She’s exactly what he wants to sink his teeth into…
Jordan Hill is his pack’s Alpha. The Big Bad Wolf. And after his last breakup, he’s opting to be the lone wolf, too. But then his rival’s little sister—a human, of all creatures—comes to his door. And suddenly, what should be a tasty little snack turns out to be something more than Jordan could ever imagine…
Christa Hansen is simply looking for a place to stay. Yet the dark shifter smells irresistibly like forever. But getting involved with the wolf who tried to kill her brother—twice—is lunacy. Besides, in the unforgiving, shadowed world of shifters, there is no room for weakness. And falling for her family’s enemy won’t just be her downfall…it will be his, too.
Excerpt from This Weakness For You by Wendy Sparrow
Jordan was torn between satisfaction and trepidation. He sat down on the couch in his study and stretched his legs toward the gas fire as he held the phone to his ear. “Go on.”
Garret’s laugh was humorless. “You are something, little brother. You’ve always been like a dog with a bone.”
Tightening his grip on the phone, he clenched his jaw against the words his brother wanted acknowledged: that Jordan was Lycan, so the dog metaphor was correct. The only Lycan among his siblings.
“How did you know it’d be there?” Garret asked.
He took a deep breath and exhaled. If only there’d been someone else he could ask to do this, but Garret had the right connections—or lack of connections. Only a two-footer in a Lycan family would be accepted onto the invitation-only site.
It might have been better if they hadn’t turned out a single Lycan—but for the youngest to not only be a Lycan but an obvious lock for Alpha at his size… Well, hell, it was no wonder his siblings hated him. They were the poster children for why Lycans should only mate with Lycans, because his family history had been loose on that rule up until his own parents. This was the result: the Hill family.
Kids, this is what not to do.
“I just knew,” Jordan said finally.
“Not good enough. If you’re dragging us into this hell you brought on yourself…”
“By being Lycan? We’re talking about poachers, Garret. Don’t be a fool. The only thing we’ve done is exist.”
Garret snorted. It didn’t help that Jordan was also the most successful in his family. He’d never asked for any of this. He could hear his brother shuffling things around on a desk. “Sure. And you’re a specific target because of…what? They think you’re weak and helpless?”
Jordan swallowed. “Just me? They’re only looking for me?” This covert quest for vengeance couldn’t drag his pack in. Not now. Not when they were down to families. Because the truth was: this was his fault. And he’d known there’d be a day of reckoning for the deaths of two years ago and his part in them.
“Well, I don’t know. Are there many large, black-pelted wolves in Washington State?”
“That’s what they said?”
“Yes. Black-pelted. Male. Large.”
There weren’t many Lycans fitting that description. Most around here were dark or light brown. There were some smaller black-pelted Lycans—a few of them female. But there were only a few he’d classify as large and black-pelted. He was the most obvious choice. “Why are they looking for me? I mean what does it say?” Obviously they were looking for vengeance, same as him.
“Oh, it’s careful…like you expected it to be. Looking for an old friend. Lost touch. Might be unwilling to meet due to circumstances of last meeting.”
Jordan smiled. It wasn’t a real smile, but it was the only one he had these days. “Well, I can see why they’d think that—I ripped out their friend’s throat. But they’re wrong about me being unwilling to meet.”
“Dammit, Jordan. Don’t bring this to our door.”
He tightened his jaw, pressing his lips together. Once upon a time, the family had been close—back when they’d all assumed they’d be full Lycan pack members. “It’s at our door in the pack.” The wolf at the door was not a wolf at all.
“And we’re not pack? Is that it?”
Pinching the bridge of his nose, he fought another retort. They could be pack. Hell, their kids stood a good chance of being Lycans. It skipped generations. But he knew for a fact, Anthony hadn’t told his wife anything about this furry and fanged side of the family, and their oldest should hit puberty any day now. That might be a shock for his sister-in-law if his nephew Emmett went Teen Wolf on her.
“So, we’re worth less because we’re not pack?” Garret went on.
When did they get to be junior high girls sniping at each other? “Of course not.” It was like the old days when his mother had stopped him from roughhousing with his brothers because they weren’t as strong as him. He wasn’t to provoke them, either. He exhaled in a huff. “What do they want?”
“It says there’s a reward if someone facilitates a meeting.”
“Facilitate. That’s a nice word for it.” Drag him away from the pack and put him on the chopping block, more like.
“Your pack is still too strong for them to come after you, isn’t it?” For the first time, he heard actual concern in his brother’s voice. If only their envy and Jordan’s pride hadn’t poisoned their relationships.
“Yes.” It was his automatic answer. He’d been humbled by the last two years, but not that much. Glacier pack was still large. It was the largest in Washington State—though not one of the largest in the U.S. anymore, not since the Rainier pack had split off with Travis, his former acting Alpha. There was always safety in numbers, and Glacier pack still had that going for it. And he was their Alpha. His size and strength hadn’t changed. And he had little enough to distract him these days. “I just want this on my terms and to be prepared.”
“So, you want me to watch this forum member?”
“What’s his name?”
“Bo Peep. It could be a woman. It might not even be what you’re thinking.”
A sheep in wolf clothing—pretending to belong in the outskirts of the Lycan world. “Your instincts say it is.” Even if they hadn’t shifted, he’d trust his siblings’ instincts. That wasn’t exclusive to the Lycan side.
“It is. Sometimes, casual looks…too casual. I can keep an eye on them. See if anyone interacts with them. I might even be able to find out what name they used as entry to the site.”
“No. You’ll come off looking suspicious. I don’t want any extra attention—otherwise I might have tried to get in myself.”
“So, what do you want me to do then?”
