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Authors: Kendra Leigh Castle

The Wolf's Surrender

BOOK: The Wolf's Surrender
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At Mia’s Mercy…

As the leader of the Blackpaw werewolf pack, Nick Jenner had spent years protecting his people from dark outside forces. When the victim of a feral drifter turns up on Blackpaw territory, he thinks nothing of bringing her home while her attacker is hunted down and destroyed. But Jenner soon finds that nothing about his alluring new houseguest is what it seems.

Mia D’Alessandro, a dark beauty with abilities she would rather forget, was mortified to find herself the victim of a man she thought she could trust. As the full moon approaches, his bite will unleash an inner wolf that can destroy her unless she bonds with a pack. But the darkness now stalking her threatens to destroy far more, including her strong, silent guardian.

Jenner couldn’t help himself.

Before Mia could speak a word, Jenner leaned down and claimed her mouth in a long, slow kiss. There was an initial shock as their lips met, and Jenner felt dizzy, as though he’d unwittingly tapped into an electric current. He heard Mia’s sharp intake of breath, knew she’d felt it, too. But she didn’t pull away, either. And as his lips lingered on hers, shock quickly became a simmering heat that began to pulse in time with his heart. Jenner nuzzled her mouth, brushing his lips against hers, testing, tasting.

He didn’t expect it when Mia simply melted into him, her mouth softening, opening beneath his as she gave in to whatever this strange pull was that existed between them. She sighed, a soft, simple exhalation. But Jenner felt the submission that had produced it, and that single sigh rocketed through his bloodstream.

Books by Kendra Leigh Castle:

Harlequin Nocturne

Renegade Angel

Vacation with a Vampire
“Vivi and the Vampire”

The Wolf’s Surrender


was born and raised in the far and frozen reaches of northern New York, where there was plenty of time to cultivate her love of reading thanks to the six-month-long winters. Sneaking off with selections from her mother’s vast collection of romance novels came naturally and fairly early, and a lifelong love of the happily-ever-after was born. Her continuing love of heroes who sprout fangs, fur and/or wings, however, is something no one in her family has yet been able to explain.

After graduating from SUNY Oswego (where it also snowed a lot) with a teaching degree that she did actually plan on using at the time, Kendra ran off with a handsome young navy fighter pilot. She’s still not exactly sure how, but they’ve managed to accumulate three children, two high-maintenance dogs and one enormous cat during their many moves. Her enduring love of all things both spooky and steamy means she’s always got another paranormal romance in the works. Kendra currently resides in Maryland and also has a home on the web at
. She loves to hear from her readers.

The Wolf’s Surrender

Kendra Leigh Castle

Dear Reader,

For as much as I love writing about powerful, slightly mysterious supernatural men, I’ve got a soft spot for the sexy everyman who’s comfortable in his own skin. So when Nick Jenner—a big, gorgeous werewolf mechanic who also happens to be in charge of the protection of his pack—arrived in my imagination, I couldn’t resist.

Apart from the fur and fangs, Jenner reminds me a lot of the men in my life. He’s earthy. He likes to hang out with other guys because, as much as he loves women, he often has no idea what to do with them. He’s...well, he’s a
. That he is also an incredibly important member of his wolf pack is almost secondary. Jenner knows who he is and has things just the way he likes them. That is, until Mia D’Alessandro shows up and throws his entire well-ordered universe out of whack.

Jenner is just the sort of werewolf I’d like to curl up with, and I hope you’ll feel the same as you watch him discover that sometimes, being pushed outside your comfort zone can be the best thing that ever happened to you.

Happy reading!


For Brian

At the heart of all my heroes, there is you.


ia D’Alessandro ran into the darkness, knowing he followed, that he was toying with her before the kill. Shaking all over, blood oozing slowly from the jagged wounds on her shoulder and neck, she stumbled into the night’s cold embrace.

He laughed, a breathy growl full of dark amusement that echoed hauntingly in her ears.

