DELETED SCENE 1
The sunlight streamed across the bed as I lay there tangled in the sheets with my heart still racing.
A shudder racked my body, just thinking about the monster in my dream—an enormous white wolf with intense brown eyes, chasing me through a storm-swept forest in the dark. Me, terrified and cold as I pushed through brush and branches. Tired of being hunted, I stopped to face my tormentor, the white wolf. “Why won’t you stop chasing me?” I demanded.
The animal halted, staring at me silently before growling, “Not until you wake up and accept what we are.” Then the wolf attacked, catching my hand in its powerful jaws, biting it off.
Kicking back my sheets, I got the morning off to a start by taking a hot shower, brushing my teeth, and combing out my hair. When I checked the knot on my forehead, it was the size of a peanut. As I pulled on Quinn’s T-shirt, I heard someone knock on the door. Exiting the bathroom, I unlocked and opened the bedroom door.
“Good morning,” Piper greeted, before striding over and placing my clean, folded clothes on the bed.
“Thank you, Piper.”
“Not me. Quinn got them nice and clean for you, but your leather boots are ruined. But here’s a pair of my socks and sneakers that look like they’ll fit you.” She eyed me while I took the items. “Our interview is still on for this morning, but I have a couple things to take care of, so Quinn will drive you into town later.”
“Piper.” I bit my bottom lip before continuing, “I’m so grateful that you don’t seem to care about the awful first impression I made last night. But I want to win the chef’s job on my merits and self-promotion, not because you feel bad for me.”
Piper laughed. “Oh honey, you’re not a charity case. This is just me respecting the fact that after everything you went through last night, you’re not running the hell out of Black Forest Ridge, crying and screaming. Besides, once you see how much work it’s going to take to get my bed-and-breakfast up to snuff, I might beg you to take the job.” She winked at me before leaving the bedroom.
It was refreshingly different that Piper only cared about the fact that I had needed help and safety. It was a humbling and flattering way of treating me, but it left me with mixed feelings because no one had ever given me so much while demanding nothing in return.
I liked Piper and was excited about finally getting to see her bed-and-breakfast.
Dressed and feeling less like a stray cat that they’d brought in for the night, I felt like new—well, almost new. Rushing out of the bedroom, I shut the door and saw a note taped to the surface.
“Imani, help yourself to anything you want in the kitchen. Once I fix the fence, I’ll be right back. Quinn.”
I tried not to think too much about exactly what broke Quinn’s fence—mutant Bigfoot—as I strolled down the rustic staircase and into the open floor plan that connected the living room space to the kitchen area.
“Wow.” I spun around, staring at the decor of Quinn’s home. In the daylight, it was simply stunning and was the sort of house that was featured in country home design magazines. The only things missing from the picture-perfect scene were children running around and a woman—their mother—curled up on the couch watching them. A true family home, filled with kids, laughter, love, and happiness—something I would never have, no matter how badly I wanted it.
“Hello?” I called out, but no one answered.
Walking farther into the house, I surveyed the gourmet kitchen fit for a professional chef. The room had heavily textured exposed wood beams, richly stained inset cabinet doors, and two cooking areas designed to accommodate a variety of culinary techniques.
“Damn! This is my dream kitchen.” I ran my hands over the huge, L-shaped quartz island. I loved that, apparently, like me, Quinn believed that the heart of the home was in the kitchen. It was the one place where you could find family and friends cooking, eating, and enjoying one another’s company day in and day out. Food brought everyone together, which was the primary reason I loved cooking, and this kitchen had lots of room for mingling, an ample island with comfortable stools for chatting with the cook, and plenty of extra seating for when the meal was ready, such as a cozy banquette.
“Now, I need to rustle up some food for my gracious host,” I muttered, turning my mind to cooking, the only thing that truly released my anxiety and stress.
Opening the huge refrigerator, I was pleased to find it fully stocked with lots of fresh produce. Pulling out everything I needed, I placed all the items on the counter, then turned on the oven. In a large bowl, I tossed together the chopped potatoes, garlic, onion, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, olive oil, butter, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, and some kosher salt and pepper then put the contents on two sheet pans and popped them into the oven. I found biscuit dough in the refrigerator and placed those on a baking sheet.
“Now, for my sausage gravy.”
