s all we have to hold on to. One. Simple. Promise.

Love Letter_Jen Lum

SECRETS & ADMIRERS – ALLIE YORK

Briggs Layton is the underdog, it’s been that way since birth, but coming in four minutes behind his superior brother, Beck, has never bothered him. Briggs being burned, literally and figuratively by Beck is a different story. With a failed almost marriage, a sick mother, and a party-boy brother, Briggs goes through life in a bit of a haze. Work, home, and taking notes about everything he observes takes up all his time. Until he sees her.

Harriet Wolfe is homeless, carless, loveless, and alone. And all in one week. What else is a girl to do when Karma kicks her down again? She starts over. With a couple of bags, a scrap of paper reminding her what to do, and one single friend across the country, Harriet gets on a bus and doesn’t look back. A fresh start, far away from her former life is just what she needs. She quickly acclimates and makes a family of her own, but one notebook and a dark cloud from her old life threaten to tear it all apart.

Love Letter _Alyssa York

Love Letter _Alyssa York2


TAKEN – LOGAN CHANCE

 Rhiannon

Things change. Sometimes not for the better. 

Xavier is no longer the maid’s son. Or my best friend. Now he’s wealthy and powerful–the dark don, in charge of one of the largest corporations in the world. 

I never expected the boy who always saved me to be the man who kidnaps me. 

Xavier

Some things never change. 

Rhiannon is still as fiery and beautiful as the day I walked away. Now I’m back, ready to seek vengeance against the one man who wronged me. My rival. Her father. 

If her father wants war, he’ll get a war. 

Kidnapping his daughter is the key to my ultimate revenge.

Love Letter_Logan Chance

PLAYING TO WIN – LAURA CARTER

A high-intensity personal trainer
The secret to Brooks’ success as a Manhattan gym owner? Being motivated to disprove everyone who doubted him long ago. He’s not about to let a perky newcomer like Izzy tarnish his reputation. Even if watching her lead a salsa class on his premises is fuel for some very unprofessional fantasies . . .
 
His beautiful British rival
Every time Izzy slams Brooks in her fitness blog, her book sales soar. But when their escalating media feud forces them to be up-close-and-personal for two weeks, she realizes there’s much more to Brooks than that incredible body.
 
And a competition that’s got their hearts racing…
Soon Izzy and Brooks are finding all kinds of creative ways to work up a sweat. A passionate workout is easy, but can their rivalry give way to a lasting partnership?

Love Letter _Laura Carter

Love Letter _Laura Carter2

IN HARMONY – EMMA SCOTT

The root of all madness is an unbearable truth…

At seventeen, Willow Holloway’s life was torn apart. The happy, driven girl is gone, and she is left wracked by post-traumatic stress her body remembers even if she does not. When her father suddenly uproots the family from their posh penthouse in New York City to the tiny town of Harmony, Indiana, Willow becomes more untethered and lost under the weight of her secret. On a whim, she auditions for a part in the community theater’s production of Hamlet and unexpectedly wins the role of Ophelia—the girl who is undone by madness, and her love of Hamlet… 

Isaac Pierce is from the ‘wrong side of the tracks.’ The town bad boy. Girls pine for his attention and guys are in awe of him. That he’s an acting prodigy only adds to his charisma. Isaac utterly disappears into his characters; the stage is the only place he feels safe from his own traumatic home life. He wants nothing more than to escape to Broadway or Hollywood, and leave Harmony behind for good. 

No one can play Hamlet but Isaac, and when the director pairs him with Willow in acting class, they clash again and again—neither willing to open their hearts to anyone. But clashing leads to breaking, breaking leads to the spilling of terrible secrets, and soon Isaac and Willow find Shakespeare’s words mirroring their lives. When they are cruelly torn apart, neither know how this play will end—with madness and heartache? Or healing, love, and the discovery of who they are truly meant to be. 

Love Letter _Emma Scott

Love Letter _Emma Scott2

Review – Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia

BROKEN BEAUTIFUL HEARTS_Hires

Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


”A striker has to have guts and take risks. You have to know when to pass or take the shot.”