God, he’s right behind me.

“Don’t be afraid, baby. I’ll make it good for you, I promise. Just wait until you see what I have planned for us....”

He was close, so close. But these woods were unfamiliar to her and, even with the moon riding high above, it was all she could do not to run headlong into one of the trees that lurked just out of sight, hulking menacingly in the deep shadows. A sound escaped her, a soft, pitiful moan of fear that she was barely aware of in her desperation to get away. And she couldn’t hear him, couldn’t hear anything but the crunch of her feet over dry twigs and hard earth and the ragged sounds of her own breathing.

he made no sound at all.

It was unnatural for someone to be so quiet, so light of foot that there wasn’t the tiniest hint of a footfall that reached her ears, she thought wildly, her terror now verging on hysteria. But then, there was nothing natural about the man who had only minutes ago sunk his teeth into her and torn her shirt wide open with his claws.

Claws. They were claws. And his teeth had been so sharp

The stone, jutting about an inch out of the ground, seemed to appear out of nowhere to catch the toe of her shoe. Mia nearly lost it then, stumbling forward into the thick, oppressive blackness and only just catching herself. But the split second it took to right her balance had cost her, and she knew it. Any second now, she would feel his hand wrap around her arm, feel his claws sink into tender flesh that had already been scored and bitten.

Jeff Gaines, the wealthy entrepreneur.

The yellow-eyed monster.

She’d been giddy from the wine, the excitement, the pleasure of having attention lavished on her by the handsome man who’d swept her away for a romantic weekend. It had never occurred to Mia to refuse his offer of a moonlit walk. By the time she’d noticed the change in him, it had been too late. His hand had been over her mouth.

His teeth had been in her flesh.

“I don’t know why you’re running, Mia. I can see you. I can
you. And I’m going to have you. You can’t hide from the big bad wolf.”

Somehow, she managed to find enough breath to scream. It felt as though she’d dragged it up from the very core of her being, a tortured, full-throated rail against what was being done to her, a demand that she be allowed to live. It echoed into the cold night sky, a final plea to an indifferent moon as Mia struggled forward, nearly sobbing with the effort. Time seemed to pause for a few precious breaths.

Then all hell broke loose.

Jeff’s hand, hot and strange, clamped onto her wrist and dragged her forward as he gave a wild, triumphant growl that was utterly inhuman.

“Your blood is mine,” he said, his voice thick, unrecognizable from the cultured tones of the man she’d come here with. “Did you really think you could hide it forever? I know what runs in your veins, witch.”

The blood he spoke of went to ice in an instant. She’d been warned—she’d been so stupid—but she’d never imagined the threat drummed into her for so long could be

It was a lesson learned far too late.

Mia had only time enough to gasp before he bit her again, his teeth sinking again into the already-swollen and bleeding flesh of her shoulder. Then, like the animal he had revealed himself to be, Jeff shook his head like a beast with its prey, burying those teeth deep.

Mia heard another scream, distant. It was only when the world began to fade to gray that she realized it had come from her.

The blood ran fast now as her delicate skin tore. Mia could feel her life’s essence flowing from her, soaking her clothes, running down her arm and chest. The world began to tilt beneath her feet, and she felt herself leaning into Jeff’s body, only because he was all she had to cling to before going under.

She was afraid that if she let herself, she wouldn’t come up again.

He seemed to revel in her groggy embrace.

“We’ll finish this now,” Jeff growled, his voice resonating with anticipation. He lowered her to the ground, gently, as though she were only a sleepy child.
“Illuria tira. Illuria m’ar hemana.”
The words, foreign and yet strangely familiar, resonated in the deepest part of her, and she felt herself opening to the night. Power, dark and forbidden, swirled through her. It was the other half of her gift that Jeff called forth. The malignant seed never allowed to grow, forced to shoot and bloom all in one breathless instant...and it had been waiting.

