Black Mesa Wolves Book 5
USA Today Bestselling Author
Three Black Mesa Wolves Holiday Stories:
New Year Wolf
Once upon a time, wolf shifter Lia Woolsey fell in love. More specifically, she met her mate and settled down with him in a small town far from the bustling big city she’s always known. But she never thought she’d be the kind of woman to give up everything for a man–not even Connor, the mate of her heart, soul, and body. Five years later, she’s been offered a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity she can’t turn down. Not even if it means leaving Connor behind and shattering her own heart.
Connor Lowe has everything a wolf shifter could want. His place in the Black Mesa Wolf Pack is secure, his deeply committed work as a doctor running a low-income medical clinic fills his days, and his mate, Lia, lights up his entire life. He’s the world’s happiest wolf–but his mate isn’t. And he loves her too much to stop her from leaving to follow her own bliss, even though he knows his days will darken into nothingness each moment she is away from him.
As the frozen longest night of the year approaches, Connor and Lia face an impossible choice…the kind only winter solstice magic might be able to fix before it’s too late.
Lia is leaving Durango for her dream job, unfortunately for Connor that job is across the country.
He knows he has to let her go or he will lose her forever, but this is so very hard and he is going to make this time fun.
This is a favorite scene.
Fun is good, her wolf insisted again, urging Lia to fly faster downhill. Fully giving in to the moment, Lia complied. After all, she had to catch her mate. He definitely, she decided, had something up his sleeve. And the part of her that had been missing his touch really wanted to find out what that might be.
She caught up to Connor as they slipped back onto the groomed slopes of the resort. They slowed their pace as they neared the buildings at the bottom of the hill, which were spitting out more skiers. Sliding into an expert stop just before the little island of plastic deck chairs randomly set out on the snow in front of the small cafe in the main building, where people lounged with drinks in hand as they idly watched others skiing down the slopes, Lia took off her helmet and ruffled her hand through her hair. “Do you want—”
“Lia, watch out!” Connor shouted, looking past her with sudden alarm.
Too late. Someone smacked hard into her with a shriek, sending her tumbling into Connor, who tripped under her weight and fell over backward. They landed in a pile of limbs and tangled skis, Lia’s face pressed firmly into the snow above Connor’s shoulder.
Her body also was pressed firmly against Connor. Despite the fact the man was her own mate, it had been so long since she’d felt his entire body next to hers she inhaled with surprise and a tingle of arousal. Unfortunately, she also inhaled snow, which set her to coughing and choking. Connor struggled to right them both, cursing at his skis.
“Do I need to smack you on the back?” he asked her, his tone half worried, half joking. She heard his wolf in his voice. Always surging to the forefront if he thought she was at all endangered.
“No,” she wheezed, well aware they were giving the bystanders a show. Especially since she was still tangled up with him. After Lia finally managed to breathe normally again, much to Connor’s relief, they stood up. She waved off the vocal worries of the distraught newbie skier who’d lost control on the landing and slid right into her.
“Did you hurt anything?” Connor asked her, his amber-gold eyes a shade darker with his concern as he ran practiced doctor hands over her body.
A light shiver rippled through her at his touch, which was purely professional and detached, if more casually personal than he would be with strangers. Well. This was interesting indeed. Her wolf sashayed through her mind, shamelessly wanting to show Connor her tail. Ahem. “No, I’m fine, I told you,” she said, keeping her voice collected by habit.
Since when had she gotten into that habit with Connor? Right. Since…probably years now. Damn. Twisting her lip with her teeth, she tried to soften her voice as she said, “Let’s just go home, hmm? I think I could use a soak in the hot tub.”
He abruptly stilled his hands on her. She sensed his sudden, keen interest. Mouth suddenly drying, she licked her lips, which made him go even more still. She’d been right. This morning’s little playtime on the mountain was a ploy to get them both into a space they could share together. A mixed surge of hope and the sweet tickle of arousal lifted in her, making her heartbeat kick up a notch.
“Connor?” she asked, her voice suddenly a bit lower than usual. She felt her wolf hovering just below the surface, very intrigued with her mate’s reaction to her, adding the depth to her voice. “Was it something I said?” she added, deliberately making her words sound seductive just to see what that might do to him.
Connor’s wolf leapt into his eyes, which were still covered by his goggles, though he’d taken his helmet off just before they been slammed to the ground. The flood of his pheromones shot out to her, and she inhaled his musky scent with a shivering need that had her wolf pawing for control.
Ah. So her mate had planned this, indeed. The control she liked to hold began melting off as her mate’s intentions carried to her on his increasingly intense, head-rushing scent.
“You’ve been saying it to me all day, Lia.” His voice had dropped as well, the faint undertones of his wolf lending it a rough edge that skittered along all her senses, rousing her to new awareness.
The bone-deep knowledge that she and her mate were going to go home and straight to bed shortened her breath and made her lightly tremble all over. Connor was the only person in the world who could make her lose control, who could make her tough outer shell crack with a single whisper.
Mine, her wolf snarled softly in her head. But she didn’t mean Connor. She meant Lia. She wanted to take over, to guide Lia’s movements through the wilder side. To make Lia let go and roll around with abandon in the moment with her mate.
Now, she thought, caught in Connor’s heated gaze, which she could feel down to her naked skin. Yes. They’d needed this for months now. Badly.
“Home, love,” she whispered.
“Yes,” he said, his eyes promising her things. She could sense his own control being pushed at by his wolf as well.
Harper, J.K.. Christmas Wolf Holiday Bundle (Paranormal Shapeshifter Romance) (Black Mesa Wolves #5) Kindle Locations(1266-1301). Sable Moon Books. Kindle Edition.
Instead of being able to spend Solstice enjoying the festivities with her pack her new boss calls her to start earlier than agreed.
She discovers some very interesting information in all the files they gave her to go through. At the same time Connor makes a discovery of his own.
A fun read with romance, sizzle and thinking outside the box.
5 Contented Purrs for JK!
Omega wolf Ana Lyall knows she is essential to the Black Mesa Wolf Pack, despite being its lowest-ranking member. She knows her place, and she’s content in it–until she met Mason Pearce and he opened her heart. His seductive touch roused her to possessive heights of ecstasy she’d never before felt, and he believes in her more than anyone ever has. But Mason is human and therefore forbidden. Claiming him as her mate would mean his death. Even though it shredded her heart, she walked away and didn’t look back.
Mason Pearce never felt passionately about anything–until he met Ana. She stirred up his wild side and marked his heart as hers. When she inexplicably dumped him, he knew there was more to it than she was telling him. He’s tried almost everything to get her back, with no luck. But then he runs into her during the holidays, and seeing her again clarifies one truth: He won’t let her go again. No matter what it might cost him.
This is an expanded version of a story previously published as “The Night Before Christmas.” For the most enjoyment, consider reading it after Wild Wolf #4, although that is not strictly necessary in order to enjoy this holiday tale.
Ana knows she has to break it off with Mason. He is human and she is wolf, they can’t be mates even though that’s what her wolf is telling her.
Mason is sure of one thing Ana is his and he will settle this tonight.
This is a favorite scene.
Tall, dressed in a tux like all the other wolves here—except he wasn’t a wolf, he was a human in a dangerous position surrounded by wolves—a thought at which her own wolf huffed at her—he filled it out with his broad shoulders and lean hips and and those muscled legs she could see slightly bulging out in the dark pants. His stance was casual but assured, and he didn’t seem too concerned as he talked to the Alpha. Ana had long ago introduced him to Alpha as her boss, which was the cover story all the wolves used around humans. Since it was also true, no one got upset at having to make something up. Mason had surprised her, though, when he told her his grandfather and Alpha went way back.
Just then, Alpha turned and gestured directly toward Ana, drawing Mason’s attention to her. The entire room faded away, all the noise disappearing under a hum Ana recognized and desperately wished would go away. Desire bolted through her at Mason’s gaze, which speared her with his bright blue eyes even halfway across the large space. Her limbs felt heavy even though she felt light overall. The confusion of it made her laugh a little, even as she felt her breathing shorten.
With a cursory nod good-bye to Alpha, Mason turned and strode to her.
Her wolf rolled in Ana’s mind, welcoming her mate as he prowled toward her. This time, Ana couldn’t argue against the word mate again, too caught by Mason’s clear intentions as he came closer. Humans didn’t broadcast their lust the way wolves did. But lust clearly was on Mason’s mind, and the sweet, enticing wave of it hit Ana straight on, threatening to steal her thoughts and melt her brain. Rooted in place, she didn’t protest when he reached her, caught her hand in his, and pulled her toward the door.
“We’re talking, babe,” he said. “Right now, before I damn well explode right here in front of all your co-workers.”
“Uh,” was all she could get out as he grabbed their coats from the entry way, shrugged his on and helped with hers, and let them outside into the frozen winter night. Feeling a few curious stares on their backs, she didn’t dare turn around. Her thoughts were so fuddled she didn’t know what else to do but follow him. It felt as natural as breathing to be following him again.
Frosted snow crunched beneath their feet as Mason firmly propelled Ana toward her small house, several hundred yards from the main den. The nearly full moon meant they could easily navigate the path without light, although that wouldn’t have been a problem for Ana even if it were darker. Aside from the noise of their footsteps and the blood thrumming in her ears, silence encased them.
Her thoughts whirled, even more confused and excited by the racing antics of her wolf, who hovered very close to the surface. Ana could still sense Mason’s tremendous desire. She could feel its power warming her thighs, settling low into her belly with that deep, pleasurable ache that meant she so desperately needed to be touched. Bowled over by the feelings, she gave in.
One last time, she vowed, trying to ignore her wolf’s snarl at that limited thinking. One last night, and then she could really let go of him.
She had no other choice.
Harper, J.K.. Christmas Wolf Holiday Bundle (Paranormal Shapeshifter Romance) (Black Mesa Wolves #5) Kindle Locations(433-453). Sable Moon Books. Kindle Edition.
Only that one last night turns into something so much more. Now her Alpha merely requests the two of them at his home for his decision on Christmas morning.
Lots of heat between these two and big surprises in this short tale.
5 Contented Purrs for JK
With devoted mate Rielle at his side, disgraced wolf shifter Caleb Bardou is slowly piecing back together his recently shattered life. He’s a fighter at heart–but when he was justifiably stripped of his Pack Guardian status, it about knocked him out cold. Throwing his energy into a successful new business training other shifters to circuit fight with Rielle cheering him on all the way, Caleb has found a new path in life.
Then his arch nemesis unexpectedly threatens to take the shine off their bright new year. Caleb’s answering jab will determine the course of the rest of his life…if only he can overcome a burning anger at his old enemy.
Caleb has made many mistakes, the biggest of which had him removed from being a Guardian of the Black Mesa Wolves. That ruling came down from the Alpha, his father. Now it seems Caleb has found something that helped to not only rein in his temper and impulsiveness, but also gives back. He is competing and training young wolves to fight in the somewhat controlled atmosphere of sanctioned Cage Fighting.
His mate Rielle, is steadfast in her devotion to her mate. She’s been beside him the whole way and is more than just a little proud of him.
As Caleb and his trainee Bran celebrate their wins that have them heading to regional championships, Luke Rawlins a reformed rogue wolf approaches Rielle.
This is a favorite scene.
“Oh, no,” Rielle managed to murmur the second she realized Caleb saw Luke. Her mate’s face went thunderously dark. The kind of expression that usually scared his opponents so badly they tended to lose half the fight right then. Her wolf whined in agitation, circling Rielle’s mind in nervous steps.
Caleb leapt back out of the ring and steamrolled his way right through the throngs toward them. Rielle heard Lily sigh with just a touch of exasperation and felt Kieran stand more rigidly, although neither one moved an inch to prevent the black storm racing pell-mell in their direction.
Luke didn’t move either. There was exactly zero love lost between him and Caleb, although they’d never actually come to blows as far as Rielle knew. Luke was a former rogue wolf, who’d really just been trying to escape his extremely unstable home pack under circumstances that were still mysterious. He was now under the explicit protection of the Black Mesa Wolf Pack, under the direct orders of its Alpha. In fact, he’d shown such undeniable leadership qualities after he’d dropped the life of a rogue that he’d been tapped by Alpha to lead an adjunct pack.
