Jon Slade finally met his mate, but instead of it being the happiest day of his life, it became the saddest when wolf shifter Kelvin MacCurdy chose his obligations over their fated bond, leaving Jon to pick up the pieces of his shattered dreams. Lucky for him, Roman Howell, his boss and the owner of L’Ange, saw promise in the forlorn lion and put him to work so he wouldn’t have time to sit around and lick his wounds while he waited for his wounded spirit to heal.
Then the wolves make an official visit to L’Ange, and Jon finds out Kelvin’s pining for him is taking its toll on his position as the king’s champion. Though Kelvin’s training and the expectations of others steer him toward an intended mate, Jon has an unbreakable hold on his heart, and it’s no longer possible for Kelvin to keep himself from where he truly belongs.
But the conclave brings more than Kelvin to the château. It also brings a challenge to jackal alpha Quade Danas, a threat that Quade and Roman, Arman and Linus, and Jon and Kelvin may have to fight in order to keep L’Ange’s family intact. Jon never wanted to lead a pride, but the loyalty and devotion to one is ingrained in him. Kelvin was raised to punish anyone who questioned his king, but the calling to protect others runs through his veins just as deeply. To come out on the other side of the battle together, Jon and Kelvin will have to hold the darkness of solitary pride and broken hearts at bay—and find strength in belonging to something bigger than themselves.
IT WAS not what I expected. An hour after experiencing the happiest moment of my life… I lived through the worst.
When I met my mate last winter, six months ago, I instantly geared up for my happily ever after, made plans to move to wherever he lived—and it took me a moment to realize what he was really saying to me.
He was saying… no.
We would not be together.
Though he felt the pull, it made no sense for him or his life.
He explained in no uncertain terms that he was neither gay nor bi—so we could be nothing to each other. Ever.
That took a moment to digest, and then there I was, trying really hard not to scream, because it was, literally, the only thing I could think to do. I’d waited all my life for a mate, and when he finally showed up, I got one who didn’t want me?
It got worse. Not only was he a wolf, but he was special, the fenrir, the guardian of his pack, and having a lion shifter for a mate would only be trouble. He meant no disrespect, and he was sure I was a good guy, but… well… I was, in fact, a guy. What the hell was he supposed to do with me? Didn’t I understand? His whole life was planned, and it didn’t include being gay, because he was supposed to breed.
Breed did not sound good.
“Breed” was not fathering children in a loving home.
“Breed” was cold and impersonal, and I didn’t like the sound of that at all.
On top of everything else, I was a lion. Was I not aware interspecies mating was forbidden?
“By everyone, you daft man!”
The accent—Scottish—made my knees wobbly, which helped nothing.
“We cannae ever be together. Ye must forget me.”
He might as well have told me to stop breathing, and then I got mad, because, really, what the hell kind of reaction to finding your mate was that?
My pride kicked in. I was a lion, after all, the superior shifter, and I decided the best course of action was to forget him completely. If he didn’t want me, I surely didn’t want him. Unfortunately, putting him out of my mind—and heart—was easier said than done.
Different species, as far as I knew, couldn’t be mates. There was no draw, no natural pull if you weren’t the same kind of shifter. It made no sense, but telling myself that, knowing it in my head, did nothing to lessen the ache of parting. When I lifted my eyes to look into Kelvin’s the first time, I’d felt it,…