Jordan stared unseeingly at the fire. Up until two years ago, he’d felt…invincible. Like death couldn’t touch him. No one would dare attack a pack Glacier’s size…and then a poacher had moved on them—helped from within, and three Lycans had wound up dead. Now he no longer felt invincible, but that didn’t bother him as much as it once did.
If he pursued this, what did he have to lose? What was he willing to risk?
Nothing and everything.
“Tell them you can arrange a meeting.”
“What?” his brother’s voice rose in agitation. “You’re kidding.” There was a brush of air against the mouthpiece as his brother shook his head. “No. No way. That puts me at risk. And mom. And our family. And you.” At least he’d remembered to include Jordan—even if it was nearly an afterthought.
“You’re only sending a message…online. You won’t be anywhere around here.”
“Jordan, I haven’t exactly hidden my identity on this site. If these aren’t Lycans you’re dealing with…”
“If they aren’t…they wouldn’t necessarily know that I’m not pack.”
Sometimes, it felt like they talked in circles. “They’ll know. You wouldn’t be in that forum if you were pack.” He’d guessed there had to be somewhere one could contact a poacher. Someone had managed it two years ago. There had to be a place where disgruntled muttering was expected and not treated as fictional psychosis—where you could believe in Lycans and also reject them. The well-hidden, invite-only online forums for humans in Lycan families seemed a logical spot.
“How did you know to look there?”
He could change the subject, or not answer, but, for once, he’d acknowledge the ugly truth. “Because who else believes in Lycans, but hates them enough to turn them over to a death squad?” Those on the fringes of the pack who felt like outcasts when their genes betrayed them. He had sympathy for his siblings. There just wasn’t a hell of a lot he could do about it. He couldn’t make them Lycans, but he had managed to make them enemies by attempting to draw them into his world. The more he’d tried, the more they’d resented him. They had an uneasy truce by pretending, for the most part, that Jordan wasn’t Lycan or the Alpha of a pack.
Silence. Though his brother’s breathing picked up. “You know that’s not true.”
He sighed. “Arrange the meeting.”
“I’ll think about it and get back with you.”
He looked at the clock. “I’ll be in the hospital for a bit, and I’ll probably have to turn my phone off.”
“Maternity ward. Vanessa had a baby.”
“She’s the blonde with the great legs?”
Jordan smirked. Garret had come to one pack meeting three years ago, but he remembered that. “I wouldn’t know.” Yes. She had great legs. Not that he cared. “She’s mated and married.”
“No. A human. A park ranger.”
“She married a human?”
“Didn’t know you’d had your chance, huh?”
Garret was currently divorced…for the second time. “You must approve of him…since you didn’t kill him.”
For an instant, there was a flash of what might feel like, to a lesser man, shame and embarrassment, but Jordan ignored it. “Actually, I tried. Twice.”
His brother laughed. Garret had always focused on the more morbid aspects of pack life as if to prove to himself he wasn’t missing much, so it was hard to say whether he believed Jordan had tried to kill Dane.
“Arrange the meeting.”
“I’ll think about it,” Garret repeated.
“And this stays between us. Tell no one.”
“Who would I tell?” There was anger there—in the quickening of his breath, in the pitch of his voice. One last reminder that he recognized he wasn’t pack and therefore was on the outside.
Jordan moved to hang up and the line crackled and buzzed for a second. “Damn phone.” He slammed it down.
It was done. Garret would bait a trap, and they’d see if it was a wolf trap or a man trap. He dragged both hands down his face as he dropped back against the couch. He deserved whatever came to him. If he wound up a black pelt on a poacher’s wall, so be it, but they weren’t taking this wolf down without a fight. A fight he couldn’t wait to start.
It was done. And it was about damn time.
Christa followed the sound of arguing. Even in the hospital, within hours of their child’s birth, they’d be arguing. At least here, it wouldn’t be followed by them disappearing for an hour into a closet. She hoped.
“I’m just saying, if his middle name is Reno, there’ll be questions about why,” Vanessa said.
“It’s where we spent our honeymoon,” Dane said.
“You don’t name kids after places you had sex.”
Dane laughed. “Well, no, because we’d just call him Nathanial Everywhere Hansen and be done with it.”
“Christa, come in and tell your brother that Nathanial Dane Hansen is a good name,” Vanessa called from inside the room.
It was creepy how good her hearing was—it was like supernaturally good. Since they knew she was here, she came in, dragging her balloons with her. “Hey, congratulations, guys. I brought balloons…just in case Vanessa was allergic. Wait, are you allergic to balloons?”
Vanessa rolled her eyes. “I’m not allergic to everything.”
Dane laughed. “But as it happens, those are latex balloons, so, yes.”
“Had to say something…” Vanessa glared at Dane. “It’s not like I was going to lick them.”
“That’s not what they say in Reno.” This seemed to be their bizarre version of “that’s what she said” and, sometimes, she wondered…and then she wanted to bleach her brain because this was her brother. Her. Brother.
Vanessa opened her mouth to snark at Dane. Okay, time to head this off before there was an argument…and the disappearing thing.
Christa pulled down the Mylar balloon in the middle. “Though really, I just bought this for Dane because I thought it was funny.”
The silver balloon read, Oh my, he’s a big one!
Dane raised his eyebrows and fought a smile.
“You can think of that one as being from Vanessa, though.” It was too hilarious to pass up. She handed off the balloons to her brother and then leaned over the bed to look at her first little nephew. Judging from how frequently her brother and his wife disappeared, this round, chubby bundle was the first of many. Dane was even getting away with “dropping a litter” jokes with Vanessa, so clearly, there’d be more. Christa reached over and brushed a finger along her nephew’s cheek. He was snuggled down in Vanessa’s arms and had slept through their arguing—but he’d been prepared in the womb for that.
“Do you want to hold him?” Vanessa asked.
Christa winced. “Let me take a break first.” Her multiple sclerosis was in a take-no-prisoners sort of mood today. Dane frowned and rushed to her side to help her, but she shook him off with a frown. “I just need to sit down for a few minutes. I couldn’t get a close parking spot. I’ll be fine. I wouldn’t have driven if it was a problem.” She probably would have. Stubbornness was a Hansen family trait. It was practically in their genes.
She dropped ungracefully into the seat and sighed. Her feet were tingling like she’d just run twenty miles on them. Her MS hadn’t responded to the recent stress with her roommate very well. This relapse might be a pain if she didn’t solve that problem soon. Dane had a super-concerned-older-brother look on his face.
“So, tell me why my nephew is named Nathanial, and don’t give me that crap about Great-Uncle Nate, because my only memory of him is when I was like six, and he yelled at you to eat your damn peas.”
Dane grinned. “I remember that, too…mostly because you asked if you could have my damn peas.”
He wasn’t getting off that easy, but she did say with a shrug, “I like my peas.” Then she stared down Dane. Marriage seemed to have built up his resistance to her stare, because it took about twenty seconds for him to break.
“Uhh, he’s named after a…friend of Vanessa’s.”
“Speak of the devil,” Vanessa murmured, looking toward the door.
Whoever this Nathanial guy was, he was preceded by balloons that he batted into the door with a grunt of irritation. Then he walked in…all six-foot-huge inches of him. Geez, she’d thought Dane was sturdy-looking. His face was hidden by the balloons that he handed over, but she’d seen dark black hair and deeply tanned skin that looked more like ancestry than sun-worshipping. “I figured balloons were the best idea. I nearly bought that ‘Oh my, he’s a big one!’ too, but figured Dane’s ego was already big enough for…” He stopped and inhaled. “Oh, hell, not again.” His fist at his side clenched tight. “There’s another female in this room. I heard someone else but…I never should have come in—I just never should have come in. This wasn’t supposed to be able to happen again.” He turned his back to her, so she still hadn’t seen his face. Well, so much for introducing herself to that giant. He inhaled deeply again and swore a few more times under his breath.
She sucked in an angry breath…and then…nothing…the strangest feeling came over her. Oh, wow, mystery man smelled fantastic—whatever cologne he wore was…like magic. She wanted to attack him and rip all his clothes off. Hopefully he wasn’t married, or she’d feel guilty for even thinking about it. But, oh, whoa…he was so…whoa. Christa closed her eyes so she could stop drinking him in, but then they opened without her permission. This was a guy she had to meet. She just had to.
“Yeah, there’s another female in the room,” Dane said, throwing a glance Christa’s way.
The giant rubbed both hands down his face. “Uhh…what is she to you?”
“Jordan?” Vanessa asked, sitting up. “Are you okay?”
“What is she to you?” he asked Dane through clenched teeth. “She smells like a relative. Is she a relative?”
“My sister is here. She’s behind you. Chr…”
“Uhh!” The giant held up a hand. “Don’t say her name! Don’t say it. And I won’t look at her and maybe it’s not too late, though that didn’t work last time.” He gestured in back of him. “Whoever you are—don’t say a single word.” Looking up at the ceiling, he muttered while shaking his head. “She had to be his sister—had to be.” He glanced at Vanessa briefly and said, “Congratulations. You look great, Nessa, and he looks healthy.” Christa got a brief glance at high cheekbones and a flat nose before he spun away and left the room—in a rush.
“What the hell was that about?” Dane asked his wife, who looked pale as a ghost.
Vanessa’s mouth was hanging open.
Dane scowled at the door with narrowed eyes. “What did he mean not again?”
Vanessa closed her mouth, swallowed, and shot a glance at Dane.
“Oh, hell no. He didn’t just scent-match on my sister.” He went to the door and yelled, “Don’t even come sniffing around, Jordan! I can’t believe you scent-matched on her!”
Uhh, well, that was…great. The hospital probably was loving that. Could you get kicked out of a hospital? If you did, did they get to keep the kid?
Vanessa cleared her throat. “You didn’t have to yell, Dane.”
She couldn’t agree more with her sister-in-law.
Then Vanessa brushed a hand down her hospital gown and added, “I don’t know if it’s technically an answer, but he said, ‘He’d rather die.’”
“Yeah, he will die if he even thinks it,” Dane growled into the hallway.
Okay, this was nuts. She didn’t have a clue what her brother was all worked up about. It’s like they were speaking another language. “Dane, I don’t think death threats go over really well in a hospital—especially in the maternity ward.”
Dane didn’t answer. He went over to the chair nearest Vanessa and the baby and almost fell into it before dropping his face into his hands.
Vanessa shot her a smile that was more of a grimace and then patted Dane’s head. “Baby, you sort of like Jordan now.”
“His name is Jordan, not Nathanial?” It was a little confusing when they seemed to be throwing around random names and speaking in gibberish.
“Nathanial is his middle name,” Vanessa said.
Dane shook his head and spun to face Christa. Pointing, he said, “You are not to have anything to do with the man who just left. Do you hear me? Nothing. Ever.” He made a slicing motion with his hand and added another “ever” for good measure. Her brother could get heavy-handed every so often, but she’d learned to let it roll off her.
“Does he live near you guys?” she asked. This didn’t bode well for the question she’d come to ask in addition to getting the chance to see her newborn nephew.
“Yes. He practically runs the town we’re in—or he thinks he does. He isn’t in charge of my family!” Dane shouted.
Vanessa patted his arm.
Christa winced—and not just because her brother was back to shouting.
“Why did you ask about that?” Dane asked.
“I was hoping I could come stay in your spare room for a few weeks.” Dane’s eyes widened, so she hurried to head him off. “Just for a few weeks. My MS is really bad, but my roommate got picked up for possession, and I’m afraid she’ll start hiding stuff in my…stuff. Also, she’s been high for like two weeks now, and I don’t want to be the one to discover her body.”
Her brother’s mouth dropped open.
He’d warned her that Mackenzie was too much of a party animal to live with after she was out of college, but Mackenzie hadn’t been bad—up until her latest boyfriend had caught her sleeping with his best friend and dumped her. Then it was a downward spiral Christa couldn’t seem to help her break out of. It’d been two months of hell—of trying to get help for Mackenzie and taking away her meth and flushing it, but you couldn’t keep up with a determined addict, and Mackenzie was en route to the morgue at this rate.
Also, the more Christa stressed out about it, the worse her MS got. She was starting to feel like a zombie from how much she was sleeping to recover, and Mackenzie was using her crash-naps to get high. So, no—no more. It was over. She was leaving it up to Mackenzie’s family to help her rather than torpedo her own life.
“I’m in the middle of a flare-up, and I can’t pack up everything and find another place and then move in. Dad was going to help me dump everything in storage, but he said I should stay with you until this relapse ends. I guess Mom has bitten off more than she can chew with that charity thing she’s organizing, and he thinks it’ll just stress me out more. So, it’s you—or maybe a hotel.”
Vanessa opened her mouth to say something.
Christa held up her hand, stalling her. “I’m boarding Lucifer, and I swear I will sterilize all my clothes in bleach if I have to. I know you’re allergic. I swear you will not find so much as microscopic traces of cat on me. Cross my heart and hope to die.”
Both Vanessa and Dane winced.
Yeah, that was a bit morbid. But she was going to be super careful that her cat didn’t kill Vanessa—not that he’d ever do it on purpose. Lucifer’s name had come with him, but he was the sweetest cat in the world. He was so sweet Dane had seriously overfed him the last time he stayed with her brother—so it was just as well Lucifer wouldn’t be spoiled like that again. Boarding him would be good for him. He’d discover he wasn’t the only cat in the world.
Dane growled and dropped his face into his hands again.
“I guess I can stay in a hotel. I mean, you do have a new baby.”
“It’s not that!” Vanessa smiled, admitting, “Well, it’s a little that, but it’s not enough to say no to family.” She brushed a hand through Dane’s hair. “Dane, I’ll talk with Jordan. He won’t come anywhere near her.”
“He won’t be able to help it,” her brother muttered into his hands.
“He will.” She lowered her voice. “He wouldn’t be Alpha if he couldn’t.”
Alpha? It sounded like he belonged to some weird club.
Dane looked up and pointed at her. “Fine! You can stay with us. But if you see that guy who just left, or a black wolf, tell me, and I’m keeping my shotgun near the door.” He jumped to the window and opened it. “Did you hear that? I’m keeping my shotgun near the door, and you know I don’t miss.”
“Oh, for the love of…” Vanessa gave her an apologetic look. “It’ll be fine. He’s just a bit protective.”
“And psycho.” Her brother was acting like a total freak.
Jordan dropped against the side of the hospital building and took deep, gulping breaths while brushing at his clothes. He’d have to burn them. They smelled too much like—whoever she was…whoever his new “I can’t live without you” mate was.
His forehead felt clammy, and he wiped the cold sweat away. This couldn’t be happening…again. No one had heard of this happening…again. If anything happened to the mate you scent-matched to, well, too bad—you were screwed; you had one chance at it.
He’d seen a glimpse of some tiny female in a chair near the sink and then caught a whiff of her. His brain had reacted like he’d inhaled a live wire. His primal instincts had taken over, short-circuiting his rational mind, and he’d wanted nothing more than to grab his female and drag her off with him.
She smelled like brown sugar and vanilla, and his mouth had started watering like she was cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven…and then he’d caught just a hint of Dane’s scent. She smelled a bit like Dane—which made it creepy as hell that he was so outrageously attracted to her. That’s what had brought him to his senses.
It hadn’t killed his attraction, as it should have, but it had thrown some cold water on his reaction so he’d been able to be rational—well, semi-rational. Okay, so he’d run as fast as he could, and now Dane kept yelling threats because they’d figured out what had happened.
It’d been two years since that day at the cabin when it’d all gone to hell, and he hadn’t taken a mate since—something that didn’t please his pack, because the Alpha was expected to mate. But his previous mate, Cheri—his first strike—had tried to kill Vanessa. She’d even been scheming with his second strike, his scent-match, Sammy. Then, there was Vanessa, his third strike. He’d intended to take her as his alpha female—and she’d scent-matched with Dane when he’d sent her out on patrol as a challenge to her ability to submit. It was just as well. She was about as submissive as, well, Dane, but…nonetheless, three strikes, and he was done.
He was never going to even so much as look at another female again.
It was making him as cranky as a rabid wolf, but they were approaching two years “murder-free” in the pack, and he was finally nearing vengeance against the poachers. After Garret set up the meeting, they’d be that much closer to gaining something from the deaths two years ago.
And, now, this…
He wiped his forehead again. His heart was pounding, and there wasn’t enough air in the world that didn’t smell like her. It was like the smell was burned into him. He couldn’t get her scent out of his head—it filled him, and he’d memorized it. Last time this happened, he’d only smelled his mate’s scent when she was in wolf form, so the scent-match had dragged him back into that form and played havoc with all his primal urges. He’d been all instinct—all the time. This time, it felt rational and right and healthy, but that didn’t matter—she was Dane’s sister.
Plus, she’d looked tiny. She might be young—possibly a minor. In that glimpse, she’d looked fragile, and he’d wanted to gather her into his arms and protect her from the world, which, being as she was Dane’s sister, would probably earn him a punch to the face from her, even if she was twelve—especially if she was twelve.
“I have paid!” he shouted at the sky…which earned him a look from an orderly pushing an elderly patient in a wheelchair. Jordan cleared his throat and pointed at his ear. “I’m on the phone,” he mouthed.
They still looked alarmed.
Well, they should be. He was Alpha of the Glacier pack—that meant something, dammit—even if he had sent half his pack with another Alpha, been living like a monk, and was scent-matched to Dane’s toddler sister.
Now the orderly was probably checking if they were looking for a mentally ill patient.
Jordan couldn’t stop sweating like he was fighting an addiction—which he was. He was alarmed. He was running scared.
He’d come back for his car some other time…or he’d have a member of his pack come get it, because he could do that. No primal urges imprinted into the fiber of his being were going to take him down this time. He ran into the nearby trees. Once they hid him from sight, he shifted, leaving behind the clothes that smelled like her. He was the wind. He was king of the forest. The altered consciousness took over, and his primal side howled. Yes! Run. Free. He ran for about fifty feet, turned back, and lay down just inside the tree line watching a car that smelled like his mate.
I need tostart with the fact that I have never laughed so much during a fight scene in my life. Seriously, there's like dead bodies flying, and the conversation going on had me in tears. Also, right before the big scene, it was crazy suspenseful. Now, with that, this is about a stubborn werewolf Alpha and a cute young woman whom is gunna put him in his place. Like she throws shoes at his head and I killed myself laughing. HA! I should also state that again I did not read book one, but I didn't feel lost or anything like that, so you could definitely read this one as a stand alone and not feel anything different.
So the first book is Vanessa and Dane's. Well Dane's got a human little sister, and she's the Alpha's mate. She doesn't know it. Nor does she knows about werewolves. Nor does Dane want her to, so he threatens the big bad wold alpha to kingdom come to stay away, except Christ won't have that. She just wonders right up to his doors and tells him he needs to help her. She's a trip. She's this tiny little thing, with a severe disease. And yet she stands up to the big bad wolf, even after she knows he's a wolf, and throws things at him. LOL. I loved her.
Jordan is a little different. As the Alpha, he not only has to worry about his pack, but also about the murders the poaches are committing against his pack. AND he's not over the last fiasco where one of his pack helped the poachers kill them. It's complicated. And then to top it off, he meets Christa, and then immediately has to go help another pack who is having murders the same way as before, so he knows something is up. Plus he's a friend. I loved that Jordan was cool with Christa having a health issue. No holding back on that. However, he sometimes held back because she's a girl, which she remedies :) And when he leaves, leaving her without him, things get a little hectic. :)
The plot is excellent, full of suspense. And yes, it is partly a romance, but hot damn if there's isn't way more the story than that. I mean, someone has to stop the humans who are killing off the pack. And there's definitely a wonderful set of side kicks. Jordan has brothers, and Travis the other alpha, as well as some of the other pack members around, and I definitely hope there's more of this story and series to continue. Seriously, I kept having to high light areas on my kindle I thought were funny, and boy did I laugh even the day after I read the story. It was hilarious!! I loved this one and I definitely want more!! 5 WOLFY PAWS!!
About the Author
At home in the Pacific Northwest, Wendy Sparrow writes for both an adult and young adult crowd in many genres but always with a happily ever after. She has two wonderfully quirky kids, a supportive husband, and a perpetually messy house because she hates cleaning. She’s an advocate both online and in her community for autistic children in addition to actively trying to raise awareness about obsessive compulsive disorder. Most days she spends on Twitter procrastinating doing the dishes.
Title: Temporal Shift (Dark Desires #4) Author: Nina Croft Genre: Sci-Fi Romance Length: 354 pages Release Date: November 17, 2014 ISBN: 978-1-62266-120-6 Imprint: Select Otherworld Pricing varies by country and can change without notice. Please confirm pricing and availability with your retailer before downloading.
Caught between destiny and desire…
After diving into a black hole in search of the source of Meridian, the key to immortality, the crew of the Blood Hunter finds themselves stranded in an alternate universe.
Engineer Devlin Stark doesn’t want immortality. He just wants to live long enough to get his revenge on the man who murdered his brother. Now, he’s trapped in a strange world with a crazy woman who claims he’s fated to be her lover.
Saffira Lourdes has a destiny: to save humanity and lead her exiled people to the Promised Land. Haunted by visions of the past and future, she’s been sustained through the years by a dream lover. Unfortunately, Devlin doesn’t believe in fate. But it’s obvious there’s a connection between them, one that will soon be tested by the limits of time and space. Saffira is about to make the crew of the Blood Hunter an offer they’ll find impossible to refuse.
They’re heading back to Earth, and they’re going back in time…
Devlin Starke stared at the black hole that filled the screen. Huge. Mesmerizing. A vision of shimmering gases spiraling around a gaping vortex.
And they were about to fly headfirst into it. An act of desperation brought on by a dying captain, an ailing ship, and a whole load of assholes wanting them dead.
They were fucking insane.
No way would they survive.
Then again, they wouldn’t survive if they stayed. The other screens showed the fleet of warships surrounding them. At least this way they wouldn’t give the goddamned Church the satisfaction of blowing them out of space.
“Let’s do this,” Rico said. “And you all might want to strap yourselves in. I’m thinking the ride is going to get bumpy.”
Devlin backed into the nearest seat and fastened the harness—for all the good it would do—never taking his eyes from the black hole. What was on the other side? Another universe as they hoped? Or total oblivion?
He was guessing oblivion, but he had few regrets. Actually, that was a lie—he had one huge fucking regret. He was about to die without killing Temperance Hatcher, High Priest of the Church of Everlasting Life and the murdering bastard who’d killed Devlin’s brother.
But it was too late now. They were past the event horizon and the gravitational pull dragged the ship ever closer. A deafening roar filled his ears. Beneath him, the ship lurched, then shot forward, the acceleration forcing him back in his seat.
“That’s it.” Rico’s voice sounded as though from a distance. “We’ve lost control, and we’re going in.”
On the monitor the black hole loomed, sucking all the brightness from the world. The ship’s lights flickered off, then on. Finally, they went out, leaving them in darkness.
The pressure built until the air was squeezed from his lungs. He was losing control of his senses, everything closing in, until he was aware of nothing but the emptiness ahead.
He tried to keep his eyes open, but it didn’t matter as the ship dove headfirst into the very center of the hole.
Saffira floated in a sea of time, aimless, drifting with the currents. Then the drug kicked in, sucking her under. It could have been hours or years or lifetimes before the world came into focus once more. Heat suffused her and she slipped into the familiar, sensuous warmth of the vision.
He lay behind her, his hard body stretched over hers, on her, in her. His long hair—a blend of black and gold—hung across her shoulder, tangling with the dark red ripples of her own.
“Saffira…” he whispered her name against her skin, followed by words of love, words she’d never heard in real life. Then he thrust into her with a powerful flex of his hips and her body went up in flames. She pushed back against him and he chuckled.
“More?” His voice was like the silky softness of the sea tinged with the roughness of the rocky shore.
“Much more. Everything. I want everything…all of you.”
He kissed her throat as he withdrew, the drag of his hard flesh an exquisite pleasure.
“And do you love me, Saffira? Will you love me for eternity?”
As she opened her mouth to answer, the vision wavered. She wanted to scream, fight against the relentless pull of real life, as she was drawn inexorably away.
She pried open her heavy lashes. A tall, familiar figure loomed over her bed and inhuman violet eyes glowed down at her.
She scowled. “Damn it, Thorne. You woke me at the good bit. Again.”
“You were twitching.”
“Of course I was twitching. I was…” Saffira dragged herself up in the bed and clamped her lips shut. She’d wanted to stay. Just once, she’d yearned to see that vision through to the end.
Was that too much to ask for?
The stroke of her dream-lover’s hands lingered on her skin. If she closed her eyes, his words of love caressed her ears.
“Saffira!” Thorne flexed his black membranous wings, a sure sign he was agitated.
She sighed and shook her head to clear the last of the vision. “What is it, Thorne?”
“The Old Ones are restless. Someone has breached the Circle of Change.”
“Someone has entered the Circle?” The muscles tightened in her gut and a sense of prescience shivered across her skin. “It’s a sign. We have to go.”
She jumped out of bed, found her boots on the floor, tugged them on, then pulled her hair into a ponytail so it wouldn’t get in her face and blind her while they were flying. Thorne hadn’t moved; he stood in the center of the room, arms crossed over his chest, wing tips vibrating. “A sign of what?”
Her brows drew together. “I don’t know, but why don’t we go and see?”
Not waiting for an answer, she strode past him out onto the ledge. The cave was cut into the rock face high above the Keep. She squinted into the distance; the Guardian mountains rose from the ochre plain, stark against the twilight. But nothing moved.
Thorne came up beside her. “Maybe I should go and investigate. Come back and get you if it’s safe.”
She cast him a look of disbelief. “Not a chance.”
For a second she thought he might argue. Then an expression of resignation settled on his features. “You’ll follow orders?”
She grinned. “Don’t I always?”
He snorted but turned away and she climbed on his back, wrapping her arms around his neck. Thorne spread his wings and leaped from the ledge. She loved this moment, as though they were plummeting towards the hard ground, about to crash…then the first swoosh of his wings, and they were flying.
Her bodyguards fell into formation behind them and they headed toward the setting suns. Night was almost on them when they crossed the Guardian Mountains. Thorne slowed his wing beats, hovered about a hundred feet above the Circle of Change, and Saffira peered down on the scene below.
“How the hell did that get here without us seeing?” Thorne muttered.
A huge, shiny spaceship stood in the center of the basin. Sleek and black and beautiful. From her visions, Saffira knew the words that would be written on the side in flowing silver script. The Blood Hunter 2.
She gasped and then her breath stalled. The Wardens, who guarded the Circle of Change, had gotten here first. In the red glow from the setting suns she could make out a fierce fight around the ship. At least three bodies lay on the ground; two more were on their feet and fighting. All strangers by their clothing. Saffira’s heart rate picked up until the blood was thundering in her veins. No strangers had come to this planet in over ten thousand years. They could only mean the start of the prophecy, and the Wardens were about to slaughter them all.
She tugged at Thorne’s shirt. “Put me down.”
“What? Right now? Might hurt a little.”
“Ha-ha. Come on, Thorne, we have to save them.”
“They’re important. I’m not sure how or why, but I’ve seen them in my visions. They have a part to play.”
Thorne exhaled loudly, but flew lower, finally alighting on a rocky outcrop about twenty feet from the ship. She slipped to the ground, and he launched himself back into the air. Two of her bodyguards landed and took up positions in front and behind her, while the others followed Thorne and headed for the fight. A niggle of worry prodded at her mind, but she ignored it. Thorne was ten thousand years old; he could hold his own against any of the Wardens.
But she couldn’t see what was going on. Gritting her teeth, she nudged at the tall figure planted firmly in front of her. His wings were folded at his back, but all the same, he blocked her view.
“Shift, Rory, I want to see.”
“It’s too dangerous.”
“The first time anything exciting has happened on this godforsaken planet and you expect me not to watch?”
“That’s the point. We don’t know who or what they are.”
“Come on, Rory, this is really important.” When he didn’t move, she tried a different tack. “You know, I’ve seen myself watching this in a vision. I’m meant to watch this.”
He glanced over his shoulder and grinned. “Liar. But good try.”
She edged to the side and peered around him. Thorne and his men circled above the ship. Down on the ground, it was chaos. The strangers fought hand-to-hand with the Wardens. But humans couldn’t stand against them for long. The Wardens were too strong and virtually indestructible.
A man in black was taking on one of the Wardens alone. Saffira held her breath, fingernails digging into her palms, as she waited for him to be annihilated. Instead, he wrenched back the Warden’s head and ripped out his throat with his teeth—ugh. Her breath left her in a gasp as he heaved the body aside and leaped for the next one who flew down to fill the gap.
What was he? More than human, that was for sure. Still, there were too many. He couldn’t win.
A second man was hidden behind the outstretched wings of a Warden. Now he lunged clear, drew a knife from his boot, and stabbed his attacker in the chest. The Warden didn’t even flinch, just drew out the blade and tossed it away.
The man backed up into the light cast from the open doorway of the ship.
And everything stopped. For a brief flash of time, Saffira’s world stood still.
She knew his face from her visions, though she’d never seen quite that expression on it before. Always, he’d been tender, sweet. This man appeared anything but sweet. The word vicious came to mind, but then, he was fighting for his life.
He was dressed in khaki pants tucked into combat boots, and a shirt stretched tight across a broad chest. His hair was loose around his shoulders and, even in the dim light, she could make out the gold strands woven with the midnight black. She remembered the feel of it, silky soft through her fingers.
She tugged at Rory. “Tell Thorne to hurry. To do something.”
Kronus! What was he waiting for?
She forced herself to keep watching as the Warden stalked toward the man—her man. He backed up a little more, whirled around, and kicked the Warden in the balls so he collapsed to his knees.
“Ouch,” Rory muttered.
The Warden didn’t stay down for long, and the stranger was unarmed now.
Come on, Thorne.
At last he swooped down. She recognized the moment he took control of their minds—the Wardens went rigid and collapsed to the ground.
Within seconds, they were all down, only Thorne and his people still airborne.
The man ran a hand through his black and gold hair, picked up something from the ground, and shoved it in the holster at his waist. He remained watchful, splitting his attention between the downed Wardens and Thorne, who landed lightly beside the ship.
“Let’s go.” Rory spoke from beside her and she dragged her attention from the man of her dreams. “Thorne says it’s safe to join them now.”
Suddenly, she didn’t want to go. What did you say to a man who had made beautiful love to you countless times, but who would presumably know nothing about it?
Be cool. Just be cool and try to forget that she knew the feel of him when he was deep inside her. Knew the taste of him, sharp and spicy, knew the musky scent as she lay in his arms after they had made love. A shiver ran through her, settling in that place between her thighs that had never been touched by another.
Rory wrapped his arms around her, picked her up, and flew her the short distance, putting her down on the ground close to Thorne. She edged even closer, trying not to look at the man. Her lover.
“What do you want to do?” Thorne asked her. “Perhaps we should kill them. They’ve violated the protocols.”
“So have you,” she replied. “Many times.”
“Not this particular protocol.” He nodded at the bodies on the ground.
She stared. Blinked a couple of times but nothing changed. Two of the unconscious strangers were women. “They’re female,” she said.
“Abominations,” Thorne added.
“Don’t be so melodramatic.” But no doubt that was the reason the Wardens had tried to destroy them. According to the fifty-eighth protocol, females were not permitted to undergo the Change. She nodded toward the unconscious Wardens. “How long have we got?”
“Not long. They’ll wake in minutes.”
So they needed to get out of there fast. They had enough men to carry the strangers to safety, but a better idea occurred to her. She glanced at the spaceship as excitement bubbled up inside. It must have shown in her eyes.
“No,” Thorne said. “You’ll put yourself in their power. We cannot permit it.”
“We can’t let the Wardens destroy the ship. We need it, Thorne.”
“What the fuck’s going on?” A voice jerked her from her concentration on Thorne. A voice she knew intimately, though always before it had whispered words of love. “And who the fuck are you? And what the fuck are they?”
Turning her head slightly, she forced a blank expression and then swallowed. He was really here. And he was quite the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. But as she stared, she became aware of something else. There was a darkness to him. A deep-rooted rage flowed off him in waves so she had to fight the urge to step back and behind Thorne.
As he stalked toward her, Thorne growled low in his throat and stepped between them.
The man cast Thorne a disparaging glance but halted, and his gaze caught and held hers. He had slanted blue-green eyes, vivid against his golden skin. She saw nothing in his expression. No recognition. But why would there be?
She looked away, forcing her brain to function. “Does this thing fly?” she asked.
“Of course it fucking flies.”
Hardly sweet nothings. At least he’d turned away from her—giving her a chance to pull herself together—and was now eyeing Thorne and his men as though he didn’t quite trust them.
Not surprising. Time to be proactive. She was supposed to be the savior of the world. Maybe she should start acting like it. “Let’s go.”
“Go?” Thorne swung around to face her. “Go where?”
“Away from here.”
Thorne took a step closer. “You are not stepping foot on that…thing without your bodyguards.”
She stood on tiptoes so she could speak quietly into his ear. “He’s the one, Thorne.”
“You know. The One.”
Thorne glanced from her to the man who bristled with barely concealed aggression. “You’re kidding.”
“Nope.” She cast him a wicked grin. “And you did tell me I needed to have sex.” When she’d mentioned her dreams to Thorne, he’d decided it must be due to some sort of hormonal imbalance and offered to order one of the guards to have sex with her.
“I meant with someone of my choosing,” he said.
She shook her head—he was so romantic. Then she turned to her bristling dream-lover. “You won’t hurt me, will you Mr…?”
“Starke. Devlin Starke.”
Devlin. She rolled the name over in her mind. She liked it. It suited him.
“Well, you won’t harm me if I board your ship? Will you…Devlin?” Considering their intimate relationship, they should definitely be on first-name terms.
He looked her up and down and didn’t appear particularly impressed. “I might not. But that guy over there—” He nodded to where the man in black crouched over a blond woman. He glanced up at Devlin’s words and snarled, revealing the tip of one sharp white fang. His face was daubed crimson and his eyes reflected the color. “If his woman doesn’t wake up soon, I’m guessing he’s going to get real pissed off with someone. You might not want to be around when that happens.”
No. She shivered. He hardly appeared human. “What is he?”
A flicker of amusement lightened his features. “Just hope you never find out, little girl.”
Little girl? She wasn’t that little. Though she supposed next to him and Thorne she must appear that way.
Forcing her fear down, she stepped closer. The blonde was still unconscious, but behind her a man with wings was already stirring. Judging by those wings, he must be older, stronger. “She’ll be all right,” she said. “Really, they just zapped her mind, but it won’t be permanent.”
Some of the tension drained from the dark man, and he nodded once. “Let’s get the hell off this shithole. We’ve got what we came for. Time to leave.” He picked up the blonde as though she weighed nothing and strode up the ramp to disappear inside the ship.
Devlin turned back to her. “Well, thanks for the rescue and be seeing you. Not.”
He was going to walk away. Did he really feel nothing, no connection between them?
“Mr. Starke—Devlin—we saved you. The least you can do is take me with you.”
Beside her Thorne bristled. “You are not going on board that ship alone.”
She glanced at his face and took in his steadfast expression—he wasn’t budging on this. She scowled but turned back to Devlin. “Okay, the least you can do is take us with you.”
“Give me a reason why.”
So we can make love?
So I can fulfill the prophecy and save my people?
Not really wanting to go with either of those options, she improvised. “The Wardens will wake up. And they’ll kill us if they find us here.” She took a step toward him and laid a hand on his arm. “Please.”
“So why don’t you and your friends just fly away?”
She resisted the urge to stamp her foot. “The others can. But Thorne is…” she thought quickly, “…tired from saving you. It takes a lot of mental energy.”
“I never lie,” she lied.
“Take them,” a voice said from behind her. She turned around. The winged stranger was awake. He rose up onto his knees then pushed himself to his feet. He had short dark hair, a handsome, lean face, and the violet eyes of the Others.
“You giving the orders now?” Devlin snapped.
“We should let them come. I want to talk to them. I want to find out about this place. These people. I want to know what they are. What we are.” He turned and went to the other woman, the dark haired one who was still unconscious. “Tannis, sweetheart, wake up.” When there was no reaction, he turned back to Saffira. “Will she be all right?”
“She’s new,” Thorne said. “It will affect her badly. But she’ll come around.”
The man nodded, picked her up and, holding her cradled against his chest, disappeared into the ship.
Saffira blew out her breath and then glanced around. There was just Devlin and her people left now. And the Wardens, unconscious on the ground.
Devlin shrugged. “The Leader of the Universe has spoken. So I guess you’re coming with us.” He didn’t sound happy about it, and what was that “Leader of the Universe” comment about? But she had what she wanted. As long as Thorne wasn’t going to be difficult. An ominous scowl was plastered across his face, and she held his gaze trying to convey how important this was.
He took a deep breath and gave a single nod. She saw the silent communication pass between him and Rory, before her guard rose into the air and quickly vanished into the darkness with the whoosh of wings.
The excitement was back, bubbling inside her. She cast Devlin a look, lingering on his tall, powerful figure, her gaze sliding down his body, snagging on the bulge in his pants, then back up to his face.
He raised an eyebrow. Oh Lord, had he caught her ogling his penis? Heat washed over her skin, and his eyes widened. He’d probably never seen anyone blush quite like her before, and she cursed her affliction.
Luckily, at that moment, one of the Wardens stirred on the ground.
“Time to go,” Thorne said.
Yep I do it every time. I have not read any of the books in this series previously, so some of the things I am maybe not familiar with :) LOL. But, I will call this group like Space cowboys or Pirates LOL. Blood Hunters is their ship, and it's pretty darn cool. And this crew and their ship have just found themselves in some trouble. They are in another galaxy and some things they are unaware of are gunna cause a little crazy. Like, there's another planet, with humans, but not quite so human. Here's were Saffira comes in, she's got visions of them, and she said they are supposed to save a lot of people. And she's a force to be reckoned with.
Devlin just wants to go home so he can get revenge. He's got some serious issues. And then he meets someone who tells him she knows they will get it on because she's seen it in her visions. HEHEHE! He is acting like a typical guy first, no love, but sex is ok. And she's got his ticket, no matter how much he argues and denies. So, it's a "different" kind of romance going on here. :)
This story has a whole bunch of different supes. Vampers, wolves, psychics, and it's full of adventure and suspense, and uniqueness that is really fun. I will be going backwards, as usual it seems, so I can get my hands on the first novels. :) I liked it though and I look forward to reading more. 4.5 PAWS!
About the Author
Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of nine-to-five work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain. Nina writes all types of romance, often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction. www.ninacroft.com And if youd like to have learn about new releases sign up for Ninas newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/rZ5rz