A while later, I opened the oven, pulling out the large pan of big-as-my-fist biscuits and brushing them with melted salted butter. Carefully taking each piece of hot, doughy goodness from the pan, I placed them on a platter then brought it over to the counter, which was already filled with multiple food platters spread across the island, piled high with eggs, pancakes, bacon, ham, sausages, the best potatoes, and a bowl of sausage gravy. I was proud that I’d made everything from scratch, except for the flaky biscuits.
I jumped when the outer glass door that led into the kitchen opened and a tall man rushed in with a big smile.
“Hi, I’m Jasper. Welcome to Black Forest Ridge.” His eyes widened at the platters on the island. “Wow, the food looks damn good.”
Amused, I smiled at him. “Thank you. I’m Imani. I’ll grab you some plates and silverware.”
“Nope,” Jasper said. “I’ve got it.”
“Okay,” I replied before taking another sip of coffee with my hip propped against the counter.
A tall man with dark hair pulled into a ponytail stepped over the threshold and grumbled, “Something sure smells delicious.” He glanced from the food to me. “I’m Emmett. Nice to meet you.”
“Imani,” I greeted. “You two go on and eat before the food gets cold.”
“I smell potatoes,” a man bellowed while striding into the kitchen and staring down at the big bowl of gravy. “You made sausage gravy from scratch?” He swiveled his head toward me.
“Of course,” I answered.
“Lordy, I think I’m in love,” he said before giving me a huge grin.
“Don’t you think you should tell me your name before declaring your undying love for me?” I finished with a saucy grin.
He stepped forward to shake my hand. “Brody.”
“Hi, Brody,” I said, clutching his hand briefly before letting go. “Go on and eat,” I ordered.
All three men washed their hands before shuffling around the kitchen, grabbing cups of coffee, plates and silverware, and then helped themselves to the food and went silent, eating.
Quinn walked in twenty minutes later. His eyes zeroed in on me, and an instant rush of heated pleasure pooled between my legs. My eyes scanned down his muscular body that looked rather spectacular in his black T-shirt and dark straight-leg jeans over well-worn cowboy boots.
Shit. He’s all my hot, dirty cowboy sexual fantasies rolled into one hellacious package.
“Imani?” Quinn called, snapping me out of my lustful perusal.
“Huh?” I replied, just noticing that he was standing next to me with a coffee cup in his hand and everyone had stopped eating and was just staring at me.
“You okay? I’ve been calling your name for a while.” His nose twitched as if scenting the air, then the edges of his lips curled up into a knowing smile. “Dirty thoughts so early in the morning?”
How did he know that?
“No,” I stammered. “I mean…” I squirmed. “I made breakfast,” I squeaked.
Brody, Jasper, and Emmett resumed wolfing down their food.
“You didn’t have to do that,” he answered.
I shrugged, “I love cooking. Plus, I wanted to thank you for taking me in last night.”
His eyes roamed over my face before he said, “You want more coffee?”
“No. I’m good,” I muttered.
He nodded before walking over to the coffeepot.
I couldn’t get over what a gigantic man he was. I could have sat on one of his shoulders easily. His back rippled with muscle that pushed against his shirt, and his long, powerful thighs bulged against the fabric of his jeans. But he seemed like both a brute and a gentle giant, confirmed by how tenderly he’d touched me last night. And something about all that power that he held so carefully in check turned me on more than it should when he was still a stranger to me.
“Grab a seat, eat, Imani,” Emmett ordered.
I flicked him an uneasy glance. “No thanks.” I was used to eating alone, and this very familiar comfy eating situation made me slightly uncomfortable. “Several cups of coffee and I’m good.” Not that what I made didn’t smell absolutely delicious, but my usual morning routine of just grabbing a protein bar and a travel mug of coffee was hard to break.
Quinn turned to face me with a glare. “Coffee?” He snorted. “Darling. I’m a big country boy, and not having a hearty breakfast is sacrilegious ’round these parts.” He frowned. “Besides, you don’t look like you eat enough.”
My hand stilled mid-sip. “Well…” I started while simultaneously placing my cup down. “I have to say, no one has ever said that about my body.” I was fit but curvy, with a not-so-hard tummy, so I wasn’t exactly wasting away from skipping meals. Not that I was ashamed of my appearance—because I damn sure wasn’t—but I knew I’d never be top pick to prance down the runway during Fashion Week.
“Well, I’m saying it,” Quinn announced.
“Oh, I see. So, you like your women sexy, sassy, curvy, and crazy like me?” I grinned.