There’s nothing more THRILLING than meeting an author’s words for the first time. It’s a HUGE HIGH. In a matter of minutes after meeting her words, Kami Marin Garcia rose to the top of my list of favorite YA romance authors and is a new top author of mine.

When you end a story crying, you know it’s a story that speaks to the soul. Kami Garcia’s words SLAYED MY SOUL!!! I couldn’t put Broken Beautiful Hearts down! An outstanding young adult meets mixed martial arts romance, Broken Beautiful Hearts gently explores broken trust, the lasting effects of inner scars, and the power of friends and loving family to help in the healing. Broken Beautiful Hearts is YA romance at its BEST!

”So this thing between us is a mistake?”

His eyes search mine.

“Because the way I feel when I’m with you feels like the opposite of every mistake I’ve ever made.”

Broken Beautiful Hearts is an ACHINGLY ADDICTIVE story of love, family, friends, heartbreak, and delicious angst. Peyton and Owen are two broken hearts trying to heal as they become whole together. I adored and admired this hero and heroine who are warriors in the battle of life.

”I’ll do whatever you want, Peyton? Haven’t you figured that out by now?”

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This book is BROKEN BEAUTY. Broken Beautiful Hearts is a slow burn that blasts through your heart— setting it ablaze—where you feel every flame igniting inside you, you FEEL EVERYTHING. I swooned. I smiled. I shattered. I cried. I craved more. Broken Beautiful Hearts is RAW and REAL, and I LOVED IT with every piece of my heart!

I’m not looking for a happily ever after. I want a happily even after. The kind of happiness you have to earn.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 broken beautiful stars

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From #1 New York Times–bestselling author Kami Garcia comes a red-hot romance that will break your heart and put it back together again.

Her heart has to break before it can open.

When star soccer player Peyton Rios receives an offer from her first-choice college, senior year starts off exactly as planned. But when Peyton uncovers her boyfriend’s dark secret, she confronts him—and finds herself falling down a flight of stairs. Peyton’s knee—and maybe her dream of going pro—is shattered. Everyone is talking: Was she pushed, or did she fall? Peyton knows the truth, even if no one believes her.

He has to let someone in before it’s too late.

With her future on the line, Peyton goes to stay with her uncle in a small Tennessee town to focus on her recovery. Dating is the last thing on her mind—until she meets sweet, sexy Owen Law.

But Peyton doesn’t trust her heart, especially when she senses that Owen is hiding something. When their secrets are finally exposed, Peyton has to decide if love is worth fighting for.

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This is not how I envisioned celebrating my big news. I reach for my phone to check the time, wondering if it’s too early to head home. But it isn’t in my pocket. Nothing but lip balm, house keys, and Reed’s car keys. God forbid he carry anything except his phone. I pat down my coat. “I lost my phone.”

“It’s probably in the car, like the last three times you lost it. I need to run to the bathroom and then I’ll help you find it,” Tess says.

The line for the bathroom is six people deep. I can’t wait that long. “All my voice mails are on it.”

Tess knows that by all I really mean one—the last message from my dad. It’s the reason I’ve had the same phone for a year and a half, even though it barely holds a charge.

“I bet it’s in the car,” she says. “Don’t worry.”

“I’m just going to run out and check.” I leave through the back door.

Outside, a stone retaining wall snakes down the hill beside the house. The wall separates a paved footpath from the long driveway. My arm scrapes against the rock as I rush toward the steps at the end of the walk- way that lead down to the street.

Reed parked his car across from the steps, and I can’t get it unlocked fast enough. I search for my phone in the front seat and between the crevices of the center console.

Nothing.

Think. Retrace your steps.

When we got in Reed’s car I tossed my jacket in the back seat. My phone could’ve fallen out of the pocket. I lean between the front seats and grope around.

Come on. Please be here.

What if it’s not?   

My chest tightens. I can’t lose Dad’s message.

Reed’s car is full of junk—hand wraps, sparring pads, sweaty T-shirts, and empty energy drinks. His smelly gym bag is open on the floor. I dig through it until my fingers hit something rectangular and smooth.

A box.

I take it out of the bag, expecting a cheap plastic box like one Reed uses as a first aid kit. But this box is glossy black cardboard, like a gift box.

Reed doesn’t do surprises, and he thinks presents are a waste of money. The only gift he has given me in the seven months we’ve been together was for my birthday. And Tess and Mrs. Michaels don’t have birthdays anytime soon.

My stomach bottoms out.

All the time he’s been spending at the gym . . . What if Reed hasn’t been there every night?

Things have been off between us for a while and I’m not a fan of his recent mood swings, but I’d never cheat on him. That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t.

The box doesn’t have a store name or logo printed on it, and it’s a weird size—too big for a bracelet and too deep for a necklace. A watch, maybe?

I open the lid.

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Audio Review – From Ashes by KM Neuhold

5 out 5 stars

This book absolutely 100% stole my heart. I was instantly in love with Knox and Adam. They both have the sweetest, kindest hearts and souls. This was also my first book by this author. I will tell you that after listening to this audio book, I will either be reading or listening to every book K. M. Neuhold writes! She is now on my must read list.

We meet Knox in the most unimaginable state. He has withstood so many hardships at such a young age that noone should have to go through. He is so vulnerable but meeting Adam on an app gives him hope. He just has to go through hell to get to him.

Adam lost his younger brother to a drug overdose, and now feels such guilt over the secret he’s been hiding his whole life, being bisexual! He feels that maybe if he had told him that he wouldn’t have felt so alone. This leaves him feeling the need to help anyone that reminds him of his brother. When he meets Knox online, he immediately is drawn to him, but when Knox suddenly disappears he feels hopeless and like he let someone else down. He believes Knox is dead.

When Knox shows up at Heathens Ink, Adam has no idea who he is but will not turn away a soul in need. He soon finds out that this is his Knox and the rest is history. This book is so good that you can’t get enough. The past never goes away though and it may just bring everything they have crashing down on them.

FROM ASHES

HEATHENS INK SERIES, BOOK 3

K.M. NEUHOLD

M/M ROMANCE

AUDIO RELEASE: 01.18.18

NARRATOR: Kenneth Obi

COVER DESIGN: K.M. Neuhold

COVER PHOTO: StockPhoto

“When the broken man with scarred skin walked into Heathens, askedfor a job, and showed me a sketch of a phoenix, it felt like fate.”~ Adam

It started with an anonymous post by someone who didn’t want to live anymore. I read it over and over again, unable to get it out of my mind. What if my brother Johnny had posted something like this before he’d taken his own life? Would someone have been able to save him?

I’ve been living a lie for 16 long years and I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to keep it up. And when a beautiful, broken man walks into my tattoo shop asking for a second chance at life, I know I’ll never be able to turn him away.

“When I was so far down I couldn’t even see the light, a stranger reached in to save me”~ Nox

I didn’t have anything to live for, until a kind stranger pulled me back from the brink. With physical and emotional scars I have nowhere to turn now but to that same stranger who saved my life without realizing it. But as my feelings for Adam grow, will I ever be anything other than a surrogate for the brother he couldn’t save? Am I even worthy of his love?

**From Ashes is the third book in the Heathens Ink series, each book in the series CAN be read as a standalone.

CAUTION: this book contains graphic descriptions of domestic violence and drug use that may be disturbing to some readers.

The afternoon flies by as quickly as the morning had with a combination of appointments and walk-ins filling up my schedule all the way until closing time.

While Nox and I clean up my workspace Gage pops his head in.

“Hey, I’m going to be heading over to Rainbow House tonight, won’t be home ‘til late.”

“Okay, tell everyone I say hi and that I’ll do my best to stop by soon.”

“Is Rainbow House a bar or something?” Nox asks once Gage is gone.

“No, it’s a halfway house for LGBTQ teens who don’t have anywhere to go.”

Nox’s lips part on a quiet gasp and his eyes glaze over slightly.

“That’s so amazing. You volunteer to help homeless LGBTQ teens?”

“It’s no big deal,” I shrug off the awe in his voice. I love working with the kids down at R.H., but it’s not enough. Nothing will ever be enough.

“It is a big deal. You are like a real-life superhero,” Nox insists.

I feel myself blush and wave off his praise.

“I’m no superhero,” I argue. “I’m just doing what I can so no one has to feel as helpless and alone as Johnny did.”

“I’m going to have to think of a superhero name for you,” Nox carries on as though he didn’t hear my protest. “Hmm, let’s see…what about lumberjack man?”

“What? That’s terrible, what would my superpower even be?”

“The ability to chop wood super-fast.”

“I feel like there’s a sexual innuendo in there somewhere.”

Nox barks out a laugh.

“I’d love to go help out at Rainbow House sometime,”Nox says casually, but his expression is anything but. I can tell it would mean a lot to him to help some kids who are in a position he’s familiar with.

“Do you mind my asking how you ended up on the streets? Were your parent’s dicks about the gay thing or what?”

“It’s kind of embarrassing.”

“You don’t have to tell me if you’re uncomfortable. I was being nosey, forget I even asked,” I backpedal, realizing what a dick question that was.

I’m an author of m/m and new adult romance. I have a strong passion for writing characters with a lot of heart and soul, and a bit of humor as well.

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Review – Hostage by Annika Martin and Skye Warren

5 out of 5 stars

If I could only write one word to describe this book, it would be Perfect! This book was pure utter perfection. Annika and Skye completely slayed it. I did not read Prisoner so I wasn’t privy to what the book would be like, but oh was I so enthralled. It’s like a drug. You just can’t put it down.

Dark and taboo but oh so beautiful, really. Two souls who come from different worlds collide and give us the explosion of a lifetime. Knowing you’re in danger, but not being able to walk away from the man that could end you, is a story that makes for a beautiful addiction.

Watching these 2 souls become one was indescribable. All the pain and hurt Stone endured as a kid, made him the man he is today, but he just can’t walk away from Brooke and she can’t walk away from him. This is for sure a must read, especially those who love dark reads. Like it’s title, this book will hold you Hostage.

Hostage by Skye Warren & Annika Martin
Publication Date: January 30th, 2018
Genre: Romantic Suspense

I never knew when he’d come to me. Only that he would.

I’d never even kissed a boy the night I met Stone. The night I saw him kill. The night he spared my life. That was only the beginning.

He turns up in my car again and again, dangerous and full of raw power. “Drive,” he tells me, and I have no choice. He’s a criminal with burning green eyes, invading my life and my dreams.

The police say he’s dangerously obsessed with me, but I’m the one who can’t stop thinking about him. Maybe it’s wrong to let him touch me. Maybe it’s wrong to touch him back. Maybe these twisted dates need to stop. Except he feels like the only real thing in my world of designer labels and mansions.

So I drive us under threat, until it’s hard to remember I don’t want to be there.

Until it’s too late to turn back.

HOSTAGE is a dangerous standalone romance by New York Times bestselling authors Skye Warren and Annika Martin. It’s set in the same world as PRISONER, but can read separately!

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It’s him or me. It’s stand here and let a man die, or do something—for once in my life, do something that’s not wearing a dress and smiling and getting it all wrong.

So I run out there. I watch myself do it, like a movie almost. “Stop it,” I yell.

The attacker just keeps on, a dark storm, all fists and fury. My presence means nothing to him. My words don’t touch him. It’s as if I’m yelling at thunder.

My heart beats out of my chest. I’ve risked everything, come out in the open, but it’s not enough. I stamp my foot to get his attention, crushing gravel beneath my mother’s Louboutins.

“The cops are coming,” I say.

The man stills and looks up. It’s a shock when it happens, even though I’ve been trying to get him to see me. His eyes seem to blaze into my chest, hot and bright.

Breathless, I back away.

He stands, leaving the man in a groaning, whimpering heap.

I retreat slowly, showing him my phone, as though that might protect me. “Cops are coming,” I say again. A lie. I couldn’t punch in the code.

He’s coming at me, expression unreadable. He’s a few years older than I am—late twenties, maybe.

My back hits something hard. The van.

He keeps coming. I try to spin and run, but he grabs my arm and slams me back into the van. “Where do you think you’re going, little girl?”

I stare up at him, panting.

His warm breath is a feather on my nose; the heat in his eyes invades me. He grabs my hair and tilts my head back, forcing me to stare into his face, as if he’s trying to read my eyes.

A moment later, he looks up at the night sky. He seems almost wolfish, and I’m conscious, suddenly, of my bare neck so close to his snarling mouth. I wonder if he’s staring at the moon. It’s like he’s going to howl or something.

Then I get it. He’s listening for sirens.

“You’re a little fucking liar.”

Meet the Authors:

Skye Warren:

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance such as the Endgame trilogy. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.

Connect with Skye:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skyewarren
Twitter: https://twitter.com/skye_warren
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/SkyeWarrenBooks
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/skyewarren/
Instagram: https://instagram.com/skyewarrenbooks
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2CnW33B
Website: http://www.skyewarren.com
Newsletter: www.skyewarren.com/newsletter

Annika Martin:

Annika Martin loves fun, dirty stories, hot heroes, and wild, dramatic everything. She enjoys hanging out in Minneapolis coffee shops with her writer husband, and also likes birdwatching at her bird feeder alongside her two stunningly photogenic cats, especially when she should be writing. She’s heavy into running, music, saving the planet, taking long baths, and consuming chocolate suckers. She’s worked a surprisingly large number of waitressing jobs, and has also worked in a plastics factory and the advertising trenches; her garden is total bee-friendly madness and her most unfavorite word is nosh or possibly fob. A NYT bestselling author, she has also written as RITA award-winning author Carolyn Crane.

Connect with Annika:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnikaMartinBooks
Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AnnikaMartinFabulousGang/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Annika_Martin
Stay up to date with Annika by joining her mailing list: http://www.annikamartinbooks.com/newletter/
Website: http://www.annikamartinbooks.com

Review – No Shame by Nora Phoenix

5 out of 5 stars

I am so sad to say goodbye to this series. It’s by far been one of my favorite series ever. I love the flow of the books and how the new characters have been slowly weaved in until they all found their perfect place. This series is definitely unconventional and unique which is what is so intriguing about it. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that Nora is a new author and published not just 1 but 4 books within a few months, and they were all spectacular.

While we still get our beloved Indy, Josh, Noah, and, Conner, this book brings Miles, Brad, and Charlie into the mix. Boy is it entertaining in so many ways. The beginning will have you so intrigued to find out what is going to take place down the road. I won’t say why. That would be giving away hot surprises. Lol.

Brad and Charlie are currently staying at the house hiding from Charlie’s ex, who is a cop, that beat him so badly. Indy and Noah decide to bring Miles home to their house to recover from his surgery. This is when the dynamics start changing for what is about to be a triad. Omg. Its just too good for words.

There will be ups and downs for all of the guys throughout the book but it has the most glorious ending. Still I hate saying goodbye to this enthralling group of guys who my mind just wants to keep reading about. I will definitely say this is a series that can go to the rest read pile!

No Shame

No Shame Series Book 4

Nora Phoenix

Release date: January 26, 2017

Cover Design: Sloan Johnson/Sloan J Design

Brad feels nothing but shame about himself. Shame about his sexual needs, about his reputation, about his medical problem no one knows about. No one, except his best friend Charlie, but no matter what feelings Brad may have for him, he’s not going there. Charlie deserves so much better, and Brad desperately needs something not even Charlie can provide.

Charlie has loved Brad forever, but he’s never acted on his feelings, unsure of where he stood. Plus, there was the complication of his boyfriend. But when his boyfriend’s abuse gets too much for Charlie, it’s Brad who helps him escape and recover.

Miles ends up severely wounded in the line of duty as an FBI agent. He’s floored when the man he was protecting, Indy, opens his home to him so he can recover. Indy also sets him up with Brad, who turns out to be a perfect solution for Miles’ sexual issues…until Miles wants more than sex from him, and a developing friendship between Miles and Charlie complicate things even more.

Bit by bit Charlie and Miles break through Brad’s defenses, until they come crumbling down. Miles will have to prove he can provide what Brad needs, and Charlie’s sweet love will be put to the test. But when Brad finally finds the courage to break free of his shame, will the fragile love that has blossomed between the three of them survive?

No Shame is a steamy M/M/M romance that ends with a happy ever after for all characters, including those from the previous books in the series. It’s the fourth book in the No Shame Series, and is NOT a stand alone novel, so make sure to read the first three books first (No Filter, No Limits, and No Fear). It contains hot sex, a ménage, a little daddy kink, more hot sex, and a poly-amorous relationship that transcends labels. Also: trigger warning for mentions of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, and rape.

Miles had not yet met Josh and Connor, but according to Noah and Indy, they were fully on board with him moving in temporarily, even though Brad and his friend, Charlie, were also still staying there.

Noah parked the car in the driveway, as close to the front door as possible. “I’ll get Connor to help,” he said. “I don’t fully trust my leg yet, so I can’t support you.”

Miles nodded. Noah had lost a leg in Afghanistan, he’d read in Indy’s file, and had recently needed surgery to amputate even higher up, due to complications. “Okay.”

The man who stepped outside with Noah a few minutes later was massive. Broad arms and chest in a tight Red Sox shirt, strong legs. Miles recognized him from the pictures in the file. Ignatius O’Connor, called Connor by everyone. The last Miles had heard, the guy had been balls deep in the Boston crime scene, so he had no idea what had happened there.

Connor’s cheeks were flushed, as if he’d been doing something physical, and he and Noah were arguing about something.

“I don’t believe this,” Indy muttered, threw open his door and left it open as he stepped out. “Seriously? You guys were fucking again? At the rate you’re going, poor Josh won’t be able to sit for a week.”

Connor shrugged. “At least he’ll know who he belongs to.”

Noah shook his head. “You’re a regular fucking caveman, O’Connor. You would have done great with the dinosaurs.”

“Now why would I want to fuck a dinosaur? You’re not making any sense,” Connor said, his Boston accent thick.

Indy opened the door on Miles’ side. “Let’s get this guy inside so he can rest.”

Another man stepped outside. Tall, lanky, with cute, boyish looks. That had to be Joshua Gordon. He walked carefully, as if something hurt. Miles’ eyes narrowed. Had Connor hurt him? Josh took another careful step, and the source became clear. His ass. Had Indy been right? Holy crap, what kind of people were they?

Connor turned to watch Josh, and a look of pure love painted his face. Damn, but this was way more than mere fucking. Like with Noah and Indy, the love was palpable.

“You okay, babe?” Connor asked.

Josh leaned in, kissed him. “Yes, Connor.” Connor’s face lit up with happiness and a deep satisfaction.

“Shit, guys, sometime today, please?” Indy said, tapping his foot.

Buy Link: myBook.to/no-shame

Book 1 (No Filter): http://myBook.to/NoFilter

Book 2 (No Limits): http://myBook.to/NoLimits

Book 3 (No Fear): http://mybook.to/no-fear

When she was a little tot, Nora’s mom got a library subscription for her. That, as they say, was that, and a lifelong love for books was born. Nora never stopped reading and doesn’t exaggerate when she says she devours books, rather than plain reads them. She started writing stories as soon as she could hold a pen, and wrote her first full book as a teen (on a typewriter!). It took her waaaay too long to follow her dream to become a romance author.

Nora writes M/M romance, because hello, sexy boys, and likes her men flawed, strong, and a tad broken. She appreciates a little kink, but insists on a happy ever after.

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Review – Combust by K. Bromberg

COMBUST by K. Bromberg EBOOK

Combust by K. Bromberg

My rating: 6 of 5 stars


”Love is rarely pretty. It’s messy. It’s complicated. It’s often ugly, but that’s how you know when it’s right.”

When you read a book that MOVED YOU SO MUCH that you’re not sure if you can put your feels into words, you have to JUST JUMP and pour your emotions into a review that can do the beloved book justice. K. Bromberg’s knack for humor, wit, soul, and sensitivity shines in her latest heart-hitter of a love story, Combust. COMBUST TOUCHED ME DEEPLY. I FELT SO MUCH!!! Combust made me melt. Made me feel. Made me break. Made me believe. Made me think. Made me value life. Made me want to always fight for love. Made me want to find my strong and conquer some important things I’ve brushed aside. Made me believe. MADE ME LOVE … so very much!

This is the story of a big-hearted and unabashedly beautiful woman who is learning to love and value herself, and a gorgeous and generous man who is learning to finally rise after falling. This is the story of a song-writer, Dylan, and a fire-fighter, Grady, who forge a deep connection more powerful than the sun. This is the story of two broken beauties, two broken hearts learning to be whole together. This is the story that BROKE ME IN THE BEST WAY, and I’d let Combust break me again and again.

A broken hero and heroine drawn are together.

Broken sees broken.
Darkness sees darkness.
Like sees like.

”We drive into the dark.
Crash into the wall.
How do we find our way back from this endless free fall?”

Grady defines HERO in every way! Grady is gorgeous, humorous, and kind, a beacon of light fused with dark. I LOVED this man of many layers. Grady and his damaged heart—both I wanted to save. He couldn’t be saved until her. Until Dylan crosses his path and shows him the light in the dark.

Take.
Her kiss.
Her breath.
His patience.
My anger.

From the first page of the Prologue, I loved the fierce and feisty Dylan, and I never stopped. Beautiful Dylan is a dreamer with new-found strength in spades. Her spirit has been shattered but Grady is helping her put together the pieces. I admired this tender-hearted heroine so much!

”Oh, the man can talk a good game.”

“It isn’t talking the good game you should be worrying about. It’s if a man can back it up with his actions.”

K. Bromberg creates the best characters, contradictions of hard and soft, and dark and light. Dylan and Grady are HERO AND HEROINE PERFECTION!!! This hero and heroines’ humorous and heated banter with innuendos was INTOXICATING!!! The witty writing made me chuckle. I loved these kindred spirits so much who MELTED ME with their darkness mixed with light! These two imperfectly perfect and shattered souls made each other whole.

”Tell me you want this.”

Combust hums with a razor-sharp INTENSITY that cuts like a knife, slicing through the soul. My heart beat out of my chest, pulsing in rhythm to the tension pounding throughout the story. Delicious tension, tension so thick I could cut it with a knife. I loved this angst that Combust delivered. I needed it. I craved every bit. I CRAVED EVERY WORD OF COMBUST.

”You are my shot in the dark.
The flame I can’t put out.
The dream I need to walk away from.”

Combust is as scorching HOT as it is HEARTFELT. This story strikes you with a match, heating your body, as your FEELS ARE ON FIRE! Combust is a romance that blazes your body and ignites your feels in flames but it’s so much MORE. It’s about slaying demons and surviving. It’s about facing the past and embracing the future. It’s about continuing to fight for yourself when you’ve lost all the will. It’s about embracing your flaws and seeing that they make you the most beautiful—PERFECTLY IMPERFECT. It’s about learning to love yourself. It’s about rising up after you fall down.

”It’s okay to forget what hurt you, but just remember to never forget what it taught you.”

Like Macallan whiskey, K. Bromberg infuses shots of potent and powerful wisdom in her words. Bits of truth that you can’t help but take to heart and feel with all your heart. It’s no surprise that K. Bromberg’s heart-hitting stories always do more than entertain: THEY INSPIRE. Combust is a story that will inspire and empower you while warming your heart. K. Bromberg’s words bring hope to hopelessly-seeming heroes and you can’t help but soak up that hope too. You can’t help but be infused with that Macallan, that whiskey in words. You can’t help but want to fight those fires burning your soul and holding you hostage from life. You can’t help but want to JUST JUMP. Rise after life made you fall.

”Face everything and rise.”

A superbly told tale of scorching heat meets heartbreak and healing, Combust is a journey felt until the end. This story is FEELS ON FIRE! Every FEEL was on fire as I BURNED from this book!!! I FELT EVERYTHING!!! I had tears in my eyes nearly the whole time reading as my emotions combusted all over the pages. I profess my mad love for COMBUST!!! There are not enough stars for this soul-stirring scorcher. I CAN’T LOVE COMBUST ENOUGH!!! It’s heat. It’s heart. It’s heartbreak. It’s hope. It’s healing. It’s heroism. It’s so much more than I can pen into words. COMBUST IS EVERYTHING!!!

