I’m excited because today is the release day of book 4 in my Black Ridge Bears shifter romance series. I really enjoyed writing Rune and Callie’s book, especially because it introduces the White Wolf pack in the neighbouring valley. It was fun getting to write wolf shifters again!
If you love sizzling shifter romances featuring hot alpha heroes and strong heroines bringing them to their knees then the Black Ridge Bears series is definitely for you. Plus, each book has a happily forever after and there are no cliff-hangers, because there’s nothing worse than a cliff-hanger!
Unleashed by her Bear (Black Ridge Bears Series Book 4)
by Felicity Heaton
Bear shifter Rune hates wolf shifters. Wolves and the hunter organisation Archangel have taken too much from him and the only good wolf is a dead wolf… so when a howl goes up in Black Ridge territory, Rune is out for blood. Only he’s not prepared for the sleek, beautiful and fiery female he finds trapped in a hunter’s snare… or the shadow of his past she has on her tail.
On the run from a pack leader determined to enslave her, Callie is desperate to reach the sanctuary of the White Wolf pack. When she finds herself caught in a trap, things look as if they can’t get any worse… until a mountain of a man emerges from the night, an ice-cold bear who is equal parts alluring and terrifying, and might just be the key to securing her freedom.
Can Callie crack the ice around Rune’s heart and convince him to help her? And when the price of his revenge is risking getting another female killed, will Rune be willing to pay it?
Another wave of sickness rolled over her, bringing darkness in its wake again, and Callie fought it, fearing she would pass out. She couldn’t pass out. She panted hard, each rapid breath stirring the old brown pine needles as she flopped onto her side, battling the encroaching darkness. She had to stay awake. If she passed out, she would shift, and if she shifted…
Sickness washed through her again, her stomach turning at just the thought.
So she waged a war against the pain that burned inside her, fire that seared her right hind leg and was growing stronger with every agonising second that trickled past. She waged a war with her body, refusing to let go of her wolf form, desperately clinging to it because the alternative didn’t bear thinking about.
Callie mustered enough strength to continue her assault on the thick wire that had tightened around her right leg, twisted and frantically chewed on it. The metallic taste of it was joined with that of blood on her tongue as she bit closer to her leg. The snare had already cut deep into her flesh. If she couldn’t get it loose, if she couldn’t stop the pain from forcing her to shift back or the darkness from taking her, something that would also result in her returning to her human form, that snare was going to cause her a world of pain far worse than it was now.
As her ankle grew, the wire would slice into her flesh and hobble her by either causing a wound so deep she wouldn’t be able to place weight on her leg or by snapping the bone. Hell, it might even take her foot clean off. Wounds and broken bones she could mend, but she couldn’t grow her foot back.
She snarled and growled, bit the wire and shook her head, trying to loosen it and free herself.
All the while aware of her surroundings, that at any moment the men who were after her could catch up with her.
She stilled, somehow made it through another wave of nausea that threatened to have her blacking out, and gave herself a moment to recover before attacking the old hunter’s trap again. She couldn’t afford to waste a second. She had to keep moving.
She had lost Carrigan and his men at the start of this valley, but every second she spent trying to free herself was a second that brought them closer to finding her.
She cursed and it came out as a mournful howl, something she regretted as the night went deathly still. That howl would carry for miles, giving away her position, but her wolf side was agitated, her instinct to call for help strong. Somewhere out there was White Wolf Lodge. She had to be close to it by now. If she called for help, someone might hear her and come to find her.
Someone might save her.
She should have reached that place of sanctuary by now, feared she had missed it somehow, even when she wasn’t sure how that was possible. By all accounts, the lodge was large, with many tourist cabins on one side of the property, and just as many cabins for the wolf shifters who called it home on the other. It wasn’t possible that she had managed to miss such a large group of cabins.
The urge to howl again rushed through her as the snare tightened further rather than loosening. Callie tamped it down, deeply aware that Carrigan was closing in on her, terrified of him finding her. Her heart laboured at just the thought, fear swift to sink sharp talons into her and seize hold of her, to shake and rattle her.
She couldn’t go back to his pack.
She just couldn’t.
The things he had threatened to do to her and the way the other males had looked at her, and the state of the females she had seen there, all ran around her head, tormenting her, working to tear down what little strength she had as they terrified her. She wasn’t there now. She was free. Almost. She glared at the wire and started biting it again, shaking her head as she managed to get a fang into the loop, working it loose. She had escaped from that place, had narrowly avoided suffering the same terrible fate those females had, and she wasn’t going back.
She wouldn’t let him catch her.
If it came down to it, she would risk hobbling herself.
Gods, the thought of shifting back and allowing the wire to cut into her leg sickened her, hit her hard enough that she immediately changed her mind. She couldn’t do it. She released the wire when her efforts to loosen it did nothing and flopped onto her side again, panting hard, needing a moment to breathe.