“Exactly.” He winked at me before pulling out a chair for me to sit at the island.
I sat down, watching him fill two plates with food before placing one in front of me and the other right beside it, then taking the chair next to me.
“I can’t possibly eat all this,” I protested quietly, staring at the heaping plate of food that smelled absolutely delicious. “This won’t just break my diet, it will destroy it for the foreseeable future.”
He settled in the seat next to me. “Why the hell do you need to diet?” he asked in a low and gravelly voice.
I stared at him, speechless. Is this dude for real?
Quinn reached out one giant hand and swallowed mine whole in his grip. His touch was scorching, and his hands were rough and callused. “Eat, darling.” He kissed my fingers one by one with his warm lips. My body declared a mutiny, and my cunt pulsed with need.
Pulling my hand away, I grabbed a biscuit, smearing it with butter. Taking a bite, I groaned in ecstasy. The bread was warm and flaky, and the honey-sweetened butter added another layer of decadence. Lovely. I chewed slowly and swallowed.
“Good?” He was watching me closely.
“It’s freaking yummy.” I took another bite, chewing enthusiastically.
With a self-satisfied smile, he grabbed a biscuit, added lots of butter, and started eating. Frankly, it was refreshing to meet a man who was into actual food and not obsessed with zero fat in everything—including women—like most of the men I knew.
“This is by far the best store-bought biscuit I’ve ever eaten,” I added.
He choked, then swallowed. “Store-bought?” He looked offended. “Darling, I made them from scratch.”
Good lord! He can make biscuits from scratch? Man jackpot!
I swallowed and stared at him. “Where did you learn to make biscuits?”
He leaned forward. “I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.” His face was serious, then he broke out with a grin.
I laughed huskily. “Gotcha. I don’t have the security clearance to know.”
“Go on and eat.” He pointed to my plate. “Your food is getting cold.”
I poked at one of the little sausages with my fork, then popped it into my mouth and chewed experimentally. I moaned softly. “Lordy. This is good too.”
He nodded. His chair creaked loudly as he settled back into it and set to work on his own meal.
“My mom taught me how to bake and cook,” he started. “In my family, providing food for our women and young is both a duty and a privilege for the male. Nothing is better than keeping your woman satisfied.” His smile was slow and blatantly sexual, as if he was contemplating how he could satisfy me.
A flush of heat licked my skin just seeing that wickedly sensual smile. I pushed down the impulse to do something stupid, like grabbing his face and kissing him hungrily.
I took a few more bites and ate with gusto, struggling to keep any crumbs or bits of egg off my clothes.
“So, how do you feel today?” Quinn rumbled at me.
“A lot better. And despite all the chaos from last night, I slept like a damn baby.” Well, until the wolf nightmare. But it didn’t hurt that my sleeping quarters looked like a five-star mountain retreat. Complete with its own stone fireplace with thick log walls, tree-trunk beams, a king-size bed, and a decadent private bath with a big soaking tub and double sinks.
I bit my bottom lip before saying, “Frankly, it’s the first decent night’s sleep I’ve had in days. It must be the Alaskan air or all that cardio I did running away from that wolf last night.” I shivered, just remembering its feral eyes. “But really, I want to thank you again for letting me stay the night.” Even though our initial interaction had been less than stellar, he did eventually mellow out, showing me a kindness I wasn’t used to.
“Not a problem. We don’t get too many visitors from out of town around here. So, you showing up on my doorstep was pretty rare.” He turned around to eye me. “The wound on your head looks a lot better today, but you’re moving a little stiffly.”
“My body will heal,” I whispered. I was underplaying things by a lot. The bruises hurt, and under my clothes, I had blue-black splotches from my shoulders to my upper thighs, and my feet and legs also had smaller bruises. Not to mention that my shoulders hurt from launching myself over the fence at top speed, though my fingers and toes seemed all right.
I continued. “I crashed my car into a ditch, so I’m just really hoping I can get a mechanic…”
“I’ll be taking care of your car,” Emmett filled in. “I own the only garage in town.”
“Thank you, Emmett.” I smiled at him. “I hope you can do something about my car, because I can’t afford to replace it.” I really couldn’t—all my savings were in my handbag, so I’d have to be very frugal with my expenses.
“I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. Chances are it’ll just need to be yanked out of the ditch and then towed into my shop for a checkup. Hopefully, you get it back by early in the day tomorrow, but I’ll know for sure once I do a vehicle assessment.”