This quote sums up how hard Combust hit me:

”You’re under my skin.
You’ve tattooed my soul.”

A TOP 2018 & LIFETIME READ!!!

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 but worth all the ‘face everything and rise’ stars

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From New York Times Bestselling author, K. Bromberg, comes a new standalone book. Just how hot will firefighter Grady Malone turn up the heat?

Songwriter Dylan McCoy has been burned.

By her boyfriend she found in her bed . . . with someone else. 

By the contract she signed that obligates her to work with him until the songs for his new album are complete.

By her agent when she asked Dylan to keep their breakup on the down-low.

When she finds herself in Sunnyville, she refuses to let her new roommate burn her too. Still . . . a rebound has never looked so good.

That’s her first thought when she sees firefighter Grady Malone. 
Sexy. Charismatic. Unapologetic. He’s a man who carries his own scars—the ones on his back, the survivor’s guilt on his soul, and the fear in his heart.

When an unexpected visitor puts their roommate status to the test, will their undeniable attraction burn out, or will they both take a chance and play with fire?

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Purchase Links:

➡️ Amazon US:  http://amzn.to/2DIzO9H

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New York Times Bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary novels that contain a mixture of sweet, emotional, a whole lot of sexy, and a little bit of real. She likes to write strong heroines, and damaged heroes who we love to hate and hate to love.

A mom of three, she plots her novels in between school runs and soccer practices, more often than not with her laptop in tow.

K. Bromberg Author Photo

Since publishing her first book in 2013, Kristy has sold over one million copies of her books across sixteen different countries and has landed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists over twenty-five times. Her Driven trilogy (Driven, Fueled, and Crashed) is currently being adapted for film by Passionflix with the first movie slated to release in the summer of 2018.

She is currently working on her Everyday Heroes trilogy. This series consists of three complete standalone novels—Cuffed, Combust, and Cockpit (late spring 2018)—and is about three brothers who are emergency responders, the jobs that call to them, and the women who challenge them.

She loves to hear from her readers so make sure you check her out on social media or sign up for her newsletter to stay up to date on all her latest releases and sales: http://bit.ly/254MWtI

Connect with K. Bromberg

Website:    http://www.kbromberg.com

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REVIEW TOUR BANNER Combust

Review – Baby, I’m Howling For You by Christine Warren

5 out of 5 stars

Oh man have I missed the shifters that can be written as well as Christine does. I have loved this author for many years and can’t even tell you how many times I re-read the Others series. To get a whole new series headed our way excited me to no end!

Action packed until the very end and full of a huge mix of stubborn shifters, this book makes for a perfect mind drugging read. You just can’t put it down. It definitely contains the heat that come with these hot as sin alpha male shifters. They don’t get more alpha that that.

Renny is on the run. She’s been on the run trying to escape the disgusting coyote shifter who is stalking her. No matter where she runs, he finds hers, so she decides she needs to make it to Alphaville where she can be free to live among the shifter sanctuary. The pack of coyotes are hot on her tail though and she doesn’t know if she makes after being taken down and passing out until she wakes up in the arms of her mate.

Mick is literally a lone wolf. He lives away from town and lives in misery after the death of his mate 8 years ago. When he hears the commotion on his property, he has no idea what’s in store for him. His wolf is Claiming this female, but he denies it through and through. His mate is dead. There is noone else for him. Or is it??

It sure turns into quite the debacle caused by this band of coyotes and there will be casualties, but you don’t want to miss a second of the action, so be sure to one click right away. I promise YOU WILL LOVE IT!!

BABY, I’M HOWLING FOR YOU:

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?

SOMETHING TO HOWL ABOUT:

WELCOME 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…

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.

AUTHOR 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.

Twitter – @ChristineWarren

Facebook– @ChristineWarren

Author Website

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