Welcome to The Extra Shot where you’ll find an EXCLUSIVE scene from Outlaw Wolves by Heather Long. Lucky for you dear readers this book released today. Happy book birthday Heather Long.
One-click your copy now and get ready for a new book adventure.
Gray light crept around the corners of the blind. Colorlessness illuminated the day. Luciana didn’t want to open her eyes. For these tremulous moments, she could imagine all was well. She could linger in the hazy dream of a world where she and her mate were still close, where the zing of adventure filled their blood, where salvaging a pack from the disparate and abandoned of the North American packs gave her purpose. If she could simply lie there a few seconds longer before the cold, awful reality intruded… yet those seconds were all too fleeting.
Eyes open, she sat up. Her body ached from the hard mattress, and her mouth was dry. The house around her was absolutely silent, not even the distant clatter of dishes or vacuuming to suggest Misty had returned to handle the housekeeping. The other wolf only came a few times a week, and today, blissfully, did not seem to be that day.
After shoving away the blanket, she stood and stretched her hands to the ceiling. The vertebrae along her spine cracked, and popped. The decades since she’d been born had been kind to her, far kinder than the last two years.
Had the world been simpler then? The quiet parties, the quilting her mother hosted, and the long political discussions all seemed a half-formed memory, like something she’d read from a book. The war came, and it destroyed so much of their holdings when the fascists rose to power. Other wolves tried to invade…and their papa murdered while covering their retreat. Those dark days were like the shadows a nightmare, half-forgotten in the light of day and yet still capable of making her heart race and her skin clammy.
Without the handful of photographs her mother had saved, she wouldn’t even know what her father looked like. Raking her fingers through her hair, she padded across the barren room toward the bathroom in the hall. Only the master bedroom had an ensuite, another sacrifice she made in trying to leave Rayne. A snort escaped her; she’d made it so far with barely a house much less a bathroom.
As quickly as she tried to dismiss her thoughts, they trailed through her again. Her father, all she had of him were stories told by her mother and by Salvatore. He’d been nearly a man when their father fell and she a little girl. The war years were a lean haze of hunger, darkness, and grim whispers. After… after they found their laughter again, and the light, and companionship, but even living at the vineyard in the big stone house with its sweeping walls and gorgeous artwork, something had always been missing.
They were all haunted by a ghost—her mother by the mate she’d lost, though she’d proven fierce and a survivor. Salvatore ruled the packs, bringing them under one umbrella once more, one by one. He and his Centurions, while their mother ruled their home and Luciana. She’d never been safer.
And she’d never been more caged.
Disgusted with her wandering thoughts, she pushed into the bathroom and turned the shower on. She needed to wash it all away, clear her head and figure out what to do today. Halfway through her shower, the door downstairs closed with a gentle, but firm thud. Determined steps echoed across the wood floors below.
Dammit. She’d slept too long and now Rayne had returned to the house. Maybe he’d go into the study and she could slip out the window. It was a short drop to the ground outside, and she’d almost made escape an art form.
Five minutes later, she wrapped a towel around her hair and another around her torso. She’d failed to bring clothes in with her, so she had to walk back to her room and change there. After plucking the lotion from the counter, she paused at the door and took a deep breath, centering herself. Shedding the unease and distress, she grasped together the ragged elements of her self and drew them over her like fur sliding over her skin. Her wolf responded, her power a pulse beating in time with her heart. Composed, she let herself out and made her way to her room.
The hushed quiet of the house trailed after her, a whisper holding its breath. Settled on the corner of the bed, she ran lotion over her legs, then her arms. A quick wipe to her hands then she stood and pulled the towel from her hair. The damp tendrils clung to her shoulders and back. Normally, she’d take the time with some conditioner, and a comb, but who the hell did she care to impress?
Dropping the towel from around her to the floor, she paced over to the closet to find clean clothes. The sliding doors provided her some camouflage from the wolf now standing in the doorway to the hall. The squeaking of the stairs had betrayed his soft steps. Aware of his scorching gaze running over her, she ignored him as she stepped into a pair of panties, and then reached for a tank top. She didn’t need to wear a bra and if she needed to change, the damn thing got in the way. The soft cotton slid over her skin raising tingles along her spine.
It was the fabric and not the wolf staring at her no matter what her rebellious body might want.
Though she preferred a skirt, she selected pants. Running shoes or boots? Deciding on boots, she choose a flared leg black pant to step into. A hiss of breath escaped between her observer’s clenched teeth as she dragged the pants upward. Let him look at what he couldn’t have any longer. Tossing her hair back, she turned and met Rayne’s laser stare. The lines around his mouth were tight, and a muscle twitched in his jaw.
“Yes?” She raised an eyebrow, but he said nothing so she moved back to the bed and sat to pull on her boots. Rayne’s gaze tracked her each and every motion. Only when she was done did she stand, then make her bed. Still the wolf at the door said nothing.
Tidying her living space came second nature; her mother had drilled that into her from a very young age. Scooping the towels from the floor, she spared another look at the obstacle standing between she and the bathroom.
“Luciana,” Rayne said, his voice a ragged, low whisper dragging over her senses to tug uncomfortably at her belly. The heat spooling there, coiled around her spine in a slow, sinuous stretch. Pinching off the thought before it could take root, she erased the expression from her face and stared at him. Protecting her thoughts and masking her scent were also second nature, trained by Salvatore. As his sister, there had always been the thought she could be weaponized against him. In the early years after the war, it had been paramount she protect herself if he could not be present to shield her.
Hard to manipulate or track a wolf who could mask herself. A skill she’d used to great advantage to reach where they were now… Poor recompense, she supposed.
“I’m waiting,” she reminded her former lover with a verbal jab and his expression tightened. For far too brief a second, something akin to longing gleamed in his eyes and then it too vanished. He turned sideways, allowing her to pass but she’d have to brush him to do so.
ONE winner will receive an e-copy of Rise of the Alpha (Books 1-3 of the Wolves of Willow Bend)
To enter comment below and tell us…. If you could take your favorite Alpha out to dinner,
who would you take and where would you go?
Available on all platforms.
Open to U.S and International.
Contest runs 6/25/19 – 7/2/19 at 11:59 PM
ONE winner will be randomly selected.
Winner will be randomly selected and will be contacted. If winner doesn’t claim prize within 24 hours a new winner will be drawn.
** For all giveaway rules read here.
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.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 summertime.
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.
Heather is best known for her 18-book and growing paranormal romance series Wolves of Willow Bend, which begins:
Prequel: Wolf at Law
1: Wolf Bite
2: Caged Wolf
3: Wolf Claim
3.5: Wolf Next Door
4: Rogue Wolf
5: Bayou Wolf
6: Untamed Wolf
Heather’s other fantasy romance series include the paranormal westerns Fevered Hearts starting with Marshal of Hel Dorado, Black Hill Wolves which start with What a Wolf Wants, and the Bravo Team WOLF series.
Her contemporary romance series include: Always a Marine, Going Royal, Elite Warriors, The Love Thieves, beginning with Catch Me, and Lone Star Leathernecks, beginning with Semper Fi Cowboy.
Heather is well-represented in fantasy with her superhero series Boomers, a sci-fi western called Space Cowboy Survival Guide, an urban fantasy series called the Chance Monroe Adventures, and a stand-alone ghost novel, Haunt Me.
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