“You still thinking about taking the job with my mom?” Quinn asked. But something I couldn’t pick out flickered in his eyes before it disappeared.
“Of course,” I affirmed. “If she’ll have me.”
“That’s great,” Brody said.
“It is great,” Quinn commented. “But I’d understand if you kind of wanted to get the hell out of town after what happened last night.”
I arched a brow. Was he trying to get rid of me?
“Even if I wanted to, my car’s going to need at least some work. Plus, I sort of risked everything coming here, so I’ve got nowhere else to go.”
All true. I desperately needed this job with Piper, or I’d be jobless and homeless and looking for another place to land for the season.
I carried on. “I’m hoping that I can prove to your mother that I’m the right woman for the job, because frankly, I need the money, and I’m not sure what I’ll do if I don’t get it.”
I didn’t have anywhere else to go—with no family or friends to turn to—and I wasn’t looking forward to the last resort, living in my car until I found another job and apartment.
I cleared my throat before saying, “You have a beautiful home.”
“Thank you,” Quinn said. “It was built in the early 1900s by my great-grandparents. It started out as a log cabin, then it took on a life of its own as our family grew.”
“Oh, so you have lots of siblings?”
He shook his head. “No. I’m an only child, even though my parents planned for more. It just never happened.” He pointed to the men gobbling up food. “So, she’s become the unofficial mother of Brody, Jasper, Emmett, and the two other men from last night—Rhett and Mack. We met in the military and became friends.”
“What branch of the military?” I asked.
“We all served in the Army Special Forces,” he offered. “But after we retired from the military, I convinced them to make their homes in the Ridge. I moved in to this house and then divided the rest of the land among my friends so they could each have their own private oasis.”
“Wow,” I said. “That’s generous of you.”
He shrugged. “They’re my brothers.”
Jasper chimed in. “And we fight like siblings too.”
“Ain’t that the truth,” Emmett mumbled between bites of food.
“About almost everything,” Brody said.
“Anyway, what’s mine is theirs,” Quinn said. “That’s how it’ll always be.”
And his words and actions summed up the man I suspected he was—Quinn seemed loyal and generous to the people he cared for. But why is he being so welcoming toward me—a perfect stranger?
“So, what about you? Any siblings?” His eyes never left mine as he waited for my response.
I stared at him, shifting uncomfortably. I didn’t enjoy talking about my time in the foster care system; it was a horrible period for me. But something about Quinn made me want to be as giving as he was being to me.
“No siblings,” I offered. “I grew up in the foster care system, bouncing from placement to placement.”
I deliberately left out the fact that, at ten years old, my mother had intentionally abandoned me at a grocery store like a stray cat and never looked back.
And that I’d had over fourteen placements, moving from home to home, school to school, often with no explanation. I’d felt like I was constantly being tossed out like trash or returned because of some defect.
“That had to be rough,” he said, his eyes locked on mine. I felt stripped bare before his gaze.
I shrugged and said with forced nonchalance, “It is what it is.”
I took a sip of coffee, trying not to think about how many times I’d had to emotionally and mentally re-thread myself after being rejected each time they moved me to a new placement. I’d quickly grown an impermeable emotional shell and went into survival mode, which numbed me to the frequent disappointments and abandonments.
“How long were you in the system?” Quinn asked.
I took a deep breath before answering.
I didn’t want to sound too self-pitying about my life growing up. But strangely, I trusted Quinn not to judge me. He was rough, intimidating, and his manners really needed a little work, but he didn’t seem to do bullshit. He didn’t say things diplomatically, but he said them honestly. Quinn was a refreshing change.
“I was ten years old when my mother abandoned me, so I remained in foster care until I turned eighteen. I received a scholarship and left for college, where I got a four-year college degree in business.”
I swallowed hard, remembering that every Christmas, I had to leave campus but didn’t have anywhere to go. So, I paid to stay in a room the size of a guest closet. “When I graduated, I found a job in sales, so I moved around a lot—from city to city for years. I thought my nomadic life was a phase, but I’m forty and I still have this feeling…”
He studied my face for a long minute. “About what?”
