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WICKED COWBOY WOLF
Seven Range Shifters Book 3
BY KAIT BALLENGER
“With action, tension, and heat…hits all the sweet spots of paranormal romance. Recommend to readers of Nalini Singh and Maria Vale.”—Booklist for Cowboy in Wolf’s Clothing
To his enemies, he’s known as the Rogue. To her, he’s her only chance at survival…
Years ago, Grey Wolf Jared Black was cast from the pack for a crime he didn’t commit. Now, he’s the mysterious criminal wolf known only as the Rogue, a name his former packmates won’t soon forget. But when a vampire threat endangers the lives of their entire species, Jared must confront his former packmates again, even if that means betraying the only woman he’s ever loved…
Ever since Maeve Gray escaped the pack’s bloodsucking enemies, she’s been determined to save her species—and fast. Each passing day risks the lives of her friends and family. But when a wicked cowboy wolf shows up on the Grey Wolf ranch, offering everything Maeve’s heart desires, her eyes are opened to a whole new world beyond the packlands. For this cowgirl, sleeping with the enemy could prove as desirable as it is deadly…
Seven Range Shifters Series:
Cowboy Wolf Trouble (Book 1)
Cowboy in Wolf’s Clothing (Book 2)
Wicked Cowboy Wolf (Book 3)
What People Are Saying About Kait Ballenger:
“This story has it all—a heroine with grit, and a hero who backs up his tough talk with action.”—Fresh Fiction for Cowboy Wolf Trouble
“[A] mix of action and steamy sex… Crash-bang excitement.”—Publishers Weekly for Cowboy Wolf Trouble
“High-voltage!”—Publishers Weekly STARRED review for Twilight Hunter, a PW Top 10 Romance
Had Rogue been a God-fearing man, he would have prayed she didn’t follow him, but he knew firsthand that not even God could save him from the likes of Maeve Grey when she set her mind to something. Her steps over the grass were silent, but he felt her presence behind him as keenly as if he were looking at her.
“I have a bone to pick with you,” she called after him.
He tugged on Bee’s reins, slowing the mustang. “If it involves either teacup pigs as indoor pets or small children asking about horse’s mating habits, then save it. It can wait.” He nudged Bee again.
“It can’t wait.” She stepped in front of him, blocking their path. Her eyes flashed to her wolf’s. She wasn’t pleased and he knew it.
“Can’t or won’t?”
The gold in those wolf eyes flared. “Both.” She placed her hands on her hips.
Rogue shook his head. He inspired fear in most men, and yet, what was it about the women in his life—whether adult she-wolves or no older than five—that facing a man like him made them braver than men twice their size? It was starting to become a nuisance.
The summer breeze blew a strong gust as the mustang moseyed out to the barn, but the sun shone down from overhead, warming the rolling green hills. The blue-peaked mountains crested the skyline.
Maeve followed after them. She and the children must have spent the better part of the morning walking out to the stables on foot, but in spite of that, she kept a brisk pace with him.
“You need to tell me everything—about the vampires, the antidote, what our next steps are. I understand my safety is important, but I’ll be damned if you keep me totally in the dark like some kind of prisoner. I understand the need to lie low, but I still expected to be in on this. Working together,” she continued, oblivious to his inner turmoil. “Partners.”
Like they’d been when they were children. Partners in crime, his father had called them. Only this time, Rogue’s crimes were real. At that thought, he fought back a grin. He supposed there wasn’t any harm in keeping her informed. “My men have been quietly gathering intel to find who knows the vanished bloodsucker’s whereabouts. Our next step is meeting with my associate for information. In the meantime, you’ll continue to lie low.”
“No.” She shook her head. “I want you to take me with you. I want to help my packmates, be involved in the search.” She said it as if they were discussing the strategies of a game of chess rather than talking about a dangerous search that could result in both of them being killed. This wouldn’t be all fun and games. Of that, he was certain.