Luke Rawlins, the former rogue wolf and avowed enemy of Caleb, would be alpha of his own pack, so appointed by the alpha of the Black Mesa Pack. And Caleb, who would never be an alpha wolf himself, had been stripped of his own pack role by the very same alpha—his own father.
Rielle and every single other wolf in the pack knew it still rankled Caleb like a weeping sore, despite his otherwise successful efforts to focus his energies and volatile temperament on his training business. She’d managed to keep the two of them apart as much as possible ever since she and Caleb had been mated. Darn it, she’d had no idea Luke was into these fights. Caleb had never once mentioned seeing him at one.
Her wolf whined in even greater nervousness as Caleb barreled down on them. Almost holding her breath, Rielle tried very hard to send soothing thoughts to Caleb through their Pack bonds.
“You will remove your paws from my mate,” Caleb said the second he neared them, his barely checked anger reaching the tense little group before he did. He didn’t even have to raise his voice above the noise of the oblivious crowd. His light blue eyes glowed with the strength of his wolf behind them, which also pulsed out of his already naturally deep voice and sent it throbbing into their heads. He looked, Rielle thought from some slightly awed place far away, like an enraged, ridiculously sexy Viking about to go all berserker. “Now,” he snapped, when Luke didn’t release his light grip on Rielle’s upper arm.
Hmm. Apparently the Pack bonds were not going to work very well at this moment. Rielle thought about reaching out her actual hand to him, but Lily’s almost imperceptible nudge against her side stopped her.
With the tiniest of bows, really just inclining his dark head, Luke easily pulled his hand away from her. He’d barely been touching her. Rielle knew in an instant he’d done it on purpose to provoke Caleb.
Really. Men. To herself, she shook her head, while her wolf gave a small huff of agreement before resuming her watchful glow out of Rielle’s eyes.
A pure wolf growl slipped from Caleb’s throat. The random shifters immediately beside them heard it and stepped away with exaggerated, slightly drunken exclamations of “Ooh, better watch out! Don’t piss off Caleb, yo!”
She felt Lily and Kieran both tense even more in the charged silence between the two wolves facing off.
“What makes you think you can ever touch my mate, rogue?” Caleb’s snarled words were almost hard to distinguish. Rielle knew how much more control he had over his wolf now than mere months ago. But as usual, any perceived threat to her made that control slip a little. Nothing like an overprotective mate to keep the instinctual wolf at the forefront rather than the more rational human.
“Because,” Luke said in that deliberate drawl he sometimes used, “I wanted to see your reaction.”
If steam could come out of Caleb’s ears, it would. Rielle swallowed against a suddenly parched throat. She could feel Lily’s tensed muscles on one side of her, Kieran’s coiled strength on the other. They were prepared, if it became absolutely necessary, to stop her mate from doing something stupid.
The winter wind outside sent in another chilly blast through the flimsy doors of the club. Rielle shivered in sheer reflex to the situation rather than the cold. Shifters could handle cold temperatures much better than humans, even when in their own human shapes. But the icy blast made the situation seem more fraught with sudden danger. Please, Caleb, relax, she begged silently, imploring him with her eyes.
Caleb’s eyes were granite, his expression murderous. Even the half-drunk shifters nearby sensed the change in the air and abruptly shut their yapping mouths, watching the scene with suddenly wide eyes.
Rielle opened her mouth to say something, anything, to lighten the situation. Before she could, though, the one sound she never expected fell from Caleb’s mouth.
Harper, J.K.. New Year Wolf: A Black Mesa Wolves Holiday Short Story . Sable Moon Books. Kindle Locations (169-213). Kindle Edition.
Luke’s reasoning is much more than just to find out Caleb’s reaction.
Plenty of surprises and lots of sizzle between Caleb and Rielle.
I have to go back now and re-read this series, I’d forgotten how much I like this pack.
5 Contented Purrs for JK!
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She is the author of Black Mesa Wolves, Dragon Mates, Wicked Wolf Shifters, and Silvertip Shifters.