I bit my bottom lip, contemplating my next words. “Like I’m searching for something—maybe a feeling—you know, telling me that the place I’m in is ‘the one.’ My forever home. I know it sounds crazy, but I always get this itchy feeling as soon as I land in a new city that tells me to move the hell on.” I bit my lip when I realized I hadn’t had that feeling once since I’d come to Black Forest Ridge. Strange…
“Anyway,” I continued. “After leaving a lucrative career working in marketing and sales, I followed my passion for cooking. I didn’t attend culinary school. I’m a self-taught chef—or, more precisely, I learned by paying my dues in the kitchens of several well-known restaurants. My last job was at a 3-star Michelin restaurant in New York.”
“Sounds like a dream job. Why did you leave to come to Black Forest Ridge?”
“I got the itch to move again.” I shrugged. “You know, to find something new.” Most people loved the stability of settling down and building a nest. I wasn’t one of those individuals. I was a nomad who moved when the season changed.
“Well, you’re in for a treat,” Emmett interjected, “because the Ridge is like nowhere you’ve been before.”
“Shut it,” Brody snapped, then guzzled a mouthful of coffee.
“What?” Emmett asked, shoveling a biscuit into his mouth.
“Well, I think this town needs a fresh face, especially one who can cook like Imani,” Jasper said.
I beamed at the compliment. “Thank you. I love to cook and try out new recipes.”
Quinn sent me a look I couldn’t decipher. “So, how did you find my mom’s job posting?”
Emmett pushed back from the counter, picking up his plate, utensils, and cup. “Well, that was delicious, Imani. Thanks. I need to stop at my place before meeting you and Quinn at your car. I’ll see you in a few.” He walked over to the dishwasher, loading it up before walking out.
“Yep, I need to get going too,” Jasper said. “I’ve got a conference call in an hour.” He glanced over at me. “Thanks for the breakfast.”
“Ditto, Imani.” Brody got up. “Off to the distillery for me. I’ve got lots of orders to fill today.”
Distillery? I loved infusing craft spirits into my cooking and baking. “You work at a distillery?”
“I own it,” Brody revealed. “Thorbern Distillery. I make the best damn whiskey in the country. You should stop by and take a sip. Hell, take a couple of sips.” He winked at me.
While watching Brody and Jasper put their stuff into the dishwasher before walking out, I said, “I can’t wait.”
I took a long swallow of my coffee. Apparently, either Quinn or Piper was a real coffee snob, because the fresh-ground beans tasted pretty damn expensive.
“Wonderful coffee,” I said.
“We drink a lot of this stuff around here.” He flashed a brief smile.
“Where were we?” I asked.
“The job posting.” He stared at me, waiting for me to finish my story.
Sitting back, I sighed. “Clicking through online job openings, I saw your mother’s job announcement.”
I paused for another swallow of coffee, surprised by how easy it was to unburden myself to Quinn. “I took it as a sign from the universe that it was my next job, so I set up an interview meeting with her, and then started driving here from New York.”
His eyes widened. “That’s a long drive.” I could hear the worry in his voice, and it made that warm feeling in my stomach intensify.
Imani, don’t do it. Keep this shit with Quinn strictly in the friend zone.
I shrugged. “I’m on a tight budget and couldn’t afford to fly. Besides, I’ve traveled all over the United States in my car, but I’ve never been to Alaska before. It’s been on my bucket list for years.”
Here I was, talking to the sexiest man I’d ever seen. Telling him all my business and not once did I get that sick roller-coaster feeling of dread in my stomach that he’d twist my words around to break or use me.
I glanced at Quinn, who had finished clearing his plate of food. I shook my head in amazement—he was all muscles with no fat.
Where did he put all that food?
He looked like a man who could take care of business in and out of the bedroom. Heat flushed through my body, just imagining how good he’d be between my legs.
Quinn’s nose twitched, then his lips curled up into a panty-melting smile.
“Interesting,” he said playfully.
“What’s interesting?” I said, dragging my gaze away from his lips.
“Everything about you, Imani.” He stretched my name into a sensuous whisper that slipped across my skin, leaving goose bumps in its wake.
He reached his hand across the table, grasping mine. I didn’t flinch or pull away as he stroked my skin. Truth was, I loved his touch. His smile. His soothing, seductive voice that made my cunt clench like it recognized its master.
Sweet baby Jesus. I wasn’t a prude, but even for me, this was way too soon to even be contemplating riding his cock like a surfboard.
Okay, girl. Breathe. Slow down.
Keep your mind off his cock.
But I wonder how big his…
I clamped down hard on my sexual urges, fighting the long-dormant lust unfolding inside me.