She had tried to shift back a few times, to let the snare slice into her ankle, but each time fear had stopped her.
Callie angled her head and stared through the canopy of the evergreen forest, past spindly pine and spruce branches and the thicker ones of the firs, gazing at the clear night sky. A million stars spotted it even in the smallest of gaps, the sight of them seeming to calm her as they gave her something else to focus on. A voice in the back of her mind whispered that she wasn’t going to get out of this trap without shifting back, without accepting the pain that would come with her transformation into her human form. If she didn’t find the strength to embrace that pain and do what was necessary, then Carrigan would find her.
Surely it was better to suffer a short burst of pain that would linger for a few days at most than subject herself to years of abuse? Years of being used by males who believed they owned her and had a right to her body. Years of living with males who looked down on her, treating her as inferior, as something that existed to serve them.
She huffed, blowing pine needles in all directions as her head dropped back to the ground.
All wolf packs were the same. Females were inferior, had few rights and never a say in anything, even in the more progressive packs in Canada. She had thought her pack different once, back when her family had been alive and she had been young and blind to the true nature of it. Then, when she had learned of the European packs and how many of them were making grand, sweeping changes to bring about equality, she had started to take a good hard look at her pack and hadn’t liked what she had seen.
But even her pack had started looking progressive when she had seen the one Carrigan ran.
At least the males at her family’s pack hadn’t done as they pleased with females, taking them whether they were willing or not, slaking their urges whenever they struck with little regard for how it made the female feel.
Carrigan treated the female members of his pack as if they existed only to please the males.
Callie stared at the trunk of the nearest towering pine, the breeze stirring her black fur.
The White Wolf pack were meant to be different. More than just progressive. The alpha there believed in treating females with respect and kindness. He listened to them, even went as far as seeking their opinions about things and involving them in the running of his pack.
A pack that was made up of wolves from every corner of Canada and some from south of the border too.
According to the things she had heard, the pack alpha accepted anyone who came to him, no questions asked.
Gods, she hoped that was true.
She wouldn’t blame him if he did turn her away though. She was bringing trouble in her wake, something he would have to deal with for her, and the closer she got to meeting him, the more she felt she was asking too much of a male she didn’t know. She wasn’t just asking him to take her in. She was asking him to fix her problem for her too.
Callie looked at her leg and the trap.
None of that mattered right now though. If she didn’t escape this snare, she wouldn’t even get the chance to find out whether the male would welcome her into his pack as he had everyone else. She would never know whether he might have dealt with her problem for her, or at the very least helped her deal with it.
Carrigan would find her and would drag her back to his pack.
She pulled herself together, shunning the part of her that wanted to give up, and sat up again. The wire was slick with her blood as she bit at it, getting her fang into the loop again, twisting her body at an awkward angle in order to make another attempt at loosening it.
Only she locked up tight as she heard a noise in the distance.
Her ears twitched, flicking back and forth, her senses reaching out in all directions as her heart laboured and fear mounted inside her. Was it Carrigan? One of his men?
The warm night breeze swirled around her, carrying the scent of pine needles and damp dirt.
But the rich, earthy scent wasn’t one she recognised.
Callie looked at the wire looped around her right leg, dread pooling in her stomach. Was it the hunter come to claim his prize?
Panic seized her, fear that she was going to end up stuffed and mounted on display, or worse, her skin spread out as a rug before a fire, flooding her. She bolted into action on instinct, yelped as the wire pulled taut and cut into her flesh, reminding her she couldn’t escape. Her instincts went haywire as fear rolled through her, bringing her primal ones to the fore. In her current form, it meant her wolf ones. The instinct to survive had her wrestling against the wire and no matter how hard she tried to shut it down, she couldn’t calm herself enough to convince herself to stop trying to escape something that was inescapable.
The scent grew stronger, filling her lungs as she heard soft footsteps approaching her, and a strange calm came over her, eased her fear enough that she could think straight and wrest back control from her primal instincts. She didn’t question it, just attacked the wire again, biting at it and shaking her head, loosening it.
And it was loosening.
Callie could almost taste her freedom.
A pair of heavy black boots stepped into view.
She locked up tight, fear drumming through her veins, her heart thundering as she slowly lifted her gaze.
Taking in the mountain of a male who was striding towards her with grim purpose.
Not a wolf.
Not a hunter either.
This towering brute who looked as if he was darkness made flesh in a black fleece that stretched tight over an impossibly broad chest and jeans that hugged legs like tree trunks, with his dark hair cut close to his scalp to reveal a deep scar that darted from his left temple to the crown of his head was something else.
And the look in his cold, emotionless pale blue eyes said he wanted to kill her.
Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you’re a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.
If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling London Vampires series. Seven sexy and sinful Greek god brothers can be your new addiction in the Guardians of Hades series. Or how about four hot alpha shifter brothers in her Cougar Creek Mates series? Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the Eternal Mates series.
If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places: