It was a bit of a rocky road to get here, but Wild Hunt is now available at Amazon -- and free to read with your Kindle Unlimited subscription!
There are also a couple of things I wanted to say about this release.
1. The Revenant series MUST be read in order. While you can follow the romance in Wild Hunt on its own, the rest of the book probably isn't going to make a lot of sense to you.
2. In Dark Moon Rising and Dead of Night, I mistakenly said that Cade Novak was former SWAT. This is inaccurate, and I apologize for the confusion. Cade is former military. It was just one line each, but the information has now been updated in both books.
3. If you are new to the series and unaware, The Revenant is a dystopian series set in a world following a deadly virus that wiped out most of the human population on Earth. If this storyline is something you may find triggering given the current climate, please give this series a pass.
Held captive by human Hunters, Mackenna Wade has spent the past two years dreaming of the day she would escape her prison. Every minute since the Purge has been a living hell inside the compound, but she refuses to let her captors break her. So, she waits. Watches. Listens. And when one little mistake opens the door to opportunity, she’ll risk everything for a chance at freedom.
Even exposure of the deadly secret she harbors.
Caught in an endless spiral of shame and guilt, Cade Novak isn’t interested in being part of a team or having people depend on him. Been there, done that. It never ends well. He knows venturing into a hostile shifter camp is a suicide mission, and one he fully intends to be a one-way trip.
Until fate intervenes.
It’s a battle of wills when these two damaged souls collide, but if they can let go of the past and learn to trust again, they might just find something worth fighting for.
“Fuck!” Miles Irati shouted from the driver’s seat as he gripped the steering wheel in both hands and slammed on the brakes.
Shaken from his morose stroll down memory lane, Cade planted both feet on the floor and gripped the armrest.
Tires screeched over the pavement as the SUV fishtailed down the highway, and the smell of burning rubber filled the cab. Time slowed, and every second seemed to drag out into eternity. Instinct had Cade tensing, preparing for the impact, but it never came. Instead, the vehicle shuddered to a halt mere inches from a stark-naked woman with glowing amber eyes.
Thank fuck for vampire reflexes and antilock brakes. Otherwise, they’d be scraping the female off the highway.
Behind him, Rhys and Thea edged forward to peer between the front seats. “What the hell?” Rhys asked. “What’s she doing?”
“Help.” The female outside the car lunged forward, slamming her hands down on the hood. “Please, help me.”
“Is that blood?” Thea Mendez shoved her mate out of the way and practically climbed into the front seat to get a better look. “Is that her blood?”
Forcing himself to look away from those wide, terrified eyes, Cade searched the female for signs of injury, and he didn’t like what he found. A mess of matted curls the color of fire cascaded over her shoulders, falling down her chest to cover her breasts. Yet, the wild mane couldn’t hide the multiple bruises, burns, and lacerations that covered her from neck to hips.
She hadn’t sustained those injuries by running through the woods. Someone had done that to her. Someone had hurt her.
“Why isn’t she healing?” he asked, his gaze going to the deep cut on the side of her neck. “She’s paranormal, right?” He still couldn’t tell the difference between shifters and werewolves, but judging by the inner glow of her eyes, he guessed she was one or the other.
“Werewolf,” all three of his companions answered in unison.
Considering he was the only human in the car, he didn’t bother asking how they knew. “Do we help her?”
Every muscle in his body vibrated with the need to leap out of the SUV and rush to her aid, but in their new world, nothing was ever as black and white as it appeared. She could be Coalition, or part of a rogue werewolf pack. It could be, and probably was a ruse designed to deceive them.
“She’s not healing,” he repeated when no one answered him. For some reason, that really bothered him. “Is she sick?”
Rhys Lockwood cursed under his breath. “She’s weak from blood loss, and she looks like she hasn’t eaten in a while.” Sighing, he dropped back into his seat. “I know the look well.”
“Please!” the female yelled as she began limping toward Cade’s window, still holding onto the hood to keep her upright. “I just need a ride. You can drop me off at the next town. Just, please, help me!”
“We’ve been here too long.” Miles’ fingers squeezed around the leather steering wheel. “Whatever we’re going to do, we need to do it quick.”
Cade had his door open before the vampire had finished speaking. He didn’t understand it, couldn’t explain it, but the need to comfort the female was powerful and unyielding, overpowering both instincts and common sense.
“Thank you,” she sobbed when he approached her. “Oh, thank you.”
“Whoa, easy, I’ve got you,” he said, catching her when her knees buckled, and she fell into his arms. With one arm around her shoulders, he hooked the other behind her knees and lifted her off the ground. “Guys, a little help!”
The back door swung open, and Rhys exited the vehicle. “Come on, in the back.” He waited for Cade to slide into the backseat with Thea, slammed the door closed, then jumped into the passenger seat beside Miles. “Let’s go.”
