Dawn of Three Rivers
The Wolves of Willow Bend
face a whole new challenge.
USA Today Bestselling Author
The Italian Alpha, Salvatore Esposito, crossed an ocean and dared to venture into unfriendly territory to hunt for his missing sister in Willow Bend.. He’ll do anything to get her back, even if it means he must resist chasing the fierce enforcer who wakens his primal beast…anything.
As an enforcer, Margo Montgomery monitors the lone wolves. She is in the middle of investigating missing wolves from multiple territories when the order comes in to escort the Salvatore to Willow Bend. There’s bad blood between her and the current Alpha of Willow Bend, but they soon discover a new danger–a lone wolf gone rogue.
Now Margo must hunt the rogue–a pursuit made all the more dangerous because it becomes readily apparent the rogue they seek isn’t alone and Salvatore refuses to be left behind–not when wolves are vanishing without a trace…
The rise of so many lone wolves into a prospective sixth pack brings the Alphas of all the North American packs to Willow Bend for a summit. Having so many powerful dominants in one place invites challenges and hazards. No protocol can be ignored and none feels the strain more than Lincoln Buckley. He’s been charged by his Alpha to act as liaison for the Delta Crescent Alpha—the fierce and wildly beautiful Serafina Andre.
Serafina stands apart from her ‘fellow’ Alphas. As the only female to hold sway over a North American pack, she only has Delta Crescent’s interests in mind. She expects challenges from the other male Alphas, dominants all, due to their need to protect females. It doesn’t surprise her in the least to find out the wolf assigned as her liaison has also been tasked with her protection. What does startle her is the depth of her interest in him.
An Alpha doesn’t submit, no matter how much the woman in her might crave him. Her pack must come first, especially since what Willow Bend proposes is insanity…
Dylan Royce, Willow Bend Hunter, is a natural flirt and courted his fair share of she-wolves, but he’s never found the woman who makes his pulse race. With the new pack’s borders verging on Willow Bend territory, he’s tasked with keeping an eye on them. His job grows more challenging daily, especially since one seductive female keeps crossing the line.
Chrystal Landros knows she’s supposed to keep to her side of the Three Rivers-Willow Bend line. But she loves to explore, and Willow Bend is home to some spectacular sites. As a former Lone Wolf, she hasn’t always been certain of her welcome, but her new home in Three Rivers opens a wonderful world of unfamiliar opportunities. Too bad the wolf who makes her blood heat is tasked with keeping her away from the places she wants to visit.
While Dylan and Chrystal clash repeatedly over her border incursions, the game between them threatens to turn deadly. Tensions between Willow Bend and Three Rivers continue to rise. Could their forbidden dalliance be the spark to ignite a war?
This is one of my favorite Willow Bend books even though I didn’t have much love for Margo when I started reading it. The drool worthy Italian Alpha Salvatore, the strong, snarky and sometimes brutal Enforcer Margo, a missing sister, a rogue lone wolf and of course the ever not so lovable Julian.
Mason is the Alpha who grants Salvatore entry to the US to search for his sister and Margo is the enforcer who collects him from the airport and escorts him to Willow Bend. A trip that is quite amusing as Margo takes offense at just about everything Salvatore says.
This is a favorite scene as Salvatore makes no pretense of wanting her.
He wanted to rip Rayne’s lying head from his shoulders or at the very least snap his neck. “When we track them, I will verify that my sister is not mated. If she is not—then you may have him. If she is…he is mine.” It was the only concession he was prepared to make.
“So you’re claiming him if they’re mated?” The rational response surprised him, but he considered his options.
“Perhaps,” he said. “I know my sister. She is a delicate thing. I do not know if she would survive losing her mate. I do know she would not have mated and kept it a secret willfully. Nor would she have had any reason to run. I have to know what happened between them to know what damage he has done.”