Snatching my hand away, I squeaked, “Could you pass the coffee?”
“Sure, darling.” The corner of Quinn’s lips curled up before he stood, heading over to the counter.
Heading back with the pot of coffee, he refilled my mug for me. He stood a little closer than he needed to to complete the task, and I smelled the clean, earthy, and slightly wood-smoke-scented musk of his sweat. I swallowed hard, suppressing—barely—my surge of desire.
I shouldn’t be thinking about sex when I knew so little about Quinn. But damn, the attraction between Quinn and me felt fantastic, natural, and just plain right.
After he topped off my cup, I locked eyes with him, smiling at him brightly. “Thanks,” I said huskily.
He blinked down at me, his eyes widening slightly, and I saw his hands shake a little as he put down the pot. “No problem,” he grumbled.
That I could fluster him boosted my confidence a lot. Here he was, this big, self-assured, badass man, and I could throw him off-balance with a smile.
My body screamed at me that my attraction to him was right.
My mind whispered, “Hell no.”
My mind won the debate.
I had no intention of going down that “let’s have hot, dirty sex” road with Quinn because it would only lead to romantic disaster, for him and for me.
DELETED SCENE 2
His eyes widened. “What?”
“Please transform into your wolf.”
“We call it shifting into our animal.” He scratched his chin. “But are you sure that you want me to shift? Especially after what Sam did to you?”
I nodded. “It’s because of what he did. That’s why it’s so important to see you shift. I don’t want to be terrified of every wolf I meet because of that jackass.”
“Fair enough.” Quinn paused. “But you have to step back. I need lots of space.”
I moved behind a workbench, watching him take off his boots, then remove his shirt. I cleared my throat, fighting the urge to run my fingers across his hairless, muscled chest.
“Slowly, please,” I called out, and Quinn lifted a brow at me. I sent him a wicked smile, and he shook his head. If I was getting a strip show, I might as well enjoy it.
He unzipped his jeans slowly. I felt a thrill of excitement shoot up my spine when I realized he was commando.
His cock jutted out proudly as he stared at me.
Jesus. It’s an anaconda.
I’d seen my fair share of cocks, but Quinn’s was huge and glorious.
My eyes traveled his naked length. “Impressive,” I said boldly.
He laughed. “So I’ve been told.”
“I bet you have.” I gave him a saucy wink. “Now, stop showing off and get to shifting.”
He stepped backward, and I watched with fascination as his bones rearranged under his skin, expanding and stretching. The dark fur grew, covering his entire body, as his feet and hands spread and thickened. A few snaps of bones later and a monstrous inky-black wolf stood in Quinn’s place. He was larger than any wolf I’d ever seen. He was tall, even on all fours.
A little frisson of fear engulfed me.
The wolf sat on its hindquarters, watching me.
This is Quinn. I’m safe. I took a deep, calming breath and dismissed my fear.
The wolf stood and stalked closer to me, sniffing the air. It was beautiful, but it was deadly. I drifted toward him, stopping directly before him.
Quinn plopped his furry ass down and huffed at me. I remained still for a few seconds before stroking my fingers across his head. His fur was so soft. I smiled, running my fingers over his cold nose, then over his ears. He growled, and I pulled my hand away, only to have him push his head farther against me. I returned my fingers to his ear, watching as he tilted his head farther into my hand, and decided that was a growl of pleasure. Before long, I was on my knees, my hands buried in the thick coat of his pelt, as I peered into his eyes.
Leaning forward, I kissed the top of his head and said, “Quinn, you’re beautiful.”
He huffed again, as if saying, “I know.”
Thanks for being part of the SV Tribe! I hope you enjoyed this exclusive bonus scene from Shifters of Black Forest Ridge (Quinn)!
About the next book – Shifters of Black Forest Ridge (Rhett):
My fated mate is the heir to the Hunters who killed my family.
Never once did I imagine finding my mate to be a newcomer to the Ridge and heir of my natural-born enemy. Nova’s just now learning the truth about her shifter father after living among humans.
The instant my eyes locked with hers, I knew she was mine. Mine to worship. Mine to protect.
My desperate need to protect and claim her can’t change the cruel twist of fate that she comes from a long lineage of Hunters on her mother’s side.
We hate each other – even if I want to tear her clothes off, making her mine.
Fate is cruel because I’ll go feral without her.