Leave it to Mae to be willing to risk everything, even her life, for those she loved. Years ago, she’d killed Buck to save him without so much as a thought to her own safety.
That was why he’d sacrificed everything for her—because she’d loved him then as no one else ever had, not even his distant father or his mother who’d passed years earlier. Mae had picked him up when the other boys knocked him down. Mae had cared for him despite him being weak and scared. Mae had taught him to be confident, to have enough self-esteem to one day fight back against the blows of his enemies.
Before this life, Mae had been his only real family, his only true love, and that was why he’d confessed to killing Buck. She’d made him stronger, taken a damaged boy and healed him until he was whole, and he’d be forever loyal to her for it.
Even now, after all this time, even knowing the pain, the havoc that singular decision continued to wreak on his life, if faced with the same situation, he’d do it again. He’d give himself up for her in a second.
All for her.
“How am I supposed to keep you safe?” he challenged.
They’d need to go more than a few miles from the safety of Black Hollow, and every shifter and bloodsucker in the states of Montana, Idaho, and beyond would be looking for her.
She shrugged. “You’re supposed to be a criminal mastermind. I’m sure you can figure it out.”
“I appreciate the vote of confidence, but that’s not going to happen, Princess.”
“Because I refuse to risk your safety, that’s why. The answer is no.”
“You can’t make this decision for me.”
“I will if it means you’ll be safe.”
She growled, her hands clenching into fists. “I expected to be partners,” she accused. “That’s what I thought I was agreeing to.”
“I offered you protection,” he reiterated. “Not partnership.”
“You were misleading and you know it.”
He shook his head. “Perhaps you should have considered that possibility when you chose to make a deal with the devil.”
She stepped in front of Bee, forcing horse and rider to come to a halt. “You can’t keep me locked away like a prisoner.”
“The locks and guards are for your protection. I won’t allow you to throw yourself to the vampires.” He gestured toward the forest.
She crossed her arms over her chest. “You saw what happened when you kept me out of the loop before. I’m a smart, capable woman. I can help you, and without me there is no serum, no antidote.” Her lips drew into an impertinent pucker.
Rogue growled. He wanted nothing more than to grip her by the back of the neck and claim those defiant lips for his own. He’d replace her righteous anger with moans of pleasure. She’d always been too smart, too stubborn for her own damn good. Not to mention, she had that damn longing for adventure. He’d seen that much in the way she was so eager to get away from her packmates. She’d been that way since she was a small girl—and it was dangerous.
This wouldn’t be all fun and games. Of that, he was certain.
“It’s my life at risk,” she challenged. “Which means it’s my decision.”
He shook his head. Damn it. She always had managed to get her way from him, even when they were kids.
“Fine. If you want to risk your life, so be it.” All it would take was one little scare, and she’d change her tune. “We meet him tomorrow night.”
“So soon?” Mae’s voice rose an octave.
Rogue chuckled. “What’s the matter, Princess? Scared?”
His taunt had the effect he intended and she bristled. “No.” Her jaw drew tight, meeting his challenge. “Not in the slightest.”
“You should be,” he warned. But as he turned away, he couldn’t help the grin that curled over his lips.
One last adventure, Mae-day.
For old time’s sake.
Kait Ballenger is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Seven Range Shifter paranormal romance series, where she weaves captivating tales of dark, sexy heroes who are cowboys by day, wolf shifters by night.
When Kait’s not preoccupied writing “intense and riveting” paranormal plots or “high-voltage” love scenes that make even seasoned romance readers blush, she can usually be found spending time with her family or with her nose buried in a good book. She lives in Florida with her husband and two young sons.
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**SPECIAL GIVEAWAY**: Kait is giving away a signed copy (U.S. Only) of COWBOY IN WOLF’S CLOTHING (book 2 in the series) to one lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog. Happy Reading!!
Thanks, Kait, for sharing your book with us!
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