“Fine,” Margo stunned him with her acquiescence. “If they are mated, he’s yours. If they aren’t, he’s mine. I don’t need time to decide his fate. If they aren’t mated, I’m killing him.” Despite the flip tone at the end of her statement, the darkness in her eyes tugged at him.
“You do not have to, if you do not wish. I will not judge you weak for wishing to forgive him…” The words were the wrong ones, she dug her claws into him and the fabric tore.
“I am not weak. Mercy is never weak. Mercy is what we give when someone is deserving of our compassion. I do not know what this Rayne Barrows is, but do not belittle me again, Salvatore. Clear?”
Closing his grip, he applied pressure until her claws retracted. “I did not mean to offer insult, bella. However, we should have rules if you wish to keep clawing me. I prefer your claws in my back rather than my chest and the scrape of them… I find is very arousing.”
This close he could not miss the spice of her desire invading her anger.
“Anytime you wish to test your claws on me, all you must do is say the word. Capisce?”
“Asshole.” Her grumbled remark, so disrespectful and yet teasing in the same breath, amused him.
Deliberately misunderstanding, he tugged her hand from his chest and lifted it to press a kiss to her open palm, daring her claws. “Is that your word, then?”
Her pupils dilated briefly, then her gaze narrowed. “Is what my word?”
“The word you wish to use when you desire to be in my bed?”
Understanding flared and she growled, the low sound so full of menace and threat it was adorable.
“I shall remember it well,” he promised, then nipped the heel of her hand hard enough for her to feel his teeth. She sucked in a breath, but didn’t pull away. “Simply call me that again, and I will know you are ready for me.”
Sadly, she kept her silence on the word and he released her.
Clearing her throat, Margo slid sideways to escape him and he let her go. “We need to get moving—and you need a change of clothes.”
Yes, better to get back to business.
Long, Heather. Rogue Wolf (Wolves of Willow Bend Book 4) (pp. 91-94). Kindle Edition.
The search for the Alpha’s sister brings forth a realization that is not in the least comforting. Not to the enforcers and certainly not to Mason.
For Margo another unsettling truth could mean her death, but maybe for a chance at something more if she is willing to take it.
We meet a lot of enforcers in this one, including the powerful and mysterious Julian. Plenty of interaction with Mason and Willow Bend including a showdown or two with Margo’s mother.
Fast paced, intriguing, sensuous and witty, don’t miss this book!
5 Contented Purrs for Heather!
Tensions are high in this book as we meet all the Alphas. The severity of the prospect of a sixth pack has Mason calling for a summit of all the Alphas, but Emma also needs to speak with the other healers regarding the issues from Hudson River. Thus the Alpha must bring their healer, since no Alpha will let harm come to a healer.
Mason is a crafty devil, I swear it! His choices for each Alpha’s liason is genius. Claire for Cassius, Dylan for Diesel, Owen for Brett and Linc for Serafina. Claire because of her relationship with Cassius, Dylan and Owen because of their strength, and Linc because of his Alpha potential although he doesn’t want it.
This is a favorite scene as Linc botches the initial greeting with Serafina.
A broad face and square jaw kept his pretty down to handsome. The corner of his full mouth kicked up a fraction in a smile. Most Hunters, her Hounds included, carried themselves with a faint air of aggression. The wolf waiting for them seemed far calmer on the surface.
Who did Mason send to be her liaison?
“Wait here.” She reinforced with the order with her will and slid out of the car. A hint of rain perfumed the air, but the gray cloud cover remained too thin for more than some sprinkles. The cooler temperatures sent goosebumps racing over her skin. An unsettling chill curled at the base of her spine and raced through her system as though she’d encountered static. Even in winter, home was warmer than the wooded campground she crossed.
The waiting male straightened as she strode across the grass. His chin raised and she got a good look at the dark blue of his eyes when his gaze collided with hers. Strength pulsed behind those eyes—strength and something more. Her wolf’s attention snapped through her. The beast’s focus was so intense, she clenched her hands to keep her claws from extending.
