Welcome to Magic Pen Book Tours' organized book blitz for Claiming Chloe by Anne Kane taking place March 8-12, 2021!
Title: Claiming Chloe
Series: Northern Rockies Pack #4
Author: Anne Kane
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy / Standalone Romance
Release date: January 15, 2021
Publisher: Changeling Press
He might not deserve her, but he didn’t plan to let that stop him.
Chloe: She’s young, passionate, independent. She’s just bought a coffee shop and has plans to make it the best place in town. While away from home learning how to make the best ever pastries for her new venture, she hooks up with a hot stranger for her first sensual experience. She doesn’t expect to ever see him again, certainly not in her new coffee shop.
Damon: He’s ex-military. Tough. Protecting others is his mission in life. He long ago gave up expecting to find a bond-mate. When he agrees to watch over his Navy SEAL buddy’s little sister, he doesn’t expect her to turn his world upside down. He’s too old for such a vibrant young woman, but the mate-bond is hard to ignore, even if he wanted to.
Chloe skidded to a halt, senses on high alert. It would not be prudent to burst in upon an unknown werewolf and his kill. Lifting her muzzle, she searched the breeze for any more information.
Male. The stranger was male, and a mature one. He must have plunged into the stream to wash the scent of blood off his fur, as the aroma was rapidly waning.
That was good. It meant she wasn’t going to face a wolf guarding his dinner. More likely, one sated by a good meal. She moved ahead cautiously though, as silently as possible. This was not her territory, not her pack.
She stopped at the edge of the brush, where it thinned out at the edge of the stream. She could still smell the stranger, but he was nowhere in sight. She shifted her position, hoping to catch a glimpse before she exposed herself.
The safest thing to do would be to leave quietly before he detected her. It was unlikely that a male would attack her, but this one was an unknown entity.
She knew her pack mates, and especially her older brother Garret, would be horrified if they knew she was taking a risk like this. The entire pack had been unhappy when she’d voiced her intention to take the six-week cooking course at a college so far from home. She was amazed they hadn’t insisted on her taking a bodyguard with her.
Actually, she suspected her brother would have but Jack, the Alpha, would have been smart enough to realize she would not take kindly to being treated like an irresponsible pup.
She’d been restless and irritable for months before she’d left. She needed to get away from everyone and everything, needed time to decide what she wanted to do with her life. She’d recently purchased the coffee shop where she’d been working for the past few years, and the thought of turning it into a high-end lunch bar and bakery was both exciting and terrifying. She’d worked there since high school, and the owner had been willing to hold the mortgage and help with the transition.
She took a cautious step out into the open, still searching the wind for the strange werewolf. Maybe he’d left just before she arrived.
She saw a blur of movement from the corner of her eye just before the stranger bowled her over with a shoulder check that would have done credit to an NFL linebacker. The attack was so fast, so unexpected, it was all she could do to roll with the hit and avoid any major damage. Within seconds she found herself flat on her back staring up into eyes as black as midnight, and a muzzle full of impressive white teeth.
And as fast as he’d attacked, he backed off, woofing softly as if in apology. Chloe rolled over slowly, keeping a wary eye on the stranger.
His eyes weren’t the only thing black. His fur was so dark, it had an almost blue hue to it in the soft moonlight, shimmering as he moved. Lowering his head, he shifted another step back. Under different circumstances, she might consider him attractive. Hot, even.
She got to her feet, keeping the strange wolf in her sight. He was big, bigger even than her brother Garret, and that was saying something. Garret was the biggest wolf in the Northern Rockies Pack.
Shaking herself off, she circled warily around the male. Swimming was definitely off now, and she’d been looking forward to the invigorating feel of cold water on her fur. That pissed her off enough to growl softly at the stranger.
Apparently, having a small young female growl at him did not intimidate him at all. Sitting back on his haunches, he cocked his head to the side and stared at her as if she confused him.
She couldn’t imagine what he found confusing. He’d attacked her. Laid her out flat on the ground and loomed over her with his teeth showing. Not exactly a polite introduction. He should consider himself lucky that all she did was growl at him.
Of course she was angry and she had every right to be. She deserved, if not his respect then at least a perfunctory show of deference due a female. He was male. She was female. There were unwritten codes, damn it.
Angling her body slightly, she managed to follow the river upstream without taking her eyes off of the stranger until she rounded the first bend. For his part, the male just sat there watching her get farther and farther away. Perversely, that also annoyed her. Why didn’t he try to follow her? Wasn’t she interesting enough to pique his interest?
He didn’t have a bond-mate, although she wasn’t sure how she knew that. She just did. Maybe it was something to do with his scent, a strongly male musk that sent shivers of lust down her spine, something that had never happened to her before. Mostly, she’d felt a sense of challenge, and the urge to try out her feminine wiles and enjoy the reactions they provoked.
She slowed, cocking her head to listen for any sounds of pursuit. Perhaps the stranger was just being respectful. Sure enough, she heard the rustling of dry leaves, something any self-respecting werewolf could avoid unless they wanted their prey to know they were being stalked.
She repressed the urge to smile. Stalked. Not exactly. More like pursued, which was as it should be. Turning her attention to the path ahead, she broke into a ground covering lope, following the stream.
Maybe if he were lucky, she’d let the stranger catch up. It had been a long time since she’d considered indulging the carnal side of her nature, and she’d never actually followed through on those urges. Work. School. Future plans. They all got in the way of having a social life. Maybe it was time to change that.
She stretched out to her full length, enjoying the feel of her muscles bunching and relaxing as she ran. Picking up her pace, she kept an eye out for a likely place to cross the river. Normally she swam, but that would slow her down and she wasn’t ready to confront the male yet. Let him work for it.
As she rounded an outcropping of rock, she spied a sandbar stretching more than halfway across to the far bank. Perfect! Without slowing down, she jumped from the bank and landed on the edge of the sand. She paused to look back over her shoulder. Would the male be smart enough to realize she’d changed course? She sure hoped so. If she lingered long enough for him to see her, he’d realize he was being played. He might even give up the chase, and that definitely didn’t fit into her plan.
Bounding up the far bank, she took a sharp right turn, following a well-worn trail that led down to the water. She could smell the dozens of small mammals who trod this way to get to the water. On impulse, she dropped to her belly and crawled along the ground for several feet, laying her scent firmly over top of all the others. If the strange male managed to follow her this far, he’d have no doubt that he was on the right trail.
She stood up and shook the dirt and dust from her coat. She’d barely moved more than a few yards down the trail when something barreled into her side, knocking her to the ground.
Not something, someone. The strange male.
He’d outmaneuvered her. She felt a grudging respect. He’d figured out her game and beat her to the punch line. Of course, she didn’t plan on letting him win quite that easily. Twisting sideways, she made a move to get to her feet.
He pounced on her, his superior weight pinning her to the ground.
She bared her teeth and growled.
He lowered his head and nuzzled her neck.
She glared at him, all of her teeth exposed.
He reacted by licking her muzzle. Seriously, what was a girl to do? The guy’s charm was irresistible. She let her lips lower over her teeth and whined softly.
About the Author
Anne Kane lives in the beautiful Okanagan Valley with two adorable rescue dogs, Merlin the Wonder Dog and Lexi the Aussie Shepherd, a cantankerous Himalayan cat who is now 20 years old, and too many fish to count.
She has two handsome sons and six adorable grandchildren. By day, she's a respectable citizen, but after hours her imagination soars and she becomes a writer of romances that span the galaxy and encompass beings of all sizes, shapes and origins. She has been making stories up since she learned to pull herself upright using the bars on her crib!
Her other hobbies include kayaking, hiking, motorcycles, swimming, skating, karate, playing guitar, singing and of course, reading.
Thanks for stopping by!