As the vehicle lurched forward, the female draped across Cade’s lap fisted the front of his zippered jacket and buried her face against the side of his neck. “Thank you,” she muttered. “Thank you.”
I should have said no. I should have walked away, but I was powerless to resist him.
I don’t remember a time I wasn’t hopelessly in love with Gabe Turner. He’s every fantasy I’ve ever had come to life, but I’m not supposed to want him. He’s gorgeous and cocky and totally wrong for me. Plus, he’s my brother’s best friend, which means he’s completely off limits.
Anyway, it’s not like he sees me as anything but a brat.
After that last kiss, I’m not so sure…
WARNING: This book contains one over the top alpha, a sassy heroine, and enough laughs to crack a rib. If laugh-out-loud insta-love with lots of sexy time isn’t your thing, this story probably isn’t for you.
Holding onto what was left of my dignity, I hurried out of the bathroom. Once we were back in the main bar, Gabe pushed in front of me, snagging my hand to make sure I followed him out. As we weaved through the crowd, some random guy handed me a shot glass. Obviously, he’d lost track of how many people were in his group and had handed it to me by mistake. Shrugging, I raised the glass to my lips and drank it down, then coughed. My throat felt like it was on fire.
Tequila was a killer.
Gabe glanced back at me, and I discreetly slid the empty glass onto a table and smiled up at him. His frown told me I hadn’t pulled off the innocent look I had been going for. Or maybe I had and that was what made him so suspicious.
When we were back on the street, I playfully swung his hand. Something had changed, and suddenly, it felt like we were actually holding hands like a real couple. A low, smoldering heat burned in my belly, and I tried to keep my voice light when I said, “Thanks for bribing those guys.”
His eyes narrowed. “I don’t think I heard that right. Did you actually just thank me for something?”
I bumped my hip against him. “You’re pretty nice when you aren’t being so bossy.”
“And you can be sweet when you aren’t being a pain in my ass.”
When he let go of my hand, I immediately missed him. Needing to put some space between me and the focus of my ridiculous crush, I didn’t protest as he walked me the two blocks to my hotel. Like a good warden, he insisted on escorting me to my room. I realized he was still holding my bright green yard cup in the elevator, and after taking the keycard out of my purse, I took it from him.
As we got to the end of the hallway, I heard laughter rising above the music coming from behind the closed door. Sharing a glance with Gabe, I used the key, then pushed the door open. Two steps into the room, I came to a dead stop. The two friends I was staying with were with three men I’d never seen before…and they were all naked.
“Layla! We were wondering where you were.” Grace Prescott blushed as she sat up on one of the queen beds and pulled a blanket over herself. She was one of the first people I’d met at college, and we managed to stay close friends after she’d moved back to New York at the end of our first year.
But this was definitely more of her than I ever wanted to see.
Then again, at least she wasn’t sandwiched between two naked men like her friend Julie was. She sent me a smile that turned sly as it shifted over to Gabe. “Why don’t you guys grab a drink and join us?”
“Get your things,” Gabe ordered in a low, furious voice. “We’re leaving.”
“What?” I stood frozen in place. “What?”
The third man sat down on the pullout bed where I was supposed to sleep and reached for the Tulane T-shirt I had left there earlier. When he placed it over his lap, I wanted to groan. Great, there was a naked ass on my bed, and now his dick was wearing my shirt. I wondered if the fire alarms would go off if I burned that shirt on the small balcony attached to the room.
When Gabe swatted me on the ass, I gasped in surprise. God, there were way too many asses in the room right now. A hysterical giggle burst from my lips before I could hold it back. The situation was so ridiculous, I couldn’t help myself.
“Get. Your. Things. Now.”
“What? I…umm…things,” I repeated with a nod.
It didn’t take me long to grab my toiletry carrier and makeup bag from the bathroom. My cheeks flushed with heat as I shoved my things into my bag while trying to avoid looking at any of the naked bodies in the room. I yelped as I turned and found Gabe standing right next to me instead of by the door. Lifting my bag as if it weighed nothing, he put his other arm around my waist and practically carried me toward the exit.
“I’ll call you later,” Grace yelled as the door closed behind us.
Back in the elevator, I watched the numbers counting down as we headed toward the lobby level. The absurdity of the last few minutes left me feeling kind of queasy. It wasn’t that I disapproved of the situation. Grace and her friend were free to do whatever they wanted. But since I was still a virgin, that was way more than I could handle.
“My hotel is on the next block. You can stay in my suite tonight. It’s two levels, so there’s plenty of room.” His tone was clipped, and I could tell that he was still angry.
As the elevator doors opened, I said, “I’m sorry.”
I wasn’t sure exactly. Unable to look at him yet, I simply shrugged as we crossed the lobby. “That you’re stuck with me tonight. They probably called, but I haven’t checked my phone. I didn’t know my friends were planning an orgy. Well, I don’t think it was planned. It sort of looked like a…”
“A spontaneous orgy?”
He laughed. “I think most are.”
The cool night air felt good against my heated skin as we walked outside, but my stomach continued to flip and churn. That last shot had been a bad idea…and the alcohol was finally catching up with me. As I moved to the side to avoid a large group of people, I stumbled, and a wave of dizziness swept over me.
Uh oh. This wasn’t good.
If I could just close my eyes for a few seconds…
“What is it, brat?”
“I think I’m going to—”
The last thing I heard was his vicious curse before I passed out.
Draken Marcor is probably one of the only Aleucians who doesn’t hate being assigned to Hope. Taking over as Director of Education isn’t exactly his dream job, but it beats the hell out of living under his father’s thumb. The position also comes with certain perks—like access to the beautiful and perplexing kindergarten teacher who has filled his thoughts every day for nearly two years. Too bad she already belongs to someone else.
Jaiyu Zhao has been half in love with Draken since their first meeting. It doesn’t matter that he’s pushy and unreasonable, arrogant and frustrating. Her heart doesn’t seem to care that he’s the last person in the city she should get involved with. When he smiles at her, it makes it easy to forget that anything beyond a professional relationship would certainly end in disaster. Too bad he’s completely uninterested in her.
But even secrets and misunderstandings can’t keep the pair apart forever, especially when Draken is used to getting what he wants. And what he wants is to make Jaiyu his…forever.
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“I didn’t know you liked kids,” Jaiyu said when the door closed behind the chattering brood. “You’re really great with them.”
Draken shrugged. “Kids are easy. They don’t expect much.”
She didn’t know who had told him that lie, but that hadn’t been her experience at all. “I would disagree. It’s just that their expectations are different than adults.”
They expected adults to be safe and reassuring, to ask the right questions and know all the answers. They didn’t demand perfection, but they did require honesty. Kids hated being lied to, maybe even more than adults.
“Fair enough,” Draken conceded. In a casual move, he wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her against his chest. “Are you ready to leave, isha?”
“Yes, but you don’t need to walk me.”
“I do, but it won’t just be me. Zevon and Aziza are going to help.”
That gave her pause. “Draken, I appreciate your concern, but I really don’t need a small army to escort me home.”
Draken gave her a droll look. “They’re coming to help you pack your stuff and—”
“—move it to my quarters.”
Sure she’d heard him wrong, Jaiyu gaped. “You want me to move in with you?”
Chuckling, he secured both arms around her waist as he dipped his head to rest their brows together. “Well, I am your boyfriend, after all.”
She wasn’t joking, though. “Are you sure about this?” The idea of moving in with him didn’t bother her as much as it probably should, but she didn’t want him asking out of some misguided sense of guilt. “I can request a transfer from Human Resources. This really isn’t your problem.”
His expression turned stony, and he growled as his arms tightened around her. “You are mine. Your problems are my problems. Don’t ever doubt that.”
Her heart fluttered at his possessive declaration, but it also confused her just as much. “Just like that? You won’t even kiss me, but you’re ready to stake a claim and move me into your quarters? Right.”
“Right,” he echoed, but there was no anger in his voice. “I wasn’t rejecting you. I was trying to give you time. I didn’t want you to think I was taking advantage of you after all the shit you went through with Jason.”
When he said it that way, it made a lot of sense. Her only defense was that in all the time she’d known him, she wouldn’t have listed patience as one of his virtues. If he wanted something, he took it. So, in her mind, if he wanted her, he’d have had her long ago.
Instead of trying to explain the inner workings of her mind, she settled on something simpler. Something that couldn’t be misconstrued. “I don’t need time.”
He stared at her, his eyes tracing every line of her face. Nodding once, he slid his hands up her back, over her shoulders, and along the column of her throat until they cradled her face. Another moment of pause, then his mouth was on hers, hard and searching, his tongue sliding past her gasp to plunge between her lips.
This was the male she knew, the one she’d wanted since the moment they’d met. He didn’t seek permission or approval. He made no allowances, demanding she keep pace with him rather than slowing to meet hers.
When it was either stop kissing him or pass out from lack of oxygen, she reluctantly wrenched her mouth away, burying her face against his shoulder as she gasped for breath. Her heart pounded so violently, her entire body trembled, and she arched against him, a silent plea for more.
Draken chuckled, but he didn’t cave. Nor did he offer her empty platitudes or flowery words. He didn’t question her resolve or ask if she was okay. Instead, he made her a single promise that meant more than any romantic murmurings ever would.
Brushing her hair back, he leaned close, growling the words against her ear. “You’ll never regret being mine.”
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