Alpha. The whisper of insight came from the spirits her mother communed with throughout her life. The powerful voodoo priestess took a wolf to mate then became a wolf herself. Though a turned wolf, Maria never abandoned her faith, and she’d passed her gifts to her children. When the spirits shared their knowledge, Serafina listened. Strong. Tempestuous.
“Hot.” The last came out in a masculine timbre not remotely resembling the spirits. At her raised eyebrows, the wolf gazing at her blinked and the tips of his ears reddened. The faint scent of citrus, woods, and freshly crushed evergreens perfumed the air. Clearing his throat, the wolf gave her a half-grin. “My apologies, Serafina Andre. I’m afraid your beauty bowled me over and the filter between my brain and my mouth failed.”
The apology shouldn’t amuse her, so she schooled her features and waited. Power, tightly contained and raw, roiled around the other wolf. Trust Mason to surround himself with powerful wolves. It had been one of his more attractive qualities—a self-confidence he didn’t need to bolster by weakening the wolves around him.
“And apparently my foot in mouth-itis continues.” Clearing his throat, he shoved his long fingers through his hair and gave her a slow grin. “Serafina Andre, on behalf of Mason Clayborne, I bid you welcome to Willow Bend. We have prepared a house for you and your wolves. I will be acting as your liaison. If there is anything you need—anything—you tell me, and I’ll see it taken care of.”
Long, Heather. Bayou Wolf (Wolves of Willow Bend Book 5) (pp. 53-54). Heather Long. Kindle Edition.
I couldn’t believe Diesel’s audacity, or for that matter Alexis storming in, between Mason and him. A hold your breath moment for sure even before the first summit meeting.
Serafina comes on to Linc pretty strong, but he fights his attraction for the sake of the summit. That is until he can’t.
After the matings in the previous book, I can’t help but wonder if Mason already knew Linc and Sera would become mates.
I did quite a bit of giggling, held my breath more than once, I even sniffled a few times. Yet another book I couldn’t put down until I turned the last page.
5 Contented Purrs for Heather!
Oh Chrystal, you truly stink at staying within borders. The situations you get yourself into, well let’s just say you need to be more careful.
Dylan was looking forward to his date and enjoying the snowfall on his route when he scented the wayward wolf. When he finds her in a precarious position he is annoyed and scared for her.
This is a favorite scene when he needs her to shift so she’ll be warm and get to his cabin quicker.
Wide eyes blinking at him again, she swallowed. “You’re naked.”
“No kidding. And if my balls get frostbite, I’ll do more than snarl at you. Shift.”
“But you’re staring at me.”
It was Dylan’s turn to blink. Nudity wasn’t a big deal. She certainly had nothing to be ashamed of. Her long tumble of brown hair fell in damp waves against her soft olive skin. Blessed by generous curves and full breasts, she lacked tight muscle definition but her plush form didn’t betray any hint of weakness. If anything, it reinforced his need to see her safely shifted to a warmer form and out of the snow before she caught a real illness. Though wolves rarely sickened the way humans did, they could get ill if they didn’t take care of themselves.
Or if those who are supposed to be taking care of her fail to look after her properly. The failure to do so added another black mark against the new so-called Alpha, as far as he was concerned. “Just change, Chrystal. The faster you do, the faster I can slip this on you and change myself.”
Another hop from foot to foot as misery burst like a rain cloud over her head. “I don’t know if I can do it while you’re watching.”
Not a refusal, not a challenge, a cry for help. Grunting, Dylan said, “I’ll watch the tree line, but I’m not turning my back on you.” Then, because her continued quaking left him feeling like an asshole, he gentled his tone. “You’re safe, Chrystal. Nothing will touch you while you shift. I promise.”
Doubt clung to her expression, although her eyes remained downcast. She nodded slowly. “Thank you.”
Yep. Her gratitude at being granted protection while she did as he’d ordered increased his sense of being a jerk. The little wolf was in the wrong, and it was his task to correct her and send her from their territory. Her constant flouting of the rules, however, needed to be quashed. How the hell did she survive as a Lone Wolf when she didn’t know how to follow the simple restrictions outlined by the probation treaty offered to Three Rivers?
Scanning the tree line, Dylan waited for the sounds of her shift, but none seemed forthcoming. Sparing her a glance, he found her arms folded tight against her chest while she continued to alternate from foot to foot. Her shivering increased ten-fold, however, and a faint tinge of blue touched her lips.
“What’s wrong?” Why the hell isn’t she shifting?
“I don’t know,” she said with more fear in her tone than bite. “I’m trying, but nothing seems to be happening.”
Disregarding her earlier discomfort at his stare, Dylan studied her. Her shivering increased. His wolf rousing from their shared grumpiness, he clasped her shoulder. If she couldn’t shift, she was in a lot more trouble than frozen clothes, frostbite and violating Willow Bend territorial boundaries. “Chrystal.” He snapped out the two syllables of her name and her gaze jerked to his. Calling a wolf out was a job best left to an Alpha, but dominant wolves could do it if they could override the more submissive wolf’s tendencies.
His vision flickered as his wolf peered out of his eyes. Growling, he uttered the command, “Shift.”
One blink. Then two. Her walnut eyes bled gold as her wolf glared out at him. No, not glared. Her wolf wasn’t angry; she was terrified. Fisting his control, Dylan let his anger and frustration bleed out of him. Ordering her wolf around when she plainly didn’t know how to cope with a more dominant animal served no one.
“Come on, darling,” he murmured, giving her shoulder a squeeze. “Come on out and play.”
The change rippled over her, and her eyes went completely wolf. When the muscles beneath his hand began to tug, he released her and stepped back to give her space. Shivering cascaded into the violence of her change. Her moans turned to whimpers and growls. Finally, fur glided over her shifted bones and form. She landed on four feet in front of him, panting hard.
Giving her a moment to reorient herself, Dylan lowered to a crouch rather than towering over her. The stink of fear occluded her sweeter scent. Yes, she needed discipline. Yes, she broke their treaty. Yes, he needed to kick her ass, but none of those offenses interested him at the moment. The she-wolf’s terror ignited every protective instinct he had. Extending a hand, he said, “Good girl. Beautiful job.”
A low whine vibrated in her throat, and she dropped to her belly. Dammit. His wolf’s frustration mirrored Dylan’s. They didn’t want her crawling. If he dragged her to him and gave her a hug, he’d likely scare the shit out of her. Settling his palm against her head, he gave her a gentle scratch.
“Sweet girl, thank you.” The wolf’s ears flicked toward him. She was a dusky black and white wolf, darker hairs sprinkled amongst the silver and white. In low light and at a distance, she’d look more like a husky than wolf. Her slighter build would help her blend in more urban areas. When she dared a glance at him, he gave her a small smile.
“Can you stand up, beautiful? Need to put these clothes over your head and around your shoulders.” If he fit it snug enough, they wouldn’t hamper her movements. With great hesitation and care, she rose to her feet, but kept her whole body hunched and tail tucked between her legs.
Ignoring the frigid air and his own discomfort, Dylan kept his touch on her light. Gradually, her slunk gave way to a better posture, and she darted another look at him. Maintaining a smile, he said, “Ready when you are, beautiful.”
Long, Heather. Untamed Wolf (Wolves of Willow Bend Book 6) (pp. 12-16).Kindle Edition.
This is not the last time Chrystal crosses borders. The next time in the middle of a blizzard leads to issues with her pack and Willow Bend. But it also leads to rescuing a wolf and her cub and three days alone with Dylan.
Lots of surprises in this one, we see a bit more the mysterious Enforcer Julian and of course Mason. Some hold your breath scenes and some seriously hot ones.
5 Contented Purrs for Heather!
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USA Today bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas in the summertime.
From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories–her characters drive the books.
When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.