Werewolves – a whole other universe.
I love to read about werewolves. I could name all of my favorite authors who have created rich worlds full of werewolves, but that would take too much time. They all write fantastic sagas about pack rules and the relationships between the fierce and furry. Consequently, whenever I considered writing about werewolves, I’d lose my nerve. I wrote cat shifters and science fiction, demons and elves, but I always lost my nerve when I considered penning the tale of a werewolf.
Then I had to figure out the mechanics of a werewolf universe. How did the characters shift from human to wolf form. Would it be a bone-splitting painful wrench or just a beautiful shimmer of magic? Were new werewolves made or born as shifters, or both. If they were made, how did that happen. The always popular bite? Or something else. And of course, why would my world be different from those of the afore-mentioned great authors?
For one thing, The Northern Rocky pack in situated where I currently live, making it easy for me to describe background features. I have never read of another author creating a werewolf pack with its headquarters up here in the Rockies, so I wasn’t infringing on an existing series.
Since I lived a good part of my life in Northern Ontario, I am well acquainted with how wolves look and sound. Packs of wolves carve out their territory there and hold it against invading newcomers. The sight of a dark shadow loping across a snowy field, or the sound of an eerie howl echoing in the chill of a fall morning is commonplace. A rock cave in the bush across from our home hosted a new litter of wolf cubs each year, and if we were very quiet and very lucky, we could perch on a hill above them and watch the young ones through binoculars as they tumbled and played in the spring sunshine.
There are distinctive differences between wolves and dogs. The way they walk, how they hold their heads, even their reactions to people and other animals differ greatly from our domestic friends. I hope I’ve been able to convey some of those in the descriptive passages in the two stories in this Duet.
This first book consists of two stories published over a decade ago. They have been out of print for some years but now that I have decided to do an ongoing series featuring the Northern Rockies pack, it made sense to launch it with a Duet featuring the first two stories. I hope you enjoy Seducing Destiny and Dark Kisses. The next book in the series will be released in January of 2020 and naturally I will provide some tidbits between now and then.
Jack, the alpha of the North Rockies pack, knows Destiny needs some time to come to grips with her werewolf heritage before he springs the whole mated for life thing on her.
Destiny has no intention of buying into the whole pack mentality, howl at the full moon thing. Sure, she practically drools at the sight of red meat, but that’s no reason to give up her comfortable life. Besides, she already has a boyfriend, a slick up-and-coming lawyer.
But when a band of rogue werewolves move into the area, Jack can’t afford to have his attention divided. He needs to convince Destiny that she belongs both in his pack and in his bed so he can concentrate on the new threat
“Destiny stared in dismay at the box in the middle of her kitchen table. Her stomach lurched, a ball of anxiety settling in the very middle of it. Small by most standards, gold gilt covered the entire box, giving it an exotic look. An artfully tied crimson bow surrounded by curls of white lace sat cheerfully atop it, adding to the air of decadent luxury.
She knew who’d put it there, and she knew why. Jack. The Alpha of the Northern Rockies werewolf pack. The man who made her knees feel weak whenever she glimpsed him walking down the main street, or lounging at a local coffee shop. The man who’d make it plain that he intended to be her mate.
The absolute last man on the face of the planet that she intended to get serious about.
She had a boyfriend, one carefully picked with the future in mind. A trial attorney she’d met when she attended a convention in Calgary, Quentin Karnes had everything she wanted in a mate. On the fast track to a partnership in his prestigious law firm, he was cultured, rich, and moved in the highest social circles. Their children would grow up attending private schools, vacationing at the most prestigious resorts, dressing in the latest fashions. They’d want for nothing.
She’d worked hard to carve out a niche for herself in Riverton. Her accounting office catered to farmers and small businessmen, and she’d slowly managed to gain a reputation of being the person you wanted on your side when the government called to audit your tax returns.
She steeled herself and reached for the box. It wasn’t much bigger than a deck of cards, and she held it in her hand, somehow hoping that wishing would make it go away. When she’d moved here two years ago, she’d made it clear to Jack and every other member of the pack that she didn’t intend to join their little social group. She preferred to run alone. She hadn’t grown up in a pack, and if she could, she’d ignore her inner wolf entirely. So what if the sight of a full moon awakened an overpowering urge for a steak with the blood oozing out the sides? A girl needed to curb her baser instincts and make plans for the future.
No point in putting this off. Her sensitive nose could smell Jack all over the damn thing. She caught the trailing lace between a thumb and forefinger and gently undid the bow, dropping the cheerful piece of ribbon on the table. Taking a deep breath, she plucked the lid off.
Her breath caught in her throat. An exquisitely detailed chocolate wolf nestled in a cushion of crushed white velvet. Every detail from the tip of its muzzle to the dominant curve of its tail was perfect. Jack had reproduced himself exactly. She knew if she turned the little wolf over, she’d find a jagged scar running along its left flank.
“I suppose I could always bite your head off.” Destiny felt a wry smile tug the sides of her mouth. Although she didn’t like the idea, being the Alpha meant Jack had complete authority over all the werewolves in the Northern Rockies. Even those that didn’t want to accept him. The fact he’d chosen not to force her to take him for her mate didn’t mean he’d agreed to let her leave the pack. He’d said he’d give her some time to settle in. She’d hoped he’d forgotten about her and settled down with some other female. One who liked her inner beast.
She sighed and looked at the dark chocolate confection. The full moon was less than a week away. She’d been ignoring her darker side for a long time now, and she knew she wouldn’t be able to avoid going into heat this month. What were the chances Jack’s timing was coincidental?
She jumped, startled by the sound of a loud knock on her front door. Quentin must have gotten out of court early. She hadn’t expected him to show up for at least another four hours. She quickly put the lid back on the box. Sweeping the ribbon up off the table, she stuffed the box and ribbon into a drawer and slammed it shut.
“Come on in, the door’s open.” She hoped Quentin couldn’t hear the guilt in her voice. Not that she had anything to feel guilty about. Damn Jack and his fancy little chocolate creatures! She smoothed her hands down her skirt and tried to look calm.
“I know, I was just being polite.” Jack strode into the room, a crooked smile on his rugged face. “You’re not usually this happy to see me.”
Destiny’s heart did a little flip-flop. Taller than her five-foot eleven, Jack’s dark hair was tied at the nape of his neck with a strip of leather, and his sapphire blue eyes sparkled with mischief. Thickly roped muscles stretched the tight shirt and rippled with every step he took. He looked every bit as yummy as the chocolate creations he sold in his trendy boutique.
“I thought you were my boyfriend.” She looked pointedly behind him as if she expected Quentin to materialize any second. “I’m expecting him to drop in after court today.”
Jack ignored her reference to Quentin and gave her a toothy grin. “I intend to be a lot more than a friend, and it’s been a long time since anyone referred to me as a boy.” He advanced, his eyes sparkling. “Glad to hear you finally think of me that way, though, because unless my nose is deceiving me, you’re going to be begging for my attention shortly.”
Destiny felt a surge of color flood her cheeks and she turned away so he couldn’t see her face. It mortified her to know he could smell her eagerness. “You wish.” Now that was lame!
He took her by the shoulders and turned her around to face him, his touch surprisingly gentle for such a large man. “No, I know. The full moon is on Saturday. You haven’t slept with that wimpy boyfriend of yours, and you’re not going to if you want him to live to see Monday. A human male can’t begin to satisfy your needs. I wouldn’t have to lift a paw; you’d tear him apart yourself. Your frustration level is about to escalate to hellish proportions.” A devilishly wicked smile curved the corner of his mouth. “Fortunately, I can help you deal with that.”
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