Mia thought. And right on the heels of that,

“Look at it glow,” Jeff whispered reverently as he drew back. Mia managed to open her eyes just enough to see him looming over her, covered in what seemed to be spatters of pure light. A hazy glow surrounded both of them, and she knew at once, with numb horror, what it was.

Oh goddess...that’s me. My life.
She saw the flash of a blade as he lifted it above his head, and she closed her eyes against it, against what she knew was coming.

But the final blow never came.

Even in her half-conscious state, Mia managed to lift her head, sensing the subtle shift in the air, as though it had taken on an electrical charge. Somewhere in the distance, a howl rent the night in a mournful song. Then there was another. And another.

Jeff’s body went rigid, and fury began to pump off of him in hot waves, intermingling with the madness that already burned like fever. Whatever was happening, he didn’t like it.

Hope bloomed, small but fierce, deep in Mia’s chest.

“Hang on to me,” he snapped. “I don’t care whose territory this is. You’re

Then she was lifted, carried through the rushing blackness, dimly aware of short, sharp barks and snarls in the world that existed beyond her closed eyelids, rapidly increasing in volume.

The sounds of pursuit were everywhere around them now.
Search-and-rescue dogs?
Could she be so lucky? But something about the sounds surrounding them, without a single human voice shouting commands, told her these were no dogs. Pictures flashed through her mind from the book she’d stolen from her grandmother’s library, the one she was never to read. Sketches of men wearing the skins of animals,
the animals...beautiful men and women, full of light, dancing wildly beneath the moon...dark creatures with shining eyes that were always watching...

, she thought, her mind struggling to stay in the moment.
More of them, a pack of them. To save me...or to finish what Jeff started.
It seemed impossible. But then, she of all people should know better. Whoever was pursuing them, whatever their intent, Mia knew without a doubt that taking even the smallest chance at rescue was far, far better than dealing with what was going to happen to her should she not struggle. Her will to live, rearing its head with surprising force even as her strength ebbed, gave Mia the drive to try, one last time, to stop this madness.

She caught just a glimpse of Jeff when her eyes snapped open, his eyes glowing a burning gold, lips peeled back over glistening fangs as though he were a creature straight out of Hell. Then she threw back her head and screamed one last time, thrashing in his arms so suddenly and violently that he stumbled.

She thrashed again, and he couldn’t hold her. Mia slammed into the hard earth, barely feeling the jolt of it, forcing limbs that seemed to have gone liquid to move and propel her backward. But nothing seemed to work right, and her frantic motions seemed far too slow. Nightmare slow.

Jeff whirled on her, his lips peeled back over teeth that were far too sharp.

Oh my God, he
a monster....

She stared right into his blazing-yellow eyes when she cried out this time, giving it all she had left.

“Help! Help me, I’m here! He’s going to kill me!”

“You’re not going to get away from me that easy, Mia,” he breathed. “I marked you. The ritual is already begun. You belong to me.”

But she knew it was at least half a lie, because the glow from her life blood was already dimming where it covered him. She knew so little, so much less than she should. But she knew when Jeff’s chance was slipping away. And from his expression, so did he.

“There he is!”

A man’s voice, deep and strong, bellowed nearby. The ground, cold and solid beneath her, was oddly comforting. She would rather the earth held her than the monster.

Jeff’s face contorted with raw fury before he vanished with a single inhuman roar, his figure already lengthening and changing as he rushed past her into the yawning darkness beyond. And then there were other voices, surrounding her as the world began to swim again.
Humans, after all.
Relief coursed through her. But it died, a short, brutal death as she looked up into eyes that glowed as bright as the moon. And no amount of willpower could convince her that she was imagining it. Not anymore.

“Just hang on,” someone said. “We’ve got you now.”

I hope that’s a good thing,
she thought faintly.
I really do.

Then, blissfully, reality finally went dark.

BOOK: The Wolf's Surrender
6.82Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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